Lord Tebbit first. He is saying today that basically people as individuals will generally not understand every facet of every issue in the run up to a General Election, but invariably the British public, irrespective of party political associations have usually returned the right decision in elections, including on four occasions since World War 2 a Parliament that is reliant on coalitions. In fact here is what Lord Tebbit says:
The thought of that brought back to my mind some of the studies by animal behavioural scientists of bees and ants. The brain power of a bee is pretty small and that of an ant even less, yet the hive or the nest seems to be capable of taking far more complex decisions than any of its members. The behaviourists call it “swarm intelligence” and I often wonder if electorates enjoy the same ability.
Not very many individual electors understand quantitative easing, the risks and benefits of early cuts in public expenditure or increases in taxation, or the merits of Blair’s wars. Some may say the same of Members of Parliament, of course – but, whatever the arguments, we ask the electorate to take a decision comprised of judgments on a mass of matters outside their individual competence, and time and time again that electorate delivers a reasonably sensible judgement. Looking back over the last 65 years and 17 general elections, it would be hard to say that any of those results were irrational however much one might have wished that they had gone the other way. On four occasions, 1950, 1964, February ‘74, and October ‘74, the elections led to an indecisive outcome, and it could be well argued that so too would the election of 1951, but for the quirkiness of our system.
Looking at those indecisive results, it seems to me that the swarm intelligence of the electorate was in fact telling the politicians that the choice they were being offered was not one they could be reasonably asked to make. A good example was Heath’s February 1974 question: “Who governs?”
I had said THIS about a week ago:
And it all leads up to what I have written in the past and have more polling on today that people are looking to engineer a hung Parliament because we ain't happy with what's on offer and do not wish to grant any party 5 years.
As implied, this is a recurring theme; People are not happy with what Labour has done and just as importantly the wisdom of crowds seems to me in my conversations to be pointing to the desire for a more traditional Conservative offering. On the economy people actually do want big cuts, they are fed up of paying for a bloated public sector, and want some tax relief. On the EU people are actually taking notice of what is going on, but my take is there is generally no agreed mechanism that everyone sees for which to issue a protest, other that the token offering of the EU elections which even if there were an all UKIP return to the E U Parliament would not really affect the course of how the EU controls us. And more recently I am not detecting any support for the Union and Cabin Crew actions at BA, and I work quite close to Heathrow.
The feeling is that the Private Sector (to which I earn my salary from) is that we took our medicine and made the cost savings needed over a year ago when the credit crunched. The highly Unionised Sectors have been slow and have not had to make the same cuts. The Public Sector has since grown on increased borrowing and low tax yields. So, as far as me and my chums in the productive sector are concerned, were paying for the public sector and want it reduced massively in size, because we are sick of paying for it and as far as the Cabin Crew of BA goes, it seems that you were on a very cushy deal especially looking at your industry, grow up and accept that you are damaging your company to protect an overly generous set up. If a business cannot operate in profit then there will no jobs because the company will fold. Cuts must be spread.
If Mr Tebbit were a little younger I think there would be calls for his inclusion in a Conservative or Coalition cabinet.
Then I moved along and Daniel Hannan has posted a response to his UKIP supporting readers about why he remains in the Conservative Party.
What I’d ideally like – and what I assume my UKIP readers also aspire to – is a situation where UKIP no longer needs to exist: where it can award itself a medal and retire with honour, job done. Obviously, we’re not at that point yet. But I worry that every activist who deserts the Tories for UKIP is retarding the prospects of a Euro-sceptic Conservative Party without taking his or her energies to an alternative party of government.
I realise that I won’t have convinced my UKIP critics with one short post. But I would urge you to ponder one thing. Eventually, the issue will have to be settled in a referendum. If we are to win that referendum, we shall need the support of people on the Left, people on the Right and people in the Centre. UKIP won’t win on its own. So when you come across people in other parties who believe in British independence, don’t snarl at them, or tell them that their support is worthless unless they join UKIP. Encourage them.
Which neatly brings me to… and don’t groan… the Albion Alliance.
Daniel Hannan is of course right that UKIP will not be winning this election, and that UKIP are generally a good bunch who have been driven to UKIP generally because of their understanding of the EU situation. I have been to a few marches and rallies where the turnout is predominantly UKIP, and this is a knowledgeable collection of people who hold a frankly stunning amount of EU Legalese in their heads ready to quote in any conversation. UKIP are a party borne out of an intellectual argument rather than reactionary urges. Thus UKIPers are generally quite polite and open to others opinions. I have never met a UKIPer how was not armed with wealth of information and ready to politely debate policy on any issue to help win over others to their position.
We need a referendum to exit the EU now, and with Lisbon we have passed the point where an “amicable divorce” would be available. By supporting people of others parties who are prepared to say before an election that they too will support that referendum effort we can urge people to vote for people who share the same aim on what many of us consider the greatest of electoral issues and by doing this we can get people into Parliament who are not afraid to make the EU the debate.
Hannan and Tebbit may not have said exactly what I am saying, but we would appear to be of a similar mind in terms of direction. So I only hope their views can resonate more clearly through the halls of the Tory headquarters.
Anyway. Back to the football.