Many will be confused about the result of last week’s UK local elections, won’t they? Yep, you see ALL the main parties have claimed “success”, and the non-mentally challenged amongst us know quite well that that just can’t be right, can it?
In all honesty, the only thing that really happened was the ‘not-unexpected’ completely collapsed of the UKIP vote [123 seats lost out of 126], which predominately helped the Tories. As was pointed out here in a post last year on by-election results, the UKIP leadership have managed to trash the brand, haven’t they?
The truth of the matter as well though, is that the Conservatives are really the only ones who surfaced last Friday with a spring in their step. You see, they were fearful of getting a real trouncing by Labour at these polls, and understandably so, eh?
They staggered unsteadily into this voting event having had quite some weeks and months of bad karma, which has included the ‘forced’ resignations of no less than 4 high-profile cabinet ministers [Damian Green Deputy PM (misleading about computer pornography: Dec), Amber Rudd Home Secretary (deportation targets: May), Michael Fallon Defence Secretary (sexual harassment: Nov), Priti Patel International Development Secretary (protocol breach on Israeli contacts): Nov)], their immigration policy on the ropes [due to thousands of legit (Windrush) Caribbeans being mistakenly treated as illegals], being defeated on BREXIT repetitively by an unelected House of Lords [in its quest to keep Britain in the EU], glaring shambolic inability of the Cabinet to agree about staying in or leaving the Brussels customs union, the party continuingly fractured by unrepentant Remainers, the Russian attempted assassination of a naturalised British citizen (and Russian daughter) in Salisbury, further chemical attacks by Assad on his civilians [prompting a massively expensive missile bombardment by UK on Syria in conjunction with the US and France], NHS in financial turmoil and with A&E departments failing widely, not to mention the ongoing legacy of last year’s dreadful Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, plus poor predicted growth figures showing that the UK’s economic growth has slumped dramatically in the first three months of the year, et al.
All that of course, came on top of nothing short of a disastrously failed skirmish with Labour in a General Election last summer (called foolhardily and unnecessarily by PM Theresa May). Furthermore, Labour had the bit between its teeth and was vocally confident of giving the Tories a bloody nose last week, and indeed rubbing their nose in it, by turning London politically red, and seizing control of the Conservative council strongholds of Westminster, and low council tax Wandsworth, and their top target Barnet. Oh yes, they did lose to Labour, Richmond, and Trafford, but that hardly represents the drubbing that Corbyn’s team had been predicting, did it? [Overall it turned out they suffered a net loss of only 3 councils but matched Labour’s popular vote].
Now, Labour are understandably putting a brave face on their lack-lustre, less than confounding, performance last Thursday, when they were widely expected to show potential by making progress towards reaching government – instead of a feast they ended-up by taking a few crumbs that had fallen from the table, didn’t they?
Most pundits have concluded that Jeremy Corbyn’s, his hard-left supporters’, and (party-within-a-a-party?) Momentum’s dream of securing the keys to Number 10 will simply prove to be a mirage and the outcome a night-terror. Perhaps Labour’s only bright beacon was taking Plymouth from the Conservatives? Nevertheless, that is equally concerning because it was a council win (in a ‘Leave’ stronghold), neither achieved by Corbyn’s brand of radical socialism, nor Labour’s ‘revised’ BREXIT policy (destroying its support in other BREXIT towns?), but solely by the naval shipyard town’s deep concerns about the effect on their community of Tory defence cuts, eh? Without doubt, Labour had unrealistic expectations, and they lost control of 3 councils and gained 3 in return SO NO OVERALL CHANGE– hardly what one would expect from a party heading for government when the Tories have been in power for 8 years, surely?
The LibDems, under their (new but ‘past-it’?) Leader Vince Cable, previously respected but now criticised, are claiming it is the beginning of the comeback – nobody of substance believes them though, do they? They indeed had a modicum of success, snatching Richmond, Kingston (as predicted), and South Cambridge from the Conservatives and gained some seats elsewhere (despite an overall swing against the party), but that might have been expected as it has tagged itself as the party that can scuttle BREXIT, so it appeals to the Tory diehard Remainers, doesn’t it?
And the insignificant these days, Greens under a joint leadership? What the hell is the party now? Who indeed is she or him? [well, Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley with just 8 councillor seats gained making 39 in total].
[A general conclusion might be that the voters don’t understand, nor give a damn about BREXIT prevarications, but just want the Government to get-on with it and deliver it as promised and on schedule next March, wouldn’t you say?]