Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Bird flies towards the Tree, rather than the Rosebush!

Britain has a new prime minister and new government since last night. Britain's new prime minister is David Cameron from the Conservative party, and its new deputy prime minister is Nick Clegg from the Liberal Democrat party, replacing Gordon Brown and his Labour cabinet. Britain now has a coalition government, the first since the Second World War, made up of Cameron's Tories and Clegg's Lib Dems.

Following the General Election on May 6th, in which 649 constituencies out of 650 in the whole country went to the polls, none of the parties standing for election won a majority of seats, thus leading to a "Hung parliament". (These constituencies translate into seats in the country's parliament, and in order to win, a party must attain a minimum of 326.)

Briefly put: Cons = 307 (including that one constituency that didn't go to the polls); Lab = 258; Lib Dem = 57; and other parties plus independent candidates = 28.

Following this inconclusive result, the Liberal Democrats first held negotiations with the Tories about forming a pact, as they had won the most votes and seats. It then held negotiations with the Labour a party. If they chose to make a pact with the Tories, they would be able to command a majority in parliament; whereas with Labour, they would not have. Of course, if they had refused either party's offer, the Tories could have gone it alone and formed a "Minority government".

In the end, Gordon Brown stepped down from his premiership, handing his resignation to the UK's sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II at her Buckingham Palace residence, as is the procedure in this country. And within minutes, David Cameron entered the palace to be appointed by the Queen to lead her country's government, and off he went to 10 Downing Street to announce the formation of a new government with the Lib Dems!


On election day, I voted for Luton North's Labour candidate Kelvin Hopkins with a view to keep the Tories out of government and out of Luton, but also with the hope of seeing a Labour-Lib Dem coalition in the even of a hung parliament (see my previous article).

Although mine and my mother's votes did not keep the Tories out of central government, they did keep Luton red! In fact, Luton North and Luton South are now Labour's only two strongholds in the whole of East Anglia following its many losses of seats in the region. Thus, Luton forms an island of red in a flooding sea of blue!

And although I didn't get the coalition I had hoped for, my prediction of a Lab-Lib Dem coalition was at least half right! And when it came down to the election results, even I realised that a pact between the Lib Dems and the Tories would be a numerically stronger one (307+57 compared to 258+57).

So I'm happy that my vote counted in keeping Labour in Luton and wasn't wasted - unless of course, my vote was considered invalid! (Ouch!) I hope Kelvin Hopkins MP continues to serve Luton North as well as he has in his previous three terms (!); and I hope Gavin Shuker MP will do a good job for Luton South as a first-time MP.

I had predicted that the Lib Dems - or even the Independent candidate Esther Rantzen - might win Luton South, but neither did. But still, I hope Esther stays in touch with us Lutonians and doesn't forget about our town, which she, as she puts it, "fell in love with"!


Also, thanks to last Thursday's elections, Britain has its first Green MP in the form of Caroline Lucas representing the constituency of Brighton Pavilion! Finally, the UK has an environmentalist party in parliament - Hooray!

Unfortunately for the UK Independence Party (UKIP), that wishes for Britain to leave the EU altogether, none of its candidates won any constituencies - not even its most famous member Nigel Farage, who is a colourful albeit contraversial character, who would've brightened up the House of Commons with his humourous demeanor and anti-EU views!

Fortunately for Britain's multicultural society, the far-right British National Party (BNP), that wishes to stop immigration completely and offer Britons with foreign origins "voluntary repatration", did not win a single seat in parliament - not even its leader Nick Griffin could win Barking and Dagenham, even though his party received well over half a million votes nationwide.

So all in all, not a bad night for elections then!


Anonymous said...

I had to think a moment wondering about the philosophical implications of the bird and the tree and the rosebush - then the penny dropped!

Rushanara Ali got in in Bethnal Green and Bow - I think she'll be a very intelligent contributor to the workings of parliament and hopefully will be seen there and in the constituency rather more than the previous encumbrance was, sorry I should have said incumbent. I've e-mailed her already asking her to get a proper explanation from whoever turns out to be the relevant minister how the Krstic attack managed to occur. There's been very little information available beyond the Daily Mail's original report.

Balkan Ⓐnarchist said...

I like the title I gave this article too. I was thinking of using "dove" instead of "bird", and qualifying the tree as an "oak tree", but I don't think we want to over-complicate things, now do we?

So what do you think the future holds for this new coalition? Do you think it will last the five years allotted to it? I certainly hope so.

What was Bethnal Green and Bow like under "Respect" then? How well did the famous George Galloway serve your constituency? From your "encumbrance/incumbent", it looks like you weren't much pleased by his service!

And what else have you managed to find out about the attack on Krstić other than what was mentioned on Daniel's blog from the Daily Mail?

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I think the coalition is going to have some considerable problems with reconciling the different views of its members. We'll just have to see whether the common threat of disaster facing all of us is enough to overcome their mutual antipathies.

I had no patience with the previous absentee member. When I was a student I spent a fair bit of my time doing small-scale fund-raising for War on Want. When Galloway was in charge of WoW its finances got into terrible trouble and the organisation nearly went under. Galloway used to go swanning all over the place, in a style which he seemed to think appropriate but other people felt was a touch extravagant for a development organisation. From what I remember, the books weren't kept properly so there was no evidence to support any allegations, but he was not considered a fit person to continue in charge. He left and the staff were left to pick up the pieces. I'd have had difficulty with him as MP already, even without his grovelling behaviour towards Saddam Hussein. Then when he was MP he was absent an awful lot of the time. I'd decided not to bother lobbying him like I had his predecessors but made an exception a couple of times - pointless.

Whatever their politics an MP has to be responsive to their constituents - after all, that's why we pay them. A lot of them work very hard - I've seen both Peter Shore and Oona King at surgeries when they looked as if they were out on the feet with exhaustion. Galloway seemed to be there for the ride. His only saving grave was his work for the Palestinians. I had my only disagreements with a good friend of mine, who is very involved with Palestinian Solidarity, over Galloway.

Anyhow, I'm not worrying myself any further about him, hopefully he's gone away now, though you know what they say about pennies.

I've not found out anything more about Krstic, very little news except he's been transferred to another prison but I haven't heard where. Ian Huntley was transferred from Wakefield to Frankland but even a prisoner as politically sensitive in the UK as Huntley got attacked again a coule of months ago.

I'm bothered that Krajisnik, whose also in Wakefield, is going to have his application for early release once he's eligible looked on more favourably because of the risks that the Krstic attack has highlighted. By risks of course I mean risks to the career of politicians responsible for the prison service. Krajisnik makes my flesh creep. the other monsters like Karadzic and Koljev seem to have something a bit short of a full circuit board about them but Krajsinik appears both sane and evil.

Anonymous said...

alas, structure of society and governance in serbia and croatia has become since '80s much inegalitarian and, appears to me, modeled after american one.

thus, forget, about any improvement for vast numbers of serbs and croats

expect from now on only worsenings for not only amers, serbs, and croats, but for all weak people and voelker.

recall, please, that voting is the least important structural member of governance.

as schooling, so is balloting allowed because the first is used for condinioning children to accept lies as truth; become serfs, meat for wars, dangerous labor--- the latter, because it makes the slightest difference which individual gets selected-elected. tnx bozh

Anonymous said...

canadian media had been strongly proserb until it realized [at least vancouver sun did in an editorial] in early '95 [u.s. early '94] that serbs were obtaining a greater serbia.

alan seems to confuse eyewitness reporting by MSM reporters with editorial and msm columnist views of the event; however, possibly only since '94 or '95 and later.
before that, i saw msm media, canada, france, u.k. supporting serbs.
alan also accuses croat'ns and/or croat'n govt of giving contradictictory info about serb intent; this is a major error or a deliberate lie.

in fact, i know of no croat who did not conclude with high degree of certainty that panserbs wanted to obtain a greater serbia.
i, at least, thought that if the plan wld fail the plan wld be denied for many reasons. who can prove it wrong, anyway?

one of milosheviches plaint had been assiduous insistence of the croat'n govt that serbs only wanted a greater serbia and not any yugoslavia.

and, contrary to alan's opinion, at least 70% [my estimate] and 99% of the new serbian republic's leadership swore either serbia or we will never live in any croatia.
tnx. bozhidar baljkas vancouver

Balkan Ⓐnarchist said...


"alan seems to confuse eyewitness reporting by MSM reporters with editorial and msm columnist views of the event…"

Can you tell me what you are referring to by "MSM"?

"alan also accuses croat'ns and/or croat'n govt of giving contradictictory info about serb intent; this is a major error or a deliberate lie."

Can you show me where I've made that accusation?

Anonymous said...

MSM in u.s. and canada stands for corporate or privately-owned media.
i'l get back to u about what u said about what croatia said about panserb aims.
what u said is smwhere on this p. i'l reread it. tnx bozh