I hate it when I’m right!

The other day I blogged about the lack of participation in the political process.  Last night those fears were confirmed as the Labour vote in the European elections collapsed to just 15%.  The map of British politics was changed last night with the Euro-sceptic UKIP coming second behind the Tories and the BNP winning two seats, the far right party’s first ever in a national election.

The BNP’s share of the vote didn’t go up, but the lack of support for Labour allowed them to win two seats in the north of England.

So it seems silence IS consent.  The problem is you don’t always know what you are consenting to.

As an aside, we were talking about the circumstances in which Scotland might vote for independence.  A Tory government and England winning the world cup were the perfect storm but I wonder how Wales voting Tory and England electing racists will play in the Scottish political arena?

3 thoughts on “I hate it when I’m right!”

  1. Thanks for this Stewart. What can I say … As a UK citizen who lives abroad I get more and more irritated by the phrase “in Europe” The UK is in Europe. We become detached from the political process at our peril a VERY sad day for Britain – will it be a wake up call, I doubt it – we’re all too busy pointing the finger at those nasty politicians we love to hate so much.
    Just as well we other ordinary folk are such perfect human beings eh …
    Sorry I attempt not to rant and then … rant …

  2. A couple of points I think are worth making:
    1. Whenever there is a recession, the extreme parties gain popularity – the rise of fascism in Germany is the canonical example – so it’s not purely a matter of lack of turnout. Hopefully “Europe” doesn’t become the UKs Treaty of Versaille…

    2. The country as a whole seems, to me at least, to be increasingly distrustful and disinterest in politics as a whole, and also with Europe. People don’t understand the political process, and they don’t know or care about their politicians. In our increasingly individualistic society, people are mostly interested in what it means for themselves, and in the short term, rather than having a long-term, community view. How we go about addressing this is probably one of the key issues for the survival of the political process in this country.

    I did suggest that maybe we should replace the current voting system with some sort of televised, reality-show phone-in vote. “Britains Got Politics” or “Politician Idol” would probably get a better turnout all-round….

  3. “The BNP’s share of the vote didn’t go up”

    It most certainly did. From 4.91% of votes cast in England, Scotland & Wales in 2004, to 6.23% in 2009

    Their total votes also went up, despite the fact that turnout was down. In 2004 they got 808,200 votes, and in 2009 they got 943,598.

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