Saturday, July 27, 2013

Have The Tories Won The Argument In UK Politics?

As UK Parliament goes on summer recess, the Conservatives party seems to have gone with the last laugh. In fact, for a party that has gone through some turbulent period recently, including the internal fracas about the Same-sex Marriage Bill, now a full legislation, you cant but marvel at the turn of events.

Aside from not having any particular Conservatives Member of Parliament (MP) at the moment who is ready to challenge David Cameron's leadership openly and formally, the low was reached when many sidekicks were
touted as possible replacement for him. Some of those being cheered to the beheading podium atimes seemed to corroborate the suspicion but never actually made any direct claim to the ambition. Wisdom.

In that milieu, the other parties, Labour and Liberal Democrats (LibDems) flexed muscles albeit from different angles. also the toothless UKIP, like the sleeping Loch Ness-monster, reared its head and basked in the resulting stunted glory for the few weeks... but that is another story altogether.

For Labour, not only was the economy her main focus of attack, some of its MPs even went as foolishly far as attacking the govt's effort to institute equal marriage; something I particularly found distasteful coming from Labour that should be a champion of it. However, I take that attack as Labour's own guilty conscience for failing to have done it after the Civil Partnership legislation. Nevertheless, many astute Labour MPs like Diane Abbott, Chris Bryant and many other amazing ones made immeasurable contribution with speeches that were outstanding, inspiring and assuring to support that bill as well as voted for it putting partisan politics aside.

On the economic front, the Labour party is losing the argument, not because the economy is improving as recent data tend to reveal. But it is losing the ground because Labour has not come up with any concrete policy framework through which it could or can improve things. In fact, as Labour joined in attacking changes to State Welfare and benefits, it never actually proffered a solution on how else to rein in the poor system as everyone seems to agree. That was and still remains reckless and makes one fear that the Tories could win the next election if called now or another hung parliament would result. Of course, Labour would probably win back in seats like Brighton where the Green party has tasted power and showed a very weak outing in running just a Council.

For the LibDems, one can no more say if they have any ambition let alone a policy for one. Of course, they did have a manifesto and would soon be writing another but their zeal are so obscure that barely do you hear anyone talk about it. This is not made easy by the LibDems in govt acting as a protest party which means that it does not table proposals based on their own principle but spend all their time trying to hinder their Conservatives' partner from being outright destructive. Good work but the LibDems need more pragmatism and proactive approach than the reactive and short term shining.

What this leads to is that, even in cases where certain implemented policies are from the LibDems, the source is barely known. In fact, from my own unscientific survey, most people think see the govt as a Conservatives' govt rather than a Coalition hence the obscurity of the LibDems. In groups I run for many clients talking to service users or patients, that is common even some ordinary people thinking the LibDems as collaborators of nasty Tory policies rather than seeing their wedging activities. Shame

So on the last days as Parliament goes on break, the torn factions in the Conservatives all must have felt like winners; the Prime Minister with the Equal Marriage won the day with a law securely in place with the royal seal on it; Signed, Sealed and Delivered you may say.
Other achievements include the successful deportation of Abu Qatada
  • Recent decrease in unemployment.
  • Positive increase of the GDP
  • Many sports victories (may not be directly linked to the govt but it gets the benefits of the pride)
  • Calm on the Europe argument and the gradual demise of UKIP
  • Etc
So the opponents of the Equal marriage bill in the Conservatives party are smiling regardless of losing that battle but because the economy which they mostly [or most of them] hinged their opposition on, showed green shoots with 0.6% improvement of the GDP. Excellent.

On Europe, the Conservatives seems to be comfortable at the moment too because, though they have not wrestled the Eurosceptism of UKIP into submission or under their control, but UKIP seems to have ran out of steam. What with not being able to stand the bright searchlight of scrutiny? UKIP leader, Farage riding high in the poll got caught owning an off-shore account; some of his counsellors said unspeakable things, the BNP and EDL too both made them question their stand. So while it was not the pragmatism of the Conservatives in surviving the UKIP invasion, but rather fate coming to this unconfirmed rescue of the Conservatives for now.

So, with at least two years to go before the general election, based on events as of today, the Conservatives are having the last laugh and the Prime Minister can hope for energy for the battle ahead. he could even call a snap election within the next 2 years should the economy improves further in the next 2 quarters... (read about this in the next blog).

But for now, the Tories are smiling in their recess; Labour will be working harder to re-strategise to match and respond to an improving economic fortune which has trounced their blank framework. The LibDems should now worry on how to make themselves relevant and known for something desirable of a 'third biggest party in parliament' (more on this in another blog to).

All these shall be revealed or hinted at as Parliament return with the Conference season in September/October.

Watch this space

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