1. The cads won.
Despite Ian Duncan Smith. Despite the tearing up of the NHS. Despite David Cameron. Despite everything the Tories did. They won but the only winner has been the politics of fear. Negative politics are in the upper hand in Europe and the UK – it’s not what you stand for. The british public proved that it remains transfixed by cads and prefects. Now the battle for the leftovers locked outside the corridors of power is about the survival of the NHS, Europe, how Labour can survive, Scotland and increased austerity – that’s what the people have voted for.
2. The debt corpse
Labour has still not recovered from 2010 and it’s too easy to burden them with the myth of the burden of debt. Economic impatience. When Ed denied the national debt on the TV debate you could feel the earth move – was that the moment that defeat came? The corpse of the economic collapse not actually caused by the Labour party was still stinking in the background and all Cameron had to do was drag it back out into the public eye instead of saying what he actually stood for and get the round of applause from the Murdoch press.
3. Blame the Lib Dems
The Tories somehow managed to shift everything they did that wasn’t popular onto the cowering Lib Dem elfs. The public perception somehow took it out on Clegg’s party and they are out in the wilderness. Maybe for ever. The collapse of the house of cards of the Lib Dems was inevitable. The day they went in with the Tories they signed their own death warrant. For five years the Lib Dems looked like rabbits strutting in the headlights of power – the swots getting to hang around with them cads and the bullies. Somehow they ended up getting the nodding blame for everything whilst Cameron smooth skinned prefects emerged scot free from the wreckage of everything.
4. Bacon sand which politics
It’s not what you stand for it’s how to you eat the sandwich. The Sun front cover of Miliband eating that sarnie said it all about the media and the power of perception. In the end no-one believed in Ed. Because of a sandwich.
5. Ian Duncan Smith….
For fucks sake.
6. Negative campaigning works!
Public Enemy once sang ‘don’t believe the hype’ but people do. Especially if it is served with lashings of negativity.
When Cameron was told by his slick PR spin team to roll up his sleeves and pretend to look concerned and do that shouty voice thing and repeat the negative mantra he turned the corner and started to win. The British public roll over like dogs with their genitalia in the air when the posh class shout at them. They love those stern well trained voices. It makes them know their place.
The Tories didn’t even have to have an agenda. It’s not where your from it’s where the other side are perceived to be at. The mantra of blame wins votes.
7. The shifting nature of the UK
The old party allegiances are breaking down – Labour was the party of working people but in these times when people either think they are too middle class to be working people or the ‘new selfish’ when it’s other people who are too blame for everything how can a party of unity and care work. The poor and broken are now labelled as scroungers and it’s always someone else fault.
Scotland bucked this trend with the SNP – a party that went to the left and won seats – partly because of the nationalistic ticket and partly because of the leftward leanings that many people yearn for in the Labour party. They were also seen as an anti establishment party in Scotland feeding into the anti Westminster vive. Ed did go left but it’s a complex country now and many different people want many different things from the Labour party. Perhaps Manchester would have been happy with a more left leaning labour party but other Labour areas would have resisted. The question now for the party is what is Labour now? What is it for and who it for? The big question for the next leader now is which direction can they go and with who.
8. The new niche
In the internet age politics, like culture, is about micro scenes and niches exaggerated by intense online debates that underline and reinforce the micro issues. One issue politics and opinions dominate the debate.
9. Post politics?
Austerity politics has broken the spine of former idleiastsic parties – the rich get richer and the poor get poorer – once that was seen as criminal but now is seen as normal. The Tories somehow rose above this debate – it seems like people prefer to be servile to their gods and masters.
What is Labour now? What does it represent? In the post industrial age it has to adopt to a new world without letting go of its core values. How are Labour going to speak to its complex flock – the big cities and the Welsh valleys remain staunch but Scotland looks pretty well gone and the softer seats that Blair won are going to take some winning back and someone needs to create a coalition of the left and near left to somehow appeal to these increasingly diverse ideologies and geographical wants and needs.
How can it communicate with the increasingly breakaway south east of England or the northern voters who are starting to drift towards the politics of fear of UKIP. Somehow the poison of the post politics age – the idea that ‘they are all the same’, ‘they are all corrupt’ seemed to taint all the other parties and not the Tories – maybe because everyone expected the Alan B’Stards of the Tory party to be like that but not the others.
Miliband stood up against the Murdochs and got burned. We live in a media sic fi dystopia where grim faced press barons and media moguls still dominate the agenda. That won’t get any better.
11. The new nationalism
Sometimes it feels like every field in Europe is going to be a nation state. In the new micro niche age everybody is getting their digital flag to wave and Europe is fast beginning to resemble one of those maps from those history books about the middle ages. The future could be a complex squabble of small nations hanging together in the patchwork of the Euro state or it could also be about the city states. London will be the true winner of the new mood – Scotland will become independent but does London really care? The city states are already breaking away, rising above the mini state squabbles. Scotland will be leaving but sometimes it feels like London has already left. If the SNP is now the voice of Scotland are the Tories now the voice of SE England?
12. Non voting
15,738,205 ballot paper remained unused. That showed them eh!.
Of course the system isn’t perfect. You can understand the disdain with some of the political class and the perception of the broken system but sitting around, getting stoned and not voting just helps let the Tories in. The right will always unite and vote for what they don’t believe in. It’s all about power for them. The left squabble, bicker and argue because they have ideology and beliefs. Non voting seems to be the last refuge of the idealist – of course the system is fucked and broken but opting out doesn’t make it better. No-one believes that voting is the be all and end all. It’s a very small increment and doesnt say you believe in the system. It should be the start of engagement and not the end of it. Vote but keep a questioning mind. Even Russell Brand worked that out in the end.
13. Ed didn’t do populism..
In X Factor/Top Gear UK that kind of crap wins votes. Ed Miliband thought ideas would win the day but that’s not enough in the 21st century pop culture Instagram tweet of politics. A place were Farage’s pretending to be the genuine pub raconteur or Nicola Sturgeon’s common touch dominated the agenda. Mass media made Ed seem to remote, too easy to mock, too easy to ignore.
14. Austerity don’t work…
But people still voted for it.
15. Green surge
A million plus votes – will the Greens turn into the new Lib Dems, will they be a radical pressure group on the declining mainstream parties, is this a blip or can they create an effective party machine without losing their core ideals?
16. negative campaigning…
The minute David ‘Adman’ Cameron rolled his sleeves up and did that pretend concerned face and rolled out the negative campaigning mantra it all started to shift.
Initially people thought the fishy kippers would dent the Tories but they also dented Labour and even if Farage didn’t become and MP and stood down he knows as well as everyone else he will be back at the helm within weeks. The Euro word stumble to the right continues to dent old world politics.
18. The NHS is over
That’s what the public seem to have voted for. The powerful have already sold parts of it off by stealth and whether it ends up in the hands of a Richard Branson or some other grinning money bags entrepeneur is almost bolted on inevitable. The Tory mate’s cleavers are being sharpened now. Ronald MacDonald is preparing to name hospitals after themselves. There is money to be made out of the ill and the sick can be blamed for the ills of society as well as their own. We are are living in a non caring world where the poor, the sick and the weak can get blamed for everything. Shall we tolerate this? No. Do they care? No.
19. Where does Labour go from here?
Is this even worse than the eighties? In that dismal decade bland music ruled the airwaves and Thatcher seemed to last for ever and ever. Election nights were a joke – shouting insults at the TV and not expecting anything but an endless Tory Reich. It feels like that now – can Labour ever get back? It could be worse though, like it is for the Lib Dems – they have Labour’s problems multiplied by a million.
20. The next labour leader
They need to get this right. Will Labour take time to work out the next move or react quickly? How do they make the party work in the 21st century? Will it be a Tony Blair style roots and branches change and swing to the centre. Will they stand and fight? can they survive?