I've been having a little chat with a friend of mine. He hates the Tories, really hates them. Mention Thatcher in his presence and he goes all blurry round the edges as he quivers with rage.
The problem he has is that he hates the Labour party as it is. I feel sorry for him, he is a decent chap with strong convictions in a political ideology that he thought could be delivered. He and many others like him must be devastated at how their dreams and aspirations have been sold down the river by the people that claimed to speak for and represent them.
This government has hurt all of us. But for those who had a strong belief in the traditional Labour ways it must be very hard to bear. The fact I disagree with that belief system is neither here nor there, to see people being betrayed and used like that in such a cynical fashion is not a nice thing to see.
Anyhow, my friend has taken some solace from the fact that future don't look so bright for the Tories either, and seemingly has found relief in the Telegraph, of all places, and he pointed out this blog entry from Gerald Warner.
What do I think will happen? I'll tell you the same I told him. Rather than it being bad news, it could be very good, it'll just take a few years to sort out. Let's hope we can do it before the EU sweeps our national parliament away.
It's a truism that oppositions don't win elections, governments lose them and there is no way in hell Labour will win. The problem is people don't vote for anything, they vote against the incumbents.
It was obvious in '97 that Blair was a snake-oil salesman, and the Tories were unelectable. Now we have the situation where Labour are unelectable and the Tories aren't even promising snake-oil. For the last 18 months at least Call me Dave has been counselled that all he has to do is keep quiet, I think now he realises he's left it too late to counteract that bad advice. The interesting thing is how with Labour seeing their suppport haemorrhage away, and the Tories seeing their support drain down without even getting anywhere near the levels they would have hoped, the Lib Dems have made no ground whatsoever and indeed has seen a small reduction in their share of the vote.
North of the border, the SNP are a good bet in my book to pretty much wipe Labour off the map, and that is despite them displaying qualities which make them look even more controlling, nannying and dictatorial than Labour. The Scots will never return Tory or Lib Dem MPs in any numbers, so the SNP will win by default. It speaks volumes about the weakness of the established parties in Scotland that the SNP have been able to hold a minority non-coalition government together for so long.
In Wales, Plaid Cymru have very quietly got on with the job and will do similar damage to Brown.
It is obvious that Labour are scared shitless about the BNP in England, and with good cause. It's not because the BNP are evil and racist and all that jazz, it is because Griffin has very skilfully moved them into the ground occupied by Labour when John Smith was leader. Heseltine was right when he said Labour are the BNP without the racism (plus a slavish devotion to the EU), Brown's gulags for slags initiative was straight out of the BNP playbook and is a policy they've promoted for some time. When Harman and her ilk bang on about the dangers of the BNP, the only real danger is posed to the number of Labour MPs in the house. They rend their hair and ask why this is happening and what can be done, like the family in the Cherry Orchard, and don't realise that it is they who have driven their natural constituency to the BNP, it is their policies, and abandonment of the working class, their turning the 'working' class into pets beholden to them whilst the lower middle class are left to foot the bill. I fully expect to see a number of BNP MPs returned in the spring, and it is no-one's fault but Labour's.
All of this should add up to good times for the Tories, but it won't. So obsessed are they with not wanting to upset anyone, not wanting to be branded the nasty party, that they've ended up upsetting almost as many people as Labour - i.e. pretty much everyone. The Tories are a party of wallpaper covering some very deep cracks. Europe being the biggest one, that division has never gone away. Truth be told I think there's an enormous gulf between the parliamentary tory party and the grass roots membership on the subject, and I don't think Cameron's U-turn on the Lisbon Treaty has pleased anyone, nor his lack of guts in calling for the big referendum. Tory voters will turn out in droves for UKIP, a party who are hardly in good condition at the moment anyway.
I'm not sure that Cameron will last even one complete term as PM and we could see both parties descend into civil war very soon. I certainly wouldn't expect to see any incoming Tory government last more than one election.
Still the Lib Dems will not make up ground, mainly because their policies are fantastical nonsence that no-one understands, and the policies that people do understand are completely alien to them.
My prediction? A Tory majority of single figures at best if not a hung parliament, Labour limping in a very battered and bloody second having suffered huge losses in Scotland and Wales and some stinging defeats to the BNP in England and a fag paper between them and the Lib Dems. SNP and PC in Scotland and Wales with a few Lib Dem hangers on and seats for the BNP and UKIP in England.
A hung parliament would be bad, bad news for the Lib Dems. They've made it perfectly clear they don't want to be in coalition, but so desperate are they for a go on the levers of power they'd probably take it in exchange for a couple of the big jobs like Chancellor and Justice and would quietly forget PR which would infuriate their rank and file.
I don't think we're seeing the death of democracy, we're seeing its re-birth. The old buggins rule is on the way out - one more time is all it's got, I reckon. No-one will vote for the government (of whichever colour) because they're shit and no-one will vote for the other lot because we all remember how shit they were last time round. Once people realise that their vote can, does and will make a difference, and that they can vote for something they believe in, rather than against a sitting government they hate, then the sport will really begin.
Of course, the best thing about hung or coalition parliaments is that they can't do much. We've had too much doing over the last twenty years and need some stopping at least and un-doing at best.
I can't wait.