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Yesterday was probably the last day under a Labour government for five years. There are wide and dark stains on their stewardship of Britain. Nevertheless, they have improved the lives of millions of people in their 13 years in power. They're moribund, corrupt and authoritarian now, and I wouldn't be voting for them... except ... EXCEPT, I cannot stand to think of the Tories in power.

My local MP is a useless seatwarmer who claimed £21,000 in second home allowance even though we are 16 miles from Westminster. I work somewhere where I read about politics all the time and I have never read her name in any news report, ever. She votes supinely, and with the government on every single initiative that I disagree with, such as anti-terror legislation, and has done sweet FA in her five years in parliament as far as I can see. I want to vote in some way that would force electoral reform, but if I let in a Tory I would find it hard to forgive myself.

Someone posted earlier about the poll that found that 40% of Britons are still undecided and how could they be so feeble-minded as to have not made their minds up? Well this is how: my MP is USELESS but if the Respect vote here collapses, the fucking Tories were third. What if they're the ones with the turnout this year? Do I vote for reform or do I vote anti-Dave? Reform is Lib Dem, anti-Dave is for Mrs Bloody Useless.

If pro-reform and anti-Dave are the same vote for you, count yourself lucky.

I was almost ready to accept Cameron as prime minister as bad but not terrible -- maybe even a necessary evil -- until his speech to the Conservative party conference last year. The rampant, over-privileged anti-state rhetoric, the idea that volunteerism can replace professional care for the vulnerable, the notion that the richest people in the country need more tax cuts and will somehow allow their wealth to "trickle down" is just horseshit.

After that, the fact that he's got into bed with a bunch of hedge fund managers who want legislative concessions and with a bunch of antisemites and homophobes in Europe is just the crusty, sour milk topping on that particular cake of manky rat turds.

I am really, really upset at the thought of a Conservative majority tomorrow. I'm surprised at how upset. I hated them (and I mean loathed viscerally, not merely disliked) when I was growing up in the 80s, and not without reason. I'm from the North, and they ripped the civic fabric of every urban area north of the Humber into shreds and said it didn't matter, that it was good for us. They flaunted their wealth and implied that it was some sort of moral failing to be poor, unhealthy or unlucky. They attempted to dismantle everything that didn't make a profit and I dread to think what they will do to the BBC and the NHS with the excuse of the deficit crisis to hide behind.

They tell us they've changed. I don't believe it. I just don't believe it. I think that as soon as they get their hands on power, the old Tories will crawl out of the woodwork. And it might be a remnant of the furious teenager in me, but I hate them still.

I am working 4pm to 3am tomorrow and it's going to be a grim, old night. On the plus side, I know that everyone I work with is going to be equally horror-struck if the polls are right and Diamond Dave is heading to Downing Street with a workable majority.


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 6th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)

I'm incredibly nervous for you. Got all my fingers crossed for an anything-but-Tory (and, obviously, anything-but-BNP) win.
May. 6th, 2010 09:15 am (UTC)
Thank you. I would like a low BNP vote, lots of Lib Dem marginal wins and a low enough vote for the Tories that they fail to get a majority and descend into infighting, please.
May. 6th, 2010 02:41 am (UTC)
The rampant, over-privileged anti-state rhetoric, the idea that volunteerism can replace professional care for the vulnerable, the notion that the richest people in the country need more tax cuts and will somehow allow their wealth to "trickle down" is just horseshit.

And doesn't that rhetoric sound depressingly familiar from this side of the pond? ::sigh::

I shall hold out hope for y'all. Good luck. (And hey, you can always come visit us! *g*)
May. 6th, 2010 09:13 am (UTC)
I could! You definitely have the best president in the world. Even better than that one who renames months after his mother in law!
May. 6th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
I hope it isn't so and you aren't stuck with the evil we just got rid of.

May. 6th, 2010 09:12 am (UTC)
They're not quite as extreme as the Republicans, mostly. Daniel Hannan and his insane coterie excepted. I just read his blog. THAT was a mistake.
May. 6th, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
I've heard all kinds of worried rumblings about the growing Evangelical movement in Britain, but I'm not entirely clear if they're as wingnutty and dangerous as some of the most wingnutty and dangerous folks here, who chose to align themselves with conservatives based on vapid mouthings about Traditional Values and Morality. Is the situation there any healthier, or are you in danger of being God-Bothered for the foreseeable future as well?
May. 6th, 2010 03:19 am (UTC)
The rampant, over-privileged anti-state rhetoric, the idea that volunteerism can replace professional care for the vulnerable, the notion that the richest people in the country need more tax cuts and will somehow allow their wealth to "trickle down" is just horseshit.

Welcome to America, circa 1980, '84, '88 and 2000. I feel for you.
May. 6th, 2010 09:04 am (UTC)
Well, the UK 1979-1997 as well. At least the Democrats offered hope of some kind. Labour probably needs to be out of power for a period of renewal, but it's the horrors that could be wrought while they're out that worries me.
May. 6th, 2010 07:28 pm (UTC)
ah, yes--the Iron Lady/John Major era.

I can't understand the Labour Party. Then again, I often can't understand the Democrats over here, either
May. 6th, 2010 08:19 am (UTC)
I had a mild panic but then looking at the bumph around here it seems we're a safe red seat. So I can vote for reform. There's an undercurrent of fear that I've got it wrong and the bastard Tories might sneak in but we're red in a sea of red and plus it was a Tory council that produced the "hole in the ground" so it seems the whole city is now allergic to them.
May. 6th, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)
I knew that watching the local news when I visit the parents would be of use at some point. I am familiar with the hole in the ground.

Oooh, you have a bunch of marginals around you though. That could be interesting. If the Lab-Lib Dem one falls it could be a sign that the Lib Dems have made a breakthrough.

May. 6th, 2010 08:56 am (UTC)
Yeah - rich folk moved into some of the Peninne valleys but we're all still skint and underdeveloped here. Huzzah for poverty! :(
May. 6th, 2010 09:06 am (UTC)
Huzzah for poverty! :(

I believe that may be the Conservative party's election slogan for the likes of urban dwellers who are never going to vote for them anyway.
May. 6th, 2010 08:23 am (UTC)
I'm down to the wire on deciding, although in my case the Libdems narrowly beat Labour last time, and the Conservatives are nowhere.

The polling is tricky - the closer the election, the more inaccurate it's going to be because of small changes making such a big difference. No one seems to publish their 'don't know' levels.

Currently fascinated by ukpollingreport.co.uk.


May. 6th, 2010 09:02 am (UTC)
I know. In the office sweepstake I have the Tories getting a 34% share of the vote but winning 347 seats, on the grounds that I never win that sort of thing so it makes it more unlikely.

I just see the shiny, shiny faces of the Tories and start thinking of Labour in 1997 where you could practically see suppressed gloating, all the activists thinking "keep it together, keep it together, don't start thinking we've won..."

It's tricky, I think, when you have a longstanding loyalty to a party and belief in their tenets, to swap votes. I'm finding it difficult anyway.

Do you like to take the optimistic view or do you prefer to be forewarned about the worst potential outcomes? If the latter, go to fivethirtyeight.com. If the former, forget I said anything. It's going to be a long, long night.
May. 6th, 2010 11:29 am (UTC)
wealth trickling down.

Uh-huh. Because that worked *so well* in Dickens' time...

I never liked the Tories. didn't like them growing up. And I come a privileged middle-class family in bloody *berkshire*. the part where if you don't have a job, you're probably incapable of getting one, either due to disability or complete idiocy. Now I'm reading about the shit they do/did, I feel physically ill.
May. 6th, 2010 02:57 pm (UTC)
They don't have the answers. I can believe that in the 1980s, Thatcher had an answer to a malaise in the British economy. I didn't like her answer but she didn't have one. The Tories now don't have an answer and I am sure that whatever answer it is that they think they have, I won't like it. Grrrrr.

See. They've reduced me to consonants.
May. 6th, 2010 11:47 am (UTC)
I am quite stressed out by your elections...

As I am Manx I have no vote, of course. During my years working in Great Britain I did, and I am a natural Lib/Lab voter. I worked in the NHS in the Thatcher years - as the good bits started to go bad, and I did my shopping in the 80s when, I remember vividly, every 200gm jar of Nescafe cost more than the one before. (These days I know better and only buy Fair trade... see how much I am a natural Liberal in the old sense!) David Cameron gives me the urge to throw things at him whenever he comes on TV - something about him makes my flesh creep.

So the thought of a Tory government makes me weep for the UK.

But... despite reports from trustworthy people like Alan Beith; despite being on the OECD whitelist; despite having tighter anti-money-laundering laws, by far, than Westminster and so on, both Gordon Brown and Vince Cable seem to think the island is a 'tax haven' which should be either taken over or forced into having higher taxes and then 'all our surpluses belong to you'.

The only ones who don't seem determined to treat us as somewhere to bully are the Torys... But I lived in the UK in the Thatcher years - and so on ad infinitum.

So your election is making my head hurt...

(We have a different voting system so that coming second will still get you into the Keys, a non-party system, and lower taxes because we have no national debt - it is illegal under Manx law for the government budget not to balance - they are not allowed to borrow themselves out of trouble, and therefore we have no interest to pay, or repayments to make - hence we can have lower taxes... Although we did have STV for a while and the Keys abandoned it as 'people found it confusing' - goodness knows which people, because it was perfectly clear to me! So certainly not a perfect system here by any means.)

May. 6th, 2010 02:56 pm (UTC)
I think there's clearly some sort of easy points to be scored by Labour in the whole tax thing, so I see what you mean. However, I can't abide the thought of Tories in No 10. It'll bring misery -- and worse, I don't think they'll do anything about the real problems in British society.
May. 6th, 2010 11:54 am (UTC)
I'm a fascinated outsider-on-the-inside, while also nervous and worried about the outcome, whether it's Tories with a clear majority or a coalition government. I watched most of the debates and found myself a would-be Labour voter. It's a weird feeling -- I don't feel disenfranchised, exactly, because I just live here and I have citizenship elsewhere which I exercise and benefit from. But I am amazed that anyone who COULD vote WOULDN'T. I'd be first in line.
May. 6th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
There are anecdotal reports of turnout being up across London but I don't know what's going on elsewhere. I can't understand why people don't find it exciting and want to vote.
May. 6th, 2010 12:55 pm (UTC)
Fortunately my consituency MP is great. I may not agree with *all* of her voting record but on some key things she votes the way I want. And she's bloody good at representing her consituents, seeking out views and dealing with issues on a local level.

I was raised Liberal (pre the Thorpe debacle) and by inclination would prefer Lib Dem or Green. But...the main sinw here is either Labour for the current MP or will be Tory (they held the seat pre 1997). So my vote goes with the current MP.

I still want to see Labour spanked hard for mistakes over the last 13 years - I must motivate myself to get involved in activism and campaigning on a local and national level with interest groups!
May. 6th, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC)
I think that a personal vote is important - and it's the one of the things that worries me about PR (the other being that it might legitimise the BNP in some way), that we might lose that. We have to keep the good ones and jettison the lousy ones.

I am an Anyone But Tory voter as a rule and ended up voting ABT today as well.

Edited at 2010-05-06 02:16 pm (UTC)
May. 6th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
There are two variants on Proportional Representation that keep constituency MPs and make it unlikely that the BNP get any say at all;

A - larger multi-seat constituencies, which is a bit like our system currently - so you get 2 MPs to a larger area - coming second will then get you in as well as coming first - and you can go to whichever of your two MPs you like with local issues. Also it means that local issues, should they go to Westminster level, have more than one party putting them forward.

or, B, STV - voters list the candidates in order of preference and to be immediately elected you must have more than 50% of 1st preferences.

If no candidate obtains that, then the votes for the 1 or 2 with the fewest get re-allocated to their second preference.

So if the Tory candidate gets 33%, the Lib Dem 32%, Labour 28%, Greens 5% and BNP 2%, the chances are that in the next round the 2nd choice for Greens would be LD or Labour, for BNP voters, Tory - so it would become, say, Tory 35%, LD,35%, Labour 30% - still no winner.

Now the second choice of the Labour voters, and the thirds of those who went to him in the last round, come into play - almost all the Labour voters will go LD rather than Tory - so it becomes something like Tory 38%, LibDem 62% and the LibDem is elected - he is more tolerable to the majority of his constituents than the Tory is, so more representative.

Sorry - you probably know all this...
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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