The State of British Politics
What's happening in British politics today, in the wake of the local elections held on May 3rd 2012. Labour did well. They didn't shatter expectations but they did well. They had an open goal to aim for with the calamitous budget from George Osborne, Theresa May's lost day, Francis Maude's jerry can gaffe, Vincent Cable's lack of strategy letter, the 500 families Newham council wanted to foist upon Stoke, and then the small matter of Britain re-entering recession.
Ed Miliband thought now would be a good time to revive Malcolm Tucker's "omnishambles" as the buzz word to describe the situation for the government. Blowing his load too soon, in my opinion and that's a brilliant word to being out for a general election. He'll do very well to top it and even now only a month or two later it's lost its edge. And with all that Labour pretty much rode the wave of inertia which punishes governing parties at local elections.
So, what's going on? Well, Labour can't shake off their guilt from landing the country in the situation it's in. Their leadership duo were in it up to their eyeballs which means when they tell us they have the economic remedy any right thinking person doesn't believe them for a second. Alistair Darling was the best person Labour had coming out of government. The idea that Labour want to ride his coattails with the growth in GDP that he oversaw just before the party left power is despicable considering Gordon Brown wanted him out and replaced by Ed Balls.
Besides which there is no way of telling whether Darling was doing everything right or whether he enjoyed a dead cat bounce. Considering the depth of the fall in GDP and the relative stability elsewhere (Greece was bad but nothing like now) there's plenty of room for doubting his perfection.
It can't get much worse for the Tories. The disingenuously named double-dip recession is only expected to be short. So maintaining control of the deficit now and recognisable growth to come ahead of 2015 would mean they are not looking to hand Labour a solid majority. The daily stack up of poor news has abated. The jobs figures for the past 3 months have showed mild improvements. Take the economy back the same way and they'll start having some confidence in themselves again. Though David Cameron's continually questionable choice in company keeps plaguing his leadership. Gary Barlow is the case in point this week.
The Liberal Democrats, well. They just can't get over the tuition fee debacle. They thought they could ride it out but nearly two years on it still overshadows everything they do. Nick Clegg will never regain trust of the voters and so they'll be left with only loyal hardcore support until there's a large scale jettison of the betraying pledgers.
Of course, the two main parties aren't being shifted from their perch yet. However, there is a chance that this country will awaken from its stupor and actually vote someone else in who might do something different. UKIP and the Greens did well. The Green's already have their first MP in Caroline Lucas. Hopefully that's a stepping stone for them rather than a flash in the pan. UKIP need to stop being a one man show with a single policy. Nigel Farage can only spread himself so far. He needs his team to be more visible to capture the public's imagination.And George Galloway of Respect is back in the House with a recent by-election win.
It'll come around eventually...