Not writing related, but I thought I’d do a little comment piece on the UK general election.
So, another general election has came and went in the UK. When everything looked dead-set on a hung parliament with a slight Conservative majority, the smaller parties made their voices known. The Green Party, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, and UKIP all ended up coming forward to provide significant voices through the entire election campaign, with expected victories for SNP and UKIP, and the fall of the Liberal Democrats to a fraction of the seats they had in 2010.
But, as you can see, that isn’t the case, and the Tories got a majority government seemingly out of nowhere, going beyond even the predictions of the exit polls, which is something that nobody expected after such a hit and miss coalition government, and a shaky campaign by Cameron.
As a Liberal Democrat, the election was depressing enough, but sitting around and moping about what has happened is a bit pointless now.
What is more interesting is the aftermath, which resulted in the resignations of three party leaders, the rise in memberships for the Liberal Democrats, and anti-austerity rioting in London that would make Leanne Wood proud.
Admittedly, the resignation of Nick Clegg is the least surprising, seeing his party lose all but 8 seats in parliament after being unable to survive criticism from raising tuition fees and often getting the blame for the Tory policies being passed, instead of policies that they put through themselves.
Miliband and Farage, however, were a bit more odd. Miliband, whilst suffering the worst Labour result since 1987, could have easily stepped up to fight as the opposition after the defeat, understand why he lost, and work on a better Labour manifesto for the 2020 election, as well as trying to win back seats in by-elections. This means that the two biggest English parties in the opposition now have a leadership election which completely distracts everyone from the Tories pushing forward with the scrapping of the Human Rights Act and appointing Michael Gove.
Farage resigned after his party gained one seat and he ended up losing his battle for South Thanet, before immediately stating he might run for the leadership role again in the summer. It’s pretty odd, because UKIP were never expected to get more than 2 seats according to opinion polls all through the election campaign, and it wasn’t even a catastrophic loss, with 12.6% of the vote.
After the hangover of the election, however, has been a lot more interesting for the LibDems. The Liberal Democrats have had over 5,000 people join their party after their crashing defeat at the polls. This all leads me to suggest that the Liberal Democrats may well come back exceptionally strong in the 2020 election. Sorry to say it, but Nick Clegg resigning has probably done the party a significant amount of good. Him staying would have kept the tuition fees situation stuck to the party for even longer than it already will be (because they have kinda pissed off a significant amount of the next generation voters…). However, the surge in membership will not only provide more support for the party, but also will give them more opinions on future policies, the direction of the party, and of course, the choosing of the party’s next leader. Not to mention the fact that these new members provide extra choices for MP candidates in the future…
This gets me onto the Labour Party, and more specifically, their monumentally important leadership election. With famous faces such as Tristam Hunt, Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham, and Chuka Umunna being suggested to make leadership bids, the only person to have confirmed their running for leadership is my own MP, Liz Kendall, MP for Leicester West. Whilst there is little news on this topic so far, Liz was interviewed on Sunday Politics, where she stated where Labour went wrong, and what should be next for her party. She sounds like she has big ideas for Labour, but with no other candidates coming forward as of yet, there is a lot more to discuss on this.
Of course, there is also the anti-austerity protests that have been happening in London and Cardiff, too. Whilst it is all fine and well sharing your political opinion in the form of protest, some of it got out of hand, resulting in at least 15 arrests and graffiti on a Whitehall war memorial. It’s okay to make your voices heard, but where were these people literally 3 days ago when people were voting? You can’t complain about the outcome of an election if you don’t make direct attempts at spreading alternative options to the party you don’t like. Even if you do complain now, you don’t have to be a dick and be violent, as well as spraying paint on war memorials. Stuff like that directs attention away from the reasons behind the protest itself, as well as giving the opposing arguments even more strength by passing you off as “violent rioters” and being “disrespectful”. Hence the BBC’s article being heavily biased towards the negative aspects of the protest, and away from the monumental shitstorm of cuts that the Tories are going to put in place. Don’t give them a chance to report negative things, because that’s all they will report.
These have been a few comments on what’s been happening recently and my opinions on them. If you wish to comment on anything, feel free to leave comments on the page!