Sunday 3 May 2015

Tories & Labour need to stop working together against the new politics of Britain

With thanks to Wings Over Scotland for these photos, which seem to show the Tories and Labour sharing a pitch in East Renfrewshire yesterday.

Here is David Montgomery canvassing for votes near an unmanned Labour stall.

And here is Jim "Spud" Murphy standing at the same stall a short while later after Montgomery has abandoned the pitch.

Now it may be that all this is coincidence. Murphy may very well be a teetotal vegetarian weirdo, but we have to assume that the rest of his crew are fairly normal people who left the stall to grab a wee heavy and a nip to keep out the cold. Montgomery may have seen his chance and darted in to that spot to do a bit of electioneering of his own, unbeknown to the Labour team who were sat in the local boozer. It is equally possible that fairies live at the bottom of gardens...

You see, this isn't the first time that Labour and Tory have been caught cuddling up to one another. They did it in Thanet just the other day when the two parties' candidates were actually photographed arm in arm in opposition to UKIP:

What seems to be happening is that neither party is able to get to grips with the fact that 21st Century political activity is going to be different from the 20th century version. Given that politics in the 20th century was not the same as politics in the 19th you would think that this point would be obvious, but they do seem to have trouble understanding the changes that have taken place.

The two former big boys want to force people back into the mass market politics that dominated the last century. However, the people are not willing to accept that, and the old parties are unable to come to grips with the plethora of new parties that are being created to represent the new politics.

The Tories are going to have to wake up to the fact that the newly prosperous, Mondeo driving, grandsons of Alf Garnet are not going to accept a party that is run by and for the traditional upper middle class. They want a party of their own, and UKIP fits the bill. The Tory Party is going to have to accept that there is a new party that sits to their right and work with it, or face years in opposition.

For its part, Labour has to accept that its decades of dominance in Scotland are now over. It may also have to accept that new, religiously based parties like Respect are going to have a major role to play in Northern English depressed mill towns. 

That is not to say that the big two should stop opposing these new forces. It is quite legitimate for the Tories to stand against UKIP and for Labour to oppose the SNP. However, it is ludicrous for the main parties to stand together in opposition to any new force.

So Labour should put forward its policies in places like Thanet and leave the Tories and UKIP to hammer it out between themselves. It is possible that Labour may even come through the middle and grab the seat. The Tories should do the same in Scotland and leave Labour and the SNP to have their separate battle.

To do otherwise is to give yet more ammunition to the charge that Labour and Tory together form a kind of conspiracy against the British people who are crying out for change.

It is that, more than anything else, that has led to those circumstances coming about in the first place.

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