According to Reuters, our Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has been briefing journalists with a prediction of an end to two-party politics.
He also said,
“By 2015 …. we will be presenting ourselves to the British people in a wholly new and different manner than before..”
Cleggy (or Mr Clegg as he’s known to his friends) didn’t expand on this point but numerous pundits have suggested that – for example – Chris Huhne may present himself in quarters, strung from a gibbet. David Laws would be borne aloft by 1000’s of students towards a bonfire of Laws’ expense claims and in respect of Cleggy himself, there has been talk of dancing from a lamppost: but as experts have pointed out, the coalition’s energy plans will phase out electricity well before then and lampposts will have been recycled; perhaps Cleggy’s wife could organise a discount on one of her redundant wind machines? (No, not you Vince).
But returning to the end of two-party politics, Cleggy said that the current coalition government had changed the country’s political landscape, which had in the past been dominated by the Conservatives and Labour and that issues which had in the past polarised society (and directed votes to just the two main parties) such as class division, communism versus capitalism and employers versus workers, were gone or dissolving.
“.. whatever the ups and downs of my party is [sic], I think the fundamental transmission mechanism in politics has changed for good..”
Well Cleggy old bean, predicting the past has never been a great skill. It has been obvious for some time that we no longer live in a two-party state: we now have a one-party state with barely a ha’porth of difference between your coalition and the last lot of nannying bullies.
You’re partly right about the cause and it’s a factor often overlooked and misunderstood. It has been brought about by the disappearance of the marxist division of capital versus labour – but only because it has been manipulated in a process of disenfranchisement that has seen the creation of numerous, in-fighting divisions on the labour side of the equation – women versus men, black versus white, indigenous versus immigrant, employed versus unemployed, private versus public, green versus commonsense, thin versus fat, progressive versus reactionary, non-smoker against smoker, the righteous against personal freedom; actually, the righteous against everything that gives pleasure; gay versus straight – all carefully orchestrated by the politicians on behalf of their corporate chums and stage-managed by the ever-compliant media.
But Cleggy, where you are completely wrong is in your claim that class division has disappeared and that we are no longer polarised. The classes are there but have changed thanks to the working class being riven by factions (we’re not fooled by the ‘we’re all middle class now’ mantra) and slowly reduced to serfdom. We’re constantly assailed by stories of division; already this week, we’ve had a slut walk devoid of all purpose but for the mindless berating of men, we’ve had one of your tame feminist academics attacking women who enjoy men’s chivalry and we’ve had parents who drink alcohol accused of turning their children into those nasty binge drinkers. It’s a never-ending diet of manufactured scares, rights and privilege to keep us at each others’ throats while you – aided and abetted by your politicised law and order – lie and cheat to take our country from us.
Admittedly, there are now just two classes: you and yours who have amassed all the money and power, and us, fragmented, who have none save for the illusion of democratic power – held in that false promise that we can change things through the ballot box.
Still, being almost right is a marked improvement, eh?