Sunday, 9 May 2010

Reflections 2 Hang Them High...

Now as the dust settles down following the ruffled feathers of the general election and as we await an announcement; who is to be our next Prime Minister and which shaken cocktail of collaboration will do the dirty and prepare to stick the boot hard into the working class, this coming week?

There's not a lot to say actually about the horse-trading that’s going on between the Tories and their new found friends the Liberal Dimocrats, but on this Sunday morning as I write, as I ponder the possibilities, it looks increasingly likely from where I’m standing that Cameron will assume office and take hold of the keys to 10 Downing Street.

The only one thing that I will say; is that this would indeed vindicate all those who have said they have no illusions about the Lib/Dems being Yellow Tories; we utilized Pink Tories back in the day.

One interesting fact that has emerged from the election results and pointed out by other bloggers; is that traditional left Labour MPs strived with determination bucked the trend, and in some cases increased their majorities, it’s also becoming clear that in predominately working class areas workers came out to stop the Tories, even though I suspect that many had no illusions that New Labour had worked against their interests during its tenure of 13 years. The ballot saw Labour lose votes heavily, with its share declining to 29.1 percent—a post-war low. Its seat loss would have been higher had not sections of workers in the major urban centres held their noses to cast a vote against the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. And as we know the latter had already indicated their preference for a coalition with the Tories.

One other significant fact is that the media (excluding the Mirror) had all but deserted the Labour Party and Brown casting forcefully their rags (newspapers) behind the Cameron bandwagon along with the captains of capitalism who unreservedly demanded that an incoming Tory government implement the austerity shuffle of cuts. There were also days of mischief-making when they ran a media campaign to proclaim that the Liberal Democrats could win the largest share of the popular vote, they instead came in third with just 23 percent and as I say lost seats.

In this election National turnout was up from 61.4 percent in 2005 to 64.6 percent; still so, this is a significant decline on the 71.4 percent turnout in 1997 when New Labour first came to power.

The result has been described as the outcome of a “none of the above” and the country is more divided than ever before—along geographic lines that are ultimately rooted in social divisions.

Results for local authority elections in England indicate a similar pattern, with Labour making gains and the Tories and Liberal Democrats losing seats. The Liberal Democrats even lost control of Sheffield City Council, where party leader Nick Clegg’s Hallam constituency is located.

The unexpected increase in turnout saw thousands of people prevented from voting in Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield and parts of the capital due to the lack of staff and/or ballot papers. There were angry scenes outside polling stations and even sit-ins as police were called to tell people that had queued for hours they would not be able to cast their ballot. Legal challenges are expected. And let’s mention the fact that most of the problems in this respect were in dense impenetrable areas of working class community and not the rich Tory and Liberal shire town’s and villages of England.

So this sets the scene, the picture following the general election all of three day’s ago, now in my next post I will examine what the response of the left has been during, before and after this election.

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