Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Leaps and Bounds

The plans for how to determine the new constituency boundaries have crept out, with rather more caveats than might have been expected, or than will please many in Cameron's increasingly discontented party. The Lib Dem interest certainly looks likely to be protected. "Fair votes"? Did someone say "fair votes"? However, the Lib Dems may very well find themselves with a mathematically necessary Berwick & Berwickshire seat straddling the Border. Good news for those of us who hold that the law should require seats to straddle the United Kingdom's internal borders wherever possible. Labour is going to be hammered, losing huge numbers of seats in the ex-industrial North, on Clydeside, and especially in South Wales.

Meanwhile, Conservative backbenchers, who would probably tell you that they were on the Right, are making trouble over AV. Why? Don't they want a provincial, rural, protectionist, church-based, conservative, mind-our-own-business party to be able to survive and thrive apart from the metropolitan, urban, capitalist, secular, libertarian, make-the-world-anew party? Or have they managed to convince themselves that the latter is the Tory position? Of course, it is no such thing.

Some backbench Labour resistance may come from the traditional Left, such as there still is. Economic Marxists have disappeared as cultural Marxists have taken over. But it may also come from the even fewer who still stand in the tradition that massively predominated among Labour MPs until the campus sectarian Left took over. And don't those brave survivors want a party in which an absolute commitment to the Welfare State, workers' rights, trade unionism, the co-operative movement, consumer protection, strong communities, conservation rather than environmentalism, fair taxation, full employment, public ownership, proper local government, a powerful Parliament, and a base of real property for every household to resist both over-mighty commercial interests and an over-mighty State, is precisely a no less absolute commitment to any or all of the monarchy, the organic Constitution, national sovereignty, civil liberties, the Union, the Commonwealth, the countryside, grammar schools, traditional moral and social values, controlled importation and immigration, and a realistic foreign policy? I do.

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