Tuesday, 11 May 2010

End of an era

Well, Gordon has effectively gone. Although I'm not exactly his number one fan as Prime Minister, I have to admit that he is a political heavyweight, a brilliant political strategist and was an outstanding Chancellor, and therefore a huge loss to Labour. And where are the rest of the political heavyweights - in ANY party, for that matter?

If there is some small comfort to be gained, it's that Labour are now in with a shot of stopping the Tories take office. But is a coalition (or other deal) sustainable? No-one really knows, and there are very strong opinions on both sides. Not surprising since no-one in this country is used to cross-party negotiations (try living on the Continent).

And what rubbish the media are coming up with, David Dimbleby laying into poor old Alistair Darling for wanting to "cling to power". What rubbish, honestly. If you are the second party and the first can't do a deal, it's your duty to do a deal.

We're in uncharted water here. God knows how it'll all end up.


  1. Labour's share of the popular vote was lower than in 1987 - roughly on a par with 1983.

    This is, I assume, because the 2010 general election manifesto promised EU and Nato withdrawal, nuclear disarmament, the extension of public ownership and industrial democracy in the economy, etc., etc.

    Seriously, though, what's coming up is a deliberate government-induced recession caused by spending cuts. It won't boost employment, reduce inequality, or help the environment - but it will restore a healthy rate of profit across the UK economy by wiping out less-profitable firms (a great many small businesses), eroding trade union membership through mass unemployment, and so on...

    With Labour's worst election result since 1931 I can't help feeling that it is because, although the party's leadership acted to mitigate the crisis at home and abroad, we have not grasped as a party the systemic requirement for large-scale unemployment and bankruptcies.

  2. Indeed - that is, if the Lib Dems don't brake the Tories on the spending cuts.

    Btw, I'd take issue on the "worst since 1931", which is something a lot of media commentators have said but is misleading. It is the worst in terms of number of seats LOST, but we came from a pretty high base (previous postwar Labour governments have never had really high majorities). But it's nowhere near the kind of wipeouts we experienced in the 80s, as you point out, those were the REALLY bad ones - we actually did quite well for an outgoing government.

    I hope that we will still take time to reflect though, we need it. Oh, and that we still stay in NATO, don't rejoin CND, etc...:)


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