On The 2010 UK Election

Reacting to:

 1. I am suspicious of the Lib Dem leadership.  I haven't read their election manifesto and probably should before commenting, but what I have read about them in the past and what others have consistently said to me ('opportunists!') makes me think they want to Americanize British politics and additionally are not all that good at whatever they're trying to do.  I think they're well suited for hegemonic things like televised debates, rather than the behind-the-scenes politics of Labour / Tories, but I also don't see much evidence of political skill (perhaps, then, the desire for 'simpler' mass media driven image politics involving primaries, proportional representation, etc.).

2. I am not terrified of the Tories, but I have been told I should be.  Not convinced, but I certainly don't want to see them get into power, just on the offchance that I'm totally wrong.  The outcome of the election and the time-lag between American and British trends does make me think to some extent of the 2000 election in the U.S.  On the other hand, this is a party whose main opposition had collapsed and they still couldn't win a majority, so what does that say, particularly given that the Conservative Party itself is not speaking with one voice and even if it formed a minority government, it does it would have to deal with the mountains of bureaucracy that stymie anyone from doing anything, and without even a majority.  

3. I am hoping that Labour, and especially the UK-progressives that make up the backbone of Labour can regain control of the Labour party (paging Jon Cruddas), but I'm skeptical.  One thing's for sure - they probably would have been better off if they had ditched Gordon Brown when there was an attempted intraparty coup a few months ago.  In any case, goodbye Gordon.  Seeya and don't let the door hit you on the way out- you may be more substantial and serious than the other two ££$"wits, but you haven't really done much to bolster your case that New Labour policies are tenable in the long run.


In conclusion, I am hoping not to see a Lib Dem / Tory government, but I'm expecting to be disappointed, whether in the short run or the long run.  I am hoping that Nick Clegg understands politics and is not a total idiot, but I am not all that convinced - mainly because it's impossible for me to tell whether or not he means what he says when he does things like pre-emptively and twice legitimizing the Tory victory.  Is he playing 17 dimensional chess, or is he trying to play checkers on the same board that everyone else is playing chess on?  I am hoping to see, in the short run, a Labor-Lib Dem government, but then, if there is one thing for sure, it is that I understand nothing about British politics.  It remains unclear to me whether that's because it's incredibly opaque or because I am new.

More thoughts later, maybe.  Good luck to you and yours, wherever you are; this election, I hope, doesn't affect you very much.

By: on 7 May 2010