Tuesday, 12 May 2015
So, Why Did Labour Lose The Election?
Ed Miliband is a decent human being who put forward a simple message - we deserve better than eternal austerity and should be entitled to a fair shake of the stick. David Cameron's message could not be more different - we deserve nothing better than eternal austerity because it was the British welfare state that crashed the world economy and anyone who can't afford a £1 million mansion cannot be anything other than a scrounger on benefits. One was the politics of hope, the other the politics of despair. The problem for Ed Miliband was that he struggled to get his message across. This is hardly surprising given the rabidly right-wing press in Britain, but there is a deeper underlying problem that Labour just could not overcome - an ill-educated and largely unintelligent electorate that is simply unable to grasp even simple facts. They have little understanding of economic history and cannot fathom the deep mystery of how a hugely destructive world war with its massive government spending could drag the world out of recession. By 1945 it was obvious to even the dimmest voter that Keynesian economics with its deficit spending actually works. By 1979, when Margaret Thatcher managed to wipe the collective memory, this had been forgotten and was replaced with simplistic economic theories that were apparently easy to understand even though they were utter mumbo-jumbo. Throughout the long dark years of the 1980's and 90's Labour spent a great deal of fruitless energy trying to re-educate the British electorate to no avail. They learned the truth contained in the old maxim; "Never try and teach a pig how to sing. You waste your time and you annoy the pig." Ed Miliband's mistake was the most basic of all - he tried to teach the pig how to sing. He had to try I suppose but, to be honest, the British electorate (or at least 37% of them) now have the government they deserve. The rest of us too now have the government we deserve. We had to chance to change the voting system for one that was fairer but allowed Rupert Murdoch and other right-wing snake-oil salesmen to talk us out of it. The News in Shorts has a message for all those who voted Tory - "Oink, oink." - its about the only thing you understand.