A few thoughts on the Tories’ GE victory

The reaction to the result of Thursday’s election on the left has been one of confused outrage. How could so many people back the evil Tories after five years of austerity? Protests were organised on Facebook, and all day on my Twitter timeline, people have been Tweeting about how the Tories have no mandate because 75% of adults did not vote for them.

Well you know what? 80% plus people did not vote for the Labour Party either. I am someone who has never voted Tory and can’t imagine any circumstances under which I would, but I just couldn’t stomach voting for Labour this time either. They just didn’t deserve to win. I suspect a lot of people felt the same way as me. Turnout barely hit the mid 60s%.

We have a first past the post electoral system in the UK. It’s not a fair system, but the result under this system was fair. More people voted Tory than voted for any other party and they have won enough seats to command a majority in the House of Commons. People who voted Tory aren’t bad people, they just think differently to you.

Moving on to Labour, the early signs are not great. None of the MPs who currently say they are considering leadership bids particularly inspire confidence that they can transform the fortunes of their party. The front runner seems to be Chuka Umunna, a man who seems to be held in high regard by those inside Westminster, but who I’ve always thought has nothing interesting to say about anything. His strategy seems to be to do what Labour’s opponents have always demanded. An apology for ‘overspending’.

The Conservative’s majority is small. They will struggle to get anything controversial through, and anything the leadership wants, they will have to trade with the right wing nutters on their backbenches to pass it. That does not make for harmonious government. The Fixed Term Parliament Act means they will probably limp on for the full five years though.

Hopefully, the childish hissy fits that have followed the election result will soon make way for some more constructive opposition to whatever bright ideas the Conservative front bench come up with over the next few months. A lot of the pressure is going to have to come from outside Parliament as it did with things like on the sell-off of forests early in the last Parliament. Petulant protests against the legitimacy of a democratically elected government probably ain’t going to do it though.

Silver Linings

A very surprising result yesterday I’m sure you’ll all agree. Five more years to endure now of preening smug Tories who will now start to believe their own bullshit about long term economic plans and the like. I’ll be giving political TV shows a miss for a while now. It wasn’t all bad though. Here are some silver linings:

  • Although the Tories now have a majority, it is by less than 10 seats, and less than the number of ‘bastards’ in the Conservative party, so David Cameron’s life is not going to be easy. Give it a year or two and the problems for them will begin.
  • Labour’s defeat was horrendous enough that they might have a proper clear out of the dead wood (most of the front bench) and come back with something better. I say might because it’s just as likely they’ll conclude they lost because they weren’t enough like the Tories.
  • The Lib Dems were wiped out. It seems the electorate saw through these disingenuous charlatans and got rid of all but 8. Danny Alexander and David Laws were the two that most deserved to lose and did. Nick Clegg won, but probably wishes he hadn’t now.
  • UKIP only won one seat and Farage has resigned. Their only MP Douglas Carswell is a much different politician to Farage.
  • Caroline Lucas retained her seat in Brighton. I like Caroline Lucas. Hopefully she will lead the Greens again.
  • Ed Balls lost his seat. In one of the biggest shocks of the night, the Tories took this seat from a man probably more to blame for Labour’s demise than anyone else.
  • Esther McVey lost her seat. A very unpopular unpopular DWP Minister who gave the impression of caring more about her career than the disadvantaged who it was her job to help, she will not be missed.
  • George Galloway lost after running a tawdry and personal campaign against Labour candidate Naz Shah. The extent of his defeat was stunning. I had been certain he would win.

So not good if you are on the left like me. But not all bad either.

Parties’ key messages Wednesday 6th May

It’s the big day tomorrow, and cause for celebration as it’s the last one of these I’ll be doing. Hurray! The campaign has been horrendous. Repetitive, focused of trivialities and incredibly negative. I hope they all lose, but failing that, I hope David Cameron is no longer PM after all the talking following the results has ended. Here we go.

Tories – Their campaign in two Tweets:

Labour – Faff is a very underused word these days:

Lib Dems – Not quite liberte, egalite, fraternite is it?

UKIP – UKIP in one image:

Greens – We shall see:

SNP – The SNP’s success may lead to the opposite:

Plaid Cymru –

Parties’ key messages Tuesday 5th May

Tories – I reckon George Osborne probably sleeps in hi-vis pajamas:

Labour – This video would have been improved if it he’d been in character as Alan Partridge, but then he’s a Tory:

Lib Dems – Just £2 a month could keep little Danny Alexander in work after this weekend:

UKIP – They seem exceptionally pleased about this today (no me neither):

Greens – “Inclusive”. My word of the day for the Greens:

SNP – It’s next year’s Holyrood elections that will be about independence:

Parties’ key messages Monday 4th May – Star Wars Day Special

Tories –

Labour – Here’s a little known fact. Delia Smith was cast in a non-speaking role in The Empire Strikes Back where she played a storm-trooper aboard the Death Star:

Lib Dems

UKIP – This may not be an official UKIP account:

Greens

SNP – Old but still funny:

Parties’ key messages Sunday 3rd May

Tories – A difficult watch. I got up to David Cameron’s face before I had to stop it:

Labour – Another in this series of well-produced videos. This does a good job of masking the almost non-existent difference between the main parties on tuition fees:

Lib Dems – A lot of the die-hards have died hard over the last five years. Not many left:

UKIP – Any thoughts on what it would be called? The Nigel Hour perhaps?:

Greens – Can’t be many who do think badgers should be killed unnecessarily, so this is targeted at pretty much everyone:

SNP – Just call her the Scottish, white, female Obama:

Parties’ key messages Saturday 2nd May

Tories – Surging to a one point lead in the polls has encouraged them this dismal strategy is working:

Labour – Who uses a rest on a pool table?:

Lib Dems – Does this count as a rally?:

UKIP – Odd campaign tactic. Huddle round a big sign outside a petrol station in the pissing rain:

Greens – Huge crowds? Anyway, best of luck:

SNP – Miliband clearly focusing on English marginals only in the last week of campaigning:

Plaid Cymru – More like once in five years, but you get the idea:

Parties’ key messages Friday 1st May

Almost on the home straight now.

Tories –  FFS, somebody please make it stop:

Labour – The candidates on my ballot paper had much more conventional names:

Lib Dems – I was going to make a sarcastic comment, but then realised I’m spending my Friday night doing this, so won’t bother:

UKIP – Probably the least surprising statement of the week:

Greens – I have five English Pounds on this, so hope they all turn out:

SNP  – He did rather give you a big FU last night:

Plaid Cymru – If Labour want to cobble together some kind of minority government, these sorts of things could be on the table:

Parties’ key messages Wednesday 29th April

Tories – Wishful thinking:

Labour – Don;t know what Labour were thinking giving Lucy Powell a leading roll in the campaign. She’s not up to it:

Lib Dems – Funny how all their ‘red lines’ are on policies no one really disagrees with:

UKIP – This is what pisses me off most about UKIP. Instead of making a reasonable argument, they say stuff like this:

Greens – Get these guys signed up for Eurovision:

SNP – Another bad day for Labour in Scotland (and potentially for my wallet):

Plaid Cymru – This is a bit rubbish. Not sure Vine is the best medium for this:

Parties’ key messages Tuesday 28th April

Tories – Not his best, but sticking to the campaign theme:

Labour – It’s that day again. Well done:

Lib Dems – Not wanting to be left out of the fun…:

UKIP – This is happening:

Greens – It’s just all so positive and nice:

SNP – Sack the social media wonk: