Election 2015: Fear triumphs over hope

David Gauke, prediicted the Tories would have a small working majority last Saturday

David Gauke, prediicted the Tories would have a small working majority last Saturday

Last Saturday in Berkhamsted market  treasury minister David Gauke, my local Tory MP now safely re-elected, told me five days before polling day, that the Conservatives would be returned with a small working majority.

At that time people said to me” he would say that, wouldn’t he? ” but Gauke had picked up, presumably from constituency returns, that the Liberal Democrats were doing badly. As the main challengers to the Tories in Herts South West he might take an interest even though his seat is one of the safest in the country. And he would know that many Liberal Democrat seats were vulnerable to the Tories and that Labour had more or less had it in Scotland.

As it turns out whether he had a crystal ball or not he was right – even though the opinion polls said the result was too close to call. Yet they all showed that a lot of people were still undecided.

What appears to have happened is that  enough undecided people on the way to the polling station appear to have bought the idea that they had to keep the government in power  to ensure that the “recovery ” continued and probably thought  ” I am just about OK” not to risk a change. A substantial minority – the UKIP vote – were so disillusioned about Westminster politics – that they were happy to vote for them  and damn the consequences. And it seems quite a number were ex Labour rather than Tory voters. and certainly that applied in Scotland where Labour seemed to have lost the plot.

Labour had offered the hope of a fairer society, more support for the NHS, and some controls on vested interests like private landlords and energy companies. Both Labour and the Tories  said there would be more unspecified cuts while the Tories promised to legislate to stop tax rises. But I suspect that people did not want to risk it because of these uncertain times.

I suspect many people think these “cuts”won’t affect them – only welfare scroungers and immigrants. I  think they will be in for a very big shock because there is no way the books can be balanced without much wider reductions if not removal of services. Local government, social care, benefits for disabled people, all are likely to be hit and there is no need now for a government in power for the next five years to bother with higher pay rises for public sector workers. There will also be a bonanza for private  firms to take over the rest of the work of the state and fraught referendum on Europe and a resentful relationship between England and Scotland.

Labour will have to do some new thinking on how it is going to offer a vision to attract people to vote for them – or be squeezed between UKIP and the Greens. Otherwise the prospects for 2020 will be even worse than now after the new  more equal constituency boundaries come into play and reduce their Parliamentary representation even further.

There is a very bumpy road ahead for this government with a small majority and a controversial manifesto to implement  but an equally bumpy road for all opposition parties as a result of today’s shock result.

23 thoughts on “Election 2015: Fear triumphs over hope

  1. In a future where machines do more and more of the work, where financiers make their money from gambling not from seeding communities with credit and reaping their reward as spending money, is there really going to be any place for a party which is named after work and says it’s the party of the working man? Unless an enabling basic income gets implemented, far from Labour’s political horizons, Just how many working men are there likely to be?

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  2. Labour have become a party detached from its roots, largely as a result of Blair’s Tory policies and war ventures, Brown’s PFI disaster and the desire to try outdo the tories in deregulation and turning a blind eye to misdemeanours and gambling in the financial sector. No matter what Labour do from here, they have a long way to return to its roots and that, they may find, is impossible. It may be a time for the real backlash to the worship of greed and money, privatisation and what threatens to be the total privatisation of the NHS and dismantling of the Welfare State. Two institutions for which this country should be proud and cherish.
    Labour betrayed the Scottish in the IndyRef and their display of standing alongside toies to save a UK, with the insulting slogan ‘Better Together’ probably being the final straw for the Scottish people.
    It may be the time for the formation of a new party untainted by Blair, representing the vast numbers of working people, often poor and struggling, as well as the many sick and disabled, for whom the Welfare state offers a lifeline of security from that dreadful feeling of no hope, which most are feeling today as they prepare for further attacks by this Tory Government.
    I think the selfishness of a large number of English people who see their plight as their only concern, with little or no concern for those sick and disabled from the young to old, has been overlooked in your piece. It is one thing to feel secure and hope Tories can deliver personal wealth and opportunity, it is another to have not one concern for the suffering vulnerable, vilified and stigmatized these last 5 years, by government and their media propaganda machine! These people need to take a long hard look in the mirror as the numbers of starving , desperate people mount over the next 5 years, along with the ones unable to bear it any longer and resort to suicide,!
    Today’s result leaves all the vital services we rely on at breaking point and threatened with greater attacks and reductions. Social care, mental health services, GP services, NHS under resourcing, education for the masses as more free schools are opened for the middle class to play with our money!
    The closing of the many loopholes for tax avoiders will now be treated with the same lack of energy it has always been by Tory and even Labour governments. Tax Havens will once more be not the concern of Osborne, as many of the Tory donors enjoy the benefits of such locations.
    I suppose the question is whether the masses will meekly sit back with masochistic acceptance or fightback and organise? I don’t know, but i know what i would hope might be the response to the cuts and attacks on the weakest in Society, as the bankers continue to count their bonuses!

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    • To form a more `realistic` Labour party, just unfortunately won`t fly, unless you have the circumstances of a Scottish situation, they can feel separate, and have oil, albeit of less value, on and off. English community`s are all jumbled up, and to pull them behind a `proper` socialist party would be almost mission impossible
      mis- education, being the elephant in the room, or is their hope that next generation multi cultural immigrants would prove more radical, What am I saying,
      sounds dangerous, but I don`t think the average `english` person will join in, so what to do?

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    • I agree with John Ingamells article totally. Any and all Blairite’s have to be eliminated in today’s Labour Party before they could ever be considered trust worthy by the people of England. Not sure I can offer any comment on behalf the people of Scotland except it shall along time before they make the same mistake twice, Personally I shall be looking into the anti austerity Peoples Party for some thought & consideration as to a way forward for the restoration of socialism in England.

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  3. Pingback: Election 2015: Fear triumphs over hope – David Hencke | Vox Political

  4. I am shocked and disgusted by the self-serving selfishness of the British public, although I shouldn’t be, considering the cries of “Scrounger!” and the 65% increase in physical attacks on disabled people since the 2010 election. Now I fear even more greatly for our safety. IDS was shocked and upset that he was challenged in the Daily Politics Debate on Welfare on BBC2 the other week about suicides and deaths following his regime and sanctions. He threatened his challenger to “Be Careful” about making those accusations and he was simply NOT going to accept that removing people’s entire income could lead to their deaths. He appeared totally deluded about his role in their demise.
    What makes this result so insulting, is that there are celebrations about the Second World War and our victory against Hitler, whilst Cameron and his cronies are concocting a way of installing gas chambers for the vulnerable useless eaters without anyone finding out. I think that if the Tories suggested a holocaust of the sick and poor, the selfish idiots who voted them in would possibly cheer. I mean it would make the extra £10bn of welfare cuts so much easier wouldn’t it? Not only are we going back to the 1930s level of spending, but the 1930s era of scapegoating and vilification, propaganda and scaremongering. If we were all gassed to death I really think very few people would actually care.
    Cameron uses his dead son like a sympathy glove to obfuscate what he is really doing to our NHS by playing the sympathy card. His son would be disgusted that his dad would use him in this way, whilst destroying the lives of so many other disabled children, disabled adults and their carers. But he doesn’t care. Everything is fair game when you want the ultimate power. And he has secured it.
    What is totally clear to me is that the Tories had a grubby back room deal with the SNP to destroy Labour. I am definitely no fan of Blair and would never have voted Labour during the Blair years. He was as a big a misogynist as Cameron.
    The SNP worked with the Tories when they were in minority Government. It is clear that there was some kind of deal whereby the Tories would reward the SNP with fiscal autonomy if they destroyed Labour in Scotland. In return they would hype up the fear down South once the Tories began to propagate the idea that Labour would “Stab the UK in the Back” and leave the UK defenceless and spend and borrow till the country was at death’s door again. Notice that Salmond said he would write Labour’s Queen’s Speech and how he would force Miliband to give into them over Trident and the like. They were stoking the fires down south, whilst alienating the Scots against the English even more (if they even needed convincing. Having been married to a Scot, trust me they did not know what they hated more, me being English or me being BLACK!! i am actually Mixed-Race. Oh the poor mother!)
    What we have now in the UK is total division. I cannot even see the point of the fight to keep Scotland in the UK. The divisions between us are now a gulf and the divisions between the sick and healthy and the have and have nots are at an all time high. I think that the country is in an irreversible mess that possibly will result in a civil war before we can restore some kind of stability.
    In the 1930s the Germans were so scared and worn out and fiscally broken that they were ready to believe anything that they were told. They were ready to blame the sick, elderly, poor, vulnerable and their champions and in 1938 thousands were gassed to death, before they even started on the Jews. Once the vulnerable were gone, they started on the Jews and their sympathisers. It seems that the British people are now falling into the same trap. They are turning a blind eye to the atrocities happening to people in their country by dehumanising them. They are no longer human beings but “Scroungers” and “fakers”. These evil people who are demanding the hard earned taxes from decent people to live a life of free housing, cigarettes and 26 children. What a luxury, when real people, actual human beings are suffering because they have ton pay their way through society. Who cares that they could develop a life-changing illness or have a disabled child. Or lose their job-for-life and be unemployed and possibly unemployable. When there is no welfare state for them to turn to, what next? Well of course they will once again blame all those feckless people who dared to need help before and ruined it for them when they needed it. They won’t see their role in electing the machine that destroyed their safety net or that healed their wounds.
    These short-termist, selfish people should be ashamed to call themselves British. All the things their ancestors died for and suffered for during the War has been for nought, as they choose their own comforts and lives over the lives of their compatriots. Or perhaps I should be ashamed to call myself British, after all I am sure I would be first in the line for gassing: daughter of an immigrant, disabled, black, female, and heaven-forbid with an iron will and a social conscience.
    Five more years of despair, because as David said in his article Fear has conquered Hope and now I must live in that Fear.

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    • No! No! No! That will give them exactly what they want! This is the most stunning and articulate response that I have yet read anywhere. Just brilliant and sums up the situation admirably. There are very many people in a similar situation but that gives us 5 years to change a great deal.
      I am 70 and been a carer for a family member for the last 5 years. We have seen services disappear over night without trace. So last month I stood for the council elections. I didn’t ‘win’ but I met many people and talked about a lot of things. The real issues didn’t get discussed. The flurry of the media circus is over and everyone settles back for 4 or 5 more years to watch benefits street and the demonisation of the poor and disabled in time for the next circus.
      But, this can change if we get organised in small groups, Max Igan recommends circles of 5 who meet regularly once a week and tackle the local issues, attend council and parish meetings and demand transparency and take up local issues then we can build strong local resilient communities.
      One person on their own can’t do it but linking up with all the networks in place and working closely with other committed individuals will set up viable alternative structures so that when the crunch comes people are not isolated and confused.
      With love.

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    • “The SNP worked with the Tories when they were in minority Government”. What a load of tosh. The SNP made a couple of concessions to the Tories to get their budget passed when they were a minority government. That is how minority governments work. Nobody can govern unless a budget is passed. Compromise is a must. The SNP were not responsible for all the anti-SNP propaganda in the right-wing media. The Tories simply used them to scare the I’m all right Jacks of middle England from voting Labour. I am disappointed that you, someone who seems to be right on the ball with most of their comments, have been taken in just like them.

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      • Perhaps I am cynical that Alex Salmond was so quick to talk about talking to the Tories when Sturgeon tried to persuade Labour that they would NEVER support a Tory Government. I am sorry you are disappointed in me, but I did not tell Salmond to betray everyone who voted SNP. He will get his fiscal autonomy off the backs of the poor and vulnerable and the Scots will rub their hands in glee for their 56 seats. I lived in Scotland, in the Raploch, Denny and Dundee. I know how hard it was to be English in a country that would not let me hold hands with a Scottish white man. Trust me, it is not about a chip on my shoulder, but the cold realism that people will sell their soul for power. Clegg proved that in 2010 and destroyed his party in the process and betrayed every student who voted for him. I may be cynical but power corrupts,

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      • I have to admit that Alex Salmon has been OTT during the run-up to the election but I have missed where he said he would talk to the Tories, I’m afraid, so am not sure of a betrayal of SNP voters. I am also very sorry about the treatment you had in Scotland. There is racism north and south of the border but to say that a whole country wouldn’t let a black woman hold hands with a white man is a ludicrous statement, presumably based on a personal experience that I, as a Scots woman, find absolutely disgusting. We’re not all like that, honestly. I agree that power corrupts, Clegg having been the one to really betray his party and voters. In my own constituency, which had a rather good LibDem MP for years, there was the strange phenomenon of people saying that they had been betrayed by the LibDems going into coalition with the Tories, so they were going to vote for the Tory candidate. Uh? Luckily, he lost.

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      • You are so right Joan not just a phenomenon , an amazing travesty of judgement by the electorate, an amazing bit of engineering by Lynton Crosby Tory, (Aussie) Spin docter, delighting in capturing his mother country, but not in a good way.

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  6. I believe he had something more deadly accurate than a crystal ball ! It’s called internet surveillance or snooping. I have had some strange people on my Twitter page one of whom told me that he must now apologize for not letting people know before in that he starts his ministerial job this Monday.

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