Monday, May 10, 2010

Post-election blues

Well, blues and oranges actually. As we watch from a safe distance the behind-the-scenes negotiations between all and sundry (Conservatives with Lib-Dims, Lib-Dims with Labour, Oceania with Eastasia or is it Eurasia) many of us can draw some satisfaction from saying: well, what did you expect?

Allister Heath in City AM says that if this is the new politics he is heartily sick of it already. Jonathan Isaby, rightly, points out that this farce (as I cheerfully called it on Friday and on Saturday when taking part in discussions on the BBC Russian Service) is the best argument for changing the electoral system. If we had proportional representation we would have this sort of thing going on after every election not just once in a while with the party that got fewer votes than the others calling the shots. The counter-argument that other European countries go through this leaves me cold. I have no desire to go through many other things that other European countries accept as routine.

The Lib-Dims are unhappy and the Conservatives drown their sorrow in that constant refrain: isn't it appalling that Labour is negotiating with the Lib-Dims in order to stay in power. Of course, no British government is in power while the real government is in Brussels but the idea that the Conservatives consider themselves to be in a position from which they can accuse Labour of being dishonest and unprincipled in order to stay in office makes one think of pots and kettles as well as stones and glass houses.

Meanwhile ConHome hits a new low by Nigel Jones reminding his readers that today is the anniversary of the creation of the 1940 coalition government. History must be repeating itself with Cameron the new Churchill. Indeed. Apart from the fact that the country was in an all-out war and the new government had to make decisions that would allow Britain to survive (even though the German's ability to invade was vastly exaggerated) everything is just the same. I suppose, when it comes down to it, Churchill was a largely incompetent politician who managed to make some catastrophically bad decisions in his previous career, during his second government (though mostly he was not in any sort of state to make decisions) and, even, during the war. He was still a greater and more fascinating personality that Cameron will be if he lives to a hundred.

Meanwhile, I had another e-mail from the Boy-King. He thanks me for my vote and all my efforts (if only he knew) but makes no reference to that offer to join his government. It would seem that the people who were supposed to be part of the Conservative government come second to the Lib-Dims who were the enemy not so long ago. Did someone say Oceania and Eurasia or Eastasia?

The Boy-King chortles on with great excitement about his and his party's achievements:
Second, we should be proud of the results we achieved. We gained more seats than at any election since 1931. We became the largest party in the House of Commons by a considerable margin. And we got two million more votes than Labour - and indeed, more votes than Labour did when they won in 2005. The swing we achieved was massive by historic standards.
Most of that is tosh. Numbers of seats, swings and other suchlike matters cannot really be compared withoug pointing out how many constituencies there were at the time, how many parties, what sort of turn-out and so on. But the man had to say something. After all, under his leadership his party lost what looked like an unlosable election and now they are facing the need to form a coalition with the despised Lib-Dims or a minority government that will have to take some very unpopular decisions.

At this stage it might be worth reminding everyone that the only part that achieved its stated electoral intention was UKIP. We have a hung parliament, largely through UKIP's actions though, in the end, it was the voters who decided that they really do not like the three main parties all that much.

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