11 May 2010

Blairites Prefer Tories In Power

It seems Ed Miliband and Ed Balls have blown any chance of a Lib-Lab deal along with John Reid and Tom Harries. Their opposition to AV and PR has blown it all out of the water. The last minute offer from the Tories of a referendum on AV has probably sealed the deal. Nobody has got what they wanted. The Lib Dems don't get PR, Labour go into opposition (though this is what a lot of bastard Tory-lite Labour MPs did want in preference to giving us democracy) and the Tories have to share power and offer a referendum on reforming our voting system. This seems more like democracy to me, and for those who think spending the weekend negotiating is too much trouble and we should just hand all the power to a party with just 36% of the vote, in the words of Will Self - 'There is nothing I can say to people who oppose electoral reform, it is like opposing the 1834 Reform Act' [the Act that first extended the franchise].

1 comment:

  1. I don't think it's Blairites, particularly, it's all the neanderthal tribalists in the party, of both left and right. Tom Harris, Gordon Brown, John Prescott, Roy Hattersley and Diane Abbott all fall into this category, as well as such deeply illiberal authoritarians as John Reid, Jack Straw and David Blunkett. By and large, these are the same people who will go to the last ditch in defence of first-past-the-post. I remember once trying to organise an all-party meeting on devolution with Tom Ellis and Austin Mitchell at the party conference in the mid-1970s and being told that we could not advertise it in the conference programme unless we were a strictly party organisation, by with and from the Labour Party. The party needs to go away and decide whether to embrace a more pluralist approach and decisively abandon this kind of stupid, blinkered tribalism, one of the main reasons I eventually left the party, or whether it will gradually sink into irrelevant oblivion.