Tag Archives: Labour

UK Election 2015 – Exit Polls

Initial reaction… huh!? I had to rewind the BBC broadcast a few times when Dimbleby first revealed the exit polls at the stroke of 10 there. Even though we’ve already heard by this hour repeated calls for a cautious approach to the figures, which give the Tories 316 seats to Labour’s 239, it was unquestionably a blind-siding start to proceedings. Now we can only wait for, or more likely sleep through until, the results proper.

Why by contrast the rest doesn’t surprise me, I’m not sure. It felt clear that the SNP were running away with the show in Scotland, and I’ve maintained unwavering faith in my prediction of five years ago that the coalition would result in pain for the Lib Dems. They did a deal with the devil as it were, chucked in their principles for a seat at the big boy’s table, and rightly are suffering. A German-inspired neologism springs to mind – schadenfreudegasm.

Favourite moment of the night so far? Without a shadow of doubt, the tantalizing prospect of Ed Balls losing his seat. I despise the man, in vast disproportion to my sentiment towards the Labour party, which is much the same as towards all parties – sceptical. This eventuality would appear to be a perfect encapsulation of why the Labour party appear to have come out so poorly. Not enough trust on the economy, and to be sure, Ed Balls inspires as much faith as a fox offering guardianship of the hen house.

Pardon my language, but he’s also a giant bell end, and by comparison I find Ed Miliband rather endearing for all his goofy qualities. But enough of that. How do I feel about the current prospect of another Tory government? Err… well, it’s better than a stick in the eye? Gonorrhoea is probably worse…

The markets definitely seem to like the idea. Honestly though, at this point I’m far too glued to the election analysis to really get into this consideration too deeply. And things may all change yet. And Jeremy Vine is doing more of his silly but curiously captivating 3D guff, so, more to follow…!

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UK Party Conferences 2013

My disdain for the transparency and excessive aspiration of the party conference season was close to shutting down any thought of writing much about it, beyond the last article’s brief showing of a lack of deference. I thought to wait until the whole lot was over next week, when the Tories had said their piece, but I’m going to jump the gun on that. After the Lib Dems, UKIP and Labour there is surprisingly already quite a lot to say. Less surprisingly, none of it too good.

Quickly then. The Liberal Democrats once again set the bar for pitiful desperation, with notable speeches coming from Vince Cable as he went on the attack against their coalition partners for being the “nasty” party. Presumably this makes the Lib Dems the nice party. And Nick Clegg was almost popping an aneurysm as he screeched into the microphone, “We’re not here to prop up the two party system, we’re here to bring it down!” I have many problems with both sets of approach.

First, despite the occasional bleating threat from the catamites of coalition that they might cede from the agreement and leave the Tories to a minority government, the likelihood of this happening, at least until the most expedient moment in time prior to the 2015 elections, is minimal. Clegg himself stated with wild abandon that the Lib Dems simply must stay in power as otherwise Labour or the Tories would surely take us down the road of communism or fascism respectively. So Cable’s attacks on the Tories are little more than self-flagellation as his party are inexorably tied to them for the foreseeable future.

It won’t serve the Lib Dems one bit to paint the Tories with the nasty brush, because they have largely towed the line with the same power-hungry eagerness that has utterly annihilated their support base up and down the country. In this sense, they’re a bit like the school yard bully’s pathetic underling, the one who hides behind the big lad and supports his loutish behaviour but then runs to the teacher later to discreetly rat everything out, hoping to gain supremacy via treachery.

Frankly, Clegg’s entire speech smacked of, “If we say it loud enough and often enough, then it must be true.” It’s sort of an effective political strategy except for the fact that it was barely half a wink after the Rose Garden two or so years ago that those once loyal had forever written him and the party off as crass operatives lacking any scruples. I don’t think anyone believes the Lib Dems are around for any other reason than to serve themselves, and the notion they form a critical mechanism against main party excesses will only ever again fall on deaf ears.

Moving on, UKIP… ah, UKIP. Thank you for vindicating the avalanche of criticism I levelled at you some months ago after the aberration of your success in Eastleigh. There have been various things between that by-election and last week’s conference that have steadily delegitimized them, and so my expectation of a dearth of joy for them come 2015 is on track. This is only helped when central party figures like Godfrey Bloom not only depart the reservation, but actually go stratospheric with their patent deficiencies of character and credibility.

Do I even need to detail his infringements? Never mind the fact that his name is now popularly “Bongo” after his incredibly tactless comments on foreign aid some weeks ago – throwing around the term “sluts” and bashing up CH4 journalists with party pamphlets is a new kind of crazy. Bloom already lost the whip and is now also quitting the party in Brussels, but the damage has already been done. I can’t remember a single policy point or anything from, say, Farage’s keynote speech. So thanks Bongo! Enjoy the wilderness, but I don’t think you’ll be alone for long. UKIP really is a gift to satire.

As for Labour, well, the opposition has been having a very tough time of late. As if sliding poll numbers during a prolonged government austerity drive wasn’t enough of an indictment of their own quality as a group of politicians, Damian McBride’s dagger to the soft flank of his former comrades speaks further volumes. I would say first that I do not believe for a fleeting microsecond that Balls and Miliband weren’t party to McBride’s actions during the Labour years, as they themselves were staunch Brownites. The launch of his book was callously timed to take advantage of the Labour conference and deliver maximum sensation against Labour’s front pair.

As for the conference itself, we’ve had fairly empty promises of a return to socialism in the form of repealed taxes, increased benefits, more social support, bank levies… all of which screams of a reaction against criticism for Labour being only able to promote an austerity-lite model that was received with particular derision after nearly three years of lambasting and rejecting everything the coalition was doing. It’s a feature I particularly despise about the Labour party at present, but what really miffs me here is that all of these things that Balls and Miliband have promoted are barely even socialist.

It’s just classic New Labour. Big spending promises, which have largely already been called out as unfunded and impractical, and only a short while after they came close to financially sinking the nation. They have slipped straight back into bad habits after a few years in opposition left them completely floundering for an idea that was even remotely dynamic. It is really appalling. Miliband just gave his big speech, and although I’d usually reserve some words for how laughably uncharismatic he is, being as stiff and obviously coached as any useless public speaker I’ve ever seen, I think it would only distract from the more pertinent point.

If Labour went to the elections in 2010 saying of the Tories, “You can’t trust them on the NHS,” after 13 years of Labour government and a distinct shift in Tory culture and personnel, then how on earth does Labour expect we could trust them on the economy? It will have only been five years come the election and the people at the reigns are still very much the same that were central to Labour’s abysmal failings pre-2010. They haven’t learned and they haven’t listened. The Treasury reports a funding gap in Labour’s proposals of around £27bn, and I take Labour’s denial of this with absolutely zero faith. I think they are dangerous.

The Tories will probably repeat something along these lines during their conference, which I expect will be a fairly confident affair. The more the economy grows, the more their poll deficit will decrease and this will only be helped by Miliband’s beleaguered position. They should be careful however, because one thing Labour did accurately identify is that the recovery isn’t yet being felt by the majority of voters, and the cost of living has taken a sharp upturn. If in the next couple of years they can provide more than what amounts to Labour’s rhetorical dogfarts, they stand a decent chance.

Without wanting to sound too much like a right-wing sycophant I could suggest you read past articles where I liberally criticise the Tories and coalition for their various amateur errors, and surely they will produce some further points of consternation. But I guess at the moment the strident river of tripe emanating from the other parties actually puts the government in a reasonable light. If only they ditched the moronic bedroom tax and lowered VAT a bit. The narrative is there for the taking. I guess I should actually wait and see what their conference reveals…

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Britain’s Gay Marriage Headache

Good lord, just when I think I have a window to ditch this scene, I’m pulled back in. For a fortnight now I’ve been trying to write about something, anything, outside of the UK and with the gears of Westminster now steadily grinding out the latest EU nightmare, it seemed like a good time to look abroad. Scandal in America, political upheaval in Pakistan, Syria somehow finding another rung down on the ladder to hell… interesting things. What wins out unfortunately is Tim Loughton MP, and that acronym, if you didn’t know, for Tory backbenchers actually stands for Massive Prick.

Wadeth he into the gay marriage bill, single point of pride for Westminster in recent times, with not so much a cleaver, but rather covered head to toe in some foetid and unusually sticky substance, presumed to be the moral diarrhoea of his fellow party troglodytes. So angered are they by this government’s daring to level the playing field for people of all sexual orientation, before ripping the UK out of the European project without a moments forethought, that they are effectively holding the bill hostage. A pack of snarling, drooling infant vampires if ever there was.

The point was raised in last week’s Question Time, presumably for the approval of Tory throwback Philip Hammond, that it seemed unfair that heterosexual couples were only entitled to marriage, not civil partnership, whereas homosexuals would now have access to both. The Defence Minister, who tried to suggest that the people were also angered by the government’s prioritisation of gay marriage over the “economy”, must have taken this point, ridiculous and insignificant when compared to inequality and persecution of homosexuals, back to party HQ.

After a Satanic ritual resembling a bukkake sequence, during which these bucktoothed, horse-faced and over-bred pack of social regressors subliminally communicate their prejudiced, backwards views, it was decided. This would be the next stylus in the flank of their leader and the progressive hopes of the majority of the nation they conspire to keep from advancing into the 21st Century. Just when you thought the Conservative Party didn’t have a single remaining bullet with which to shoot itself, they dig one out of somewhere.

Adding this amendment to the Marriage Bill is intended to slow the whole process down and eventually even resign it to the dustbin of political stagnancy. That Labour initially came out with favourable sounding noises over the matter is a mystery and it was left to Nick Clegg of all people to call for some common sense. “Don’t derail the bill,” to paraphrase. But where Labour at least could claim honest support for the notion of equal access to both forms of personal union, the Tories have nothing to hide behind. Half the party voted against the bill in the first place.

But Labour have indeed now crunched the numbers through their little machine, the one that calculates public resonance and produces the most expedient course of action, and are tabling their own amendment, ostensibly to the same effect as Loughton’s. I’ve yet to ascertain why Yvette Cooper thinks this will “save the bill”, instead of producing the same gumming effect as Loughton’s, but apparently she is confident it would garner more cross-party support and would be free of some of the impediments that No.10 have cited.

Where the £4bn price tag for extending civil partnerships is from, is something about which I am just as curious as Cooper, but whether or not it is true, I’m slightly miffed by the presumption of her party that they are doing anything other than opportunistically grandstanding over Tory in-fighting. If they had just stayed away from the amendment issue altogether, there wouldn’t have been enough support for Loughton in the first place. It seems Labour just cannot resist the temptation to compound David Cameron’s woes.

He had to go begging to them not to support Loughton’s amendment so the bill could pass with greater ease, and Labour then have the audacity to attack him for undermining the bill by raising concerns over an amendment process. The opposition are clearly more interested in seeing Cameron fall, even if that meant the death of the Tory party’s moderate agenda. Labour would be fighting a much less agreeable conservative government in that situation, further proving they haven’t an ideological conviction of any depth to speak of. The Labour Party. Politics first.

To end on an emphatic note, if this latest of Westminster clusterf*@ks results in the gay marriage bill being shelved, I’m out of here. Just point me in the direction of the nearest moderate liberal nation whose legislators haven’t got their heads intractably burrowed up each others rectums. I already have the lowest sense of pride and confidence in our lot than I have ever had. There would be nothing left after a regression like this one. Marriage means whatever the hell we want it to mean and everyone gets the same deal, end of story.

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The Good Ship Eurofeud Embarks Again

Well well… it turns out our Prime Minister has a little fight in him after all. Quick to chide cabinet ministers Gove and Hammond over their indiscretion concerning the European question, and holding the course on the 2017 date for the referendum, it seems he’s not ready to bend over to the Eurosceptics quite yet. Although doubling down on holding the referendum if renegotiation is rejected by Europe will hush the right a bit, two and half years after the general election is certainly less politically expedient than it could be. A smattering of confidence in the party’s 2015 intentions, and in his own renegotiation policy.

A cheeky little endorsement from Obama on his support for a “fix” is nice, but isn’t certain to shake more than a few MPs out of their intoxication, drunk as they are on pandering to this transient UKIP bounce. The American president isn’t exactly every conservative’s cup of tea. This week, from the comfort of a New York armchair, Cameron gave his fellow party leaders Clegg and Miliband a minor savaging on their own undetermined positions regarding the UK’s relationship with the continent. “Heads in the sand,” as the PM phrased it, omitting entirely his own firmly lodged disposition up until the last few days.

While a very large question mark remains over the issue of what this renegotiated position would look like, the suggestion is that it would come heavily down to Cameron’s individual abilities as a statesman. In the face of Hadal level confidence and even whispers amongst conservatives that here is a latter-day John Major, the embattled leader’s resurgence, of sorts, is vital to his prospects. And judging by the debate in the Commons yesterday over the Queen’s Speech and this theatre about the absence of the EU question, Cameron does appear to have turned some of the guns away from himself. Rigorous criticism was circulating around the entire House, notably in Clegg’s direction.

The amendment was easily defeated 277 to 130, but the 114 Tory MP’s who voted in favour are still a long term issue for Cameron. And with 29 year old Eurosceptic MP James Wharton winning the private member’s ballot for the first attempt at a referendum bill today, we can anticipate early problems in the process. Wharton is a staunch in/out referendum supporter and will certainly be trying to lock down the House on the 2017 date. It was by no means an overwhelming rebellion on Europe, but with backbench support up from 81 in favour of a referendum in a late 2011 vote, the already blatant swoon rightwards by some MPs is further indicated.

Now it remains to be seen how many in the Commons will actually get behind Wharton’s bill, and while it is currently likely to be shot down, the Tory’s did announce this morning that the three line-whip was coming down in favour of it. Cross-party backing is in short supply right now, although 11 Labour votes in favour of the Queen’s Speech amendment shows some desire in the opposition for Miliband to take a stronger stance on Europe, and as Tory Eurosceptic John Baron was suggesting earlier, there will be hopes a few Lib Dems could be rolled over in favour too. This issue remains something of an anathema to me though.

At the time of the Lisbon Treaty, Clegg was a bold little mouthpiece when it came to Europe, calling for a referendum then, and carrying this message through to 2008 and beyond. Despite criticising Cameron on the radio today for the renegotiation policy being “clear as mud”, where he stands and wants his party to stand on the matter is now one of Westminster’s total mysteries. To “lead the reform and then give people a say in a referendum when that leads to a change in the rules”, is ostensibly a position loyal to the coalition agreement, which stipulated that changes in the EU relationship would trigger an automatic referendum.

Sadly, the agreement also states that he and the Lib Dems have to be integral to such a reform process, and in light of Clegg’s hateful fecklessness, born from a confusing amalgam of power hunger clashing with a party political need to remain distinct from his coalition partner, I predict he will be true to his spanner-like identity. Thrust himself firmly into the works he will, the unmitigated pillock and architect of Liberal Democrat ruination. He’ll be the linchpin of political deadlock for the next two years while his party begin trying to carve themselves a more distinct and electable identity for 2015.

Rant over. They just annoy me, the Liberal Democrats. Not being a Eurosceptic myself but recognising the problematic relationship between the UK and an increasingly integrating continent, at least politically, it seems clear that public sentiment is generally in favour of strong and determined action to achieve the relationship the public is comfortable with. I believe in renegotiation, albeit ideally helmed by someone less precarious and subject to the sceptics gaze than Cameron, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong in questioning the very one track European trajectory that has been.

As disturbing as it is to say this, as long as Cameron can hold his nerve he remains the best prospect for moderate change. Labour haven’t shown signs of offering the British people what they want and I doubt the Lib Dems under Clegg will ever have the guts to follow through with their supposed position. UKIP simply want the UK to slip into obstinate and isolated ignominy with their extreme position, more to the tragic irony of their general “Rule Britannia” understanding of the world. So… yeah. If Europe is the central issue in your mind, then the man even I had virtually written off last week is indeed your flickering, faint supermarket-bought pocket torch of a thing once known as hop… shop? Hope! Hope.

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Spring of the Long Knives

Nigel Farage must be laughing himself silly. Not to be hyperbolic, but chaos has beset the main three parties, as the last few weeks show the knives being drawn from clunky sheaths by not the subtlest of hands. Just today, Conservative cabinet ministers Hammond and Gove turned up the temperature on Cameron by announcing that a referendum on Europe tomorrow would see them voting “out”. The pain isn’t limited solely to the Tory leadership however, as signs indicate Labour and Liberal Democrat factions are steadily beginning to murmur insubordination.

It doesn’t come as the greatest of surprises that Peter Mandelson is dipping his beak back into the news cycle at this point, with words that poor old Ed Miliband won’t be delighted to read. Attacking the vagueness of the rather insipid “One Nation” theme that the opposition launched at last year’s party conference, the more cutting edge of his criticism was about Labour’s broader trajectory and focus. “You have to be more than a slogan and more than a label to get people to vote for you. So much is obvious,” he says.

Clearly not obvious enough to his party’s Commons front bench, who have proved guilty of being little more than a hollow protest bloc under Miliband’s leadership. The odd whispers of exciting, intellectual social democratic ideas that he is reported to be a font of haven’t translated into notable policy or a cohesive party mission. And more importantly, they haven’t translated into an energising force in terms of the electorate. Miliband, and Ed Balls for that matter, have consistently polled worse than their opposites in government.

This will be a strange one for Miliband to compute, given that “One Nation”, a concept pinched off conservative Disraeli, was his attempt to plant the Labour flag much closer to the Mandelson-favoured centre-left. A mild twist, given that Miliband came up through the party in the Brown faction that never quite got behind the “Third Way”, and was propelled to the top by the unions. Without the support of the dark lord of the New Labour movement and having been recently thoroughly spanked by Unite leader Len McCluskey for not being a union lapdog, it seems that Cameron is not alone in his hapless scramble in the dark for an ideological foothold.

Perhaps the most speculative of the treacherous whispers is regarding Nick Clegg, although how his fate isn’t considered inevitably sealed by his party’s current flirtation with ruin is an enigma. Whether or not Gove’s suggestion that Clegg’s opposition to childcare reforms is an attempt to shore up his strength in the party is almost irrelevant. Supposing that the slyly propagated rumour was true, and even if Lord Oakeshott were to put Vince Cable on the throne, the party are doomed to face only more electoral pain for the coming years. The initiative is gone for the Liberal Democrats, and they won’t see another bump in the polls like 2010 for some time, if ever again.

Of greatest import currently is that we’re on the eve of dramatic activity within the Conservative party, with events since the local council elections telling us that Cameron is likely to surrender to most of his right wing’s demands on Europe and immigration. Unless he has suicidal tendencies. Even the “compassionate” sympathisers seem to be getting dragged by fear into the traditional fold as is particularly indicated by Gove, who has been a major supporter of Cameron up to this point and for a long time. The education secretary undercutting his leader so bluntly is no small thing.

Until the 25th hour Cameron was desperately trying to inject enough confidence in his EU “renegotiation” strategy with Merkel to avoid this sort of mess, but UKIP struck too soon and he simply failed in that respect. With prominent ministers speaking their rather expedient piece, adding to the anti-EU chorus of old Tory notables like Nigel Lawson, this bizarre vote on the Queen’s Speech amendment on Tuesday is about as clear a message to the PM that it’s time for obedience on Europe. That, or protracted in-fighting, which could consign the lot of them straight back to opposition.

Tense times, where centre-ground politics are at stake. The country is generally not at all lurching to the right, as the Daily Mail might idiotically suggest in an attempt to deny Labour some comfort out of a very soft performance in the polls, but the race to target the middle that New Labour initiated has presently lost its vigour. I don’t think it’s impossible that we see a set of manifestos come 2015 that much more resemble types from the pre-Blair years. It’s looking that way for the Tories and we still have to see for Labour, but the amount of time they take to start galvanising their bases is directly proportional UKIP’s consummately unwanted longevity.

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David Cameron’s Pickle

This isn’t an article about the Prime Minister’s penis, or any part of his genitalia for that matter, although were he to find his testicles any time soon it would a tremendously good thing for the country. Cameron’s reaction to the UKIP plague has been a consummate disappointment in the immediate aftermath of last week’s council elections. Where William Hague calmly assured of no lurch to the right, we see in the Queen’s Speech the new centre-piece of coalition politics – immigration reform.

This has been in the deck for a while now but one suspects the PM was holding it in his pocket for the day when he needed more than his Etonian credentials to sate his right wing’s fears over anything moderate. That day has come but it is a tragedy the card has to be played due to external forces. An intra-Tory xenophobia war could have been managed and largely squashed but with UKIP putting serious pressure on the party, there is every likelihood we will see some startling changes in the months to come.

I described the PM in my last article as a curiously wet non-entity and that assessment remains. Where my excitement has gone over his centrist appeal and apparent dynamism with regards to taking the Conservative Party in a new, compatible and modern direction, I’m not sure. Probably flushed down the toilet with half a dozen cabinet fails, a couple of party rebellions around Europe and gay rights and an ever sluggish economy. All taken together it smacks resoundingly of a dearth in leadership.

The traditional Tories were never going to just fade away or become naturally subducted into Cameron’s compassionate model, that is, beyond initial electoral logic. He clearly failed to realise that this was his job, to carry the party with him. Instead he ploughed forward with his loyal clique in tow and has up to this point been dangerously dismissive of those within the party who opposed his more progressive tendencies. Not that I’m defending the reprehensible Nadine Dorries, but the leadership’s treatment of her is indicative of this.

If immigration needs reforming then fine, do it. I’m hugely wary of the wide and competing range of arguments in this area and frankly cannot be bothered to wade into that now. All I know is that the timing of this new initiative is cynical and transparent to the point that I’m tempted to add Cameron to my Bonfire of the Ministers. The right wing is indisputably wagging the Cameron, if you’ll pardon my phrase-butchery.

Compassionate conservatism is now a dead brand thanks to wildly controversial NHS overhauls and welfare reform, coupled with slashed corporate and 50p tax rates, against a backdrop of decreasing living standards. The electorate won’t buy that line again for some time indeed. So while the rightwards lunge is hugely undesirable, the centre is no longer fertile ground for the Tories and they are left in an ideological crisis. At the moment, Labour can reasonably look forward to a leading share in the vote come 2015, as completely undeserved as that is and would be.

I tentatively whispered some months ago that perhaps Hague deserves a second shot at the top job, especially if he could do so during a period that wasn’t politically untenable for the Conservative Party. I wouldn’t exactly describe the current climate as tenable but the Tories are still in power with a good stretch ahead of them. While I’m usually highly skeptical of the often nominal cabinet reshuffle, proactivity should probably come in the form of radical personnel changes. I’d prefer that to an immigration policy that satisfied those with the worst perspective on the issue.

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The Rise and Projected Fall of UKIP

The results are… sort of in! As things stand, with 32 of 35 voting councils declared, the picture is pretty much what was expected, minus that dash of sensationalism over UKIP’s potential fortunes. A projected general election vote share puts them on about 23%, behind Labour and the Tories on approximately 29% and 25% respectively. The Liberal Democrats are consigned to a delicious 14%, adding further ridicule to their leaderships recent, absurdly denialist statements of vitality.

To the figures! Labour’s current addition of 260 seats is barely a performance after their 2006-9 catastrophes. Two councils, South Shields and the two mayors gained will be considered a hazardous minimum. The Tories might be slightly relieved not to have suffered far worse than ten councils (all but two to No Overall Control) and 320 councillors lost, considering they retain an overall majority in councils. Still, it’s a sorry metric for success and more a stern indictment.

Liberal Democrats have typically relied more on “grass roots” council level elections to maintain national influence and the loss of at least 106 councillors and a massive reduction of the vote share could push them into crisis mode, long overdue as that is. Otherwise, the Green Party gaining but one seat and the BNP losing their remaining three is an afterthought. UKIP, adding upwards of 136 councillors to the original eight, is clearly the new “further to the” right wing player.

Farage has reacted, perhaps for the first time with an inkling of legitimacy, in typical fashion to any and all gains or even lateral movements for the party in the last five years. To paraphrase, “UKIP are now on the scene as a major party and will shape the face of this nation’s politics in a substantial way.” He’s a goofy little optimist in that sense and probably an honest one, despite the other half of his world view being consumed by fear of anything beginning with Euro.

But it turns out that the answer to the crucial question of whether or not the England and Wales council elections carried any true significance is, no. Not really. This general election projection is a curiosity at best, and distorts these results. They should be regarded as checking the pulse of the nation, and presently that pulse reads dangerously for the three established parties. But between the present and the spring of 2015 is a meaty chunk of what we humans call…. “time”.

Time, granted, in which the Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats could prove incapable of recalibrating their collective sense of basic competency and political focus. In that regard it wouldn’t displease me to see the heads of messirs Clegg, Farron, Balls, Miliband and Osborne upon ye olde Westminster spikes. Cameron remains an oddly wet non-entity at present, avoiding the implicit chop that nonetheless is being steadily prepared by his blonde nemesis.

However I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the whole lot still shackling their parties down with so much toxic association come the general election. Solutions will likely be sought elsewhere although I don’t imagine the main three will have to be too creative. UKIP gave us just a little glimpse in the run-up to these elections of what lies in store for them, and toxic associations in the form of BNP and EDF dabblers aren’t the least of their concerns. They are not prepared.

Part of this is down to Farage’s curious insistence that his members not be whipped into unity in terms of policy. Without anything resembling a comprehensive central party policy all this has achieved is confusion when trying to relate UKIP’s cohesive mission statement to the public. They have somehow achieved a pitfall most commonly associated with liberal politics, despite the supposed anti-EU glue of the UKIP world.

Scratch beneath the surface of the perfunctory stump speech in this area and there is disarray. Email exchanges between the party’s leadership show this as much as any challenge to any of their number on something as essential as tax policy. This pathetic excuse of not having a respectably complete platform for want of a looming general election, is something any party vying for the responsibilities of government should be eviscerated for.

And UKIP have been around for a while now. Discussions of purchasing a platform from right-wing think tanks, at this point, is so laughable you can fairly argue that this party’s ability to only achieve the anticipated degree of success in these elections, in what is an abysmal political environment for the main three parties, shows that scepticism for the protest vote is already in healthy supply. I anticipate they won’t gain a single parliamentary seat in 2015.

Labour’s overall rise in the vote share clearly demonstrates that social democratic values aren’t particularly threatened by UKIP, with most of the actual right-wingers’ share being taken from the Tories and Lib Dems. And most importantly, UKIP failed to take control of a single council, highlighting the common feature of a fringe-turned-protest cum embryonic/ephemeral beta main party – a dispersed and ineffective voting base.

I’m only concerned in-so-far as the moderate political establishment does indeed have a pressing priority in getting their ships in proper order and pulling back the votes, as failure to do so leaves the door open for the sideshow that UKIP intrinsically and unavoidably are. They have two years to achieve this and I have a fleeting optimism that if there is any force that can adequately corral these buffoons, it’s a tangible threat to their political careers.

Well… at least the fleeting optimism will be back to its full anaemic state after my gag reflex settles. I’m turning off the news before I see another adult politician fawn over UKIP and their triumph of the day. Have some goddamned self-respect.

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