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The Reform Party and the UK’s lurch towards fascism

I posted an earlier version of this a while back - inspired to do update following THAT discussion about all things ULEZ. 

The “manifesto”, in terms of transport, only mentions stopping HS2, but there’s plenty on the usual right-wing obsessions: Brexit, immigration, veterans and climate change.  I had another look because I worry about the ongoing decline of the two main political parties. 

If the Cons stay wedded to Brexit, then we will go into the next GE with all the widespread impoverishment Brexit has ushered in - not helped by Covid, Putin, etc. People generally vote according to their pockets.  I don’t get Labour’s current position on Europe either, but let’s see how that evolves, and even the Cons may also evolve, or even pivot, but time is already running out for them.

Several roads now lead to the horrors of a further lurch to the right in this country.  Let’s hope Labour get the GE landslide the polls are predicting - but we’re still at least a year out from the real campaigning beginning. 

A cycling angle? With the Reform Party and its ilk, Facebook Steve and Nextdoor Dave attain real political influence. It’s not spelt out in the manifesto, but you can see where this is probably heading and what it is likely to mean for cycling.  You can bet that this lot are very much "on the side of hard working drivers" etc. 

As you all know, Dave’s going to “sort the traffic” and no doubt show them lazy planners how it’s done: Steve thinks the Council are corrupt, the police blinkered and is, if he can fit it in to his busy schedule he’s going to “teach them Lycra’s a thing or two.” It won’t concern him that his Mondeo is 3 months out of MoT or that Mrs Steve sometimes drives the kids in it uninsured. 

As vulnerable road users, vulnerable people, we rely a great deal on the rule of law for protection. The rule of law means that we understand what the laws are, they are in general fair, and how they are applied and to whom is even-handed and consistent. 

The fascist position is broadly the opposite - it’s all off-the-cuff to support today’s particular agenda - that’s why the Iain Duncan-Smith “happy to see ULEZ infra vandalised” comment is, as an example, so very worrying.  In the Conservatives, here is a party happy to send signals to enable the mob to attack RNLI stations, beat up immigrants, shout at teachers, doctors etc. 

This right-wing stuff works by allowing/enabling significant privileged groups to to think of themselves as the downtrodden underdog and here is a way to fight back.  The pro Brexit campaign played on people’s ignorance, fears and prejudices exactly as this does. 

It’s all about freedom, innit, less regulation, less tax burden, and damn the climate.  There’s more polar bears now, so it’s fine.  Let’s have open-cast coal mining, lithium mining and fracking. The section on climate change stumbles around like a Friday night drunk, trying to explain he wasn't being racist to the barman - a denier position emerges, unsurprisingly.

In places, the mask really slips: “We must keep divisive woke ideologies such as Critical Race Theory (CRT) and gender ideology out of the classroom.” - to be honest, I don’t even know what those two are.

The standard enemies are put up - the civil service, the BBC.  Amid all the thrust and parry, there’s nothing  about making a better, more inclusive and cohesive world to live in; arts, sports and culture don’t feature in this barstool view of the world: a dullard’s grim vision.

Don’t be a member of the wrong sort of minority would be my advice, should any of this come to pass. 
 

https://www.reformparty.uk/reformisessential

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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364 comments

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brooksby replied to David9694 | 1 week ago
3 likes

Are they like all those candidates who turned out to be standing as Conservatives without ever mentioning it on their campaign literature*?

 

 

*Except for small print saying that it was paid for by CCHQ

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mdavidford replied to David9694 | 1 week ago
3 likes

David9694 wrote:

fake Reform candidates

Were they actually bots?

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exilegareth replied to David9694 | 1 week ago
2 likes

David9694 wrote:

Also under 'huge if true" is the growing story of fake Reform candidates standing in some constituencies.  Easily cleared-up, of course. 

The one who's been highlighted on social media near where I live is easy to trace. Sometimes 'paper' candidates are shy, and sometimes parties don't promote them because they're embarassing. So the one near me can be traced, and when you look at their social media there's  not a lot of it, but some of it smells like TERF spirit -  Reform don't want anyone distracting from the cult of Nigel by geetting into debates, so the candidate is simply there to be the peg on which Nigel's persoanl vote can be hung.

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don simon fbpe | 2 weeks ago
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I wouldn't worry to much about Labour and EU. tories and Farage have already shown us that u-turns are par for the course and wholly acceptable. 

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hawkinspeter replied to don simon fbpe | 2 weeks ago
9 likes

don simon fbpe wrote:

I wouldn't worry to much about Labour and EU. tories and Farage have already shown us that u-turns are par for the course and wholly acceptable. 

Starmer's U-turns are apparently quite dangerous though:

https://road.cc/content/news/witness-starmer-was-making-u-turn-when-he-hit-cyclist-278313

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Hirsute | 2 weeks ago
4 likes

I didn't even remember but we had a vote in 2011 on whether to have stv but 2/3 rejected the idea.
I wonder if it is time to rethink.
Mind you I'm a bit dubious of the ability of the average person to cope with it.

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David9694 replied to Hirsute | 2 weeks ago
5 likes

NO NO NO we had a referendum* on AV, THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE is clear you ARE SUBVERTING DEMOCRACY TAKING AWAY OUR FPTP DREAM 

* I'd forgotten too

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Bigfoz replied to Hirsute | 1 week ago
3 likes

We had an undiscussed and non promoed vote on a single flavour of PR voting. It was a coalition requirement from the LibDems and the Tories did it whle refusing to support it and actively campaigning against it. What we need is a mature discussion of forms of PR and a decision as to which best suits our democracy. PR for Holyrood works quite well, being designed to allow all parties a reasonable shot at seats. Personally I feel we also need a proper written and agreed constitution as opposed to one written on 50million sheets of deer arse held in an underground vault...

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David9694 replied to Bigfoz | 1 week ago
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If a new system of voting could drive up the 60% turnout, I'd listen.

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chrisonabike replied to David9694 | 1 week ago
1 like
David9694 wrote:

If a new system of voting could drive up the 60% turnout, I'd listen.

Apparently the Russian and North Korean ones see high turnout...

Isn't it an offence not to in Australia? "Don't like any of us? That'll cost you..." Although I believe you can just "spoil your ballot".

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brooksby replied to chrisonabike | 1 week ago
3 likes

chrisonabike wrote:
David9694 wrote:

If a new system of voting could drive up the 60% turnout, I'd listen.

Apparently the Russian and North Korean ones see high turnout... Isn't it an offence not to in Australia? "Don't like any of us? That'll cost you..." Although I believe you can just "spoil your ballot".

I seem to recall that the last election in Russia had a turnout of about 120%

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chrisonabike replied to brooksby | 1 week ago
2 likes

This was actually the truth - enthusiasm was so high * that many went and voted for the candidate twice or more!

* Among state employees like the military, the police, the "organs of state security" and anyone not wanting to lose their employment or pension in the near future.

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wtjs | 2 weeks ago
6 likes

Last night I was taking photos of flower beds for 'Bloom' down at the village hall where the Polling Station was. Despite a turnout of only 58%, it was very busy with an incessant turnover of cars queing up, voters coming out of them and then driving off again. I saw no other cyclists and very few pedestrians. There's no Active Travel at all up here- it's midsummer and I rarely see any cyclists.

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brooksby replied to wtjs | 2 weeks ago
4 likes

I went to vote on my way home from work.  The voting station was at the village hall, right in the middle of my village.  I saw two people pedestrianising (with their dogs) and the car park was full (ten cars, maybe?).  I was the only cyclist.

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chrisonabike replied to wtjs | 2 weeks ago
3 likes

Happened to walk there since close to me.  Station by the local college so plenty cycle parking.  No bikes to be seen, despite this being accessible via a "quieter street".

Edinburgh so some "active travel" but it's pretty slow progress - it's on the agenda now but certainly no urgency.  I think it's a bit "cycling just one of lots of competing lobby groups that the council are acting as referee between". Plus "we've already got some thanks" - namely the shared paths which have been there for decades (and they're looking at repurposing for trams).

In much of the town the dominant form of cycling is for takeaway delivery.

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wtjs replied to chrisonabike | 2 weeks ago
5 likes

dominant form of cycling is for takeaway delivery

Yes, with all this purposeful cycling going on, you wonder why there's the NHS diabetes time-bomb and the obesity crisis!

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chrisonabike replied to wtjs | 2 weeks ago
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curious innit?  And lots of people here have bikes rusting on their balconies...

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HLaB replied to wtjs | 2 weeks ago
1 like

I don't think there was any car parking at my polling station or the closer two that I wasn't allocated to.  I walked the 1.6miles though as I wouldnt trust leaving a bike in Hampton Hargate (Pottyboro).  The turn out across the constituency was only 58.5%, and I'm surprised it was as high as that.

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David9694 | 2 weeks ago
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C13 seats for Reform, says the Exit poll. 

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David9694 replied to David9694 | 2 weeks ago
4 likes

Good to see plenty of support in Wales for Labour. Pleased to see Rees-Mogg out. Good to see a handful (4) of Green MPs. 

4 Reform returned. 4 examples of where the Conservative "we're not right-wing enough" actually played out - Conservative candidates' losses were their direct gains.  (Edit: 5 Reform MPs - let's see what it is in six months.)

Wellingborough & Rushden, a belwether in which Ben Habib stood, is an example of Reform arguably splitting the cons vote and Labour being the beneficiary - but when you look at the UK map this morning, the "no enthusiasm for Labour" argument looks pretty hollow.

Now can we get active travel and Europe back on the agenda please? 

Finally for now, what do you and your merry men actually stand for, Nigel? 

Taking aim at the Conservatives, Mr Farage said: "There is a massive gap on the centre-right of British politics and my job is to fill it."

Speaking to reporters after the result, he suggested "this is the beginning of the end of the Conservative Party". 

Mr Farage said Reform would "now be targeting Labour votes". 

"What is interesting is, there's no enthusiasm for Labour, there's no enthusiasm for [Keir] Starmer whatsoever. In fact, about half of the vote is simply an anti-Conservative vote," he said. 

"We're coming for Labour, be in no doubt about that."

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chrisonabike replied to David9694 | 2 weeks ago
4 likes

[Reform - presumably Farage will reprise his EU parliament performance, merely showing up to decry the existence of Westminster and alledge that other MPs have never has a real job. Before putting in expenses claims and drawing a pension.

David9694 wrote:

Now can we get active travel and Europe back on the agenda please? 

Well you know the answer to the 2nd is "no", and currently it looks like even moving to Scotland won't change that anytime soon.

I'd love to believe the first would be the case, I hope that the high water mark for another generation wasn't a couple of years back with Active Travel England being set up (before being defunded, in favour of "supporting drivers")

Luckily things can progress locally despite Westminster indifference.

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brooksby replied to David9694 | 2 weeks ago
5 likes

David9694 wrote:

Mr Farage said: "There is a massive gap on the centre-right of British politics and my job is to fill it."

He thinks that he is centre right, does he? 

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lonpfrb replied to brooksby | 1 week ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:

David9694 wrote:

Mr Farage said: "There is a massive gap on the centre-right of British politics and my job is to fill it."

He thinks that he is centre right, does he? 

The far right is the Project 2025 of US MAGA Republicans who plan to make a fascist dictatorship for #45 who plans to be a dictator, revoke the Constitution, remove power from the legislature and judiciary to concentrate power in the executive in other words, him. He has no interest in citizens rights or freedom.

Whilst one may disagree with NF, there's no suggestion that freedom of speech is at risk in the UK like it is in USA, along with abortion, IVF, contraception and women's health generally...

Making loyalty to the glorious leader more important than competence in government is fully crazy Kim Jong Un style dictatorship, with retribution for the disloyal, too..

Way to the right of deluded..

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Rich_cb replied to David9694 | 2 weeks ago
1 like

The map merely reflects the distortions of 1st past the post.

The no enthusiasm argument is based on Labour only managing to attract 1 in 3 votes yet being rewarded with an enormous majority.

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chrisonabike replied to Rich_cb | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

No lover of 1PP and noting the particular distortions this time round... but also one of those distortions is tactical voting.  You could say another is "I'm just temporarily unhappy with the job my usually-favoured tribe are doing"!

Of course I doubt there was much tactical voting *for* Reform.  Don't know though.

It isn't that the Conservatives had this system sprung on them either.  Everyone had to play with the rules as understood.

The Party system isn't necessarily to the voter's advantage either - but we seem stuck with that.  So perhaps we can open up the discussion about proportional again?  Or indeed any other means of getting more people to engage with it - which seems an issue.

Certainly I would be surprised to see the Conservatives embrace some kind of proportional system given they undermined the Lib Dems' efforts to bring one in. (That was time ago though and the Alternative Vote might not have been the best implementation of such a system).

AFAIK Labour aren't either, being the other of the pair.  Why let in other competitors?

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David9694 replied to Rich_cb | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

The candidate with the most votes (Conservative) won in my constituency. I have a local MP. The same thing happened 650 times over. 

Whats your point? 

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Rich_cb replied to David9694 | 2 weeks ago
1 like

My point was that the "no enthusiasm" for Labour argument is valid.

Labour's vote share relative to its seat count is, I believe, the most distorted in UK history.

Only 1/3 people voted for Labour and they were incredibly vague about their policies yet they will now be able to push through any policy they choose.

Given your previous posts on the subject of British democratic votes I'm rather surprised you are ok with the situation.

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David9694 replied to Rich_cb | 2 weeks ago
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Vote share numbers are a by-product of FPTP, they aren't the result.  I guess if we're moving the goalposts, are you OK with is this? 

https://www.indy100.com/news/brexit-leave-remain-52-48-per-cent-voter-tu...

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Rich_cb replied to David9694 | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

That's share of population. Not vote share.

On that measure what would Labour's share have looked like?

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mdavidford replied to Rich_cb | 2 weeks ago
1 like

If you want to make an argument about enthusiasm, focusing on vote share is probably missing the wood for the trees. Look at raw votes - the number of people voting for Labour was down on what it was at the last election, so at the least we can say that enthusiasm for them is less now than it was then.

(Same goes for the Lib Dems, btw)

Of course, by that reckoning there was less than half as much enthusiasm for Reform as there was for Labour, though.

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