Saturday, May 06, 2006

A Panglossian take on the election results

Tony Blair has managed to drive analysis of the UK's local election results off the front pages and out of TV or Radio bulletins. His reshuffle was impeccably timed to divert the Westminster Village after another scent. Love them or loath them, no-one can honestly say that he and his team of advisors are not immensely skilful politicians. They've kept Mr Cameron's moment of tiny glory quite well buried.

Thousands of words will be written and spoken about the ministerial changes. Most will be rubbish. Every commentator will be desperate to get an angle on the story and will seek out evidence to support their (usually crackpot) theories about what's going on.

Some bored backbenchers will try to get themselves on telly or, more importantly, into their local papers by muttering about over-throwing Mr Blair. But it will be sound and fury signifying nothing as Bill Shakespeare might have written.

Meanwhile the election results are wonderful. The Tories made enough progress to dampen down the Tebbit tendency in their party but not enough to suppress it completely. Outside London they did woefully badly for the main opposition party nine years into the other party's term of office. The LibDems did badly, perhaps their negative campaigning is no longer fooling the voters.

So Labour has a sturdy platform on which to build for the general election on 11th June 2009.

Dr Pangloss is an absurdly optimistic character from Voltaire’s satire Candide written in 1759 hence Panglossian. He was lampooned for saying that everything's for the best in this the best of all possible worlds. It's not a bad philosophy imho. I expect the reader of this blog who can read tricky books in French will tell me that I, or the translators I've read, have got Monsieur V's intentions all wrong. Watch the comments box.....


At 13:51, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are you kidding!
With 40% of the vote and a net gain of more then 300 councillors, the Tories are on track to win the next general election.
Negative campaigning- Dave the chameleon. You will have to do better than that.

At 18:23, Blogger Hughes Views said...

Why are so many pro-Tory people who comment on blogs anonymous?

40% at local elections nine years into a government is too small for the main opposition party. A large majority of the 25% turnout margin between local and general elections is made up of Labour voters and many protest switchers will also be back voting for a Labour government in 2009.

At 19:23, Anonymous Vanky said...

Your tack seems to be that Labour are bad, but Tories are worse, hmm?

Grasping at straws..?

At 20:40, Blogger Hughes Views said...

So vanky your tack seems to be that:

rescuing 2m pensioners and 700,000 children from poverty;
stabilising the economy and interest rates;
dramatically reducing waiting times for NHS treatment;
getting record results in schools;
reversing years of neglect in public services;
creating SureStart centres for the under fives;
creating the climate for record numbers of jobs to be created;
introducing a minimum wage;

are bad things to have done?


At 07:53, Anonymous Vanky said...

No, not at all!

In fact, I'd have very few problems with the current government if they just acted with more humility. I'd have a lot more time to applaud them if they owned up to their mistakes, as much as they crow about their successes.

Politics shouldn't be about getting one over on the Tories.. It should be about serving the people.

Further to your post though, I was pleased to hear the Chancellor taking a slightly different line to the Hughes one, admitting that the local election result showed that the Labour party needs renewal.

Lets make no bones about it, this result was an awful one for Labour, only saved by opposition ineptitude. Claiming this as a 'victory' can only be bad for the party and the country..

Sorry for the essay!

At 12:50, Blogger Manfarang said...

Well Brian I remember it being said
that one Tory leader would never win because that particular leader would never achieve a high enough percentage of the vote.She won.
The percentage necessary for a party to win fell and it is continuing to fall.

At 22:16, Blogger Hughes Views said...

o'brien - thanks for the comment, a timely reminder of how important it is to get Labour back on track!

vanky - thanks for the essay...

At 11:34, Anonymous Vanky said...

Assessment! I need assessment..! Damn the AUT...

At 12:02, Anonymous Jenni said...

It's ok, you can sue them...

At 18:08, Blogger Hughes Views said...

Vanky - so my "thanks for the essay..." won't do as an assessment then? Now I've learnt what the AUT is, you (and to a tiny extent they) have my sympathy.

Jenni - have you forgotten Bleak House; you don't want to send him down the J&J route now do you?!


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