- You can quote me
Many thanks to those who are explaining this to outsiders. I read enough to get the general gist of things but not the true reality of what these people are like nor what they've done in the past. I look at BBC, the Guardian, the Telegraph, Spectator (Lynx, don't ban me ;-) some of their stuff is hilarious), and even occasionally the Daily Fail. Their stuff (like the NY Daily News) is mostly actually accurate and truthful even IF they tend to OVEREMPHASIZE THINGS to get your ATTENTION.
A word about immigration. Going after people as has been reported is to me as hideous and deplorable as it is to you. Calling it racist is a bit of a stretch in some cases (Poles are Caucasian; source: bathroom mirror [I'm part Polish.]) That doesn't make it right. But I can say it's a very uncomfortable feeling to no longer be comfortable in your own homes or your own neighborhoods because you feel that a common social culture that had been there for generations is being drowned, overwhelmed, and inundated by a firehose flood of people from other nations, cultures and faiths that see no particular reason to at least superficially assimilate, at least in public and in their dealings with others, into the existing, established set of social norms.
What you do in your own home is entirely up to you, subject to the laws of where that home is located. Otherwise, I think a lot of problems could be mitigated by 'when in Rome, do as the Romans do.' And a slower rate of immigration, allowing both sides to get to know each other and get to understand each other.
This may be more of an issue on the continent than in Britain. But I don't think all people who want to see immigration managed are necessarily closed-minded or racist. My $0.02 only.
The party leader will select MPs to take on certain roles. For example, George Osborne is the Chancellor, Michael Gove is the justice minister. They're part of what is called the cabinet (or shadow cabinet for the opposition, as they must have an equivalent).
There are roles like that covering issues such as environment, education, families, transport, farming, etc but not every MP gets a role like that as there are more MPs than roles. The ones who get the roles are frontbenchers, as they sit on the front benches with the party leader.
Back benchers are those who don't have a specific topical role, and they sit behind. They all still have a duty to represent the area of the country that voted them into their role as an MP and still get to debate and vote on issues in parliament.
Regarding immigration, we don't have a firehose flood of people coming into the country. The EU has open borders on the mainland but the UK has never had open borders. Our controls are still strict (its hard enough getting in and out of the country with a UK passport, never mind one from another country) and we've had a points based immigration system for a long time.
A lot of our media is owned by one group and the facts can be misrepresented to suit a political agenda. If all the papers/tv stations owned by that group tell us that we have an unprecidented number of immigrants (illegal ones! stealing our jobs whilst claiming benefits! etc) are entering the country, it may be hard for some people to question this and seek out more evidence.
Regarding culture, I'm not sure that there are areas here where the existing culture has been squashed. I may be wrong, I'm simply not aware of it. There are small suburbs in cities where residents and businesses are predominantly of one nationality or culture but I've never felt unwelcome in the ones I've visited or lived in.
- E's Moriarity
I understand why people feel this way, but for about 90% of the global population, it is pretty much bunk. Who are the neighbors that you feel "comfortable" with? Probably people that are similar to your racial, ethnic, religion and class identity. Are they immigrants? Not recently, but guaranteed they were generations ago. Nobody who is of European descent is "native" to the US, and people of African descent by-and-large didn't choose to come here.But I can say it's a very uncomfortable feeling to no longer be comfortable in your own homes or your own neighborhoods because you feel that a common social culture that had been there for generations is being drowned, overwhelmed, and inundated by a firehose flood of people from other nations, cultures and faiths that see no particular reason to at least superficially assimilate, at least in public and in their dealings with others, into the existing, established set of social norms.
It's pretty rich for British people to feel grumpy about immigrants considering their global impact as colonizing and occupying forces.
Germans and Irish and Italians were absolutely considered low-desirability immigrants in this country 100 years or so ago. The assimilation generally takes a generation to be complete; of course, if you're a white immigrant it is that much easier. Tell that to Chinese, Japanese (US CITIZENS PUT IN DETENTION CAMPS!!!), African, Latino, Caribbean, Asian, etc immigrants. Even born in the US or the UK, they are the target of prejudice, bigotry and hate crimes because of their names/color of skin.
There is no historical "common social culture." It is a myth. That isn't to say that the founding documents of a country shouldn't attempt to lay groundwork for common guiding principles for the country's government (and as an extension, cultural priorities). But they're gonna be general, like freedom of religion/separation of church and state.
Very true. The Empire committed atrocities in the name of colonialism. We've also been invaded so many times, and invited/forced people from other countries to live here so now our culture is a huge mixture of several.It's pretty rich for British people to feel grumpy about immigrants considering their global impact as colonizing and occupying forces.
I'd hate to see the richness and variety of cultures here diminish. Especially as a result of unfounded fears and financial selfishness.
Lynx - is Fox owned by Rupert Murdoch?
- You can quote me
Thank you very much for the explanations and clarifications. You can see what those outside of the UK (and in it) are hearing, and the impressions they are getting. Hearing it from someone who lives there is absolutely invaluable.
So not being part of Schengen means you have, and have had, and continue to have, a distinct measure of control that appears to have been lost in the shouting?
Media and politicians spout a lot of nonsense about an uncontrolled influx of people from eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa et al but we've always had control of our borders.
Did you see that Farage has resigned from UKIP? He and Johnson created this mess and now they've both run away from it.
- You can quote me
And from what I read Farage was a member of the European Parliament, or do I misunderstand? That seems like an enormous contradiction in terms.
Of the Tories, who would you like to see get leadership? (Or maybe least dislike?)
(If you get sick of me picking your brain, please say so. I'm following this more closely than the US election tbh.)
UKIP's purpose now I suppose is to be the most mainstream right wing party. I don't know what their manifesto is, I won't be reading it.
Yes that's correct - Farage is an MEP. I suppose if he wants his life back he'll resign from that role too, however he has a habit of resigning then popping up again.
I think Gove would be the the least popular choice for Tory leadership, he's said on record several times already that he doesn't want to be PM and his reputation hasn't been bolstered by the opinions of teachers due to his work in the Department For Education. Theresa May seems to be the front runner.
We're on the eve of the release of the Chilcott report which could be like kicking a hornet's nest, politically speaking. There are lots of potential implications for current and past politicians - a Guardian article mentioned a call for impeachment etc. Watch this space!
- You can quote me
I would assume that Tony Blair winsomely following pied piper Bush is still not viewed very highly, though.
Under what circumstances (this is confusing to me) would there be another general election? My impression is that if Theresa May (or possibly Andrea Leadsom) gains a majority when all Party members vote is enough to keep the Tories in clear power, for now? What would need to happen for them to be forced to form a coalition, or even a snap election (provided Labour has a firm leader at that point, which may be a big if)?
Again, your time is appreciated!
I think that after the last coalition another is unlikely in the near future. The Tory/Lib Dem one wasn't seen as successful. I suppose a Labour (under Corbyn, as I doubt another Labour leader would be open to it), Green and SNP coalition could be interesting.
Chilcott has by all accounts slammed Blair for the Iraq War, and families of deceased soldiers want him in court. I think that the only court equipped for that would be The Hague.
- You can quote me
Yes, the US is the world's sole remaining superpower (for right now, anyway). Yes, Bush ran more on strong emotional beliefs and commitments, and less on measured, contemplative consideration, than other presidents. But Britain is a strong nation with a large economy, a very long history and tradition, and no earthly need, in my opinion, to feel like it needs to kiss the US's or anyone else's butt.
Why didn't Blair just say, 'Respectfully I disagree with you on the need for this and will not send troops, but I certainly will not actively oppose you (and you can use our air bases if you need them or similar)'?
The Corbyn/Green/SNP alliance would be fascinating.
So Cameron resigned as PM as a result of Brexit and the main candidates for leadership have been nominated. One has a questionable CV and no leadership experience, disagrees with the UK's gay marriage legislation, wants to repeal the fox hunting ban and also repeal workers' rights in small companies. The other wants to remove the UK from the European charter on human rights and to implement the snoopers charter.
So .... crap or crap really.
I think we'll have Prime Minister Theresa May soon.
- You can quote me
Her banking connections on CV would be a problem for me, true or false.
I understand May's caution, legally, but she'd do well to assure EU nationals presently in the UK that they have nothing to fear.
They just about sound worse than Trump or Cruz, really.
Leadsom mentioned God when discussing gay marriage. I think she's trying to appeal to the church fete style tory voters, although I find her using religion (and of course threatening marriage equality), as a way to score points with party members, very distasteful.
Her banking connections were what I meant when I said questionable :)
At least May is a devil we know, I guess.