Cameron and Osborne's chance to reshape British politics

Written by Peter Bingle on 24 May 2015 in Opinion
The implications of the Tory election win are becoming clear and they are seismic in their importance for the body politic. 

As long as I can remember every general election has been termed critical or decisive yet most of them in reality have not been that important.

Maggie's victory was important because it signalled the end of the cosy post-war political consensus between Labour and Tories in which the state and increased public spending was the solution to every issue. It created the political context in which the SDP was created and forced Neil Kinnock to take on and reform his own party.

Major's surprise win in 1992 was not a decisive political event. It merely postponed by five years the election of a Labour Leader who would never have been elected by his own party if it had not been for Maggie and her radical brand of Toryism. Blair may now be despised by his own party and left of centre commentators. The simple fact is, however, that he recreated his party and made it electable.

Blair's victory in 1997 was important because it signalled a new form of politics. For ten years the Labour Party occupied the political centre ground. There was nowhere else for the Tories to go but to the right and political irrelevance. In his time Blair was a formidable political operator.

The 2010 election was a triumph for losers. All three party leaders fought a terrible campaign and the public rightly decided to trust none of them with an outright win. In deciding to join the coalition, however, Nick Clegg unwittingly signed his own party's death warrant.

The 2015 election was a watershed because for once the voters were offered a real choice. Ed Miliband's policy agenda was uncompromisingly left wing not just in tone but also in terms of policy detail. Had he won it would have bee very difficult for there ever to be another Tory government.

The Tories offered in most part a genuinely right wing policy agenda. Tax cuts, deep public spending cuts and rewards for those folk who work hard and save. A smaller enabling state encouraging individuals to aim for the stars and helping them to get there.

The implications of the Tory win are becoming clear and they are seismic in their importance for the body politic.

The Labour Party has imploded. Within minutes of Labour's defeat becoming clear the daggers were being plunged into the still warm corpse of Ed Miliband. Rather than spend time understanding why they have lost they have embarked on a leadership election campaign in which all four contenders are political nobodies and completely unelectable. Les McCluskey's boy Andy Burnham will win. Enough said!

Scotland is lost to the Labour Party for at least a generation. The political shifts which destroyed Scottish Labour were clear to everybody apart from the party's figureheads, who remained oblivious to the changing landscape post last year's independence referendum.

The Liberal Democrats can now fit into two taxis. They are destroyed and it is hard seeing how they will return as a serious political force. If they elect Tim Farron as their next leader it will never happen! Their only hope is Norman Lamb.

It has been observed that in most political parties after a bad election defeat the leader is sacked. In UKIP it is all very different - the leader survives and sacks everybody else! Once the referendum had happened what is left of UKIP will become totally irrelevant.

So the Tory Party now has the chance to reshape the body politic in its own image. Boundary changes will rebalance the current unfairness in boundary sizes. The chancellor will deliver the tax and spending cuts to mobilise the middle and aspirant working class at the next election. Crucially the benefits of the austerity years will be obvious to everybody. It paves the way beautifully for the Tories to fight the next election with George Osborne as PM ...

There is also now a real opportunity for the Tories to become the political voice of aspirant Blue Collar workers. If they pull this off the electoral benefits will be substantial.

The big Tory loser on 7th May was Boris. A Tory majority means he has no obvious role over the next four or five years. Why didn't he stay at City Hall and win a third term as Mayor of London?

This year's election really was a watershed political event. If you don't believe me have a chat with the wise heads in the Labour Party. They know just how much trouble they are in.



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