Friday, 7 May 2010

General Election defeat - Labour's blessing in disguise

Any comments by me about who will be running the country in a week’s time will be sheer crystal ball gazing.
My guess is that the Tories under David Cameron will have formed a minority Government. The LibDems, while declining to save the discredited Labour government – even though Prime Minister Gordon Brown was prepared to stand down – Nick Clegg’s lot will have rejected Cameron’s offer of a formal coalition.
I shalln’t bother to support these suggestions, because I recognise they may be way off-beam such is the bewildering conclusion of Thursday’s General Election.
All three parties have good reasons to be disappointed by their showing in the vote.
It is difficult to see that whatever the final shape of the new Government and its alliances, the UK will be able to avoid another election inside a year to 18 months. This doesn’t bode well for the firm government the country needs in case the current financial crisis deepens.
It would be ironic if the political horse-trading until then makes a first past the post electoral system look more reasonable.
What worries me is that none of the three parties was honest about the size of the cuts and tax rises that are on the way and therefore doesn’t have a mandate from the public, which admittedly was complicit in the deceit.
This could lead to strikes and civil unrest. Not of the order of Greece but deeply divisive just the same.
The history books may show that the 2010 election was a good one to lose. As the Bank of England governor Mervyn King is reported to have said the coming austerity measures will be so severe to keep the election winner out of power for a generation.
A period in opposition under a new leader might be a blessing in disguise for Labour. It might regain the moral purpose it lost during the Blair v. Brown years when the party of John Smith was suffocated under the weight of spin, sleaze, and surrender to the interests of the City and America.

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What do you think? GC