Saturday, 9 May 2015

Who won the election?

Well who'd have thought we'd all get it so wrong. I was convinced that a taste of coalition compromise which seemed to work would enable the electorate to be even more bold in following their own preferences. But in the aftermath one hears on the media time after time, people explaining why they voted against lifelong or instinctive preferences for either the Tories or the SNP. Perhaps Jim Murphy was right about the Scottish scene when he said that people voted SNP thinking they'd get Labour, moderated by the SNP. (Italics mine). But if Scottish voters thought they could trust the SNP better, then perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that the English felt the same about not quite trusting Labour.

I think many of us feel really sorry for all those committed, principled and hard working MP's who lost their seats. The Labour toll in Scotland and the Lib Dem toll across the country has indeed been wounding. I'd like to see both parties come back from the ground up as it were, and I fervently hope that at least one of them will commit to something that we the elctorate desperately want to see: openess, transparency and honesty. Politicians who will answer questions directly, succinctly and honestly, who will call a stupid or provocative question just that, and tell us things as they really are. For example, I'd like to know things like how much money the NHS in Scotland costs at the moment, and how much is being proposed to spend in the next year, and rough menu of things which the additional spend could buy. I'd like to be told, "No, the public can't get this, this and that from the current funds available for NHS/Education/Welfare spend. If we want to do this this and that, we'd need extra cash and this is exactly how we as a party would like to get that cash." Wouldn't that be refreshing? I'd like to see the opposition party leader at question time refusing to get into a public school type verbal brawling match, and instead give the leader opposite credit for doing good things, and ask questions that were not designed to discredit the other party but simply to gain information.  Surely one of these broken parties could not only reinvent themselves, but reinvent how we do politics too? That would get my vote.

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