The UK Elections, Chris Matthews, "Snotty Elitists" and Bad Character

I’ve been watching the UK Prime Minister election cycle with some interest.  It’s been great to see the debates between the three main contenders televised–this gives a good look at some of the issues facing the UK in terms of what we can expect if we continue down this road of more entitlements and more and more spending of money we don’t have.  For instance, during the second debate, it was amusing to see the three candidates try to grapple with the problem of masses of people taking unemployment while turning down job offers and the masses of other public entitlements they give for just about anything or listening in the third debate to Clegg crash and burn over the UK version of amnesty for illegals.  I giggled a little as they all bemoaned the horrors of securing the borders . . . of an island nation.  But the point is the same there as it is here: no political will to do the right thing for the nation, best to pander to the PC leftie nutjobs who winge about how inhumane it is to have enforce immigration laws, regardless of how inhumane it is to have millions of people living in the shadows of society and all that entails for both the illegals and the country.

I like Cameron (no surprise) and was glad that he won so many seats last night but find it a bit worrying that his Conservative party didn’t win the majority and control of the government.  I don’t pretend to understand UK politics, but from listening to the commentary, it sounds like it’s possible for Brown (Labour and current PM, of course) and Clegg (“Liberal Democrat” aka prog nutjob) to join forces in some way and come up with a majority that allows Brown (or if he steps down–not likely–the new Labour leader) to stay at Number 10.  Ack!  Apparently they can patch together some sort of Frankenstein majority over there.  I don’t really understand it, but it sounds very like our Electoral College process that can overturn the popular vote.

Another thing that struck me watching the returns last night is how having a bazillion parties is a disaster.  Seriously.  Some districts had 10 (some seemed to have 20ish, I didn’t count) candidates, some of whom pulled 40 votes or whatever.  One district had at least five “Independents” running, and in another, and I’m not making this up, some genius ran for the “Nobody” party.  And actually got a handful of votes.  Sorry, but this doesn’t seem particularly desirable and rather makes a mockery of the electoral process (though of course they think it’s the epitome of democratic something or other), but then, they don’t have primaries there, so these weirdos don’t get weeded out.  But the most striking thing about all these parties is that it means that someone can lead the country with as little as 23% of the popular vote, that’s probably about the number of hard left progs there are here in America.  *shudder*

Anyway, the impetus for this post is not to waffle on about my impressions of the UK elections but to share some wisdom from Chris Matthews.  And I’m not being snarky.  It seems that Matthews can be quite insightful, if not the least bit self-aware.  In his coverage of the UK elections last night (vid embedded below), he said in response to Brown’s calling a voter a “bigot”:

Nothing bothers a person more than having some snotty elitist–a Prime Minister– looking down their nose at somebody’s real concerns.

Yep.  He said that.  And he went on to say that there is nothing wrong with being concerned about illegal immigration, that it doesn’t automatically make you a bigot because you express concern about an issue that is “all over the polls.”  Uh huh.  Like BO’s takeover of our healthcare system was “all over the polls.”  How was that again, Mr. Matthews, when American voters expressed concern about that issue?  Nothing wrong with that, right?  Or about illegal immigration here in the States?  Another issue that is “all over the polls”?

He also asked his panelists if calling that voter a “bigot” hurt Gordon Brown.  After all, that’s not a very nice thing to say about a citizen and voter, even according to Matthews.  Does anyone else feel that they’d prefer being called a “bigot” by our president than the vile term that denotes sexual perversion he seems to prefer to describe us, which of course encompasses not only “bigot,” but all manner of other pejorative connotations . . . neatly wrapped up in one disgusting and insulting term?

One of the panelists, Katty Kay from the BBC, pointed out, quite insightfully, that it wasn’t simply the name-calling that hurt Brown, but “what it revealed about his character.”  She explained, and see if this also sounds familiar, that Brown “says one thing in public but has a meaner character in private.”  (Anyone feel like bitterly clinging to their guns and religion?)  But that’s not the stunner, then Matthews says, without the slightest hint of irony:

[Brown] thought he was better than that women.  I mean, if you think you’re better than a voter you’re a big trouble.

Yep, that about sums it up.  See you in November. 

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15 thoughts on “The UK Elections, Chris Matthews, "Snotty Elitists" and Bad Character

  1. 64% of the electorate rejected Conservatism. Maybe people aren't so hungry for change in the UK.

    And I love our multi-candidate elections …. it truly is democracy in action. Anyone can stand – you don't need to be tied in to the big party machine. How do you get through the long and tortuous election process in the USA without the Monster Raving Looneys? ;o)

  2. Oh, I HATE our long election cycles, most pols are barely in office before they're campaigning for re-election (witness BO's two seconds in the Senate before running for president and his unending campaign since being elected). I love the brevity of your election cycles and actually like the news blackout on exit polls, too. That's hard to back here due to the First Amendment, but I do sometimes wonder how much exit polls influence voters who've yet to vote.

  3. Cambridge Lady,
    Cameron is no conservative. One of his heroes is Obama! He has old Mao loving Anita Dunn running his campaign.

    Fuzzy,
    I think Gordon winning would be better in the long run. Bringing that loser back, may send a message to the conservatives to run a real conservative candidate, and not moderate Marxist.

  4. It's all about perspective Trestin …… our Conservatives are about as far to the right as we in the UK are prepared to take. Only 36% of the electorate voted for the Tories. Take them further to the right and they would lose more votes IMO. Thatcher and her ilk are not the big heroes in the UK that you maybe imagine. But that's only my opinion. Bring back “real” conservatives please Britain! ….. and we'll see what happens …..

  5. “I don't pretend to understand UK politics, but from listening to the commentary, it sounds like it's possible for Brown (Labour and current PM, of course) and Clegg ('Liberal Democrat' aka prog nutjob) to join forces in some way and come up with a majority that allows Brown (or if he steps down–not likely–the new Labour leader) to stay at Number 10. Ack! Apparently they can patch together some sort of Frankenstein majority over there. I don't really understand it, but it sounds very like our Electoral College process that can overturn the popular vote.”

    A parliamentary form of government is based upon the majority party running all of the government– unlike our system which stresses individual representatives and has come to stress the idea of bipartisanship in governing. Basically, a parliament needs 51% of the seats (in the case of the UK 326 seat out 650) to form a government. In the UK, which is pretty much a two party system, this is usually easy. One side wins, the other loses a scattering of minor parties get a handful of votes and are generally ignored. In this unusual case no party won 51% of the vote (Conservtaives won 309 seats) so this leads to a hung Parliament (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/election-2010/7689985/What-is-a-hung-Parliament.html).

    This Frankenstein majority, as you put it, is however the norm in most cases of parliamentary government. Israel, France (sort-of– they also have a president thanks to De Gaulle), Belgium, etc. all deal with multiple parties combining to create a majority (a coalition government) since no single party ever wins 51% of the vote to form a single party government.

    The process is really not at all similar to the US's electoral college. Forming parliaments has to do with establishing clear majorities and nothing to do with electoral votes.

  6. @ Trestin, aw, I like Cameron, certainly the best of the three on offer. I think it's dangerous to try to “send messages” via not voting or voting for the opposite . . . geez, that's what got us BO!

    @ Yukio, I knew I could count on you to help clarify. It all sounds very strange to me, but then I'm one of the formerly complacent Americans who's only recently become intensely interested in politics due to the dangers threatening our own nation. Thanks so much for explanation. 🙂

  7. @ Trestin, can't stand Dunn, not one bit, but I've said often that we can learn a lot from BO's campaign. The parts that weren't vile and dirty, anyway. I'm not sure that Cameron ran on hopeandchange, he actually has plans and concrete solutions, he didn't waffle on and around in the debates like BO did. I see no harm in hiring someone who is effective, but I agree that she's horrible. Cameron is not a BO clone, that's Clegg. I think that Clegg is the one that would force BO to bury his seething hatred for the UK. But it seems that we'll just have to disagree on this point, I'm not bothered by that 🙂

    @ Odie, exactly! As interesting as Brit politics are, I was far more interested in what Matthews had to say and how completely unaware he was of any sense of irony . . . or hypocrisy.

  8. Having been through two Presidential elections since moving stateside, I have to admit, I dislike the whole lengthy campaign process here, especially, as you so point out, it's tendency it appears to have people start the re-election process the moment they win one election.

    Yes, it dilutes the vote, having so many parties on the ballot in the UK, but it also gives the feeling that it is truly democratic, as all that is needed to get one's name on the ballot is a platform and a £500 deposit, (required when submitting the nomination papers and returned if the candidate receives over five per cent of the total votes cast). That said, one can only be skeptical when a “political” party has a name such as “The Any Excuse For A Party Party”, (yes, that was a real “party”)! I tend to think of the handful of votes cast for these one-off &/or minor parties, (as well as any spoiled ballot papers), is more a vote for “none of the above” in lieu of such an option.

  9. Heyas Dudge, always nice to see you! 🙂

    I do understand the thought process behind the bazillion parties, but I just don't think it's effective . . . or particularly democratic. From what I can tell, the majority of votes still go to the two main parties (though it seems the Liberal Dems used to get more?), and small wonder with some of the candidates dressed in togas or wearing war paint (or something like that) on their faces while they stood around making faces waiting to hear they'd got a whole three votes. Stating, as does CL above, that “anyone can stand” is a bit misleading . . . sure they can, but they won't win unless they are tied to a party, right? So it's really just the illusion of “fairness” and “democracy.” Besides, it is possible for “anyone to stand” here, too, all they have to do is get enough people to write their name in. I'm not sure, but I think Mickey Mouse got more votes for president in 2000 than that “Nobody” party guy got last week. 😉

    And if the purpose is to give a “none of the above” selection, we have that here. His name is Ralph Nader. heh. Okay, just kidding on that, but you can write in some other candidate if you want, it's not like you can't.

    The danger, as I see it, is that some fringe group (be they far left OR far right) might scrape an extra percentage point of the vote and become president with some tiny percentage (23% or so) of the people supporting him or her. Without a majority of the vote, the House would select the president! Dangerous and scary.

  10. “though it seems the Liberal Dems used to get more?”

    The Liberal Dems are the result of 1987/88 merger between the Liberal Party and the Social Democrats to form the Liberal Democrats.

    The Liberal party was a major party pretty much from their founding (officially sometime in the late 1870s) until the slow rise of the Labour Party (1920s and 30s); the Liberals sort of declined as Labour rose.

    The Social Democrats were an offshoot of the Labour Party forming in 1981 after Thatcher was made Prime Minister. They were never much of a player.

  11. “The danger, as I see it, is that some fringe group (be they far left OR far right) might scrape an extra percentage point of the vote and become president with some tiny percentage (23% or so) of the people supporting him or her. Without a majority of the vote, the House would select the president! Dangerous and scary.”

    This is basically impossible because of the electoral college. Remember the UK's election procedures (as are all parliaments) are very different from the US's.

    States (except Maine) vote using an all-or-nothing electoral vote for the president (for instance CA could have a 49%/51% split for Dems in raw votes but the Dem candidate would receive 100% of the CA's elctoral votes). A “fringe group” would have to have widespread support in various populous states to have any shot of upsetting the system and keeping back a majority outcome.

  12. That's a good point, Yukio. And it underscores the uselessness of having a bazillion parties when only two have any chance of winning a majority. I definitely see a need for a third party in this country (well, fifth if you count the Green and Rainbow parties), but I'm not sure if that should happen by the dems changing their name to reflect their progressive ideology or by the (what?) two remaining democrats (in the old sense of word) forming a real Democratic Party. Either way, the American people would then, perhaps, finally understand that the old JFK democratic party is deader than dead, infiltrated and overtaken by radical lefties who are posing as dems to get votes from Americans who haven't paid attention to what is happening (or who think they're paying attention but are just getting crap from MSNBC).

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