Tuesday 28 April 2015


Since the parties have produced nothing which sets the election alight it's going to be decided by a basic thug to thug slugging match between the parties each recruiting its diminished vote on the old basic recruitment lines : middle versus working class, north versus south, rich versus poor. The gimmicks have failed and settled conditioning takes over bringing forward the old question of whose supporters are most likely to vote.

When people are confused about politics, as they certainly are now, they'll fall back onto conditioned reflexes. Most electors are programmed (though more weakly now than ever before) to one side or the other so if they're enthused or dutiful enough to get to the polls they'll vote that way, though probably in diminishing numbers on both sides. No sign there of the shy Conservative factor which is supposed to have produced a last minute surge to John Major in 1992.

Then there's the self interest pull. Wealth will always do its duty by the Tories because they do more than their duty to wealth. But the poor aren't necessarily so clear about their self interest and are less likely to vote while small business is usually blind to the fact that demand is always better under Labour than under the Tories because they see their self interest as served by cuts in tax and regulation rather than the prosperity of their customers.

Finally there's the traditional difference  between the possessed and the dispossessed. The Tories have lavished rewards on the possessed as house prices rose making home owners happy but those wanting houses miserable, while the dispossessed suffered from the cuts, the unemployment and wage freeze, and the general austerity. Here again an advantage to the Tories because the comfortable are more likely to vote while the uncomfortable find it more difficult to get their act together.

Any judgement of the past five years should be against the Tories because this Government has been a mess, wasting time and growth on a cruel and unnecessary austerity which has undermined the strength of the economy.

Any judgement on the present recovery should go to the Tories though they didn't produce it (the Bank of England did) and its not firmly based 

Any judgement on the future should go to Labour because the prospect of massive cuts which the Tories wont specify must be damaging to both the good society and  demand and investment in the economy

That's the choice. It's also the explanation of why the two major parties are running neck and neck and will do so right up to the wire, leaving the consequences of their indecision to be sorted out by the politicians.

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