Open Thread: Living in a Trollope Novel

Doesn’t sound like the current candidates could manage the Machiavellian grandeur of Phineas Finn, so it’s probably just The Way We Live Now

152 replies
  1. 1
    mdblanche says:

    Today was also the 100th anniversary of the torpedoing of the Lusitania.
    Just sayin’.

  2. 2
    voncey says:

    They used to close the bars on Election Day when I was growing up in Canada. Of course, people also used to put “Please Do Not Pave” signs on their front lawns because elected officials were paving everything in sight leading up to election day.

  3. 3
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I think I’ve seen every possible Trollope TV adaptation, and I’ve read a fair few of his novels (not all of them; that might be a life’s work).

    Fun fact: Anthony Trollope invented the iconic Royal Mail red “Pillar Box.” See, novelists are good for something after all!

  4. 4
    Calouste says:

    I saw a picture today of a polling station that was in a pub.

  5. 5
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Yeah, I’m quite surprised at how little attention the Lusitania anniversary got. I was listening to a BBC program on my local NPR station earlier today, and they had a small feature — and my cousin, who keeps track of these kinds of things, shared many pictures on Facebook — but otherwise, it’s been crickets from the media.

  6. 6
    Howard Beale IV says:

    Listening to BBC Wold Service on the drive home-The SNP wins all but one seat.

    Now think if that happened here with the GOP come 2016, given the the FEC has all but admitted that they can’t monitor shit.

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    And here we are in the States, worrying ourselves sick about how to increase voter turnout.

  8. 8
    mdblanche says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: And it appears Lusitania is Latin for Scottish Labour.

    ETA: Or maybe Liberal Democrats.

  9. 9
    Alison says:

    Speaking of books and long-dead (and probably drunk) people from across the pond….can anyone recommend a good book on the French revolution? I’m looking for something non-fiction that covers the basics but in a good amount of detail, hopefully not so dry as a textbook but still being informative and accessible. I found a handful online but I don’t really want to go by Amazon reviews…

  10. 10
    Anne Laurie says:

    @efgoldman: Oh, dear…. but, as you say, it could be worse. Holding you in the light, as the Quakers say, and hoping “your” replacement kidney shows up atypically soon!

  11. 11
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Good thoughts.

    @Alison: George Rudé’s The French Revolution is an interesting take on it by a Marxist historian.

  12. 12
    SuperHrefna says:

    @efgoldman: I’m so glad for your good news! I know it’s a mixed blessing, but it is a blessing.

    And I’m depressed out of my gourd at the General Election results. I’d say I can’t believe it, but I remember the 1992 election with painful clarity, so yes, I can. People will vote for even the most scurrilous Tory if they think it will leave a little extra in their wallets. They don’t even need to be drunk first.

  13. 13
    Calouste says:

    @Alison: I can only recommend against Simon Schama’s Citizens. It goes into details, but just not a very good book, with the writer fighting his imaginary fights with leftist historians and rushing through the last half or so due to what I assume were deadlines to get it published before the bicentenary. Still looking for a better read about that topic as well.

  14. 14
    Zinsky says:

    It’s a good thing the U.S. Congres has no sobriety rules, since Speaker Boehner is drunk off his ass every freakin’ day. The old tosspot.

  15. 15
    gogol's wife says:


    I wish you all the best.

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    It sounds as though it was an informative day — and, as you say, if you’ve gotta have kidney disease, much better to have it now than a few decades ago. I hope all goes well for you. Your daughter and SIL, your granddaughter, your lovely wife, and your many friends expect you to be entertaining us for decades to come. I know I do.

  17. 17
    gogol's wife says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Did you realize that Mark Rylance lived in Milwaukee as a youth and spent time at UWM?

  18. 18
    Librarian says:

    @Alison: Probably the best one volume history is William Doyle’s “Oxford History of the French Revolution”, which is in a second edition (2003).

  19. 19
    gogol's wife says:


    I got my beloved, long-lost childhood French Revolution comic book on EBay. It’s actually quite a good intro. Decades later I realized that the image of Marie Antoinette on the way to the guillotine that haunted me was copied from J.-L. David.

  20. 20
    Alison says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Thanks, I’ll take a look!

    @Calouste: The warning is appreciated :) I’ve read other books of his, sorry to hear this one isn’t better.

  21. 21
    Alison says:

    @efgoldman: Lordy. Sending lots of good thoughts your way. 15 vials of blood alone would have had me on the floor in a heap.

  22. 22
    Little Boots says:

    ya know what? sometimes places are snakepits.

    sometimes I like this place.

  23. 23
    Alison says:

    @Librarian: I had that one on my maybe list, thanks for the recommendation!

  24. 24
    Hal says:

    I thought this link provided a humorous summary of the candidates.


    An outsider’s last minute guide to the UK elections

    Some of my non-British friends have told me that they don’t understand exactly what’s going on in today’s UK erection. So here’s a quick guide to most of the running parties and their leaders:

    My favorite:

    Nigel Farage is Britain’s first reptile to become leader of a political party. He is a privately educated former tory who in no way is a racist who formed his own party as a vanity project to make him seem more powerful than he is. He is a proud champion of minorities – sadly, those minorities are racists, homophobes and bigots. As leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party he is a Eurosceptic, which means he doesn’t believe Germany exists.

    Pros: No.
    Cons: Once survived a plane crash and went back to campaigning the next day, yet I somehow still have zero respect for him

  25. 25
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @gogol’s wife: Yes, I knew that.

  26. 26
    mai naem mobile says:

    @efgoldman: good luck with your. kidney. My dad died from.kidney disease. The treatments.changed quite past decade. Theyre a whole lot more
    The UK election is depressing today.and.even.more for the future. Labour.can’t win without Scotland and if Scotland goes.indy in the next 10/20 years, you can.kiss goodbye to.the Labour Party.

  27. 27
    SoupCatcher says:

    Fun Lusitania fact. One of its four propellers was sitting on a hillside in Portola Valley for years at Jacques Littlefield’s tank museum. Saw it there on a tour. He said that someone had put it up as collateral and ended up walking away from the deal and leaving him with the artifact. Not sure if he was pulling our legs or not.

    After Jacques died, most of his tanks were sold off and the propeller was purchased by a Dallas developer.

  28. 28
    Hal says:

    @mai naem mobile: I just upgraded to the LG G3 a month ago and my phone does what yours apparently does with the periods every few words. Drives me crazy.

  29. 29
    Little Boots says:

    I dunno. not sure what I am. I just like it here.

  30. 30
    mdblanche says:

    @mai naem mobile: I’m wondering if we should kiss the UK goodbye.

  31. 31
    sharl says:

    @efgoldman: Best thoughts and wishes to you. Keep on rollin’.

  32. 32


    See, novelists are good for something after all!

    Of course we are. Some of us even run Kickstarters that have reached their initial goal and are now promoting a stretch goal in the hopes of being able to do a print edition.

  33. 33
    Little Boots says:

    and as always, miss steeplejack and billinglendale.


  34. 34
    Hal says:

    Speaking of Phineas Finn, one of my favorite animated show is ending. Very easy to veg out to on a lazy day.

    Disney XD will launch a 73-hour marathon of its signature series Phineas And Ferb beginning June 9. It will culminate in the series finale that now has a date and time: 9 PM Friday, June 12. The final episode, titled “Last Day Of Summer,” will wrap a run that included 126 episodes, five one-hour specials and a Disney Channel original movie.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Calouste says:

    @mdblanche: The UK will still be there, it will just be the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Can’t remember how long it will be before there can be a referendum again, probably a decade. But Scotland is going to be a one party state for a while.

  37. 37

    Heh, …well played.

  38. 38
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    Chico: Everybody knows there’s no sanity clause.

  39. 39
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    I like that show a lot.

  40. 40
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @efgoldman: Best of luck to you.

  41. 41
    fuckwit says:

    I am told that in Soviet Union (this is not a Smirnoff joke!) they used to give out free vodka (um, maybe Smirnoff’s after all?) to get people to the polls. Since there was only one candidate on the ballot, there was no other practical way to get people to come out to vote. People would walk in, cast their vote, then the bar would be in the next room after the polling booth.

  42. 42
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Hal: BBC World Service had PJ O’rourke doing a two-part series on the insanity that is the British general elections. I didn’t hear the series, but they did call him after the polls closed and he was chuffed.

  43. 43
    Cacti says:

    Labour has basically been wiped out in Scotland, with the new Scottish National Party winning 58 of 59 seats there.

    ‘Twill be interesting for the Brit parliament to have a large bloc of separatists as part of its new makeup.

    ETA: SNP is projected to win that many seats based on exit polling. Counts not official yet.

  44. 44
    Little Boots says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    miss you. okay, I know I’m annoying.

    but I do actually miss you.

  45. 45
    NotMax says:


    Per epguides (a generally reliable source), a lot more than 126.

  46. 46
    jl says:

    @efgoldman: i had no idea. Best of luck and hang in there.

  47. 47
    divF says:

    *Thumbs up!*

  48. 48
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @efgoldman: Sounds like the good news outweighs the bad, that’s always a good thing. Best wishes.

  49. 49
    Little Boots says:

    we need something. I know I miss my steeplejack more than anything. I do.

  50. 50
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Little Boots: Greetings.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @jl: Me either. I guess if you don’t read every comment in every thread…

  53. 53
    Little Boots says:


    and of course, love billinglendale, dammit.

  54. 54
    guachi says:

    SNP on pace to win every seat in Scotland. LibDems look to lose 3/4 of their seats split evenly between Labor, Conservatives, and SNP. UKIP and SNP currently running even in vote totals but SNP have 45+ seats and UKIP has one.

    Conservatives have actually gained seats poaching from LibDems and it leaks like Conservatives plus a barely there LibDems will be enough for a majority.

    Wait! Labour actually won a seat in Scotland!

  55. 55
    Elie says:


    You have my heartfelt wishes and prayers on your behalf… I also wish you LUCK — I look forward to your being part of this community for some time to come. Best always…

  56. 56
    Mike in NC says:

    @mdblanche: Finished “Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania” by Erik Larsen a couple of weeks ago. Excellent book.

  57. 57
    fuckwit says:

    @Cacti: I’m confused. Didn’t the Scottish just REJECT a referendum to separate from the UK? How is it possible that they now have a majority of separatists in their delegation?

    Oh, wait. I think I know. Probably the same way that referndums banning gay marriage passed in a bunch of states here, and now referendums allowing gay marriage are passing in those same states… people woke up and changed their minds, and timing is everything.

    I have to wonder if there will be another referendum in a few years, and it’ll pass, and Scotland will be a country.

  58. 58
    Little Boots says:


    you’re not pissed, are you?

  59. 59
    Mike in NC says:

    @efgoldman: Best wishes. My dad had kidney stones back in the 60s before modern medicine. Died of renal failure at age 85. But still my younger brother in Braintree had them several years ago. I apparently lucked out.

  60. 60
    Little Boots says:

    billin’s the best, but … oh, I don’t know. I am not a good person.

  61. 61
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:


    Good news! 53 days of what?

  62. 62
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Little Boots: Nah, reading some phone forums. Got 2 new phones and upgrades to my daily driver…

  63. 63
    Nom de Plume says:


    can anyone recommend a good book on the French revolution?

    Not a book, but I am currently listening to Mike Duncan’s, which covers the whole thing in exceptional detail. This is the same guy who did the History of Rome podcast.

    Be advised, there are currently 34 episodes, averaging around 30 minutes each. and they are ongoing.

  64. 64
    Little Boots says:


    well, even so, you are … well, you are wonderful, buddy.

  65. 65
    MomSense says:


    Oh my what a day. I’m sorry to hear about the kidneys but I’m very pleased that you will make the list.

  66. 66
    mdblanche says:

    Fucking Clegg holds his seat.

  67. 67
    SuperHrefna says:

    @mdblanche: It’s infuriating. He’s going to have to resign though, they look to be left with only 10 seats. I wonder if they will end up in government anyway? In a Tory/Lib/Kipper coalition,. Mind you, at least the kippers seem to be held to just the one seat.

  68. 68
    F says:


    It looks like a Tory/DUP coalition to me, unluss the Tories win outright.

  69. 69
    jl says:

    @Hal: Funny article.

    We need a field guide for the GOP pres primary field.

    I’ve resigned myself to hearing a whole lot more breathless, overly excited, very vaguely very positive, and substance free coverage of these GOP schlubs than anyone needs, and nothing about the Democrats except latest HRC BS non-scandal or opaque and murky troubles that are presumed to exist.

    And I guess I have no grounds to object, since the roller coaster opinion poll thrill ride seems to have begun. I heard a news report on the exciting ups and downs of the Jeb!, Rand! and Huck! juggernaut steamroller green lantern forces of political awesome. Already seemed so involved I had a hard time keeping it straight. Anyway, seems to have already been several cycles of political poll dominance of one or another of those clowns.

  70. 70
    Little Boots says:

    no billin? Okay.

  71. 71
    SuperHrefna says:

    @F: Bugger me. That’s a terrifying thought. I hate the kippers but at least they are reliably useless.

  72. 72
    Little Boots says:

    no billin? no mas?

  73. 73
    Cacti says:


    I’m confused. Didn’t the Scottish just REJECT a referendum to separate from the UK? How is it possible that they now have a majority of separatists in their delegation?

    Oh, wait. I think I know. Probably the same way that referndums banning gay marriage passed in a bunch of states here, and now referendums allowing gay marriage are passing in those same states… people woke up and changed their minds, and timing is everything.

    I have to wonder if there will be another referendum in a few years, and it’ll pass, and Scotland will be a country.

    I think the separatists had a strong enough showing in the referendum (45%) that they couldn’t just be written off as a bunch of fringe cranks, and it’s since persuaded some who were on the fence, but voted to preserve the status quo.

  74. 74
    mike with a mic says:

    So…. David Brooks released The Road To Character. Now, whoever is running his shit registered,,…

    I may know someone from a gaming forum that owns, evidently Brooks fails at ICANN

  75. 75
    NotMax says:

    @Little Boots

    Give it a rest. Please.

  76. 76
    Little Boots says:


    really? okay, fine.

  77. 77

    @fuckwit: My guess is that, with the referendum having failed, there are a lot of Scots who now think it’s safe to vote for the SNP. These are people who don’t want to break off from the UK but do want a party in Westminster that will be looking out for the interests of Scotland.

    I don’t find this surprising at all. The voters in Quebec did this for a long time with the Bloc Quebecois. Every time they won enough votes to form the provincial government, they were sure that it meant that they would win a referendum for independence. It never happened.

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I just re-watched The Good Thief – a worthy remake of Bob le Flambleur. I recommend. Highly.

  79. 79
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Little Boots: I’m still here, sort of. Researching a computer problem so I’m back and forth between browser tabs.

  80. 80
    jl says:

    @Cacti: I think SNP is super anti Tory austerity and pro fiscal stimulus. They seem to be a combo of strong Keynesian economics updated with some progressive social democracy (Bernie style) thrown in. And maybe their showing in the referendum showed they can be a viable force to get something done. So, maybe they attracted many Scots who voted against separation, and that is safe to do for now since will not be another referendum to split for awhile.

    I also saw a tweet on BBC UK election liveblog that SNP says will never ever enter a coalition with Cameron, no matter what kind of deal he offers, period end of story case closed. So might be a perception that the party actually stands for its beliefs. As opposed to some others I could mention, that might disappear soon if recent trends continue.

  81. 81
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym: Just imagine having all those Scots Nats ( including the really young one, hasn’t taken her finals yet and is only 20) at Westminster opposing a government of Tories and the DUP. Actually that could be really fun. I hope they get up to speed quickly they will have a lot of opposing to do and Labour won’t be up to much until it finishes its bloodbath and emerges with a new leader.

  82. 82
    Little Boots says:


    good. am I ….difficult?

  83. 83
    jl says:

    @mike with a mic: All of the therogeredcharacter dot whatevers already taken?

  84. 84
    patroclus says:

    Yeah it looks like Cameron will almost certainly remain PM, either is a very narrow majority, or in coalition with either the Lib Dems (who have been decimated) or the DUP, or both. With Labour (with a new leader) as the Opposition and a large (53 or so) SNP contingent.

  85. 85
    Jack Canuck says:

    @Alison: I second the Doyle recommendation. Good detail but doesn’t get bogged down, very well written. Got rid of my old copy from university in an overseas move years ago, but I’ve been looking for an excuse to pick one up again.

  86. 86
    max says:

    @mdblanche: Fucking Clegg holds his seat.

    Truly the one fucker that deserved to lose. Instead all of the LD’s are falling like flies around him.

    [‘He should just switch to Tory and have done with it.’]

  87. 87
    mike with a mic says:



  88. 88
    Calouste says:

    @Cacti: 45% of the vote in a situation where you have 3 or 4 parties getting more than 5% will get you a lot of seats in first-past-the-post. 40% is enough to win in most constituencies.

  89. 89
    Mandalay says:


    Can’t remember how long it will be before there can be a referendum again, probably a decade.

    It may be a lot sooner than that. Cameron has inextricably committed himself to holding a referendum on the UK staying in the EU before 2018. If the outcome of that is a decision to leave the EU then the mood in Scotland to part ways with the rest of the UK ASAP may become overwhelming.

    And there is no requirement to delay another referendum on Scotland remaining part of the UK for any specific period.

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: Do you really think that the UK is going to vote to leave the EU?

  91. 91
    Mike J says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Clegg has claimed LD won’t back the Tories without a guarantee that the UK won’t leave the EU.

    I wouldn’t take Clegg or Cameron’s word on anything though.

  92. 92
    mdblanche says:

    BBC is now predicting a very narrow outright majority for the Tories.

    I’m getting spooked politically. First Israel, now the UK. Two campaigns where the center left appears to be breaking through with an economic message. Then the right hits back by inflaming nationalism and wins a victory that surprises even them. Now I’m imagining Hillary Clinton running the campaign we all want her to run, only to suffer a surprise defeat to a race-baiting Republican campaign. It feels like the mood of the world is blood and iron and we’re out of step for focusing on bread and butter.

  93. 93
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Could well happen. London will vote to stay in, but the rest of England may well vote to get out. Never underestimate English xenophobia – most of my American friends truly don’t understand how English people can see even other English people (who just happen to be a few score or a few hundred miles away) as untrustworthy foreigners. Throw actual non- English people into the mix, and the xenophobia goes to 11. Wogs begin at Calais and all that. London’s different, it’s one of the – if not THE- most cosmopolitan cities in the world, but the rest of England is very insular.

  94. 94
    Mike J says:

    @mdblanche: I can’t come up with anything other than how useless Miliband is.

  95. 95
    Calouste says:

    @Mike J: Cameron is not going to need Clegg by the looks of it. He might get a tiny majority but can rely on the Unionist parties in Ulster for a buffer.

  96. 96
    Redshift says:

    @fuckwit: From what I heard on BBC this afternoon, the SNP were explicitly not running on a platform of leaving the UK in this election. One of their big issues was that the Tories have not followed through on the promises they made to defeat the referendum, so Scots are soured on all the Westminster parties.

  97. 97
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SuperHrefna: Well, in addition to London and the rest of England, don’t the people of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland get to vote as well?

    @mdblanche: I really doubt that panicking about an election that is a year and a half out is a good use of anyone’s time.

  98. 98
    NotMax says:


    It may seem inconsequential, but wonder how much the announcement of a royal birth right on the cusp of the election moved some voters – outside of Scotland – to (at least for the moment) look more favorably at things as they were and vote to keep the status quo.

  99. 99
    Morzer says:


    Christopher Hibbert has a readable popular history brilliantly titled “The French Revolution”.

    Alfred Cobban’s A History of Modern France: Volume 1: Old Regime and Revolution 1715-1799 is a bit more rigorous, but well-written.

  100. 100
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yes, but the English make up over 80% of the population of the UK. I’ll look up the figures and edit.

    England: 83.9%
    Scotland: 8.4%
    Wales: 4.8%
    N Ireland: 2.9%

    So basically in an all-UK referendum, if voting is roughly proportional to population ( a big if, I admit) then what England wants England gets.

  101. 101
    Morzer says:


    If Cameron scrapes a bare majority, he’ll be held hostage by the hard right Tories, which is going to make governing from anything like the center effectively impossible. I think his government might manage to limp along, but I have doubts that it would manage a full five years.

  102. 102
    max says:

    Damn. Two thirds the way through the seat results and the Tories have 33.2% of the vote, and Labour has 32.6%. The polling doesn’t seem to have been that far off.

    [‘But boy those seat projections were off.’]

  103. 103
    Calouste says:

    @Redshift: The SNP is not stupid (compared to say Miliband). No one likes sore losers. That’s why Salmond stepped down and they have accepted independence is not going to happen for a while.

  104. 104
    Morzer says:


    So far there are two real stories: the rise of the SNP and the way the Liberal Democrats are being split down the middle by Labour and the Tories. It’s hard to imagine the Lib Dems recovering many of the seats they lost tonight. The ones in Scotland are almost certainly gone forever and those in southern England are going to be desperately difficult to retrieve for a party that’s made itself look like the slightly nicer Conservative party. Given the choice, people will vote for the “real” Tory most of the time.

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SuperHrefna: And how much of that population is from London, Liverpool, Manchester, etc? IWO, populations likely to support staying in the EU? Another way of looking at it is asking how many Tory voters want to bail from the EU. I don’t pretend to know the answer to that.

  106. 106
    SuperHrefna says:

    @SuperHrefna: These demographics are why the West Lothian Question has been such a big unexploded bomb in British politics:

    I’m expecting it to get LOTS of play now that the SNP have taken such a large victory.

  107. 107
    Morzer says:


    The SNP has been able to coast on meaningless rhetoric and cheap nationalism because they didn’t have to handle the dirty business of actually taxing the voters to pay for their promises. Nothing would scare them more than DevoMax, plus the loss of top-up revenue from England. Once the voters of Scotland see just how expensive the SNP is going to be for real, the bloom will be off that particular rose with a vengeance.

  108. 108
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Here you go: Basically, 13% of the UK population lives in Greater London. As to Tories, I have no idea how their minds work. I have dark suspicions, but no actual knowledge :-)

  109. 109
    Morzer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The most recent poll, for what it’s worth, suggests a solid majority of UK voters want to stay in the EU. I think it was something like 56-34 in favor.

  110. 110
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Morzer: I was in school in London shortly after the SDP was formed. I got to visit their HQ and meet with folks. They were inspiring. What they did to themselves is sad.

  111. 111
    patroclus says:

    I think the Tories are going to win an outright majority – I know the BBC projection now shows them short by 1, but Sinn Fein never shows up, and the trend seems only in their direction. I highly doubt that the Lib Dems are ending up with 12, and I think the Cons will take at least enough of those remaining LD seats to take the majority.

    So that means a full-blown Tory majority and a full-blown Tory cabinet with no effective constraints – I think the Brits will regret this…

  112. 112
    max says:

    @Morzer: The ones in Scotland are almost certainly gone forever and those in southern England are going to be desperately difficult to retrieve for a party that’s made itself look like the slightly nicer Conservative party. Given the choice, people will vote for the “real” Tory most of the time.

    Yup. The LDs held the Shetland seat and that’s it. It will be funny if the only LibDems left are ministers of some sort.

    [‘Bring back irregular elections.’]

  113. 113
    jl says:


    ” I’m getting spooked politically. ”

    Not sure enough parallels between Israeli and US politics for a meaningful comparison.

    I’m not expert on UK politics, but from what I’ve followed of it, Labor under Milliband is wandering around in some incoherent weat tea and namby-pamby third way compassionate neoliberal wasteland. Kind of like what the Lib Dems might still be if they stayed out of coalition government, and move somewhat to left, with some gimmicky ‘nudge’ policies that would tinker around the edges of current UK economic system.

    SNP has been dominated by straight up social democrat left for awhile.

    So, I think the positioning of the two major parties in UK and US quite a bit different.

    HRC now is not Bill Clinton of the 1990s. I think Milleband arguably is, but wrong person in wrong country in wrong decade.

    Would like to hear opinion of anyone who knows UK politics on my take.

  114. 114
    BillinGlendaleCA says:


    people will vote for the “real” ToryRepublican most of the time

    Sounds familiar.

  115. 115
    Morzer says:


    I think most of the Lib Dem ministers have fallen. There’s a melancholy liveblog here:

    LibDemVoice is the main blog for that party.

    The New Statesman (basically a Labour magazine) has their liveblog here:

  116. 116
    Morzer says:


    Yeah, funny how that seems to hold true across national boundaries, isn’t it?

    It’s one reason why I thought that Labour made a bad mistake trying to compromise with UKIP’s position on immigration.

    The good news for the day is that UKIP might only end up with one (recycled Tory) MP.

  117. 117
    SuperHrefna says:

    @max: As far as I remember if Scotland becomes independent then Shetland goes back to the Scandinavians? I think that’s why the Lib Dems held that seat, nothing to do with their actual Lib Demmery, the shetlanders just don’t fancy that level of disruption.

  118. 118
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl: The SNP and old Labour would agree on a lot of issues.

  119. 119
    Morzer says:


    Miliband is more like Dukakis, in my opinion. Basically decent, but not good at the optics and not decisive enough to lead a party that is still very unsure of its post-Blair identity.

  120. 120
    Mandalay says:


    It’s hard to imagine the Lib Dems recovering many of the seats they lost tonight.

    And deservedly so – in recent years they have stood for nothing beyond saying and doing whatever it took to get themselves a sliver of power. A contemptible bunch of con-artists.

    For voters on the right the choice has shifted from “Tory or LibDem?” to “Tory or UKIP?”.

  121. 121
    SuperHrefna says:

    @jl: Milliband is an absolutely hopeless leader. He’s not a bad chap, he just doesn’t inspire people to follow him. Labour needs to get its act together. I hated Tony Blair ( I was always a John Smith girl) but at least he was a good leader.

  122. 122
    PurpleGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: National Geographic Channel, Smithsonian Channel and CSpan 3 will each have a show on the Lusitania over the next three days

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay: You see the Lib Dems as a party of the right?

  124. 124
    Morzer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The “modern” Lib Dems have two competing DNA strands*, one of which is right wing/libertarian, the other being more liberal/social democratic.

    *For those who feel inclined to tell me that DNA strands don’t compete, I warn you I am both furious and insufficiently caffeinated. Mess ye not with my imperfect metaphors!

  125. 125
    jl says:

    This might be very sad news. Was Iowa the primary state that generated all those wonderful pics of GOP hopefuls swallowing foot long p 0 rrr nnn d o g s? If so, then this is sad news.

    Iowa GOP Straw Poll Will Ditch The Barbecue And Classic Rock Bands In 2016

    ” The people behind Iowa’s presidential straw poll want to go back to basics — just politics, no need for tents filled with barbecue and flashy bands. ”

  126. 126
    Morzer says:

    The Guardian has a new live blog here:

    Rumor has it that Clegg is going to resign, shortly before the three remaining Lib Dems figure out how to spell defenestration.

  127. 127
    patroclus says:

    I think the Lib Dems made a strategic mistake at the beginning of the coalition by agreeing that the government would last precisely 5 years instead of only permitting the Torys to retain power for a short time and then bringing the government down on an issue of the Lib Dems’ choosing. Then, they would have actually stood for something that was worth bringing down a government. Too much austerity? Immigration? The EU referendum? Mis-handling Scotland? There’s all sorts of issues where the Lib Dems could have taken a stand. But they never did anything.

  128. 128
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    It’s May, there’s water falling from the sky here in Glendale, CA; should I be alarmed?

  129. 129
    Morzer says:


    They made the fixed term parliament commitment as part of the deal to get the coalition up and running – and did so precisely because elements of either party might otherwise have been tempted to play a short-term tactical wrecking game.

  130. 130
    jl says:


    And I hear maybe over half a foot of snow in the Sierra. Hope they don’t collapse into a heap from all that extra weight.

  131. 131
    SuperHrefna says:

    On bright spot: Reckless lost his seat! The Kippers just have one, and I doubt South Thanet will give them another. They need a good constituency MP and Farage really alienated them by doing nothing but grandstand.

  132. 132
    Mike E says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: Snaps, or it didn’t happen!

  133. 133
    Morzer says:


    Apparently UKIP has come up with a way to bring Farage back. He had said he would resign as Fuhrer.. I mean party leader… if he didn’t win South Thanet. Well, Los Kipperos are now suggesting that they might not accept his resignation!

  134. 134
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: They are now.

  135. 135
    Mandalay says:

    Uh-oh…George Galloway has lost his seat. A prickly wacko with some very strange ideas, but one of the best speakers I have ever seen. He ran rings around Hitchens when they debated, and his Senate testimony on Iraq, where he used Norm Coleman as a floor mop, was mesmerizing. Nobody skewered the Bush Administration better than Gorgeous George.

  136. 136
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Morzer: I can just imagine that meeting. They must have been so pleased with themselves when they came up with that one. Did you see the Meet the Ukippers documentary? I never really understood fear of clowns before I saw that sitting room.

  137. 137
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SuperHrefna: As mentioned above, I have sympathy for the SDP from my past. The LibDems got some residual sympathy. But then Roy Jenkins is dead.

  138. 138
    Morzer says:


    I think they should just designate him as Shogun and let some poor idiot have the empty title of Kipper Emperor.

  139. 139
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @jl: We’re getting snow in the local mountains.

  140. 140
    Morzer says:


    Thanks, Obama!

  141. 141
    jl says:

    @Morzer: Obama is a rain god now? See, he’s usurping all power. Tyrant!

  142. 142
    Morzer says:


    YOLO, man!

  143. 143
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Morzer: I think Obama only lived in LA county. Don’t think he ever lived in Yolo county.

  144. 144
    srv says:

    A great day for England, hopefully America will return to its proper order in 2016.

  145. 145
    Morzer says:


    Do you mind? I’ve got a conversation going with my dining-room table that’s a lot more interesting than anything you have to offer.

  146. 146
    Donalbain says:


    Its all about the First Past the Post system.
    The referendum failed 45% to 55%. There was only ONE party in favour of independence and three against. So, the 55% has to be shared 3 ways, and the 45% is given to just one party. In a multi party system, 45% is enough to win the seat.

  147. 147
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Morzer: Dining room table? Barney?

  148. 148
    raven says:


  149. 149
    David Koch says:

    @jl: Laugh, but wingnuts actually think Obama controls the weather:

    Conspiracy Theorists Say Obama Engineered Hurricane Sandy
    HAARP is a program funded by the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force that studies the upper atmosphere.

    Rush Limbaugh Claims Hurricane Is an Obama Conspiracy to Cancel GOP Convention

  150. 150
    Johannes says:

    Amongst the ruins of our hopes for the UK, and the worries that it might be a bad omen for 2016 here, may I use this rare chance to plug my own ersatz Trollope novel? It’s titled Phineas at Bay, and depicts the political re radicalization of Phineas Finn, and the birth of a nascent Labour Party.

    The book has done well enough that I am giving the keynote speech at the Trollope Society’s annual dinner.

  151. 151
    Gindy51 says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Me too, I have everything he wrote on my android. Love his stuff and most of the adaptations are spot on, esp the older stuff. It’s fun to see Professor Snape (Alan Rickman) being just as snotty in his Trollope character Obadiah Slope. (Barchester Chronicles, second book ).

  152. 152
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Can American poll workers turn away voters who seem drunk (but not disorderly)? I didn’t think so, and I’d actually be alarmed if they could, because that sounds like a loophole for vote-suppression tactics that you could drunk-drive a semi through.

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