Monday 12 February 2024

Manifest Destiny?

Since the Labour manifesto has to be acceptable to the Conservative Party, then the two parties should produce a single manifesto, with the General Election held to decide which team the electorate preferred to have implement it. What would once have been that satirical proposition would now be eminently sensible, but for two flaws.

First, whichever party won would appoint the same individuals to the unseen, supposedly advisory positions that wielded real power, and perhaps even to Ministerial office; that is certainly going to happen in the next Parliament. And secondly, those of who did not want that programme could always vote for other candidates, even if, as in my own case, we ourselves had to be them.

Still, Labour and the Conservatives should do this. One manifesto, with the choice being as to which of them should give effect to it. In line with Conservative policy, that would require Labour to move its economic position sharply to the left, and to moderate significantly its support for Israeli military action while at least admitting the possibility of a future Palestinian state.

But when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.