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About Jonty

  • Birthday 02/24/1977

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    Exiled Ulverstonian in Wigan
  1. That's very much how it looks to a lot of people, myself included. It seems to be a concerted effort to kill Blue-UKIP and make gains from Red-UKIP, whilst appeasing a substantial number in the voluntary Tory party.
  2. Part of it is the legacy of the last days of Cameron/Osborne, and partly the first few weeks of Theresa May. Tax credits, snoopers charter, uncertainty, weak pound - none of these are popular and an effective opposition should be just that - opposition. Instead we have a Labour party that abstain without providing an alternative. The Labour leadership seem happy to be seen as a protest movement or pressure group. Tom Watson was even critical of the Liberals actively campaigning to win in Witney on the Today programme this morning, as if to suggest Labour aren't actually there to win things! If we've an opposition that fails to have confidence in itself, how on Earth do they expect the electorate to have confidence in them?
  3. Fair comment - maybe a better way of saying it would have been "we've a government doing unpopular things", the point being an effective opposition should be tearing them to shreds.
  4. I've a few observations on Witney. - The Lib Dems threw everything at it, but had the volunteer base, local candidate and willpower to do so. - Labour seem to have performed reasonably well in their strongest area, which is Witney town. Outside of that support was limited - I've seen a few Labour/Corbyn activists this morning commenting that the result isn't unusual for them. Between 1992 and 2005 Labour were a clear second in the constituency, polling up to 30%. That's an indicator of where Labour should be if they are seen as an electable opposition. We've an unpopular government. The official opposition should be fighting for every vote. Instead they went backwards. - The collapse of Blue-UKIP continues. Red-UKIP (Hartlepool, for instance) seems to be holding up at the moment. - The Lib Dem resurgence seems to be happening in areas where the party has capacity and an element of tradition. Where it doesn't, it is static, hence the substantial council gains at the expense of all, but minimal changes in national polls
  5. You could argue that your third sentence should read: When you look at the more progressive elements of the last government; pupil premium, same sex marriage, raising of the tax threshold for lower incomes, green investment banks etc. you could argue that the Lib Dems punched above their weight and were punished for it. by the electorate. I'll acknowledge that reneging on the tuition fees pledge was a big misjudgement and apologise for it, but I'd never apologise for going into coalition.
  6. Given their strength in south Cumbria, north Leeds and Southport, I'd imagine a lot of Lib Dems shop at Booths, and not Waitrose. As an active LD and a council candidate earlier this year, I suppose it leaves it up to me to attempt to persuade you. You're right about localism, and a lot of the resurgence since 2015 has been reflected in council results, the party making comparatively strong gains this year in the local elections and in by-elections - not just in their traditional heartlands, but also in some of the Mets. Nationally, it's worth having a look at this: or looking at the discussions on the Lib Dem Voice website, the leading blog for the party. You don't need to be a member to do either of these. For me, without getting into the social v economic/classical liberal debate, the key things are voting reform, devolution, decision making (I've found it surprisingly easy to get involved in shaping policy as a member based in a traditionally weak area for the party), internationalism and an ambition for individuals to reach their full potential. Oh, and Glee Club.
  7. Similar here; we treated the day that postal ballots arrived as Polling Day. Around 1/4 of electors in my ward have postal votes, and turnout is far higher among them than with walk-in voters, so worth trying to reach them.
  8. Labour seem to be concentrating on Standish and Hindley wards, in both cases where the councillor up for re-election is independent. Hindley will be worth watching as it could potentially split in interesting, unpredictable, ways. UKIP seem to be quietly endorsing several local independents (hence why they're not standing in Hindley/Hindley Green), although not the Standish ones. The general feeling that I'm getting is of dissatisfaction with Labour, but not enough to displace them in other than a small number of wards. UKIP is almost exclusively "red" UKIP, and pretty nasty at that (see their twitter feed...) and it will be interesting to see if the dissatisfied Labour supporters go UKIP or, where there is choice, Lib Dem. Many will stick with what they know, possibly on a very low turnout. The Lib Dems are fielding the most candidates for a decade, and their membership has trebled in Wigan borough in the past eighteen months. I'll PM you about the Aspull candidate.
  9. Shrek - are you in Wigan borough? Guessing from the line up Aspull-New Springs-Whelley?
  10. Agreed, John. You only have to look at Manchester where Labour received 58% of the vote last year, but won 100% of the council, even though their vote share dropped. Likewise with Cornwall in the General Election last year, where the Tories won all six seats on just 43%.
  11. I've been keeping an eye on the UKIP Wigan twitter account recently. They re-tweet all sorts of borderline racism and make fools of themselves, calling anyone that disagrees with them an idiot before blocking them. Sadly they averaged over 20% at the general Election across the three Wigan borough constituencies. It'll be interesting to see how they get on in May, if national trends are anything to go by.
  12. The Liberals only contested 311 seats in 1966 - less than half of those available. It's worth noting that threshold for retaining the deposit was 12.5% in 1966 (now 5%), and the deposit was £150 (now £500), so putting a candidate in every seat was extremely costly for anyone other than Lab/Con. Only the SNP, PC and the Communist Party contested more than 20 seats. You also still needed to be 21 to vote.
  13. Had a great crawl around Bloomsbury/Clerkenwell last night - not a bad pint all night. I do enjoy London beer. Pubs visited (starting from Euston Station): The Resting Hare The Queen's Larder The Holborn Whippet The Ship Tavern The Cittie of Yorke Ye Olde Mitre The Exmouth Arms The Lexington
  14. Spot on, Exiled Wiganer. Enjoyable day out, as always. Well done Skolars, on - and off - the pitch.
  15. Agreed - I went to the Tap 'n' Barrel and Wigan Central last week, and they were great pubs, although I was disappointed with The Raven. It's a shame that the pubs serving a good range of beer where I live (Hindley) are few and far between. The Hare and Hounds is good, and the Bird i'th' Hand isn't too bad, but most places are John Smiths/Fosters etc. It's a shame that Hindley's brewery, Hophurst, doesn't have any outlets in the town, as their beer is very good.