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EUSC

Members of the EU Security Council.

  • RE: House of Commons Official Hansard

    Volume 667

    Oral Answers to Questions

    Engagements

    Ms. Emma Fyffe (Labour)(City of Durham)

    Q1. Will the Prime Minister list her engagements for the rest of the day?

    The Prime Minister (Mrs. Theresa May - Liberal)(Maidenhead)

    This morning, I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others, and in addition to my duties in this house, I shall have further such meetings later today.

    Ms. Emma Fyffe

    The Prime Minister said when she was elected Prime Minister in 2016 that she would be leading a government that works for all people, as long as they had the will to work and get ahead. Yet, studies have shown that the inequality that the Government said it was going to prevent has spiked among racial and sexual minorities in Britain since she came to power. Since we're entering year three of this government, can she explain to us why she hasn't achieved that?

    The Prime Minister

    I want to respond to the honourable lady by saying this: what did Labour do in its last government that lasted nearly 20 years? Let's take a look at that record. Yes, let's look at the record. Under Labour from 2005-2015, crimes committed in our cities and villages went up, not down. Under the last Labour Government, they increased the amount of tax working class people paid through VAT increases, through the raising of rates by 5p over 5 years. NHS waiting times at A&E went up by 30%, all of which have a huge impact on constituents that Labour itself claims as supporting. Yet in three years of a Liberal Government, we have cut taxes for working class people by 5%, and taken millions out of tax all together while wages have gone up, letting those same racial and sexual minorities keep more of their pay packet. That is a responsible reaction to inequality created by the Labour Party for petty political gain.

    Mr. James Protter (Liberal)(St. Austell and Newquay)

    Last September, we saw a horrific attack carried out by terrorists posing as migrants and refugees in Piccadilly Circus. In the aftermath of the attack, the Prime Minister said she would open an inquiry on the attack and in December of last year, she announced a Public Inquiry was indeed being carried out. Is there any news on the Public Inquiry and a timetable for its findings?

    The Prime Minister

    The attacks last September in Piccadilly Circus were heinous and cowardly. For those people who lost loved ones in the attack, justice will be carried out. The Piccadilly Circus Inquiry is ongoing and has been since December, as my hon. friend has said. I expect to see the Public Inquiry to reach its conclusion around the one year anniversary of the attack, and its recommendations we will carry out. In the meantime, the Government has looked closely at screening processes for migrants and asylum seekers. We do, however, have a responsibility as a country to take in those who are safe and running from persecution. We have reached a deal with the Australian government to do screening before transit to the UK in processing centres across Australia, including Nauru. 

    Ms. Emily Thornberry (Leader of the His Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition - Labour)(Finsbury)

    I would like to take this time to thank everyone who voted in the Labour leadership election, of which I am the winner. I know that we have seen two Labour leaders come and go under this Prime Minister, but I'd like to also state that I hope there are many more exchanges between us. This is also a first for the Labour Party where a woman has led the parliamentary Labour Party and is the leader of what can be considered an alternative government in waiting. There are many initiatives that I know the Prime Minister and I will agree on for women in politics and women in the workplace, and hopefully we can be an example for all.

    The Prime Minister

    I would like to welcome the Rt. Hon. Lady to her position as Leader of the Opposition in this House. Indeed, this is a first for the Labour Party and a first for British politics, where two women lead the two largest parties in our nation. While we may not agree on policies, I can certainly say that this is a truly special moment for Britain and a special moment around Europe. I hope that we have robust debate here at the dispatch box and continue into 2022, when the next election will be. 

    Ms. Emily Thornberry

    I thank the Prime Minister, and begin with a question. Today is World Refugee Day, and the Prime Minister has said that we are involved with the screening process of refugees from Dromund Kaas in Australia. I would ask the Prime Minister if she knows how many refugees we have taken into our nation as of this month?

    The Prime Minister

    The Government's refugee numbers say that we have taken in nearly 100,000 refugees over the 6 years of this conflict in Dromund Kaas. Those numbers include 30,000 children and 70,000 people in families. 

    Ms. Emily Thornberry

    I thank the Prime Minister for her answer. Given that we are a wealthy nation of 77 million people and can house more people in need, why isn't this number higher than 100,000 over six years?

    The Prime Minister

    There are many reasons as to why that number is 100,000, which I consider to be a generous amount of places for people in this country, is that way. First, we focused on bringing families with children to the United Kingdom. That way, we can provide long-standing relief for them while their country continues to be changed and ravaged by conflict as the Coalition gets closer to ending the conflict. The first two years of refugee claimants starting in 2012 and 2013 have all been eligible for UK citizenship now as well as those who came in 2014. We will continue to work with Angleter, the Duxburian Union, Australia and others who are taking refugees to make sure that we take our fair share.

    Ms. Emily Thornberry

    But these families are not only suffering in Dromund Kaas to get here, but Britain's selective approach is creating a backlog not only in our process but in Australia's as well. What is the reason for going through Australian channels to screen these people. Why couldn't we bring them to our processing centres in Britain?

    The Prime Minister

    We do process Kaasian refugees in our processing centres as well as using Australia's, but let me illustrate the problem for the honourable lady. Yes, we are indeed a wealthy nation of 77 million people, one of the larger populations in Europe's north. We, however, are an island nation. There's a finite amount of space we have here so we have to maximise the effect of who we bring into the United Kingdom. Australia is a vastly larger country than us, which allows Prime Minister Clinton and her government in Australia to be far more open to taking large amounts of people. 

    Ms. Emily Thornberry

    No, that's not a good enough answer. The Prime Minister has failed to look at the report by the Office for National Statistics and its findings that Britain can hold up to 500,000 refugees across the whole of the country without putting a strain on the country's finances or spatial requirements. We are also seeing that they are not finding work, even though they are able to in this country, and these Kaasians both refugee and not are being discriminated against in Britain. What the Prime Minister could do here is change the conversation about Kaasians and show that Britain's politicians are not going to fall prey to the fear rhetoric peddled by UKIP and others in the UK. Will she stand up and show her backbone?

    The Prime Minister

    The Government will not tolerate discrimination against anyone in Britain and those who discriminate against people based on their race are wrong to do so. We also have employment law in this country that protects those who seek work cannot be fired or looked over because of their race and nationality. This is one of the most successful multicultural societies in Europe because we believe that if you work hard and do right by people, you can get ahead. 

    Ms. Emily Thornberry

    Words are lovely, Prime Minister, but action is needed. The Government needs to legislate to ensure that people comply with the laws on the books or face consequences. It makes no difference that law says something if there is no threat behind it for those who do so. Perhaps some CBO's and financial penalties could be in order for those who are known to discriminate against these people. This is exactly the reason why racial and sexual minorities are discriminated against: perception and fear. Yet the Government, in a position to educate and inform and take a stand, has done nothing while claiming to champion the disadvantaged. Why won't she push her Cabinet to do more on these issues that not only effect Kaasians, but LGBTQI youth, black people, Sikh and Muslim people of faith, and others. What that amounts to is nearly 9 million people potentially being more likely to be in poverty, more likely to be denied job opportunities, and more likely to therefore be on universal credit only incomes. When will the Government understand that talk is cheap and action is necessary?

    The Prime Minister

    The Government is taking action. I'm sorry that the Leader of the Opposition is not satisfied what is happening or how the Government is handling these issues, but we are. This is the Government that is getting people into work, so that there will be demand for people, regardless of where they are from, what the colour of their skin is, and who they love. Frankly, I find it terrible that the Labour Party uses identity politics in the way that they do. I am not interested in playing that game with the Leader of the Opposition. I will get on with making Britain a better country for all of our citizens. This is the Rt. Hon. lady's first PMQ's, but perhaps a little less pandering to the champagne socialists in London and more of an ear to the working people you claim to represent will change your views.

    posted in Politics & Incidents
  • RE: Angleter Election 2018: Election Night Coverage

    1.19am

    JB: Results coming in slightly quicker now. I'll just go through some of them, all holds and no surprises. Goulon for the Citizen Alliance; Balbeck North West, Palmyra North East, and Palmyra South East for the Democrats; and Istvanfehervar North, Neomantua Castellar, Dionysias East, Dionysias Central, Damaszka Caffar Susa, and Palvar and East Bank for the SDP.

    That leaves us with 8 seats so far for the SDP, 4 Democrats, and 2 Citizen Alliance. 14 down, 483 to go.

    RM: The popular vote is also interesting. 35% for the SDP right now, 28% Democrats, 24% Citizen Alliance, 11% CSL. Now the seats coming in right now are mostly urban, and that's why the SDP in particular are doing well. The Democrats and the Citizen Alliance will both be looking towards the more suburban and rural seats that are slower to come in. But the CSL might have cause to worry - Palmyra might not be their area, and they've racked up a few good showings in Dionysias - 20%, 16% - but after that exit poll they could be forgiven for thinking that, over these first 14 seats, they might be doing a little better.

    PK: One thing I'll also point out with these results is that, especially in the SDP seats in the southwest of the country, you're seeing swings that are in line with the exit poll, but are absolutely nowhere near switching hands. The SDP are losing 10%, 12%, sometimes worse in some of these seats, and they're getting to the level where the Democrats were last time out. But then, the Democrats are taking a step down as well at the same time, usually also by about 10%. Things are changing, but they're sort of staying the same.

    JB: Pauline, is there a bit more colour in the map now?

    PA: Indeed there is John, starting to fill up, although, of course, still smaller seats geographically that are declaring.

    posted in Politics & Incidents
  • RE: Angleter Election 2018: Election Night Coverage

    1.08am

    JB: While we're still waiting for Manbidge, we can bring you a couple of results, both of which are good news for the SDP - Pauline?

    PA: Yes, so a couple of seats here where, if the SDP were on course to lose power, you might expect them to be in trouble. First, Ter Zor Diglath, out in Kerkesion, where if we had the sort of national swing the exit poll is predicting, the Citizen Alliance would be within a few percentage points of taking the seat. Here's what actually happened:

    Majority of just over 11,000 for Agatha Fort, which is roughly halved from last time, but better than what we might have expected from the exit poll. SDP down 3%, Citizen Alliance up 11%, Democrats down 6%. That's particularly good news for the SDP since last time there was a Traditionalist candidate standing, and this time there's a CSL candidate, so that might have been expected to be a drag on the left vote there. Now, here's another seat:

    Balbeck North East in the middle of Livan, where Aaron Muhammad has actually tripled his majority, more or less. Again, his vote is down, by about 6% - better than the exit poll - but Democrats down 9%, and Citizen Alliance up 7%. So two results there where the SDP are outperforming the exit poll, and also where the CSL are performing below that 13% mark, and in urban seats as we-

    JB: Sorry to interrupt, Pauline, but we do now have the result from Manbidge.

    [Screen cuts to Manbidge]

    Returning officer: I, the returning officer for the Manbidge constituency, declare that the total number of votes for each candidate was as follows:

    Abaza, Abdul Rahman, Coalition for Socialism and Liberation, twelve thousand, four hundred and seventy-seven.

    De Pforttenhelm, Albert, Traditionalist Communion, two thousand, one hundred and one.

    [Mild smattering of applause]

    Goddard, Esther, National Movement Robert Kilroy-Silk, Led By Robert Kilroy Silk, four thousand, nine hundred and ninety.

    Mellett, Alan, Citizen Alliance, Hashtag No Refugees, forty thousand, four hundred and fifty-two.

    [Cheering and applause]

    Saraffian, David, Democratic Party, thir-

    [Loud cheering and applause]

    JB: Did she say thirty?

    I think she said- yes. Right. Well, he's gone then. It's between the other two.

    Returning officer: THIRTY-NINE THOUSAND, FIVE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-THREE. That's thirty-nine thousand, five hundred and thirty-three.

    Shaw, Barbara, Social Democratic Party, thir-

    [Even louder cheering and applause]

    Returning officer: THIRTY-ONE THOU-

    JB: Well, there we have it. First gain of the evening, and it's quite a shocking one. The Democrats have lost a seat in Dayradestuna, and the Citizen Alliance are the ones who've picked it up. SDP a little way back there, as well. Pauline, some quick thoughts.

    PA: Well, Dayra is about as solid Democrat territory as you can get. This was their weakest seat here, but David Saraffian did have a majority of over 15,000 here before tonight. How did he lose it? Well, he's down 13% on last time, which is slightly bigger than the exit poll projected, and the Citizen Alliance are up 14%. SDP also down 7%.

    PK: That'll actually be a big disappointment to both the Democrats and the SDP. Both the other main parties wanted to take a Dayra seat off the Democrats, largely for the symbolic value of it, but the SDP probably went backwards further than they'd have liked given the effort they put in there. As for the Democrats, the psychological blow of this will be huge. It's interesting that this was probably always going to be a marginal seat considering the polling, and the Democrats could still have a much better night than they'd have expected a month or so ago on a similar swing to this - but still, a relatively good night for them compared to the polling is a massive step backwards compared to 2015.

    JB: So, 'that wasn't that bad' is coming up against 'that's still really quite bad'?

    PK: Definitely. They've got used to being in the 20s in the polls, but losing a large number of seats and probably ending up third overall - as will be the case if these results continue - will be a huge shock to them. Especially when Fortress Dayra has fallen.

    posted in Politics & Incidents
  • RE: Angleter Election 2018: Election Night Coverage

    12.44am

    JB: OK, so Manbidge was competing with Palmyra Central to be the first seat to declare, so we've got Bill Thomas over there to have a look, but they've hit a problem, haven't they, Bill?

    BT: Yes, John, it's a recount. We'd got a result half an hour ago, but it's within 1000 votes, I'm told, between the Democrats and the Citizen Alliance, and so there is a partial recount going on. We'll be expecting a final result, if there are no delays and no further recounts, within about twenty minutes' time.

    JB: Thanks, Bill, we'll be eager to see the result there. Meanwhile, let's take a look at our map. Our lovely map of all the constituencies, which will be coloured in as the results come in. Pauline, you're in charge of that. How's it looking?

    PA: Well, only one result so far, and that's a blue speck in the middle of New Birmingham, for Nav Khatkar's seat in Palmyra Central.

    JB: Pauline, could you explain for our viewers why Neo-Venetia isn't on the map?

    PA: Er, well, I, er, that... is because there are no MPs being elected from Neo-Venetia, on account of its occupation by the separatist administration there. There aren't any Neo-Venetian constituencies to show, and that's why it's not been marked out on the map.

    JB: Right. That explains that, then.

    posted in Politics & Incidents
  • RE: Angleter Election 2018: Election Night Coverage

    12.27am

    JB: I'm pleased to say we are now able to finally go to our first result of the evening. Palmyra Central have got ahead of everyone else once again, and they've counted the votes about 15 minutes quicker than in 2015, so that's good going on their part. Palmyra Central, very safe Democrat seat. Navdeep Khatkar running for re-election.

    [Screen cuts to Palmyra Central declaration]

    Returning officer: -deep Khatkar, Democratic Party, sixty-three thou-

    [Cheers]

    JB: Well, there's no surprise. Just wait briefly for the full results... and here we go:


    JB: So Khatkar's majority increased slightly, from 38,000 to a shade over 40,000. However, his vote share is down 6%, to 51%. Citizen Alliance up into second, up by just 5%. CSL up from virtually nowhere, from 2% to 15%, so they've gained 13% there. And finally the SDP, down to fourth, down 12%. Also a Kilroy candidate there who barely troubled the scorers. Robert - not what the exit poll was saying?

    RM: Sort of, sort of not. What we're seeing here is the SDP doing even worse than the exit poll would have predicted, and the CSL doing even better. But on the right, the Citizen Alliance increase is muted, and the Democrat decline also smaller than one might expect. Now there might, and I stress might, be reasons for that. Palmyra Central is a very affluent urban constituency in New Birmingham. It's not even remotely close to being fertile ground for Emryc Isla, and so I don't think they'll be too troubled at Citizen Alliance HQ over only gaining 6% there. Nav Khatkar is obviously also a former Prime Minister, founder of the Democratic Party itself, and so he has a very high personal profile. As for the left-wing parties, this is a relatively young and very liberal seat, and this does indicate that a lot of the progressive liberal vote, the so-called 'champagne socialists', might be making their way towards the CSL. But, of course, there's 496 seats left to declare, and only much later on will we be able to say with any certainty whether these swings are a local thing or more representative of the national mood.

    JB: Thanks, Robert. Very informative. Well, we've had the first; the dam is broken. Now we await the flood.

    posted in Politics & Incidents
  • RE: Angleter Election 2018: Election Night Coverage

    11.03pm

    MA: Right, well, to look over that exit poll, we've got our first round of guests: it's Martha Lane from the Citizen Alliance, Terese Sponge from the SDP, David Wannock-Smythe from the CSL, and Irene Ulleries from the Democrats. Terese, let's start with you. What's gone wrong?

    TS: Well, I'm not sure anything's gone wrong yet. As you say, the exit poll isn't necessarily Gospel, there's a lot of variables involved, and it shows us very close behind the Citizen Alliance, so I'm still very much optimistic.

    MA: So you haven't quite kissed that majority government goodbye, yet?

    TS: Not at all. I think we've run a positive, issues-based campaign. I think we stood out for doing that, and I think that's what ultimately will win through.

    MA: Even though you've lost a significant chunk of your vote; I mean, even if you beat the exit poll, it'll be very surprising now if you hit 38% again.

    TS: Stranger things have happened, Matthew. But the fact is we're in a much more crowded political field now. A lot more competition, which is healthy, and it was also always going to be tough after three years of a government where we haven't been able to do all we wanted. I think tonight will prove we've given a good account of ourselves, and I fully expect to see Sam Courtenay back on the job tomorrow.

    MA: Martha Lane, are you expecting to see Sam Courtenay back on the job tomorrow?

    ML: Not at all, and I think if these results are accurate, then it's a really damning indictment of the SDP's time in office. This always happens with them, it happened in 2015 when they squandered a 17-point lead, and it looks like it's happened this time around - when you put the SDP and Sam Courtenay under the bright light of an election campaign, they're always found wanting.

    MA: So this exit poll, if it's accurate, is all about the SDP, then? It's not about yourselves?

    ML: Well, it is about ourselves, because we're the only real alternative not just to the SDP but also to the entire way of doing things in Angleteric politics. I think voters really connected with Emryc Isla, they saw he was different, one of them, and they voted for some real change.

    MA: Will you attempt to govern if you're the largest party? Is there a coalition on the cards?

    ML: We've been very clear that we don't do coalitions. If we are the largest party, then we'll expect a chance to govern and we'll leave it to other parties to decide whether they'll support our programme or prop up the elite.

    MA: That's a good question for you, Irene Ulleries. Are you going to support Emryc Isla's programme or Sam Courtenay's?

    IU: Well, we'll support our own programme, a-

    MA: What programme is that?

    IU: Oh, Matthew, you know we have policies. We want low tax, less red tape, less spending. We've gone back to Angleter's liberal-conservative roots in this campaign, and that, incidentally, is why that exit poll shows us a lot stronger than you all had us just a couple of months ago.

    MA: But it says you're on for third place, and that leaves you deciding between these two.

    IU: I wouldn't be so quick, Matthew. We could easily end up in second or even first place based on that exit poll, especially in terms of seats. I think by the end of the night we could be seeing these two coming to us, not the other way round.

    MA: David Wannock-Smythe, please tell me you don't think you'll be the largest party tomorrow morning?

    DWS: Ha, well, it'd be a very pleasant surprise. But I'm just over the moon at that exit poll. Unless it's way out, it really shows that the downtrodden people of this country are waking up. Our predecessors were at 2% last time, and now we're on course for the mid-teens. It's great news.

    MA: But what if you end up holding the balance of power? Are you going to put Concentration Camp Courtenay, as your co-spokesperson put it, back in the PMO?

    DWS: If we get into that situation, then we'll be guided in every action by the goal of holding the SDP to account and ensuring we get a genuinely radical government of the Left.

    MA: Do you see a role for Sam Courtenay in that government?

    DWS: We're focussed on action, not personality, but obviously we'd have quite a lot of concerns about trusting Sam Courtenay to get the job done.

    MA: Right, well, thanks all. We'll be back again shortly, but for now, back to you, John.

    posted in Politics & Incidents
  • Angleter Election 2018: Election Night Coverage

    11.00pm

    The theme music plays, over shots of the corridors of the Parliament House and clips of the candidates debating each other and campaigning. The title sequence closes with a shot of the Parliament House:

    John Bloom: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to Sirion TV's coverage of election night, 2018. I'm John Bloom. As we enter the small hours of the morning, our team will be all over the country, giving you the news as quick as it comes, as to who, exactly, you have elected to run this country for the next three years. Polls were open from 7am to 10pm today, and millions of you cast your votes up and down the country. Polls have shown a tight three-way race, but tonight we find out the results of the only poll that matters. But before we start, allow me to introduce you to the team who'll be bringing news, views, and analysis all through the night.

    [Camera cuts to a woman in front of a huge CGI map]

    Pauline Armeniakon: I'm Pauline Armeniakon, here to analyse this map, and all the results as they come in, and tell you what each result means for the overall result. I'll be predicting which seats could be switching, which could be staying, and which ones could be the ones to watch.

    [Camera cuts to a man sat at an empty table]

    Matthew Austell: Matthew Austell here, interviewing the big names from all the parties as they give their take on how the night's going for them. Tonight is going to pose a lot of questions, and we're going to get some answers.

    [Camera cuts to a man and woman sat around the table from JB]

    JB: And here's our resident psephologist, Robert Mamiconian from Canvassus, who'll be digging deeper into what the results imply; and Preet Khatter, who'll be looking at the political implications of what happens tonight.

    [Camera pans back to JB]

    JB: So we've conducted an exit poll in association with Canvassus, 12,000 people in 94 constituencies. Hopefully this will give us some decent insight into what the result could be, although, of course, this isn't the poll that matters and these things have been wrong before. But for now and for a good few hours afterwards, it's the best we've got. I'll also note that we've only got a popular vote exit poll this time, since Canvassus found that there were simply too many local swings and close races to be able to come up with such a projection, at least until we get some real results in. Anyway, here we go:

    JB: So, that's the Citizen Alliance, ahead, on 31%. The SDP close behind on 29%, and the Democrats a few points further back on 24%. The CSL on 13%, that's higher than they've polled throughout the campaign, and then Kilroy on 2% and others on 1%. What I can also reveal is that despite the lack of a precise projection for seats, we can predict that no party will have an overall majority in the Chamber of the Plebeians. I'm now going to go over to Robert Mamiconian for some analysis. Robert?

    RM: Thanks, John. This is certainly not what a lot of people were expecting, the SDP had usually been polling a few points ahead and usually on at least 32%, so to see them go second and below the 30% mark is a real surprise for them. The Citizen Alliance will be absolutely ecstatic with that, even if they do ultimately slip behind the SDP - if they're even in the same ballpark in terms of the actual results, then Emryc Isla has a real shot at becoming Prime Minister. The Democrats, meanwhile, I think their response will be 'could be worse', although that still spells the loss of a lot of seats. If they are the third party in terms of seats, then that means they could get to decide whether Sam Courtenay or Emryc Isla gets the keys to the Prime Minister's Office. And finally, the CSL - extraordinary performance for them, not just compared to the polls but also, especially, compared to how the Communists did last time. It all depends on where those votes are, and it's been really difficult for us to work out - if they do get a decent seat haul, then they could just be the ones to put the SDP over the line.

    JB: That's a very intriguing thought, and I should just compare these results to last time, subbing out Communists for CSL: if the exit poll is accurate, it's SDP down 9% on last time out, Democrats down 12%, Citizen Alliance up 10%, and CSL up 11%.

    RM: Absolutely. And it's easy to say, oh, it's the rise of populism on each side, from SDP to CSL and from Democrats to Citizen Alliance, but we haven't found that to be the case. There's all sorts of swings going on. There's a lot of SDP voters going to the Citizen Alliance, for example. There's liberal Democrat voters going to the SDP and even to the CSL. There's some Citizen Alliance voters going to Kilroy, as well. It's a real maelstrom.

    PK: What I find interesting is this thought of what happens if there is, as we're predicting, some form of hung Parliament, and it's very difficult to tell when we don't know what the numbers could be. If we say the SDP and Citizen Alliance are more or less neck-and-neck, then either the CSL have enough votes to bail out the SDP, but perhaps at the expense of Sam Courtenay - remember they think he should be locked up - or it's up to Sue Fareham and the Democrats. And they're a very divided party.

    JB: So you're saying the Democrats could go from 'that wasn't that bad', to a really crippling headache over who to support?

    PK: Exactly.

    posted in Politics & Incidents
  • RE: Angleter Election 2018: The Campaign

    INSIGHT: The constituencies to watch tonight

    As the results pour in tonight, some constituencies will matter more than others. Few people will be surprised if Sam Courtenay wins his seat of Bostra de Sham, for instance, where he’s defending a majority of 35,216, for example. Likewise, Maria Sakrakur’s 53,681 strong majority in Ashurbanipal is unlikely to vanish this time round.

    But all the insiders’ eyes will be on some certain key seats, which could either decide the race, or give us a good indication of which way things are likely to go across the country. Here’s a selection of some of the most interesting races.

    Yavur Central – Robert Kilroy-Silk (NMRKS) – Majority 1,023

    Kilroy doesn’t currently have this working-class Orontes seat, since he gave it up for the European Commission. Noel Edmonds held it for the NMRKS in a by-election with a slightly increased majority. This time, Kilroy is back, but the question is whether he’s done enough to hold back the likely national swing towards last time’s runners-up, the Citizen Alliance.

    Non Nobis – Ellen Areshula (Dem) – Majority 12,376

    Neolombardia has a large number of Democrat/SDP marginals, with virtually no Citizen Alliance presence, and this seat will show how far, if at all, the Democrats have fallen in this unique part of the country. Loss here will be a real blow for Sue Fareham; while the SDP will be both looking to gain the seat and see their vote hold up against the Citizen Alliance and CSL.

    Giles Valley – Adrian Carluck (Dem) – Majority 10,128

    This Livan seat had a large residual Traditionalist Communion vote in 2015, and this seat will show whether the Democrats are right to hope that this vote will flood towards them and save key MPs like Adrian Carluck. The SDP will be hoping that either the Trad vote holds up or dissipates, and that they can eke out a win here – if they do, it would be a strong hint towards majority status for them.

    Pathlow – Steve Milverton (SDP) – Majority 9,574

    The SDP’s fight for majority status involves gaining Democrat seats like Non Nobis and Giles Valley, and holding heavily industrial seats like this one in Orontes against the Citizen Alliance. Victory here will be good news for the latter part of this two-pronged approach. Meanwhile, if the Citizen Alliance are even close to challenging for government, they should expect to win this seat.

    Grandmesnil – Alice Gray (Dem) – Majority 20,113

    The Democrats will be far more confident about this seat in eastern Maron than they were at the start of the campaign. Defeat to the SDP here, though, would signal total meltdown for the party, and even better news for the SDP’s pursuit of a majority – if Sam Courtenay’s party are picking up seats like Grandmesnil, then they can afford to lose a few Pathlows to the Citizen Alliance.

    Bengeworth – Kirpal Chanon (SDP) – Majority 15,266

    Kirpal Chanon is a high-profile MP for this rural Quareytene seat, but he’ll have to face off a strong challenge from the Citizen Alliance, who are currently polling third here. A win for the Citizen Alliance here would mean they can expect to be neck-and-neck with the SDP nationally. There’s also a strong Democrat vote here, and this seat will give some insight into whether they vote tactically – and which option they choose – in a seat where the SDP and Citizen Alliance are running close.

    Mahin – Lawrence Beck (SDP) – Majority 3,892

    The SDP gained this seat from the Communists in 2015, and now the CSL will be looking to take it back. However, the SDP are confident that the CSL’s shift from traditional Marxists to intersectional feminism will alienate the old Communist base and give them a much more comfortable majority. Watch to see where the CSL vote is going.

    Edessa Central and University – Parkash Gill (SDP) – Majority 42,232

    This, however, is much more fertile ground for today’s CSL, hence the decision of co-spokesperson David Wannock-Smythe to stand here. Parkash Gill is reported to be worried despite her seemingly insurmountable majority, while at the same time the CSL are playing down their chances. This seat will tell two stories – one of whether the CSL vote really has shifted to students and young voters, and the other of how strong the overall CSL vote is.

    Manbidge – David Saraffian (Dem) – Majority 15,814

    The Democrats’ only seat in their rock-solid Dayradestuna stronghold that could possibly be under threat (barring a freak result), and even losing here would be a real shock for the party. Who would challenge them is a further indicator – if it’s the SDP, who came second here last time, then Sam Courtenay may well be on course for the majority he craves. If it’s the Citizen Alliance, then Emryc Isla can expect to be taking over the Prime Minister’s Office.

    La Croix Saint Leufroy – Fr George Guitmund (SDP) – Majority 2,505

    The only priest in the Chamber of the Plebeians, who took this border seat in western Maron off the Democrats in 2015, is standing down this time. If the Democrats are going to defy the polls and make any advances in this election, and give Sue Fareham a chance at the Prime Minister’s Office, then this is exactly the sort of seat they’ll have to take back. The Citizen Alliance could also figure here, but should only do so if they’re leading the national popular vote.

    posted in Politics & Incidents
  • RE: Angleter Election 2018: The Campaign

    ((OOC: No, you're behind schedule))

    NEWS: Angleter votes after bruising final debate leaves no obvious winners

    Millions of Angleterics are finally going to the polls, at the end of a campaign which has left all the major parties’ fates hanging in the balance.

    With the final round of polls showing the SDP and Citizen Alliance in a virtual dead heat, and the third-placed Democrats climbing in the polls behind them, campaigning has intensified significantly in recent days.

    This more frantic tone was borne out by a final leaders’ debate on Sirion TV, which was characterised by interruptions and acrimonious – sometimes personal – arguments between the candidates. But while every candidate on stage sought to have their moment, most analysts agree that none of them did.

    Emryc Isla, clearly having been told to be ‘more aggressive’, pulled no punches and took a particularly strong line on the Citizen Alliance’s key issues – Dromund Kaas and immigration. However, while he threw his base plenty of red meat, Isla’s abrasive approach may have compromised his ability to reach out to floating voters as a potential Prime Minister.

    Salma Remington also launched some witty blows that will surely help her retain pre-eminence in a party that’s split between hardline progressives, more moderate progressives, and orthodox Marxists. However, her more forthright comments, including calling for Sam Courtenay to be imprisoned for war crimes and denouncing fallen DK War soldier Cpl. Nicholas Sabella as an ‘imperalist’, are unlikely to have broad appeal.

    Remington has refused to back down from her comments, and has accused the other parties of ‘orchestrating an abuse campaign’ against her, which she alleges includes ‘thousands’ of death threats. ‘A feminist woman of Muslim descent can’t have opinions in this country,’ she tweeted.

    Robert Kilroy-Silk characteristically focussed on promoting himself, to the extent that he was also criticised for failing to offer his condolences to Cpl. Sabella’s mother, who asked the debate question about the DK War. Beyond that, however, he failed to break through.

    Sue Fareham, likewise, was a relatively quiet presence, but made the occasional punchy point and skilfully avoided scrutiny over her party’s internal divisions and lack of policy heft. Her performance is unlikely to have either helped or hurt her significantly.

    But the main story of the night was Sam Courtenay, whose campaign came within a hair’s breadth of melting down as Emryc Isla and even Sue Fareham had him on the ropes over the DK War and the lack of progress on the investigations into the 9/9 terrorist attacks.

    If that was Courtenay’s worst moment of the campaign, then, fortunately for him, his best moment came just seconds later, when he passionately defended himself against a shocking broadside from Salma Remington, who called the Prime Minister ‘Concentration Camp Courtenay’ and called for him to be prosecuted. Courtenay went on the attack in return, blasting Remington for ‘moralising’ and undermining the Left.

    A Canvassus snap poll found that 40% of voters believed that Courtenay had won the debate, ahead of Isla on 33%, but at the same time, 42% believed Courtenay had lost the debate.

    Since Sunday night, the war of words has gone from the debate stage to online, to the doorstep, and to a final tranche of ads. Riffing on Emryc Isla's words on Sunday night, the Citizen Alliance have launched a hard-hitting Three Billboards-style set of billboard ads across the country, reading '959 DEAD', 'AND STILL NO ANSWERS?', and 'HOW COME, SAM COURTENAY?' The SDP have run an online video ad consisting of outbursts and arguments from the other four candidates, overlaid with the words 'PRIME MINISTER?'

    Polls will be open until 10pm tonight.

    posted in Politics & Incidents
  • RE: Angleter Election 2018: The Final Debate

    JB: So now, in reverse order to the opening statements, I’m giving each candidate a chance to, in fifteen seconds, give a closing statement. Robert Kilroy-Silk, you first.

    RKS: You're tired of the way Angleter is being run? The other candidates fill you with despair? You think things can be better? You want to break the mould and pee these guys all off while you're at it? That's right - you're voting Kilroy.

    JB: Thanks. Emryc Isla.

    EI: The Citizen Alliance was created to hold the folks in power to account. But now we can do better. With your help, we can finally get a Citizen Alliance government that makes you the folks in power. I hope you’ll join us.

    JB: Next, it’s Sam Courtenay.

    SC: Governing is hard. I know that. But do you think the other people on this stage know that? Or do you think that if they get the keys to the Prime Minister’s Office, they’ll be in for a very rude awakening? You know it: only the SDP have the level heads and the experience to run this country.

    JB: Cut that one a bit fine, Sam. Salma Remington.

    SR: Whose country is this? Is it a country for the elite, the cis straight Latin Catholic men who’ve ruled this country since it was founded on the blood of innocent Muslims? The answer’s, well, yes. But with the CSL – and only the CSL – we can change that, and create a truly just society.

    JB: And finally, Sue Fareham.

    SF: This has all got a bit heated, and frankly, a bit abstract tonight. But I hope you’ll take away this: SDP rule just hasn’t delivered. If we reconnect with the principles that made us great, and elect a Democrat government, then we can really take this country forward again.

    JB: Thank you all, and thank you to our audience and the people who asked the questions. Polls are open on June 19th from 7am to 10pm, and if there’s one thing all these guys are agreed on, it’s that they definitely want you to go and vote. On Sirion, the debate continues in the spin room, if you haven’t had enough of this, and on Tuesday night we’ll be bringing you all the results as they come in. But from me, and from our five leaders, goodnight!

    posted in Politics & Incidents

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