uk political history

Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928)  is one of the most recognisable leaders o the British suffrage movement. She founded the Women’s Franchise League, and was involved in several causes aimed at offering women more rights in society.

She was also the founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union, later transforming it in the Women’s Party, continuously pushing for women being offered the vote. Even though her tactics were described as radical and militant, her efforts eventually led to equal suffrage in 1918.

The thing is, capitalism has never been reformed ‘peacefully’.

Reform movements which have formally disavowed violent means - from the Civil Rights movement in 1960s America, to Attlee’s Labour government in 1940s Britain - have only been historically successful because mass, organised, revolutionary movements of the politically disenfranchised outside of the formal reform movement have forced those benefiting from the status quo to cede concessions to non-violent, often middle-class, reformist leaders. Malcolm X, the Socialist Party of the USA and the Communist Party forced the American elite to come to the table with Dr. King; the syndicalist and communist trade unions in post-War Britain made opposition to Attlee’s NHS and limited nationalisations foolhardy.

Those who preach non-violence as a strategy rather than as a flexible tactic fatally mistake capitalism for a rational, logical system which plays by its own rules and respects human life.

We know better.

ID #33392

Name: Dhru
Age: 20
Country: United Kingdom

Hey!
I’ve not had a penpal before so I thought this could be cool!
I live in the UK and I study History at Uni :) I’m a massive nerd - I love Harry Potter, Comics (I’m big on DC, especially Batman) and a whole host of TV shows such as Sense8, iZombie and Brooklyn 99. I enjoy talking about politics too and am quite left wing in my political opinions. I enjoy creative writing and am trying to learn to draw better :) Music wise, I’ll listen to anything though my favourite genre is probably indie rock, especially from the early 2000s (Naive by the Kooks is still one of my favourite songs) and I have a lingering love for Green Day and Paramore from my 15 year old emo days.
Come say hi! :)

Preferences: Open to talk to anyone really :)

theguardian.com
Rare parchment manuscript of US Declaration of Independence found in England
Two Harvard researchers have found only the second known parchment manuscript of America’s formative text in a West Sussex archive
By Alan Yuhas

This is amazing! Some key information about this document sourced from the article:

  • Researchers believe the man behind this copy of the Declaration was James Wilson, a Pennsylvania delegate to the continental congress, one of six men to sign both the declaration and constitution, and, later, one of the original supreme court justices. 
  • They concluded the document dated to the 1780s, and was produced in America, most likely in New York or Philadelphia. 
  • Unlike previously known copies of the declaration, which have signatures grouped by states, the Sussex copy has its signatures in a patterned jumble. The researchers who discovered the document hypothesize that the appearance of randomness was deliberate and symbolic, part of a nationalist argument that the United States was founded by citizens, each created equal, and not by a looser confederation of states. 
  • Only the second parchment manuscript copy known to exist besides the one kept in the National Archives in Washington DC. 

The Chartists have at last had their final demand fulfilled, 179 years after it was set down in the People’s Charter -alongside universal suffrage, the secret ballot and payment of MPs, yearly elections have finally become a permanent feature of British democracy.

2

The top picture is showing Jeremy Corbyn.He is the leader of the Labour Party. He is constantly slammed for by the sun and the daily mail for being too left wing and is reffered to as Commie Corbyn or Comrade Corbyn for wanting nuclear disarment, social housing, increased benefits, and being against millitary action in Syria. This is him in 1984 protesting outside the south African embassy. 

The Bottom picture is current Prime minister David Cameron. Often Revered by the right wing newspapers such as the Sun. For pushing through austerity measures to reduce the deficit (Spending cuts), reducing benefits for the poorest and weakest in our society, all while giving tax cuts to millionaires.     This is him outside Oxford university in 1984 as a member of the bullingdon club. An exsclusive club known for trashing resturants and heavy drinking.   One of the requirements to getting in was burning a 50 pound note infront of a homeless person. Aswell as other entry rituals involving a pig.  

But clearly Jeremy is the bad guy here. Literally the devil incarnate. 

LONG POST BUT GOOD I THINK

Hello tumblr! I would like to take the time to explain some of this British/Irish politics stuff that is happening right now. I’m not an expert, but apparently neither is anyone else (including Theresa May), so I’m going to run down what I know, so that everyone who wants to understand can get up to speed (as much as I’m able to get you there). If anyone who is an expert wants to correct me or add anything then please, please do.

(Quick note: Remember that the UK is a country, but it also made of other countries including Northern Ireland.)

First, some history: Britain has had a very tumultuous relationship with Ireland basically forever. There’s a LOT to go over, so I’ll just kind of massively over-simplify and say that Ireland became a British colony and fought its way out until only 6 counties were undecided about being part of the UK.* Conflict known as The Troubles started in the ‘60s.

The Troubles: The counties of Northern Ireland consisted (and still consist) of a mixture of two key ideologies; those who considered themselves British (unionists), and those who considered themselves Irish (republicans).** The former, wanted Northern Ireland to stay as part of the UK, but the latter wanted Northern Ireland to rejoin the rest of Ireland as one sovereign state - they arguably settled into a kind of a ‘draw’*** in the 1920s. When the fighting began in the ‘60s, the republicans were, rightly, pissed that they were being discriminated against by the unionist authorities - they wanted to be treated fairly, and asking and then demanding it clearly wasn’t working, so they resorted to force. This kicked off thirty years of fighting, involving a variety of paramilitary groups, activists, Northern Irish police, politicians, and the British army. Thousands of people died (mostly civilians), and there was bombing throughout the UK. Eventually, after a lot of work, a peace-deal was brokered: The Good Friday Agreement (GFA).

The Good Friday Agreement: In order to bring an end to the both the fighting, but also the state-sponsored discrimination that started it, a contract was brought up between the republicans and the unionists. It’s pretty complex, but some key points are these: 

  • A forced coalition of republicans and unionists must run the country 
  • The majority of people want to stay in the United Kingdom but there are loooads who want to be part of Ireland: If there is ever a time when this switches, and the majority wants to unite with the Republic of Ireland, then the UK is bound to allow it.
    • (A reason this is so groundbreaking is because Britain had never before recognised that both these ideas were totally legitimate)

Key to this contract is the concept of ‘impartiality’. To properly manage a country with such distinct and opposing viewpoints, you have to be emphatically impartial between the two (and the legitimacy of both viewpoints therefore implicit). This is why the forced coalition is so important. 

That was in 1998, and Northern Ireland has pretty much been peaceful ever since (there is the odd bombing every now and then) but obviously it’s kind of part of the whole deal that the two sides will never see eye-to-eye completely. Unfortunately…

Recent UK political history: I won’t go into too much detail, but basically the Conservative party were having a bit of a power struggle and David Cameron (the Prime Minister at the time) decided to sort it out by saying he’d hold a referendum about whether the UK should be part of the EU. And in 2016, he kind of had to follow through with that. It was a dumb decision with no forethought whatsoever, and the discussions around it were of the same ilk. Anyway, as we all know, without any idea what would happen once the decision was made, the UK slightly voted to Leave more than to Remain (this is known as Brexit because of course it is a dumb name like that). David Cameron resigned because whoops, and we got Theresa May - we didn’t get to vote for her or anything, we just got her. 

This year, she decided she wanted a more firm support to go into Brexit negotiations with Europe, so she called a snap election. Elections are typically every 5 years and our last one was only in 2015, so it was early. LITTLE DID SHE KNOW, good old Jeremy Corbyn (who I could talk about at length as well but I won’t) and his Labour crew brought their A-Game, and destroyed the Tories as much as they could without actually winning the election.

Basically, Britain has a dumb system called ‘first-past-the-post’. The gist of it is as follows: Each political party has their own leader, and that leader becomes the prime minister if their party wins. When you go to vote, you vote for a local MP for your constituency (or local area) representing his or her party and that counts towards the national wins - or seats - of that party. For example, you might vote for a local Labour candidate and, if that Labour candidate wins, their seats are added to the Labour party seats to see whether or not the country wants them doing a good rule of the whole place. To have a strong mandate, i.e. to be large-and-in-chaaarge, a political party has to get a ‘majority government’ - this is defined as winning 326 seats. If they don’t get that, they must form a coalition with another party to pick up the seats that they’re missing - this tends to be the biggest party teaming up with one of the much smaller ones. In 2010 nobody got enough seats****, and the Tories took over from the Labour party by getting the Lib Dems into a coalition with them; then they somehow got even more control in the 2015 election by getting a majority government on their own little leggies (no Lib Dems required).

In this election, again, no party got enough seats - so the Tories had to try and get a coalition going. But there was a problem! All the other parties they could turn to, had said they would absolutely not form a coalition with them. WHAT TO DO? Well, remember we were talking about Northern Ireland earlier…

I KEEP THINKING I’M NEAR THE END AND THEN MORE INFORMATION IS HAPPENING: Northern Ireland has for a while been run by a coalition between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and Sinn Féin. The former is unionist (obviously); the latter is republican. This had been going pretty well, till something called the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). This was a system to help businesses move towards renewable energy sources, thereby reducing UK carbon emissions. Essentially, businesses were given subsidies to change their heating methods over from non-renewable sources. But it was done in a shambolic way - people were basically being paid to just have their heat on aaaall the time, and there was no cap on subsidies so they could just heat their way to an unethical, but apparently perfectly legal, fortune. SCANDAL HAPPENED when it was revealed that this whole thing was going to cost Northern Ireland huuuundreds of millions of pounds and also look what a hash job everyone has done. Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP was asked to stand down while an enquiry happened but she refused and, in protest, the leader of Sinn Féin (Martin McGuinness) resigned from his post (and then subsequently resigned from the party and then died). Sinn Féin refused to put someone else forward to lead their half of the coalition, so Arlene Foster couldn’t lead either! Northern Ireland, therefore, had to have an election even though they had JUST HAD ONE in 2016. So they had another in March and the unionists headed into shaky ground - they lost a whole lot of seats, so only had one more than Sinn Féin. Sinn Féin continued to demand that Arlene Foster step down, and Arlene Foster continued to refuse, meaning they still couldn’t form a government. They were given a deadline to form one, or they would be put under Direct Rule (this means Westminster taking over running Northern Ireland), which is NOT IDEAL considering. (Also Brexit is happening!!! Ireland is part of Europe!!! The Northern Irish border with Ireland is a sensitive thing!!! Nobody talked about this during Brexit and they’re all fucking idiots!!!) The deadline passed, so they extended the deadline… And then Theresa May called a national election! WHAT A CLEVER CLOGS. This fucking idiot called an election in the most unstable time in Northern Ireland since the fucking ‘90s. Northern Ireland now has to go back to the polls once again! So they push back the deadline some more and then the election happens and GUESS FUCKING WHAT…

CLUSTERFUCK: Theresa May, a monumental shitshower of idiocy, doesn’t have enough seats to run the country, and nobody wants to team up with her horrible party, and now she’s fucked! But WAIT, what about the party that is embroiled in a corruption scandal and is currently unable to run its own country? That’s a good idea. Let’s get them involved. Theresa May and the DUP decide to join up. 

Now. Remember a little thing from nearer the beginning of this stupidly long post: The Good Friday Agreement? The culmination of years of peace-process discussions after and through decades of war and terror? The thing the relies on an impartial government? How impartial is the Tories getting in bed with the DUP - the unionists? Not very impartial, if you don’t mind me saying. So now not only is Northern Ireland in a mess over the Cash for Ash scandal, and unable to run itself, but ALSO Theresa May is shitting all over the only real thing that’s kept the peace for nearly 20 years. And we still don’t know what’s happening with the Ireland/NI border! And we still have a deadline for a NI government to be sorted out! And the official plan for when that doesn’t happen is Direct Rule! And you can’t possibly run Direct Rule with one of the coalition parties that is refusing to run the fucking country! And Direct Rule is kind of kryptonite for GFA anyway! IT’S A FUCKING LUDICROUS, ILLEGAL, DANGEROUS MESS. 

And that’s all I have to say about that.


—————————————————————–

*That’s not exactly what happened. Ireland was colonised, fought for home rule (which is like being in charge of their area, while still be a British colony), and was partitioned in the 1920s because lots of people in these few Northern counties wanted to be ruled by the British government. The Irish Free State was created soon after, and Northern Ireland had the option to be part of that as well, but their government decided nah.

**This divide invariably fell along Protestant vs Catholic lines which lots of wilfully ill-informed British people will tell you is all the fighting was about. Actually there is a very long history related to this divide, which involved purposeful subjugation of Catholics in Ireland, to the point that the Irish Potato Famine could be considered attempted genocide of Irish Catholics by the British (protestants).

***Northern Ireland has since had the right to leave the UK if that’s what its people want, but that hasn’t happened and… Well, read on.

****This is known as a ‘hung parliament’. Hung parliaments do not happen a lot. there was one in 2010, as detailed above, and I think the one last before that was way back in the ‘70s. 

youtube

Kate Tempest - Europe Is Lost

Europe is lost, America lost, London is lost,
Still we are clamouring victory.
All that is meaningless rules,
And we have learned nothing from history.

People are dead in their lifetimes,
Dazed in the shine of the streets.
But look how the traffic keeps moving.
The system’s too slick to stop working.
Business is good. And there’s bands every night in the pubs,
And there’s two for one drinks in the clubs.

We scrubbed up well
We washed off the work and the stress
Now all we want’s some excess
Better yet; A night to remember that we’ll soon forget.

All of the blood that was shed for these cities to grow,
All of the bodies that fell.
The roots that were dug from the ground
So these games could be played
I see it tonight in the stains on my hands.

The buildings are screaming
I cant ask for help though, nobody knows me,
Hostile and worried and lonely.
We move in our packs and these are the rites we were born to
Working and working so we can be all that we want
Then dancing the drudgery off
But even the drugs have got boring.
Well, sex is still good when you get it.

To sleep, to dream, to keep the dream in reach
To each a dream,
Don’t weep, don’t scream,
Just keep it in,
Keep sleeping in
What am I gonna do to wake up?

I feel the cost of it pushing my body
Like I push my hands into pockets
And softly I walk and I see it, it’s all we deserve
The wrongs of our past have resurfaced
Despite all we did to vanquish the traces
My very language is tainted
With all that we stole to replace it with this,
I am quiet,
Feeling the onset of riot.
But riots are tiny though,
Systems are huge,
The traffic keeps moving, proving there’s nothing to do.

It’s big business baby and its smile is hideous.
Top down violence, structural viciousness.
Your kids are doped up on medical sedatives.
But don’t worry bout that. Worry bout terrorists.

The water levels rising! The water levels rising!
The animals, the polarbears, the elephants are dying!
Stop crying. Start buying.
But what about the oil spill?
Shh. No one likes a party pooping spoil sport.

Massacres massacres massacres/new shoes
Ghettoised children murdered in broad daylight by those employed to protect them.
Live porn streamed to your pre-teens bedrooms.
Glass ceiling, no headroom. Half a generation live beneath the breadline.

Oh but it’s happy hour on the high street,
Friday night at last lads, my treat!
All went fine till that kid got glassed in the last bar,
Place went nuts, you can ask our Lou,
It was madness, the road ran red, pure claret.
And about them immigrants? I cant stand them.
Mostly, I mind my own business.
But they’re only coming over here to get rich.
It’s a sickness.
England! England!
Patriotism!

And you wonder why kids want to die for religion?

Work all your life for a pittance,
Maybe you’ll make it to manager,
Pray for a raise
Cross the beige days off on your beach babe calendar.

Anarchists desperate for something to smash
Scandalous pictures of glamorous rappers in fashionable magazines
Who’s dating who?
Politico cash in an envelope
Caught sniffing lines off a prostitutes prosthetic tits,
And it’s back to the house of lords with slapped wrists
They abduct kids and fuck the heads of dead pigs
But him in a hoodie with a couple of spliffs –
Jail him, he’s the criminal

It’s the BoredOfItAll generation
The product of product placement and manipulation,
Shoot em up, brutal, duty of care,
Come on, new shoes.
Beautiful hair.

Bullshit saccharine ballads
And selfies
And selfies

And selfies
And here’s me outside the palace of ME!

Construct a self and psyhcosis
And meanwhile the people are dead in their droves
But nobody noticed,
Well actually, some of them noticed,
You could tell by the emoji they posted.

Sleep like a gloved hand covers our eyes
The lights are so nice and bright and lets dream
But some of us are stuck like stones in a slipstream
What am I gonna do wake up?

We are lost
We are lost
We are lost
And still nothing
Will stop
Nothing pauses

We have ambitions and friends and our courtships to think of
Divorces to drink off the thought of

The money
The money
The oil

The planet is shaking and spoiled
Life is a plaything
A garment to soil
The toil the toil.
I cant see an ending at all.
Only the end.

How is this something to cherish?
When the tribesmen are dead in their deserts
To make room for alien structures,
Develop
Develop

Kill what you find if it threatens you.

No trace of love in the hunt for the bigger buck,

Here in the land where nobody gives a fuck.

Election 2017: What is happening? Possibly one of the biggest upsets in UK political history

The final UK election exit poll has stunned the country. All conventional wisdom pointed towards an easy victory for Theresa May, who was looking to gain a sweeping majority.

But now, after a day of voting, the future of her premiership, party and legacy could all be in doubt.

Many polls predicted a crushing defeat for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, with the Conservatives gaining a considerable majority. Others were less generous towards May, and showed a dramatic narrowing between the two parties as their campaigns progressed. But even then, when the numbers were relatively favourable for Labour, the Conservatives were still out in front.

If you cast your mind back before the snap election was called, you may remember the double-digit leads the Tories held over Labour, and the huge advantage in popularity May had over Corbyn. With these in mind, many Labour supporters were resigned to the fact they were never going to win, and had their eyes on simply reducing Theresa May’s majority.

But if the exit poll is accurate, this election could be one of the biggest political upsets in British history, beating even Brexit. The EU referendum that Leave won by 52 per cent was a huge upset, but was backed up by a number of polls – and predicted by some commentators – in the lead up to the vote. In comparison, almost no-one saw this election exit poll result coming.

So what is going on? Here is everything you need to know:

What just happened?

The shock final exit poll has predicted Theresa May will fall short of a ruling majority. The Tory Prime Minister currently has 331 seats in the House of Commons, and a majority of 17.

If this poll bears out, then this will be reduced to 314 seats, 12 short of of an overall majority.

Meanwhile, Labour could increase its number of seats by 34 to 266, while the Liberal Democrats are on track for 14. The SNP are predicted to suffer losses too.

Here are the full exit poll results:

Conservatives: 314

Labour: 266

SNP: 34

Lib Dems: 14

Plaid Cymru: 3

Greens: 1

Ukip: 0

Others: 18

Is the exit poll accurate? How did it fare in the last election?

Exit polls have always been close to predicting the winner, and with relative accuracy when it comes to seats. The only time this didn’t happen was 1992, when it predicted a hung parliament, only for John Major to win a majority.

You can see below how the last election’s exit result matched with the final results.

2015 Election exit poll vs final results

Conservative: 316 vs 331 (+15)

Labour: 239 vs 232 (-7)

SNP: 58 vs 56 (-2)

Lib Dems: 10 vs 8 (-2)

Others: 27 vs 23 (-4)

What will happen next?

If there is a hung parliament the consequences will be chaotic.

With Brexit negotiations just over a week away, it would cast huge uncertainty on how they may take place – especially if negotiations are still taking place on who will form the Government.

There is also the prospect of Theresa May resigning. The Prime Minister set out to win a significant majority in this election, and will have fallen dramatically short of her target if the exit poll is accurate. If she does stand down, this will trigger a tumultuous leadership battle.

The pound has already fallen by 2 per cent in response to the exit poll, and is certain to fall further if the exit poll bears out.

Will Jeremy Corbyn be Prime Minister?

At the moment it’s impossible to say, and seems more unlikely than likely. But the fact we’re even asking if Corbyn could soon walk into Number 10 is a stunning development in an election campaign where almost every expert assumed May would win.

The only way Corbyn would end up leading the country is if the Tories fail to win a majority and he is able to form a coalition Government with parties like the SNP, Lib Dems and Greens. But even then, he may still need to reach out to independent MPs and parties in Northern Ireland if he is to get enough seats to rule, and this could be incredibly tricky.

Early results also suggest Conservative numbers could have been underestimated by the exit poll. However, Labour is also reporting a significant increase in the youth vote in undeclared constituencies, which could end up skewering the Tories’ chances of a majority.

Which is to say, everything is still to play for.

Will Theresa May resign?

If the Prime Minister doesn’t increase her majority – or scores even more of an own goal with her snap election and finds it decreasing – then it seems very unlikely her position will be secure.

If she is forced to resign it will throw the UK’s Brexit negotiations – which as mentioned already, start in just over a week – into absolute chaos.

Again, it’s impossible to say. But if this exit poll is borne out, one thing is certain: it will not be good for Theresa May.

I know that the conquest of English America is an impossibility. You cannot, I venture to say it, you CANNOT conquer America…As to conquest, therefore, my Lords, I repeat, it is impossible. You may swell every expense, and every effort, still more extravagantly; pile and accumulate every assistance you can buy or borrow; traffic and barter with every little pitiful German Prince, that sells and sends his subjects to the shambles of a foreign country; your efforts are for ever vain and impotent—doubly so from this mercenary aid on which you rely; for it irritates, to an incurable resentment, the minds of your enemies—to overrun them with the sordid sons of rapine and plunder; devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty! If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms, never! never! never! …I call upon the honour of your Lordships to reverence the dignity of your ancestors, and to maintain your own. I call upon the spirit and humanity of my country to vindicate the national character. I invoke the genius of the constitution. From the tapestry that adorns these walls, the immortal ancestor of this noble Lord frowns with indignation at THE DISGRACE OF HIS COUNTRY! In vain he led your victorious fleets against the boasted Armada of Spain; in vain he defended and established the honour, the liberties, the religion, the Protestant religion of his country, against the arbitrary cruelties of Popery and the Inquisition.
—  former Prime Minister of Great Britain, William Pitt, vocally supporting the colonists and their grievances that had caused the American Revolution. In the House of Lords, 1777