Friday, 13 December 2019

All Quiet on the Western Front

The British elected, by a big majority, a Conservative government run by certified liars and incompetents in order to ‘Get Brexit Done’.[1] What a contrast to the countries that have recently seen widespread protests about a lack of democracy, corruption in government and attacks on the living standards of the mass of people. Mass action has worried the ruling elites from France to Georgia, from Hong Kong and South Korea to Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, from Chile and Brazil to Algeria and Sudan. In the UK, the electorate has endorsed the ruling elite.
The lack of a pulse in the British ‘labour movement’ – unless moaning can be seen as a sign of political life – confirms my longstanding scepticism about the potential for anything progressive happening in Britain. The British working class will likely learn nothing positive from the outcome, and may well become even more conservative and reactionary when it suffers the consequences.

In the map below, from the BBC, the dominant Conservative vote in England is shown in blue, while the Labour Party constituencies are in red, the Liberal Democrats in orange and the Scottish National Party in yellow.

Tony Norfield, 13 December 2019

[1] The Conservative Party message was ‘Get Brexit Done’ and this gained them a large majority of seats in Parliament. The irony was that, according to a BBC report, only 48% of UK votes were for Brexit-supporting parties! But this potential anomaly was widely known, leading to many advocating tactical voting in the ‘first past the post’ UK electoral system. In Scotland, the Scottish National Party won 48 of 59 seats and was strongly against Brexit. It is worth noting the relative population and seat numbers for the UK: England 56 million people and 533 seats; Scotland 5.4m and 59 seats, Wales 3.1m and 40 seats, Northern Ireland 1.9m and 18 seats. The General Election results are principally determined by the English vote, which this time supplied 345 of the Conservatives’ 365 seats in the 650-seat Parliament.

No comments: