Good Riddance, Tories!

5 July 2024


Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

Labour Wins in Landslide

Labour won the election in the UK yesterday with a massive 170 seat majority. This ensures that he will be PM in five years when the next election is due. It is also likely that, regardless of how badly his party could be in office, the Labour Party can expect to be re-elected. The majority is that big. There are a number of factors that created this situation, but chief among them is the general incompetence of the Conservatives. Their bumbling since Boris Johnson won with an 80 seat majority has brought this about. They botched Brexit, they blundered on Covid and the nation lost out economically. The British political scene is very different this morning.

First and foremost, Sir Keir Starmer is now the PM, and he is of the New Labour end of the party rather than the Corbynite left. While it may frustrate the people of Islington, radical socialism is not very appealing to the British voter. In electoral politics, one must meet the voters where they are. One can persuade them to move a bit and over time that can mount up. Yet to ask them to vote for something that makes them uncomfortable is a guarantee of defeat. Ask Michael Foote or Jeremy Corbyn, who kept his seat last night.

The revival of the Liberal Democrats and the sinking of the Scottish National Party also matter a great deal. The LibDems hold 71 seats, the best result they have had since they were the Liberal Party in 1923. In parliament with a smaller majority for the government, they would matter much more. As it is, this is a base from which they can build.

Just the opposite has happened to the SNP. They went from being the third largest grouping to being a rump of 10. This puts independence off for a while, perhaps a generation. The result, though, is fully deserved. After more than a decade in power in Edinburgh, the SNP lost its way with financial shenanigans and on issues like gender identity that do not matter to a majority of voters either unionist or nationalist. They will have a lot of work to do it they are to do any good for themselves when the Scottish Parliament is up for election in two years.

The most telling story is of the split on the right. The rise of Refore UK at the expense of the ruling Conservatives has brought about the Tory disaster because of the firest-past-the-post system of vote counting. In the first four constituencies to be announced, Labour won, but Reform UK finished second. In dozens of other seats, Reform took enough votes from the Tories for Labour to win the seat. Reform also took some votes from Labour, but not enough to harm the eventual winners too badly.

How the Conservatives and Reform UK proceed from here will prove interesting. A long, drawn-out fight for the soul of the British right is one option. The other is a unification of the two parties. Reality will be somewhere in between. A great many Brexit fans hate the way the Tories managed the post-referendum situation. Most of them voted Reform UK. A great many who stayed with the Tories understand that moving farther to the right makes the Lib Dems and Labour more appealing to those closer to the center. In short, the Conservatives have been outflanked on the right, and they must undo that before they can consider a return to government.

Finally, there is the mess that Labour has inherited. The economy is shaky, and civil institutions are not respected as they once were. Yet, nothing appears on the horizon that is going to change anything. Labour has much it can do, but only if it can find the money. That may mean tax increases, which is an odd thing for a party to do if it is trying to end austerity.

This journal is not pro-Labour any more than it is pro-Tory. It has a soft spot for the LibDems, Greens and Nats. Nevertheless, British patriots and those who wish Britain well must hope that Sir Keir succeeds.

© Copyright 2024 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

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