Thursday, 7 May 2015

Election thoughts

  • Miliband's team is competent. He seems weak, perhaps more due to his position than his character. (When a party loses power, infighting and disunity results.) In the last "debate" he was a less impressive performer than Cameron and Clegg. Public performance is not everything but it is an important part of a politician's job. 
  • Cameron is a PR man, lazy and without clear or strong principles. His cabinet have shown middling competence. Gove was the only member with interesting ideas and Gove got the boot, I think this shows cowardice. The UK economy has not done as well as most people think, or as badly as his critics would say. Part of the good performance is down to short-term tricks (cutting after 2010, spending before 2015, handouts to boost spending).
  • Osborne is interesting. If he actually achieves the cuts he says it will be an extraordinary piece of Thatcherism. More likely he will fail to do so, or bargain away the proposed cuts while forming a coalition. I believe that in the long run, one third of GDP of a huge wealthy country is plenty for the state to spend. But cuts are very painful and disruptive and the short run pain might cause riots in the street. This government has shown little courage and will likely back down.
  • I voted Tory without much enthusiasm. I hope Britain gets stronger leadership candidates in future, from either major party.
  • The SNP will get about 3% of votes, and 50 seats in Parliament. UKIP will get 9% of votes, and one seat or two. The First Past The Post system was always unfair. Now it is nuts, and could tear our country apart. We need electoral reform.
  • If the Lib Dems go into coalition with the Tories again might they not disappear as an independent party? Seems sensible for them to switch to Labour. Maybe a Lib-Lab coalition could govern and dare the SNP not to support them. Or maybe... Lordy, First Past The Post is supposed to be simple, but this coalition stuff is a mess. Bring on electoral reform.
  • The press, specifically the Tory press, have been embarrassing in this election, treating their readers like idiots, discarding objectivity and producing propaganda for their political allies. Of course you expect the Sun to do bacon sandwich pictures. But how can the Telegraph claim to be a serious paper while pulling stunts like this?