Britain's shambolic election
The major parties offer a fresh bribe each day. They are now cross-dressing with Dave chanting the socialist mantra of welfare from the cradle to the grave, and Ed calling on assistance from old Auntie Prudence. As for a Labour/SNP government, it's too awful to contemplate. Help!
This election is the politics of the booby-hatch. The campaign is being dominated by the odious Nicola Sturgeon who is a Doppler of Rab C Nesbitt’s missus and not even a candidate, but claims that Wee Eck (aka Alex Salmond) will dance to her tune in Westminster closely followed by Miliband.
She threatens to cancel HSR2 which goes nowhere near Scotland. She says she will paralyse the defence budget if she doesn’t get her way on abandoning trident, for which she will have no support from the main parties.
Having made a mess of the NHS in Scotland she now proposes to do the same in England, although this is no business of the SNP. Higher taxes, more welfare give-aways. And on and on.
The major parties offer a fresh bribe each day. They are now cross-dressing with Dave chanting the socialist mantra of welfare from the cradle to the grave, and Ed calling on assistance from old Auntie Prudence.
Disraeli said of Robert Peel when, as a Tory, he adopted Whig policy on the Corn Laws
‘The Right Honourable Gentleman caught the Whigs bathing and walked away with their clothes. He has left them in the full enjoyment of their liberal position, and he is himself a strict conservative of their garments’.
How true of both major party leaders today.
At a time when the world is more dangerous than at any time since WW2, there has been not the slightest mention of defence or foreign affairs, so we can be pretty certain that both major parties intend to cut the military budget below the 2 percent of GDP that just a short time ago Cameron was exhorting the other members of NATO to spend.
Right now, they are wringing their hands over what to do about thousands of boat people arriving in Italy from Africa -- or, rather, not arriving.
Common-sense says that there need to be long-range naval patrols to prevent the immigrant boats from leaving in the first place, or at least being turned back early. But this is not feasible when the Home Fleet of the Royal Navy probably consists of two Sea Cadets in a pedalloe.
Britain no longer ‘punches above its weight’ in foreign diplomacy. Its budget has been slashed so deeply that the Foreign Office (FCO) is almost dysfunctional.
The response to both sets of issues should be to abolish the Department for International Development, reassign its functions to the FCO as in the Thatcher days, and redirect 50 percent of the foreign aid budget to defence and diplomacy.
Nothing will be done, of course.
Meanwhile, the nation faces the prospect of a Labour/ SNP coalition or pact. This is so awful to contemplate that it may just frighten enough English voters to vote Tory in sufficient numbers to give Dave a working majority.
Or it may happen that Parliament will be so hung that it can do nothing. As a diseased gut may recover through a period of starvation, this might be all to the good.
Robin Mitchinson is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator. A former barrister, living in the Isle of Man, he is an international public management specialist with almost two decades of experience in institutional development, decentralisation and democratisation processes. He has advised governments and major international institutions across the world
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