Saturday, May 03, 2008

British electorate votes against Labour.

Britain’s Labour Party suffered a stunning series of humiliations in local elections. Even holding elections on the favorite holiday of socialists, May Day, didn’t seem to help. England turned its back on Labour very decisively.

The net result is that in total votes cast Labour came in third place. The Conservative Party came in first and the perennial third place winners, the Liberal Democrats, passed Labour in popular votes to come in second.

In the local councils Labour saw their number of seats decline by 331 and they lost control of 9 councils. The conservatives now hold 65 councils to Labour’s 18 with the Lib Dems in third at 12, 64 councils have no clear majority.

In London the oafish Conservative, Boris Johnson beat out Labour’s Ken Livingstone by a margin of 140,000 votes.

Labour has been facing disaster for some time. Tony Blair, following the advice of George Bush, led the party into the wilderness and it simply hasn’t recovered. Even Blair’s well-deserved resignation didn’t help the party. Gordon Brown, Blair’s replacement, refused to distance himself from Blair’s disastrous policies and the voters fled Labour as a result.

His main benefit has been that he is neither Tony Blair nor Gordon Brown.

Brown has refused to abandon the principles of Blair and that drove voter resentment against Labour. Conservative Party leader, the greasy David Cameron, on the other hand, has simply refused to have any principles whatsoever. But he did benefit because he’s not Tony Blair and not Gordon Brown. Exactly who he is remains to be seen. I suspect he will be the next Prime Minister and he will spend a lot of his first term causing voters to questions the wisdom of electing him.

The Lib Dems are continuing their slow move into becoming England’s second party. There have been some steps within the party to embrace it’s older classical liberal principles, not enough yet to call them true liberals, but enough to warrant attention.

Labour has pushed through many of the Big Brother type policies that George Bush has inflicted on the United States so it is nice to see them slaughtered at the polls. Personally I would have preferred seeing them lose a couple hundred more seats than they did. And I would have like to have seen the Lib Dems receiving more than they have -- they always get shafted in the first-past-the-post seats. Even though they won more votes that the Brownies did they come in third when it translates into actual seats.

One of the ugly incidents in the election was that the fascist British National Party won a seat in the London Assembly pushing their typical anti-immigrant positions. During times of financial stress, usually brought on by inept government management, stupid voters look for scapegoats. And because they stupid they never end up actually blaming the people responsible -- the politicians they put into power. Instead they look to take their frustration on others. Since the defeat of Hitler’s National Socialism it has been very out of fashion to blame every problem on “the Jews” so the dumb have turned to new scapegoats: immigrants and gays.

Le plus ça change ... le plus c'est la même chose.

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