Posted by The Futility Monster on January 2, 2011 @ 11:11
OK, so it’s hardly the return of the Futility Monster, here, but two posts in two days does mark something of a minor miracle. Even so, it’s unlikely to be repeated. Maybe I will try and write something at least semi-frequently. Maybe once a month or something.
But for now, more to get it down in writing than anything else, here comes my top 11 predictions for 2011.
- The AV referendum will pass. Call me a hopeless optimist, but I believe Ed Miliband will drag the Labour Party, kicking and screaming, behind the campaign as a show of his authority and capacity for “change”. This will encourage the Lib Dems to give it their full support. It will scrape home. Just.
- The “Other” 2011 referendum – in Wales – will also succeed, but with a larger majority in favour.
- Following that, Welsh Labour will win. But perhaps not as big as they will hope. I predict an extremely close finish, with them just falling below the magic 31 seats for outright majority control.
- The Scottish Nationalists will lose power in Scotland’s May general election, but they will only be replaced by an enfeebled Labour minority, who may struggle to find partners to get its legislation and budgets through.
- Meanwhile, in London, the Coalition will last the whole year, without too many hiccups, despite sluggish economic data.
- Somewhere during the year, the Liberal Democrats will hit another low in their post-2010 election opinion poll woes.
- In the post-May reshuffle, Nick Clegg will receive a real portfolio in a bid by David Cameron to shore up support for the coalition amongst demoralised Liberal Democrat MPs. Home Office, anyone?
- Also to boost the Lib Dems, House of Lords reform (defined here as anything 80% or more elected), will pass the Commons, but die a sad death in the Lords itself.
- Looking abroad, Silvio Berlusconi will finally reach the end of his woeful Prime Ministerial career. Having said that, his replacement will hardly be any better.
- Barack Obama will have a traumatic year: under fire from the hostile House of Representatives, a ceaseless war in Afghanistan, and unable to achieve anything of great significance. This will seriously damage him running into the pivotal 2012. And if that happens, expect Sarah Palin to run for the Presidency. Whether she gets the nomination, however, will have to wait till next year’s prediction…
- Finally, North Korea will come back to the negotiating table at long last. But will a deal be reached? Extraordinarily unlikely. Unless Kim Jong Il croaks it, and his son is, to everyone’s shock, slightly less of a lunatic than his father…
As for who wins this year’s Premier League, alas, it’ll be no one other than Manchester United.
Posted in Musings | Tagged: AV Referendum 2011, Barack Obama, elected House of Lords, House of Lords reform, Lib-Con coalition, Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, North Korea, predictions for 2011, Scottish Parliament election 2011, Silvio Berlusconi, US politics, Welsh Assembly election 2011, Welsh Assembly referendum 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Posted by The Futility Monster on May 29, 2010 @ 10:22
All shall bow before the Ermine!
Yesterday’s unveiling of the dissolution peerage lists has to be the last time we see this kind of thing happening.
The list is a veritable Who’s Who? of the failed, the disgraced, the defeated and the meddling ones who had decided they wanted to continue to be in politics but not have to face the trifling inconvenience of facing the electorate by defending their seat.
The Labour list is particularly galling.
- Quentin Davies: turncoat, couldn’t bring himself to face the certain defeat that was the consequence of his defection
- John Hutton: couldn’t hack it any more in the Commons, apparently, so send him to the Lords instead…
- Jim Knight: defeated
- Tommy McAvoy: Gordon Brown lackey rewarded
- John Prescott: expenses, so-called class warrior being unable to refuse the temptation of the ermine
- John Reid: retired, wants to continue meddling
- Angela Evans Smith: defeated
- Michael Wills: Gordon Brown lackey rewarded
The Lib Dem and Tory appointments are not much better, but at least there are fewer of them.
The House of Lords is treated as a play-thing by party leaders as yet another weapon of patronage at their disposal. The sad thing is that, at the same time, the country appears to be woefully ignorant of the fact that these very generous gestures are not the equivalent of giving someone a nice title so we can call them Sir.
Oh no. It is conferring on them the potential of a lifelong seat at the expenses trough, and with the potential for continuing to influence government and legislation way after their democratic mandates have run their course.
That should be an embarrassment to our democracy.
The House of Lords has zero legitimacy. Our ancestors recognised that a century ago and tried to do something about it.
A century later and we’re still waiting.
The time for commissions and inquiries is over. If the Lords is not reformed in this first or second session then it never will be. Only a 100% elected House of Lords will suffice, and if that is not the outcome of these first two years, then the Coalition government will have failed its first test to clean up and strengthen British politics.
Or maybe they’ve failed their first test already…
Posted in Musings | Tagged: constitutional reform, dissolution peerage list, elected House of Lords, expenses fiddling, House of Lords, House of Lords reform, parliamentary reform | 2 Comments »