A terrible night …

May 8, 2015 at 5:26 am (democracy, elections, Jim D, labour party, populism, scotland, Steve Bell, Tory scum)

Analysis soon. For now, Steve Bell got it right some days ago:

Steve Bell 30.04.15 Steve Bell 30.04.15 Illustration: © Steve Bell 2015


…one small but gratifying consolation:


  •  Good riddance.


    1. Steven Johnston said,

      So step forward the moron who says, in the light of this victory for the conservatives…Labour lost because they were not left-wing enough! LOL.

    2. Jim Denham said,

      I presume that this demonstration will be now be cancelled:

      The People’s Assembly Against Austerity

      Dear **********************

      The Tories and their supporters in the press are preparing a post election plan to stay in office even if Labour and the SNP have more seats in Parliament.


      They are planning to declare that they are the legitimate government and have the right to form an administration.

      This was the meaning of the recent Times editorial which urged Cameron to ‘Occupy Downing Street’. This will be a ‘constitutional coup’ against the wishes of the electorate.

      That’s why we are calling for an immediate protest if this happens:
      Assemble: Saturday 9 May 1pm, Downing Street.

      We cannot allow the Tories to get away with using a flagrant abuse of power to impose the most severe austerity this country has seen since the Second World War.

      We will use this facebook event page to keep you updated about any changes to the time of the demonstration depending on the outcome of the election. Watch this space and, please, invite your friends and share the facebook event page.

      More info:
      •Seumas Milne in the Guardian: “The Tories are plotting a coup in the name of legitimacy”
      •Owen Jones in New Statesman: “if the Tories get more seats than Labour, get ready for a Very British Coup”

    3. Jim Denham said,

      A comrade writes:

      I guess this is a low point for all of ‘us’. Us – my friends in the Labour Party and our supporters – I have never seen such hard work done in an election – ‘us’ in the trade union movement as we face further attacks on the few rights we still have left under a malicious Tory government – ‘us’ anti-racists and internationalists – as we face the considerable threat of the enlarged but frustrated nationalism of UKIP in England and Wales and the nationalism of the SNP in Scotland who will now push for a break up of the UK.

      To quote Connolly’s prediction of the aftermath of the partition of Ireland – there will be a ‘carnival of reaction’ – it won’t be as bloody but it will be far worse than those who naively cheer on nationalism imagine.

      The only explanation that all the polls as well as our canvasses were so wrong – is that there is a shame in nationalism. Many people still feel uncomfortable to admit it

      I remember reading again last year about 100 years ago of the despair of socialists as Europe plunged into war. I fear a similar despair now. I fear for my comrades. I guess most of us are close to or have already broken down in tears.

      Ironically it is the work I have done in this election that is keeping me together emotionally. The conversations I have had with people hating what this system is doing to them, their families – our class – us.

      The Lib Dems votes have collapsed into the Tories. They have never been more than a pathetic excuse for this government.

      But I am a Marxist as well as an internationalist. The history of our struggle is one of violent zigs-zags but underneath the fuel of that history is the class struggle and that never disappears. Our class will be seriously disoriented and demoralised. We are weak because we have not been allowed to fight as a secular, multi-racial class.

      We have to find a way to fight as a class – not allowing union leaders to make excuses not to organise that fight – we must find organisational ways of by-passing their treachery.

      We will – I know we will.

      There will be a lot of nationalist ugliness that we will need to rebuff – there will be many in our movement that may want to compromise with it – we can’t allow that. Only class struggle ahead, comrades – in the workplaces – on the streets. After the pain of today I am sure most of ‘us’ will be there again – with new people who will newly understand that our class must fight – come what may.

      I will be there, I know my comrades will be there with me.

      • Paul Canning said,


        All the focus will be on Scotland but it is UKIP that has meant a Tory majority. Maybe it is a linked, revived nationalism. I don’t know and I don’t think the left or even mainstream Labour has thought enough about what it means. Who has really taken the fight to UKIP? I struggle to think of who.

        I would also note, as I did on Coatsey, that a Pakistani party, MQM, is claiming the Galloway victory. Again, I don’t know whether this is that meaningful but clearly communalist politics have been played and, clearly, this is a factor in some other places (like Tower Hamlets).

        We’re going to see elements of the left continue to try to ride the communalist tiger (or lion!), even with Galloway losing, and it isn’t going to help if we don’t really understand what is going on, which I don’t think we do.

        If class politics is needed against UKIP then it is certainly needed against communalism. But we need to understand the enemy better than I think we do.

      • Laban Tall said,

        “Only class struggle ahead, comrades – in the workplaces – on the streets. “

        Best of luck with that. While there are still several million bright unemployed young Europeans looking for work, and all major parties support open EU borders, I can’t see much ahead but a continuation of low wages, high rents and high house prices. Oh, and late retirement, crippling student debt, and dreadful private pensions (I see Tesco, one of the last hold-outs, are scrubbing their final salary scheme). We’re going back to pre-WWII life for most, but with better healthcare and more shiny electronic diversions.

        Don’t any of you ever wonder why, as the Left social agenda triumphs, so the Left economic agenda is totally defeated, and working peoples terms and conditions deteriorate – while the wealth and pay of the top few percent accelerate away ?

        You might almost think there’s an inverse relationship between them. But that’s crazy talk.

    4. damon said,

      Well that was all a bit fun. I feel slightly guilty about not voting, as my Labour candidate lost by a very small margin. But she still would have lost so I’m not going to worry about it too much. We need PR for real politics.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        So that UKIP can have 12% of all MPs?
        How will PR lead to real politics? What have we been having all these years?

        • damon said,

          Of course Ukip should get the representation they earned at the ballot box. It’s meant to be democracy.

        • dagmar said,

          Of course, there is a major difference between FPTP and a (genuine) proportional system; I don’t mean the attempted scam of “Alternative Vote” but instead something like Germany’s “Additional Member System”.

          The difference is that in FPTP you can often afford to vote for someone you don’t want to win without your vote having any real consequences. It might lead another party to “take note”, your “protest vote” might be seen as a “warning”; but it doesn’t (usually) mean the party concerned will get any parliamentary representation, and everyone knows it.

          But under genuine PR, where there is a correlation between votes and seats in parliament (if we first ignore any hurdle of 1, 3 or 5% that might exist – Germany currently has all 3, depending on the elections), there tend to be far less “joke” parties/candidates, and if they exist, they tend not to get much of a vote. People know their vote *will* lead to some kind of representation (or cash payout, where state political party funding exists) – so they tend to choose a bit more wisely where they put their cross.

          My point being: while I agree with Damon, there is no way we should assume that either the SNP or UKIP (or anybody else, in fact) would automatically get the same percentage of the vote if the same election was held under a proportional representation system.

    5. treborc said,

      Well labour did not do enough to get enough people to vote for them. it’s as simple as that.

      Now labour has to look at the next offer, if it carries on talking to just working people, it has to have a better offer then just £8 in five years time, they dumped the living wage and people around me were angry about this.

      Scotland has decided the right wing Progress offer was not for them and they decided the left wing policies of the SNP were a better offer something labour has to look at.

      Are the SNP to the left well they were when it was needed, will they stay to the left, that is the question, after all labour went to the right tried to come back to the left and was dumped.

    6. caseypurvis said,

      THERE IS NO MONEY TREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    7. Jim Denham said,

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Yep, the lunatics have taken over the asylum. Apparently voters rejected Labour as they were not left-wing enough and choose instead to return a right-wing Conservative majority.

      • john r said,

        “So long as activists remain resolute, the new Tory government can be pushed back on many fronts, in the same way as the Tories were often on the back foot in 1992-7, despite winning re-election in 1992.

        The Tory mayor of London, Boris Johnson, sought to capitalise on his party’s victory by claiming that Labour lost because it went too far left and abandoned the so-called “centre ground”. The claim is nonsense, but some people in the Labour Party will pick up on it.

        Labour had about as right-wing a leader in Scotland – Jim Murphy – as could be imagined. Result: the SNP landslide in Scotland was even bigger than expected.” – AWL

        Sorry, Jim but this is just wishful thinking of the first order.

        1. The 1992 Tories were badly split over Europe and their claims to “economic competence” (high interest rates, Britain leaving the ERM) helped to weaken them. They are not so split now especially as Cameron is now having a Euro referendum.

        2. More than “some people” in the Labour Party will want to move further to the right. Labour have a huge problem in that many people who are their core vote have caught the Nationalist Flu which is highlighted in the Ukip vote. They are very anti-immigration. I don’t like it but that is the way it is at the moment. An “open borders” policy is just not going to win over these voters.

        3. Jim Murphy is New Labour but he can’t solely be held responsible for the loss of Scotland. This has been caused by years of neglect, incompetence and, in some cases, blatant corruption. I’m afraid Scottish Labour may not came back this side of independence.

        The solution? Too early to say but it seems to me that even Blairite policies won’t win over the electorate at the moment. I feel shitty saying this but we might even have to leave the EU to try and lance the boil of immigration before Labour are listened to by many.

        The Far Left (AWL included) can tell themselves that a “bold Socialist Programme” is needed to win the masses. But you know yourself, the Far left in the UK is so badly split with their own version of identity politics (AWL – imperialist SCUM! SWP – RAPE apologists! Galloway and friends – Pro – Islamist reactionaries!) that no immediate solutions (electoral or otherwise) will coming from them.

        • Paul Canning said,

          Labour will very quickly face another damascene moment with another referendum. The polls say that it will be won but it seems likely to me to also produce huge numbers of sore losers, like in Scotland.

          Lots of people I know are from Europe, are building lives here and could not be more hard working. I am very worried both for them and for the countries future.

        • dagmar said,

          Will the EU referendum result be the same across the UK? I would be surprised. While I expect a majority (if close) “yes” vote overall, what are the chances of much of England (excepting the cities) voting “no” while the metropolitan, Labour, areas, along with much of Wales and Scotland voting “yes”? Now that would be interesting, with maybe England with it’s own SNP, UKIP, wanting “independence”?

        • Paul Canning (@pauloCanning) said,

          Dagmar, I think that’s inevitable. Labour and the left have done a lousy job with UKIP voters. Why is it not possible to campaign against the worst impacts of immigration alongside celebrating its positive sides? There was a poster campaign showing individual migrants benefiting Britain, where was the support for something like that?

          Just yelling bigot is not a policy or strategy. Neither is ‘we will control immigration’.

          I recall the last Labour government’s treatment of asylum seekers. A tiny group but demonised and Labour played right along.

    8. Steven Johnston said,

      I think the voters realised there is no alternative to austerity. They saw what happened in Eire, Greece etc. that you can elect governments that claim they will end austerity but end up managing it. Only when the economy picks up can their be an alternative, but that never worked either as all spend, spend, spend did was increase inflation and unemployment as Labour governments propped up inefficient industries that should have gone to the wall and been replaced by never, more efficient companies.

      • David A Guberman said,

        Your voters may have believed there was no alternative to austerity. If so, they were wrong, as economists like Simon Wren and Paul Krugman have explained at length. But Krugman also makes the point today that just as evidence shows that voters in the U.S. most heavily weight national economic performance in the last half year or so leading up to a presidential election, the same may be true in the U.K. (Krugman also argues–persuasively to me–that the last Labour government did not overspend. Unfortunately, the Labour Party generally, and Ed Miliband in particular, seems to have conceded, rather than contested, the point.

        • Anonymous said,

          Err…no they weren’t as Keynesian economics (which are not socialist) buggered up the UK economy. If you don’t believe me look at the state of the UK economy in 1975 after 30, yes 30 years of Keynesian economics. No country yet has used them to escape the current recession.
          But really, as socialists does anyone here believe that politicians can run capitalism?

    9. Robert said,

      I prefer a certain cartoon in the Independent by Dave Brown…

      can’t manage to attach same –basically when McMussolini the Gassy Naturinal came out with his “the Scottish Lion roars again it was the Scottish Arts Farce again, or Arse Farts again …

      Al too near the fringe of Mass Neurosis, like the mobbers of Murphy and friend in Glasgow a couple of days ago.

      There is NOTHINGNESS under that kilt!

      • Anonymous said,

        There is nothing under any kilt of any party!

    10. kb72 said,

      There are people in Scotland who take “the Scottish lion roars again” in all due seriousness instead of cringing or laughing. That really depresses me.

      Salmond is not nearly as horrible as Galloway but they are both short fat Scots gits given to fantasy about their political powers and with a fondness for windy rhetoric.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Racist much?

    11. finbar said,

      For sure the Scot vote gave Labour a kicking,if not England would now be in the control of Milliband.Hell mend England not having favour for Millaband,and hell mend Scotland for not having fair thought for England.What,come on,the borders dived was apparent in this election without the Scot vote Labour,was always going to be on the back foot,and it has been shown.S.N.P. NEO LIBERAL,what they will do to curry favour is well what can we do Mr Cameron,you still are in control.

    12. finbar said,

      Its the modern debt of home ownership,a Maggie,give them their homes give them ownership,see them change.And did not they change buying their mum and dads council house,shifted the state debt to yous,and the bankers usury of your debt exitance to a greed manipulation.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Yet guess which party first raised the idea of “right to by” in 1959?
        Yes, it was the Labour party a full 20 years before Fatcher!
        Any comment?

    13. finbar said,

      Simple really.Get them in debt,see how they will change to our rule.

    14. Rilke said,

      For all the SNP talk of ‘hating and damaging the Tories’, the Tory vote in Scotland actually went up by a very small margin. The SNP are only interested in destoying Labour in Scotland – that has been their project for the last eight to nine years. The Scottish lion may well have ‘roared’ (omfg!) but the Tory lambs north of Berwick did not even blink! Nationalist idiots and their SSP fellow travellers ought to think on this, but I doubt they will! Why bother thinking when you can dance around in a kilt and wave a flag?

      • john r said,

        The SNP will probably do a deal with the Tories over Devo Max and English MPs voting on English matters.

        The SNP will be able to sell this as “lookin’ efter oor ain folk”, especially if they are given more power over Welfare and can ameliorate the effects of cuts over the past few years. In other words “I’m all right, Jock”.

        Of course, this will mean that the Tories will have an even bigger majority to attack the Welfare State in England (and Wales).

        Idiotic TrotNats will say “well, it jist shows how much mair progressive the peeple o’ Scotland are” It’s “jist in oor blood and let’s aw hiv a drink tae John McLean and oor Tommy! Why don’t aw youse English Leftists try an’ dae somethin’ aboot it then!”

        And so the “Carnival of Reaction” begins with even more resentment in England over the “privileged” Scots (“and they’ve still got that Barnett formula!”).

        PS I spoke to my sister in Glasgow today. Already she says that there are people on her Facebook talking about having to look after our “ain” now.

        • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

          The English should not be resentful but ask the UK Gov why they get less per head from the kitty in what is supposed to be a Union. The English working class are no different from the the rest of us.

      • Anonymous said,

        Yet even if Labour had one every single seat in Scotland they would still not have had a majority!

    15. Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

      The referendum will probably be held sooner than later. Cameron cannot afford to give Scotland any more handouts and the SNP will not use its tax raising powers to alleviate the so so called austerity. So the blame game will start immediately after the chancellor announces the cuts. The English cannot be expected to bear the cuts for the whole nation. It is actually an embarrassment listening to the moaning and hard done to stories from my fellow Scots.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Yet the region that receives the biggest handout is Northern Ireland!
        Who voted to stay in the union, wonder why? Perhaps they just need to look over the border at the economy of Eire. Tax and spend worked out well there eh comrades?

        • Glesga Keeping Scotland Free From Loonies said,

          NI apparantly provide 20% of British soldiers. In that respect and NI were bombed to fuck during WW2 then they deserve respect considering the Republic stayed neutral and were on friendly terms with the little Catholic Corporal.

    16. damon said,

      I knew there was something wrong with this public wailing about the election result.

      Claire Fox on Laurie Penny’s tweets.

    17. SteveH said,

      “But I am a Marxist as well as an internationalist”

      Seriously Denham, this is no time for jokes.

      Incidentally you have won a prize for outstanding services to imperialism. You will be whisked away to the airport where you will do a grand tour of all the liberated regions of recent imperialist humanitarian intervention. You will see with your own eyes the wonderful things your dogged support helped achieve.

      Day 1 – you will be flown to Riyadh where you will lunch with none other than King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud who will present you with a Saudi medal of honour. Later that day you will take remote control of a drone where you will get to kill as many Yemeni shepherds as you can in one hour. The more you kill the more drinks you get (it should be noted that the King will relax the drinking laws especially for such a loyal guest).

      Day 2 – You will visit Northern Iraq and attend the Mohammed buggering goats cartoon competition, where you will be the guest judge. You will also get to wear your own t-shirt depicting the Prophet taking a goat from behind (hilarious stuff!). You will get your own bike where you have the freedom of Iraq to travel hither and thither.

      Day 3 – Assuming you get this far you will be flown to Libya where you will do a quick tour of the militia areas and speak directly to the newly liberated folk about how great life is now the evil dictator has gone. You will visit US bomb sites and see the projects that have helped turn Libya into the bastion of civilised values it is today.

      Day 4 – On your last day you will take part of the fastest growing sport in Italy, migrant fishing. Just put your net in the water and delight in the weight of those dead Libyans. You will get free photograph with your haul.

      To claim the prize just answer the following question:

      Who is the greatest human liberator and civiliser of the backward peoples?

      A) King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
      B) Dick Cheney
      C) George Galloway

    18. Chris said,

      George Galloway is a personal hero of mine and I believe all the smears by the Decent Left against him are blood libels, but even I was glad to see him lose his seat if it meant Labour gaining one.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        You should get out more…

    19. Rilke said,

      …and SteveH will be taken on a ‘counter tour’ on which he will sell raffle tickets for a ‘behead a Kurish woman’ competition at which he will be able conduct YouTube horror videos as a special prize. He will then go on a ‘shoot a shopper killing spree’ in Kenya with his pals in the local ‘anti-imperialist’ Islamist reactionary front – first prize? A hareem of kidnapped local underage school girls. He will then get the ultimate prize of a seat next to the Boss of the new anti-imperialist and anti-Zionist Caliphate where he can rant endlessly about the ‘decadence’ of Western values while marrying his twelve years old niece who will not be able to complain in writing to the courts as she will be kept illiterate. Now and again he will take time off to kill a few school kids that attend ‘pro Western military schools’ just to keep his hand in so to speak!

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