The Election Aftermath – WTF Happened?
Firstly, my apologies for a rambling, overlong article on the election in my blog, two weeks ago, which upon review, lacked proper focus. (Nobody has complained – I just know it, as I am my own, severest critic).
I wonder how many of my readers made it through to the end….?
But I did get the result more or less correct – I said that the Tories would have the most seats, possibly enough to govern more or less alone. Nobody, not even the Tories themselves dreamed that they would actually obtain a small working overall majority, so well done to Mobi for beating most, if not all the political pundits.
Why did all the opinion polls get it so wrong?
I have listened to endless discussions over the ‘Shy Tory‘ issue since the results came in, and as I am sort of one myself, I can well believe that Shy Tories do indeed exist.
The plain truth is that it is a simply un-cool to tell people you support the Conservative Party, because if you do, the liberal left will jump on you from a great height and accuse Cameron, Osbourne et al as privileged Eton ‘Hooray Henrys’ from the wealthy upper classes, who only look after their ‘own’.
Even here in Pattaya, amongst my few small circle of friends, I am reluctant to discuss British politics, as I know I will get into serious arguments if I try to defend Tory policies.
Indeed. I don’t deny that many of the Tory leaders are indeed from the wealthy brigade but in my humble opinion, they are more effective and capable than all the alternatives.
Even the arch political inquisitor, Jeremy Paxman – that scion of all politicians, from left, centre and right, admitted that the Tories inherited a colossally bad economic situation back in 2010, and whatever they did was going to be roundly criticised by more or less everyone. He also acknowledged that they haven’t made too bad a fist of it.
I’ll never forget George Osbourne being booed very loudly at the 2012 Olympics, yet I’m personally convinced that history will show he did a pretty decent job. It was never going to be easy, but in the main, he found a way to steer a middle course that didn’t hurt anyone too much. Of course he and Cameron have made a few bad decisions – what politician hasn’t?
Churchill was a nasty, racist, drunken, arrogant bastard – but that didn’t stop him being one of Britain’s greatest ever heroes – he was the man for the moment, with all his privileged, racist faults.
Has any of you ever seen the film of Churchill’s state funeral when his coffin was piloted down the Thames in a barge? Do you remember the moving salute given to the barge by the cranes that lined the river banks when they all lowered their long derricks in salute to the great man?
Well, I’ve got news for you. The men who operated those cranes all initially refused to man them and make that salute. It was only after they were ordered to do it, on the threat of being fired – and also offered a special payment – that they agreed to go ahead. Later, the crane operators stated that they didn’t want to do it because they hated Churchill and everything he stood for.
Some things never change.
Fortunately, with the help of the Lib-Dems, the Tories were able to steer the nation out of recession to the point where the UK is now one of the better economic performers in the western world.
But try to explain this to most left-leaning people and you will receive a lot of abuse and invective for your efforts.
So if I’m a Shy Tory in Thailand, how much more Shy will people be if they are living in the UK?
Some say that the ‘shy Tory’ explanation doesn’t explain why the polls got it so wrong.
“Surely,” they say,“even though Tory supporters may be shy in telling their friends how they will vote, why be shy when talking to the opinion pollsters? – After all, it’s anonymous.”
I’ll tell you why – it may be anonymous, but, many ‘shy Tories’ would tend to steer clear of opinion polls – they simply don’t wish to be involved – or tell a pollster their political preferences. It’s their private business and all they want to do is go to the poll booth and vote, where nobody – not even the pollsters – can look them in the eye, or talk to them over the phone, and ask how they are going to vote.
This feeling of shame is sad. It is okay for left-wing voters to say they are voting for the party who will benefit them the most, but it’s not okay for centre/right wing voters to tell us that they prefer the party that they think will benefit them the most
Maybe Shy Tory voters have more of a conscience?
What is wrong with voting for the party that will do the best for you? Isn’t that what democracy is all about?
The exit polls were so accurate because when voters left the polling station, they were asked to put their cross – anonymously – on a piece of paper, indicating the way they had voted and then put that paper into a box – just like the ballot box.
Nobody, not even those handing out the forms, could see where they had put their crosses, so they were honest and the exit poll was very accurate.
If the pre-election opinion pollsters had done something similar, (i.e. used anonymous forms and asked the public to put crosses alongside the party they favoured and place them into a box), they might have seen a different result.
I won’t deny that the issue that arose late in the day about whether Labour might do a deal with the SNP didn’t also play its part. But this only became an issue when Miliband and his cohorts handled the matter so badly.
In reality, it should have been a non-issue, as the SNP would never have held a Labour government to ransom over Scottish reforms, for fear of toppling the government and triggering a new election.
If they did that, there would be a real danger that the Tories might get in and Labour would lose power, which wouldn’t suit the SNP at all. The SNP’s might also lose some of their hard-won seats as people started to lose faith in their ability to deliver. If labour had formed a government, it was always going to be a messy stand-off, but very unlikely that the SNP would have ever held Labour to ransom over Scottish reforms.
And let’s not forget that even if Labour had won every single seat in Scotland, the Tories would still have had an overall majority, such were Labour’s losses in the rest of the UK.
Ed Miliband would have been a disaster as PM – and most people knew it. Even a senior labour ex-minister admitted that they knew that “The Party” – not the leader – had to win the election as they had long since realised that their leader couldn’t do it for them. What an admission!
One of the many stupid things that Ed did in the last few days leading to the election was going to see the comedian, Russell Brand and allowing him to interview him on his pathetic YouTube channel.
Russell Brand maybe a funny man and beloved of many teenagers, (who are mainly too young to vote), but as far as politics are concerned he is a total and complete moron, and most grown-up politicians know this. Brand had been telling everyone not to vote, then he changed his mind and said everyone should vote Labour, (after meeting Miliband), and then after Labour lost, he said: “I was wrong, I made a mistake, I have no influence over how people vote.”
What on earth was Miliband all about? What did he hope to achieve by visiting Brand in his house and trying to sneak out in the dead of night? What an idiot!
And I won’t even start on the “Ed-Stone” saga.
And as for poor (rich) Nick Clegg!
Have you ever seen him on The Last Leg? It is TV Channel Four’s deeply disrespectful chat show starring satirical comedians that criticise anything and anyone for a cheap laugh – especially politicians
Did Nick think he was being cool to go on such a show? He actually appeared twice – and each time he showed himself up as the jumped-up, privileged little ‘hooray henry’ that he is and… he was totally out of his depth, with such experienced, professional mickey-takers. The only laughs were at his expense.
But Clegg’s fate was cast back in 2010 when he did a U-turn on his campaign pledge not to increase tuition fees. He was never, ever going to recover from that, and neither, sadly, was his party.
How many times did Clegg and his fellow Lib-Dems try to tell us they joined the coalition in the ‘national interest’?
Nobody believed them because all we could see was a hubristic Deputy Prime Minister, looking so pleased with himself, along with the likes of Vince Cable and Danny Alexander who were unexpectedly elevated to positions of power that they could have only dreamed about barely a few months earlier. These guys loved their little ‘power kicks’ – and everyone could sense it.
As for Nigel – well frankly I’m quite disgusted.
I have never thought much of UKIP, with its crackpot policies and racist, crackpot members who would have been more at home in the BNP or possibly the Monster Raving Looney Party. But I used to have a grudging respect for its leader, Nigel Farage who in the main, had conducted himself with skill and integrity.
The problem for Nigel was that in order to be an effective leader, he had to be a member of parliament. Anything else, post the 2015 general election, would be unacceptable – and he told us so in no uncertain terms. He assured us that if he didn’t win the seat at Thanet, then he would stand down as leader.
“My neck is on the line,” he told us.
Asked if he would ever stand again to be an MP he said:
“It is the final countdown. I am leader of the party – I need to get elected, because if I don’t, I am for the chop.”
He wrote in his memoirs in March that he would quit as party leader if he fails in South Thanet.
Do you know how many times our Nigel has previously tried to enter the British parliament?
No less than 5 times! (Thanet makes six).
Each time, he was rejected by the British voters. (Even Miliband and Clegg managed to hold onto their seats.)
So what did Nigel do after he failed to be elected?
He did a Nick Clegg. He went back on his word.
At first, he simply said he would stand down, have a holiday and then probably put himself up for re-election.
This was bad enough, after previously undertaking that he would definitely quit for good, but within 24 hours, we heard that he didn’t even stand down, and he hadn’t even sent in his promised resignation letter. He told us that he was persuaded to change his mind by this national executive.
Internecine warfare has now broken out amongst the higher (and lower) echelons of UKIP, and God only knows where it will all finish.
In my humble opinion, it is probably the beginning of the end for UKIP. The party, including its leader, have shown themselves to be ‘men of straw’, with no integrity or serious grasp of the issues that confront our nation today.
I predict that we will soon witness the long and painful disintegration of UKIP as its membership and influence starts to go into terminal decline.
If you doubt me – consider what happened to the SDP. Only thirty years ago it had such incredible support, and everyone thought it was a genuine third alternative to the two-party system, after the ‘gang of four’ jumped ship (Labour/Liberal) to set it up.
The SDP has long since been swallowed up by the Liberals, who now have a grand total of 8 MP’s in the new parliament – against the SNP’s 56.
What’s the betting that if Cameron does a half way decent job in giving the Scots more devolution, that the SNP might well start to fade away over the coming decade?
We Brits like to stray politically every now and then, but in the end we return to the tried and tested traditional parties.
Only a few weeks ago, we were told that the two-party system was history and that we would be having coalition governments for evermore…..
As they say… “A week is a long time in politics”