Voting none of the above

Here’s the summarised results of the English cooncil elections, to save you reading through acres of coverage. Labour is screwed, the Tories are screwed, the Lib Dems are totally screwed, and UKIP’s screwing everyone.

Despite Ed Miliband’s glum face, which to be honest is hard to distinguish from his happy face, Labour actually won the cooncil elections – they gained the greatest number of seats and topped the poll in terms of the percentage of the total vote they picked up. But Labour even managed to turn that into a defeat.

The problem is they were starting from a very low baseline. Think of the belly of a snake, then dig downwards until you get to the special corner in the basement of Hell reserved for Tony Blair, that low. They’re the student who hadn’t even achieved an F in the exam they needed an A for to get into uni, so to prepare for the resit they had lots of late nights with cans of red bull, mammy and daddy flew in a very expensive strategy expert from the USA, they listened to lots of sermons from intellectuals of the party like St Dougie the Diminutive, they stared a lot at piles of very thick books on electoral tactics and formulating policy ideas in the hope that the knowledge might somehow get into their heads by sheer proximity alone, and they managed to improve so much that they scored a D minus.

Not close, and definitely no ministerial motor. It was made a lot worse when Ed had a series of car crash interviews. He dented a door panel when he revealed he didn’t know how much the weekly shopping cost and then he dented it again as he made unconvincing attempts to rescue the situation. A short while later he reversed over the local Labour party’s foot when he didn’t know the name of the Labour leader in Swindon council, which he was visiting at the time seeing as how it’s a key council Labour needed to win. That was bad enough, but then he went into forward gear and drove over a puppy when it became apparent that he didn’t realise that Swindon was in fact a Tory controlled council, this being sort of the reason why it was a key council Labour had to win. He was hoping to drive off and hope no one noticed, but Ed Balls got caught doing that too.

Labour should be doing much better at this stage in the electoral cycle, which is like a mountain bike only you’re more likely to fall off and batter yourself in the groin in ways which people will video on their mobile phones and send off to Harry Hill, where it will haunt and embarrass you for all eternity. Even more embarrassing is the fact they’ll send in the video clips even without the TV offer of 30 pieces of silver in return. In England’s local elections, Labour not only fell off the bike and battered itself in the groin, it also catapulted itself into a vat of manure.

We’re told that an official party inquest has already begun, which is a polite way of describing a bunch of politics geeks screaming ‘Fuck!’ at one another as they decide who to blame. But Labour’s real problem is as obvious to voters in England as it is to voters in Scotland and Wales. Throughout much of the 20th century, Labour was the workers’ party, and the Tories were the bosses’ party. Then Labour became the party of managing workers’ expectations, and the workers largely put up with that. But then Tony Blair and Gordon Brown happened, and Labour became the party of explaining to the workers why the bosses are right. But we already had the Tories as the Bastard Party, Labour became the only thing worse, the Two-Faced Bastard Party.

Meanwhile the Bastards themselves hardly covered themselves in glory. The Tories lost seats, but the party of government always loses seats in local and by-elections, so they’re not losing much sleep over it. They didn’t lose as many as they feared they might. In Scotland we hate having Iain Duncan Smith, George Osborne, and David Cameron telling us what to do, in England they have to put up with them and with Eric Pickles and Michael Gove as well. So the Tories could have done a whole lot worse. Which is a bit of a worry if your ideal result in the 2015 General Election is a repeat in England of what happened in Scotland in 1997.

The Lib Dems tanked, but didn’t tank quite as badly as some of us had hoped. If you’re Scottish tanking Lib Dems counts as a proxy version of having Danny Alexander strapped into one of those machines that pour evil looking goo over irritating teachers in children’s tv programmes, and we didn’t get quite the flotilla of supertankers of goo we might have liked. Certainly not a North Sea’s worth, which would have been poetic. The party did very poorly, but avoided a complete collapse.

Meanwhile UKIP gained a lot of ground, although not quite as much as they gained in the last round of English council elections. UKIP didn’t do well in London, because it’s full of outward looking non-provincial types who look down on narrow minded petty nationalism, so that’s something else Londoners have in common with Scottish independence supporters. Out in the shires and the north of England it was a different story. UKIP took votes from all the three other parties.

UKIP have proven their main point, which is that they’re an unpleasant fixture in UK politics, joining the three existing unpleasant fixtures. It’s not so much UKIP itself which represents the biggest danger, it’s the effect UKIP has on the other three parties. The centre ground of UK politics just shifted even further to the right, and further away from the aspirations of most in Scotland.

They have local elections every two years in England, it helps to spread the apathy more thinly. The turnout was a paltry 36%, the biggest winner was the None of the Above party. But None of the Above changes nothing, because it doesn’t force any of the above to make serious reforms. So you get the frustration of UKIP.

When Scotland next goes to the vote, we’ll be able to mark the YES box and make “None of the Above” mean something.



28 comments on “Voting none of the above

  1. Margaret W says:

    I heard one of the disgruntled, English, labour mps say Duggie the diminutive should get himself back up to Scotland and make sure a no vote was returned, as should all the Scottish mps he added.

  2. alex mckechnie says:

    Watched the results on Sky all the predictions from the TV pundits and the likely number of seats for each party no mention about the sept 18th and potential impact on results ?

  3. […] Voting none of the above. […]

  4. Helena Brown says:

    If Labour think they did badly at the local elections they only have to wait until the Establishment turn the flame throwers on them come the campaign for the GE. Let us all thank our lucky stars we have an escape clause and that even some of their less daft supporters realise that.
    Given that the Cameron Government has been so bad and so divisive one can only think that the electorate still feels that Labour needs a good clean out with both Eds gone and removing the taint of Blair and Brown. Given my many conversations on the National (ahem) newspapers since 2010, right now they are not to be trusted.
    Came over for a laugh from Wings, Paul. You have never failed me. Have to say I laughed at the diminutive Doogie, I am certainly more diminutive than him, but I do think he wants to watch or he is going to end up looking like the very better and twisted Brian Wilson and of course being the son of the manse, wait till he gets to the pearly gates and he gets his redirection, lying is a sin I am told.

  5. Hugh Wallace says:

    Reblogged this on Are We Really Better Together? and commented:
    English council election results for you to ruminate over. And once you have read this article, please read everything the Wee Ginger Dug has to offer. Just bear in mind that drinking coffee or tea while doing so may endanger your keyboard!

  6. Jim McNeill says:

    What has been interesting watching the coverage here in Yorkshire has been the complete lack of speculation as to the effect of these results on the Referendum, and the consequent effects on the UK General Election. We have studios full of overpaid, expensively-educated pundits completely focussing on what the council elections will do to the GE, with no apparent realisation that come a yes vote in the Referendum all current suppositions about the GE are toast.

    Oxbridge numpties, we’ll really miss them.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I think that a lot of people south of the border have still not realised that we are actually serious about this independence business. A lot of the pundits and politicos were of the opinion that Scotland was just having one of its periodic “whinges” with the aim of getting concessions out of Westminster.

      How many times have you heard someone claim that Alicsammin doesn’t really want independence, he really wants devomax? That was an opinion touted by a number of political correspondents who really ought to have known better. It’s like saying Gandhi didn’t want Indian independence, he was just seeking concessions for the cotton industry.

      But the penny does seem to have dropped that we really are serious. And now they don’t know how to respond, so they alternate between calling us anti-English racists and ignoring us in the vain hope we’ll go away.

      That’s about all the SNP has in common with UKIP – the Westminster parties don’t know how to tackle either.

  7. Iain says:

    Head Boy Douglas Alexander and elections guru John McTernan were all over TV yesterday. Their record in running elections is not only dismal in Scotland and the UK, but McTernan even succeeded in helping Julia Hillard to lose in Australia. And Labour are wondering why they failed to make an impact in England. Two words: Alexander, McTernan. Serial non-achievers.

  8. Iain says:

    Julia Gillard. Spell checker ‘corrected’ it to ‘Hillard’.

  9. SCED300 says:

    Maybe the LibDem voter base has reached the level of those of a certain age will keep voting for them because the LibDems once seemed to have principles, long ago.
    It would be hard for them to admit that the Party they voted for all their lives was nothing more than bag of wind and keagh.

    Or they believe the LibDems held up the Tory onslaught. However the Tories will keep doing what they intended to do, if not this time, the next time.

    Weirdly that is why I ‘respect’ the Tories; they have a clear objective an they will keep going for it no matter what; this time, next time. I know where I stand with them.
    This is where the collapse of the LibDems and Labour comes from. In Westminster the LibDems joined with the Tories. In Scotland Labour has joined with the Tories against the ordinary people who are trying to get sovereignty for Scotland.

    But in Scotland it is not ideological as the is the case of the Tories, it is so that the Labour Party can maintain power for the Labour Party, not the population.

    The request from Douglas Alexander that if there is No vote would the SNP join the constitutional convention, when he has no ideas, and he was talking about a ten year period of ‘consultations’, was grotesque, life draining.

    President J F Kennedy once spoke of the tragedy of Scotland, if we vote No this tragedy will go on.

    • David Agnew says:

      strange isn’t it. Scottish Labour, who wander the earth in search of a debate and have no ideas of their own, want the SNP to take over for them and do the heavy lifting post “no”.
      This increasingly sounds like a party that knows it can’t win in 2015 and also knows it will take a beating in 2016. They desperately need the SNP to be responsible for the consequences of a no vote.

  10. bringiton says:

    UKip are an English political party and play no role in Scotland
    If anyone doubts that we get the government that England elects then it should now be crystal clear.
    We do not live in a democracy in Scotland at present,not least by not having the right to elect a government of our choice and it’s time Scots realise this fact.
    Thanks Paul

  11. gerry parker says:

    Just in after delivering 300 Yes papers, that article fair cheered me up Paul, power to yer pen sir.

  12. JGedd says:

    As someone commented, you know where you are with the Tories. The Union has done well by them, they see no reason to change anything. Unfortunately, there are Scots who feel like that too. They are comfortable in the Union because they are financially secure and feel that the present set-up has served them well We can at least understand it even if we are not sympathetic. They are voting for what they perceive is their own self-interest, pure and simple

    However, it’s the others I can’t understand, who don’t seem to realize that they are voting against their own interests, if they vote No.

  13. Will be interesting to see the EU results tomorrow and Monday, especially as UKIP didn’t do as well as was anticipated in the English council elections. Fingers and toes crossed that they haven’t won a seat in Scotland. Look forward to reading what Paul writes about it and what his distinctive take on it will be.

  14. weegingerdug says:

    No new post this morning. The other half has been a bit poorly and I had to call the doctor out in the middle of the night. Thankfully it doesn’t seem to be anything too serious – but I need to catch up on some sleep.

  15. macart763 says:

    Have a well earned lie in fella, we can always go over a few old posts if we need cheering up. 😉

    • Helena Brown says:

      Well said ,macart763, if you have known someone with other half’s problems then you can but admire Paul for his stout heart, because it takes one.

      • macart763 says:

        I can more than sympathise Helena. A stout heart is good, a big heart is better. 🙂

        Having followed Paul’s writing for the past couple of years, heart doesn’t sound like a problem.

  16. Toby says:

    Reblogged this on Speaker's Corner.

  17. […] Voting none of the above […]

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