World watch

Friday GMT


There’s a lot of things happening of interest around the world, from the Brexit split between the United Kingdom and the European Union to Donald Trump’s young presidency in the United States, from the civil war in Syria and the associated surrounding Middle East mess, to growing tensions around North Korea and China.

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  1. Missy

     /  May 6, 2017

    About half of the results from the 88 local election yesterday have been confirmed, and it is not good for Labour or UKIP.

    So far Labour have lost over 300 local council seats across the country, the Conservatives have gained over 500 seats, SNP have picked up 31 seats, and the Lib Dems have lost around 30 seats.

    There is nothing but good news for the Conservatives as they have gained throughout the country, including for the first time getting council seats in Glasgow (a former Labour stronghold). Labour have lost seats in many of their stronghold areas, including South Wales where they began.

    Whilst the SNP have had some gains, they have still not done anywhere nearly as well as expected, and the Conservatives have gained in support in areas they have never had a local councillors in what is seen as a rejection of the SNP’s plans for a second Independence Referendum.

    UKIP have so far won no seats, losing all 113 seats they held.

    • Gezza

       /  May 6, 2017

      The UK has achieved independence, & Nigel’s gone as UKIP leader. Maybe more people think there’s no longer anything else worthwhile that party has to offer? What’s your take on why UKIP is losing seats. Missy?

      • Missy

         /  May 6, 2017

        Pretty much that, they were a one issue party and need to re-invent themselves, unfortunately the attempt to do it appears to be positioning themselves as a more anti-immigrant party. Despite what pro-EU media would have you believe Brexit was not anti-immigration, those that voted for it as an immigration issue did so for management and control of immigration, not to stop it altogether.

        I think it will take at least one, but probably two, election cycles for UKIP to get themselves together, Farage was a strong personality and there does not seem to have been any succession plan (sound familiar?). Where UKIP may have better luck than NZ Labour is that the election cycle here is generally a lot longer. UKIP need to get a decent leader, and to look at where – and how – they want to position themselves on the political map. I would suggest that by the 2027 elections at the latest they will either be completely obsolete and confined to history, or on the fringes of politics along the lines of the Monster Raving Looney Party.

  2. Missy

     /  May 6, 2017

    Facing disastrous losses, and having those candidates who have been voting out saying that voters are citing Corbyn as the reason they won’t vote Labour, the leaders and senior MP’s in London seem to be a bit ostrich like, and oblivious, in their response to it all.

    This morning on GMB as the first results were coming in and confirming serious Labour losses, John McDonnell (Shadow Chancellor) stated that he did not believe that Corbyn was the problem and that when people meet him they will like him and therefore vote for him. He said that labour still had a very good chance at winning the election.

    Later in the day Dianne Abbott had her second car crash interview of the week whereby she massively underestimating labour’s losses in the Local Elections. When asked what the net losses for Labour were she said that she believed it was about 50, the interviewer corrected her telling her it was 125, she then said that when she checked earlier it was about 100. I am guessing maths was never her strong subject.

    • Gezza

       /  May 6, 2017

      I thought this analysis from Politico Europe looked good.

      • Missy

         /  May 6, 2017

        Yep, that is a good analysis.

        Final results are in:
        Conservative: 1900 +558
        Labour: 1151 -320
        Lib Dem: 441 -37
        Ukip: 1 -114
        Green: 40 +6
        SNP: 431 +31
        Plaid Cymru: 202 +26
        Other/Ind: 685 -170

        The Conservatives will be happy with their results, especially in Scotland where they more than doubled their council seats with a 164 gain (total of 276 seats).

        Corbyn’s statement is almost worthy of Comical Ali.

        “The results were mixed. We lost seats but we are closing the gap on the Conservatives. I am disappointed at every Labour defeat in the local elections. Too many fantastic councillors, who work tirelessly for their communities, lost their seats.

        We have five weeks to win the General Election so we can fundamentally transform Britain for the many not the few.

        We know this is no small task – it is a challenge on an historic scale. But we, the whole Labour movement and the British people, can’t afford not to seize our moment.

        The British people have been held back for too long. Labour will put more money in people’s pockets with a £10 real living wage, look after our pensioners by protecting the triple lock on state pensions and give everybody the care and dignity they deserve by properly funding our NHS and social care system.

        I urge everyone to vote Labour because things can, and will, change.”

  3. Nelly Smickers

     /  May 6, 2017

    A business acquaintance of Wayne’s recently went for a working holiday in *Pattaya*. He was saying how *careful* you need to be there…… even 6yo’s are shaking down tourists these days :/

  4. Missy

     /  May 6, 2017

    The French Presidential Election Campaigning officially finished at midnight Friday ahead of the second round voting tomorrow…


    • PDB

       /  May 6, 2017

      The die is cast – the media has unfairly painted one candidate as ‘far-right’ (think ‘racist’, ‘fascist’ etc) everytime she is mentioned (even though most of her policies are anything but) and France can’t have that…..

      “For now, it is largely agreed that Marine Le Pen is ‘far-right’ because her father is Jean-Marie Le Pen; that his is the tradition she comes from; that her party’s roots remain ugly and that she is pretending to be more moderate than she is to get into political office. It will help keep her from the presidency this time.


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