British politics is seeing the rise in importance of the smaller parties and nowhere has this become more vital than in the TV debates debate
As the genius social commentator Charlie Brooker pointed out David Cameron has adopted a brusque manner to avoid answering questions where at the end of a publicly made statement, or what Mr. Brooker mentioned the British Prime Minister probably thinks of as “uploading to the pleb-cloud”, walks away at great speed not allowing anyone to pose any, perhaps gambling news coverage of his swift exit makes him look busy not evasive.
UK Election Draws Near
• Cameron dictates debate terms
• UKIP change immigration policy
• Labour look for post-vote partners
This determination on the part of the Prime Minister, regularly portrayed by the cartoonist Steve Bell as being a humanoid condom, to avoid any questions on key policy issues belies a Conservative party under pressure in the build up to the general election on May 7th. Not only has their economic mismanagement led to austerity and quantitative easing creating a huge transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich, but they’ve fallen down on their key core values too.
Immigration was always a Conservative mainstay theme right up to 2010. Asked who had the best policy on immigration very typically the British people would say the Conservatives with their hard line and tough stance on Europe. However since 2010 the rise of the ghastly Nigel Farage and his vanity project UKIP has mainly been due to their even tougher stance on immigration, thus somewhat stealing the Conservative’s thunder.
This wasn’t helped when this week the net migration figures showed immigration on the rise despite Conservative promises to cut the number of new residents coming to the UK, a point Ed Miliband challenged the Prime Minister on in Parliament, noting David Cameron had said before the last election he would cut immigration and backing that up with “if we don’t keep our side of the bargain vote us out in five years time”. David Cameron then swiftly avoided having to admit that a) He did say that, and b) has wholly failed to cut inflation.
Traditional Parties Feel The Squeeze
Meanwhile UKIP themselves, the party most adept at selling fear and loathing to the economically vulnerable British people, has actually changed it’s immigration stance a little saying that it will, if elected, bring in an Australian-style points system, which, in effect, is just a way of keeping poor people out, whilst letting rich people in. Anyone coming to the UK gambling laws on immigration are to get more sensible after the next election ought to think again.
UKIP’s effect on the Conservatives is manifest, it’s effect on the political landscape as a whole a little more worrisome. The entire political spectrum has lurched just a little to the right, with even the Labour party and Liberal Democrats having to jump on the tightening-our-borders bandwagon, and there is a new dynamic in British politics where the three traditional parties of power have to face up to the smaller parties being far more important than hitherto.
UKIP’s bite into Conservative support is significant, but opposite them Labour face just as much of a problem from the SNP who could take so many seats in Scotland Labour would find it impossible to command a majority in Parliament without the assistance of others. The question is, of course, who?
In years gone by that would be the Liberal Democrats but with their support having collapsed after they betrayed voters by going into a coalition with the Conservatives, these days it’s the Greens.
The Green Party is little known in the UK and did itself no favors whatsoever when it’s leader made the sort of radio appearance that will wake her up in a cold sweat for years to come. However as was pointed out on BBC Radio 4’s “The News Quiz” her utter failure in that interview might make her a much sought after presence in any televised political debate as her incompetence could actually provide some light relief whilst the incompetence around her of people who could actually end up running the country will just depress people.
One-On-One Already Gone?
Of course the debate about the televised election debates in the UK rumbles on with David Cameron now insisting he’ll do just one TV debate with seven parties involved in just under two and a half weeks time. This stands in contrast to the media who want three programs over a period of time with one of them featuring just the Prime Minister and the Labour leader. David Cameron, of course, would rather sever his own head than give Ed Miliband such a one-on-one encounter.
Can the British Prime minister dictate to the media? He’s certainly willing to try, but there is always the possibility the TV companies will just empty chair him, making him look cowardly and foolish, and that’s without the legal challenges that some smaller parties, the DUP for one, have decided to pursue which could halt any election debates happening at all. The threat that David Cameron would be hounded everywhere by a man in a chicken suit should he fail to compromise probably just a joke.
If you like to bet on sports in UK and include politics in that sphere you should take a look at the odds on the election at sites like Bet365 where the Conservatives are still 8/15 to take the most seats, with Labour at 6/4, however when you consider no one will have an outright majority, bookies will give you 2/11 on No Overall Majority and just 14/1 on Labour achieving it, it’ll all be about the coalitions formed when the voting is done.
The current mixture of the hateful and the inept, or the Conservative/Lib Dem alliance, is 9/2 to form the next government, with a Labour/SNP coalition just getting 11/2 and a Labour/Lib Dem combination only getting 8/1. Perhaps thankfully for the nation, however, is the delightful news that a Conservative/UKIP coalition is 22/1 making it hugely unlikely, and for that Britain should be thankful whomever ends up winning on May 7th.