As of this morning, the political landscape of Britain is strewn with dead politicians. Yesterday’s election was a rerun of the Wars of the Roses, the Civil War, the Jacobite rebellion, the Easter Uprising, the Troubles and an episode of East Enders all rolled into one. Brutal, barbaric, no-holds-barred internecine strife, huge casualties, obscure motives.
Who says we don’t still do bloody revolutions in Britain?
Today, the capitalists and stockjobbers and hedge-fund managers and yuppie bankers, financial fraudsters, Russian oligarchs, non-domiciled tax evaders and the obscenely profitable London estate agents are dancing a gavotte together in the streets. Wild euphoria reigns in the markets. The pound is up. The stock exchange is up. Bonuses are up. Prices are up. Food banks are up. The Health Service is busily privatising itself. Disabled workshy plebs with spare bedrooms are being herded into camps as I write. Champagne corks are popping in Cannon Street. Château Petrus flows in the gutters.
As late counting continues, the Conservative and Unionist party is within one still possibly gettable seat of a bare working majority in Parliament. They may actually have won an election, for the first time in decades. (Note to clueless foreigners: under our ‘first-past-the-post’ system, virtually every elected representative has a minority share of the overall vote in their constituency.)
No-one (except me) thought it would end like this. Once famous men (and the odd bit of Parliamentary tottie) have lost their well-padded seats, the length and breadth of the isles. The massive beast, Labour’s shadow Chancellor, a spluttering, chubby, pop-eyed individual called Balls, which he often spoke, has lost his.
Former ministers and shadow ministers: Lib-Dem treasury man Danny Alexander, someone else called Alexander, Jo someone, Ed someone else – the frequently misspoken Industry Minister Dr Cable; poor, sweet, softly-spoken Jim Thing, the former Defence Ministry man who stepped in bravely five months ago to lead the disintegrating Labour party in Scotland to victory, and many, many more Knights of Westministereth lie broken and bleeding on the field, the tattered camp-following harridans of the media picking over their corpses, ripping out their gold teeth and relieving them of their armour.
The Liberal-Democrat party has been decimated, punished for their unprotected adultery with the Conservatives. How life has changed for them in the five years since the tryst in the Number Ten rose garden. Now, they can once again all fit in a taxi, which is how they’ve always preferred it. Poor Nick Clegg, deputy Prime Minister, once the darling of the voters, who failed to prevent his doctrinaire Tory bedfellows from putting up fees in universities, something he foolishly promised would never happen, has resigned. Poor Nigel Farage (see Posts passim) has quit as UKIP stand-up, after failing to gain a seat.
Labour, too, has failed to capture enough key marginals, whatever, to look like a credible left-leaning government, the curse of the were-Blair has struck again. Poor Ed Miliband, 14¾, the surely never-electable Prime Minister and plasticine-figure Hampstead supergeek, who stabbed his better-looking and more grownup-sounding brother in the front to gain, however improbably, the leadership of the Labour party, has been told he’s resigned too. Make no mistake, this is a massive quake in the political landscape, bigger than Nepal.
In Scotland, the once-mighty Labour party has been utterly vanquished, and may never get up again. The Scottish Nationalist Party has wiped the board with them. In Wales, perversely, the once-mighty Labour party has secured a majority of the seats. The Welsh Nationalist party, Plaid Cymru, has managed to hang on to only three, the Lib-Dems one. In Northern Ireland, the sectarian DUP holds sway, offering to blackmail their Conservative allies into handing them more mainland taxpayer cash to bolster their rotting economy, in exchange for some helpful lobby support.
The United Kingdom is united no more. It’s all like some kind of fucking disaster movie, only no-one knows how it will end. It can only get worse. Cameron, the shiny-faced, ex-PR agency gopher and Old Etonian mini-millionaire, faces a major split in his party. He now has to embark urgently on many rounds of negotiations with foreigners, to deliver changes to our EU membership terms more favourable to the bankers and the anti-immigration loonies.
If he succeeds, okay, but if he can’t bring back a blank piece of paper from Brussels promising peace in our time, he’s a dead duck too – the English will vote in 2017 to leave the EU, the Scots Nats will be forced to hold another independence referendum to keep their mini-state in Europe, the whole postwar European project and the Union of British principalities forged in 1707 will fall apart.
In the meantime, we await Grexit – the destabilising exit of Greece from the Eurozone, and possibly thereafter from the EU – followed probably by the expulsion of the neofascist dictatorship currently emerging in Hungary – and the subsequent invasion of the Baltic states by a newly resurgent, militaristic Russia – with bated breath.
May you live in interesting times, indeed.