back to article Oh snap! UK Prime Minister Theresa May calls June election

Prime Minister Theresa May has called a snap general election to be held on 8 June. The 11am statement – delivered 15 minutes earlier than political journalists had been led to believe – confirmed that an election would be held in seven weeks. In a veiled reference to last June's referendum vote to leave the European Union, …

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Re: So...

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/politics/politics-headlines/theresa-may-announces-last-election-20170418126203

Nuff said.

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Re: So...

This one is also amusing and is 'mainstream':

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/reluctant-theresa-may-reluctantly-calls-general-election-a7688796.html

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She should have called it for next month - papers headlines - "May election" etc. Lost opportunity !!!

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Go

Not completely. If the Conservatives want to personalize this election, they can run under the slogan of "May in June" or "You May vote this June"

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"April, May: June."

Was the best summary I've seen.

The polls make this look like a sensible (if u-turney) move. But there's a lot that can happen in 7 weeks.

Tory MPs in remain areas are at high risk. In addition Tory MPs who scraped a win at the last election (South West in particular). Lib Dems could win 30-50 seats if they get their act together consistently (and that seems likely).

Tories are hoping for Labour to collapse, and whilst that looks likely, it's one thing polling a disillusioned lifetime-Labour voter outside of the election cycle, and what they do when pencil comes to paper at an election. Assuming that Labour actually work together now this has been dumped on them (instead of sniping at Corbyn until he is unseated), maybe they could limit damages. Never mind UKIP's zombie corpse taking critical votes from the Tories (and Labour in some areas).

So 50 SNP, 50 Lib Dem, 200 Labour, some others - enough to mean May could have a majority that isn't that dissimilar to now - i.e., all for nowt, and it would look pretty bad for her.

But she'll dodge the election fraud by-elections.

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Poor alternatives

Vote for destruction & loss of privacy, or vote for total chaos.

Hmm.

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Re: Poor alternatives

Those that dont like their lot in life may well vote for total chaos, as they did last time. While they are going to be the ones more affected by this, I kind of understand it. The lowest rank employee of the warehouse does not hate the Rich people playing golf and earning millions from traded companies while doing nothing: they hate their midlevel manager.

So I fully expect conservatives to increase their support, and Labour to continue going down.

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Re: Poor alternatives

Shame Bill Boaks is long dead, he might actually have stood a chance this time, on the grounds that he'd have the most sane and rational policies.

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Re: Poor alternatives

vote for destruction & loss of privacy, or vote for total chaos.

I do not see any order in the Brownian motion of Boris and Co and the rest of UK negotiation related staff. So frankly it is: vote for destruction & loss of privacy, and vote for total chaos. That is valid for both major parties.

I somewhat envy Scotland and Northern Ireland now - they at least have some resemblance of choice.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Poor alternatives

"Scotland [at least has] some resemblance of choice."

That choice being irrelevant here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Poor alternatives

"[...] Northern Ireland now - they at least have some resemblance of choice."

As the two major parties in Northern Ireland can't currently agree on power sharing - then it is likely that their devolved powers will revert back to Westminster control. Whichever of those parties people vote for - the result is the same stalemate.

BREXIT will then further complicate the issue of the land border with the Republic of Ireland.

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Re: Poor alternatives

"Vote for destruction & loss of privacy, or vote for total chaos"

They're not alternatives. We can have both and probably will.

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Oh, great.

Ruinous Torys or ruined Labour?

Vote now:

Kick in the nuts [ ]

Punch in the face [ ]

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The UK is one of the richest countries in the world.

The UK continues to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia.

It's health service has seen year-on-year cuts to it's services, resulting in catastrophic waiting times and delays in the winter we've just had.

There have been cuts and after cuts after cuts to disability benefits for those who can't physically work.

Councils are cutting social services as well as public amenities due to savage cuts set by the Government.

More than 5,000,000 children are in poverty.

I bolded the last one because it really is a WTF moment. We have all this money we can pump in to our "defence" forces to attack other countries. We have all this money that allows us to create sweetheart deals for individual councils while other councils suffer cuts. We have all this money to give MP's yet another rise in their take home pay.

But we can't give a child one free cooked meal at school a day. How's that for nearly 10 years of Conservative policies?

Actually no, sorry. I forgot it's all to tackle the deficit. The deficit that the nurses, the children who weren't even born at the time of the financial crisis, the disabled, Joe Soap who works 40 hours a week to make ends meet caused. They all caused it, so they should pay. Those bankers were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but I'm glad that we bailed them out after their gambles didn't pay off.

I wish the tax payer would do the same for me when I put £1,000 on a 150/1 shot to win the Grand National, only to end up falling and getting shot.

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'More than 5,000,000 children are in poverty.'

Really? At the last census there were 14.9 Million aged from 0-19, are you saying 1/3 of them are in poverty? Because I'd like a citation on that other than a random rant on the internet. Oh and a definition of poverty that isn't a meaningless percentage of the average wage.

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I bolded the last one because it really is a WTF moment.

As in "WTF are you talking about"? Even CPAG, who have a vested interest in boosting the numbers, put it at 3.9m, and they define poverty as ".. lack resources to obtain the type of diet, participate in the activities and have the living conditions and amenities which are customary, " which is what most authorities define as "relative poverty", rather than any absolute measure.

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https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/16/child-poverty-in-uk-at-highest-level-since-2010-official-figures-show

I do apologise. It was 4 million not 5 million.

I guess that's alright then?

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Oh well, if you're citing the Graun, we have to believe you!

They're referring to relative poverty, that figure is stupid because:

If everybody's wages doubled overnight, that figure would increase (!)

If there's a recession and everybody gets poorer, that figure would decrease (!)

The only reason that figure exists is because it can be used until the end of time to garner support for a particular cause.

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Childcatcher

Wolftone, from the Guardian article :- "About 100,000 children fell into relative poverty in 2015-16, a year on year increase of one percentage point, according to household data published by the government on Thursday. About 4 million, or around 30%, are now classed as poor."

From the dictionary :- Poverty - the state of being extremely poor.

Look, I can see your sentiment, but you shoot your own argument down by confusing poor with extremely poor. It's bad enough that any child is in poverty, you don't need to exaggerate the numbers.

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"Oh well, if you're citing the Graun, we have to believe you!"

Would you rather I quoted The Daily Fail?

Regardless. Poor is poor is poor. A country as rich as ours shouldn't have poor, or at least should have something in place to give those in that situation the best chance to get out of that situation.

Talk about figures, who qualifies and what doesn't. But answer me this: What is the big problem in giving a child a free school meal? Why is that such an issue when we can give an MP £80,000+ a year (plus expenses that we never see) to tell us - you, me, everybody - that things are getting tight and we can't spend that much on helping those in need?

Why is that a big deal? Why is it a problem?

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Anonymous Coward

It's been blatantly obvious for a long time that "clearing the deficit"- regardless of whether that was a legitimate goal in itself- was being used as an excuse to push through ideologically-motivated Tory cuts, privatisations et al.

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@ wolfetone

"Would you rather I quoted The Daily Fail?"

You pretty much did, just its opposite.

"Regardless. Poor is poor is poor."

Not in this case. Absolutely and relatively are very different. You can be poor or not measured absolutely (and in that case we have effectively if not absolute 0) compared with relatively where we will always have poor.

"A country as rich as ours shouldn't have poor"

As pointed out by others the measurement ensures there will always be those classed as 'poor'. Just as 50% of schools will be below average no matter what we do.

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The Daily Fail and the Graun are two sides of the same coin.

How about a respectable newspaper like the Times? But they don't report that rubbish!

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If MP's pay was cut from 76k/year to 26k/year, that wouldn't touch the sides of the cost of setting up the commission to look into the prospect of giving free school meals to every child.

It would save 50k/year * 650mps - £3,250,000 - ie: bugger all.

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Pint

"Poor is poor is poor. A country as rich as ours shouldn't have poor, or at least should have something in place to give those in that situation the best chance to get out of that situation."

Every child in this country has access to free education until they're 18 years old. Everyone has access to free healthcare at the point of delivery. Every infant school pupil has a free hot lunch. The UK spends a lot of money on welfare.

"In his PMQs debut, the chancellor, George Osborne, said the UK is home to 1% of the world’s population, has 4% of world GDP, but has 7% of global welfare spend."

https://www.theguardian.com/news/reality-check/2015/jun/17/reality-check-uk-global-welfare-spend-george-osborne

Could things be better? Probably. But I don't believe it's all doom and gloom. Cheers!

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Anonymous Coward

>It's been blatantly obvious for a long time that "clearing the deficit"- regardless of whether that was a legitimate goal in itself- was being used as an excuse to push through ideologically-motivated Tory cuts, privatisations et al.

These policies haven't actually cleared any of the national debt and we still have a massive deficit. All they have done is make people hate the wrong targets (benefits seekers and immigrants) rather than the bankers and politicians that led us into this mess.

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The real solution to getting children out of poverty is getting the parents out of poverty.

Anybody with a calculator can figure out that a single parent on the average wage, (or a couple earning a bit above the minimum wage) are going to struggle due to the property prices taking around half of their wages before getting onto council taxes, and things like food, light, heat, clothing etc. Heck, how many people are just priced out of having children altogether?

One of the reasons we have a recession is that people are spending most of their money on basic necessities and frankly have no disposable income to spend on luxury items. Easy solution? Build more houses.

Lots more houses. Dust off the plans for prefabs, suspend or amend planning rules that NIMBY's use to maintain their house prices at crisis levels for a couple of years, build on the green belt (yeah, more people in the UK means more houses. Deal with it) and let's aim for putting up around a quarter million a year. If it could be managed after WW2 with large parts of the population dead or maimed, with the industry bombed flat then we have no reasonable excuse for not managing it now when vastly less manpower is required since most of it can be automated via CNC machines etc.

Large numbers of houses built means that housing costs come down, which means more disposable income, which means more spending on things other than housing, which means more jobs in other sectors. It's good news for everybody except housing developers, or the rich with "buy to let" portfolios which would then devalue somewhat.

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Oh well, if you're citing the Graun, we have to believe you!

Sure, it is slanted. Graunidad is, you have to read them with a pinch of salt even if you are paying them some support money (like I do).

So it is probably not 4 million. It is likely to be less. However, even a million, even a fecking half a million are something that a G7 economy should be ashamed of. And it is definitely in the 500k+ range.

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Poor is poor is poor.

Nor really. There's poor as in "I can only afford a second-hand Fiesta when my neigbours have BMWs", and poor as in "my children are cold and starving". There's even Dickensian poor, where the workhouse was the only option. We can never realistically hope to remove everyone from the first category, working to fix the others is of course important.

A country as rich as ours shouldn't have poor

It will always have poor, simply because we can't all be equal.

or at least should have something in place to give those in that situation the best chance to get out of that situation.

No argument there, and a good education system is paramount. You can't always make people take advantage of it, though.

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No uncle Rupert vetoes anything that has not passed through him before that heptanes.

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Megaphone

Sorry to p&ss on your parade, but the economic crisis was the work of Bair and his sidekick Brown, both vying with each other to micro control the crash.

It was obvious to anyone with any sense that the "economics" being followed was unsustainable. In the end I suspect even Prudence knew the game was up and was just desperately trying to wangle his filthy hands onto another 5 years of power. What he planned to do if he managed it I couldn't say. But he never did have much foresight.

Look at your history and you'll see that whenever Liebour get in the economy goes pfht down the crapper.

Yes, I'm bitter - I've spent all my working life with the red albatross and its effects round my neck.

If you want to know what the Corbinistas have to offer us just look at Venezuela. I'm told they've just hit 1000 percent inflation.

I've often wondered what would happen if voting was public at the hustings once more - Vote Labour - when it all goes pear shaped YOU pay. No, I'm not serious about public voting - the info would be to useful to lizards in power - of any colour - but we need to consider our responsibilities when we vote. There are no free lunches. Is it morally right to put in a bunch of nutters whose ideas have been shown time and again all over the world to be an utter failure and expect a magic bailout from those who new better?

Q the downvotes.

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FAIL

I guess that's alright then?

No.

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"It would save 50k/year * 650mps - £3,250,000 - ie: bugger all."

Well it would actually save £32 million but I take your point

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Ah yes, you're right. Back of a fag packet calculation. Near enough though.

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Facepalm

@wolfetone

How do you make it through a single day?

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FAIL

@Wolfetone

Wolfetone,

I could be wrong, but I suspect that the study of Economics isn't one of your strong points???

As to 5,000,000 sprogs in poverty - eh what, would this be absolute or relative poverty?

My grandad grew up with eight siblings in a two-room London East End slum in the early 1900s, no heating, no running water, no inside toilet, THAT was poverty.

[In the UK] having to scrimp and save a bit or heaven forbid, not having a 56 inch 3D TV or perhaps needing to learn how to do a domestic budget ISN'T poverty.

Also a year or so ago, we would regularly lean on our local food banks to put grub on the table, I regularly care for my wife (who has a chronic health condition) when she can't work and I am currently awaiting the outcome of a mandatory re-assessment for my ESA benefit whilst trying to startup a little business, so I have a better idea than most of life at the sharp end...

On a related note, have you written to the ex-President who actually signed off the legislation that fundamentally caused the sub-prime crisis in the first place to ask him to chip in???

So what is your plan to settle the deficit?

Btw 'soaking the rich' might make you feel better, but it would be like peeing in the wind re the deficit...

Chin up matey, the world is still spinning!

Jay

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Anonymous Coward

"It's good news for everybody except housing developers, or the rich with "buy to let" portfolios which would then devalue somewhat."

It would have to be social housing to be effective - like the postwar housing developments. Apart from some "flat in the sky" projects many of those developments were solid and neighbourly - even if on the edge of town.

A recent survey of new housing showed that a large amount was being bought by overseas investors - especially with the drop in value of Sterling. They weren't necessarily even renting it out - just a safe place to keep their money. Can't remember the source - but the calculations were that no matter how many new houses were built for sale - they wouldn't change the un-affordability for most people in this country.

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If you haven't got a source, then it might as well just have been made up.

And by "no matter how many new houses are built" I think the issue is the discussed "ambitious" plans towards building an additional 20 thousand houses a year over existing construction of 180k P/A. That won't make a bit of difference when net imigration to the UK is 273k P/A, and that (obviously) excludes people born in the UK.

By any sane back of the envelope calculation we could fill several million additional houses right now.

Dusting off prefab plans and building 250k prefabs a year on top of existing construction would make a dent in the problem pretty much immediately.

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Poor is poor is poor.

So I grew up in a family that would have under that definition counted as poor I think, and there's a big difference between poor the definition and real poverty. Decent access to a pretty good local school, free education with an opportunity to go to uni and never hungry or with no electric etc.

Now at uni i have met people who had well off parents and yes they have a certain level of privilege, better schools, nicer holidays to foreign countries rather than say Canvey island, or maybe Cornwall but generally speaking on the starting out in life baseline we were reasonably on the level.

I have friends who are teachers in some schools in this country were the kids root through the bins for food and the parents have literally sold everything including the kitchen sink, shelves and oven. Those kids are so below the starting from out on in life baseline compared with us it's unreal. That's poverty,

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It's all a question of how you calculate the standing on the UK globally.

5th richest?

Maybe.

But: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-simon-duffy/welfare-myth-five-the-uk-_b_13296512.html

So, in a real world: 39th.

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Clearing the deficit is possible....but not along with tax cuts.

Clearing the debt is also possible, but not while still paying state pension benefit, or while funding a "free at point of treatment" health service.

And in any case, the U.K. has been in debt for a few hundred years, many times by a few hundred percent of GDP. Yet now a debt of 80% (+-) of GDP is a catastrophe?

Clearing the debt/deficit is a useful goal to persuade idiots to have less, pay more and (for all I know) die earlier.

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Re: @ wolfetone

"Just as 50% of schools will be below average no matter what we do".

I accept your sentiment, but the statement is incorrect. If I have 4 gifts priced at £1, £9, £9 and £9, 75% are below (cost more than) the average of £7, while 25% are (is) above. Conversely, if they are £1, £1, £1 and £9, 75% are above (cost less than) the average of £3, while only 25% below.

As always, it depends what you are measuring and how it is being reported. There will, however, always be at least one school below some specified average - unless all are equal.

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It belongs to Murdock and I wouldn't trust it an inch.

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"4 million, or around 30%, are now classed as poor"

Poor / low income and poorly educated parents have more children. The more low paid workers we let into the country the more this figure will go up...

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Headmaster

Re: @ wolfetone

"Just as 50% of schools will be below median no matter what we do".

Smot, happy now?

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How about a respectable newspaper like the Times?

Ahahaha hahaha haha *cough* *splutter*

Owned by Rupert Murdoch. Totally respectable. Just like the ScumSun.

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IT Angle

Typical party political move

Realize your party has fucked up very badly so run away to leave the other party to clean up the shit. With any luck they'll have so much difficulty cleaning up the shit that your party will get back into power, at which point you can blame the other party for creating the shit in the first place.

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Re: Typical party political move

Close but no cigar.

Realize you have fucked up, ensure that you get the longest cleptocratic run possible before everyone else has realized you have fucked up.

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Of course they won't listen

But here's what us Euro's generally 'feel' about Britain and Europe

Britain never wanted to contribute to the EU. Thatcher only wrangled her way in because she was convinced the easiest way to keep it in check was to get inside and veto anything they didn't like. Britain has been doing this quite succesfully for decades, always extracting some advantage through extortion.

So now they want out. Fine. But remember everyone on this side of the channel wants their pound of flesh.

Incidentally, how may of those billions they'll be saving have found their way into future NHS budgets ?

Oh wait...Buckdich Lafarce (C) never said that, did he ? Or did he ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Of course they won't listen

But here's what us Euro's generally 'feel' about Britain and Europe

What makes you think we care? This is a story about a general election, not an EU one.

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