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September 30, 2006 1:33 AM   Subscribe

Webcameron. David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party in the UK, reaches out to the Youtube generation.
posted by greycap (53 comments total)

 
The Cameron branding exercise continues. Style, 9/10. Content, 1/10. Effectiveness, too early to tell. Anecdotally, a pal's 19-y/o daughter in London declared she was going to vote Green "you know, for David Cameron".

Also, Scots slang makes YouTube pretty appropriate in this case.
posted by imperium at 1:43 AM on September 30, 2006


Wow. he has really got to shut that baby up. 5 seconds is 'authentic' 30 seconds is 'fucking annoying'.

'hip' and 'with it' should never be done by conservatives.

Plus he's interviewing waterboard McTortureCain. Fun times.
posted by delmoi at 2:40 AM on September 30, 2006


His favourite album is "The Queen is Dead" except for, you know, the title.
posted by srboisvert at 3:06 AM on September 30, 2006


It might be branding, but I have to say I'm impressed (at the branding more than the content).

I wonder whether it would continue if he became PM.
posted by athenian at 3:14 AM on September 30, 2006


I have a pathological hatred of David Cameron that makes me shake with anger with every tiny thing he does and says. Like the way that he waves about his eco-friendly washing up liquid bottle in that clip like a twat, or gets his stupid kid to twat about in to drive home that he is a family man, and not just a twat. I know this isn't a very insightful comment, I just needed to share.
posted by chill at 3:24 AM on September 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


This is serious danger danger stuff, considering how many people seem to vote despite only a vague awareness of politics. People are forever going on about how terrible it is with the low turnouts, but it'd be better if people who are persuaded by this kind of style over substance stuff just stayed at home. And killed themselves.

Still, Cameron is almost certainly going to win the next election at this point (you think he's going to be beaten by Gordon Brown? hahaha). If you want to campaign against him, the best thing to do would probably be to give up on policy debates and focus on trying to make him look like a twat through clever media stunts.
posted by reklaw at 3:35 AM on September 30, 2006


The trustifarians are coming.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:42 AM on September 30, 2006


My computer crashed while halfway through his inane drivel (normally I swear at the comp for crashing but this time think it was as disgusted as me). Good old David Fotherington-Cameron ("call me Dave", no thanks).

Hopefully people will tire of this man's inane posturings and remember that his party is the same one the British people have grown to despise and on the stuff that people disagree with Labour on (privatisation, war in Iraq) the Conservatives have publicly backed.

He's a former PR man and it shows. Please, please don't let his vacuousness be seen as a credible claim for change by the British public. reklaw any ideas for media stunts that could be used?

It must be remembered that he was a key author of Michael Howard's last campaign and that was typical nasty right-wing old-school Conservative. The man's a charlatan- either a wolf in sheep's clothing or an unprincipled cad. Hope that his use of t'internet comes back to bite him on the bum.

Derail- imperium, I used the term tube for many a year, never thought of it in the gynaelogical sense- obvious when one thinks of it I suppose (I think I had it filed under 'empty inside' as in stupid).
posted by Gratishades at 4:05 AM on September 30, 2006


Quite terrifying. It's the way Tony Blair would have got into power had New Labour started now (a decade later). Remember Cool Britannia?

Totally unoriginal but a winning tactic. Brown doesn't stand a chance in hell of winning the next election.
posted by twistedonion at 4:22 AM on September 30, 2006


wow, theyve got took a benny.

There was this episode on crossroads where mild mannered benny got really angry cause someone was hassling miss diane - i'm very impressed.

/ complete derail
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:22 AM on September 30, 2006


Brown's going to be fine, for the same reason Major got in. The constituency system means it would take a virtually impossible swing for Cameron to win.

Unlike Major, Brown really deserves it. Click Opera:
Gordon Brown seems to be a thorn in all the right sides. He's also conscientious, ambitious and thorough. Based on this stuff, I think he'd make a good UK prime minister, a "policy wonk" (in the best sense) with a strong concern for social justice.

Perhaps better than Britain deserves; it seems the English plan to throw him out at the next election and elect a Tory modelled on Tony.

posted by bonaldi at 4:29 AM on September 30, 2006


Let's help the opposition, shall we?

~$ whois webcameroff.org.uk

No match for "webcameroff.org.uk".
This domain name has not been registered.


VoilĂ .
posted by slater at 4:36 AM on September 30, 2006


The constituency system means it would take a virtually impossible swing for Cameron to win.

Oh come on -- the majority now isn't that strong. Difficult, sure, but 'virtually impossible'? Not with the way the popularity of this government is heading.

I think the best thing to hope for is that we get a hung parliament (no overall majority), and then the Lib Dems offer to form a coalition with anyone who brings in proportional representation then and there.

I can dream, can't I?
posted by reklaw at 4:46 AM on September 30, 2006


I'm freaked out by the number of not-very-political yet bien pensant Guardian-reading people I know who are thinking of voting Tory to punish the Blairites for Iraq. A bit like the college kids who voted for Nader in 2000 to punish Clinton/Gore for selling out to corporate interests.

Dirty Dave is a twat but he's interesting to watch on TV. He's very good at projecting niceness and reasonableness, but every now and then you get a glimpse of the steely toryism beneath.
posted by Mocata at 6:36 AM on September 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


PS see also
posted by Mocata at 6:51 AM on September 30, 2006


I notice that the site is keeping up with the zeitgeist in that it's got the necessary 'beta' tag on it. Will this only be removed if he becomes PM? Will it go all Flickr-esque and go to 'gamma' if he goes significantly up in the opinion polls?
posted by TheDonF at 7:20 AM on September 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Mocata, heartening news in the link to the recent poll. Hopefully people are getting bored of the husky hugging, hoody clapping, i-pod brandishing images of Mr Cameron and wondering- 'well aren't these the Tories?' Would love to see them actually debate at the up-coming conference their vision for the future and reveal the fault lines between the old guard and the image the PR men wish to convey. The chances of them actually talking about tax, detailed plans for public services, Europe and immigration are slim as the PR guys know that it will alienate either their core voters or those they need to persuade to switch from the last election. Perhaps the poll referenced will edge them towards actually talking about policy- 60% agreed with the statement that "David Cameron talked a good line but it is hard to know if there is any substance behind their words."

Labour need to stop the constant yammering about the succession and keep the spotlight on what the Conservatives would actually do in power. The Lib Dems should also concentrate on forcing the Conservatives to show their true colours so that those disillusioned by Labour see them as the logical choice for change.

On the subject of people voting for the (Iraq war supporting) Tories to punish Labour- words fail me. Like turkeys voting for Thanksgiving over Christmas.
posted by Gratishades at 7:22 AM on September 30, 2006


I'm freaked out by the number of not-very-political yet bien pensant Guardian-reading people I know who are thinking of voting Tory to punish the Blairites for Iraq.

You should have done so long ago. Now you've got John Reid busy trying to destroy what's left of your civil liberties.

You guys are making the same mistake we did. You'll vote anybody but Tory, which means that Labour doesn't have to do anything you approve of.

Stop it. You need to smack some sense into Labour, this either means a coaltion government or a Tory government. If you keep electing Labour, they're going to keep doing the exact same things. Since you won't even pretend to credit the Lib-Dems, that means you need to vote Labour out and explain to them if they're going to keep doing stupid shit, they're going to keep losing.

Get the fuck over Thatcher already. Look at what Blair/Brown/Reid are doing to you. Why are you in Iraq? Because you keep voting Labour. Why is the National ID Register happening? Because you keep voting Labour. Why are you still in Iraq? Because you keep voting Labour.

As an American, I'm pissed at you guys, because the poodle has been one of Shrub's great enablers, and yet, you keep voting for him.

Stop it. Realize that "Anybody but Tory" includes an entire class of people who are far worse than Tory. When the Labour party's big electoral theme is "It's us or the Torys", that means they're not interested in working for you, they're only going to threaten you into voting for them.

Stop it. If you're smart, you'd start voting Lib Dem and force a coalition, but since you've apparently decided that's not realistic, you need to vote Labour out for a term, so that the Browns and Reids and Straws will get the fucking hint that no, this isn't acceptable, and if that's how they're going to run the country, they won't be allowed to.

Throw the fucking noseplugs away. Don't give me the "You don't know how bad Thatcher was" BS -- I see your Thatcher, and raise you Nixon, Bush, Reagan and Bush. I know exactly how fucking bad it can be -- and the reason that it got this bad is because we kept supporting "anybody but the GOP" -- despite the fact that most of the Democrats were craven cowards beholden to GOP run corporate donors.

We followed that rule for twenty years -- and now, we've lost our country. You've got a chance, but your chance isn't in supporting the people who are trying to destroy your freedoms.
posted by eriko at 7:51 AM on September 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I sympathise with your anger but can't follow your argument. Voting Lib Dem out of anger at Iraq etc makes sense if you're a Labour voter because the political class gets the message. Voting Tory for the same reason makes no sense. The lesson Labour chieftains would take away from a Tory win wouldn't be, 'Oh shit, our foreign policy and civil liberties blunders have finally come back to haunt us.' Too few voters are motivated by that kind of stuff. And in the meantime you'd have a Tory government doing all the objectionable things Blair has done but more so, and none of the good things.

Also, I don't think the state of US politics is caused by too many people mindlessly voting 'anyone but GOP'.
posted by Mocata at 8:34 AM on September 30, 2006


You don't know how bad Thatcher was.
posted by the cuban at 8:35 AM on September 30, 2006


Stop it. You need to smack some sense into Labour, this either means a coaltion government or a Tory government. If you keep electing Labour, they're going to keep doing the exact same things.

The trouble with this is that it encourages the two-party way of looking at things. I agree with you that Labour voters are completely ridiculous to keep 'holding their noses' and voting Labour (and there was a hell of a lot of that going on at the last election), I hardly think voting Tory is the answer if you're out to 'send a message' about Iraq.

What people should be looking at is third parties and protest votes: the Lib Dems, the Greens, and lots more besides -- you apparently agree, but think no-one is considering this. Well, they are. Even in our current clusterfuck of an electoral system, around 10% of our MPs are Lib Dems. It wouldn't take much a swing towards them to push them towards holding the balance of power, at which point we'd get a new electoral system and end this two-party bullshit forever.

reklaw any ideas for media stunts that could be used?

Nope, not really. Just has to be something that shows that he's still all the same underneath. That 'cars following behind his bike' thing came close, which is why so much was made of it. So a bit like that, but on a bigger scale.
posted by reklaw at 9:05 AM on September 30, 2006


He seems like he's trying hard to be "with it", but the standard politician-ese is all too apparent.

This ignorant American has some questions for you UK Mefites...is the Conservative Party in Britian roughly equivalent to the Republican Party in the U.S. (and Labour is roughly equivalent to the Democrats?)....if so, if this guy wins--which many of you seem to think so--then will the UK likely support further military action in Iraq?

Honestly I just heard about this Cameron guy today from another article, don't really know anything about him.
posted by zardoz at 9:14 AM on September 30, 2006


I think the spectrum goes something like this:

Centre-left ---------------------------------------- Labour/Conservatives ------------ Democrats/Republicans --- Nazi
posted by reklaw at 9:19 AM on September 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Where does the BNP fit in?
posted by TetrisKid at 9:21 AM on September 30, 2006


I always liked the horsehoe analogy for the political spectrum. Nazis and commies are at opposite ends of the horseshoe and in political theory, but in reality their politics lead to quite similar results in the real world. Meaning totalitarianism, authoritarianism, etc.
posted by aerotive at 9:31 AM on September 30, 2006


Zardoz: they are roughly equivalent but they're slightly different. Old school (ie pre-Thatcher) paternalist Tories would probably feel more at home in the Democrat party. And both British parties would be seen as unelectably left wing in the US, the Conservatives less so of course - though as notional monarchists they would also look a bit weird there.

Cameron if elected probably would support further military adventures, chiefly because the British elite has been unable to contemplate getting offside with Washington since Suez (the French drew the opposite lesson). But he's probably hoping he won't have to - Bush will be gone by the time he gets a shot at power, and the hope is that US foreign policy will have become less delinquent by then.
posted by Mocata at 9:35 AM on September 30, 2006


zardoz, it's quite a correct analogy to make Lab=Dem and Con=Rep witrh the following caveats;

Labour has always been to the left (I believe that the Dems were pro slavery until the mid 20th century and the Republicans were led by Lincoln, so there seems to be a swap at some point, pls correct if I'm incorrect here).

Labour has now moved (in international affairs and in the presentation, if not complete substance, of domestic issues) to the right.

Due to the unpopularity and general fucked-upness of Iraq then Conservatives are making noises of taking a middle path between slavishly following the US lead in international affairs (McCain is a key note speaker in their forthcoming party conference) and knee jerk anti-Americanism espoused by the far left. They Conservatives would probably go along with the next foreign policy initiative of the US as long as i did not advocate the bombing of the UK though, as they don't trust Europe and we are on our own without the US to bolster our worlwide self esteem,

reklaw's continuum I would have subscribed to wholehertedly previously (our left wing was able to use the word socialism for parts of 1900-2000 without being completely unelectable) but I feel that these days we are a lot closer with a bit of overlap- though in general I suppose that the fact that even the right wing conservatives will not say publicly that a free at the point of need health service is a bad thing might offer some hope that our centre is still to the left of America.

Conservatives, the old school, are still more likely to be pro death penalty, anti-English speakers, low tax and pro big business than Labour. However Labour's success has been in part by riding the progressive wave (explicit racism and xenophobia is no longer as man stream as it once was) but still being 'tough on crime', terrorism and not being seen as 'liberal pansies'

In summary you can understand the Lab-Con divide as Dem-GOP but remembering the centre of gravity in the US is still seen as being to the right in the UK.
posted by Gratishades at 9:46 AM on September 30, 2006


The trouble with this is that it encourages the two-party way of looking at things.

Well, yes, but I'm not talking theory, I'm talking the facts as they are. The UK claims to have a third party, but Labour supporters apparently won't vote for them no matter how bad things get.

As long as that's in play, there's no sense pretending that the UK is anything but a de facto two party system. If the UK would actually vote Lib Dem, and force a coalition government, that would be great. That, in fact, is the best answer. And while you're dreaming, ask for a pony. Since it is clear that few voters will vote third party, assuming that's a third party vote is a useful strategy isn't helpful. Unless, and until, a significant percentage of the current Labour and Conservative voter is willing to vote third party, the UK is a two party system.

Thus, you can keep voting Labour, and watch them grow increasingly evil, or you can take the Tory term in hopes that Labour will learn something and stop being such fucks.

Or you can keep doing what you are doing now, and lose everything, as Labour will keep right on with what it is doing now. They'll even pretend you approve, because, well, you keep voting for them.

That's the choice you are looking at. Do you honestly see being able to move enough voters to third party votes to break Labour without seating the Torys?

That's clearly the best answer, but I don't see it happening.

See, what fucked us was that we're trapped in the two party system, and ever since 1996, you couldn't afford to vote for a third party. One ran anyway in 2000, and put Bush into power. Now, we're stuck with "GOP or else" -- when "else" means those who vote for Bush's laws and support Bush's crimes.

So, you vote for torturers or vote for torturers -- or you can try a third party, which will ensure the torturers win.

Alas, the chance of the UK figuring this out seems to be too low, so you need to bounce between the two evils in turn, to limit the damage they can do.

You, of course, won't do that. You'll keep wearing the noseplugs, and the average US and UK citzen will be in a short race to see who gets fucked harder first.
posted by eriko at 9:53 AM on September 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


TetrisKid- the BNP fits in as fascists to the right of almost everyone in the UK. They are anti everything non-white, heterosexual, cosmopolitan, educated, different etc. They appeal to the uneducated low opportunity whites on sink estates. The KKK without the high detergent bills for the robes would be the closest analogy.
posted by Gratishades at 9:53 AM on September 30, 2006


David Cameron reminds me of Poochie from The Simpsons.
posted by fire&wings at 9:56 AM on September 30, 2006


Say what you like about knee-jerk antiAmericanism, it wouldn't have gotten us into as much trouble as Blairs knee-jerk Americanism.

Personally I think theres a lot to be said for being deeply suspicious of countries that don't beleive in the geneva convention.
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM on September 30, 2006


"both British parties would be seen as unelectably left wing in the US"

*sobs into coffee* No wonder I feel like a stranger in a stranger land...

Eriko for president. Oh, and Cameron can go suck it - having a blog is no subsitute for 'with-it'ness, communication with your constituents or decent humane policy.
posted by rmm at 10:03 AM on September 30, 2006


eriko, appreciate what you are saying. The danger is of course that some within the Labour machine would think 'Ah we have to move more to the right'.

The saving grace of the UK system is that we can vote tactically to deny the party we dislike most the seat in our local constituency. Therefore a small movement in a number of marginal seats could create a sufficient toe-hold for a third party to hold the balance of power. The problem is that the Lib-Dems are not sure whether they are to the right or to the left and we are left with three brands neither of which one can think- ah I'm a lefty/righty therefore I'll vote this way. Labour is now more authoritarian than their core voters want, the Conservatives are trumpeting commitment to equality and green policies (though I am sceptial as to how this would stand when they are in power and their funders come a chapping) that will confuse their core voters, and the Lib-Dems are all things to all people (though get points among the young folk, who don't vote, for their opposition to Iraq) so leaving us UKians looking for the next sound-bite rather than assessing policy commitments.

All of this of course doesn't help, eriko, in your desire (and mine) that we could have a different reality with which to work with. As it is we don't and the call to vote Tory is a hard one for most of us to swallow, and the result might not be the Labour executive going 'Oh the voted Tory to get a more left wing govt.' Lib Dem seems the best answer as you state but you also correctly state most are reluctant to do so 'cos it's seem as a wasted vote (and the Lib Dem unwillingness to pick a side).

Sheeit- I've depressed myself. Off to get drunk and howl at the moon.
posted by Gratishades at 10:12 AM on September 30, 2006


Well, yes, but I'm not talking theory, I'm talking the facts as they are. The UK claims to have a third party, but Labour supporters apparently won't vote for them no matter how bad things get.

And you think they're going to vote for the Tories!?

I just don't see your logic here. People who are still voting Labour are (mostly) doing so because they don't see any more left-wing alternative. Why would these people vote Conservative?

It's true that Blair managed to 'borrow' a whole load of Conservative voters in '97 (the kind of people who were mainly pissed off about the economy being handled incompetently -- Black Wednesday, negative equity and all that). Now that Cameron's come along, these people are making a beeline back to vote for the Tories, because Tories is what they (and, arguably, Blair [and Brown, even]) really were all along. But I think most of the voters who remain with Labour at this point would rather stab themselves in the face than vote Tory.

Under these circumstances, encouraging the 'hold your nose' Labour voters to defect to a third party is by far the most effective cause of action -- and Labour knows this, which is why it spent so long at the last election telling people that voting Lib Dem would let the Tories in through the back door. Which brings us to...

Do you honestly see being able to move enough voters to third party votes to break Labour without seating the Torys?

The key message to get across to these people is that in fact, at this point, that would make very little difference.

The UK simply isn't an entirely two-party system, certainly not to the extent that the US is -- but we're going to head that way, unless we do something about it soon. Which is why, to my mind, electoral reform is THE big issue at the next election. This rush to the centre has seen a hell of a lot of people, not just on the left but on the right too, left entirely unrepresented and disillusioned with this media-friendly spin culture, and I think we're about due for a reckoning on it.
posted by reklaw at 10:19 AM on September 30, 2006


Actually I quite liked the Lib-Dems until their recent implosion. Now I've no idea what they are.
posted by Artw at 10:19 AM on September 30, 2006


TetrisKid- the BNP fits in as fascists to the right of almost everyone in the UK. They are anti everything non-white, heterosexual, cosmopolitan, educated, different etc. They appeal to the uneducated low opportunity whites on sink estates. The KKK without the high detergent bills for the robes would be the closest analogy.

And yet economically they oppose capitalism/globalisation of trade and other stuff, although that probably stems for their utter fear and abhorrence of the outside world.

I think they will only be happy when they have built a 2 mile high wall around the whole of the country, and can ignore the rest of the world entirely
posted by ZippityBuddha at 10:38 AM on September 30, 2006


ZippityBuddha- who'd they blame then? The fantasy I have about the BNP is where they get what they wish for. A society full of carbon copies of themselves. Without folk to hate and to use as the 'other' to mask their own inadequecies they could get down to headbuttng the mirror.
posted by Gratishades at 10:43 AM on September 30, 2006


'headbutting'- was getting carried away there.
posted by Gratishades at 10:44 AM on September 30, 2006


Stop it. Realize that "Anybody but Tory" includes an entire class of people who are far worse than Tory.

I think you're seriously misunderstanding the nature of the Conservative Party and its recent history. The only parties far worse than them are the BNP and UKIP. Labour, even in their current incarnation, haven't come close to committing the crimes against the British people the Tories did, and, though it is easy to forget, they have done a fair amount good in amongst the hideous shit. As someone who tore up their Labour membership card when they ditched Clause IV1, despises Blair as a traitor to his party and for his foreign policy decisions, loathes Brown for PFI and votes SSP in relevant elections, if I lived in a constituency where there was a chance of a Tory MP being returned, I would still vote Labour without hesitation. (I'd prefer it if there were a truly left-wing party to vote for, obviously, but since there isn't...)

1. To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.
posted by jack_mo at 10:58 AM on September 30, 2006


Maybe you should just give up on democracy and let the queen run things, ala thailand.
posted by delmoi at 11:01 AM on September 30, 2006


What exactly did thatcher do that was so terrible? I remember someone saying her later years were "like a nightmare that wouldn't end" What were her polices that were so terrible?
posted by delmoi at 11:04 AM on September 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


delmoi (I know I said I was off to get drunk but waiting for the moon to appear) decent synopses here by longbough, then normy, then thatwhichfalls and then bouncebounce
posted by Gratishades at 11:16 AM on September 30, 2006


This guy should lead the UK based on his name alone.

posted by ktrain at 12:06 PM on September 30, 2006


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Balls
posted by ktrain at 12:06 PM on September 30, 2006


Delmoi - some reasons
posted by adamvasco at 1:19 PM on September 30, 2006


I'm with jack_mo - I couldn't vote Tory if you put a gun to my head. It would be such a massive betrayal of my beliefs and memories, I wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror.

I too cut up my Labour membership card, a few months after the '94 election. I haven't voted Labour since, and will most likely vote Lib Dem at the next election, provided that the Tories don't somehow look like serious contenders in my constituency.

Labour are beyond bad, but they're still not Tories.
posted by influx at 2:07 PM on September 30, 2006


Just to clarify things, for people who aren't familiar with the UK election system. When we vote in general elections, we don't vote for the person who we want to be Prime Minister, we don't even vote for the party we want to govern the country. We vote for the person we want to be our local MP. The party with the most MPs gets asked by the Queen (meh - constitutional monachy) to form a government.

What that means is that when we vote, we're not just making a decision on who gets to decide whether we bomb someone, but we're also deciding who's going to be campaigning for the local library... And often the local seat isn't split Labour/Conservative, it could equally be Labour/Lib Dem(etc) or Conservative/Lib Dem(etc). It means things are that little bit more complicated, for instance, I know lots of people who voted Labour, because they like their local guy, even though they don't like Tony. It's not always just a case of people holding their noses...

I suspect we'll get a lot more of this: in the future though.

David Cameron smiles too much. I didn't trust Tony for exactly that reason in '97....
posted by Helga-woo at 2:55 PM on September 30, 2006


I'm not happy with Tony Blair's foreign policy either, but here's why I continue to support Labour:

POVERTY 1996-97 TO 2004-05

Total number of people in absolute poverty cut by 7.1 million to 3.1 million

Pensioners in absolute poverty down by 2.1 million to 700,000

Children in absolute poverty down by 2.4 million to 1.9 million

(Figures take housing costs into account)

(Source).

Blair and Brown have also led the way in writing off debt from some of the world's poorest countries, and more than doubled the aid budget since 1997. It's not just about "anyone but the Tories".
posted by teleskiving at 4:04 PM on September 30, 2006


I believe that the Dems were pro slavery until the mid 20th century

Errrrrm. Southern Democrats favored Jim Crow, but very few would openly avow in favor of slavery, which had been abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment. The major constant has been that Democrats have primarily represented agrarian interests and Republicans urban interests, right up through the 1930s. The "turnover" began during the interwar period as the Democrats and the labor movement joined forces. (Let's skip over the intricacies of the gold standard fights of the 19th century, but they played a role as well.)

The last remotely "pro-slavery" candidate nominated by the Democrats for President was the pro-union Stephen A. Douglas in 1860, and the party split into Northern and Southern factions, prefiguring secession. Later, despite the dominance of Republicanism and the almost wholly Democratic South, the party nominated abolitionist stalwarts such as Horace Greeley.

Pro-slavery?! IHYMTS segregation, at best, and then only a fraction of the party. Hmph.

So, you vote for torturers or vote for torturers -- or you can try a third party, which will ensure the torturers win.

See illiberal democracy. [follow-up]
posted by dhartung at 9:03 PM on September 30, 2006


I'm with jack_mo - I couldn't vote Tory if you put a gun to my head.

As one of Thatcher's children, I am 100% with you there. The day I vote Tory is the day Satan drives to work on a snowplough. And teleskiving is right - there is a huge amount of liberal social policies that Labour for some reason are just not keen to tell us about. Successes on child poverty; crime down (yes, it is) with lots more preventative programmes put in place (yes Reid is whipping up the illiberal dialogue at the moment but think about the other side of the Home Office for a second); DWP's welfare to work programme; a new Children Act; there is lots to be proud of but they never show off about it.
posted by greycap at 10:58 PM on September 30, 2006


All you frustrated lefties should come and live in Scotland. We've got a PR parliament that makes most of the key decisions (except war, drugs, tax, abortion, and the like). When the Iraq war was debated there were 3-4 parties to the left of Labour (the Lib Dems were flaky and useless as usual, and the Tories were still pre-Cameron). The SNP are a generally progressive nationalist party, something I've never heard of elsewhere except perhaps Quebec, and may lead our next administration. The Greens are their likely partners, and are the most organised, committed, sensible and radical Greens I've ever seen. The Socialists, well, until they started splitting they looked good too. And, you know what, some relatively decent Tory/Labour members too. 2 party system in the UK? Sure, in England.
posted by imperium at 12:00 AM on October 1, 2006


Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.
posted by creeky at 12:51 AM on October 1, 2006


DA had it right. The only person fit to rule is the one who doesn't want to.
posted by chrismear at 3:20 PM on October 1, 2006


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