The UK ought to stay left

One note on the UK general election. Though the Conservatives have finished as the largest party, it’s worth noting that well over half of the UK electorate voted left-of-center. Add the vote totals for the Liberal Democrats, Labour, and the Greens and you’ve got nearly 55% of the national vote. Throw in the left-leaning Celtic nationalist parties like Plaid Cymru (Wales), the Social Democratic and Labour Party (Northern Ireland), and the Scottish National Party, and the number creeps closer to 60%. Put together a coalition of Liberals and Labour plus the single Green MP and the Ulster/Wales/Scotland left-leaning nationalists, and you’ve got a working majority in the Parliament.

From that perspective, on what basis could the centre-right Tories claim a mandate to govern? The right — defined by the Conservatives, the xenophobic United Kingdom Independence Party, and the loathsome racists in the British National Party — are together at about 40% of the vote, while nearly six in ten voters in the UK want a left-of-center government.

They ought to have one.

And for what it’s worth, I do appreciate that Conservative leader David Cameron — who believes in cap-and-trade, who believes in legalizing same-sex unions, who believes in supporting the single-payer National Health Service — is in some respects to the left of Barack Obama.

Here endeth the politics.

4 thoughts on “The UK ought to stay left

  1. Hugo,

    “is in some respects to the left of Barack Obama.”

    welcome to Europe. There are no Glenn Becks on tv… I think what this election shows, above all, is, to which extent Britain has become like the rest of the continent. Now if they change the electoral system along NZ lines, for example, it will be interesting to see what happens to the famous “anglo-saxon” model of capitalism there.

  2. “who believes in cap-and-trade, who believes in legalizing same-sex unions, who believes in supporting the single-payer National Health Service — is in some respects to the left of Barack Obama.”

    Cameron puts a few words to this effect out in public but his voting record on these issues is patchy.

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/david_cameron/witney

    Here are the records of some other top figures in the Tory party too.

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/george_osborne/tatton

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/kenneth_clarke/rushcliffe

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/william_hague/richmond_%28yorks%29

    Most importantly thought this is the vision of Britain that Cameron is espousing.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-welcome-to-cameron-land-1962318.html

    No thanks.

    Finally:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-cameron-is-concealing-his-inner-bush-1958432.html

    Ugh!

  3. Indeed. I didn’t think he’d do it. It’s a big step forward I think. A very brave move.

    Now we just need Clegg to listen to his party and form a partnership with Labour. It looks promising. I would love to see the look on Cameron’s face if there was a lib-lab-snp etc coalition. Better yet it would badly damage Osborne’s reputation because he was the campaign manager who failed to get them their majority. Oh I can dream…

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