Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Don't let Cameron or Clegg be the next prime minister

I went to my local Starburger cafe in Crofton Park for my lunch (liver and bacon if you're interested). I was pleasantly suprised to see a Socialist Party poster in the window. Until I saw they had ecumenically put up Lib Dem, Green, Labour and Tory posters too. Then I was cheered further when I went across the road to get my hair cut at George the barber's. He's voting Labour and told me 8 out of 10 of his customers are. A rather unrepresentative sample however: a cheap working class men's barber in a sea of gentrification and apathy... Then the depression set in when I crossed back over the road to the Co-op and saw the row of newspapers, almost all sporting pictures of the sickening features of David Cameron.

Apart from the Independent, which is now all out for Clegg, because this is our chance to change the voting system - which seems trivial to me, considering the Liberal Democrats will harshly cut public services resulting in massive public sector redundancy and increased poverty for the most vulnerable. But, hey, the poor will have the chance under Proportional Representation to vote for the BNP to express their rage. (The Guardian, moral swamp, scuttled over to Clegg too, but they seem to have backed off a bit.)

And apart from the honourable Mirror, which is making a big deal of the useless toffs who will sweep into parliament if the polls are correct, people like old Etonian Richard Grosvenor Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax, who seeks to inherit the seat his pater held, along with the Elizabethan mansion he lives in. As for Norm, for me and the Mirror social justice trumps PR, trumps everything else. Or, as Nick Cohen puts it, "The cant and bourgeois hypocrisy of Nick Clegg and his party won't be of any use to those who are dirt poor."

David Major Cameron (Pic:Mirror)It seems to me that Tony Blair genuinely forsook the socialist ideology of the political party he joined, to become a post-ideological figure. David Cameron is mini-Blair: the same bland, chappy, fresh-faced post-ideological image of Blair ca.1997. But the difference is that Blair actually meant it. Cameron is actually, inside the bland exterior, an ideological Thatcherite. We know this because he has promised to restore fox-hunting, despite the opposition of 75% of the electorate, because it is his class and ideological instinct. We know this because he wants to cut inheritance tax at a time of deficit, even though it benefits a tiny number of rich people, because it is his class and ideological instinct. We know this because he took his party out of an alliance with Merkel and Sarkozy in favour of people who make Nick Griffin appear mainstream.

Nick Clegg, however, is mini-Cameron. I can't work out whether it is an advantage or a disadvantage over Cameron that he is genuine rather than cynical in his lack of conviction behind his lack of ideology, that beneath his bland meaningless exterior is a bland meaningless interior. Never have I seen on television a political performer so contrived, so staged, so airbrushed and coached, so vacuous. In the age of Nick Clegg, Tony Blair appears like a statesman.


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Read Kellie. And not just because he agrees with me, but because he's right.

ADDED: Read Francis' reply.

MORE LINKS:
General: Mirror anti-Tory tactical voting guide; Jim Denham reads between the lines. More psephology from the incredibly clever John Lanchester.
Local: Brockley Central virtual hustings.
Lib Dems: More on the big oil funding scandal. Which is helps frame this sort of racism.
Greens: I am not voting Green in Canterbury.

Conservatives: Why business backs the Tories. The opposition isn't working. Cameron’s Merrie England fantasy. Power and irresponsibility: the rottenness at the heart of Tory government
Labour: Trival loyalty, voting and signalling. Oliver Kamm's half-hearted endorsement. And his defence of the economic record. The state we may be in.

The immigration issue: History is Made at Night, responding to some of the things I linked to here and here. Here are the facts from Chris Dillow. I already linked to Flesh is Grass on DuffyGate, but please do read her. And George Szirtes is, as always, wise on this issue. As is Martin. And Rosie. And Chris Dillow.


Gordon Brown at his best:



Note to Gregor: not that your reasons for voting Lib Dem are trivial. Or, as Dave Semple says, "Not that I’m saying anything about sandal-wearing, muesli eating Guardianista types, you understand. Some of my best friends wear sandals, eat muesli and read the Guardian. Fact."

4 comments:

jams o donnell said...

Sadly my vote (and that of the not-wife) won't prevent that poltroon Andrew Rosindell from winning in Romford.

Gaga said...

I choked on my muesli this morning...

ModernityBlog said...

Bob,

Thoughtful take on the issues, we would probably disagree about Blair and New Labour, but that's by the by.

I suspect that it will be Labour by a small minority.

In the election there are many competing themes, the problem of incumbency, new Labour's attacks on the working classes, the perception of them as part of the ruling elite, etc plus the expenses scandal vs. the prospect of a Tory government, the discussion of the cuts, which implicitly lead to job losses and reduce services, the fact that the Tories are trying too hard to be nice and people will see through it, etc

Then factor in the Lib Dems, a rise in their vote may hurt the Tories more than Labour and as a consequence reduced the Tory vote, indirectly.

I think many people will reluctantly vote Labour and hope that Gordon Brown is less of a bastard than David Cameron.

Still, I do worry about how the BNP will get the support of many discontent ex-Labour voters.

kellie said...

Well if I agree with you then of course I'm right! Thanks for the link.