Or should I say Lost Labour?
Labour loses, Ed Miliband blames the surge of nationalism. All that is predictable.
David Cameron and Tories warned that Labour will benefit from a divided country. It is they who obviously are the great beneficiaries. That too is predictable. Conservatives, everywhere, are the parties of fear. They gain from uncertainty.
But what about the loss? Is there a lesson in it more than just a shrugging acknowledgement of surge of nationalism, and an unspoken belief that all this is temporary?
The point missed, I believe, is that the Centrist politics is bunk. People want the political parties to stand for something. It is easier to be crafty and get away with rhetoric when you are playing on fear, as do the Tories, because our fears are almost always of unknown. It is harder if you are trying to give people hope, because we want our hopes to be certain, visible.
The problem of New Labour is just that. Their new politics is about being everything to everyone. It is about saying the right things. It is about listening to Opinion Polls and Pressure Groups, and continuously shifting the balance as if on a Bike. This may work for those who want to invent new threats every day, like the Tories speak about unspeakable consequences of the loss of British power, prestige or credit ratings. It is more difficult to do when you speak about working families but wont really say who you mean.
It is easy to dismiss the Nationalists as a temporary thing, but they stand for something. Often, they stand for fear, a very clear and present danger, or at least they make it sound so. But see the Greens rising, and that is because they are seen as honest, standing for something. It is only because UK has this first-past-the-post system that many people wont vote Greens (yours truly included), for the fear of playing into the hands of right-wing. And, it is not to deliver what one stands for attracts the biggest punishment - look at the Lib-Dems! Labour, if they have to draw one lesson from this election, is to the necessity to find what they stand for.
The election is over and a five year of uncertainty and division will now begin. But, hopefully, in a mature democracy like Britain, this will mean new ideas in Politics, new alignment and new messages. I am hoping that Labour Party will now introspect and learn, and they would seek to find their principles again. In them doing that rests the best hope for United Kingdom.
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