Thursday, 23 April 2015


At the very least, the 2015 election is an interesting rebuttal to Peter Mair's notion that Western democracy is 'hollowing out'. In fact, after a couple of decades of hollowing, it seems that the British system is starting to grow bulk again.

This is the third time I've been able to vote, and the first election in which anything resembling actual analysis of the parties and candidates has seemed desirable/possible.

As far as I can make out, in my consitutency (Leyton and Wanstead), there are three choices:

1) Greens
2) Spoil me ballot paper
3) Labour

About which I am thinking thusly:

1) The Greens are tempting, but the candidate is a former The Bill actor called Ashley Gunstock. Not necessarily a beyond-the-pale transgression, I know, but it seems to chime with my impression of the party as a whole as bit middle-class and vacuous. The policies are pretty sound, even courageous. But do they have an inkling about the working-class vote in the North, Wales, etc? I'd say probably not, but please feel free to disabuse me.

2) Did this in the council/European elections. Also very tempting, and I don't have any underlying ethical qualms about it. In fact, anyone who tries to tell me ballot-spoiling is apathetic and nihilistic can fuck right off and vote Lib Dem.

3) Which leaves Labour. A few months ago I would have said not in a million years. But then the candidate in my consitutency is a member of the Socialist Campaign Group and Left Platform, and now there is this prospect of a Labour-SNP alliance, perhaps with the Campaign Group MPs holding some sort of balance of power ... Increasingly, this is looking like it might not be such a terrible option.

But can one really vote for a party that will put Ed Balls in charge of fiscal policy?

Why aren't the SNP standing in England?

What's a brother to do?

See, it's exciting.