Friday, May 08, 2015

Electoral Apocalypse

I can only spare you a few minutes today - I'm too busy packing as I prepare to flee the country after that election.  Look, I know that I said things would be back to normal here today, post-election.  But I lied.  Just like an opinion poll.  But what can I say about that disastrous result?  Other than it left me despairing as to the stupidity of the British electorate. (To give you some idea of how traumatised I was after coming home from the pub and seeing those exit polls, I switched channels and ended up watching two episodes of The Walking Dead back-to-back rather than endure the closet Tory triumphalism of the TV pundits as the results rolled in.  To be frank, the zombie apocalypse seemed like a fitting analogy for what was unfolding electorally).  To be fair, our first-past-the post system has skewed the results so that number of seats held by the Tories, for instance, doesn't reflect their percentage share (around 37%).  Indeed, if I'm not much mistaken, Labour actually registered a slight increase in percentage share of the vote, yet lost a significant number of seats.  Even UKIP have a right to feel aggrieved, as they actually polled a higher percentage of the popular vote than the Lib Dems, yet have only 1 MP to the Lib Dem's 8 to show for it.  But how do we explain what appears to be a travesty of a result in the face of all those pre-election polls telling us it was neck-and-neck between Labour and the Tories?  Personally, I think that I'm going to become one of those internet cranks who spends his time pouring out ream after ream of blog posts which somehow 'prove' that the election was rigged.

That said, it is notable that I haven't met anybody today who admits to have voted Tory.  Whilst that probably reflects the circles I move in more than anything else, the fact that I live in a constituency which the sitting Tory MP retained with an 11,000 majority, despite being involved in widely publicised expenses scandal, makes me wonder who did vote for her?  That's the funny thing about many Tory voters - casting their vote for the bastards seems to make them feel so dirty that they don't want to admit to having done the deed.  Still, we have to look at the positives: the likes of Danny Alexander and Vince Cable have rightly been thrown out on their ears - and Ed Balls is gone from the Labour front bench.  That can only be good news - I remain convinced that his inability to articulate a coherent and viable alternative economic policy to the Tories' austerity con lies at the root of Labour's poor showing.  To be fair, it reflected their wider unwillingness to defend their traditional core values or to counter the Tories' pro-austerity propaganda.  Frankly, what we need now as Labour leader is some kind of passionate street-fighting firebrand who isn't ashamed to embrace the party's traditional values and electoral base.  Even if they still lose, at least it will be on their own terms, rather than because they simply tried to be more Tory than the Tories.

But in the more immediate future, what do we do?  How can we recover from this trauma?     Well, there's always the option of leaving the country.  I mean, it doesn't even have to be somewhere with a left wing government, just so long as the weather is better - if I have to live under a right-wing dictatorship it might as well be somewhere sunny.  But if we choose to stay, can we start the regrouping and rebuilding by getting all those fringe 'supporters' on Twitter and the like, who so love to be outraged by the slightest thing and are vociferous out of all proportion to their numbers, to shut the fuck up?  Their constant shrill bleatings really don't help, alienating normal, rational human beings who might otherwise be inclined to support whatever cause they've latched onto this week.  Anyway, I've rambled enough.  It's time to try and snap out of this post-election haze.  I'll leave you with this thought, though:  haven't I been telling you for the last five years that we'd need a revolution to effect change, eh?  Now will you fucking listen to me? 

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