The main body of this post is inspired by two developments that have occurred today. There is also some other stuff later.
TWO MAJOR ELECTION DEVELOPMENTS
It has been announced today that the Brexit Party will not be standing in any Tory held seats, a development that leads to me to suspect that if the election goes as planned for Johnson and cronies there will soon be a Lord Farage of Dot-on-the-Map (he does not plan to stand as a candidate for his party, being 0 for 7 in that area, and he does nothing without having his price).
The other big development is that The Greens have stood aside in Chingford & Wood Green to give Faiza Shaheen a clear run at Iain Duncan Smith. I am firmly of the opinion that a degree of reciprocation is called for. My immediate suggestions in that regard are:
1)Stand aside in Brighton Pavilion so that Caroline Lucas has a clearer run at retaining her seat.
2)Stand aside on the Isle of Wight, so that Vix Lowthion is in a straight fight with the Tories there.
Also, the grubby Farage/ Johnson stitch up really does make this The Rest vs The Hard Right, so everyone who does not want Johnson running riot in the commons backed by Farage in the Lords must be prepared to vote for whoever can give them a non-Tory. In my own constituency I have a very obvious and appealing choice – Jo Rust and Labour. Elsewhere in the mainland I would vote Labour, Green, SNP, Plaid Cymru or Liberal Democrat according who could defeat the Tories in that area. In NI things are different, but there is even one seat there where my vote might be dictated by necessity – unappealing as voting for Unionist of any stamp would be to me I would were I in her constituency vote for Lady Hermon to reduce the chances of those Tory stooges the DUP taking it.
Following on from that last paragraph, this necessity of tailoring one’s vote to fit the circumstances in one’s area is why I devoutly hope that GE2019 will be the last to be held using the outmoded FPTP method. Proponents of this thoroughly discredited method for running elections say that it delivers stable majority governments. Well, in appropriate language for the season: Oh No It Doesn’t – since Labour’s last majority in 2005 only Cameron in 2015 has had an outright majority, and that was very slender – and if GE2019 produces an outright majority for anyone I will be very surprised. Also, after the five years of the coalition we are now looking at a third GE in less than five years – some stability! For another interesting take on this election visit Miles King’s latest post on A New Nature Blog by clicking here.
Finally, before moving on to other matters, it will surprise no one to read that I consider a head to head debate between Johnson and Corbyn unrepresentative of the current state of British politics – I would also include the Lib Dems (presumably Swinson), Plaid, SNP (Sturgeon or if it must a Westminster figure either Joanna Cherry or Mhairi Black), The Greens (I would reckon that Sian Berry would be their best spokesperson) and possibly even representatives from Northern Ireland.
ENGLAND WIN T20 LEG OF NZ TOUR
For the second time this year England and New Zealand could only be split by a Super Over, and for the second time this year England emerged with the spoils, although this time they won the Super Over outright, rather than further tie-splitting being needed. Rain delayed the start of the fifth and final match of the T20 series, and reduced to an 11 overs per side contest. With three balls left England needing 147 to win had 134 and it looked like New Zealand were snatching it at the death, but Chris Jordan, who has had a fine series, hit those last three balls for 12 to level the match and bring about the Super Over. England batted first in the Super Over and Bairstow and Morgan combined to rack up 17 of Trent Boult’s over. Jordan, who would have been England’s third batter had they lost a wicket (one is allowed to lose one wicket, but two ends one’s batting effort) then prepared to bowl the deciding over, while New Zealand sent Guptill and Seifert in to bat (De Grandhomme waiting in the wings). Jordan’s second delivery was called wide, somewhat harshly, but thereafter a combination of good bowling from him and a little too much cleverness on the part of Seifert worked in England’s favour. Seifert’s dismissal left 10 needed off two balls, with Guptill on strike (the batters having crossed before the catch to dismiss Seifert was taken). Guptill was held to a single, and Jordan just had to bowl a legal delivery to win it for England. He did so, and De Grandhomme was unable to score off it, meaning that England had won the Super Over by a comparatively enormous margin of nine runs. The red ball stuff starts tonight GB time with day 1 of a two day practice match, and then there is one proper first class match before the two test matches end the tour.
My usual sign off…
6 thoughts on “Election News”
Excellent post, Thomas.
As you say, the very fact everybody will be voting tactically, spurred on by the parties themselves – with the exception of Labour – forming alliances over this divisive Brexit issue, makes a mockery of the FPTP method. In a multipolar world coalition governments are the future, which can only be reliably served by proportional representation. The current chamber caters to a duopoly (or even a monopoly) and is an antiquated system of governance, and is even in some respects, when viewed through the prism of European politics, anachronistic.
Politics is often about compromise. The current system lends itself to anything but compromise; it is a contentious, tribal, Punch-and-Judy pantomime, which makes silly all that surrounds it.
Essentially, it seems the establishment don’t want political reform because it would naturally give people more choice, at least to start off with. Whereas politics is a means of giving people LESS choice. The parties themselves don’t want it for similar reasons.
What a farce British politics has become. It always has been a farce but now performances are being regularly held in front of the curtain, instead of behind it.
Thank you for this excellent and constructive comment. You could also mention that the layout of the house of commons reflects a bygone age – government and opposition benches are separated by precisely two sword lengths plus one inch. A horseshoe seating arrangement would make more sense.
Another excellent post. Have you seen this article from Wired magazine about all the tactical voting websites that are springing up? It’s all very confusing! https://www.wired.co.uk/article/tactical-voting-general-election-2019
I had not seen that article, but I was aware of the multiplicity of tactical voting sites – and yes it makes things confusing.
That’s where the lapwings are! They have left Sweden I think. They will be back in Spring again 🙂 lovely photos.
Thank you for your kind comment about the photos. Glad you liked the lapwings.