This latest UK General Election has been a curious beast, for me it has been characterised by extreme control freakery and image manipulation from the three big ‘cartel’ parties, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat. Also the cartel parties have often been playing a ‘core voter’ strategy with the Conservatives highlighting the economy and its improvements, Labour hiding behind the national quasi-religious cult that is the National Health Service and the Lib Dems trying to simultaneously appeal both to their own Leftists and those who think the Lib Dems will be a moderating force. In other words they’ve played to what they perceive to be their strengths.
It has also been an unusual election as we’ve known, since 2010 what the exact date of this general election would be, the Fixed Term Parliaments Act has removed from the PM the ability to set the date of an election at a time of his or her choosing. In a way it is an election campaign that hasn’t just gone on only for a few weeks, but has been a going on for several years.
This election has also seen the rise of socialism red in tooth and claw in Scotland and Wales with both the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru calling for more largesse and welfare provided it is all being paid for by someone else, most notably the English, of course. Both the SNP and Plaid seem to think that there is a magic socialist money tree growing somewhere in the South East of England, and they’ve yet to find out that the magic socialist money tree is nothing but a myth. Any ‘bankers bonus tax’ or ‘mansion tax’ that could be imposed by any form of Leftist alliance at Westminster would not go very far in paying for these Leftist fantasies, it would be a drop in the ocean. Also if the economic plans of Plaid and the SNP are incompetent then their immigration and social policy plans would be worse. People could be voting for Plaid and the SNP because they want better schools or better hospitals only to find that the extra resources these services get is eaten up rapidly by newly arrived immigrants who will be facilitated into the UK by the immigration policies of Plaid and the SNP.
A more worrying aspect of this election has been broadcasting bias, especially that of the BBC, although Sky has not been that much better. Because a notable feature of this election campaign has been the rise of UKIP broadcasters have been caught off guard, and that has meant that those with a leftist sympathy in broadcasting organisations have circled the wagons. From this defensive position they’ve both subtlety and not so subtlety attacked UKIP. Misdemeanour’s or perceived misdemeanour’s by UKIP candidates have been highlighted mercilessly but the often more troubling actions by UKIP’s opponents have not. UKIP candidates and local headquarters have been picketed by leftist activists, UKIP posters have been torn down or defaced and in some cases UKIP candidates have been physically attacked by Leftists. However the one incident of violence intruding into politics that was extensively reported was when some of the ‘cybernats’ in Scotland heckled the Scottish Labour leader, the attacks on UKIP candidates and property were either not mentioned or only mentioned in passing.
This election has been a variety of different things. It has been relatively ‘gaffe-free’ on the part of the cartel parties but that is not a good thing, it shows that these parties are becoming afflicted by group-think and control freakery. It’s been an election that has seen the rise of insurgent parties and even where I don’t agree with the policies of an insurgent party, like the Greens for example, the rise of consumer choice in the political field should be welcome.
We do not know what the result will be of this election, but whoever leads Britain after it is going to have to deal with some pretty serious problems. There are problems in the economy, in social policy, with the growing number of fifth columnist jihadists, in education, and in the structure of the state itself. We can only hope that the British people elect some grown ups to deal with these problems and do not fall for the sort of empty blandishments that promise you a pot of jam today which will have to be paid for by your children tomorrow.