I’m on record as saying I think Snooty, Smug and Supercilious will get back in with a (small) working majority, so I don’t really think so. We’ll all know in about twenty-four hours though.
I have a healthy scepticism of opinion polls–they were wrong about the Scottish referendum–and I’m downright suspicious of focus groups. Going into full Colonel Blimp mode–Google it if you’re under sixty–I’d go so far as to say that what is wrong with politics today is there is too much focussing on groups and not enough focussing full stop. Be that as it may, I think the professional pollsters and the endless hordes of media pundits–political editors, deputy political editors, chief political correspondents, common and garden political correspondents, and Uncle Tom Cobley–are going to wind up with egg all over their faces. They may be right, in which case feel free to gloat, but I can’t be right all the time, so ‘this face will not be bovvered’. Speaking of bovvered, Wallace is better at dropping his ‘Ts’ than Dave and so some might regard him as being a better communicator when it comes to the addressing the masses. Yees, well the masses know when they’re being patronised, so–in my opinion–‘two-kitchens’ (or more likely his advisors, having consulted a focus group or three)–got that wrong. And even if the note saying ‘good luck, sorry there’s no money’ was either a bad joke or apocryphal, the masses don’t find it funny. They know what it feels like to have too much month and not enough money. THEY? Something else politicians get wrong. THEY are WE. WE all know what it’s like to have to tighten our belts. I mean, good Lord, I have to resort to farmed caviar and supermarket brand vodka these days. The days of genuine, Iranian Beluga and obscure Icelandic, triple-filtered through volcanic rocks and delivered to my door by Viking Longship, vodka are long gone, so don’t tell me I don’t know how to tighten my belt! Ironically, when Wallace waffles on about a more equal society, he uses the language of class warfare, remember that? That was before people had the right to buy their council houses–an idea first floated in the 1959 Labour manifesto, but better not mention that. No, I’m not so sure that people these days buy entirely into the notion of the redistribution of wealth. I used to have a bit, but life took care of most of it. As much as the idea of getting my hands on more filthy lucre is appealing, I still fail to see why the fruit of somebody else’s hard work and better planning should be redistributed into my profligate fingers.
You know, I have a sneaking suspicion that, like it or not, most people know that things are getting better. It might not have been Labour’s fault that there was a financial crisis, but they were, and remain, the party of borrow more than you can afford in order to bribe the electorate. The electorate usually do vote with their wallets, and with things improving probably won’t want to endanger any recovery. It has been said that nobody ever got elected by over-estimating the intelligence of the voters, but it’s equally true to say that underestimating it can lead to many CVs being sent out. So, on election day, what do I think might happen?
I refer my right honourable readers to the lines I wrote a few moments ago, but for what it’s worth, here’s the ‘full monty’.
Looking North, I think that Nicola MacThatcherbeth may be in for a bit of a surprise. If not her personally, then certainly many of her supporters. You see, the Scots have been busy being ‘fully engaged’ in politics for over a year now. They must be exhausted. The prospect of yet another referendum if the SNP snaffle most of the available Westminster seats and interpret this as a mandate to hold another one, will not fill them with joyful feelings. It is clear the SNP want independence and it is equally clear the majority of Scots–for whatever reasons and there are many individual ones– do not. That being the case, why would you think that the Scottish electorate would return a pro-independence bunch of MPs? The professional pollsters do, as do the professional pundits. I personally feel that the Scots are neither stupid or naive. They might feel that Labour has failed them but they know what the SNP stands for. Lib Dem, anybody? And there just might be more than a lone Scottish Conservative MP, at the end of the (voting) day.
Wales–ah yes, Wales. The Labour heartland–except they’ve had a Labour government for the last five years, and whilst the rest of the UK has slowly risen out of the economic morass, Wales has not. Plaid Cymru? Don’t make me laugh. The Welsh have no obvious appetite for full independence although more devolution might be welcomed.
So that leaves dear old England. The land of warm beer, useless cricket teams and where (apparently) people are very concerned about the EU. You want a vote on whether or not we stay in? You needed to have voted Conservative, then. Most of my fellow countrymen and women have probably worked that one out. UKIP? Imploded. I’m quite certain of that. Certainly not everybody–or even most people–who voted for them are racists, but oh dear oh dear, they don’t half pick their candidates, don’t they? There never was a chance that ‘our Nige’ was going to hold the balance of power, despite the panicking in certain political parties. In fact, ‘our Nige’ might find himself spending more time in the pub after the counting has been concluded.
Clegg’s Lot? Now there, I have altered my views– slightly. It is possible they will not be wiped out. They may yet hold a balance of power, should that situation arise. Given half a chance of another five years in shared power with Dave, Nick will bully the rest of them into going into coalition–after all, he will insist on at least a couple of Lib Dem ministers and who is going to turn down the chance of a ministerial car, salary, secretary and ultimately, pension, because of principles? Assuming that Nick keeps his seat, of course. Vince might prefer Wallace to Dave, but I don’t think he’s a great fan of the Tartan Tearaway and whilst three in a bed might sound interesting, Vince thinks we ought to at least have a couple of submarines available in case Vladi Putin isn’t joking.
Wallace Two-Kitchens? It wasn’t a bad campaign but the carved-stone in the garden of Number Ten was a bit too biblical for most people, particularly when a spokesperson tried to explain that carved in stone didn’t actually mean that he would stick to what was carved on it. That confused/amused me, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone. Lucky there was a royal baby born on the same day or there might have had to have been further ‘clarifications’. And, of course most people would like to see the NHS get hundreds and thousands more doctors, nurses, midwives and cleaners, but most people either don’t want to be hospital cleaners or have no intention of qualifying for the other jobs, so where are all these extra bodies coming from, they ask themselves. They also know the answer–yes, OK it is the Philippines, Ghana and other parts of the EU–so that rather destroys UKIP’s arguments as well as making Wallace appear mindlessly optimistic. Personally I wouldn’t trust him with a locked and bolted-down child’s money-box and, again, I don’t think I’m alone in this opinion.
Dave? Well he did manage to get passionate for a couple of minutes, I’ll give him that. The rest of the time he mostly managed to keep ‘the bastards’ under control. No, his figures didn’t exactly add up either, but at least Osborne is more convincing at double-dutch accounting than Balls. Mind, this is not an original thought, but when John Major thinks the campaign is a bit boring you know you have problems. Perhaps that was the plan all the time? Have the electorate sleep-walk into the polling booths. Con-ser-vative zzzzzzzz. X.
And what about a Con/Lab coalition, as has been mooted in some quarters? The short answer to that is–if the War Criminal was still in charge of the Socialists, then maybe. However, he isn’t and Wallace is a real, dyed-in-the-wool Socialist, so ideologically, the parties are just too far apart. Yes, yes, Wallace has tried to appear fiscally responsible, but remember the Wolf had Little Red Riding Hood fooled for a while as well.
The trouble with all the campaigns–or at least the campaigns of the three major parties–was that they believed the pollsters, and so were terrified of putting a foot wrong. Thank God for Boris.