Monday, May 11, 2015

Upset With The Election Result?

There are a group of people in our great nation who are deeply troubled, especially since the election result last Thursday. Are you one of them?

What can you do to salve the painful feelings of rejection and humiliation you must be experiencing? You may have tried a number of things already to comfort yourself and salvage your sanity.

Perhaps you've already posted a sanctimonious FB message expressing your disappointment at the obvious moral and intellectual shortcomings of those 11.3 million voters who don't share your superior brand of politics.

Perhaps you've already warned your Twitter followers not to bother turning up to NHS appointments as the organisation no longer exists or where it does they'd better take a credit card.

Surely you've reposted a letter from a left wing reverend or an "11 year old girl", or some such, to David Cameron imploring him not the exterminate poor people or introduce hunting of the disabled, like we all know he wants to... the bastard.

You've probably posted memes calling for a change in electoral system to one that might deliver more palatable results for you in the future.

You almost certainly would have pointed out it's all the fault of the "Tory press" and that even the BBC didn't play its part in promoting Labour seriously enough.

You simply must have signed up to some kind of anti-Tory manifesto.

You may even have had a bit of a riot and wittily defaced a monument to war heroes with the words "Tory scum!", such is your understandable anger at this disgustingly unacceptable democratic outcome.

If you've done all these things and still feel down, never fear. The Guardian have provided counselling advice from a psychotherapist for all those tender hearts that have been "traumatised by the election result"...

No, really, this is an actual thing. Please do read it, even though, at first, you'll think it must be a spoof. As with everything written in The Guardian, it's achingly (self-)righteously worthy advice.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

General Election 2015 is Lose/Lose for Labour

The polls on the eve of the general election point to a Miliband government, but one requiring vote by vote deals with the SNP to survive. If I were a Labour supporter I would be very concerned indeed.

Both main parties are neck and neck in the polls. The Tories need a reasonable margin over Labour just to match their seat numbers. There's a chance the polls are underestimating Tory support and underestimating Labour's. But they would have to be wildly wrong to allow the Tories to achieve a haul of parliamentary seats that would outnumber Labour + the SNP's total. And that is what the Tories have to do. Nicola Sturgeon has promised to "lock the Tories out of government", even if the rest of the countries votes Tory and gives them more seats than Labour.

Unless there's an upsurge in Conservative votes that the polls aren't predicting (like there was in 1992 when the electorate belatedly realised Kinnock was going to get in and turned out en masse to vote against him) Miliband will be PM on Friday but will have to rely on the SNP to get his legislation through, even if he comes second in the election to Cameron. If Cameron can't partner up with other parties to achieve a majority (as the polls suggest he won't be able to), Miliband will, regardless of how much such an arrangement lacks legitimacy in the eyes of the British people. Concessions to the Scottish separatists will be necessary if a Miliband government is to survive from vote to vote and from week to week. But he would rather that than not govern at all, whatever he says to try and placate nervous English voters before the vote. 

Miliband, who has already lurched his party to the left, will be forced to move further leftwards by the far left in his own parliamentary party and by the SNP, both of which, due to the lack of a in-built majority, will be pivotal to the survival of his premiership.

Labour's first Queen's Speech will probably sail through. The SNP will be happy to back it, as it puts the Labour fly firmly in the SNP's web ready to be influenced to achieve their own separatists and leftist agenda. In order to provide an legislative agenda for the first year that will gain adequate support from the Labour left and SNP, the speech will be chocker full of Miliband's most populist left wing policies - bankers bashing, rich rinsing, business bashing policies a plenty, similar to Miliband's ideological French soul-mate Fran├žois Hollande. The effects on the British economy will be similar; high unemployment, an exodus of wealth creators, higher inflation, higher interest rates, higher taxes, industrial relations unrest as unions get more and more confident, powerful and demanding under "their" government and, eventually, a reckoning with reality.

That reckoning will come after a year or so, with the backdrop of a faltering economy about to crash to the ground as economic gravity inevitably reasserts itself. Of course, all this will come to a head quicker if the pending Euro crisis re-emerges if Greece crashes out of the Euro due to its own populist left wing leader's reality-defying ideological policies. But, assuming external crises don't occur to bring all this forward, by 12 to 18 months, Miliband's premiership will already be tarnished in England by several concessions he will have to have made to survive key votes in parliament. Now Miliband will be forced to moderate his ideological fervour and he will be at his most vulnerable. He will experience revolts from his own MPs as he is forced to move away from a left policy agenda to address the real issues the country is experiencing. The SNP will be even more important to Miliband's survival at this point.

The Labour government will limp from crisis vote to crisis vote. Miliband will experience humiliation at the hands of Alex Salmond, the SNP's leader in the Commons as well as his own left wing, and ridicule throughout the land. We can look back to the John Major years, when, after a string of lost mid-term by-elections, Major lost his Commons majority. He had to battle the Tory right from week to week, who took every opportunity to undermine him to promote their own utopian ideas and often massive egos, and he had to rely on DUP support to govern with a majority in parliament. Major's reputation was trashed in the eyes of voters as he was made to look weak, as was the Conservative party's generally. It has never fully recovered (evidenced by their failure to win a majority since then).

The DUP, being Unionists and with no strong left/right ideology (economically at least), weren't particularly demanding. The SNP will be a totally different proposition for Miliband. He'll struggle to contain them, even if he turns out not to be the weak leader people think he is.

The aftermath of this scenario is long term damage to Labour's reputation, possibly leading to a generation of being locked out of power. It's almost as if the election is lose/lose for Labour.

I'd find that funny if it wasn't so serious for the future of the country.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

How To Solve A Problem Like Ed

If there's one thing Labour excel at it's media management and spin. It's testament to how effective they are in deploying these dark skills that a party that bankrupted a nation, and that is still led by people from the same school of disastrous economic and political thought (but of even lower calibre), is still in the running to form the next government.

As an excellent example of how they deploy their dark art, we see today a synthetic outrage manufactured by Labour in response to a comment made by a Tory, Michael Fallon, about the fact that Ed Miliband betrayed his own brother in a fit of groundless ambition to beat him to the leadership of his party. The point being that this is evidence of a man who would just as easily betray his country by downgrading or even scrapping our independent nuclear deterrent if it meant getting his hands on the levers of power by doing a shady deal with the anti-nuclear zealots in the SNP. There were plenty of other examples of Ed's double dealing untrustworthiness Fallon could have used, but the Miliband fratricide is the example most people recognise.

In whipping up this kind of faux-outrage Labour's tactic is designed to make the question of Ed Miliband's fitness for office out of bounds. Every question about his character, his indecisiveness, his weakness or even competence to lead, will be met with howls of "SMEAR!" and accusations of "personal attacks".

The media and various other political commentators (some even from the right) shouldn't be playing into Labour's hands on this. But today, when the Tories committed to maintaining our nuclear deterrent, the Prime Minister announced plans for another 16,000 apprentices to join the 2 million already created by his government, Labour promised face to face careers advice for all teenagers, and the fall out from yesterday's #nondomnishambles continues, the TOP story in the world today according to the BBC is Labour's "outrage" at Fallon's comments.

There are a few key issues in this election: The deficit, NHS, welfare spending and, as with all elections, the strengths and weaknesses of the leaders of the party leaders. And Miliband's fitness for the job is a big concern for many voters. It would be ridiculous if it was a subject that was not allowed to be discussed because Labour's spin doctors had successfully made the subject taboo.