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How to feel good about any possible election result - Sex and Sums and a Controlled Dose of Rock and Roll [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Richard Clegg

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How to feel good about any possible election result [May. 7th, 2015|09:02 am]
Richard Clegg
Edit: Well, this many not have been my finest bit of prediction ever. I think I will leave it here as a monument to failing to adequately plan for bad things happening.

So, we know that this election won't produce a clear result. It seems likely that Scotland will elect the SNP, England will elect the Tories, Wales will elect Labour, NI will elect... gosh, one of those parties that nobody ever understands or invites to debates because they're over the narrow sea and don't affect Westeros. This election has no certainties except, perhaps, that nobody will work with the SNP because... um... look, no deals with the SNP OK, so stop asking about that.

It's a confusing system and we're all seeking some crumb of comfort here. At this point we know that a Labour or Tory majority are extremely implausible and an SNP majority would require some pretty radical gerrymandering. So here's the run down of all the genuinely possible election results and more importantly how to feel good about them. The government formed will fully account for the likely votes of everyone in the UK. No wait, the government formed will fully account for the likely votes of everyone in Great Britain (except for viewers in Scotland who have their own programming at this time).

How to feel good about a Labour minority: This is a great result. Think about it. This is the Breakfast Club result. This is the weedy, weird-looking kid making good. This is the result you should hope for because it is a triumph for the forces of minor dorkiness. It's a slight triumph; it's a qualified triumph; to be honest it's going to take a good spin doctor to make it out to be a triumph at all; but for some that's the only triumph that they'll get. We should celebrate that, perhaps by awkwardly eating a bacon sandwich and listening to "Don't you (bracket) forget about me (close bracket)".

How to feel good about a Labour/LD/Green/Raving Loony Rainbow coalition: This is a great result. Think about it. This is the hippy primary school teacher result. Everyone gets to play. All the children who haven't been naughty ("Where do you think you're going Cameron and Farage?") get to decide what happens and play nicely together. This is the best possible, nicest, friendliest government that this country could ever have. Everyone gets a say, no matter how incompatible or borderline insane their opinions are. With this result we will be a kinder, gentler nation who also sometimes eats glue (although many of us advised that this would be a bad idea others were firmly in favour of eating glue).

How to feel good about a Labour/LD coalition: This is a great result. Think about it. This is the Mills and Boon result. Nick Clegg, his eyes sparkling and full of hope, the cruel shackle marks still visbile on his wrists, bounds over, free at last. "Ed, Ed, I've been a fool, it's always been you." This time it's different. This time things can work out. This time it's for real. Think of it as falling into the arms of the man you love after previously falling into the arms of the man you thought you loved before you realised his glaring flaws sometime around chapter three.

How to feel good about a Conservative/LD coalition: This is a great result. Think about it. This is the ruthlessly efficient result. When the government cuts your benefits, guts the NHS, reduces public services, sends soaring numbers to food banks and in the name of austerity removes funding to everything that was ever good about this country, you can be sure of one thing: they aren't doing this by mistake. You can be absolutely clear with this result that, through years of experience, none of what this government is about to inflict is through incompetence or an accident. They have a plan and they are exactly and precisely going to act on it. It won't feel good, it won't be economically prudent and it won't be to the good of the country but you can be absolutely assured this will be a completely professional transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. Think of it as being efficiently and competently mugged by people much wealthier and more powerful than you. Isn't that somehow reassuring?

How to feel good about a Conservative minority: This is a great result. Think about it. Although I know and care about football as little as David Cameron, I believe this to be the Millwall result ("noone likes us, we don't care"). They have a coalition with nobody because nobody likes them and nobody will support them. Also there isn't, by the very definition of minority, very many of them. There is no way this can work as a minority government for long. If there's any place you've ever wanted to see David Cameron it's alone and surrounded by enemies. Think of this result as being like the end of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, only you hate Butch and Sundance and it doesn't cut away before the part where you get to see them get shot, repeatedly.

How to feel good about a Conservative/DUP/UKIP Alliance: This is a great result. Think about it. No, really think about it. OK, think about it a bit more. This is the Monty Python Yorkshiremen result ("you think you had it bad"). This is an election result you can tell your grandchildren about, if they live. You know with this result then any other election will always be a lesser evil. You will have bragging rights for the rest of your life. Imagine this hellish future. In the 25th century, the entirety of everything in the UK has been sold to the BarCapHSBC Alliance and you can barely afford to lease enough air to breathe. You crawl to the shattered ruins of a bar and some rudimentary Mordoch-owned system is beaming the State Opening of Parlimoids into your neocortex (plus 25 channels of sports and a terribly popular fantasy series that is worth the price of your soul and firstborn alone). Black rod is ushering the God-Queen Lizdianakateron (first of her name) to give her first speech to the United Kingdom of Kensington, Chelsea and parts of Richmond (everything else having ceded, been sold or sunk into the ocean because it was infested with foreign). The shambling (but 20th generation British) mutant at the bar turns to you and says "Gor blimy, I can't believe they've only gone and elected the Fleshflayinghellbeasts of Ultron VI" you can calmly respond "I take your point my hideous comrade that their platform of 'kill all humans and drink their blood' may seem extreme but let me tell you of the election of 2015 because that was a really bad result for humans in general and the UK in particular." You can be completely assured that this is the worst possible government that could ever happen and from hereonin the only way is up. After this we need fear nothing.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: drdoug
2015-05-07 08:18 am (UTC)
Thank you, Dr Pangloss!

One more to add:

A prolonged period of uncertainty and constitutional confusion with no clear Government is a great result. Think about it. Think Jefferson or Paine or [citation needed]: That government is best that governs least. What could be better than no Government? Certainly not any of the other options on offer.
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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-05-07 08:24 am (UTC)
Always look on the bright side.

I suspect the most enjoyable part of this will be interim period of confusion, negotiation and turmoil with various sections of the press loudly denouncing any possible combination as obviously constitutionally invalid/not having the mandate of the electorate/being Scottish.
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[User Picture]From: drdoug
2015-05-07 08:37 am (UTC)
Yes, that could be fun. Also this election could be a classic of party leader doom moments - Cameron knifed by backbenchers for failing to win twice; Miliband sinks under the weight of tabloid attack and front bench splits; Clegg and Farage lose their seats.

I've been thinking about how things might go in a very-narrow-majority situation, and one big unknown is how the SNP will work as a largish Westminster grouping. Sturgeon is likely to be the only leader looking triumphant on Friday morning, so she should do quite well at bringing the party with her. But if Ed is PM there will be some pretty distasteful choices for them to make, and we have no clue at all at how much unity the Parliamentary SNP will show.
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[User Picture]From: matgb
2015-05-07 09:10 am (UTC)
I think that might also be a good result, as it'll basically (hopefully) kill the whole "the markets need stable government" myth and, well, it didn't do Belgium that much harm.

Plus, it'd start with Cameron minority trying to cling onto power, anything that makes the tories look desperate and out of touch is a Good Thing.
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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-05-07 09:20 am (UTC)
Alas, I don't think it can happen here can it (I mean drawn out Belgium style negotiations)? The state opening of parliament is 27th May and they've probably already booked the venue.

Edited at 2015-05-07 09:20 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: foxy76
2015-05-07 08:25 am (UTC)
I do wish you'd post more often ;-)
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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-05-07 08:28 am (UTC)
Thank you! By the way, I'm in York in early July -- would be good to catch up if you're about, it's been ages.
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[User Picture]From: foxy76
2015-05-07 08:34 am (UTC)
Yes, it'd be lovely to see you :-) Give me a shout when you're around!

Have you voted yet??
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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-05-07 11:23 am (UTC)
Voted now.
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[User Picture]From: ms_siobhan
2015-05-07 09:29 am (UTC)
What Foxy76 and |Jozafeen said :-)
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[User Picture]From: jozafeen
2015-05-07 09:26 am (UTC)
Hurrah - that really brightened my morning!
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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-05-07 11:24 am (UTC)
Thanks Joza
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[User Picture]From: rhythmaning
2015-05-07 10:49 am (UTC)
Magic! I feel better already!
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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-05-07 11:24 am (UTC)
Glad to find some bright note in this.
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[User Picture]From: nmg
2015-05-07 02:04 pm (UTC)
Whaddayaknow - a post that's good enough to make me log in for the first time in almost two and a half years in order to comment.

Jolly good. More like that, please.
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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-05-07 04:53 pm (UTC)
Glad you enjoyed it.
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[User Picture]From: missedith01
2015-05-07 04:46 pm (UTC)
This is great, going to keep it by me all night and read it if in any danger of feeling bad. Previously this function was to be carried out by a bottle of gin, but this is much better!
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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-05-07 04:53 pm (UTC)
I hope it helps you in this difficult time.
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[User Picture]From: drdoug
2015-05-07 05:57 pm (UTC)
Bother. Wish I'd though of setting up
http://isitclearwhocancommandtheconfidenceofthehouseofcommonsyet.com/
a few days ago instead of now.
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[User Picture]From: androktone
2015-05-08 12:20 am (UTC)

Thankyou for this, on my return to Livejournal this epic analysis,  which I shall show to my children should they survive.

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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-05-08 12:32 am (UTC)
Looking at the results so far I just hope we can delay widespread cannibalism.
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[User Picture]From: androktone
2015-05-08 12:41 am (UTC)

I  just realised that if we have a hung parliament a lot of legislation especially the Care Act phase 2 comes in by default with no funding or guidance which will seriously affect local councils. How much other legislation does this apply to?

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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-05-08 12:43 am (UTC)
Is this the case? While govt is in purdah it can't pass anything controversial no? Or is this stuff that is passed you hoped would be repealed.
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[User Picture]From: androktone
2015-05-08 04:06 pm (UTC)

It was passed last year as a 2 phase project, but awaiting clarification and funding on the second phase..without which it would have been expensive and messy.


But it looks like that is largely academic now!

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[User Picture]From: steer
2015-05-08 04:07 pm (UTC)
Yes... at least we don't have to worry about constitutional wrangling.

God, what an awful night.
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