February 13, 2016 3 Comments
The wins for The Donald and the Bern in NH seems to have confirmed sections of the media in its view that something is happening in our politics, and over my side of the Pond I have seen parallels drawn with Jeremy Corbyn, Syriza and the Front Nationale – it is, it is being said, the anti-Establishment candidates who are attracting the young and the discontented. In the UK we have a system of what are called by elections, so, when a member of parliament dies or resigns between general elections, there is an election in that seat; usually the ‘insurgent’ or ‘protest’ vote does well, sometimes even wins, but, at the next general election the seat reverts to the old loyalty. People, it seems, are willing to pile in with a protest vote – ‘kick the rascals out’ – when there is nothing much at risk, but when there is, they revert to safety first; after all, someone needs to run the economy.
Quite what happens when it seems that the ‘safety first’ parties cannot run the economy is an interesting question which we, most of us, hope does not have to asked soon, though the odds on that are shortening. It is for that reason that the pundits are predicting, at least some of them, that it will be Hillary versus Marco Rubio; but I wonder if that is just the comfort zone for the MSM? From this side, it seems amazing that the Hillary and her emails thing is still grinding on – it kind of reinforces the view that normal rules don’t apply to her, and that the most powerful machine in American politics is going to grind out a victory. The problem with that may be that while we know Hillary wants to be POTUS so bad it hurts, and she longs to be the first woman to hold that office, no one seems ot have any idea what else she wants to do with it. It may be that she will be like Gordon Brown, the man who succeeded Tony Blair as Prime Minister here. He wanted to be PM, he knew it was his destiny – but when he got it it turned out he had no idea what to do with it – and in a way the 2008 Crash gave his time in office a purpose it would otherwise have lacked. Had he never achieved his ambition, everyone would have said he was the ‘best PM we never had’ – his tragedy was he got what he wanted; the same may be true of Hillary. I have to say, as a woman, I wish she and some of the older women who support her, would stop sounding as though it were some kind of betrayal of womankind not to support her; it isn’t like Bill’s record in that department is a good one.
Your politics, naturally, attracts attention here, which ours does not with you, but here there is an interesting situation developing. Alone in Europe, David Cameron became a Conservative leader to actually increase his vote at a general election – and he did it firmly from the centre ground. He now finds himself in a position where he has had to deliver on his promise to hold a referendum on the European Union and to renegotiate on Britain’s terms of membership. No one really believes he has got real changes, but the betting is that he will win the referendum on a ‘stay in’ platform, and then reshape his Cabinet before retiring in a couple of years time. The media here are generally disparaging. He’s not very exciting, he seems to lack fire, and he’s so Establishment it is not true. His success belies their narrative of us living in ‘revolutionary times. The Left here are furious with him, but they have shifted Labour so far to the Left that it is hard to see how they can win the next election, whenever it comes.
The people are happy to be revolutionary when there is nothing much at stake – at least here, but less so when there is. I have no idea how that would play out in your case were it to be the case – but it could be interesting to speculate.