Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Our dilettante government

Nigel Farage characterises them as 'college boys' with no experience of the real world; elsewhere they are 'rich kids' loyal to their frat club, lightweights, dillettantes, and no match for the mandarins. Cameron is fast discovering that the corollary of taking the credit for everything when things are going well is taking the blame for everything when the reverse holds true. Their only saviour is Ed Miliband, a politician so comically incapable, so bereft of charisma, that if he entered the hustings against a dog that said 'sausages' the serious money would be on the dog. 

And as Richard North points out this morning, the public are almost completely indifferent to those things that excite the political class and their dags. The 'Sun' will sell not one copy fewer this morning, 'Sky' lose not a single viewer. It's disassociation rather than apathy - Helena Kennedy's 'Power' enquiry demolished the myth of voter apathy once and for all - as people just can't relate the doings of Westminster and Whitehall to their own lives.

The only flickering interest right now supports the truth of 'Tip' O'Neill's aphorism that All politics is local. The London Mayoral election has been decided by Livingstone's obfuscation of his tax affairs as both candidates have become detached from their parties, and a grass-roots revolt in Tower Hamlets against electoral fraud and corruption by the Bangladeshis is giving a robust rejoinder to those who claim that Localism is a doomed concept where Johnny Foreigner is concerned. 

Typhoons. attack helicopters, snipers and drill missiles filling London's airspace today, along with HMS Ocean's stately presence and swarms of black RIBS buzzing the Thames, in either a singularly ill-timed or deliberately provocative security exercise the day before polling day (depending on whether you go for cock-up or conspiracy) will add the only frisson of excitement to an otherwise uninspired local election campaign.


DeeDee99 said...

Our political elite are quite content with the electorate's apathy from mainstream politics. What they don't want is enthusiasm for something they aren't offering: independence for the UK from the suffocating grip of the EU.

All apathy does is give LibLabCON the freedom to continue with their strategy of transferring power to Brussels and managing the governing process in the UK.

Enthusiasm by the serfs results in the likes of Galloway being elected and - if we can overtake the LibDems - possibly UKIP.

The solution is obvious said...

ALL postal voting should be banned, including for expats and others overseas - eg military, British Council, embassy staff etc.

If you can't get to a polling station to vote on the day and produce verifiable ID - too bad you miss out.

Blue Eyes said...

I agree with this. It's not apathy but a sense of powerlessness which drives people away from political engagement.

Several people have said to me during the Mayoral campaign that they don't particularly like either of the main two candidates but they dislike one more than the other. Despite the AV system, it's still a two horse race so although we have the luxury of a protest first preference, we still all have to decide between Boris and Ken.

I actually like Boris but there are far more (who will decide the election) who think he is less bad than Ken and vice versa.

Westminster has disappeared up its arse. People care about the economy, the economy and the economy. And schools and the NHS slightly less intensely. What are the chief topics of Westminster debate? Who takes the bulk of the profits from Sky Sports. Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...


Anon 2 said...

We didn't reject AV? Or is London different (I know it's no longer a de facto part of Britain.

Zaphod Camden said...

London doesn't use full AV. It uses the Supplementary Vote, which is slightly different. Basically, you get a first and second preference.

That's been the case ever since London got an elected Mayor. Basically, the only elections in the UK that still use the old FPTP system are the ones to Westminster and to councils in England & Wales,

Anon 2 said...

Thank you, Zaphod. It's ever more outrageous. We have to stop them.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

BE - I agree.

Many times recently I have voted for the least bad candidate, since (a) nobody represents my views at all and (b) they're all the same anyway.

Interestingly, in my local ward for today's election, there's one Tory on the ballot, one Labour, one FibDim, one Independent, and TWO SNP candidates. How does that work then?

I suppose in Salmondland after the rigged referendum, ALL candidates will be SNP, just to make sure. And they'll win by 99% or something, like the old Soviet Union.