Early ’90s flashback

The pub was packed to the gills with people, who had just finished work, but wanted to jeer at the ultimate blood-sport. My pal and I assessed the odds: I settled on an inky stout, he bought a large whiskey. The first exit poll conducted by Ipsos Mori was announced at 10 PM on Thursday night. The results came as a shock to seasoned observers, who had been expecting a close race. The night was filled with encounters of engorged Tories, disgruntled Lib Dems and one teary-eyed Labourite. By Friday morning, the worst was practically confirmed and the exit poll … Continue reading

The New Ted Heath

If the Financial Times has it right, the centre-left is on course to win Britain’s general election. According to the erstwhile pink tabloid, it all comes down to math. Statistics show that a Labour-SNP government has a 32.5% of victory, whereas the governing Tories lag painfully behind, at 0.39%. If true, it’d be a spectacular drubbing. What gives? The answer, in no uncertain terms, would come down to leadership. For a long time, David Cameron has painted himself as a “moderniser” of the old nasty party. Really this just means Cameron is socially and economically liberal in the classical sense. … Continue reading

Tony Benn – He Encouraged Us

You’ve all heard it said. It is one of the leading cliches in politics: the older one gets, the wider one’s waistband expands, and the more conservative one becomes. There are notable exceptions to such sad cases that affirm this dictum of aging reactionaries. One such prominent case was Tony Benn, who started out as a mainstream Labour politician of the social democratic post-war establishment, only move further to the Left as he passed through Parliament and more than one Labour cabinet. The only thing startling about the old man was that he was ever a banal centrist. The praise … Continue reading