Saturday, 7 May 2016

THE RECENT UK SUB-NATIONAL AND LOCAL ELECTIONS

Sign of the times: London's new mayor.

by Colin Liddell

Earlier this week a number of elections below the UK state parliamentary level were held in Britain. This included elections for the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, some local councils, and the mayor of London.

Usually midterm elections favour the chief opposition party, which in this case is the Labour Party, with its recently-elected leader, the extreme Leftist, Jeremy Corbyn. This time they didn’t. Instead of winning hundreds of council seats as is usual, Labour actually lost a handful, as well as control of one council Dudley in the West Midlands (population 312,900 – 93% White).

Following the party's general election defeat in 2015 and the resignation of Ed Miliband, Corbyn was the choice of activists both within the party and the trade unions, which both finance the party and have a big say in electing its leader. Activists, of course, compete with each other in purity spirals that push their party increasingly to extremes if not countered in some way.

Corbyn is not the choice of the normal Labour voters who, quite honestly, can’t be bothered giving up television watching time or long cosy evenings in the pub to ensure their unions and party don’t swing too far to the Left. He is also not the choice of the MPs, those who rely on the voters for their comfortable positions.

Feel the Jerm'.
The Dems in the US, of course, have a similar problem, which is why they created the Super Delegate system to counteract this inbuilt tendency away from electability. In both the case of the Labour Party and the Democratic Party, the elites are having trouble steering their parties to their electable sweet spot, somewhere in the centre.

Interestingly, centre right parties have an opposite tendency, with a natural drift towards populist right wing policies and electability being stifled by leaderships that seeks to keep then in their unelectable sour spot, also somewhere in the centre.

But back to the UK elections, Labour did poorly for an opposition party at this point of the political cycle, but not too badly. Where they did do badly was in the Scottish parliamentary election. The Labour Party, once so dominant in Scotland, was destroyed by the SNP, which, as in the 2015 UK Parliamentary election, drove it out of all the constituencies of Glasgow, a city once known as “Red Clydeside.” Now only three of the 73 Scottish constituency seats have Labour members.

The reason for Labour's collapse in Scotland is simple. For Scottish people, the old Labour Party always had a dual appeal, first as a socialist party and secondly as a covert nationalist or civic nationalist party in opposition to the overly South-of-England Tory party. Following its leftward swing in the 1980s and 90s, the SNP was able to move in on Labour’s niche in Scotland, giving voters a soft socialist and more overtly civic nationalist choice that had greater appeal. A third factor that emerged was the SNP’s ability to keep Tory governments in London at bay by threatening the break-up of the UK.
Essentially the SNP evolved to out-compete the Scottish Labour Party in its ecological niche. 
A sure sign that the SNP has now supplanted the Labour Party in Scotland was given by other results. While there was a swing from Labour to the SNP, there was also a swing from the SNP to other parties – in particular the Scottish Conservative Party, which actually replaced Labour as the chief opposition. This represents the re-emergence of the traditional right-left division in Scottish politics, following the revolution of the SNP displacing Labour.

The SNP has become the chief embodiment of Scottish Leftism, with the Scottish Greens positioning themselves to pick up radical leftist support, and thus further draining the Labour pool. As we saw in the 2015 UK general election, this has an interesting effect on English voters, who become less willing to support the prospect of a Labour government if it looks like it will be dependent on coalition support from the SNP, a situation in which the SNP would have undue influence in the UK parliament. This makes it much harder for Labour to gain power at the UK national level.

While the SNP has more or less completed the destruction of the Labour Party in Scotland, in Wales Plaid Cymru the civic nationalist party there is pushing in the same direction, another trend that will undermine Labour's ability to ever again win in the UK parliament. Labour’s Welsh vote fell by around a fifth and Plaid Cymru made inroads into Labour’s South Wales heartland, capturing the Rhonda Valley, an iconic Labour area.

Help me Rhonnda: Socialist heartland with 
disillusioned Labour voter in foreground.
Whether Wales will follow Scotland's lead is not yet clear and is complicated by other factors such as greater Anglicization of certain areas of the country and the emergence of UKIP, who won seats in the Welsh Assembly after nabbing 1/8th of the vote.

The main "bright spot" for Labour was the party’s victory in the London Mayoral election, but this will actually turn out to be a rather dark spot. London "going kebab" is actually bad for Labour for three reasons:
  1. It reminds British voters of the basic reality, namely that London already became a majority non-British city. Having a well-spoken, Eton-educated Jew, the Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith, running the city would have served to obfuscate this salient fact. Sadiq Khan as mayor will only highlight it.
  2. It helps to define Labour as an increasingly non- and anti-White party, only able to triumph in the more "diverse" and "enriched" areas.
  3. It intensifies the clash in the Left between Jews and Muslims. This was obvious in the campaign, which centred on laughable accusations of anti-Semitism made by the Jewish Labour MP John Mann against the former Labour mayor Ken Livingstone. There are signs that Jewish voters are increasingly uncomfortable with a party that panders increasingly to Muslims and which views Israel, through the party activist lens, as an aggressive White ethnostate. Interestingly, the Scottish parliamentary constituency of Eastwood in South West Glasgow, home to a large percentage of Scottish Jews, was one of the odder results of the night. Rather than going from Labour to SNP like other Glasgow constituencies, it went from Labour to Conservative! Part of this was probably due to the alienation of the Jewish vote, combined with its reluctance to swing behind even a civic nationalist party.
The most disappointing aspect of any election in the UK is the tenacity with which the Northern White working class cling to a Labour Party that obviously despises them and seeks their replacement with other races. This pattern became painfully obvious in the wake of Rotherham. As we see in Scotland and Wales, civic nationalist parties can effectively target this kind of vote. But England's case is different.

Still (sex)slavishly voting Labour.
For class and regional identitarian reasons, these voters are unlikely to abandon Labour for the Conservative Party. The old BNP, however, was actually well designed to target these voters, which was one reason the establishment decided to crush it by any means possible. Now the best option for eating into this Labour vote is UKIP, but UKIP with its libertarian origins and South of England ethos is hardly ideal. Their main successes in the recent elections came in the South of England and Wales, but there was also an advance in the Northern town of Hartlepool (population 92,590  – 98% White), where the party gained three more council seats to take their total to five out 33).

Perhaps as UKIP becomes increasingly localized in Northern areas, it may be able to make more substantial inroads, or else another party, like the British Democrats or Britain First (offshoots of the old BNP), will have to step in.

Next month we will have an even more important vote, the referendum on continuing to be part of the EU or not. It is hard to see how this election will influence that vote. Possibly London having its first Muslim mayor might strike a visceral, existentialist chord in the hearts of many Englishmen and boost the vote to leave this globalizing entity.


 

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