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09 December 2005
Blair & Cameron: pretty boys all in a row

Steve Bell at his caustic best in The Guardian, 9 December 2005

This cartoon sums up the state of British politics rather nicely. Two pretty little boys tweaking each other's tits at a bum boys' bath house. Isn't it nice that we don't have Punch & Judy politics?

Actually, as Neil Clark points out, it isn't nice at all. The election of 1983 saw turnout of around 72% as the parties fought it out with policies that offered a real option to the punters. Now we are down to turnouts of around 60% and they look set to fall still further.

To make matters worse it is ordinary people who have stopped voting. Labour no longer represents them - none of the parties represents them - so they sit on the sidelines as unrepresented observers.

The only organisation that can put a stop to this madness is the Trades' Union Congress. The unions set up the Labour Party 105 years ago and they continue to support it financially. If a union delegation went along and told the Labour party to stop buggering around then the party would have to obey. So why don't they do it?

Because the whole point of New Labour is to be beholden to The City of London, Wall St. and the Master Race inside the Beltway? Because they've systematically told the TUC to bugger-off and never come back?

Because the whole point is that "New Labour" represents a neoliberal coup inside Labour -- and that there in fact exists no Labour Party anymore? Except for those who don't see past names and labels and are thus easily led?

Just guessing, mind you.

9 December 2005 at 21:53  

What really pisses me off is the complacency od some Labour Party folk.

They are don't seem fussed that the party has shed millions of voters, that overall turnouts are at historically record lows, and the main parties are so close together in policy terms.

All that's bad for democracy. And yet they shrug their shoulders and cling to an electoral system that is unjust.

10 December 2005 at 07:24  


I need to go to bloody bed, 'cos it's now almost 3.30am...

Yes, I take your first two points. About the third, Labour is never going to come around to PR until it is forced on them and the Tories by a hung-parliament.

An old friend of mine who is so far to teh right that he and I stand back to back on many issues, once said that he wnated PR so that the Tories would split and there would be room for a far-right party. I am inclined to agree with him, only I want a socialist party to emerge.

10 December 2005 at 09:21  

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