Pseudo because there is no statistical evidence behind the musings. Psephological because I wanted a space to let go of my observations of the ineptitude of our political masters who claim to serve us all, but I think fail to read what we (the people who voted for them) wanted. Psehology comes from the Greek method of election, of putting pebbles into a jar (if you happened to be a male slave owner in Athens for a brief part of its history). In Rome, they used balls, rather than pebbles, hence the word “ballot”.
This just means that politics is a load of balls, of course.
As far as I can tell, we seem to have a broken party system in the UK. If you are used to the US classification, then blue and red are reversed her, although the Republican and Democratic parties would be classified as different parts of the “Conservative” party over here, reflecting differing views on the level of state provision of services rather than redistribution of wealth: in no real universe is the Democratic Party “socialist”…
“Blue”: tax arranged to make the rich richer, as they can afford to go private for virtually everything so why should they pay for the poorest? The bonkers part of this is that so many who are disadvantaged by the policy vote for them. Believe in indirect taxation and tax “cuts” on income, which is a system that works in favour of the better off. Believe in the Union but elect someone as leader who has done more to further devolution to it than anyone else living or dead. Believe in “free markets”, especially when it means we can use cheap foreign workforces, but only if those workforces are based in their country of origin, not here. This is never applied retrospectively to their own parents, though.
Red: it’s all class warfare, isn’t it? “I want my turn living to excess and will elevate myself above the proletariat because as their ‘leader’ I deserve better rewards than the people I ‘serve’. I will make promises for better services but not disclose how they will be paid for.” Believe in massive tax increases. Not to fund a better society, but out of revenge. Believe in the Union because they want as large a tax base as possible and as many lives to control with how it is spent as they can.
Yellow: they used to be seen as a safe alternative for both red and blue. In the latter case, because they weren’t (on the surface) raging socialists so better than voting red. For the reds, well, because they weren’t raging blue rinse brigade foamers, and if you look at some of their policies, they can be quite left-wing and pledge to remove tuition fees, etc, because actually, they aren’t likely to ever see power so it’s safe to make promises that won’t have to be honoured by working out how to pay for them. Or so they thought, until 2010. Probably support some form of devolution-max to keep the Union together, but as part of the EU.
Green: actually believe in a fair society, but that we have to pay for it via direct not indirect taxation. They support a mixed-economy based on sustainability and equal opportunity, resisting the nonsense of “equal opportunity = equal outcome”, but this takes time and sacrifice and electors have been trained by the media to think sort term, so they don’t get the votes they deserve.
Purples (or whatever is left for nationalist parties): we might have some good ideas, but we only want to apply them to our own independent nation state, and the RUK can sort itself out without us. Except that we want to use English economic stability via the pound until we can use the Euro. (See also “Clans are very nice”.)
Cynical? Maybe… but…
2010. Gordon Brown was too controlling a prime minister, and the electorate voted against him in such a way as to produce the ideal circumstances for a lib-lab coalition: also, I think the nation wanted a coalition to steer us steadily through the troubled waters post 2008. Unfortunately, GB got on his high horse and refused to step down and we ended up with a ConDem coalition, whereby the LibDems appeared to jettison all their policies. This wasn’t true and in fact Nick Clegg stopped a lot of nasty things – which David Cameron didn’t like either, but couldn’t stop on his own – but they did jettison the only one anyone remembered (abandoning tuition fees for higher education), and they did “side” with the wrong party as far as most of their members were concerned. Meanwhile, Cameron and Osborne began to reap the “benefits” of their “no one is talking about immigration” line as this country became nastier and less tolerant, whilst Osborne cut every service in terms of real need and no taxes, other than business taxes, which he halved over his period in office, making it a more difficult country to live in if you are poor.
2015. The electorate turned on the liberals for selling out five years before and forming the wrong coalition. You managed the (largely Tory-supporting) press so badly with the public (and you were stupid enough not to see this coming) that you may not see power for many decades to come. The electorate looked at Labour, and said, “You fools elected the wrong Milliband to be in charge. Why did you let Len McCluskey influence this? What we want is our services protected, not a communist nutter pulling the strings behind the scenes.” Against that, David Cameron had no need to make the pointless promise of Brexit to garner support for the swivel-eyed loons, but he did, which lead to, well, you know what…
2017. Despite having a clear mandate in terms of a majority in the House, Theresa May decided to call a general election to get popular endorsement of her Brexit plan. This back fired massively, in terms or party politics, but maybe the answer here was to form a coalition of the moderates from each party,which is probably more than 500 MPs, to create a more workable deal? But no, let’s pander to the extreme wing of the blues, and make people realise that I am a control freak that can’t make decisions, and get deselected. Does anyone remember what the Yellows stood for at this time? A lack of votes for other parties means Labour thinks it was within shouting distance of winning under a leader who was nominated as a token gesture to the very left wing of his own party and only won because the moderate candidates spent too much time bickering with each other, and then Len McCluskey put his union behind JC as (in his mind, I think) a win-win choice. If Labour won, they got their man. If they didn’t, then a few more years of turmoil in the country would lead to a communist revolution which would see him influencing power if not in power (I think this is what he wants, but it isn’t what I think will happen). The red equivalent of swivel-eyed loons is again on the ascendant.
2019: Boris appeals to people who have never voted Tory in their life, because he has somehow managed to make racism socially acceptable: just so long as it is falsehoods about white people from Eastern Europe, just like that friendly bloke in the pub. On the other side, the joke candidate was trounced as he never explained how he would fund any of his ideas, was evasive in interviews, and red-tops did a hatchet job on him. He helped here, as although more genuinely pro-Brexit than Boris, the issue had passed and he was like that quiet bloke in the corner of the pub who talked earnestly about class warfare, and no one outside his small circle of friends was interested in the concept. The reds’ own swivel-eyed loons think that perhaps the problem was not that they were immoderate, but not extreme enough. We end up with a boring leader who a[peaked quite sensible before he was in that position, but who has failed to press home every advantage he had with Boris repeatedly lying.
I should add that I have the greatest respect for Jeremy Corbyn as a politician and MP, and we need people in the commons who express his views. He is often thoughtful and well advanced in some of his thinking. We also need people like Steve Baker, so that there is an outlet and focus for such views. It’s just that neither of them should be allowed power (IMO). Similarly, I am told that The Maybot was a good constituency MP, and seems to be one of the saner backbenchers on the government side of the speaker, but when David Cameron stood down, my first comment was, “I hope we don’t get May: she’s a control freak and can’t make decisions.”
But it doesn’t bode well, does it?
No matter who we get in the blue corner, they are going to be all about reducing the “taxation burden”, by which they mean, reduce the burden on those who can afford private healthcare, retirement and education for their children (which could be via moving to a more expensive school catchment area as much as by private education) whilst decreasing the services provided to all. At least the decrease in public services is genuinely offered across the board.
The red corner? Still driven by fighting the battles of the past (“class warfare”) rather than by asking two simple questions: “What sort of society do you want, especially in terms of if you get ill or old and infirm?” and, “How should we pay for that?”
Yellow: I am still not sure what they stand for.
Nationalists: Still haven’t seen detailed costings for everything they claim to be able to provide, assuming that they accept that political independence also means monetary independence. A Labour Government would be a disaster for either party, as it might create more devolved powers for the regions, whereas the Conservatives drive division.
Northern Ireland: The eventual demographic drift towards becoming part of the Republic seems to be accelerating. But hey, you would be part of the EU then, which has more economic advantages than being part of the UK. If the descendants of Scottish Presbyterians stopped thinking of themselves as somehow English (I know that should be British, but the SNP has made no claims on having NI within its purview, and most of the English are simply indifferent to Scottish Independence, so it will end up being English) instead of Irish, then they might even be happy about it.
Greens. Still the only party talking sense and not pandering to petty nationalism or prejudice, so not going to win.
We get the politicians we deserve…