The Austin Mitchell Election Diary 2019. The Mating Game

Austin writes

“In the last two elections the Lib-Dems were rightly punished for their letting their desperation for self and place betray all their principles and helping to impose the disastrous austerity programme on Britain. Yet with that exception, recent elections have shown a clear trend to erode the traditional two party vote and boost the minor parties, though mainly in vote rather than seats.

“That trend will probably continue in this election as Liberal crimes are forgotten, the SNP dominates Scotland and Farage’s Brexiteers try to repeat their victory in the EU elections.

“Ours are now multi-party politics which could be worked with proportional representation as it has been in New Zealand but produces unpredictable results with First Past the Post which strengthens the big undermines the small and leads to tactical voting to try and escape from the trap.

“The result is more likely to be another hung Parliament rather than the clear majority British government and politics need to function properly. The only answer is for all parties to make it clear with whom they’re prepared to coalesce, cooperate or copulate with after the election to provide a government.

“This mating game is what happens in New Zealand where the result has been tough negotiations after the result but clear signals who will work with whom, something the electorate needs to come to sensible decisions. The result is coalitions which, though often strained as Jacinda Ardern’s is now, usually endure and provide a government which represents a majority of the population rather than one of the declining tribes or another.

“Yet Britain, though it’s not prepared to trust either major, doesn’t like coalitions, a mistrust boosted by Clegg’s disastrous crumble to the Tories in 2010. So instead of giving certainty and a real ability to choose, to the electorate we get a bugger’s muddle of scrambled egg “to go”.

“Indeed the minor Parties make unpredictability worse by refusing to reveal their proclivities. The Liberals’ head girl proclaims herself Prime Minister, says bollocks to 52% of the electorate and denounces both major party leaders as liars, knaves and generally unsuitable for Liberals to play with. The SNP thinks only of Scotland but will give its support to any party that will give them a referendum, which, being sane, neither will. The Brexit party wants a bigger Brexit than anyone else will (or can) give them. As for the Greens and Welsh Nats no one can be sure what they want, apart from a Vegan, Welsh speaking, government.

“All disastrous, undemocratic and insulting to the electorate. Parties which prefer purity to power should be in monasteries not politics. They condemn themselves to a futile role as a bucket for protesters to spit into, the system to impotence and the electorate to disillusionment and alienation. Those who won’t choose shouldn’t be chosen”.

Who could disagree? Meanwhile “lies are us” is the big news as “Labour voters should support Boris Johnson in the general election” says former Labour MP Ian Austin, who resigned from the party in February, accusing leader Jeremy Corbyn of failing to tackle anti-Semitism. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Mr Corbyn was “completely unfit” to be PM.

But Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said the comments were unsurprising as Mr Austin “Now works for the Tory party. What else do you expect him to do” he said, “When you are employed by the Tories you speak on behalf of the Tories?”.

In response, Mr Austin said it was “a complete lie” to say he was working for the Tories. He said he had been appointed by the government as a trade envoy, an unpaid role, in July “along with 27 other MPs and peers from different parties”. 

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