Wednesday, 12 May 2010

My excellent predictive skill

Prior to last week's election, I confidently predicted that either a Tory minority or a LibLab coalition would be the result, and specifically excluded a Tory-LibDem coalition because of rhetoric from the former party and presumed unease from the latter. Anyway, how wrong was I? The very case that I completely precluded has come to pass, and we have a Blue-Yellow government as of late last night.

While it's not the government that I wanted (to say the least), and while it's true to say that I would draw no small quantity of pleasure from the rabid rightwing of the Tories repeatedly jabbing the self-destruct button, I'm hoping that they are able to make some of a go of it. Already elements of the media are slavering at the thought (nay, hope) that the UK's first coalition government in my adult lifetime will quickly come unstuck in a morass of recrimination. In part because it offends their dream of a government of rightwing purity, but also, no doubt, because such a fate would easily fill no shortage of column inches.

So though progressive politics have taken something of a rest for the moment (your mileage may vary), I still hope that things work out with our new arrangement, at least for a good while. Both because some good may come of the LibDems being in power (after a fashion), and because I'd like coalition politics to work well enough to give a two finger salute to both cynics and, more importantly, the likes of the Daily Hate.


Anne Gearhart said...

blue-yellow = green? Seems unlikely.

Plumbago said...

Well spotted! :-)

And, yes, that is unlikely, although all of our major parties here accept the importance of anthropogenic climate change and have fairly fleshed-out plans to curtail it.

Said plans may be a little slow to kick-in, but we've never seen the political hostility to climate science that seems routine in parts of the US.

For instance, I read today that some nutjob attorney general in Virginia is currently engaged in a witch-hunt against Michael Mann.

While we're not exactly out of nutjobs here (cf. our cretinous UKIP party), they really don't have much of a platform. In fact, it's worth noting that the much maligned Thatcher set up the Hadley Centre way back in 1990.

That such a free market ideologue took it seriously may explain why opposition here has been much more muted than in the US, where vested corporate interests seem more in charge (or did until Obama stepped up to the plate).

Anyhow, enough of my oversimplifications of US environmental politics!

Anne Gearhart said...

It's all corporate interests here now. During the Obama administration, legislation was signed that now treats corporations as individuals when it comes to campaign financing (in the past, corporations were barred, I believe, from backing candidates.) Apparently, subsequently Obama has signed legislation that requires corporate-backed advertising of candidates to be clearly labeled (closing line statement or visual tag, probably), but the aware American can no longer present that our politicians aren't in bed with the corporations.

Plumbago said...

I heard about this. I thought it was a singularly strange piece of legislation for Obama to put in place. It's practically willing corporates to distort the democratic process.

Every election time here we have hand-wringing about how expensive the process is, and how large donations by wealthy individuals can skew things (cf. this comedy article). But the sums involved in the UK are dwarfed by those in the US.

It seems a no-brainer to try to keep money out of elections, but somehow (gee, I wonder how that could happen?) it keeps creeping back. Now and again someone proposes public funding here, but the thought of MPs spending our money on adverts seems more offensive than other people buying them. Ho-hum.