Friday, 26 March 2010

An Ideal Scenario

Smug opportunist in pursuit of ill-defined 'change' comes unstuck!

In 2010 so far, we have seen the slow slide of the Conservatives; the prospect of a strong or even outright majority fading, as the British people take a look at them and understandably have second thoughts. Before Darling's absurd 'we're going to be harder than Thatcher' rhetoric, Labour had managed to appear the more realistic option, not exactly supporting, but seeming to represent the sort of public sector terrain that the Tories would gleefully cut. Making swingeing public sector cuts will not be painless, and if we are talking job cuts, the state will only gain a minimal amount per sacked employee, when factoring in future loss of income tax/NI contributions and benefits to be paid out. The Liberal Democrats have a more consistent policy platform, spot on regarding trident, tax policy and much else. But Labour deserves a little credit for putting voting reform on the agenda. Left-of-centre people must accept it is crucial to avert Tory control; full PR would see a Thatcherite Conservatism made practically impossible again.
Within the realms of possibility, we could have:

LAB 30% (290 seats)
CON 34% (258 seats)
LIB-D 23% (70 seats)
OTH 12% (32 seats)

- with Labour gaining a small majority of seats and having to stage a referendum on full PR, to obtain loose issue-by-issue arrangement with the Liberal Democrats. It is over 80 years since we have had any kind of overhaul of our electoral system - ludicrous, but unsurprising, as the vested interests have dug in. The main two parties have long ceased to represent anything like the mass of the British people. They represent (or attempt to represent) a non-existent constituency of floating voters in the mythical land of Middle England, ending up pleasing nobody. If people are voting Green, Respect, TUSC, SNP, PC and UKIP - even BNP - these voices should be properly represented in Parliament.

If this happens, British democracy might, it just might, begin to grow up.

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