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Caveat Emptor

The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Election Special

So a day to go and everything as clear as mud. There are two must reads today, Simon Wren-Lewis on the ludicrous message the Independent is sending to its (thankfully limited) readers on the legitimacy of SNP participation in UK government and Stephen Fisher on coalition politics.

I voted (tactically) a couple of weeks ago by post and since then I've not gone out of my way to follow the campaign. I make no secret of the fact that I'd prefer a different government to the one we currently have without being overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the alternative. 

Looking at the forecasts, the bookies odds and the electoral arithmetic my best guess (which I don't make with much confidence) is that I'm going to be disappointed and that the Conservatives, after winning the most seats, together with the rump of the Lib-Dems will patch up a  deal with the DUP and blunder on to the next crisis on the horizon - the EU referendum. How the Conservative Party will look after that is anyone's guess.

Given the abysmally low expectations the boy wonders Milliband and Balls fought a  largely gaffe free campaign (everyone seems to have forgotten Ed B's memory loss about the names of actual Labour Party business donors). But their report card says they could have done a lot better. 

They were not nearly aggressive enough in confronting the media-macro fantasy that the last Labour Government was responsible for global recession. I know the Great British Public have difficulty focusing on any argument that requires more than two sentences but was it so difficult to get the message across that Gordon Brown was not responsible for the crash of Lehman Brothers?

They have saddled themselves with a daft promise of no deals with the SNP a party which arguably advocates more of the things that traditional Labour Party supporters want than the Labour Party itself. Again they should have been more aggressive with a hostile media.

They have also saddled themselves with a policy of reducing university tuition fees. It is incomprehensible to me how a party, supposedly of the left, could be advocating that. 

Instead of offering a bribe to the electorate why not  explain the facts of the matter? The arithmetic is not that difficult. Unless you give enormous weight to the impact on mature students all the numbers say that this policy amounts to redistribution towards the (future) middle-class. Maybe that's what the Labour Party wants. But if it does, it should have the courage to say so clearly.

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