Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Electioneering

In view of the paucity of news-jiffies on these pages in the past half month, I'm aware there is much of a public clamour for my opinions regarding last week's local election results. I know this because of the floods of text messages I've been inundated with in the past six days saying things such as "what do you think about these election results then Big Dill?", "the British electorate is a braindead scumfuck collective!", "have you heard that Pedigree Chum has gone out of business? They have called in the retrievers", "Riggott? What's the team?" and, most prescient of all: "Lovely stuff".

For me, the most notable thing about Labour's disastrous showing in the polls is that its tried and tested means of attaining electoral success for the last 14 years has now seemingly become its downfall. With great success, the New Labour project has prided itself on out-Torying the Tories in order to bag the support of the all-important, inherently self-centred Middle England vote. And yet now, it appears the abolition of the 10p tax rate was one of the major contributary factors in the erosion of the party's share of the vote. It's a step too far when it hits people in their own pocket - surely this is the most obvious electoral rule? In many ways, it serves Gordon Brown & Co right for introducing this shamefully Tory policy which demonstrates complete contempt for the lowest earners, in addition to a general lack of sense when it comes to taxation. You have to laugh when you fall off a sofa/when a Labour government increases tax on the lowest earners and cuts it for those earning more! What an utter bunch of bastards. And stupid bastards at that.

The current groundswell of support for the Conservatives is equally preposterous, though. Quite how a party so entirely flaccid can muster any kind of public support is beyond me. It's an essential function of the Opposition to be opportunist, but they somehow manage to appear opportunist while failing to capitalise on the real opportunities. It's a poor do, but that's just how thoroughly incompetent they are. Imagine what they'd be like in government. Nobody's very sure what they stand for these days, if indeed they stand for anything. If their policies had to be described in terms of posture, I'd say that nowadays they are more akin to a rather dapper, privately educated man leaning nonchalantly in the street, perhaps against a disused lamppost, trying to sieze on any old passer-by but failing to make any real impression on anybody (although people do look back over their shoulder at them fondly, most probably because of David Cameron's lovely waxy Oil of Olay, nee Ulay face). And on top of all these shortcomings, it's always worth just getting back to basics and remembering the simple fact: they're bloody Tories, and therefore rotten to the very core.

And then there is Boris Johnson in London. I think the fact Londoners have elected him as mayor should be seen as far more embarrassing for democracy than when Hartlepool elected its monkey mascot in 2002. That was widely regarded as having made a mockery of the government's newly introduced directly-elected mayors, but the fact is the monkey had much more of a clearly defined policy agenda than Boris Johnson has, even if it was just to give free bananas to school children. Johnson had no credentials whatsoever for the job, aside from the loveable buffoon persona he's somehow developed through his constant TV panel show appearances in order to mask his often worryingly bigoted views. But then again, what do you expect of Londoners? London and the rest of the south-east was responsible for 11 years of Thatcher government and for ensuring the ensuing 18 years have been defined by a Thatcherite political agenda. A large portion of the blame for all of society's ills today can be laid at the door of the people who so warmly embraced the rampant and brutal individualism of Thatcherism. Now they have the mayor they deserve, and they will surely rot in hell, a.k.a. London itself. Which is quite handy for them really, as it means they won't have to commute. For once.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some people are quite pleased to finally see an American running London.

May 14, 2008 2:50 pm  
Anonymous Top Boy (and that) said...

Good afternoon Paddy Dillon, 19, Manchester. Long time listener, first time caller and all that...

As we discussed rather drunkenly at Chester last Friday (name dropper alert), would it actually make a difference if the Tories do as well as expected at the next General Election and form the next Government? Of course, I'm not saying that I would prefer the Tories in power over Labour but what difference does the colour of the party make when they're implementing the same Thatcherite policies?

Regardless of whether the Tory threat is real or not, I cannot bring myself to vote for a Labour Party that deceived the country before embarking on an illegal war, introduced a long list of measures that impinge on our civil liberties, introduced tuition fees, is responsible for PFI/PPP and a whole host of other right-wing policies. If the Labour Party has such good people in its ranks, why have they allowed themselves to be deceived by the likes of Blair, Brown and Mandleson for more than 15 years?

The so-called Labour Government has proven since 1997 that it isn’t interested in Socialism or justice and for that reason, I’m hopeful that a drubbing in the next General Election will purge the Labour Party of its Third Way protagonists. Only then will we see a Labour Party that espouses Socialism and is worth voting for.

I agree with you on Bo Jo (that’s how we painfully hip young professional refer to him): he’s a living example of the ludicrous power of “Have I Got News For You” over common sense.

May 15, 2008 12:53 pm  
Blogger Paddy said...

We've been through this FFS TBF.
LMAO!!!11!!1 Hello girlfriend!!

I almost fully agree with you. When I find myself outlining how much I hate Tories, I must remember to also point out how much I think the Labour government are bastards too.

However, although the two parties may well be espousing the same horrendously Thatcherite policies, I think there are a number of redeeming factors about the Labour party that would still compel me to vote for them. It's mainly down to tribalism and the fact there is no alternative, obviously. But then there is the more rational aspect in that many of the grass roots members of the party are still good, hardcore 'classic Labour' types who, although completely detached from the leadership and who probably resent them as much as we do, still have enough of an influence to at least slightly temper the leadership's obsession with shifting to the right. There's also the remaining Trade Union influence - however diluted it may be. I think this is still all preferable to having a party in government who's leadership will be pressurised from the opposite end of the spectrum. In the event of a Tory government, all the hardened old Tories will probably work their way back to the surface and call for the reintroduction of good old-fashioned Tory policies like destroying communities and burning gays (except for their own male MPs, who of course are never really gay but simply cheat on their wives with other men). I think people are so easily duped by Cameron's friendly face that they forget people like John Redwood are still the real base of the Tory party.

Be careful what you wish for. Rather than a drubbing at the next election, I think probably the best thing that can be hoped for - given a Tory government is accepted as an inevitability now - is for them to have no sizeable majority in the Commons. Labour may well thrive again in Opposition, and a small majority would limit the Tory influence. It would perhaps be the best of a bad situation.

May 15, 2008 9:42 pm  
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