So Labour have lost the Crewe and Natwich election, the Tories winning their first by-election in 26 years. Huzzah.
At last Labour seem to be getting the kind of kicking they’ve long deserved – a kicking I’m hoping might finally shake them out of the complacency that’s seen a supposedly left-wing, pro-EU government with no viable opposition and a massive majority in the Commons (that could have seen it pass pretty much any legislation it wanted during the last decade from joining the Euro to scrapping the idiocy of taxing state pensions and benefits, raising the rate of the tax-free allowance to renationalising the railways) sit back on its fat, hairy arse and do bugger all significant for its last two terms in office.
I’m also very much hoping this is the end to the pathetic Labour “we hate posh people, you hate posh people – come on, vote based on outmoded class antagonisms, petty misplaced jealousies and negatives, negatives, negatives, never positives” electoral strategy. They tried it in London with Boris, and it failed dismally; they’ve tried it in Crewe and it’s failed even more. Serves them right – replace “posh people” with “darkies” and all they’re doing is repackaging the BNP’s electoral strategy from the 70s/80s. Deeply unpleasant – I agree with David Cameron 100% on that one. (Not a phrase you’ll often find me using…)
And yes, yes I do say this in part because by Labour’s standards I’d count as posh. They’re effectively saying “piss off, chum – we don’t want your vote”, and rather neglecting to realise that in the process they’re saying the same thing to all the New Labour-voting middle classes that switched en masse from blue to red in 97, giving them a decade in Number 10. The fucking idiots.
Like it or not, parties are dependant on the middle classes to gain power – part of the reason why both main parties are so blandly indistinguishable these days, because us middle classes all shop equally in Habitat and Ikea and aspire to the same blandly inoffensive faux-original, entirely interchangeable approach from our politicians as we do from our flat-pack interior design. To stick two fingers up to the middle classes ahead of an election is going to do about as much good to your chances as being televised at a children’s party naked and smothered in jelly while raping a teddy bear.
(It’s also perhaps worth reminding press/blog pundits that this was a local election. To ascribe the defeat entirely to either the apparent growing disillusionment with Brown/Labour or the jitters in the economy (as everyone everywhere seems to be doing) is unfair – it ignores the central problem that the local Labour candidate was an arse. Based on every bit of footage I’ve seen of her, and every interview on the radio and in the papers, Dunwoody Jr isn’t even close to being a shadow of her late mum, and repeatedly came across as a lary, unpleasant cow throughout the whole process. If you want to win elections, pick people who are actually worth voting for to fight them for you – not just someone who happens to have the right surname. It’s simple.)