Meditations From Across the Pond

May 18, 2015

In Blog Letters To Finkelstein News

Well, I guess I’ve finally come out of my depression following the UK election.
Things are looking pretty grim I’m afraid. I was waiting to see if I could detect some silver lining somewhere to cheer up this email, but I pretty much gave up. Of all the possible scenarios, even the biggest pessimist didn’t predict Ed Miliband would actually LOSE seats to David Cameron. Our worry had been that of course he would gain seats after 5 years of Tory austerity, but that it wouldn’t be enough to form a government. So now the Tories have won outright their first election in 23 years, and now top of the agenda for the next 5 will be withdrawing Britain from the European Human Rights Act, re-instating the ghastly obscenity of fox-hunting, and refusing to take in our fair share of African migrants who are drowning in the Med, because, as Home Secretary Theresa May abhorrently put it, we don’t want to be a “soft touch” for people traffickers. The logic is that if we help make the journeys safer and allow refugees asylum, it would reward the traffickers and encourage more to do the same! Maybe we ought to “discourage” drug abuse by diluting all softer drugs with the most virulent strains of harder drugs, and then refuse medical treatment to those who OD?
Then there are initiatives like this one, emanating (believe it or not) from the country of Orwell:
Greenwald is totally right – I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything creepier, in a “Big Brother” kind of way, than Cameron saying “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens ‘as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.’”
My biggest regret though is the Labour Party’s immediate and predictable renunciation of everything conceivably “left-wing” or pro- “working people” after the election, which they now associate with the failures of “Red Ed”, who was elected leader largely by the unions (who Labour have now told to go to hell).
One thing’s for certain: in September they will go back to basics and elect a Blairite. And if I hear another repetition of “elections in Britain are only won on the centre-ground”, or mindless references to Labour’s failure to appeal to voters’ “aspiration” (as if people only “aspire” to material wealth and not a more equal society, clean air etc.), from another Labour grandee, I think I will scream.
The Liberal Democrats will likely be the only party now to move to the left, following their annihilation 11 days ago. But their voters will never forgive them for going into coalition with the Tories, so they are now thoroughly spent and irrelevant.
All in all, a very glum and depressing picture.