Friday, May 06, 2011

Proud to be British

The local elections and referendum result sum up everything about British politics this morning. They show that negative campaigning always resonates well with voters, who clearly can't be bothered to judge an issue on its merits. AV may be a "miserable little compromise" as Nick Clegg stated last year, but it would still represent a step forward from the current system. Congratulation to the "No" campaign for proving that you don't win British votes through reasoned debate and a clear discussion of the arguments.

I'm also loving the kicking the Liberal Democrats are taking in the local elections. Not because I agree with said kicking - far from it - but because it also sums up the way we Brits are so easily manipulated into knee-jerk reactions by the two major parties. Blaming the junior partner in a coalition for all of its failings - and there are many - is laughable. If people don't like what the ConDem coalition has done so far, they ought to be shown an alternative universe where the Conservatives got in with an absolute majority of 1. Things would be far worse now than they are, but why acknowledge the small gains the Lib Dems have achieved (such as the raising of the income tax bar, which will do far more for poorly paid working people than anything Labour managed to achieve over its 13 years in government - abolition of the 10p rate of tax, anyone?) when you can blame them for everything they haven't managed to?

There is one crumb of comfort to be had, though: we in Colchester have bucked the national trend, and the Lib Dems held on to all their seats in a night of "no change". And in our ward, they even managed to narrow the majority of the sitting Conservative councillor to come close to handing a Shrub End a clean sweep of Lib Dem representatives. So for all the ineptitude of the British voter, my love for this area grows even more. As for the rest of the British electorate, don't come crying to me the next time you disagree with something political: this system, and the governments it elects is what you deserve.

1 comment:

Rhian Drinkwater said...

We bucked the trend here too; Tories lost three, Lib Dems gained three. Depressing overall though.