Nail biting general election in the UK where all the parties lost, but who was the winner?
Let’s look first at the losers:
Labour, obviously for the party in power to lose 89 seats is a fairly major bad news. This can clearly been seen as punishment for 13 years of shit government. Tony “the slime” Blair betrayed the party roots and dragged them into the center, pandering to the bankers so that scum like Goldman Sacs who paid each other million dollar bonuses could implode the financial system while poor people lost everything. Internationally there was the disastrous alignment of the UK with the Bush nightmare which took us into a massively unpopular and unwinnable war so that Haliburton could get rich. Brown is less slimy but has the charisma of a wart hog while still managing to be too arrogant and self serving to put any of this right. Yes they have paid the price, finally.
The Tories - when a party has fucked up as badly as Labour, for the opposition not to just waltz-in is a massive failure. So why? They can’t blame the Liberals for splitting the vote, they clearly didn’t. My feeling is that they still, 20 years on, suffer from the legacy of Thatcher. People have long memories. They remember the way she destroyed the very soul of the nation, decimated the manufacturing base, created the financial monster and changed the fabric of our society for ever. People are right to hate the Tories, they will always look after the rich at the expense of the poor and the true victim is the whole of society (see here what Camerons caring Conservatives did in Hammersmith and Fulham , their bench mark council). The Scandinavian model is the best working example of how looking after the poor creates a more equitable society with less crime, less anti social behavior and a higher standard of living for everyone.
The Liberals – they came with so much promise and so much flair but failed to deliver. I think Nick Clegg is a bit too smug and I also think that the British people are a bit to xenophobic, so as soon as someone mentions amnesty for immigrants they run a mile. Beyond that, their performance was very disappointing and I don’t have a good reason why.
The Nationalists – the retained their various positions although given that we have a Scottish Parliament, and Welsh and northern Irish Assemblies their position becomes less relevant than it was 10 years ago.
In the fringe, it was fantastic to see the fat sweaty face of Nick Griffin get a really good pasting. There is no place for hate politics in the UK and the good people of Barking demonstrated that and if you want to see a BNP canvaser brawling in the street go here. So Nick, scurry off back to your burrow you nasty little man. And while we are at it, take those losing UKIP tossers with you.
And the Winners?
We are heading for a hung parliament but the real victor here should be “electoral reform”. Finally our ridiculous two party system has to be changed and now there is a real chance of that happening. For years the two major parties have had no interest in changing a system that suits their common interest. So how is it right that a party with 23% of the vote gets 57 seats while a party with 29% gets 258? How can you ever say that is fair and representative?
For anyone of at least mediocre intelligence the British system currently works like this.
There are two parties which are heavily entrenched geographically. So in the majority of areas your vote is utterly irrelevant. In a few key seats (about 100 out of 650) there is a chance to change the party. But this is not done by voting for the party you like, this is done by deciding which of the two you don’t like and then voting for the party most likely to beat them, thus increasing your parties chance of winning at national level. How can you argue that a system that promotes such negative strategies is ever good for the country?
Supporters of the current system are quick to say that proportional representation results in weak government and endless “horse trading”. Well if you replace the phrase “horse trading” with “diplomacy and debate” then I fail to see why that is a bad thing. It will make the politicians get off their lazy arses and start doing what they are paid to do, rather than screwing there expenses.
As for weak government, if a strong government means invading countries in the middle East for their oil and kowtowing to the Americans that personally I’d rather have a weak one and to be honest it doesn’t seem to have hurt Germany so badly.
So, like many Brits I want to see change and I think that an election result in which all of the major parties are perceived as losers is a major success for democracy and I wait with eager anticipation to see how things develop over the coming days. The winner in the UK election is the people.
PS Just found a fasinating radio essay from James Naughtie on the BBC - listen here