Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Election Day in the U.K.

It will be by the time I return tomorrow, so.... enjoy these gems:

"Britain is in the middle of a parliamentary election campaign that many have found a bit drab — voters go to the polls on May 7 — and the news of the newest Windsor has been embraced as a ray of sunshine."

Is it another demon baby or just part of the incestuous band of world destroyers?

So they feel the same way about their politics that I do here?

"Onetime long shot Miliband nears cusp of taking top office in Britain; A Miliband win expected to upend nation’s direction" by Griff Witte Washington Post  May 03, 2015

STOCKTON-ON-TEES, England — Even before the election campaign began, the verdict was in on Ed Miliband: He was too weak and too weird to be Britain’s prime minister.

His approval ratings flirted with the lowest ever recorded for a major party leader. Among his Labor supporters, there were whispers of a coup. And with Britain’s economy recovering from the depths of recession, Conservative Party leader David Cameron seemed to have reelection locked up.

But British voters, not known for their faith in the powers of redemption, have done something unusual over the past month: They’ve given Miliband, the 45-year-old son of Jewish refugees who fled to Britain to escape the Nazis, a second chance.

Why not? Why not take the mask of regarding who is really calling the shots?

The Labor leader has seized it, tapping a vein of popular discontent over the widening gap between rich and poor. With the election on Thursday, he’s now the favorite to become prime minister once the dust has settled on the closest and most politically fragmented British election in decades.

Polls suggest he is highly unlikely to secure a majority in the Parliament but could be positioned to lead an informal and potentially fractious coalition of parties from the left.

Good luck holding that together. 

To those who know Miliband best, his comeback is not a surprise. Instead it’s just the latest evidence of an inner combativeness that’s often masked by his nice-guy demeanor and his obsession with policy. This, after all, is the same man who stands accused of political fratricide for overthrowing his older brother, the then-better-known David, along the way to becoming party leader.

A Cain and Abel situation?

‘‘He’s a ruthless politician,’’ said Mehdi Hasan, who co-wrote an admiring biography of the younger Miliband.

And if he achieves a victory in the May 7 vote, Hasan and others say, he is likely to use it to push for a radically liberal shift in Britain’s direction.

How long will that government last?

‘‘He’s the best chance for changing British politics in a profound way since Margaret Thatcher became prime minister,’’ said David Clark, who served with Miliband as an adviser during Tony Blair’s government. ‘‘He genuinely has the potential to be a transformational figure.’’

It’s that potential, Clark said, that accounts for his dismal reputation until recently. ‘‘Ed has chosen to pick his fights with the Rupert Murdochs of the world, the bankers, the energy companies,’’ Clark said. ‘‘That’s why he’s attracted such vilification. These people see him as a threat.’’


Of course, Cameron and other Miliband critics argue that the threat is all too real — not just to the powerful, but to Britain as a whole. Cameron has now staked his reelection campaign on the message that a Miliband-led government would mean ‘‘chaos’’ and a reversion to the free-spending policies that dug Britain deep into debt before the Conservatives stepped in with a strict regimen of austerity.

Will that $ell this time?

The criticism has, at times, become intensely personal, with the prime minister calling Miliband ‘‘despicable and weak’’ for not ruling out a post-election deal with the leftist Scottish National Party.

Cameron’s defense secretary, Michael Fallon, picked up the attack line and gave it a twist, when he argued that the Labor leader would bow to the SNP’s wishes and sacrifice Britain’s nuclear weapons program.

Maybe they should do away with it. Gotta keep Iran from getting one.

‘‘Ed Miliband stabbed his own brother in the back to become Labor leader,’’ Fallon wrote last month. ‘‘Now he is willing to stab the United Kingdom in the back to become prime minister.’’

Analysts widely expected the Conservatives to surge ahead in the final stretch of the campaign, with voters fleeing to the perceived safety of Cameron. Instead, the two leading parties have remained effectively tied in polls, with the post-election calculus among smaller parties giving Labor more options for forming a government.

They stole the vote from Scotland; they will certainly steal this one. 

Btw, whatever happened to Cameron's conservative coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats?

That the race has remained so close is in large measure a result of the Labor leader’s unexpectedly assured performances campaigning. The prospect of Miliband running the country — once faintly ridiculous, even among core Labor backers — has grown on voters.

‘‘The character rather than the caricature of Ed has been coming through,’’ said Stewart Wood, a top Miliband adviser.

And that character, Wood said, was forged in large measure through his parents. Miliband’s father caught one of the last boats to Britain before the Nazis overran Belgium. His mother escaped to Britain from Poland, but her father died in a concentration camp.

Miliband, who describes himself as both culturally Jewish and an atheist, had a far less dramatic upbringing. But it was steeped in politics; his father, Ralph, was a prominent Marxist historian. The elder Miliband’s career brought the family to the United States for visiting professorships during which his sons acquired a longtime fascination with American politics and, in Ed’s case, a fanatical rooting interest in the Boston Red Sox.

Oh, that ought to win your vote!


First votes already coming in....

"British comedian, activist Russell Brand backs Labor Party" Associated Press  May 05, 2015

LONDON — British comedian-turned-political activist Russell Brand has changed his mind and is no longer urging people not to vote in Thursday’s general election — now he wants them to vote for Labor.

Brand used his YouTube channel Monday to urge his more than 1 million subscribers to back Labor Party leader Ed Miliband, saying the Conservative Party led by Prime Minister David Cameron must be stopped.

The last-minute conversion may influence young voters who have read Brand’s best-selling book ‘‘Revolution’’ and embraced his YouTube complaints about big business and banks having too much power.

The long-haired comedian, who has starred in several films, has campaigned for the rights of London tenants and has complained about capitalism. He interviewed Miliband last week for his YouTube channel — prompting Cameron to label Brand ‘‘a joke’’ and to condemn Miliband for appearing with the bawdy comedian.

Brand struck back on YouTube.

‘‘David Cameron might think I’m a joke. But I don’t think there’s anything funny about what the Conservative Party has been doing to this country, and we have to stop them,’’ he said.

Brand said in his YouTube endorsement that Miliband wouldn’t change things overnight but would listen to peoples’ complaints. He also tweeted the video to his more than 9 million Twitter followers.

The vote Thursday is expected to be extremely close.

Sorry I have such a malaise when it comes to rigged elections these days.


I'm not opposed to him voicing his opinion; however, I'm sick of the propaganda pre$$ and its celebrity of politics.

"The parents of missing British girl Madeleine McCann have won $549,000 in a libel action against a former Portuguese detective who published a book alleging they were involved in their daughter’s disappearance, according to a Lisbon court ruling published Tuesday. ‘‘We would like to remind people that there is still an innocent little girl who is missing and that those responsible for her abduction remain at large,’’ they added in a statement issued by the family spokesman, Clarence Mitchell. Portuguese police closed the case in 2008 because authorities had detected no crime. British police launched Operation Grange in 2011 to try to find out what happened. The prosecutor’s office in Lisbon reopened the investigation in 2013, saying new leads emerged during the case review though it didn’t elaborate."

Why? What did they stumble upon (if you flip things around you may find out who took her)?

Should have got a nanny:

"Aisling Brady McCarthy’s lawyers have maintained she is innocent. They note that diagnoses of shaken baby syndrome have increasingly been called into question, and they say the baby had been sick much of her short life. They have also noted the child suffered bone fractures and compression fractures to her spine, weeks before her death, when she was not in McCarthy’s care. The review will push back the trial, which had been scheduled to begin May 6. According to Meier, the medical examiner’s office will provide an estimate in the coming days on how long their review will take. Patrick Fitzgerald, a Middlesex assistant district attorney, said prosecutors do not want to proceed with the trial until the medical examiner’s office completes its review. The district attorney’s office declined to comment further. McCarthy’s defense team sent the medical reports, conducted by a range of specialists, to the medical examiner’s office earlier this month. Medical specialists consulted by the father’s lawyer concluded that the infant had died of natural causes. The boy’s mother and grandmother have a rare genetic defect that makes them more susceptible to ruptures of arteries or veins, a history that the family did not know. After genetic testing of the family and consultations with specialists, the medical examiner’s office changed its finding on the manner of death from homicide to “could not be determined.”

It's looking like she's innocent and the Globe is protecting some rich Saudi family. Wow.

"The relative rarity of Tuesday’s killing did underline how much has changed in Northern Ireland from the bloodiest years of its four-decade conflict that left more than 3,600 dead. IRA supporters who long boycotted contact with police appealed Tuesday to the predominantly Catholic residents of the Markets to tell detectives what they knew about the killing. That latter change contains bitter irony for Gerard ‘‘Jock’’ Davison, 47, a former Irish Republican Army commander linked to one of the outlawed group’s most notorious killings who once presided over the Belfast’s Markets neighborhood wielding an IRA authority that included, for decades, the right to shoot criminal opponents in the limbs and to shield its own members from British law and order — including by killing those who would tell the police what they knew. Splinter groups continue to mount bombings and shootings, and feuds within the IRA’s fractured ranks can turn deadly, but no group claimed responsibility. Police said it was too early to speculate on a motive, but officers ordered an immediate increase in visible street patrolling, including road checkpoints, to deter what they called a rise in attacks by IRA diehards who oppose British rule in the run-up to Thursday’s United Kingdom general election." 

Gee, who would want something like that to happen on the eve of an election?


Frenetic campaigning, threat mark runup to UK vote

UKIPing me, right? 

So the Liberal Democrats are an afterthought, 'eh?

It's looking like the election is indeed rigged, and the results are already in.