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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

UK election: a three way election « Previous | |Next »
April 18, 2010

The election in the UK is underway and it looks after the first debate on national television as if the UK will finally experience a genuine three party election. Maybe even a hung parliament, or a coalition between Labour and the Liberal Democrats, or between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats (more likely) Maybe. Just maybe.

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Martin Rowson

An indication that change is afoot? It is highly unlikely that either the Labor of Conservative parties would support electoral reform to introduce proportional representation? It is not in their interest.

The Conservatives are talking big about civil society in which people are given greater power and control over their communities. This puts them at odds with their Thatcherite tradition, which repudiated the very idea of society, and whose attack on the state left people to sink or swim in the market economy.

The Guardian editorial unpacks what the Conservatives turn to civil society in the form of progressive conservatism means in the UK context:

The Big Society... is meant as the alternative to the Big State, which, in the Conservative analysis, is the hallmark of Labour rule.At heart, this expresses traditional Tory suspicion of public services run centrally from Whitehall, deemed inefficient at best, counter-productive at worst. The welfare state, in this view, is a bureaucracy governed by targets and rules that cannot adapt to the real-life complexity of social breakdown. As a result, some problems get worse: fathers are discouraged from living with the mothers of their children by a benefits system that rewards single parents; the unemployed do not seek jobs because they are better off claiming to be incapacitated by sickness.
At a macroeconomic level, public sector spending is said to crowd out the private sector. At corporate level, the expanding state is presumed to stifle entrepreneurs with taxes and regulation. At individual level, welfare payments are said to foster dependency and discourage ambition.

The same old neo-liberalism re wrapped as the 'Great Society', whilst Brown's Labour Party has little time for personal freedom in a national security state in which anyone taking a picture anywhere can be stopped by the police as a potential terrorist.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:44 PM | | Comments (4)
Comments

Comments

Nick Clegg is surgin' in popularity as are the Liberal Democrats. Meanwhile Labour is losing support in all directions.

maybe the Liberal Democrat surge has something to do the rage with the political system brought to the boil by MPs expenses; and rage with boardrooms and bankers who crashed the economy, cost jobs and homes, and yet kept their swelling pay and bonuses.

Labour under Gordon Brown has failed to find the language or action to reflect popular outrage on either.

all hell would break loose in the UK if Labour came third in share of the vote, but first in number of seats.

Cameron and the Conservatives have got the breaks: a maladroit prime minister in Gordon Brown and an economic crisis almost out of memory in its scale.