Friday, May 8, 2015

British Election Results Spell Doom for Democrats in the U.S.

I'm surprised it wasn't on the front page of the print edition of The New York Times this morning. But I suppose there was some concern that the exit polling predicting a big win for the Tories wasn't to be trusted entirely. Well, that is all changed now, as Steven Erlanger and Stephen Castle trumpet in "David Cameron and Conservatives Get Majority in British Election" from the top spot on the Gray Lady's homepage:
LONDON — Prime Minister David Cameron and his Conservatives won a resounding victory in the British general election, with nearly complete results on Friday showing that the party had secured an overall majority in Parliament. 
The vote was a stunning disappointment for the opposition Labour Party and its leader, Ed Miliband, who had shifted the party away from the more centrist strategy it pursued in the late 1990s and early 2000s under Tony Blair. Mr. Miliband stepped down on Friday, opening up a new debate over the party’s direction. 
The result defied pre-election opinion polls that suggested a tight race between the Conservatives and Labour. It returns Mr. Cameron to 10 Downing Street for a second term, with enough seats in the House of Commons to act on his agenda without having to rely on support from smaller parties. 
He went to Buckingham Palace on Friday to be invited by the queen to form a new government.
Labour was nearly wiped out in Scotland by the surging Scottish National Party and did more poorly than pre-election opinion polls had suggested it would in the rest of Britain. Several of Mr. Miliband’s top lieutenants lost their seats.
The predicted final tally is 331 seats for the Tories out of 650, a stunning gain of 24 seats from the last election in 2010; stunning because the Conservatives have governed so diffidently, implementing unpopular neoliberal austerity that is au courant on the German-dominated Continent.

The "dead-on-arrival" Liberal Democrats were replaced as Britain's third party by the surging Scottish National Party (SNP). SNP ended up with 56 out of 59 seats in Scotland.

But nothing is more noteworthy than the complete collapse of Labour under Ed Miliband. Labour is predicted to end up with 232 seats, a loss of 26 seats from 2010. What makes this collapse so noteworthy is that it clearly augurs ill for the Democrats going into the 2016 presidential elections.

Labour and the Democrats are largely the same, led to the weakened, listing place they are today by the corporate-friendly leadership of Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

Miliband made all the right noises during the campaign. He attacked austerity, promised to raise wages and restore funding to National Health, much the same way that Hillary is mouthing the appropriate progressive words on income inequality and racial justice. But here is the thing: No one, only the most deeply-committed partisan, believes anything that Labour/Democrats say anymore. Everyone knows that once Labour/Dems take office and begin to govern the "people" they answer to are the corporations.

Is there any other way to interpret the election results in Britain?

Democrat bosses in New York City and Washington D.C. should take note and quickly implement a Plan B. SNP kicked ass because the party has no baggage and it stands for something that people want: independence from empire, broad equality and social spending.

Democrats should take a page from the GOP playbook post-2008 and do a "Tea Party makeover," except in this case the Dems need to swing sharply to the left. It is the only way to avoid disaster. Instead the Democrats are doubling down on the New Democrat corporate-friendly leadership of Hillary Clinton, a strategy that has placed the party at the edge of doom.

I bang my little toy drum on this page. The Democrats should beat a retreat from Clinton right now to avoid disaster -- unified government under a radically conservative Republican Party. That no change will be made, no Plan B implemented to avoid this onrushing calamity is amazing to me. Yet it is a sign of the times.


Look for Hippies vs. Punks tomorrow morning -- Black Flag's My War.


  1. Absolutely. Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were insinuated into their respective parties and sold out their constituency. In 1992 I got the sense that the people who run the country realized that they couldn't steer the country any farther into unrestrained international oligarchy with Bush. He was carrying lots of baggage. So what better than to get a Dem to pass Republican legislation (welfare reform, trade, militarizing the police et al)?

    The problem with steering the Dems to the left is that what was then the DLC now pretty much runs the party. Look at the kind of candidates that Debbie Wasserman Shultz keeps supporting through her little fiefdom. I suspect that both Clintons were recruited at some point early in their careers to serve their masters. Bill in Europe was probably ratting out anti-war people over there. I was always struck with the remarkable transition of Hillary from a Goldwater Girl to doing a summer internship with the law office that was defending the Oakland Black Panthers at the time. Both were in places where they could report back to authorities on dissident activity. A little later Hillary was a lawyer on the congressional Democratic Watergate staff, another valuable place to be to inform on what evidence the Dems did or didn't have on Nixon and, more importantly, the CIA. When Bill was the Arkansas governor he carefully ignored all those cocaine duffelbags that were being dropped on Mena (as did Asa Hutchinson, who was Bush II's first head of the DEA, who was the federal prosecutor in that corner of Arkansas who managed to miss all that coke too). I suspect that both of the Clintons were recruited to be the "liberals" in the shadowplay we call politics here in the US.

    The biggest obstacle to full-blown fascism is the people themselves and the innate sense of human decency, but when you aren't offered a real choice you end up looking to the margins. Read up on the Black Reichsfeher in Germany in the 20s and how they managed to eliminate the competition from far-left to center-right, leaving a clear path for Hitler et al. That's why Sanders is so important, and that's why I suspect something terrible will happen to him before the '16 elections. Obama was here in Portland yesterday to sell the latest trade deal, playing the same role as Bill did with NAFTA.

    I never give up hope completely, but I must say we are fucked.

    1. Obama in Beaverton was priceless. If he manages to get fast track through, and then TPP, I'm sure he'll have a fabulous presidential library but Congress and the White House will be lost to the Dems for a long time. Unless some maverick candidacy takes off, like Sanders or Jim Webb or someone who is not on the radar at present.

  2. I would steer you to Daniel Brandt, who had a very good essay on the Clintons during the "vast conspiracy" days in the 90s, but his "Namebase" and "Public Information Research" websites have been down and I haven't been able to track him down.

    1. I'll keep my eyes open for it. Also, thanks for the tip a few weeks back about the Rostilav Ishchenko article on The Saker's site. Tremendous!