Monday, 18 April 2011

Revisionism, AV and the cretinous Tories

Osborne and Gove may be more slappable, but "Dave" makes me cringe.  His current pilgrimage through the client media (planet Rupert, the "Evening Standard" and other sycophantic Andrex substitutes) to promote his "gut feeling" (typed "git" but decided although deeply Freudian this ought to be corrected) that AV is somehow un-British.  We're bound to get the Major imagery soon, including cricket, evensong and spinsters flogging prescription ketamine to illegal immigrants.

It's intriguing that Vernon Bogdanor (Toffee-Nose's ex-Politics tutor) is opposed to AV on the basis that it would not have changed many election results since 1945.  If you examine the ones where it might then they would probably have vastly improved British polity.  In 1951 Labour would have retained a working majority, keeping Churchill out in his dotage, and would have won in 1964 slightly more convincingly (this would have avoided the 1966 election).  The real clincher comes with the suggestion that 1992 would have resulted in a hung Parliament and avoided the five years of drift, sleaze and incompetence that Major presided over. 

All this is obviously counter-factual, but it demonstrates a degree of doublethink that would have had the genuine Blair (the Eric variety) applauding.

The idea that the electorate are too stupid not to be able to work out that they won't have to vote tactically and can instead send a genuine political message, while excluding their least-preferred candidates from their ranked choices, continues to astound me.  Do the "No" campaigners really think that we're more stupid than Australians or members of the Tory or Labour party (not to mention trade unions and other organisations) who happily use AV throughout their electoral processes?

The sight of Cameron and Prescott sharing a platform, except as the front and back of a pantomime donkey, would be enough to raise alarm bells.  Their arguments are specious - as much as their failure to differentiate between the Electoral Reform Society (the clue's in the name, numbskulls) which exists to promote Electoral Reform, and Electoral Reform Ballot Services, which is a commercial organisation running ballots using any system the client wants provided they are prepared to pay for it. 

I have no brief for AV in itself, although I shall enthusiastically vote for a change.  However, the combination of patronising snobbery, ignorance and sheer cant should encourage active support.  If we'd not had the electoral travesty last year then a reformist Coalition would have been a real possibility, and I can't face the prospect of the same options being presented at some point in the future.

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