« Why I voted | Main | "Aspiration" »

May 08, 2015


Igor Belanov

Encouragement of hatred on the grounds of race, nationality, age or class counts as 'vision' does it?

People are too harsh on Labour. They basically did as they have always been told by political commentators and the media. Be cautious, try to appeal to a broad electorate and stick to a small amount of firm commitments. It worked for Blair. Where Labour struggled was that it was not manipulative enough.

That said, it could just ignore the pundits and go with ethics and instinct. But then it would just be criticised for being naive.

50% of the voters wanted the right and far-right, and there's not a lot you can do about that in conventional politics. The left now has to try and protect the victims to come. I wonder what will increase more, food banks or free schools?


You're right. Whatever you do, don't listen to what voters think. They're mainly stupid bigots, after all. As Lenin put it "It is not at all our task to descend to the level of the working masses".

Chris e

Bill -

On a numerical basis more voters went for a progressive choice, were they also wrong ?


"Be cautious, try to appeal to a broad electorate and stick to a small amount of firm commitments."

Yes it worked for blair... but blair became leader after decades when Labour was seen as very left wing and he was able to move to the right on political economy, present a new image for his party, winning over tories while still holding on to traditional voters out of class loyalty and desperation to win.

Gradually however he lost the class loyalty and element of desperation that made Labour people willing to put up with the sound bites and right wing minimalism. Alienating the old Scottish heartlands producing the same effect as Thatcher and blowing his credentials for Liberalism with the Iraq war upsetting the pacifist / humanist elements of the electorate and party.

The Capitalist crisis finished off the Blair project after he gave Brown the top job to avoid brown bringing down the Government. When the crisis hit Labour had no socialist programme to present as an alternative as they all were persuaded that the Financiers could not fail as they did. No rejection of austerity is credible without a convincing alternative to the weakness revealed by the Financial crash. Balls is the key man here; all the talk of keynesianism junked for austerity lite. His defeat is only just.

I will add that in our two party system of plurality voting a sizable minority vote for spoiler candidates and parties. The Libdems played this role for most of the post war period, the greens in the 1989 euro elections and UKIP and the Greens yesterday. I doubt millions of people suddenly became environmentalist in 1989; the SDP had just collapsed and the protest vote suddenly switched to the Greens. By joining the Cabinet without PR as his price stupid Clegg and the rest of his mates lost the ability to be the protest party of choice. The Tory Party has crushed little Cleggy like a Python. Cable and Hughes swept into the Leninist dustbin of history. Nice as he is Peter Tatchell must have just a small amount of Schadenfreude today.

Bill Posters

"their share of the vote fall by 14.4"

I see what you have done here is subtract the small Tory gain in the UK vote share from the collapse in the Lib dem vote (15.2-0.8=14.4). A stretch to say this is the auterity vote declining. No need to clutch at straws.

Don't panic. The Labour vote share in England increased by 3.6%.

The polls had them tied at 34% each. With 3% error bars they gave a limit of 31% Lab 37% Tory. This is just about the final result 30.4% Lab 36.9% Tory. The problem is people discounted this result because you have to have a good GCSE in Maths to understand probability. (Or like me have spent too long in a bookies). The final seat numbers were always tricky, its a first past the post system thats supposed to produce a result.

We only have to wait till 2017 to see the Tory party split like a rotten log over Europe. Yvette Cooper can then lead us back to a landslide victory.

The victory concert will include a star turn by Ed Balls who by that time will be a renowned concert pianist.

Today is a great day to join the Labour Party.


Standard Membership £3.88 per month


You say that the SNP are anti-austerity. Now living in England as you do, I can see why you would think that. Their rhetoric has been anti-austerity to the max. But their record? In Scotland they froze the council tax and that has resulted in lower budgets and cuts to services. Not exactly anti-austerity. What you miss here is the desire to oppose that drives them. The Scottish budget is in a hole, currently estimated at £7.6 billion, that is the amount that we would need to plug to get us back to (already high) UK deficit levels. Of course in that scenario, the SNP say that more borrowing is needed. But you can bet that if oil revenues were high, they would be calling for a lower deficit, as "Scotland was running up debts of the UK". It is all cynical bullshit. And now the call for Full Fiscal Autonomy, but maintaining UK subsidies. Honestly, I don't know how you put up with it.


UKIP are pro austerity. Add in their numbers and it simply isn't so. The anti-austerity argument has never properly been put and doesn't have acceptance in civil society. Thats why labour tried to avoid contesting on that ground; not that in helped in the end.


The good news - Labour and Libs have an opportunity to rethink and find (if they can) a credible leader and a credible strategy. The bad news - the Tories are in front and have little need to revisit their strategies. On past form the Tories will run another one or two terms then blow up in a welter of sleaze, arrogance and chicken returning to roost. The worse news - Labour will have changed little.

I had hoped a tight coalition would constrain UK politics to a more European model with a saner more cooperative way of working. I fear we are back to the old, unproductive left - right Punch & Judy show.



I don't see how you can claim that more people voted for progressive parties. If you add the votes of Conservatives, LibDems and UKIP together you're well over 50% of the vote. And then to what extent is Labour a progressive party nowadays? How many main stream parties in the UK actually stood on an anti-austerity platform?


@ Bill - I'm not saying that more people voted for "progressive" (God, I hate that word) parties - merely that the anti-austerians did well.
@ tinter - I'm not sure Ukip are pro-austerity. They want to cut overseas spending (on EU and aid); their figures are equivalent to a net fiscal expansion if those cuts are ignored. And I doubt folk thought "I support the coalition's fiscal policy, so I'll vote Ukip". This is why I left them out of the pro-/anti-austerity calculation.


If I am not mistaken you have previously supported a cap on maximum income. On the other hand you have expressed your opposition to price control mechanisms, calling such moves bad and anti-market. Just wondering how the two differ. Why control the income market but not the price market?




If you factor in voter turnout, then the Tories got about 25% of the national vote. Yet the media talk as if they won 85%!

Time for a PR system where every vote counts, because due to our system 85% of people no longer count! If that is democracy, down with democracy!!


If you remove ukip, then lib+con is more than all progressive parties combined. The case just sadly did lose.


Chris, I agree. let's leave UKIP out of the discussion, completely!

My only point really was that Labour was saying "we want to cut the deficit, too. But not as much as the Tories". (Maybe by 2020 they'll have come up with something a little more.....exciting?)

The comments to this entry are closed.

blogs I like

Blog powered by Typepad