A blog for the socially and politically conscious, written by a young, gay activist who strongly believes in equality and justice.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Election egg on all faces

There was a great deal of egg on a few faces on Friday and it was on the faces of the three self-satisfied party leaders who so oleaginously greased their way across our TV screens over the last week or two in staged and rigged "debates" that were nothing of the sort. Tory toff David Cameron had the egg white all over his face after the electorate refused to back his party for a parliamentary majority even standing against Labour's attempt for a rare and difficult fourth term. No matter what gloss he tries to put upon it, his masters in the shires and the boardrooms will not be best pleased. He couldn't even beat a sitting government in the middle of a financial crisis. And the yolk was on media-manufactured Lib-Dem leader Nick Clegg, whose "Clegg bounce" turned out to be nothing more than press hysteria motivated by a desire to do anything possible to block Labour survival and resulted in a reduced number of seats for his party. New Labour's Gordon Brown took the rest of the oeuf. His walking-on-eggshells attempt to be all things to all voters backfired on him hopelessly and he has found himself clinging to power by his disintegrating fingernails. The message that came across was loud and clear for anyone with the ears to hear it. There was so little difference between the "nice-party" Tories, the business-friendly new Labour and the "I-don't-know-quite-where-I-stand" Lib Dems that voters ended up with no clear motive for supporting any one of them. That message was underlined by the votes for the few Labour candidates who have had the courage and the pride to stand up and be counted as socialists.

Their votes ran hard against the national trend and increased. In Hayes and Harlington, John McDonnell polled 23,377 votes as against 19,009 in 2005. In Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn took his vote to 24,276 from 16,118 in 2005 and, in Luton North, Kelvin Hopkins lifted his vote from 19,062 to 21,192 in 2010. In Hackney and Stoke Newington, Diane Abbott has had a belting result, with a rise from 14,268 to 25,500. Progressive activity against the fascists also helped the Labour vote. In Barking, where anti-fascists have fought hard and long, Margaret Hodge's vote soared from 13,826 in 2005 to a spanking 24,628 in 2010, while the disgusting Nick Griffin foundered dismally. The Tories are banging on about their "right" to attempt to form the next government, while the pathetic Nick Clegg bleats on about their "right" as the party with the most seats to try to do so. Of course, no such right exists. Constitutionally, the initiative rests with the incumbent Prime Minister, in this case Mr Brown. But where grabbing power is concerned, the constitutional arrangements that exist can go hang as far as the Tories care. Mr Cameron is already manoeuvring to try and talk the Lib Dems into a coalition, although without proportional representation on offer, it would be an absolutely unprincipled and opportunist Lib Dem leader who went for the deal - so it might happen. Labour, on the other hand, has fewer objections to PR and a deal is possible there, if Mr Brown can overcome his reluctance to offer more than a referendum, which has not met Lib Dem expectations in the past.

There could even be progressive benefits to be found on a deal on PR, provided a suitable system could be agreed, so it is tempting to watch and hope that an accommodation can be agreed that provides for an anti-Tory alliance of some form. Because the overwhelming priority is to keep the Tories out of office and keep their avaricious hands off the public sector. But we must keep this in mind. The biggest loser in this election has not been a party, but a poisonous clique. New Labour is dead and it just remains to accord it a suitable burial. Then we can set about building a working-class force that will bury the Tories that Mr Brown has been so signally unable to defeat with his pallid and bloodless apology for a socialist platform.

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