The results of our general election are just beginning to sink in, and the unholy mess that is left is taking time for me to establish some clear and coherent thoughts about.
The national swing from Labour to Conservative was clearly not enough for them to form a majority government. But this has also shown and highlighted the futile system we call First Past the Post (FPTP).
The Liberal Democrats have increased their share of the national vote by 1%, and yet they have suffered a net loss of 5 seats.
The Conservatives have increased their share of the vote by 3.8%, but they have gained a staggering 97 seats.
The final numbers break down as follows:
Tories: 36% of vote, 49% of the seats.
Labour: 29% of vote, 42% of the seats.
Lib Dem: 23% of vote, 9% of the seats.
The smaller parties who had previously had support have been decimated. The majority of UKIP candidates have lost their deposits, the BNP have been obliterated as their vote has disappeared and we now have a parliament where not a single Independent has a seat.
This runs counter to all the opinion polls, it runs counter to so much of the media, internet chatter and social media, and I fear that this outcome cannot be a rallying of support to the Conservatives only to ‘get Labour out’, something that clearly has not worked.
It is likely therefore that we will be left with Brown running a caretaker government for at least a week, before a final agreement emerges between Cameron and Clegg after a good deal of horsetrading and compromise on both their manifestos. This surely cannot be what people wished for when they placed their votes.
However, In the short term, given what we are left with, lets try to be positive about how they can move forward.
Short of a new election, which is not a viable option, my choice of outcome would be for Clegg & Cameron to have a brief dalliance, but on the understanding that they would be free to choose the very best of the crop from all parties to serve in a Stability Government, with a clear promise to call a new election within 12 months.
One of the strengths still left to such a Stability Government would be our ability to run our own economy, our own currency. They must take that strength, shun the EU if necessary & repatriate powers in order to strengthen Sterling, to strengthen the City of London, diminish the role of the state, tackle the deficit in a brutal manner, create the environment for a new and innovative private sector manufacturing base, not based on legislation created jobs but on fairer and lower taxation at the corporate and personal levels, and rebuild OUR private sector economy to a position of strength before the question of the EU comes back into the equation.
This would also allow a joint Con/Lib team to merge their Great Repeal Bill and Freedom Bill policies. This should also be extended to looking into repealing many of the growth debilitating EU regulations and red tape, especially in the areas of farming, energy, fishing and manufacturing.
They can do this by using the proven strengths of individuals already returned to parliament, and believe it or not I would support bringing in Alistair Darling under Conservative guidance as an effective Chancellor.
I do not believe he has been fully subsumed in Keynesian economics, and his more innovative attempts to stamp his own mark on the Treasury have always been stifled by Brown in the past, he is known to the international bodies that he will have to deal with, so no learning curve, and he has the experience in office that we would be stupid to simply throw away on the back of tribalism.
So my way forward out of this mess on a purely temporary basis is a Conservative/LibDem Stability Government, but by using selected Labour individuals I am most certainly not advocating a government of national unity, as that would almost inevitably lead to a one party state if left in place for too long.
Here would be my take on the top tier of a new cabinet.
Prime Minister – David Cameron
Chancellor – Alistair Darling
– Treasury Ministers Osborne, Cable
Home Secretary – Nick Clegg
Justice – Ian Duncan-Smith
Foreign Office – William Hague
BIS – Business – Kenneth Clarke
Defence – David Davis (Haltemprice & Howden)
and most importantly, repatriate any executive powers currently sitting in the House of Lords, with NO peers allowed inside the cabinet. If it is to have any legitimacy at all, this must be a government of the elected.
Forget the Federalists in this new cabinet. There must be a single aim in this coalition, The United Kingdom. Make it stable, build it strong and give it the ability to go back to the EU and International tables from a position of strength before calling new elections which should probably be held under a form of PR with equal access to the media for all those standing for election.
My thoughts will probably clarify further over the coming days as I travel to the North West for the weekend to meet with my other Albion Alliance colleagues, but for now a beginning.