ANALYSIS: Dead heat elections….why they happen, and how to kiss them goodbye.

6diceThe Slog offers six reasons why British politics has deteriorated into a dangerous standoff – and six vital reforms to ensure it is replaced by good governance in the interests of the majority.

I was very amused this morning to learn of an allegation that the Sex Pistols were financed by Moscow as a potential catalyst in the acceleration of Western bourgeois decline. Clearly, dementia was well established in the Politburo of the USSR by then: as an idea, bunging Sid Vicious enough money to top himself wasn’t exactly up there with the Germans sending Lenin to Russia in a sealed train. On the other hand, if true (which I very much doubt) it could perhaps be said to mark the beginning of Western Man’s sclerotic inability to argue logically, follow rational policies, or tolerate those fairly sure that the liars just may have been involved in a mental trolley accident.

As I’ve posted many times before, somehow we have retreated into warlike tribes who can throw spears, but can’t see any common good.

What has happened to healthy debate?

Based on five failures in a row, I argue that bombing Jihadists achieves nothing. And for this crime, I am deemed a non-violent extremist.

Because I show the evidence against Jim Davidson, Rolf Harris, Cliff Richard and Paul Gambaccini was at best risible, I am a sicko kiddy-fiddler.

Because I point out that a better plan, six pledges, and Harriet’s van represent misleading, unimaginative and irrelevant electioneering, I am a Tory (pronounced Tow-ree).

My reward for merely listing why Camerlot’s manifesto has almost completely fallen apart in terms of credibility during the course of the election is to be harassed by CCHQ trolls dismissing me as ‘Highgate SWP’ tendency.

We no longer argue and debate, we talk tabloid at each other. When faced with alternatives, we insist there are none.

There have been (depending on whether you’re dealing from the top or bottom of the pack) 17 QE injections since 2009. All but one have failed, and the only exception is so because it’s only just begun the process of teaching everyone yet again that it’s an economically pointless exercise designed to keep the banking systems upright and the unrepayable debt kicked a little further down the road.

There are endless examples of serious and structural inequality in Britain, but the Labour Party has focused – via the media at least – in the latter stages on Women’s Rights, LGBT, the banning of homophobia and laws to restrict any criticisms of Islamics in Britain. I doubt very much if Ed Miliband has consulted either the minority sexual orientation or Muslim communities in our midst about these ideas, but recommending more LGBT rights in a Mosque is the quickest way to get yourself beheaded.

Those last two paragraphs may seem to offer random examples, but they don’t. They show, respectively, how criminally tied both Tory and Labour Parties are to the interests of the very people whom many Britons think get too much attention already.

Ignore the reasonable majority at your peril

That is the central nonsense in this election campaign, and I refuse to apologise for banging on about it: if day in, day out the media can put up the same tedious poll data showing the same dead heat without any analysis of why, then I can surely ask how we got into this Italian-style standoff. If each and every morning the Labour camp can explain with sloppy analysis why a minimum wage is always a good thing, and the Tories talk about jobs in terms of numbers rather than hours, quality or wage levels, then surely the job of folks like me is to keep on asking the electorate to wake TF up.

If two pigeons do little more than squawk at each other (and the media headline remains ‘Squawking builds as Britain’s Day of Decision approaches’) the answer is not to try and fit owls into the pigeon hole. The owls deserve an audience, because they’ve been around a bit, and are objective. Owls do not pounce upon Fiat 500s with a view to carrying them off. But this morning, Nigel Mirage told us all that Ukip would stop too much Scottish interference in the next Parliament. I say 4 seats at most can’t compete with an SNP clean-sweep of all Scottish seats. I am therefore the owl, and Nige is the pigeon.

So why are we at dead heat?

Lots of reasons. There are always lots of reasons and factors relating to every issue, but soundbite-trained pols insist there is only one. The soundbite was invented for the contemporary zero-attention span assumed by all digital media and tabloid editors. It is the one tool that the sane analyst never has in his or her box of wrenches available to lift eyelids and keep heads still.

I think these cris de langues make life easy for the distracted, pushing them comfortably back into the main part of the herd.

But at the same time, because the soundbitten assertions often come from those with a Bubble Background – in turn coached by amoral ex-media types like Alistair Campbell – the sounds thus emitted make no sense to a great many others. So those people look around for an alternative soundbite.

If they’re Scottish and resent Westminster, this time they have the SNP. If they’re English and older male middle England, this time they have Ukip. As the Bubblicious elites have ignored Scottish rights and UK immigration levels more than any other issues over the decades, Sturgeon and Farage have attracted followers by the million.

But there are still millions of those Anglo-Welsh voters trapped in welfare and truly mind-numbing jobs – with few prospects of anything in the future – to whom none of the soundbites thus far mean diddly-squat. The vast majority of these won’t vote.

A mathematically paralysed Britain

We are at a dead-heat in 2015 because these are the pendulum years of change from one way of thinking about the world to another. This is, if you like, an interregnum. And to see how this works. You only have to do the maths:

1. After a thirty-year fight for recognition, the Scots have finally broken through with numbers and seats en masse within a culture largely united by dislike of London indifference. That has taken formerly assumed Labour (but also Tory) votes away from the Big Boys.

2. After over twenty years of elite unwillingness to accept the illegal, bureaucratically stifled and corruptly fascist nature of the EU bigwigs, Farage has finally nicked a couple of Tory nonentities and got a bandwagon rolling. It won’t deliver seats because Ukip’s on the ground focus is non-existent….but it is going to steal Tory (and also Labour) votes formerly taken for granted.

3. Although muddled and mendacious on the subject of national policy, the LibDems still have the best loyalty-based local vote get-out system of any of the Parties. They will lose seats (they may even mislay their leader in Sheffield Hallam) but they will still take votes that before the early 1970s went to Left or Right – and have around 25-28 seats.

4. The biggest franchise of the lot – bigger than either BigBoy Party – remains the abstainers, the indifferent, the lazy, and the utterly confused and tired. Since the 1950s, committed main-Party activism has fallen from figures in the millions to around an average of 40,000. This non-voting bloc was always, in the end, going to make clear majorities impossible…once factors 1-3 above took hold.

5. Because the main Party support from voters’ pockets has disappeared over the last 60 years, both of the Old Players have been forced to court the money of others: media moguls, retailers, City institutions, billionaire private donors and so forth. The result has been a tendency to feature and highlight activist and/or monied solutions to Britain’s endemic problems. As neither of these represent the ordinary Baby-boomers’ concerns and complaints, the abstention factor simply gets bigger.

6. Finally – but by no means least – media-savvy potential young and first-time voters find the wooden performance, constant trimming, nonstop pocket-filling and endless lying of contemporary politicians to be beneath contempt. The ‘jobs’ they’re offered (and take) are mainly badly paid and unfulfilling. With each new tranche of 18 year olds coming through, voting novices latch onto a hope – a hope that quickly shows how their hope was misplaced. In 2010 it was Nick Clegg, today it’s Nigel Farage. You only get one chance with this group: after that, they pass easily into depoliticised apathy. (And as far as MI6 and GCHQ are concerned, that’s probably the idea).

All that explains the main reasons why we have a dead-heat; and such governance-paralysing election results will not change until something fundamental about the process changes. I use the word ‘governance’ there advisedly, because politics does not exist as some kind of mass onanism in which bubble-dwellers can indulge: Occupy can yell “Smash Tory scum” until they’re blue (or more likely, red) in the face. That doesn’t provide commercially earned export money with which to grit the roads and educate our kids. Those of us who soldiered on through the riotous Hard Left years in Lambeth remember only too well that the Moscow-admirers delivered zero real service and, ultimately, bankruptcy.

Moving from Dead-heat to consensus

For all that the neoliberal-dominated Conservative Party insists that ‘free markets’ are the way forward, it knows perfectly well that out there in the increasingly twisted world of globalist deceit, what we really have is multinational monopolism. The US is driven by ensuring it has privileged access to energy – and no competitors in terms of fiat money transmission. Newscorp uses foul means more than fair to throttle any and all competition. In this, the ghastly Murdoch is supported by Jeremy Hunt (who used the British Council monopoly and his Virginia Bottomley familial relationship to become rich via his Hotcourses company) and London Mayor Boris Johnson (who helped chum Tim Yeo gain a near monopoly of taxi sales in the capital with the use of bent C02 statistics).

The British electoral system and political process are from the exact same mould: closed shops in which monied interests and minority lobbyists work alongside a ludicrously undemocratic voting system to ensure a monopoly of power for Ed Moribund and David Cameldung.

We will not get genuine change in what’s left of Britain until British politic processes are deregulated.

This means the need for an influential movement (not a Party) to campaign for the following:

1. A blanket ban on all private and corporate donations to political Parties, all of which must be funded by a body removed from all influences, but using State funds beyond which no Party must go in order to balance its finances.

2. A list-based proportional representation system which awards seats to every Party attracting votes above an agreed level.

3. The harsh criminalisation of any monied lobbying of any political Parties, government departments or Ministers of the Crown.

The last of those three key measures has a broader significance that goes way beyond political functionality. It is about the Rule of Law in our country, and an Equality before that Law without exceptions. One crucially important reason among many why 40-45% of Brits will not vote this week is their utter distrust of the British Justice system, and the Grayling fish running the department concerned.

Many of us are sick of seeing blatantly guilty media corporates and bankers go unpunished…or the tiny minority convicted sent to cushy prisons and then released having served a fraction of the sentence originally handed down. People who feel alienated from that system would also surely vote for the following:

4. The immediate depoliticisation of a civil police force obsessed with arresting imaginary sex beasts and homophobes while failing dismally to even understand (let alone catch) cyber criminals.

5. An immediate reduction in the media ownership powers of media proprietors, with specific reference to their tax residency and market share. We do not need to free the Press in Britain, we need to free our country from the spikes and commercial corruption of media owners.

6. A cap by political Party of the number (at around 5-10%) of potential MPs with a Law/legalistic professional background. The use of marginally constitutional ‘legal instruments’ in government has increased, is increasing, and needs to be drastically diminished. By definition, it is unhealthy to have the legal replacing the legislative: not only is that profession ridiculously over-represented in both Houses of Parliament, if we are to move towards the much-vaunted but thus far invisible written constitution we need, then we must have a clear separation of powers between the elected legislator and the technocrat lawyer.

Look right across the six main Parties today, and you will not find any one of them ready to sign up to even two each of these dysfunctional factors and radical reforms.

Yet another reason why I won’t be voting on Thursday.

Related at The Slog: Why vote if you’re disenfranchised anyway?

35 thoughts on “ANALYSIS: Dead heat elections….why they happen, and how to kiss them goodbye.

  1. I agree with much of what you say John. For me, the answer is clear – anything we can do to accelerate the demise of the EU is the way forward. None of the legacy parties have any interest in doing so. I will be voting for UKIP who may not win many seats but will gain many votes. The FPTP system ‘worked’ when there were only two parties. Now that so many people are sick of the legacy parties, it’s time to consider an alternative and fairer system. Everything has to start somewhere – UKIP in my opinion is the only realistic place to start.

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  2. FYI, the Sex Pistols story isn’t too outlandish. Who can doubt the inspiration behind Pussy Riot, for example.

    The parties spent many a year losing members through apathy. Those who did vote were either/or. A small group would sway the vote and decide our destiny. Decisions were based on TV and print news. But now the internet has been ‘weaponised’ voters can fact-check almost as fast as politicians can lie.

    What happens AFTER the election will decide the future of Britain for far longer than the next five years. Will one of the main n parties form some kind of arrangement or will they try and go it alone knowing this will mean going back to the country. If the latter course is chosen it is purely to preserve the power of the two party system, do this and the electorate have been betrayed.

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  3. Ed Miliband has already conceded that in the event of a ‘dead heat’, the incumbent PM has the first go at getting a ‘majority’ (cobbled together coalition) behind him. Same as last time with the Libdims vacillating between Tory and Labour parties, it will happen again but Cameldung has first bite of the cherry. Anyone think Her Maj will say no?

    I’m in a ‘safe’ seat so my vote don’t count whether I choose to or not.

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  4. (voting / not voting)
    if you don’t like any of the candidates, you should stand yourself
    or start your own revolution. You can’t just not bother.
    Since you are working on the latter JW, you are excused from voting.
    The rest of us don’t have much excuse.

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  5. 6. Finally – but by no means least – media-savvy potential young and first-time voters find the wooden performance, constant trimming, nonstop pocket-filling and endless lying of contemporary politicians to be beneath contempt.
    Whilst I agree with every word of that statement, I’m not convinced that that is the case for the young and first time voters, I believe that they are more likely to take a ‘Russell Brand’ stance and not bother voting at all.

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  6. Fascinating week ahead…
    It’s probable that Tory policies are better for the nation in the long run, and that if it were not for the present incumbents, an astute party leader could have rallied the votes on policy alone. Unfortunately, the use of zero hours contracts, and the Duncan Smith pit bull approach has alienated a large number of would be voters for the party. There is no doubt that Cameron has shown little or no genuine interest in disadvantaged people, and he will be punished accordingly. We just don’t have the talent needed in the political classes, hence the current mish mash and confusion.

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  7. You claim:”A list-based proportional representation system which awards seats to every Party attracting votes above an agreed level.”
    Which will lead to generations of profesional politicians of the Milliband/Cameron variety.At least under “first past the post” the voters can get rid of an arsehole .

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  8. And never forget,Mr.Ward,it was “proportional representation” which brought the Communists in Russia & the National Socialists
    in Germany to public recognition as a viable political choice.How about P.R. in the 70’s with the National Front.?.Or suppose there had been an N.F. type party in Britain in the 50’s or 60’s under your proposed P.R.?.I suggest you have another think about your proposal here.

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  9. For my two pennies worth;

    One does not need to have an overall majority to form a government. The rules states the party with the largest number of MP’s can form a government.

    Admittedly a minority government. Wilson did it, Heath argued, that he had more votes then Wilson and he was the sitting tenant [sorry PM] but he had to go, and Wilson formed a minority Labour government.

    I wonder what he would have done with a fixed term of office that we have now. At least if the Tories do end up with the largest group of MP’s at Westminster. As most legislation to cut spending [freezing of certain benefits/tax credits] for two years. They only have to sit on their hands and let things pan out. Unfortunately, that is the Political classes weakness, they have got to appear to be doing something to create the illusion of power.

    Only the government can propose legislation, hence get defeated by the opposition parties. So as I was always taught if unsure of the outcome do nothing and let events happen. One can always let the opposition parties, jump up and down like angry children who no longer have a ball to play with.

    Two years of no increases in spending and two years of tax revenue increasing through even minor growth? inflation? should go a long way to balance the books. Apart from moans and groans of the masses on benefits [including immigrants] what are they going to do apart from a] try to get paid employment or b] return home. I suppose that they could go on strike and refuse to claim?

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  10. @InLooker
    Yeah, you can get rid of an arsehole, to replace him with…… another arsehole. Fabtastic.

    @no-one in particular
    I was planning to vote green since they propose getting rid of Trident, which I think is a massive waste of money, and they’re more radical than most, but apparently they are “open to consultation” on the possibility of legalising polygamy and civil partnerships involving three or more people. FFS, has the world gone mad!? I think we all know it has.

    Spoilt ballot it is then.

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  11. “Farage has finally nicked a couple of Tory nonentities and got a bandwagon rolling. It won’t deliver seats because Ukip’s on the ground focus is non-existent…”
    It won’t deliver seats because we have a system of FPTP which is specifically designed to keep down the struggling new parties. Even if the big boys are wrong, wrong, wrong – no new party (of any colour) that might just have the right solution, is going to get a chance of ever getting a foot on the ladder of government – except perhaps after forty years!
    Nigel’s Party could easily get more votes than the Libs, SNP’s, Greens and Uncle Tom Cobley combined, but only get a sniff of the green leather.

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  12. I must admit to not be a great fan of ‘walking away’ John.
    My Father used to say “It is better to have tried, and failed, than never tried at all.”

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  13. Interesting artlcle with good points.

    However, I think it has to be accepted that the above wish list is unlikely to happen in our lifetime but that does not mean you should opt out. In this election I think it is important to vote for the least bad option. For me, the prospect of Ed Millband propped up by Scottish Nationalists or others is very worrying. The last election I felt like this was when Neil Kinnock was knocking on the door of No 10.

    I think the current arrangement with the Conservative and Liberal Democrats has worked out reasonably well considering.

    I predict that it will be similar to the last election in the outcome. When people wake up on Thursday and realise the prospect of another Labour Government and them crashing the economy, people will vote to keep them out. I reckon the numbers could be similar to 2010 – the Conservatives and Liberals doing better than expected and UKIP doing worse. The Liberals doing a deal with the Conservatives who get more seats but not a majority.

    For me a few years of stability (albeit not dealing with many real long term issues) is more important than risking chaos. I do not agree with some policies of all the parties ( e.g foreign policy) but I do not think you can disengage completely. When you have such a poor choice of candidates (and some who are not fit to govern) you have vote for what is in your own interests rather than opt out on principle.

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  14. Dear Bankrobber
    Carlin – greatest American conscience pricker in history. Every time I see a pol talk s**t, I miss this bloke.

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  15. I’m doing my bit in ‘accelerating the demise of the EU’.
    I buy British food and wash it down with Australian wine!

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  16. Inlooker
    Suggest away: what you’re offering here is corporacratic dictatorship as perhaps a more benign alternative to open demcracy. Germany still has a list system, and it doesn’t elect Nazis.

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  17. @Loverat

    The GLOBAL financial crash crashed the economy, not labour (not that I support labour). The debt to GDP ratio was lower under labour before the financial crash than it was when they took office in 1997.

    And in my opinion you should vote for what you believe in, not for the “least bad option.” Not tactical voting, not the least bad option, vote for what you believe in, and if that’s not on offer don’t effing vote. Voting for the “least bad option” gives no-one any incentive to offer a good option.

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  18. Poths

    You can argue about who or what caused the meltdown in the UK. I think there were some countries which were not as badly affected by the global events and I sense that was because their economy was in good shape – unlike ours which was made vulnerable by Labour policies.

    I think the present economic policies are more likely to be successful in limiting the impact future global crashes etc.. As a country we have to start considering what we can afford and not racking up huge levels of debt. I am not convinced Labour has learned the lesson or are financially competent.

    I support the some policies of the other parties – one or two Lib Dem and UKIP policies. I do not support the foreign policies of any (except perhaps some views of UKIP) and I hold stong views on foreign affairs. But the Conservative policies seem to offer most policies which are good for me and my family – although I do not necessarily think they are good for everyone. Hence why I am voting for the best out of a generally poor lot. Just decided it is silly to be ‘tribal’ and nail your colours to everything one party says or does.

    I know very few people who say to me that they passionately believe in the politics of one party but they vote for the party which is in their general interests – not for idealogical reasons.

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  19. Loverat

    I do understand your point of view and the problem is really our political system and our debt-based financial system. My opinion is that if you vote for a party, you tacitly condone all their policies, even policies you don’t agree with (and I’m very much with you in not supporting any party’s foreign policy). By voting for the least worst option you legitimise that option and you don’t give them any reason to offer anything better. I understand you want to vote for the party that offers the best policies for you but I don’t think that will get us anywhere in the long run. We need big change and that won’t come by voting in the usual suspects.

    The Conservatives want us to spend billions of £££ on nuclear weapons we will never use, whilst pursuing a policy of austerity which has only served to make the very rich richer, to hurt the poorest and the most vulnerable, and has damaged the country’s economic recovery. Most of these parties are peopled by idealogues. They don’t make evidence based decisions. But go on, vote Conservative, it probably won’t make any difference anyway unless you live in a marginal seat. And they call this democracy.

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  20. Loverat anyone with a ounce of integrity knows that this was a worldwide crash & little to do with labour spending,so i leave you with one thought if Labour left the economy in such a mess how come within two years they were able to cut taxes for the rich & raise tax allowance,either the Tories/lib-dems are lying or they acted totally without prudence,either way labour never had any control over other nations economies,the fact some nations did better than others in your mind proves your point shows your economic illiteracy
    disappointment that in the 21st century humanity is so sick,that such propaganda is allowed to be aired

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  21. @InLooker – PR is a voting system what brings radicals into power is a population forced to live in a junk economy.
    Then you elect the tyrant after the real issue that is the junk economy that no longer serves the population.

    If you have a fantastic economy, soooo many people content a tyrant would not get elected no matter FPP or PR.

    Junk economy, no future, not voting, not interested one bit and the common theme for this election I am hearing from so many people is “the major parties need removing”! That is from people who are older than me who are starting to realise the truth of what these parties represent and it is not the people.

    That last point is becoming the highlight of this election for me.

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  22. We’re pretty much screwed whichever way we vote on Thursday. Economic and political nous has long been a stranger at Westminster.
    An interesting possibility is that minority parties, UKIP, Greens, will get a large percentage of the vote and few if any seats. This might be the catalyst to ignite popular opinion against FPTP.

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  23. Agreed MA and anyway the number of seats that UKIP wins is still a huge unknown and is likely to be far higher than JW’s prediction….there, another sloppy pre election analysis for you….

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  24. Expect a Con-SNP coalition, immediately followed by Cameron waving Scotland goodbye with crocodile tears, followed by another 5 years of Con-Lib lunacy.

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  25. The current set up relies on the safe seat concept…. In most wards if the non voters went out and voted for something different then they would likely win in the majority of seats ! The starting point of change HAS to be brexit as the only thing left for UK gov to do is impose more bans in favour of the favourite current flavour. !

    Much as I agree with Johns analysis and do not have 100% faith in UKIP…. This overriding need to get out of the EU is the priority to beginning the change in all aspects of government…. I will therefore lend UKIP my vote !!

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  26. Don’t forget that the National Debt has doubled over the last 5 years to £1.5 Trillion …….
    and the tories don’t want you to know that they ‘fixed’ the economy with money that YOUR KIDS WILL HAVE TO REPAY
    SPIVS and SONS OF BENT STOCKBROKERS

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  27. We’re “living” in a rotten system and the stench is getting worse.
    The fish rots from the head down…As above, so below.

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  28. Considering Bernie Rhodes, Malcolm McLaren, Nancy Spungen, Trotsky, Lenin, Karl Marx and Joseph Stalin were all Jews, this KGB plot sounds authentic.

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  29. Why on earth a “list-based” proportional system of representation? Who draws up the lists in the countries which have such a system? The leader and a couple of cronies. Just about the last thing I would expect John Ward to want.

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