Thursday, 5 May 2011


Margaret Thatcher (yah boo hiss) once famously said, when implementing her misbegotten and nasty neo-liberal capitalist financial policies that "There Is No Alternative". Of course, as enny fule kno, there was, and her policies buggered everything up for a lot of people and set the scene for the financial crisis of 2007/2008 (deregulation etc), while making things better for a few people who were already pretty well off. Her successors are doing the same today, claiming that there is no alternative to the cuts in public expenditure, which will disproportionately affect those who can least afford it and who had least to do with the causes of the financial crisis. Meanwhile, the bastards in the financial markets who are to blame are protected and are getting richer all the time.
However, today we are being offered the chance of an alternative of sorts through the referendum on electoral reform. The Alternative Vote system is not the best, and it won't necessarily produce better representation for the electorate as a whole. But it is a step in the right direction and better than the existing First Past The Post system. In 1979, when Thatcher came to power, the Tories got 43% of the votes from a 76% turnout so only 33% of the elctorate voted for Thatcher's government; not quite the mandate she claimed to have. In 2010, the Tories got 36% of a 65% turnout which is only 23.5% of the electorate voting for Cameron's government. Definitely not a mandate for the current wave of half-baked, misconceived and doctrinal economic and social policies being inflicted upon us.
Moreover, given that David Cameron, the British National Party and the Foxhunt Association (amongst others) are against any change and that the 'No' campaign has been funded chiefly by the financial sector, I think we can see who will benefit from keeping the present system and who fears any change.

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