Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Another Cameron May strategic error

I read on the front page of the Daily Telegraph today the headline, "Tories denied majority by unfair system."

The Conservatives are being denied a House of Commons majority under an 'unfair' constituency system.

The review of boundaries which was proposed under the coalition was blocked by the Lib Dems. Worse they foisted an undertaking to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600. This confused the two quite separate issues and ensured the 50 MPs who would lose their seats would strenuously oppose this reduction. Turkeys don't vote for Xmas. This is the sort of devious politics the LibDems love and too hell with our country and this is what is now happening.

When Cameron gained an absolute majority in 2015 I wrote to him asking him to implement the equalisation of boundaries asap. I offered to set up an unimpeachable mathematical model that I had tested and that could not be interfered with by politicians. Well that would never do and I got a non-reply back and Cameron pursued his pointless failed renegotiation and eventually lost the referendum he was sure he would win.

If the Tories had implemented my proposals they would now be home and dry with a safe majority but they did not, and now they don't have a majority to implement it. The DUP would be the big losers so they will never support May who is hamstrung and must lose, probably to Corbyn.

Another huge strategic error by the Tories that will bring Corbyn to power. 


I am grateful to the letter from one Charles Pugh of SW10 published in the Telegraph today under the headline,

"A cabal of MPs who left Britain stuck with unfair electoral boundaries"

partial link


Mr Pugh points out that the  deal was in a Referendum bill that the LIb Dems would get a referendum on us changing to an AV voting system which they lost big time and in return there would be boundary changes whichh the Lib Dems duly welched on just like the EU and in the great tradition of Lib Dem duplicity. The Lib Dems also wanted an elected second chamber which if it had gone through would have given them a de facto veto on anything a government wanted to do that the Lib Dems did not like.

This act of betrayal was only made possible by slopy drafting of the referendum bill. Cameron did not do detail but the Lib Dems do nothing else.

Anyone who votes LibDem should know they are voting for some very  duplicitous people in the Lib Dem parliamentary party in the  Commons. Words cannot describe the duplicity of Lib Dem Lords who nevertheless are given endless airtime on the BBC, Brussels Broadcasting Corporation.       

That Cameron continued to appoint LibDems to the Lords after this calls into question his true motivations.                                                                                                                                                                                             


Stephen Harness said...

Interesting. Where would the SNP be with your re-organisation?

Eric Edmond said...

You can either include Scotland or keep it separate. Either way May would have a majority and who cares about the SNP? Not me!

Anonymous said...

Heard say she failed to win and failed to lose the GE having the facilities to fine tune the result. Questions/suspicions arise. Alienating traditional voters etc. While Corbyn making promises. Both soaking up UKIP votes trusting the Tories to come good on Brexit. Baroness heard say on TV "annihilate UKIP" Remember the old saying "Never trust a Tory" What hope?

Stephen Harness said...

UKIP were finished the day Cameron promised a referendum before the 2015 GE. UKIP were riding high in the polls looking to make a major breakthrough in the 2015 GE. Cameron took a calculated gamble that he could win the GE and the referendum i.e. stay in the EU.
He failed but he did manage to leave UKIP without a crusade to fight. UKIP also failed to pick up another cause to champion. A change in the political voting system would have served well.

Eric Edmond said...

UKIP NEC full of big minds like Duffy so what do you expect?

Blind stoat said...

I'm not convinced that we need a radical overhaul of the constituencies and I have never subscribed to the view that we should be reducing the overall number of seats - and to argue that we should be doing so on grounds of cost control when there are 800+ peers happily collecting their daily £300 stipend is a complete nonsense.

In 1945 there were 640 seats and the total UK population was approx 49mn. As of now we have 650 seats and the population has increased to 65mn. Agreed in 1945 some voters had 2x votes and some constituencies had 2x members but, give or take, each MP represented a population of 76,000 - versus today an average MP represents more than 100,000 people. So, question: has our 'representative democracy' become more or less 'representative' since 1945?

Agreed, currently there are some obvious imbalances that need to be addressed - e.g. the Isle of Wight should really be 2x seats. But the easiest way to tackle the problem in my view, would be to increase the overall number of seats. Removing one or two Welsh seats and adding say, 10 in the South East would be relatively straightforward and fairly painless to achieve.

Blind stoat said...

^^ or, to put it another way, if we were to have the same average popualtion per MP as we had in 1945, we would need to create an additional 210 constituencies.

Niall Warry said...

I couldn't agree with you more.

L fairfax said...

The biggest problem with our voting system is that it makes hard for new parties to appear like UKIP/Lib Dems - if we had the same system as in Germany then new parties could appear more easily. We want low barriers for new entrants to markets so we have more choice. If supermarkets were like politics Lidl etc would have never opened up here.

Eric Edmond said...

Problem is not the number of MPs but constituency boundaries. No of constituencies equals number of MPs. US House of Representatives has 445 members.

Other problem is legislature and Executive are all mixed up. I would suggest terminating all members of HoL and replacing it with an executive commission nominated by an elected President ie the US system. This will free us from our current juvenile politicians and make us similar to the EU which most of our MPs love. All ministers would be in the new HoL and its care home function would cease.

It would save us tens of millions and improve government no end. Don't tinker, innovate.

Blind stoat said...

^^ @ both Fairfax and Dr Edmond. I do not agree with either of you.

A) Yes, agreed it IS difficult for new parties to become established within the UK system and there are good reasons why we should wish that to continue.

B) Yes, the House of Lords is a second rate, shoddy institution filled with corrupt and venal placemen - but no, an executive commission nominated by an elected 'President' is not the answer.

L fairfax said...

@Blind Stoat
Why is it that a good thing? I remember a joke about Trump. Someone said to Trump "You have destroyed the republican party", Trump "Job half done".
That is how I feel about all our political parties.

Blind stoat said...

@ Fairfax - and what would your response be if, say, the Muslim Brotherhood party started winning seats in places such as Wolverhampton and Kettering?

There is virtue in continuity and political change should be evolutionary rather than revolutionary

L fairfax said...

@Blind Stoat,

Not sure it could be a good thing if it wakes us up to the threat of Islam.
If people want bad parties they should be allowed to vote for them, making it difficult for new bad (and of course new good) parties to protect us from extremism does not seem very democratic. And ironically has given London a Mayor who think Terrorism is a fact of life in a big city (he has obviously never heard of Warsaw).

Blind stoat said...

People quote the rise (and fall) of UKIP as an example of how the system is "unfair". But, I would argue that UKIP is testament to the strength of our current system. True, UKIP didn't win a single Westminster seat in 2010 versus the SNP achieved almost a full house in Scotland.

But that's because until 2013/14 UKIP was always a fringe party. It only began to represent a real threat to the established parties in the run-up to the 2015 election. For a while some of the polls were suggesting that UKIP could achieve in excess of 20% of the poll. Certainly 16-18% looked like a realistic possibility. But in the event UKIP finished with a disappointing 12%. In simple terms, it failed. Had it achieved 18%+, it would inevitably have won a slew of seats - not just one or two, but potentially 20+.

Blind stoat said...

@ Fairfax, I absolutely accept your point that people should be allowed to vote for whoever they wish to.

My point is, if we want to elect a government that ultimately has a mandate to govern and make changes as per its manifesto, then we have to accept an element of 'winner takes all' in the electoral process. There is no easy way round that.

The alternative almost inevitably leads to multi-coloured, short-lived and ineffectual coalitions.

Anonymous said...

20+ seats would be 5% of the house of commons, that does not seem fair to me.
However the problem is not fairness to UKIP or another party. The problem is that we have a duopoly of 2 parties, would you like it we had a duopoly in supermarkets? I don't think the Australians like it.

L fairfax said...

@Blind Stoat
@"My point is, if we want to elect a government that ultimately has a mandate to govern and make changes as per its manifesto, then we have to accept an element of 'winner takes all' in the electoral process. There is no easy way round that.

The alternative almost inevitably leads to multi-coloured, short-lived and ineffectual coalitions."
Switzerland has had lots of coalitions and is a lot richer than we are.

Anonymous said...

UKIP had most UK seats in the last European Union elections.
Now how did that happen?

Eric Edmond said...

Because of Farage.

L fairfax said...

Because of Clegg.

Anonymous said...

Because of PR?

Blind stoat said...

@ Anonymous - winning 18%+ share of vote and ending up with a meagre 20 (5%) share of the seats might not seem 'fair'.

But it reflects one of the great strengths of the electoral system as is. First past the post makes it very difficult for "single issue / pressure group" type parties to ever gain any real traction UNLESS they can broaden their appeal to a far wider cross-section of the electorate.
I know lots of people will disagree with me but I would maintain that that is one of the great practical benefits of the current system.

Blind stoat said...

^^ @ Fairfax - Switzerland is a country of only 8.5mn people with a completely different history to ours and a radically different system of local and regional government. I accept that coalitions can work effectively in Switzerland. But that doesn't mean they make sense in the UK.

L fairfax said...

Our current system was designed for a much smaller country than now so if we should ignore Switzerland because it is smaller than us we should change our system. However you keep on main point, competition is good and we should make it easier for new entrants in ALL markets.

Anonymous said...

^^^^ @ Stephen Harness - Apologies, I forgot to add re your point above:

"UKIP were finished the day Cameron promised a referendum before the 2015 GE. UKIP were riding high in the polls looking to make a major breakthrough in the 2015 GE. Cameron took a calculated gamble that he could win the GE and the referendum i.e. stay in the EU."

PRECISELY - that was UKIP's greatest triumph.

By sticking to the central issue of the eu (and its impact on immigration) and threatening to make the Tories eyes bleed in the forthcoming general election, UKIP forced Cameron to make the referendum promise. That is how history is made. And to be fair to Farage, he deserves credit for helping build UKIP's support to the level where it was finally able to pose a direct threat to the tories' election prospects.