With the Tories seemingly desperate to f**k up at every turn and the LibDems hiding in a corner, probably crying at the prospect of a further drubbing at the upcoming local elections; the national opinion polls have been quite concerning.
A lot on his mind...
The polls had settled back to an average Labour lead of perhaps four or five points. But a recent YouGov poll put Labour on an 11 point lead! Particularly concerning for the LibDems, with UKIP overtaking them. They’ve been bad for a while and UKIP rising but this is marking a low point…
'It's hardest at night...'
Clegg breaks down...?
"Sneezes", but must squeeze out a few tears...
Clegg and Cameron
'Don't you ever embarrass me like that again Clegg!'
So how did Labour manage it?
Mr Ed Miliband
'What was the question again...?'
Well Labour didn’t really do anything. The lead grew soon after the Tanker Drivers strike debacle, when there were calls for Francis Maude to resign over misjudged advice to stock up on petrol that caused panic buying of fuel and apparently even led some people to fill jam jars with petrol, not to mention set themselves on fire… It was pretty stupid, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he should be held responsible for all stupidity that can be linked to it… Labour’s lead then jumped to 10 and stayed around that level for a while.
Something of the reptilian..?
Earlier in the year there was a period when the two main parties were neck and neck but it seems the Labour lead has grown and been maintained since the furore over NHS reform. That’s a contentious issue of course and with unemployment rising and, whatever the reasons, economic growth stalling; after the petrol ‘crisis’ the Coalition inexplicably decided to relinquish the high ground on Civil Liberties by raising the prospect of greater monitoring of internet and mobile phone use, something that many had thought had been thrown out with totalitarian Labour. And the Labour Party are then the ones who then benefit from this seemingly incompetent and certainly uncertain government. As if Labour are above a fuel crisis…
Along with the more significant factors testing the faltering Coalition there have over blown issues, inflamed by Twitter use; for instance “PastyGate”.
There has also been "outrage" over “Grannytax” and more recently "Charities tax", following the spring budget. The Guardian even questioned the focus on the 'Grannytax', but it wouldn't stop the Labour Party trying to exploit every single opportunity to attack the Tories.
Determined to appear inept at every opportunity, it seems that Coalition is staying together perhaps only because the LibDems know they would be scr*wed if they left. And they’re hoping given time, if things improve for the government, then so in turn it might for their party, in it for the long haul now.
The truth is they’re damned if they stay and damned if they don’t, if they do get crucified in May or something else goes bad for the Government (looking likely…), some in the party might want them to cut their losses and leave the Coalition.
And then what? Then Labour win? The same f***ing party that got us here in the first place. They haven’t changed; Miliband and Balls were balls deep in Brown’s s**t and they have not had to pay like the last Tory Government did following 1997.
Balls and Brown
'Yes Ed, go on...'
Miliband and Brown
'I wonder what I'll be having for tea...'
Miliband, Brown and Mandelson
All in it together...
If an election was called this year and Labour did win; we would simply have a reconstruction of the government under Gordon Brown, but potentially with the Unions having an even greater influence and with more benefit to the public sector…
But seriously, this lot?? In Government???
Labour are benefitting not only because of their investment in creating dependence, but simply because people don’t like the Tories and they don’t like ‘cuts’ to public services. Who does...?
Fortunately nothing is that certain, Labour can’t be sure that the current polls will play out across the country in an election. George Galloway recently won the Bradford West by-election while the Coalition was dropping to some of its depths.
Galloway - In touch with the people...?
Peace, freedom and a few less fat bastards eating all the pie...
Labour could only get the backing of 12% of the electorate in one of their safe seats. Irrespective of Galloway’s politics and why people voted for him, that was a kick in the teeth for Labour.
12% when they are showing 40+% in opinion polls? You can’t rely on anything, thankfully…
They seem to now realise it. The results in the 2011 local elections didn’t reflect exactly the national polls at the time and in the Scottish elections they were well beaten by the SNP. Only in Wales did they succeed to any meaningful level and that doesn’t actually mean much. Even now Labour could put up a pig in most Welsh constituencies and they’d still vote for it and that says everything…
If anything Galloway’s win showed a lack of real support for the mainstream parties, as Galloway said, which goes alongside the continuing general apathy (Only 50% turnout in Bradford West).
Apathy aside, that’s good, for many reasons. But forgetting the possibility of alternatives and genuine choice, just for one very crucial reason; it is good because then Labour don’t win by default.
Labour haven’t really gained directly from the Tory dip; UKIP have benefitted. So it’s just the right dividing and Labour have gained the Left of the LibDems and in that case, the division of opinion remains at similar levels.
The elections in May will be interesting, though the London Mayoral election has a life of its own…
Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone
The local elections will be more telling and it’s doesn’t look good, with all the problems outlined.
The NHS in particular stirs the passions, greater than most other matters of public expenditure. Obviously the economy will remain the core issue, but the NHS is an issue which can clearly divide the parties and apparently unite opposition. The fear is privatisation by the backdoor, the type of thing that was already occurring under Labour. The Tories are a bit more up front about it. Though the immediate intention is still for the services to remain free at point of service, it will obviously change how the services are delivered and affect a lot of people’s employment, and many fear for the longer term prospects of the free service.
Well apparently the NHS does employ something like 1.7 million people, in a working population of somewhere around 30 million that’s a lot. So it’s no wonder there is such interest and concern.
How many people rely on the NHS, for services and for employment, whether directly or indirectly?
Is it the very centre of what Blair, Brown and New Labour tried to build? Dependence at every turn, whether intentional or as a fortunate side effect?
And this is what could see them return to power, anytime from now until the 2015 election deadline.
Even though what Labour built was based on an unsustainable economic boom and this was clear for two years before the 2010 election, the Tories were unable to secure an outright majority and now Labour could see their way back into power, without having to provide any evidence of change.
The fact is Labour won't have to do much to get votes in the public sector. The charts below give some indication of the strength of Labour support in the public sector compared to the private sector before the general election.
The Tories must have got some votes from public sector workers in 2010 and certainly the LibDems did; it would be interesting to see the breakdown of voting intentions now…
Considering what they took us to and everything that has happened and been identified since the economic crash, Labour have managed a neat trick. They’re close to getting away with it; the greatest trick the Labour Party ever pulled…
The Devil Inside..?
There are problems throughout the economy and essentially all can be linked back to the last administration (they did have 13 years), so why would anyone in their right minds think this Labour Party could do anything about the economy?? Well, some do. But the key issue for Labour voters, their first thought, must be services and spending.
Of course services should be available to those in genuine need, but they can be delivered more efficiently and a majority of people should understand that, certainly those in the private sector. It may mean job losses, but genuine efficiency should lead to benefits elsewhere.
The Tories seem to view private sector involvement as the only mechanism that can deliver efficiency, but it doesn’t necessarily mean benefit to wider public and that is one reason they lose support. Money is leached out of the system and the fallacy has already been illustrated by Labour’s use of Private finance initiatives.
The public sector managers the Tories don’t trust to deliver efficiency, making them want to use the private sector, are the same managers who will be implementing the cuts… Do they apply the constraints of their budgets appropriately, fairly, sensibly and responsibly? Are jobs defended over services..?
Central Government make the budgets cuts and so the public institutions that Labour built to their current forms and the Labour Party that brought us to the current state of affairs, are not the ones who stand accused.
Cameron and Osborne having a laugh…?
I’m not saying they’re blameless...
Fortunately there are people who are not so easily fooled and many feel the often well paid managers making the decisions in the public sector are the ones who should be cut. The Tories have a lot of cause not to trust the managers to deliver efficiency. I have worked in both sectors and the differences are stark. If you could apply some of the culture of the private sector (the better bits…) to the public sector, there would be less need for cuts to services and therein lies a crucial problem…
In the end they, like the Labour Party, look to protect their lot and their power. And the Tories are damned either way; it’s either jobs or services, or both… It doesn't go down well. For many swing voters, it’s perhaps more ‘Better the Devil You Know…’
The recent history of the Labour Party
It's all there...
People need to look beyond the immediate concerns and through the Labour propaganda and spin.
Mandelson’s left the limelight, but Labour spin writes itself now…
'When I said I'd no problem with people getting stinking rich...'
It’s particularly people in low and below average paid private sector positions (and very much so those without children), because ultimately they are the ones that pay the most, one way or the other. But here again, Labour used another method to secure support by creating apparent dependence outside of their core dependents; by giving with one hand and taking away with the other, in the form of tax credits and the like. They disguised it; but in the end you pay…
Labour’s, and the Left’s, only economic policy seems to be maintaining public spending to increase growth… That wouldn’t restructure the economy and the debt would still have to be serviced, well who would pay for that? The rich..? Don’t bank on it…
Miliband, Brown and Mandelson; entertaining rich people
Brown talking a good game...?
And Labour would still outsource and cut where necessary, that’s why the trick is so intricate, the public sector would still lose, pensions for instance would have to be reformed (even the IMF think so and Labour wouldn't ignore that...). However, Labour would lessen the blow in the public sector and transfer more of the hit outside the realms of their supporters. The Unions will get their voice heard under any administration and the noise continues unabated for Coalition - Civil service and health staff call May strike over pensions.
Ultimately Labour will look to strengthen their power base, because that’s all they know… And surely they’ll not want Scotland to go their own way…?
In an election, unbiased and reasonable people must be able to see through Labour and if they don’t like the Tories or are offended by the Libdems, there must still be a choice..?
Real electoral choice…?
But better than this...?
And on a good turnout if there were votes outside of the main parties then change could happen and real consensus created. Not have one party of whichever persuasion holding the majority to ransom, one way or the other.
The socialist dream will not happen to wider society under Labour; it’s saved for their supporters. Brown spent a good 10 years trying to create his dream in the public sector, financed by a private sector open to the effects of world competition, and we all know how it ended. And still to this day, reform pending; you either join the party or work to pay for it…
A disillusioned former Labour supporter, never a Tory, now trying to look at the political world and society more objectively.
But having a child and working, there isn't much time in the day to be objective...