Monday, May 04, 2015

Most exciting UK election in ages? Other minor parties are banal (Part Five)

Having run through the Conservatives (who want to shrink the state a little, just wont say how), Labour (who want to grow the state, and balance the budget, except the latter doesn't add up) and UKIP (who want to shrink the state a little more, except for healthcare, education and immigration), what about the others?

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are the other party of government, who have taken a schizophrenic approach over the years since the Liberal Party merged with the breakaway Social Democrat Party in the 1980s. It was in the centre, then when Blair led the overthrow of Saddam Hussein (and the green political religion was in ascendancy) it moved left.  Now, it has spent five years supporting a Conservative government in coalition, and has been severely hammered by its voters, used to feeling morally superior by supporting policies that they knew would be highly unlikely to be tested with reality.

Given Labour's swing off to the left under Ed Miliband, the Liberal Democrats are playing the only logical card they have, by claiming to be more fiscally responsible than Labour, and more "caring" than the Conservatives.  For a libertarian this doesn't mean a lot.  The Liberal Democrats are happy to support some lower taxes, but also support new taxes on the "rich" including a mansion tax.  Beyond that it is much of the same, except for a commitment to five new environmental laws, and the Liberal Democrats are solid supporters of retaining EU membership.  What sliver of liberty remains is a belief in a slightly less criminalised approach to cannabis, solid opposition to further state surveillance powers on communications (which both Labour and the Conservatives battle to support), and a handful of candidates (such as Jeremy Browne) who are more "classical liberal").

Or indeed neither

The one thing the Liberal Democrats do have is bargaining power. This is the largest minor party that would credibly help support either major party to be in government.   The avowedly leftwing parties wont, so it is difficult to see how they can have that much bargaining power.   Yet, what really can be said of it?  It is so plagued with the disease of environmentalist unilateralism that it is difficult to see it, on economic policy, as being anything more than a hindrance.  Yet it's rather fractured approach to personal liberties is better than the two main parties (although UKIP may end up being better, it wont have the 20-30 or so MPs the Liberal Democrats are likely to have).

With few exceptions, there is no good reason to vote for a Liberal Democrat candidate.  They are, after all, usually moderate socialist politicians with a deep green tinge.  It's a shame.  The old Liberal Party, while it did have a mixed centre-leftish tinge on the welfare state, it also has a strong commitment to personal liberty, a position not comfortably held by the "tough on crime" two main parties.  The Liberal Democrats have found identity only because Labour swung off to the left, if Labour loses and returns closer to the centre, it's hard to see what the point of the Liberal Democrats is.  Yet, it is the first time one can say that the Liberal Democrats are the most likely of any of those standing, to be in government after the election.  It is difficult to see how either major party could govern without its acquiescence.

Scottish National Party

Shrill, nationalist socialism with two key motives.  First and foremost, engineer a path towards a second referendum on Scottish independence, and secondly to implement an almost Bennite approach to policy.  In the first instance, polling indicates that it could go from 6 to the majority of the 56 Scottish constituencies, if not most or all (some polls suggest all but one), and so making itself essential in propping up a Labour government (it has vowed not to ever support a "Tory" government, which it treats as poison).  So, is a price of keeping Labour in power, a path to another referendum?  Of course, if the Conservatives form a government, it feeds the absurd narrative that, yet again, Scotland is led by a government it "didn't elect".  It's absurd, because:

1. The SNP doesn't stand candidates outside Scotland, so could never be a government to lead Scotland in the absence of independence.
2. A plurality of voters in every safe seat in the country can claim they never get the government they elect half the time.  Indeed, given the majority of voters never change their vote, they can say the same thing.  

However, the SNP is riding on the back of nationalist hysteria and scapegoating, which, given it is on the far left, it claims isn't racist, but is incredibly intolerant.  Other parties in Scotland have noted that it is much more difficult than it used to be to get supporters to put placards or billboard up on their properties, because SNP supporters may vandalise them or throw bricks through their windows.  Now it's clear most wont do that, but a handful of incidents have made Scots "feardies" for good reason.  As such, it might be that the SNP "surge" isn't quite what is seemed, as many Scots quietly think they've had enough of the intolerance of the nationalist socialists.

The fact the SNP actually runs the devolved Scottish government now, but blames Westminster for any ills in Scotland, and once campaigned on all the "oil wealth" that could shower Scotland with a generous welfare state, but low oil prices have knocked that idea away.  However, it is nationalism, a psychological disorder based on pure tribalism.  Driven moreover by an utter delusion that there can be an end to so-called "austerity", because debt and deficits can be willed away.  See Greece's current state to check out that fib.

So no.  The SNP offers nothing but an anti-thesis to reason and a smaller state.  It is led by an unreconstructed fan of Michael Foot, who remains committed to the far-left foreign policy position he held.   Conservatives will delight in its evisceration of Labour in Scotland, but the SNP is far more dangerous than Labour - it seeks to use its presence in Westminster to machinate the break up of the UK, and in the meantime to demand more socialism for it.  The only bright hope for Scotland is that the Conservative leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson, is head and shoulders above most of the Westminster Tory front bench.  However, given many of the best and brightest Scots left the country already, she will feel lucky for the Conservatives to hang onto their sole seat there.

Greens

Think Green Party and think more mad, led by a poorly prepared Australian, who is standing in a seat that she has no chance of winning.  The party that said membership of ISIS shouldn't be considered a crime or a reason to keep someone from immigrating to the UK.  A party that wants everyone to have a guaranteed welfare cheque, and engage in a spending programme the Institute for Fiscal Studies described as:


This sense that there is free money out there just waiting to flow into the Treasury’s coffers without anyone noticing reached new levels in the Green party manifesto, which claims to have identified a truly staggering £200 billion worth of tax revenue from tax avoidance, financial transactions, the rich and the wealthy.

That would be laughable if it weren’t playing into a wider narrative that there is a magic money tree that we can pluck at will. There isn’t. All these taxes, if collectable at all, are paid in the end by individuals. Many of them, especially when layered one upon the other, will have damaging economic effects.

The Greens will be lucky to retain their single seat.

Plaid Cymru

SNP in Welsh, with much less chance of winning many seats.

Ulster

In Northern Ireland, politics is mostly about which sectarian side you identify with.  On the Protestant/Unionist side it is the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)  for the hardline, and the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) as more moderate.  On the Catholic/Nationalist side it is Sinn Fein for the hardline (which also takes the salary but never turns up to Westminster) and the SDLP for the moderates.  For the unaligned, the Alliance, the Conservatives and UKIP are standing.  What does it all mean?  Well the Conservatives may try to get DUP and UUP support to form a minority government.  Labour is aligned with the SDLP.  Rarely do the MPs from Northern Ireland become part of any government, it might matter more than it has for a generation this time.  Sinn Fein may be incredibly vile, but it does have the record of doing the least harm in Westminster in recent years, having never voted for any taxes or new laws (or anything).

Respect

Catholic communist appeaser of Islamism and supporter of Scottish Unionism, George Galloway, is the MP for Bradford West.  This is one seat I hope Labour snatches.

Conclusion

Nothing to see here, except people who want more of your money, who mostly want more control of your life, property or business. Beyond a handful of Liberal Democrats (one-hand), there is no reason to consider supporting any of this lot,

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