Happy Birthday To Us: Allthatsleft is 4 Years Old

by George_East on November 22, 2014

birthday cakeHard to believe it really, but when we launched this blog the coalition was only 6 months old.   We are now less than 6 months to the next election and for the blog being able to change its strapline to: ‘the blog that survived the coalition’. Unless of course, as there is every possibility, the coalition continues beyond May 2015.

The marked change in the last 12 months is that the political outlook has got significantly darker. For, whatever the ineptness at times and complete absence of others of the Labour Party for the first three years of the coalition, those of us who followed the numbers could take comfort in a few things. Firstly that the Tories’ poll ratings were worse and seemed to flatline whatever the government did or didn’t do, secondly that the need for the Tories to have a 7 point lead for a majority and a 3 point lead to be biggest party made the numbers game reassuringly difficult for them. And finally the Lib Dem defectors to Labour (those who had agreed with Nick in 2010 but who got buyer’s remorse as soon as he went into coalition with Cameron, Osborne et al) were solid and that therefore provided Labour kept its 2010 vote, those Lib Dem defectors were highly likely to be enough to mean that Labour would at least be the biggest party.

What a difference a few months make. The law of unexpected consequences happened in Scotland. Where the biggest losers of the referendum vote turned out to be the Scottish Labour Party, with the SNP now utterly dominant and looking likely to sweep aside Labour from much of its heartlands.   From the other end of the spectrum pessimistic traditional white working class voters have flocked to UKIP, as the much expected fade in their support as the 2015 election neared has turned into quite the opposite – the smugness that this would essentially be a Tory problem has long gone. Finally those Lib Dem defectors who were solid have (along with disillusioned younger and middle class leftie voters) begun to drift to the Greens as Labour’s timidity has left them despairing.   The consequence of all of this is that Labour look like a party who are dying as a national force rather than a party about to be swept into government.

Elsewhere things haven’t been much better. In the US the nutters are firmly back in charge in Congress, as the Republicans comfortably re-took the senate (such that it is pretty hard to see how the Democrats take it back in 2016) and increased their majority in the House to their strongest position since the 1920s. Meanwhile the Eurozone continues its deflationary spiral and Japan finds itself back in recession.   And for the first time since the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 we have seen liberal democracy begin to fall out of favour in parts of Europe – with both Turkey and Hungary moving towards a Russian model of authoritarian capitalism, with a veneer of voting.

So, not much good news about, that’s for sure.

Here at the blog, we’ve had our quietest period following Charlie East-West’s sabbatical, as he had become our most prolific poster. We are optimistic about the prospect of his full return before the election, but we shall see.   I think the fall off in posting has been a result both of busyness with other life stuff but also a bit of reflection of just how shit things out there seem at the moment.   Optimism is inspiring.   As of now there just doesn’t seem to that much of it about.

Hopefully, over the next few months we will re-find some of our mojo and the posting will increase again. You will also hopefully see the return of some features which have fallen off: Album Collection, A-Z of World Politics etc, as we get back into the rhythm of things.

Anyway we made it to 4 years, boys, and that is worth celebrating with you our readers. Here’s hoping that by our 5th birthday we are bitching at a government of the centre left rather than the shower of shits who are currently in charge.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mike Killingworth November 23, 2014 at 10:33 am

First things first: well done to all of you.

As to the upcoming election, you may just be old enough to remember 1983. I remember it well. And I predict that next May will be even worse for Labour. After its drubbing, the Party will have to look at how to find a way (and, alas, a personality) to hold together its wonky coalition of trade unionists, ethnic minorities and metro-lefties. And then, without losing any of them, reach out to the “middle ground”. A middle ground that has changed – in 1983 the Alliance still thought politics was about economics, as did their opponents. To-day UKIP knows that they’re about something else, at least in part.

Nor can any government to-day even attempt to deliver social justice. The deficit – £5,000 per household per year – sees to that.

The only ray of hope will come from Brighton Pavilion, where Caroline Lucas will easily hold her seat.

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