Humble Pie Day:
One must never be grudging or bitter about being wrong. I have been completely wrong before about election results so being completely wrong again is not a surprise to me. I wrote the paragraph below at 2 am before bed but I did not post it but I think it’s fair enough in the cold light of this coldly disappointing day.
“As ever the important thing to learn from a political defeat is the right lesson. For all this night may now bring in disappointment to political parties and to individuals – it is very much alike the victories bought with Danegeld which bought time and a sort of peace but left entirely unresolved the problem the of the Danes. The Union which makes the United kingdom had been traded by the Conservative Party for the fools gold of a victory that is only English.The LibDems are completely eviscerated as they had were previously been by their fond embrace of the Conservative Party in the 1930’s.
Labour has deluded itself for five years that it could eke out a victory by winning in the marginals without winning the bigger argument. and one of the arguments lost decisively was lost shortly after 2010 when the coalition pinned the responsibility for the financial crash on Labour ably assisted by Liam Byrne’s foolish letter – meant as a joke – which always sounded to the wider electorate as a confession of guilt.
Finally, for those on the progressive and Union side of UK politics this not a time for mutual recriminations. We must start from where we are and learn from what went before.”
I’ve not seen the actual voting % yet as I went to bed around 2 not long after Putney but I will make some observations – first, the LibDem % below 10% would previously have led to to the conclusion that alike UKIP they would end up with only a handful of seats. Secondly, to be fair to the pollsters the Labour vote I’m guessing will be around 30% which would have been at the lower end of their + or – 3% rule. Thirdly, it seems the Murdoch press has what it wanted – the SNP in Scotland and the conservatives in England. Prepare for the Europe referendum and for the SNP demanding another Referendum as part of their Holyrood campaign next year.
But one should not deny the Conservatives their due – once again they played a blinder with the vote SNP get Labour mantra which clearly had traction. This strategy started on the morning of the Referendum result when Cameron cited English votes for English Laws as a consequence of the Scots decision to remain in the Union. As in 2010 the Conservative leadership has played its hand with a ruthless flair and you cannot learn the lessons of a defeat unless you embrace the reality of its cause.
I’m glad to have quoted Teddy Kennedy’s speech previously – it was written by Ted Sorensen who crafted all of JFK’s great speeches and Bobby Kennedy’s too. Great causes need great words but they also need guile of great men or women – we need to find them in the rubble of this defeat….and one of them will not be Mr Balls!