19 March 2015 (Thursday) - Little Bit of Politics
As I drove home this morning from the night shift the talk on the radio was all about yesterday's budget.
The pundits were of the opinion that it was a budget aimed at buying votes in the upcoming election. (As if we didn't see that one coming.) I *really* hope that the electorate can see through such cheap vote-grubbing, but realistically we've hardly got much of an election to look forward to.
Over the last few weeks and months several of my loyal readers have confided complete bafflement about the political situation in the UK, so I'll take this opportunity to summarise that for which we get to vote in only forty-nine days time.
In years gone by the vote was a straight choice between wanton greed on one side and well-meaning incompetence on the other. There were other choices (most notable was platitude-blathering); but they weren't ever going to amount to anything, and hadn't done so for the best part of a century.
However over the last fifteen (or so) years the wantonly greedy and the well-meaning incompetent have taken on board one or two elements of the other's policies. The differences between the main political parties aren't quite so clear-cut any more, but if you look closely one side still advocates self-interest and the other is still incompetent (but well-meaning).
Things really came to a head five years ago at the last general election. With no clear winner the blatherers of platitudes got to hold the balance of power. Despite having effectively come third in the election, they got to choose the government by deciding with whom they would form an alliance.
Leaving aside the entire way the blatherers of platitudes abandoned any and all principles they might once have had, they have however set the mould for the next election. It is highly unlikely either of the two major political parties will have a majority of seats in the House of Commons after the upcoming election. This means that everything any party might try to do can be outvoted by everyone else acting together.
So to get a majority in the House of Commons one or other of the major political parties will need to form an alliance with one (or more) of the smaller parties. (That's a "coalition" - what we have at the moment)
The trouble with a coalition govearnment is that in order to form a workable alliance the major party in the alliance has to accept at least some of the demands of the smaller party. This can have a moderating effect on the larger party's policies (as has probably happened with the current government), but will probably have dire consequences in the next coalition government.
Having abandoned too many policies and principles in order to gain power, the blatherers of platitudes are effectively now a spent force in British politics.
There are two small parties who will effectively hold the balance of power at the next election. Commanding a very small percent of the vote, they will hold sway over the future direction of the country. And both of these parties are single-policy parties and so will only have one thing to demand of a potential coalition partner.
I predict that the next government will be a coalition which will either have Britain leave the European Union (having first sent them all back on the next banana boat), or will (within six months) have made Scotland an independent country.
I hope I'm wrong, but this time it won't matter who we vote for. This time the minority will win.
Perhaps we need a whole new system?