Friday, May 07, 2010

Congratulations Caroline!!!

The Greens are the only party who have  reason to cheer their result in the 2010 election. Caroline Lucas' team in Brighton have beaten the malodourous FPTP electoral system and made history by putting the first Green MP into the Mugger of Parliaments at Westminster.

This is going to have a huge effect on British politics as far as Green issues  - global warming and the environment, and social equality  - are concerned. An officer told me privately that the moment I was elected onto Woodspring District Council in 1986, the ruling Tories began to ask the officers how they could green their policies. Although we are publicly disdained, privately the other politicians seek to emulate the Green Party.

So we have a hung Parliament, though not as well hung (what happened to the LibDem vote?) as we would have wished. Will Nick Clegg's LibDems show backbone and insist on PR as their non-negotiable condition for any coalition?

Britain needs political reform, which must include reform over newspaper ownership. The readership of Tory-backing papers is three times that of the Mirror, Guardian and Independent. Given that huge propaganda advantage, Cameron's lead in MPs looks like a pretty hollow victory.

One of the most striking aspects of this election is what happens if people are given the opportunity to pick the policies that appeal to them, stripped of the context of commentary and personality. The Vote for Policies website final result on 288,142 votes is:
Greens 24%
Labour 20%
LibDems 18%
Cons       16%
UKIP 12%
BNP 10%

This is a survey of netizens, not a balanced social profile, but on the other hand, are we web dwellers so unbalanced? And 288k is a pretty hefty sample.

Finally, for today, before I go off line for a couple of days, a personal apology to my local party and potential Green voters in the Weston constituency for my ill-considered withdrawal of my own candidacy. John Penrose got in with an increased majority (congratulations, John) against Mike Bell, the LibDem (commiserations Mike). Undoubtedly the Green vote would have been squeezed, and I would have felt pretty uncomfortable in the heady days of the Cleggmania spike. But my initial assessment was right, and my unilateral withdrawal was a bum decision. On the other hand, if we go into another election under FPTP (gods forbid), I think that PR backing parties should have structured agreements.

Anyway. We have an MP in Westminster who understands the first rule of tree surgery: mankind must not saw away at the branch it that it is standing on.

[update] Here is one mock-up (incomplete results) of what Parliament would look like under PR.
[update2] Whatever else happens in this Parliament, if they have any sense at all they will put together some kind of cross-party Council of Fiscal Responsibility to guide financial decisions.


Frugal Life UK said...

A well hung parliament...........they would be worth voting for! (sorry couldn't resist it!)

Anonymous said...

Tonight's Mabinogogiblog headlines

first Green MP

secondly, country fucked

DocRichard said...

Your Maj, there is no scientific data on this matter, so we can only speculate.

Anon, there is nothing intrinsically bad about being fucked, provided it is done with bipartisan consent. The point is, there should be no fuxation without proportional representation.

Anonymous said...

Tonight's headlines:

Green vote down but still a 'success' in a 'just like all the other parties' spin bullshit kinda way

Country looking fuckeder by the minute.

I vote we take to the streets Doc. You up for it?

We should chase Dave and that smug sell-out Clegg out of town.

It starts here Doc. Spread the word!

DocRichard said...

Anon (?Ron?)

Did I say we victoriously contracted our vote by 0.1% I do not think I did.

I agree, we need to take to the streets, non-violently, but persistently.

I also call for a General Tea Break.