Monday 12 June 2017

Reflections on the 2017 General Election

The Tory strong and stable line left its creators with egg on their faces, as Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party looks more and more like a government in waiting, with Theresa May's Tories increasingly appearing as a party in office but not in power. How did we get into this ludicrous situation?

People do not like being asked to vote when it is not necessary, is the first answer to that question. Back in 1974, the Tories asked the people to decide who governs? The people, myself included, replied that it wasn't going to be a collection of clowns who asked daft questions like that and we threw them out. This month the Tories did something equally silly in calling an election that was not needed and then being surprised at the result. Put simply, we expect the government to govern so that we can get on with our lives, and Theresa May forgot that basic rule.

The other lesson of this election is that any party that tries to fuck with the baby boomers does so at its peril. The Tories tried to remove the pensions' triple lock and paid the price for that. They also came up with a reform of elderly care that led an awful lot of boomers to realise that the houses that they hoped to inherit would vanish in nursing home fees. That Dementia Tax as Labour quickly dubbed it was also a reason why many people chose not to vote Tory in 2017.

We should remember that the Tory vote actually went up in this election and the just over 42 percent that they scored was a higher number than Cameron managed in both 2010 and 2015. The problem they had was that Labour's vote also rose to 40 percent and that both main parties then took chunks out of the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and Scottish National Party's share of the seats. It looks like we are back to two-party politics in Great Britain, so 42 percent is not enough to form a government with an overall majority.

That said, if the governing party can pull itself together, then there is no reason why a reasonable government cannot emerge from this chaos that can then run the country for the next four or even five years. That is something that the bulk of the population would welcome.

To be honest, the thought of another election makes my blood run cold. The Democratic Unionist Party has thrown in its ten seats behind the Tories, and although that party is socially very conservative, when it comes to benefits, pensions and government spending it puts Labour to shame.

So long as the government concentrates on the big issue, which is Brexit, and ignores pretty much everything else, then I see no reason why this Tory government cannot survive for a full term.

All they need to do is remember that the baby boomers are not to be touched until enough of us have died off in about ten years to make that possible. Oh, and give the Ulstermen lots of money.

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