In the event, the left/right split is less than 38% to the right, and more than 62% to the left of center. And the horse-trading has begun.
I was wrong about Brown. He found his soap box again during the last couple of days of the campaign. He no longer looks tired. He’s still tarred with the Iraq brush, as is Cameron, and with other more minor stumbles, such as Duffygate but for the first time in years, he is looking like his own man again. Perhaps this is because he’s been given a mandate to trade, deal, and argue his case, and let’s face it, he is the most articulate of the three, by quite a distance.
I thought, on election day and today, (Friday 7th May 2010), that he articulated his thought and policies in a far more lucid fashion than either of the other two. Clegg was all but royal and arrogant at times during the week, but I still went with him, while Cameron wavered between arrogance and wet. Brown’s policies are also more fully formed, and he has a precise map of his own vision which he’s able to refer to as he speaks. He wants to preserve as many of the people in work as he can, and he seems to have the most joined-up kind of plan to do that. Which would seem to be ideally ‘conservative’!? Cameron showed some promise in his speech today, but he still needed the frequent glance at his notes.
The next few days should be pretty interesting. For sure, Clegg would be mad to trade away his position on Proportional Representation for a seat at the Tory table. As Ming Campbell says, “We’ve been down this route before”.
For the wanabe and bedroom anarchists among you, don’t worry, it’s coming, but meanwhile, wouldn’t it be better to enfranchise more people? We’re all well aware of the fact that Westminster sucks, but it’s just slightly better than death, pillage and destruction, and with a bit of luck, and if we play it right, we just might be able to control a whole lot more of it. That’s what this fight is about. It’s about opening the doors as fast as negotiation will allow us to, and then keeping them open for as long as it takes for all of us to be inside.
Parliament is just that, and consists of who we want to put into it every 4 or 5 years. It’s the place where we parley. It’s the place where our council sits. If you don’t want one, fair enough, but societies have to speak to each other. We all know what happens when we don’t. We’re the ape who speaks. We have to make full use of that facility in order to pass human culture to our children. You can choose which bits to pass down, and what to leave behind. That’s how we progress this thing. A vote is an element of that, and an act of conscious volition.
If you want to you can turn your back on it and become a traveller, a tramp or an aesthete, or turn ‘god save the queen’ into a drum solo. Or you can stay in the bedroom. We have slowly developed the ability to give ourselves choice. We can choose not to have children. We can choose not to hand this kind of a fate to another being. Over 95% of life on the planet is bacteria. Their choice is more limited. They’re born, they have sex and they die. And that’s it. Not much different, but different enough. If you don’t want to be taken over by people like yourself, you’re best plan is to try to do something about it…