General election manifestos – A landlord’s guide

Shortly before the 2015 General Election I was asked to comment on the manifestos of five of the parties involved. On the day of the election itself my comments were published on two property trade journal websites:

  1. Residential Landlord
  2. Property Reporter

I have reproduced it here:


As the general election looms, Stuart Ford from Glide Utilities gives his opinion on the main party housing policies and how they are likely to affect the property market.

Rent controls – Labour/Green

Rent control is never a good idea. The profound economic and social consequences of government intervention in a nation’s housing markets have been documented in study after study, over the past twenty-five years. In almost every case where rent control has been applied to a city or a nation it has inevitably led to a shortage of well-maintained rental properties. Landlords are left short of funds to maintain their properties and developers have no incentive to invest in new construction projects, since they are unlikely to be able to make rental business models work.

Labour state that they will cap rent increases to inflation, however, the 5 year inflation rate has been 10.8% whereas the 5 year cost price inflation rate has been 13.0%. The policy could very easily actually lead to massive rent increases rather than have the desired effect, especially if Labour’s economic policies were to have an adverse effect on inflation.

Long term tenancies – Conservative/Labour/Green

Tenants in short term lets often feel insecure about their accommodation. Even with normal twelve month tenancies, having to find a new home potentially on an annual basis is disruptive, stressful and expensive. This is not so much of a problem for student lets but is more of a problem with young couples nurturing new careers and possibly new families. Long-term tenancies should be promoted and encouraged, however, they should certainly not be enforced since this could not only be disadvantageous for landlords but also tenants.

Landlord checks – Conservative/Lib Dem/Green

Most landlords are professional and upstanding, however, we all know that there are a subset which are far from adequate. The introduction of greater checks on landlords and even a licensing scheme is something that most above-board landlords should not have a problem with complying with, assuming such schemes do not come at unreasonable cost to them, and should help tackle the problem of rogue landlords and ‘slumlords’. Certainly the opportunity should not be seen by letting agencies as a way to simply charge extra fees, these measures should be designed to protect tenants.

New home construction – All parties

There is cross-party consensus on the need to build more new homes in the United Kingdom. The housing shortage is longstanding and while the coalition government has made good efforts to tackle it more needs to be done. The “Green Belt” issue, which has plagued developers for decades, needs to be reviewed and the needs of the many put before the needs of the few who would be affected by construction.

A proportion of the demand for new housing comes from immigration and it would be not unreasonable to argue that building new homes treats the symptom rather than the cause of this issue. However, changes to immigration rules, even if they could ever be approved (since they are a social hot-potato), would take decades to make a difference on housing demand and we have this shortage here and now.

Regeneration – Conservative/UKIP

UKIP lead the way in this area with their pledges to reduce restrictions on the use of brownfield sites and bringing inexplicably empty homes back into use. Recycling is always a good thing and these measures should probably be considered before constructing new homes on Green Belt land if only to show to those who would be affected by Green Belt construction that all the boxes have been ticked.

However, the £1bn ‘regeneration fund’ from the Conservatives is unlikely to go very far. This needs to be a larger figure.

Economic controls – Green

Finally perhaps the most alarming policy put forward by the Greens in this area is to give the Bank of England power to curb excesses in the housing market. The housing market is driven by any other market, supply and demand, and to do this would be treating the symptom rather than the cause. The correct treatment is new home construction and regeneration in order to increase the supply of homes, rather than try to control the economics of existing property.

The Greens have also pledged to reverse the changes the coalition made to the spare room subsidy for those on housing benefit. This measure is known erroneously by some as the ‘Bedroom Tax’. The measure was introduced in order to encourage appropriate distribution of social housing stock among those who required it and plays an important part in reducing the shortage of housing in particular areas and across certain social groups.


General Election 2010 Results

After five days of uncertainty following on from the results of Thursday’s General Election after which we were left with a hung parliament, we now finally have a new government, a coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, and a new Prime Minister, David Cameron, who replaced the incumbent Gordon Brown after he resigned in a dramatic series of events on Tuesday evening of this week. It’s been a very dramatic few days and they’re going to change the face of British politics significantly, I hope for the better.

Before I get started I’d like to remind everyone of my personal rule that I’m not allowed to complain about a government that I voted for. I stand by this. It still allows me to complain about the previous government and the current Labour party (such as it is), however. I also believe that nobody who was eligible and able to vote, but didn’t, has the right to complain about the current government either. You had your chance to make your voice heard. This obviously doesn’t include people who were turned away from polling stations at 10.00pm on polling day, although one might argue that had they not all turned up at the last minute and gone out and voted earlier instead of watching soap operas it wouldn’t have been so much of a problem.

Results Analysis

Here are the full results from the election on Thursday 6th May, excluding the result from the one seat that wasn’t elected because one of the candidates died during the campaign. Parties that did not win any seats are not included. For a full table including all parties that stood in the election see the BBC News results page.

Party Seats Gain Loss Net Votes % +/-
Conservative 306 100 3 +97 10,706,647 36.1 +3.8
Labour 258 3 94 -91 8,604,358 29.0 -6.2
Liberal Democrat 57 8 13 -5 6,827,938 23.0 +1.0
Democratic Unionist Party 8 0 1 -1 168,216 0.6 -0.3
Scottish National Party 6 0 0 0 491,386 1.7 +0.1
Sinn Fein 5 0 0 0 171,942 0.6 -0.1
Plaid Cymru 3 1 0 +1 165,394 0.6 -0.1
Social Democratic & Labour Party 3 0 0 0 110,970 0.4 -0.1
Green 1 1 0 +1 285,616 1.0 -0.1
Alliance Party 1 1 0 +1 42,762 0.1 +0.0
Others 1 1 1 0 319,891 1.1 0.0

As you can see, no one party received an outright majority of at least 326 seats, meaning that at least two parties needed to band together to form a government with at least that majority. Labour could not have formed a coalition with just the Liberal Democrats, they still would have together fallen short of the 326 seats needed, so they would have needed to add minor parties to their coalition. This would have made their government very unstable, even if they did agree on (most of) their policies, which they evidently did not since their coalition talks broke down. The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats together have enough seats for a majority and have therefore been able to form a government.

Let’s compare the results with the results from the last election using the doughnut chart that I used last time. Here are the results from the 2005 election:

General Election results 2005

As you know already from my previous post, I think it’s grossly unfair that it seems to be easier for some parties to win more seats with a disproportionate share of the vote. In the 2005 election Labour won 55% of the seats with just 35% of the vote. In the 201o election this fortune was reversed (almost) for the Conservatives, whereas the story remained virtually the same for the Liberal Democrats and the minor parties. Although I am glad that the Conservatives have achieved power, albeit in a coalition, I still believe that this system is unfair.

However, if you look at the combined results of the parties in the coalition you will see that the coalition government received 56% of the seats with 59% of the vote. Although a coalition government isn’t absolutely ideal, this combined results is actually dramatically fairer. The irony.

General Election results 2010

It will be very interesting to see what proposals the new government comes up with regarding electoral reform, which was apparently one of the key parts of the deal struck between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. Apparently any change to the current system is likely to put the Conservatives at a disadvantage compared to their current position and do the opposite. Although this obviously won’t entirely serve the best interests of the party that I support I also must consider that a reformed system will be fairer, something which I have obviously advocated in this and previous posts. My big concern is that a new system may make it difficult for any party to win an outright majority at general elections and that as a result we will always have to form coalition governments, which whilst sometimes necessary aren’t ideal.

The end of the New Labour nightmare

It was a long time coming for Gordon Brown and New Labour, but it didn’t come soon enough. It was obvious to me from a very early stage when Brown ascended to the prime ministerial throne in 1997 that he wasn’t Prime Minister material and that as a result New Labour is nothing without Tony Blair. It frankly wasn’t all that even with Blair given some of the scandalous things that happened when he was in Downing Street. As I said in my last post, Labour have delivered some good things during their thirteen years in power but for the most part this country is in a far worse position, both economically and socially, than when it took power from the Conservatives in 1997.

Gordon Brown should not have become Prime Minister uncontested and because he did he should have called a general election straight away. Since then he became the most unpopular Prime Minister that this country has had since the war and it was this, despite what Keith Vaz insists, that was the ultimate downfall for Labour. Brown has admitted this since his resignation, although some sycophantical Labour figures have already dismissed this as untrue, claiming that it was just Brown being honorable. I believe that Gordon Brown knew that he couldn’t fix his mistakes some time ago but couldn’t bring himself to resign because of the uncertain position it would have put the party in advance of the election.

Labour are now back on the opposition benches of the House Of Commons where they belong and where they cannot do any more damage to this country. It’s going to be a very long and arduous journey to full recovery from their reign, one which will require some very unpopular decisions from the new government, but we have to start somewhere and I do not believe that a different government from the new coalition government would have any easier a time of it.

In short, it’s goodbye and good riddance to Labour.

Interesting times.


General Election 2010

The Dear Leader, Gordon Brown, has finally been forced to called a General Election for Thursday 6th May. How fortunate for him that the pesky national rail strike that was to go ahead this week was stopped by the high court at the the last possible minute, that would have been terribly embarrassing for him to have to announce a General Election on a day when nobody could get work wouldn’t it?

Regardless, let’s get down to business. This general election is the most long awaited election in recent history, although the really delicious irony is that if Gordon Brown had done what he should have done and called a General Election as soon as he became our un-elected Prime Minister, the popularity of both himself and his wretched party at the time would have meant that we would at this point still be waiting for another two years for it. Crisis averted, nonetheless, even if the aversion did come about because of a grotesque disregard for democracy. And please don’t give me that crap about “you vote for the party, not the man“, everyone knows that’s not how it really works.

It should come as no surprise to anybody that I intend to vote for the Conservatives on May 6th. I have never voted Labour nor will I ever vote Labour. Because of this I have never enjoyed life under a government that I have voted for, since the first General Election that I was eligible to vote in was in 1997, when this disaster of a government first came to power. This is why I have complained so vociferously about the government for so many years – I have a personal belief that people should not have the right to complain about a government that they themselves voted in. You made your bed, now you have to lie in it. The same will apply to me should the Conservatives win this election. Remember this at the polling booth if you want me to shut up for the next 4-5 years, that in itself should be incentive enough for anyone to vote Tory :)

There’s a number of issues and reasons to discuss as to why I am going to vote Conservative. It’s not all to do with class background and upbringing, and even if it was Labour voters are more guilty of habitual voting than any other section of the electorate. All this “me Dad voted Lairbuh, an’is Dad voted Lairbuh, an’is Dad went on’t Jarrow March, so ah’ll vote Lairbuh an’all” bullshit and the more modern “OMG! The evil Tories!!!1” hysterical nonsense that is so widespread on social networking sites frustrates the living hell out of me and so I won’t condone it for any party’s supporters. Everybody should by now know that no party is like what it used to be, especially not Labour who were willing to go as far to admit it with their “New” party name in 1997 and their new centre-left position meant that they won. Had they stuck to their irrelevant and outdated “old Labour” values they would still be on the opposition benches where they belong.

Before I move on to specific election issues I would like underline the importance of everyone who is eligible to vote to do so, even if you don’t want to vote for any of the available candidates and you spoil your voting card. It should be mandatory to vote (or spoil) with a stiff financial penalty for anyone who doesn’t. You don’t get to do this very often and so everybody should make the most of it when they do. It is also critically important for voters in marginal seats to make sure that they vote. Remember that under currency constituency boundary arrangements, recently revised or not, it is much much easier for Labour to win seats than it is any other party, so if you don’t want another Labour government make sure you get off your arse.

Here is reminder of the 2005 election results from my blog posted after the last General Election, where Labour only had to secure 35% of the vote in order to secure 55% of seats, thereby providing them with the majority they needed for a third term of government. How, exactly, is this fair?

The travesty of democracy that were the 2005 General Election results

I’ve been told that since the last election constituency boundaries have been revised, but I’ll wager anything that they haven’t been revised all that much, and certainly not to the extent where it’s now a level playing field for all parties. Indeed, constituency boundaries are not the only reasons why the system is stacked in Labour’s favour.

Now on to the specific issues, which are both important to me and most of which should be important to everyone else:

Labour’s “performance” over the past 13 years

Labour’s election pledges, whilst not only being as generic and vague as election pledges could possibly be (in order that their eventual implementation can mean as many things as possible), also read like they’re from a party in opposition that’s trying to oust a longstanding and hated incumbent government, and not from a party that’s already been in power for three terms and thirteen years. Thirteen years is more than enough time for any government to achieve what it promised to achieve since coming to power and despite this Labour still blame the majority of their woes on the previous Conservative government. Are they going to do that forever? I thought they were supposed to fix everything the evil Tories did wrong? Just how long am I being expected to wait?

The fact is that Labour have performed abysmally since coming to power on so many fronts. You’ll note that I’ve not said “all fronts”, because that would be untrue and unfair, but it is true and fair to say that their failures vastly outweigh their successes. You’d have to be a real idiot not to realise that. They’ve had their chance, and for the most part they’ve fluffed it, in some cases to a degree that we simply couldn’t have imagined only a few years ago. I am not prepared to give them five more years in which to continue to cock things up, frankly, and anybody who is willing to grant them this really needs their head examined.

When reading this blog post I expect Labour supporters to be thinking “ah yes, but Labour have said they will do $whatever on this issue, which is better than what the evil Tories are proposing“. The fact is that I simply do not believe them because of their recent (and indeed not so recent) record. The Labour election manifesto is nothing more than toilet paper to me, it may as well be blank. Indeed, it would actually be more credible and believable if it was blank.


This really is the single most important issue that practically everyone is talking about during this campaign, and quite rightly so. If you’re not aware that Labour have left us with a £167,000,000,000 national deficit as a result of their fiscal policies, rampant public spending and government waste then you really have been living under a rock for the past few years and need to wake up and smell the coffee. It’s going to be one bastard of a hangover to shift. The trouble is that Labour don’t seem to want to start the process of shifting it, they just want to continue drinking, thus making the problem worse and worse. Their performance and broken promises on the economy since coming to power have destroyed any credibility they ever had on the subject and we are once again left with a country on the verge of bankruptcy after the biggest boom and the biggest bust since the second world war, something which Labour explicitly said they would prevent from happening in their 1997 manifesto. They simply cannot be trusted to fix something which they were so instrumental in causing in the first place.

The 1980s were better than the 1970s.

The country’s financial position coupled with the recent industrial unrest (public sector, British Airways and (cynically blocked) national rail strikes) is horrifically reminiscent of the dying days of the pathetic Labour government in 1979 who were as desperate to cling on to power then as they are now. Labour will always be the same and they will never learn from their mistakes. Labour recently tried to scare everybody by saying that if the Tories won the election they would take Britain back to the 1980s. If this is the case then bring it on, the 1980s were a prosperous decade and a darn sight better than the disaster of the 1970s, which is what Labour have taken us back to.

Public spending, non-jobs and waste

Since coming to power, 66% of new jobs created in the United Kingdom have been public sector jobs, all funded by the taxpayer with an ever increasing tax bill from Labour which has by now doubled the UK’s tax burden since 1997. This is absolutely shocking. You cannot improve the economy of a country by expanding its state. Not only is that a rocky road to out and out communism but it is also a fiscal lie. Only wealth-creating private sector jobs can improve the economic performance of a nation. This is pretty basic economics and yet something which our glorious Prime Minister and chancellor of ten years apparently doesn’t understand since he is so insistent on increasing the “employment tax” that is employers’ National Insurance, presumably to pay for even more public sector jobs that we don’t need.

For a concise list of other ways in which this government wantonly squanders hard earned money from tax payers, even ignoring the giant welfare bill (which, incidentally, is greater each year than the total receipts from income tax), I draw your attention to the Department of Government Waste, a parody site set up by the Conservatives but which is based on real facts. The full list is in their downloadable PDF.

The Conservatives, however, have made it very clear that further tax hikes are not the way to go and cutting government waste is a high priority for them. I simply do not understand how anybody can say that this is a bad idea. Indeed it may lead to some public sector job losses, but boo hoo, they can join the real world for a change and put up with the risks of working in the private sector instead of wasting public money in public sector fantasy land, where nobody ever gets sacked no matter how bad they are at their job and everybody gets a nice fat index-linked pension at the end of it. It’s that which we can no longer afford, not scrapping the endless tax rises that Labour have relentlessly subjected us to for 13 years despite their early promises not to do so.

Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) issues

This, I will admit, is a thorny issue with the Conservatives and we as a minority have much to be thankful for to Labour. This is an area in which they have actually significantly delivered on their original manifesto. They have delivered greater equality legislation to everyone with alternative sexualities and they have delivered civil partnerships and adoption rights to homosexual and bi-sexual couples. I’m not for one second going to refuse credit where credit is due on this.

One could argue, however, that such legislation would eventually happen, Labour government or no Labour government. I think it’s probably fair to say that it would have taken a bit longer under a Conservative government, but I do believe that we would still have it by now and it would be a case of better late than never. I also do not believe for one minute that a new Tory government would even dream of taking any of it away from us.

However, what I do know for sure is that we now do have what we asked for. The job’s done, complete and delivered. But I missed the part of the legislation that means that I as a gay man am obliged to reward Labour for what they have done by only ever voting for them and never for the “evil Tories”. Indeed, I’ll go as far as to say that I’m under absolutely no obligation to do so whatsoever. Labour have come good in one specific area and done extraordinarily badly in most others. Our wonderful new legislation has quite the price tag attached to it when you consider all the crap that’s been associated with the party that brought it to us. Many may question whether it was actually worth it all things considered.

The Conservatives have a questionable history when it comes to gay rights, no doubt, and it would seem that they still do have a few bad apples, with Chris Grayling being the most notorious example at the moment. David Cameron missed a beat this week when he didn’t fire him for his comments about bed and breakfast owners and I am disappointed about this (although Grayling has since admitted that he was wrong to say what he did), but it’s still not a reason to condemn a whole party to opposition forever. Indeed, anybody who votes for or against a particular party based on one single issue is both selfish and shortsighted.

I’m also quite sick of being asked “but how can you be gay and Tory?“. Get a grip, the two aren’t by any means mutually exclusive. Think back to when you were asked “but how can you like boys when you yourself are a boy?“. It’s as annoying, ignorant and insulting as that, so my advice to you is to grow up and get the fuck over it, because I am most certainly not the only “gay Tory” (if I have to accept a label) out there. Indeed a recent poll for Pinknews.co.uk recorded 25% of those asked as supporting the Conservatives, with 25% supporting the Liberal Democrats and 28% supporting Labour. Please don’t try and tell me that gay Tory voters are in a tiny minority.


Although I am aware that primary and secondary school education has suffered somewhat under Labour neither will be the focus of this section because I do not know the specific facts. All I do know is that school leavers these days, now having the benefit of an entire education under Labour, seem to be barely literate and for the most part unfit to enter the world of work. Major business leaders have specifically complained about this and I really feel sorry for the poor buggers who’ve had Labour’s dumbed-down education system forced upon them.

Yet despite this more and more of them are entering higher education thanks to Labour’s unnecessary and seemingly arbitrary target of sending 50% of school leavers to university. For no reason. The country wasn’t short of graduates before or anything, Labour just didn’t think it was fair that some people were graduates whilst many weren’t. It just wasn’t socialism. As a result we have a massive over-supply of mediocre graduates with Mickey Mouse degrees believing that it entitles them to a better job, which of course it doesn’t since employers have simply upped their qualification requirements to compensate. What Labour have done isn’t fair on anybody, least of all the students themselves.

Now, all this would be slightly less baffling if at the same time Labour hadn’t completely ridden roughshod over student and university funding since 1997. The National Union of Students (NUS) campaigned vociferously on behalf of their members (whether their members liked it or not) in 1997 to get Labour elected, and what have Labour done for them since? They’ve abolished student grants (within mere months of coming to power), increased tuition fees and cut university funding – at the same time as trying to get even more people to become students in the first place. What the bloody hell is that all about then? I hope that the NUS are proud of themselves, frankly.

Crime and punishment

The statistics will show that under Labour crime has fallen and continues to fall, but I do not for one minute believe that it is as clear cut as that. Everybody knows that statistics can be manipulated and that Labour  are the grand masters at doing it. Indeed, Gordon Brown himself was caught out less than three times in March of this year alone for mis-representing statistics, which eventually lead to a telling off from the Office of National Statistics [letter] . There will always be a vast difference between reported and un-reported crime and it’s also important to remember that not all types of crime are equal. Some types of crime are more serious than others and affect real people in real ways, such as violent crime and burglary, rather than comparatively more victimless crimes such as insurance fraud and so on.

The police forces are bogged down with a target-driven culture imposed on them by Labour and spend inordinate amounts of time on paperwork even for trivial matters, in contrast to Labour’s (since disproven) claims that police officers spend 80% of their time on the beat (where “the beat” is also some contrived new-Labour definition of the beat and not what you or I fondly remember). Labour have introduced Police Community Support Officers which are nice to see around and about on the street but they have no more powers than a traffic warden did back in the day, and we don’t have any proper traffic wardens now, just Parking Enforcement Officers with even less powers. It’s not all about the number of bums on seats, we need the right bums on the right seats.

We need to move away from the ridiculous culture where criminals have more rights than victims and make sure that anyone acting reasonably to stop a crime or apprehend a criminal is not arrested or prosecuted, as well as or instead of the criminal which seems to happen over and over again since it’s easier to hit your Labour-dictated targets but arresting and processing the “soft option” member of the public who thought he was only doing his civil duty rather than the “I know my rights, mate” criminal who’ll likely get away with it and thus deny your a target point. If anybody should be defining targets for the police force it should be the public, not politicians.


Labour have completely lost control of immigration into this country. The immigration “system” is nothing but a complete farce that is exploited and abused by thousands of people every year. Labour have proven themselves to be unable and/or unwilling to do anything about it (unwilling, perhaps, because immigrants typically end up voting Labour should they eventually bother to obtain the right to vote). The trouble is that anyone who is willing to speak out against immigration is immediately labelled a racist by hysterical politically correct left wingers whose priority is to simper and wring their hands in order to make sure that the needs and demands of immigrants come above the needs of established citizens of this country. This really has to stop and people need to get a fucking grip.

We all know the facts when it comes to migrants who want to come to this country. Few are actually in genuine need of asylum, most are economic migrants. Even those who claim asylum are on shaky ground since if you are in a position where you need to claim asylum you are supposed to claim it in the nearest country that is qualified to afford it to you, which includes all the EU countries that you have to travel through in order to reach the UK. There is only one reason why this otherwise unremarkable nation is singled out in such a way and that is our monstrously generation welfare state. I know it, you know it.

I’ve a long list of things that I think need to be done about this. I don’t think any of them are unreasonable. The Conservatives only really cover two of them – only admitting migrants that will “benefit the economy” and offering English language instruction, and even with the latter I think it should be a requirement rather than something that is merely offered. No party goes far enough to tackle the immigration problems in their manifesto, no party would even dare given the ridiculous hysteria that is whipped up every time this emotive issue is mentioned.

It would do us all a lot of good, and I can’t believe that I’m about to say this given my general position on Europe, if rules on immigration and asylum were unified across all European countries. For example, in France new migrants are entitled to no benefits whatsoever; they have to have lived and paid tax in that country for a number of years before becoming entitled to them. In Germany asylum claimants are all kept in holding centres until their claims are processed, at which point they are either allowed into the country or sent directly back to where they came from. You won’t find any failed asylum seekers living illegally in Germany. We get it wrong in every way imaginable.

Make no mistake, this isn’t about not liking people with brown skin, far from it. There are plenty of hard working people in this country with brown skin, many having been here for generations and multiculturalism is in general a good thing. This is about people with skins of all possible colours abusing a weak and exploitable system and then living off those very same hard working people. It isn’t acceptable and we can’t afford it. Britain is a soft-touch when it comes to immigration and this is well known in countries from where most of the immigrants come from. Migration to Britain is even packaged up and sold as one-way tours by foreign firms.

I’ll stop here with this issue because I really could go on forever and it would probably be racist or something.

Labour lies, sleaze and arrogance

Finally I would like to remind everyone that one of Labour’s major election pledges in 1997 was that they were going to be whiter than white, in contrast to the “sleaze-ridden” Tories of the time. I’m sure I don’t need to remind everyone of John Prescott’s now infamous speech on the subject. Since then Labour have proven themselves time and time again to be more arrogant and sleaze-infested than the Tories could ever have even dreamed of being.

In May 1997, Blair promised his government would be purer than pure as an antidote to the Tories’ sleaze. Within months, Formula 1 racing owner Bernie Ecclestone had won an exemption from tobacco advertising after donating £1m to Labour. Every week there seems to be a scandal of sort involving a Labour MP or someone who works for the Labour government, including the recent revelation of high profile Labour MPs pimping themselves out for thousands per day. Whether the Tories will be any better remains to be seen, but they surely can’t be any worse than this shower.

Regardless, it’s by no means something that Labour can now campaign on and is indeed something they should not have campaigned on in the first place given their record. Instead of the fair and honest party they promised they would be we have an arrogant, desperate incumbent government that will not admit its mistakes, puts itself first and will do anything to cling to power. To hell with everyone else and their interests. These are not the actions of a “party of the people”.

That’s it for specific issues. There are of course numerous smaller issues, many of which are just as important, but I have to draw the line with this blog post somewhere.

This will in all likelihood be the only major blog about the election that I post before the election itself on Thursday 6th May because I wanted to get all my rants into one blog and out of the way as early as possible into the campaign. I will however be posting a significant election blog in the week or so after the election, whichever way it goes. Until then I will of course be ranting daily about election related matters on Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter I tag election-related posts with the hashtags #ukelection and/or #labourfail when space permits (click on either to search for my tweets that have those hashtags). More or less everything I post to Twitter then gets automatically posted to my Facebook profile, which can only be viewed if you are a friend on Facebook.

All three main parties have published their full manifestos online, but I have provided links to them here:


Cameron hails ‘end of New Labour’

BBC NEWS | Politics | Cameron hails ‘end of New Labour’ – it was no secret that the worst local election results in 40 years and the election of a Conservative Mayor of London would be quickly followed by the first by-election loss of a Labour seat to the Conservatives in 26 years, a seat that was previously held by a single Labour MP since its creation 25 years ago at that. It doesn’t get more humiliating than that and I think that the only clearer sign that New Labour could possibly be given that their time is up would be a defeat at a general election. I just don’t know what else could possibly happen to let them know how the electorate feel about them in the meantime, everything has surely been done.

Tamsin Dunwoody lead a repulsive campaign against Edward Timpson, claiming that he was a “toff” with a £53m fortune and implied that somehow these things made him unsuitable to be the Member for Crewe and Nantwich, and that somehow an unemployed mother of five would be perfect for the job. Regardless of the fact that it’s Dunwoody that appears in Burke’s Peerage and not Timpson, Dunwoody was the daughter of the previous Member, Gwynneth Dunwoody, who held the seat for 25 years before she died. I’m sorry, but with contacts like that you’re only unemployed if you want to be and if it suits you, and it obviously did in order that she could wage her pathetic class-war against Timpson, whose family built their business from nothing, a business that provides essential services to the public up and down the country, employing local, skilled people in every branch. Why on earth should that be considered by anyone to be a bad thing? It’s nothing more than Labour’s familiar old sour grapes about anyone who’s not happy just being another brick in the wall and has dared to make something of themselves.

New Labour deserved to lose this by-election in every way conceivable, and the Conservatives deserved to win it based on the dirty-tricks campaign alone, although obviously this is not the only reason why they will have won. Good for you, Edward Timpson, and screw you, Tamsin Dunwoody, you sadly typical New Labour hypocrite. You must’ve though that you were just going to inherit that seat off your mother in some kind of grotesque New Labour ascension, not unlike that of Gordon Brown’s last year. How wrong you were.

Of course, Gordon Brown and his sound bite scripted cronies are claiming that the loss of the seat is due to the global economic climate, that people are feeling the pinch and want to send a message to him to steer us through it. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he’s the worst Prime Minister that this country has had for 40 years and that everyone is sick to the back-teeth of New Labour’s endless incompetence, taxation and bullshit. No, perish the fucking thought.

2010 suddenly doesn’t seem that far away. There’s light at the end of the tunnel, and not before time.


Democracy? Pfft!

People say there’s no reason to be bitter about the outcome of the election. Labour won it fair and square, right? The result reflects the will of the people, like in any good democracy? Rubbish. There was nothing “fair and square” about this election and there’s every reason to be bitter about its outcome.

Now, let me blind you with statistics. Let’s first of all discuss this “will of the people” thing. While it is true that, by a whisker, Labour won the greatest proportion of the votes (35.2%), consider the following:

  • 35.2% is way under half of all votes cast. This means that 64.8% of votes cast were not for New Labour.
  • When taking turnout into account, only 22% of voters voted for Labour. The others either voted for another party, or didn’t vote at all. So now we have Labour winning with less than a quarter of the electorate voting for them.
  • Broadly, the proportion of the UK population that is eligible to vote is two thirds (very broadly: 60 million population, 40 million electorate). Applying this 2:3 ratio to the portion of the electorate that voted Labour means that just under 15% of the population voted for them. Yes, the current (or, technically, the soon to be formed) government was put in power by less than 15% of the population of the country, all of which have to live under its governance and law.

I’d therefore hardly call Labour’s win “the will of the people”, so don’t bleat on about it. The will of the people is apparently absolutely irrelevant when deciding who’s going to run the country.

Observe the charts below. Both show the same data, but in different ways. They both show the percentage of the votes each party received plotted against the percentage of Commons seats they won with that vote, the number of seats won is of course what counts at the end of the day.



Bar chart!

Bar chart!

Exactly how can a system be fair when it can allow a party to gain 24.7% extra seats with only 2.9% extra votes over the next most popular party? How the fuck does that work? I’m not saying that the Tories deserved to win, indeed their proportion of seats is very close to their proportion of the vote, so the system obviously works in their case, but look at the Liberal Democrats: 22% of votes were cast for them, yet they only get 9.6% of the seats. Their votes-to-seat ratio (in terms of percentage) is 2.29, yet Labour’s is 0.63, which means that the Libdems apparently had to work 3.7 times harder to win seats than Labour did.

Seriously, don’t talk to me about “democracy” and “winning fair and square”. There’s nothing democratic, fair or square about this whatsoever. As I’ve said before, don’t ask me to come up with a foolproof alternative, because I don’t have one and as I’m not a politician it’s frankly not my job to do so. But that doesn’t mean that I, as a voter, am not allowed to voice my great dissatisfaction with this so called “democracy”. Indeed, if the UK was a tin-pot sandy country in the Middle East, George Bush would have probably come and enacted regime change by now since the makeup of the government most certainly does NOT reflect the will of the people.