UK Election 2015 – The car crash of the chatterati against reality.

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There is a very old expression which very accurately explains what happened in Thursday’s general election – there are none so blind as those who will not look, there are none so deaf as those who will not listen.

To tell you what happened, you might need some background if you happen to be one of those 75% of readers of this blog who’re not residents of Britain. In the weeks leading up to voting day, every opinion poll, every pundit and all the mainstream media outlets bombarded the electorate about how neck and neck the contest was between the Conservative party and the Labour party, who’d nominally represent the right and left respectively of the classical political spectrum.

Given that neither of the main parties could therefore expect an absolute majority, all discussion revolved around what political accommodations could be made with various fringe parties to cobble together some sort of administration. Of course, all the fringe parties started licking their chops and drawing up their list of suitably outrageous demands so they could be negotiated down to play king makers.

Last Sunday, we held our annual birthday BBQ and given the proximity of the election, it was inescapable to discuss the politics. Once you got past the dyed in the wool left or right winger, a lot of people were keeping very quiet. The only thing more unsettling than a threat in politics is an ominous silence.

What was confidently expected to happen didn’t – it was a political bloodbath.

The Conservative party won 331 seats in a house of 650 seats, nearly a hundred more than any other party and an outright majority. It didn’t just stop there though. Labour was eviscerated north of the border by the Scottish Nationalist party. They had company. The Liberal party, who were in alliance with the Conservative party in the previous administration, lost nearly fifty seats south of the border to end up with only eight. They’ll be going to Westminster in a taxi bus from now on.

The Labour leader has resigned, the Liberal leader has resigned and the UKIP leader has resigned, but more about that enigmatic party later.

There are two obvious questions to be asked; how did all the polls and pundits get it so massively wrong and what’s to be done to repair the shattered electoral prospects of the losing parties.

Taking the first one first, because it’s the easy one, the chatterati and their luvvie mates in medialand really wanted Labour to make a strong showing, so that’s what all the polls and informed opinions force-fed down the throats of the electorate. Does that sort of consensual delusion ring any bells with you climate skeptics out there?

Not a single opinion poll reflected what was actually going to happen and I’m sure they were 97% certain that the election was settled politics, so why bother to even vote. They should have walked around our BBQ and counted the silences from a lot of people who actually thought about their politics. As a tactical voter and someone whose politics on certain issues is very much left of centre, my alarm bells were going off because even I was offended at the sheer clumsiness of Labour’s offering.

The Labour offering stank of a musty political statism direct out of the nineteen seventies; vote for me and I’ll tax all the rich people and give all their money to the workers. The party wasn’t talking to anyone else but its own party faithful steeped in the glory days of class conflict that eventually led the labour unions of the working man to their own self-immolation in the eighties. Vote for me and you’ll feel really nice about yourself.

All that huge media pressure to vote for what Labour was good enough to be offering you, rather than policies which addressed your concerns was devastating. Voters looked at a geekish leader whose only claim to fame was stabbing his own brother in the back for the leadership (personal betrayal is never forgiven by an electorate), someone whom they could just see the old lefties loved as did the new ones who hadn’t experienced the political wilderness such policies led to.

People who were self-employed plumbers and carpenters listened to that message and knew who was going to get their ass taxed off; millionaires can afford to employ smart accountants to minimise their tax bill, they couldn’t. Labour were so delusional, so retro, so out of touch with white van man, they were making an appeal based on class war, rather than the across-class politics that’ve been the norm for the last four decades.

North of the border in Scotland, Labour’s not listening problem produced a disaster of epic proportions. A Scottish National party that had gone into the election with only six seats, won all but three of the fifty-nine seats up for grabs. Fifty six seats. Just like that.

When the Scots wanted to talk seriously about devolution, all that was being jammed down their gorge was again class war and as far as they could see, it was all being done indirectly from the fashionable parts of London by fashionable labourite luvvies with their hands jammed up the arses of the local Scottish Labour party puppets. Their perception was spot on. Labour did very well in the London area but once you got outside it, it was a wash of Conservative blue.

As promised, I’ll move back to UKIP or the United Kingdom Independence party. They would be the enfant terrible of the local political landscape. So many people whose politics were essentially centrist, and I mean by that both mellowed right and left wingers, felt themselves orphaned by the two main parties. If you expressed doubts about the transition from an economic union with the EU to a political one, you were somehow just a reactionary whose growing objections could be ignored.

You never got a say in that subtle transition and were somehow being handed a fait accompli. That rankled not only because your views were being ignored but serious local issues became subjects everyone was talking about but which the mainstream parties wouldn’t touch with a bargepole.

You resent handling sovereignty to a bunch of faceless and unelected bureaucrats in Brussels? You’re just a little Englander. You start to have doubts about an immigration policy that’s not only totally out of control but stopping your kids getting a job because the immigrants understandably were prepared to work for lower wages, and suddenly you’re being called a racist. Since when was caring first for your own kith and kin a political crime?

UKIP got those very real issues out from under the not to be mentioned pile and into the mainstream discussion of the election and certainly Labour’s refusal to make any commitments on those issues added to their unelectability. UKIP took 16% of the vote but only one seat out of 650. I rather suspect that demographic is not going to go away, not least because anyone who voted for it had to suffer a barrage of frankly shameful propaganda, not only from both sides of the political divide but pretty much every organ of the mainstream media.

I think being sneered at by the establishment not only hardened their vote but in a curious way made voting for it by the politically alienated under thirties an attractive fight back thing against da man.

Is the Conservative party any better? The short answer is no – they’re just not as inept as the Labour party. But, they saw a jugular and went for it and the general mood seems to be one of relief at no more coalitions. They really didn’t read the popular mood any better than Labour, but after the bruising experience of staying in power for five years, no longer live in quite as high an ivory tower as labour.

Let’s do that second question – what’s to be done to repair the shattered electoral prospects of the losing parties?

The ever smallish Liberal party, whose exact politics most people even if nailed to a barn door really couldn’t define beyond that they’re really nice people, are probably gone for a generation or two. They were always the irrelevant pygmy in the political landscape whose polices were really fragrant, uncosted and because there was no chance of them ever being in power, totally unrealistic.

Unfortunately, given a whiff of power in the coalition, they couldn’t implement a single one of them, broke some big pledges and in the election all their disillusioned luvvie supporters turned on them and devoured them like savage children who’ve suddenly discovered their parents actually have feet of clay.

Labour’s election strategist absolutely knows it was a fault in the messaging of their policies. If they can just improve their communications, they’ll grab power the next time. Again, as a climate skeptic, that rings certain bells. Unless they get their act together and realise it’s not the policies you want to enforce on the electorate but the policies you can offer them to realise their aspirations, they’ll spend another eighteen years in the wilderness until another person comes along who’s prepared to kick the party into electable shape and then go to the country for a mandate. Time will tell.

Learn to listen, learn to look. Voters shape parties, not the reverse.

©Pointman

Related articles by Pointman:

Birthday bash.

Click for a list of other articles.

 

 

Comments
27 Responses to “UK Election 2015 – The car crash of the chatterati against reality.”
  1. Bob MacLean says:

    Excellent post, articulating so clearly the thoughts of many of us.

  2. meltemian says:

    The Conservatives won because the thought of a Labour/SNP alliance with the latter pulling the strings was too awful to contemplate.

  3. Old Rooster says:

    Bang on target as you so often are Pointy. There are many parallels to the Australian political landscape. Unfortunately our electoral system particularly for the Senate can make it more difficult to brush aside the minor parties.

    Perhaps parties like the UKIP (in Australia there is the nascent ALA) must follow the fate of the Chartists and achieve nearl all their goals but by indirect influence rather than electoral success.

    Can the runaway success of the SNP be attributed in part to the master stroke of appointing John McTernan as Chief of Staff to Jim Murphy, Scottish Labour Leader? I can see him now commanding a high salary bidding war from both the Republicans and the Australian Liberal/ National Coalition to work for the Democrats or the ALP respectively in the 2016 elections. I wonder if his genius extends to being able to do both?

    You are right though, in many respects the real story is that the self appointed intelligentsia of the media and political sciences have become disconnected from reality and their propagandising is failing to convince the people as it once did. That politicians have placed themselves in the hands of these PR/ spin doctor types is ultimately to the detriment of themselves and the countries they purport to lead.

  4. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    We ‘foreigners’ appreciate your overview of the election because it’s certainly been difficult to follow in the MSM. The result is even more difficult to understand. UKIP and the SNP score similar numbers of votes and yet one gets a single seat in the Parliament while the other has 59 seats? It’s our respective Electoral Systems that ‘move in mysterious ways’.

    And then I found this gem in our local post mortem on the results …..

    “Such was Labor’s confidence in the campaign, led by senior White House adviser and Barack Obama election strategist David Axelrod, they even employed legal experts to pour over the 2011 Fixed Term Parliament’s Act to explore loopholes to ensure Mr Cameron could be unseated within 24 hours of the vote count so he couldn’t build legitimacy and spend a month looking to form a coalition of his own.”

    Oh Bummer feeding Miliband his strategy? So reminiscent of Julia Gillard’s 2010 coup in defeating the popularly elected Liberals – form a minority government with the Greens and a few sell-out Independents while ignoring the ‘will of the people’.

    This strategy has become a template for a Legislators’ pea & shell game.

  5. Graeme No.3 says:

    Yes there are parallels with Australia.
    The MSM was so certain they knew who you should vote for.
    Both major parties had, I’m sorry to say, australian attack dogs as chief of electoral ‘strategy’. At least they didn’t make the mistake the Greens did and appoint a gormless aussie as leader.
    Both major parties specialised in weasel words and broken promises.
    Both major parties talked down to the voters, but it was ‘the same old waffle’.

    It looks like we may have an election later this year which I am not looking forward to one little bit.

  6. Athelstan. says:

    Wheels within wheels, got rid of one to install the other, interchangeable and entwined.

    A pretty good accurate post P,

    Articulating most of my sentiments and doing with the usual precision. Though, a bit worried about the personal pro “lefty” admission [what? ;-)]. I always thought that, you had more sense than that, maybe I think I know what you really mean though but don’t make the mistake of most Labour shills and think that those who stand on the free markets/Libertarian side of divide do not have social consciences.

    Another deeper level and big Brother watches.

    So many commentators do not see, refuse to acknowledge the major affliction and which runs core and almost uncontrolled reference; the NHS, local government Quasi autonomous non governmental organizations…. in Britain, is statism. And standing behind it, with the banksters/central banksters – that unholy political cabal in alliance with the corporate giants – who in joint collaboration with Brussels twist the system to suit their balance sheets – we shall know them by their name. Statism, this politically fashioned and debilitating disease negates the old confrontational left and right charade, L v R for it is a confection that the Westminster claque engineer misdirection to disabuse a slightly gullible public to the ongoing deconstruction and dismantling of the nation state, in this case Britain. Deconstruction, is the direction of travel – always. Labour have been vanquished, the clever part was that, the tories always have been the other cheek to that particular arse and…………. who, which party clamped us in the Brussels slaver – anyway?

    We have been taken over but from within, of course Brussels provides succour but the elite and their new cohort, paid for by you. This self serving, corrupt, one eyed social engineering, taxpayer funded public sector aristocracy – these unaccountable shills are a formidable foe and virtually untouchable for, the police protect them – the state defended against us ‘the people’ a small example and woe betide you if you do not conform. Evidently, multiculturalism is their [local government] divisive policy and despite Dave’s spiel “we must end multiculturalism” or summat to that effect, the policy relentless is unimpeded and mass immigration adds to the fun builds apace the ghettoisation of Britain.

    The final nails, throw in the capitulation to the mendacity and pestilential influence of the Sauds and Gulf satrapy. Then, the reaming of all academic institutions via the Frankfurt School doctrinaires [PPE at Oxford anyone?] – pretty much: we have been and are still being fucked.

    The problem with most of Britain’s politicians, whether they are in the Tory set or the other lot – they despise the British or, should I say the English voter and the in the Westminster claque consciences are worn on the sleeve but never touch the heart and certainly never engaged with those feeble cognitive facilities that they still possess. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad to see the back of Miliband – he was a nutter but now, the blue rinse nutters are in charge, the destination of the charabanc is exactly the same, it’s just a more scenic route.

    UKIP are the only hope but witness throughout a dirty campaign – the entire UK establishment’s [media whore’s in tow] full frontal assault on UKIP – it tells you what you need to know – that, the proles are going nowhere and will never be allowed to think for themselves.

    UK Democracy? No – just another charade played out.

    • Rastech says:

      @ Athelstan “Though, a bit worried about the personal pro “lefty” admission [what? ;-)]”

      This is part of the confusion brought on by factionalisation, and turning people against each other.

      There isn’t really a ‘left’ or ‘right’, it’s ‘Democracy’ and Democracy is as important in a balanced Republic as the other two possible forms of Government (Aristocracy and Monarchy/Dictatorship).

      So there are many Democratic principles that are very much needed. Democracy supplies the essential conscience, Aristocracy supplies the essential wisdom, and Monarchy/Dictatorship supplies the essential impetus to get things done.

      Conscience without wisdom is worse than irrational naivete, Wisdom without conscience is just knowing enough to be utterly corrupt, and both without the impetus to get things done are just impotent and ineffective fools.

      Monarchy/Dictatorship without wisdom and conscience is an unspeakably despotic tyranny that will stoop to any and all crimes, unless the Dictator happens to be a benevolent and wise one. Unfortunately when such power is available to be grabbed from one pair of hands, it usually ends up in the hands of the worst of the worst. Whether benevolent or tyrant, the life of Dictators tends to be short with violent endings.

      With UKIP, I think the result was for the best to go on with. There’s some (not many) serious flaws in the manifesto that need sorting out, and it is better for that to be done while enough attention can be given to them, and spend the time getting the necessary information onto the doorstep before the next election.

      I also think, given the shitstorm of consequences that are going to start descending on Brussels from here on, that the best place for Farage to be for them, is in the EU Parliament (which was why Juncker wished him luck and hoped he would win South Thanet, imho).

  7. peter h says:

    Do you not think that ordinary people turned on the vile Labour Party for one simple reason. It looked the other way while hundreds, possibly thousands of mostly white schoolgirls were tortured and raped by muslim gangs. What did they think would happen? Nothing effective has been done about it. It’s almost certainly still happening and the Labour party and its allies are still trying to cover it up. People are not stupid and they have now realized the depth of the utter contempt in which they are held by the Labour party and most of the political class. The people have now acted on that realization.

  8. thojak says:

    Excellent writing Pointman, thanks! (shared on FB)

    There just must be a fundamental wrong in the ‘system’ when a party gets ~ 16% of the votes and 3rd largest in the country, only gets one(1!!!) seat in parliament. SNP with ~ 5% gets 56x seats…
    Doubt there will be any of the sorely needed ‘tidying-up’ of [A Priori] the energy politics/-system in the UK. Hopefully, Cameron will pursue his promise of a EU referendum, but when and ‘how’…?

    Go figure!

    Brgds from Sweden!
    //TJ

    • Rastech says:

      It is the ridiculous situation with Constituency Boundaries. Plus, County borders breached with Constituencies being spread across them.

      If responsibility is devolved back to where it should be, Parish and County, things should work as intended (get rid of the utterly corrupt devolved ‘Assembly’ nonsense). The County and Parish system worked well for many centuries, and was extremely cost effective, as well as Democracy effective.

      We have to do away with imposed candidates from outside the Constituencies, and remove the tyrannical Whip system from Parliament, along with it.

      As well as much else besides.

  9. Justin Passin says:

    I don’t think Labour will ever hold power again. Times are a changing. Ironically, the introduction of the Climate Change Act by the last Labour government (and supported by all but 5 MP’s) has been the last nail in the coffin of the traditional ‘working class’ industries – those that require cheap plentiful energy. The traditional working class is shrinking fast and ‘the hard working’ voters wooed by all political parties no longer want to be categorised as working class.

    The cost of living ‘crisis’ floated in desperation by the Labour party was again, ironically, in no small measure caused by Labour’s inept open borders policy allowing low paid labour to flood the market. Add in the regressive nature of the massive rise in energy costs brought on by said Climate Change Act and the Labour party only have themselves to blame for the cost of living ‘crisis’. And the stark reality is that those who do suffer from a cost of living crisis are in a minority.

    The rise of the Scottish National Party reflects the alienation that large parts of the electorate feel from the political elite in the Westminster bubble. The SNP have channeled this disaffection very effectively based on historic grievances and an arbitrary line on the map that separates Scotland from England. As an aside, it always strikes me as one of the oddities of modern life that Scottish nationalism is to be applauded whilst English nationalism is to be derided.

    Funny old game football. And politics

  10. colliemum says:

    Great analysis, although the chatterati don’t seem to notice that they actually are in a car crash, simply because they don’t do ‘reality’.
    But that’s the unprofessional ones. The actual professionals, i.e. those manufacturing this ‘victory’, led by Lynton Crosby, knew perfectly well it would happen, because they made it so.
    Item one: The adulation of Ms SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, who didn’t even stand for Parliament and whose party didn’t contest any seats outside Scotland. Her policies were so wonderfully progressive – and she was the chosen one to stiffen the spine of Red Ed, for a glorious new socialist government.
    That’s what the MSM said – and Lynton crosby, with two editors in his pocket – of the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, waited to administer the sucker punch on election eve. Those two papers published ‘reports’, given chapter and verse in the form of a list of constituencies, where voting UKIP would let in Labour because the Tory might lose.
    Thus was fear engendered first, and then soothed by the simple recipe, a meme repeated time and again albeit untrue: vote UKIP – get Labour, or according to these two pieces, right before election day: vote Cameron or the Sturgeon will come and bite you.
    And thus people, out of fear, didn’t vote their conscience but their fear.
    Crosby won.
    That’s how it was done, and it’s cynical exploitation is a marvel to behold. The only aspect in this which makes me smile, grimly, is that the Islington socialists, especially those in the media, were also hoist with their own petard.
    As for UKIP – the fight goes on!

    • diogenese2 says:

      “thus people, out of fear, didn’t vote their conscience….”
      People vote their perceived benefit not their conscience. “The good of the country” is a cheap rationalisation and projection of your own interests. It has always been thus, greed and fear the onlie begetters of political action. But what, after all, is wrong with just wanting a comfortable secure life without anxiety and being seduced by those who promise it. The trouble is, having attained some approximation of this, the comfort and security then generate the anxiety that provides the motivation to continue living. Thus, concern about climate catastrophe (in 2070), forced islamisation (when they stop killing each other) and the other bowel looseners we are being sold. Certainly the idea of those bitter enemies Labour and the SNP in some form of coalition seeking surrogate recipients for their hatred, loosened mine.
      By the way the pollsters debacle previously occurred in 1970 and 1992, for the same reasons.
      The best moment for me was when a successful candidate thanked an artistic voter who, not realising that regulations only required papers “to be marked”, the form of marking being irrelevant, drew an exquisite erect penis against the mans name.
      Had I exercised due diligence I would have changed my vote.

      • colliemum says:

        Yes, well – voting their perceived benefit is certainly a huge influence, but the fear, and voting that fear, comes when that perceived benefit is under perceived threat, be it “they will take some of your freebies away” or “they will take more of your money away”. Funnily enough, there are very many voters who saw that this sterile argument leads up a blind alley if the root cause isn’t named, tackled and removed. And that is not voting with one’s fear.
        As for that marked paper – ooh, I love it! A pity none of those we scrutinised was marked thus, no artistry left, alas!

    • Graeme No.3 says:

      Well one thing is certain, Crosby will claim the credit and possibly a bonus. Whether it would be wise for him to stay around for the next election is doubtful.

      Cameron and the Conservatives will have to deliver now; they have no one else to blame for failure. The SNP will continue to agitate even though they only got 45% of the scottish vote, probably in the hope of more money from London. Dave would be wise to call their bluff, but detach the Shetlands and Orkneys so the oil and gas remain with the other 95% of the UK.

      In the past the Shetlands and Orkneys voted Liberal for many years and then LibDem, and provide the remaining LibDem seat in Scotland.

      Why did they resist the SNP tide? Perhaps they felt that a party with a Sturgeon and a Salmond was a bit fishy.

    • Old Rooster says:

      “Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”
      HL Mencken—In Defense of Women (1918)

  11. durango12 says:

    Another beautiful piece, but the churlish nature of this non-Brit tells me that the Edens, MacMillans, and Thatchers would hardly recognize the Camerons of today as “Conservative.” You have a long way to go yet, and it’s all downhill before there is real awakening. But that is also true of us in the US, just not quite as much downhill. Call me when UKIP gets a third of your seats.

  12. Pointman says:

    A political analysis of the opinion poll disaster by probably the only commenter who read it correctly.

    “The Left has so dominated the conversation and so noisily traduced the “petit bourgeois” values that guide the lives of what used to be called the “respectable working class” that, ironically, it is only the most socially confident who can openly embrace them. The very people whom Labour needs to attract (and which it did attract when it had re-invented itself as New Labour) are once again being bullied into hiding their true attitudes and opinions.

    So they prevaricate and evade when asked how they will vote because they are intimidated by the condemnation of the Left-wing mob, or else they just are not self-assured enough to make the moral case (even in their own minds) for their choice. But when they reach the sacred solitude of the voting booth, they do what they know must be done for the sake of their own futures, and that of their families, and even of those the Left insists are being disadvantaged – because they genuinely believe that dependency is a bad thing and that self-determination is a social good. ”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/general-election-2015/11594760/The-Tories-won-the-general-election-my-faith-in-the-British-people-was-entirely-justified.html

    Pointman

  13. Old Rooster says:

    Perhaps as the media has become mass it has become more crass because the apex is of a much shorter pyramid that more often elevates the worse rather than the better talents. Maybe it was ever thus—
    “How does so much [false news] get into the American newspapers, even the good ones? Is it because journalists, as a class, are habitual liars, and prefer what is not true to what is true? I don’t think it is. Rather, it is because journalists are, in the main, extremely stupid, sentimental and credulous fellows — because nothing is easier than to fool them — because the majority of them lack the sharp intelligence that the proper discharge of their duties demands.”
    HL Menken—Prejudices: A Selection, p. 220

  14. Rastech says:

    I wrote a Trad Folk Song (finger in ear harmonies type thing), after the temper tantrums displayed after the election results, and it could maybe do with a few extra verses and a bit of polishing perhaps. Any suggestions for additions and improvements greatly received:

    It’s so unfair
    for Charlotte Church
    and people of her like
    Their rage is so
    incandescent
    that the tyres went flat
    on their bike.

    Their faces red
    their voices loud
    It’s a wonder to behold
    These empty barrels
    sounding off
    their tempers un controlled.

    They think they speak
    for all of us
    they think that they know best
    But given the shit
    we always get
    I guess they only jest.

    There’s Russell Brand
    On YoooooToob
    And all on Twitter too
    Opening their mouths
    Confirming clear
    That they all miss a screw.

    But time will tell
    and truth be told
    all clear and in the day
    An age will pass
    before again
    Such fools will come this way.

    I wish dear old Fred Wedlock was still alive to sing it.

    I hope you are all keeping well.🙂

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