You’re American. You don’t know the difference between a Tory and a Whig. In fact, don’t like all British politicians wear wigs or something when they’re debating what colour to paint the Queen’s throne?
But you may have heard somewhere that there’s a UK general election coming up next week. Maybe you don’t know anything about Britain, except that Michael Caine is president and Princess Diana is Queen. Sure, you could look it up online but you’d probably come up with some boring news story with lots of dumb facts, and you don’t want to have to use Google Translate to convert the article from whatever language they speak over there in England. Why can’t someone just tell you, in a language you can comfortably understand?
In fact, wouldn’t it be G8 if there were like some on fleek way to skip all the Noob stuff and go straight to the TIL? Here, for my peeps – attention-deficient Americans who only understand internet slang and textspeak and wouldn’t know devolution from revolution – I offer the Expat Claptrap TL;DR guide to the upcoming British general election and UK politics. Because, YK, YOLO.*
RIYL: Bankers, Russian oligarchs, stuffy old white people who live in the countryside, fox hunting, wearing red trousers, drinking scotch whisky and siding with America in global conflicts.
H8T: People on benefits
Da Top Dog: David Cameron, the current Prime Minister
TIFU: Cameron had to apologise for talking about how the Queen “purred” to him in a recent chat.
Original G: Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Queen Victoria
IMHO: Like the U.S. Republicans, except for the obsessions with God, gays and guns.Actually without the three Gs, the Tories are pretty much exactly aligned with the U.S. Democratic party. Predicted to win the election, but perhaps not by a large enough margin to govern without entering into a coalition. Likely to join up again with the Lib Dems.
RIYL: Animal rights, refugees and migrant workers, feeling guilty about things, glasses of chardonnay, organic food and siding with America in foreign conflicts.
H8T: Strong leadership, fox hunting, being reminded that your party sides with America in foreign conflicts.
Da Top Dog: Ed Miliband
Original G: Tony Blair
IMHO: Similar in DNA to America’s Democratic party, except currently with none of the star power or leadership skills of a Hilary Clinton or Barack Obama. Most polls put labour behind the Tories, but they may get a chance to form a coalition government.
LMAO: Labour has a history of awkward, gormless leaders. From Neil Kinnock, famous for his undignified fall into the sea to Gordon Brown, who once terrified the country by attempting to smile in a YouTube video. We now have Mr Miliband, who is most well known for his inability to eat a bacon sandwich.
RIYL: Compromising your principles, a weaker alternative to the Labour party
Da Top Dog: Nick Clegg
Original G: Trust me, it’s someone you never heard of
EPIC FAIL: Only polling at around 8% the Lib Dems’ only chance at having an impact is through continued partnership with the Tories, despite their mutual loathing of each other.
RIYL: The political musings of white British taxi drivers.
H8T: Foreigners, foreigners, Muslims…and foreigners
Da Top Dog: Nigel Farage
Original G: Nigel Farage
IMHO: Essentially the party of xenophobia, UKIP is not expected to make much impact in the elections, but has strong pockets of support throughout the country.
WTF: One UKIP member referred to his female supporters as “sluts.” Another referred to foreign aid recipients as coming from “Bongo Bongo land.” Farage himself came out as being against public breastfeeding.
RIYL: Nature, vegetarianism, naïveté
H8T: People who don’t take public transport, deodorant, food that tastes like things
Da Top Dog: Natalie Bennett
Original G: Mother nature
IMHO: Perennial also-ran in British elections. Likely to be a Labour party coalition partner.
FML: Bennett recently gave a radio interview that was so stumbling and uninformed, that some pundits rated it ‘the worst political interview ever.’ It was the first time most people had ever heard of Natalie Bennett.
Scottish National Party (SNP)
RIYL: Bagpipes and Irn-Bru, and Freedom
H8T: Full English breakfasts, English muffins, English people
Da Top Dog: Nicola Sturgeon
Original G: Mel Gibson in Braveheart
IMHO: While you might think the SNP mortally wounded by their recent referendum defeat, some political observers are speculating that the party may have a great deal of leverage in forming a coalition with Labour in a new government.
TMI: Clever and articulate, Sturgeon’s image was recently dented when her sister revealed that Nicola used to cut the hair off her Barbie dolls when they were children. Elements of the English press have somehow used this as evidence that Ms Sturgeon is somehow unqualified to hold public office. SRSLY?
WTF, that’s too long. Give me the TL;DR of this TL;DR
British people, rich and poor, vote- and rich white British person becomes Prime Minister. Rich white British Prime Minister works mostly just to protect rich white British people, sometimes pausing to join America in bombing countries filled with poor brown people. SSDD.
If you are over the age of 30 and need translation, you may find it here.
1 thought on “OMG, it’s the TL;DR guide to the British election for Americans”
Excellent summary (at least once I got it all translated). Now if I can just figure out a) what the hell the SDLP is, and b) why Nigel Farage always looks like a cartoon frog in still photos, I think I’ll have the election all figured out. Just in time to not be able to vote.