Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Electorate have spoken, Damn Them!

Despite polling stations reporting queues at 10pm, with hundreds of voters too stupid or disorganised to vote earlier were denied access to the polls. The Liberal democrat polling surge turned out to be a surge in responses amongst the 39% of the electorate who think a General Election is an episode of X Factor and can't be bothered to find out where their polling station is. My greatest dissapointment of the result was the pathetic turnout, for which the British People should be ashamed. We do not deserve to live in a democracy.

Generally the message is "they're all as bad as each other, innit", and as a result, not voting is seen as in a typically nihilistic and cynical British way, as the correct option. The truth is that we, the lazy, spoon-fed and ignorant electorate have the Government we deserve. 20 years of Labour lies have left the electorate immune to savage assaults on their civil liberties and willfully ignorant of the real differences between the parties. The Lib-Dems and the Tories share a commitment to civil liberties that goes beyond the labour approach of treating everyone equally as a criminal/terrorist/potential paedophile, whilst using group "rights" as a crowbar in their policy of divide and conquer. Both reasonable parties deplore 42-day detention, ID cards, databases and the creation of the British Democratic Republic of omnipresent CCTV and surveillance by council prod-noses and state-sponsored informants. They are not "all as bad as each other" and I will violently assault the next person to make that assertion for it is merely Labour's most pernicious and corrupting lie.

For if the Low turnouts of the past few years can be blamed on anything it is this childish attitude. It stems from the New Labour approach in the 1990s to turn a few back-benchers' misdemeanours (for next to the appalling corruption at the heart of Labour, shagging one's secretary in a Chelsea shirt, or 'cash for questions' has an almost comic innocence) into a belief that the entire Conservative Government was corrupt: the lie that started the rot. Rather than excoriating the stupid, corrupt individuals, the reputation of the Tory party and the entire political system was dragged through the mud for Labour's base party political ends. Then the Labour party started to Govern. Cash for policies - the ecclestone affair, purchase of honours, the abuse of the immigration system to import Labour voters to "rub the right's nose in it", the lies, the incompetence, the constitutional vandalism, the fiscal diarrhoea and the slovenly abuse doled out to political opponents both outside and within the party finally destroyed the reputation of the Labour party too. Of course the dashed hopes of 1997 made this a more painful betrayal for the electorate.

Of course, whilst the Labour party destroyed the country, the smearathon on the motives of the Tory party continued to be effective.

They may have been politically successful, but the failure of the New Labour machine to govern effectively was total. Despite the biggest rise in peace-time taxation in history which occurred during one of its longest booms, Labour was running a massive budget deficit even BEFORE the crash of 2008. The achievements with all this money boils down to reduced productivity, overmanning and public sector waste. Of course there have been improvements, it would be hard to spend that much money (that we don't have) and there not be, but the gains are not commensurate with the cost.

It is no wonder the people have turned off politics.

Which meant that when the Tories unveiled the most optimistic, decentralising, yes... Libertarian manifesto (I am ignoring the Daily Hail-courting 'National Service' plans as a silly dog-whistle) I could have hoped for from a mainstream political party, no-one was listening. Because the Labour party had managed to frame the debate around £6bn of "cuts" as a result of not raising tax which is, apparently, "taking money out of the economy". This is economic double-think, and the only reason I can think of that it is taken seriously is that the party spouting this nonsense is ACTUALLY IN GOVERNMENT. Had they been talking this piffle from opposition, they would have been rightly derided: just another advantage of incumbency abused by Labour.

Finally, the the fear-mongering amongst public-sector workers, who thanks to Gordon Brown's decade of fiscal incontinence now make up 50% of the electorate, that the Tories would fire them instantly they won, meant that Labour managed to secure a face-saving and totally undeserved rear-guard defence of seats.

This profoundly negative campaign contrasted with the rather optimistic and naive campaign of the Tories who assumed that the people would take radical policies in Education, taxation, benefits, policing and the Constitution as CHANGE. Cameron relentlessly focused on his policies,though you wouldn't have guessed from the coverage, which focused entirely on personality. They didn't believe in Cameron as an agent of "change" because they've been looking at Cameron for 4 years, which is a long time in X-factor Britain. And, of course because, so the other Labour lie goes, no-one who went to Eton can be trusted to run a Bath because they're evil. Talking about policies is "boring, and they're all the same, and nothing changes, innit". The lesson: in New Labour's Britain, only viciously negative campaigning works. Never, ever mention policy.

Because the Tories, who are "just as bad as Labour, innit", cannot represent "change" another Young public schoolboy of whom the electorate were only dimly aware popped up halfway through the campaign. Nick Clegg did well in the debates and has an interesting set of Policies. The media had decided that Vince Cable, instead of being a self-righteous superannuated socialist, proposing more of the same failed "tax the rich" nonsense, was in-fact something of a Guru. Now they could paint Nick Clegg as "Change" too even though on the manifesto, his offering looked more like "the same old politics" than the Tories'. Under the lib-dems Westminster would become a regional assembly in the EUSSR. He even disagreed with the electorate on the only policy they seem to care about: Immigration.

Never let the facts get in the way of a Media Narrative.

Despite their x-factorisation of politics, the truth is the election debates are the only good thing about this whole sorry campaign. At least they caused the electorate to sit up and take notice to the extent they'd indicate to the pollsters that they'd been paying attention. However the end result was an election in which the people have demonstrated that by Apathy they can be persuaded to accept the hellish Benthamite Panopticon that New Labour's Britain has become, and that If you repeat a lie often enough, the people will accept it. They may tell the Pollsters that they're going to vote for someone, but in reality they can't be arsed because "they're all the same, innit". The lie factory that is all that remains of New Labour has destroyed British democracy to such an extent that even in the midst of a fiscal crisis caused by reckless Government spending for more than a decade, one and a half hot wars and the most unpopular Government since records began, little over half the electorate can be bothered to vote, because they've been persuaded to blame the present crisis on "the banks", and can't be bothered to remember the rest.

So what happens now? Parties will have to work together. Cameron will be PM with Lib-Dem help. Despite my support for First Past the Post, some form of electoral reform is now inevitable, if not now, then as soon as the Left next get their hands on the tiller. I would rather the Tories make something lasting, in tune with what is left of the British constitution. So I hope the Tories get into bed with the Liberal Democrats even at the price of some form of PR, in return for their support in getting a Conservative budget and Queen's speech through and undo some of the Savage assault on civil liberties. I am sure I could be persuaded by multi-member constituencies, so long as they were small enough, and individuals rather than parties remain what you vote for. Counties and equivalent seem the obvious choice for constituencies.

As I write this from a sunny bar in Cyprus, I understand negotiations are ongoing between the Tories and the Lib-dems. Labour cannot be allowed back into Government. That means the Liberal democrats may just get their greatest wish. A Very British Dude reluctantly concedes electoral reform as inevitable, in order that the Tories can start to undo the damage of 13 years of New Labour's national scat-party. A small price to repay for National renewal.

The Tories must seize the opportunity to mitigate the lunacy of some of the PR proposals as the price of shutting the Labour party out of power for a very, very long time. Conceding defeat to a silly proposal because the electorate however nihilistic and ill-informed have been persuaded of its necessity is a price of Democracy. Electoral defeat is not what Brown and Co. deserve; New Labour deserve to be hanged for treason, not let off with pensions. However forgoing bloodthirsty revenge is another price of democracy.

The people have spoken' damn them.

Oh. And for the record, I'm in the 39%, because of an almighty fuck-up by my proxy who might get forgiven, if they're really, really nice to me. This is the first election, local or national since 1997 in which I have failed to vote.



9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The low turnout was disappointing especially as the TV debates seemed to have provoked public debate and reduced voter apathy; it was not to be.

You state “The Lib-Dems and the Tories share a commitment to civil liberties...”
This is not true. The core of liberty is equality under the constitution. There is no 'one law for them another for us'. Despite the fact that such equality was guaranteed under the 1707 Act of Union we no longer have that equality. The existence of a Scottish Parliament and the unequal sizes of constituencies mean that a Scot has 2.3 votes for every vote owned by an Englishman.
Neither party is prepared to correct this situation and neither may claim the moral high ground on this issue. Either there is a Parliament for England or the Scottish Parliament is abolished.

To the best of my knowledge, only twice have the English voted in a Labour Government. On all other occasions they have had one thrust upon them. The result of this election means that the Conservative Party has a 60 seat majority in England with one seat pending. Yet we continue to have to endure Brown skulking in the depths of 10, Downing Street.

Also, I might add, it is well-known that the Law of the Land is not applied even handedly. For example, I'm sure you are aware that it is a policy of Capita plc not to bother pursuing illegal immigrants in respect of non-payment of the TV licence. You can have as many examples as you like.

Cameron lost this election for the Conservatives. He lost it when he reneged on his commitment to a Referendum on EU membership. He lost it on two counts. Count one being the fact that he would not offer a referendum. Count two being the very fact that he reneged on his cast iron pledge. He is no better than Liebour. He should resign and the Conservative should replace him with someone who is as reviled by this odious institution as any true Conservative would be.

UKIP and BNP have proved that there is a percentage of those prepared to actually go and vote who are voting on principle against the EU and the concomitant lack of border controls. This 6-8% of the voting electorate amounted to around 2m votes and has no seats. If there had been PR during the last three elections I would suggest the UKIP would by now have around 60 MPs and would be calling the shots. Then we could get out and then we can talk about setting the country to rights.

Let me set this question. How can any party re-establish the rule of law and impose fiscal responsibility when it cannot even control its own borders? It is laughable.

What would have got me to vote Conservative in the election? Easy. I would have held my nose and voted Blue if:-
- Cameron had stated that if elected with a working majority he would hold a Referendum on the EU on Thursday, 21st October 2010. (IE not a vague manifesto promise – an actual date.)
That the statement included the wording of the Referendum being a form of words which would be acceptable to UKIP voters (with no weasel words.)
That voting would only be open to UK citizens (and nobody from Ireland or Poland or Asia etc etc would get a vote)

Finally, let me remind you that it was Mrs Thatcher who signed the Solemn Declaration on European Union (Stuttgart) in 1983 and for that act should have lost her head. How can anyone support a party with such treason at its heart?

PS the weather here is lousy. If only global warming was true.

claude said...

"My greatest dissapointment of the result was the pathetic turnout, for which the British People should be ashamed. We do not deserve to live in a democracy."

You find me in agreement there. It drives me nuts. People saying that it's "boring" and that "they're all the same". Such an important election and so many people didn't bother.

On another note. I welcome your change of heart on electoral reform. Elements of PR don't mean the mess you get in Israel or Italy, which is the usual strawman brandished by the Talibans of FPTP.

The French system rewards the winning party with a "majority prize". That way smaller parties are not penalised and the biggest can get to work with minimal horse trading... That may be worth looking into.

JimmyGiro said...

"Electoral defeat is not what Brown and Co. deserve; New Labour deserve to be hanged for treason, not let off with pensions."

+1.

Considering all the effort and expense of a general election, why isn't all the data used, especially in our computer age?

For example, there were 11 candidates on the Isle of Wight, of which I believe only 5 kept their deposit. Let all those who kept their deposit by winning more than 5% of the vote, represent that constituency for the duration of the government, in proportion to the percentile they won. So for example, the Tory guy will have 49% of the voting power, the LibDem woman will get 37% weighting per vote, and so on, to add up to 100% for all candidates of that constituency.

All parliamentary voting would be done electronically, so MPs need only travel to London if they need, or want to debate. Plus precautions such as each candidate must sign a legally binding document regarding their manifesto; this may help stop rich corporations from funding 100s of bogus candidates to 'dilute' the more popular opposition. The legal aspect would allow the legitimate representatives to remove any defaulters, thereby increasing their own voting 'value'.

This method will have the virtue of PR, yet maintain the purpose of local representation; as members of the public can lobby who they want, according to politics and or democratic weighting within their constituency.

Anonymous said...

Weekend after weekend of relentless campaigning. Handing out leaflets on our policies that even a state-school educated 12 year old could read & understand. Putting up with verbal abuse, filthy looks and constant petty vandalism on campaign hoardings. Such was life this past year on the campaign trail in a Lib-Dum-crazy city (Bristol). We did fantastically well nationally and yet still we don't have the keys to No.10. A total tragedy for the UK.

Your article summarises perfectly all that is messed up with the British electorate. I literally cried watching the Cameron statement on us having to work with this X-Factor loser party of EU surrender monkeys.

I'm not bitter towards Cameron, since the recriminations have started - the only regret is that we should've launched the Big Society concept much sooner, and come out with the guns blazing on EU/immigration/Trident much much earlier in the campaign. Cameron should've been more strident and on the offensive with both Brown & Clegg in the debates - it would've been like shooting fish in a barrel.

Anyone who says we don't have a mandate to govern despite the numbers of seats, the percentage swing, and the 2 million additional votes might also check out how narrowly we missed gaining even more English seats. The Lib Dums LOST seats - but the debate is still proving that the bullies who shout the loudest gain the most ground. Yes it's a tired cliche but if this state of affairs doesn't sum up just how broken Britain is after 13 years under the socialist yoke then nothing does.

JimmyGiro said...

... And MPs pay would also be divided amongst all candidates in proportion to the votes they won. Plus each constituency receives a stipend in proportion to the absolute number of voters; so if only 65% of registered voters of Brighton Pavilion, bother to vote, then they only receive 65% of their potential stipend to share amongst all their candidates. That should help hobble the 'rotten boroughs'.

Jackart said...

Everyone's going bonkers over electoral reform. It is NOT IMPORTANT. Claude: I am only a reluctant convert to some form of PR out of political nessesity.

However, if Dave can resist it, I will be happy.

If the people thought PR was important, they would have voted Lib dem a LONG TIME AGO. Ditto Europe and UKIP. Though these issues are beloved of we political anoraks, they register NOT AT ALL amongst people like the soldiers with whom I am drinking (and who are mocking me mercilessly for posting this in the pub).

The Libs and the Tories have a lot of common ground. They should work together and create a Government with the legitimacy to sort the fucking horrible mess Brown and co have left us.

And Labour should be consigned to the wilderness for ever for their appalling management of the country.

I don't care about anything so long as Labour are a LONG way from power.

Ann said...

By and large I agree with the post, except on electoral reform. You aren't in the UK so you are not being exposed to the views of people here. Outside the supermarket today, two people were saying that the only good thing to come out of this abortion was the fact that people would realise that this would become the norm after every election, and would turn off support for electoral reform for a generation (or words to that effect). The same was said by people at the check out.
And this was in the Liberal democrat seat that saw the biggest swing against the Tories.
Every day that the uncertainty continues makes it harder to win a referendum for PR. This whole mess could put off PR for a generation.

North Briton 45 said...

Oh dear, it appears your Gordon Brown countdown is looking out of date.

Anonymous said...

I got this from a comment on burning our money...
>>>>>>

Dave lost it on his broken promise on Europe (and gave us back Ed Balls!!):

Bolton West: Labour 18,329; Conservative 18,235; UKIP 1,901
Derby North: Labour 14,896; Conservative 14,283; UKIP 829
Derbyshire NE: Labour 17,948: Conservative 15,503; UKIP 2,636
Dorset mid & Poole: Labour 21,100; Conservative 20,831; UKIP 2,109
Dudley North: Labour 14,923; Conservative 14,274; UKIP 3,267
Great Grimsby: Labour 10,777: Conservative 10,063: UKIP 2,043
Hampstead & Kilburn: Labour 17,332; Conservative 17,290; UKIP 408
Middlesbrough South: Labour 18,138; Conservative 16,461; UKIP 1,881
Morley (Ed Balls): Labour 18,365; Conservatives 17,264; UKIP 1,506
Newcastle-Under-Lyme: Labour 16,393; Conservatives 14,841; UKIP 3,491
Plymouth Moor View: Labour 15,433; Conservatives 13,845; UKIP 3,188
Solihull: Liberal 23,635; Conservatives 23,460; UKIP 1,200
Somerton & Frome: Liberal 28,793; Conservatives 26,976; UKIP 1,932
Southampton Itchen: Labour 16,326; Conservatives 16,134; UKIP 1,928
St Austell & Newquay: Liberal 20,189; Conservatives 18,877; UKIP 1,757
St Ives: Liberal 19,619; Conservatives 17,900; UKIP 2,560
Telford: Labour 15,977; Conservatives 14,996; UKIP 2,428
Walsall North: Labour 13,385; Conservatives 12,395; UKIP 1,737
Walsall South: Labour 16,211; Conservatives 14,456; UKIP 3,449
Wells: Liberal 24,560; Conservatives 23,760; UKIP 1,711
Wirral South: Labour 16,276; Conservatives 15,745; UKIP 1,274
<<<<<

So.... people voting for the UKIP nutters (inc in my constituency of Wells) has let in the Lid-Dems, the most Europhile of all the main parties, since had the Tories carried all of the above they'd have had a majority.

I'm stunned at the crass stupidity of some people.

Shiney

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