OK (or rather not) I got it wrong. So did the polls, the pundits and the nation which will love to regret the day when frightened by Tory created fear of Scots, of Miliband, of Labour, it decided to cling to nurse and do what it usually does : give a first term government another chance no matter how badly they've done.
Now everything depends on Cameron. Hitherto a weak leader bending into whatever policies and positions his party pushed him and doing brilliant PR for every neo liberal folly Osborne forced on him. Now he's the master but he's no longer got the Liberals as coalition partners to protect him. So will he lead his party away from austerity and cuts and towards community and fairness or will he be pushed by the resurgent right into theologies of revenge and more neo liberal follies.?
First signs are bad. Reviving the failed redistribution to rig the electoral system to the Tories,"English votes for English rhubarb"and talk of benefit cuts which will become more painful as the economy slows. Now he has to show whether he's the liberal one nation Tory he set out to be or just a PR man for anything.
But I can't escape the fact that the first election I've not been able to predict because it looked so close has turned out a total disaster for Labour for all the hopes we had for better and, I believe, for the nation which voted for a future of low wages mean benefits and increased unfairness and inequality.
The exit poll which I first denied made this clear so the question is whether all the polls up to that point were wrong or was there some unexpected and belated move to the Tories in the last days..
It must be the latter, a belated stiffening of resolve to vote Tory by those either considered unlikely to vote ( and the poll was slightly up) or the fact that the Tory scare about the Scots finally worked on the weakly committed.It was the Scots wot did us though we also lost support in England cos we didn't offer hope and Ed didn't command confidence
So unexpectedly habemus papa. No negotiations.All the expensive structures erected on Collage Green can be dismantled. Boris has five years to wait. Forests have been turned into pamphlets in vain. All my prophecies were wrong.Thousands of party workers have tramped the streets in vain
It's fairly normal for a new government to be given a second chance and the Tories offered so many promises that people might have begun to believe that the policies were working so they would stop the cuts and offer more in their second term by reverting from grad grind economics to an older version of one nation Toryism.
They could and they may but that would involve moving Osborne and giving up on his programme of rolling back the state and I doubt whether Cameron has the strength to do that.
In which case the proper policy is to harry the bastards because there are so many policies which will blow up in their faces. This isn't a real substantial recovery. They can only create one by building houses on a big scale, investing and boosting manufacturing and only the state can do that.
We have a Balance of Payments deficit which amounts to 6% of GDP and a fiscal deficit of about the same level.They'll not get either down without boosting productivity which is lagging .All their promises are predicated in the recovery getting stronger. It's tailing off. They'll not get enough concessions from the EU to offer a new deal so he'll have to commend membership and split his party by so doing. Th NHS needs more money now. How can he offer it without boosting borrowing?
So the job of the Opposition is to harry the bastards to force them to live up to their promises not to fall apart and argue among themselves over what Labour should propose. The policy offering in 2015 was OK so there's no use preaching a return to Blairite vacuity but the electorate didn't feel that things were so bad as to justify it. As things get worse they will be. So don't chuck it all overboard and start again because things are going to get harder, not better.
So don't be demoralised by defeat. Wait and attack. The majority is small and will fall apart. Cameron is a chameleon and can be pushed by his fractious party to anything They're festooned with promises they can't fulfil and will burn out before the term is up. All that makes it daft for Labour to change leader and policies now. Ed should have stayed on to let someone else to emerge. He didn't.
So all I can do is offer to put the plinth of platitudes in my garden and let the wisteria grow on it and suggest that we elect Yvette Cooper. And harry the bastards in the way that they harried us in 1951 and we harried them under John Major. Support will come back to us as people realise what a mistake the result was. They'll lose by-elections and split on Europe so wear them down
In he meantime don't be young, don't be a woman, don't be a northerner, low paid or a Scot..Don't need early hospital treatment or expensive drugs and don't try to get yourself educated or depend on libraries, children's' centres or sports facilities or hope for a mortgage or buying a house. Hibernate. Or get seriously rich.
I must go to bed. I'm exhausted. Socialism is a Sisyphean labour but one from which there's no retirement.