|And when the shouting was over
||[May. 10th, 2015|03:32 pm]
So, eighteen months down the road during which there was really not much to talk about other than the usual juvenile fantasy of day-to-day yah-boo-sucks politics, Hague has gone. So has, functionally, the Labour Party, not only having lost its Keir Hardie fanbase, but also now split clean down the middle, having lost its top three, one in the most brutal way possible, and no likelihood of having a new one in under six months. That is one heck of a gift to Cameron - with the one possible poison in the chalice being the candidature of Mrs Balls. She does, does she? True, six months during which time we would barely see the skivers for a month in normal times, what with Summer Recess and Party Conference Season, but six months in which a competent bunch of ministers can make one heck of a lot of water pass under the bridges, water the Labour Party will additionally have to row against if it wants to know which way is up.
That does not mean to say Cameron is not burdened with things we can only surmise. With a possibly rather thin majority (we oldtimers recall the fine mess Wilson and Callaghan made of a similar one in the 1970s), Cameron needs someone he can trust as Chief Whip, and Michael Gove, the archfantasist, is most certainly not cut of that cloth. So why, in heaven's name, was he given Justice, and what mad fabulation led him to remove all doubt about his competence by immediately opening his mouth declaring his keynote policy to be free Chambers for all Barristers? Even as a policy it was a non-started, TANSTAAFL. But when he has to manage the core material of the urgent renegotiations with Europe in the very near future, from the starting point of a legislative base of prime disorganisation, one can but pity Phillip Hammond, leading the charge knowing cancer is in its guts. What does Gove have on Cameron?
So, how did this happen? The answer is the hairline trigger nature of the first-past-the-post system, which does not respect the contiguous modelling of cephology. Eight and a half million voters (out of 45m registered, 56m potential) put this government in power over a nation of nigh on 70m by voting for a winning member of a winning Party, something Ken Livingstone took to the extreme in the 1980s by teaming up with Ken Banks to become two out of three controllers of the nominating committee of Iltydd Harrington's Labour GLC team. Instant result, Harrington out, Livingstone in, on the strength of two voices out of 10 million GLC electors. The margin of those eight and a half million over the second place candidates was barely a million: and under those circumstances, the only way to judge is to model each constituency individually. In a word, it's the failure of American marketing, the presumption that one size fits all: the sizes which fit Scotland do not fit England. One million within 70, well within the margin of error - but what a huge error. Let us have an end to these shyster pollsters, whose crystal ball gazing caused an imbalance in political accord which came within a dozen MPs of tearing the possibility of governing this nation apart.
Cameron now has the opportunity to consolidate this, by dividing and conquering. Offer the Scots their dearest wish, and reduce Labour to irrelevance for ever. He instantly gets the bonus of the subsidy (finding his 12m) and the departure of the Scots MPs giving him a firm majority, and loading Sturgeon with an impossible choice: she either renounces her dearest claim or destroys her nation. Either way she too is divided within.
Scotland may go for a few years, but their starting point should be where Greece is now in terms of credit rating, and thence the route is one-way, until they are desperate, indeed starving: we do nothing to help them, particularly in Europe. That is the price of trying to wag the English dog: the dog doesn't need it's tail, the tail will be catmeat without the dog. Then the balance changes, their dream must break itself on its own wheel. England can then only be blamed for not offering a hand the Scots spurned: let that be the historic record.
The wider lesson is that the human race succeeds by cooperation. Sturgeon is so bloated on Nigel Tranter's post-Jacobiteism she's forgotten her femininity, and is now at sea within herself between her twarted hopes to be KingMaker, the demands of her more atavistic trolls, and her personality as a politician to deal. To quote Billy Connolly, "Let's give these bastards a good hammering!" (The Hobbit, which is about the level of reality these mountain trolls work at). Where cooperation fails, punishment must follow - and in these neo-Tudor times, that must be serious, not something an Archer or a Mandelson can return from. For Cameron to succeed in Europe, he must remind the slimeworms that he should be feared, far more than Maggie with an iron brick in her handbag: what gives, fundamerntally, is a lack of real respect, and that can only be recovered the hard way. They're so far up their own arses in Brussels having seen off the likes of Kinnock Father by simple bureaucratic obstruction they've forgotten how we cleansed their Nazi brethren in 1945. So, it they see him as ruthless inside his country, then how much more sshould they fear him to be elsewhere?
One domain he could start with is to clean his House, not by some long-winded Enquiry into child abuse, but by simple trial by jury as a matter of priority. Where two or more victims accuse the same politician, let them answer without delay: and if they cannot, then let twelve good men and women conclude, this within a fortnight. Stop the flummery of scientific proof, two or three men's word should suffice against any. Clean that Augean stable of Dunblane too. And then proceed to those who covered up, Police, Magistrates, Councillors. But start at the top, and do so brutally, removing judges who have no taste for a clean-up. This is where Gove is a disaster, of course, because he's a milksop.
At least Cameron has hit the ground running, appointing Hammond as his first move. Brussels is away on Monday, celebrating just how far out of contact with reality they really are: when they return from the Ardennes on Tuesday, it is to be hoped the Foreign Office's initiatives on Monday will have parked so many diplomatic tanks on Commission lawns as to start delivering the message that the UK is seriously narked. We no longer need their goodwill (what goodwill?), so it's time to earn their hatred.