Friday, April 27, 2012

A collapse of the fuzzy centre

The BBC has a bad French Presidential election first round. Their inbuilt left wing sympathy made them spend much time exploring the rise of the Front Left, speculating that it might replace the National Front as a home of protest. In the actual event the National Front thumped the Front Left and has placed itself in range of the ultimate prise.( Not inconceivable if the next few years bring the economic apocalypse that doesn't seem to be of put by Euro zone rescue and more European solidarity. )

In the Netherlands the centre can't hold the line, and Wilder's party withdraws its support from the government and Dutch Labour refuses to support the austerity that is the requirement of Dutch support for the €uro.

We've seen the centre eaten alive in Northern Ireland as the Ulster Unionists and Social Democratic Labour party have fallen victim to their challengers.

And still the Conservtiave modernisers tell us that electoral power can only be found in the centre.

The Lib Dems dream of permanent jobs in the Lords with all those rich expense accounts and ego stroking publicity. The are convinced that STV will deliver them pork on a substantial scale that will make their surrender to the reality of government worth while.

Well I'm not so sure.

As I've argued previously I think STV might destroy the centre Lib Dems and it will open a full range of political options, which the current  main three parties don't provide. These things have happened with changes in the voting system in other countries, and so are not unbelievable ( see New Zealand's experimentation with voting reform ).

As Bradford has shown the centre isn't holding. Given the extreme economic pressure that the Euro disaster and Gordon Brown/Ed Balls' debt disaster and public sector splurge have given us, combined with a newlly assertive competition from the BRICS countries this country is in the middle of a deep and long term crisis.

The public is learning instinctively that things can't carry on as they have, all they have been short of is a political option to crystallise that. I'd hope it could be UKIP, though there's a long way to go yet. It might be to a new left wing but still EU loving Labour party ( which will of course be a disaster ).

But the herd of voters is ready to stamped, and it won't be to the centre that they run.

Further: Fraser Nelson has an interesting argument about the localisation of party support here, and blames the lack of overarching causes. If he's right then the moderniser drive to the mushy centre is the exact opposite of what political parties need to do right now.


Barnacle Bill said...

I thought Marine le Pen has done a very good job with the Front National.
Now couple her with Nigel Farage and things could get interesting in this country's politics.
Reality is going to catch up soon with our political elite in their Westminster bubble.
As the people cry "Why us?" as more and more is taken from them, yet they see no sign of our politicians sharing the pain.
The straw that finally breaks the camel's back could come any day soon.
Let us hope the one offering salvation who catches their eye will have the good of the Country and not the Party in their heart.

Man in a Shed said...

Bill - as you say its a going to be a time of danger. We have to hope and pray for the leaders to get us through it - though I'm not sure we deserve them.