Sunday 25 June 2023

Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road

As he prepares for his farewell gig at Glastonbury tonight, I bring you the words attributed to Hilary Armstrong: "David Lindsay is just a fact of life. You may as well complain about Elton John." The same story is told in which she compared me to Rod Stewart, but it is perfectly possible that she said each to a different audience.

It is Hilary's Labour Party again now, so it has been briefing The Times that only 10 of its MPs were capable of being Ministers, meaning that it would have to appoint Peers to make up the difference. That would involve 90 or more ennoblements on the first day of a Starmer Government. But while there would probably not be that many, there would be more than enough to force even the Parliamentary Labour Party to face how stupid it had been to have insisted on Keir Starmer for Leader, to the point of having planned to secede from the Labour Party and to litigate for its assets if it had elected anyone else.

Scores of those people, the list of whom must already exist, would join the Labour Party on the same day as they joined the House of Lords, the Government, and in some cases the Cabinet. Well, why should they be the only people outside the two main parties who were considered for high office? Why should that not apply to elected representatives? There are those who want a hung Parliament so that the return of the Liberal Democrats to government might lead to something called "Proportional Representation", leading in turn, they assume, to permanent Cabinet seats for the Lib Dems.

But that did not happen last time. Instead, we got the austerity programme, and the war in Libya, the catastrophic consequences of both of which will be with us for the rest of our lives. A different electoral system need not necessarily have that result, anyway. And changing the electoral system is one of those issues where the arguments on both sides are rubbish, meaning that the case for change has not been made. Do not want a hung Parliament in the hope that it might lead to this, nor fear it lest it do so. Expect it, since it is coming, and prepare in earnest to make very good use of it.

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 I say again that 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.


  1. Amazing how little coverage that 10 MPs story is getting.

  2. Is someone going to put you in the House of Lords?

    1. That has been suggested three times before.

  3. More of a chance than Nadine