Mything the point

NHS sell-off ignored as an election issue

NHS sell-off ignored as an election issue

The almost total collapse of the Liberal Democrat vote in yesterday’s local elections has been almost completely ignored by the mainstream media.

Instead, the focus has been Labour’s supposed failure to make any real ground amid the “political earthquake” created by UKIP. Obviously, to dwell too much on the LibDem wipeout would cast doubt on the strength of the Conservative party itself. After all, it is only in government because of the LibDems.

When examining a corpse, it is necessary to ask what caused the death. This lot are all for blaming Nick Clegg, but of course the rot goes much deeper than him. It is very hard for journalists with no principles to understand why voters no longer believe in a party that jettisoned all of its principles to get into power. As a result of its Faustian pact, the Conservatives have been able to push through their horrible policies and put Britain on a backward path.

So, how badly did Labour do? It gained more than 300 seats against Conservative losses of 200 plus and painted most of London red. Key Tory councils in the capital, including Hammersmith and Fulham, fell to Labour, while in others, like Barnet, the balance of power was severely dented.

Normally, London is regarded as the centre of the universe by the media but in this instance its significance did not seem to count for much. In fact, the suggestion is that Labour only did well in London because UKIP did badly there, not because London voters object to their lives being trashed by privatisation and lack of housing. Evidently, government efforts to rid the capital of its left leaning riff raff via its nasty welfare reforms have not gone far enough. Even Tory London Mayor Boris Johnson looks a bit worried.

Great play was made of how UKIP stole votes from Labour elsewhere in the country, even though it inflicted similar damage on the Conservatives. At the end of the day, UKIP’s overall share of the vote went down despite all the free publicity it has received from the mainstream media over the last year. It made a few spectacular gains here and there, but so did the BNP a few years ago.

Very little has been said about the progress of the Green Party, which is now the official opposition in Liverpool, Solihull, Islington, Lewisham and Norwich. In Islington, north London, the LibDems, which ran the council only a few years back, slumped to last place in many wards and lost all 11 of their councillors. Meanwhile in Liverpool Anfield, the NHS Action Party candidate came second to beat both the Tories and the LibDems.

UKIP’s strength lies not only in the personality of Nigel Farage but in the support of the media, which is able to make hay out of any outrageous statements it puts out pertaining to immigrants and the like. That way, journalists can ignore the issues that are really bothering people, for example, NHS privatisation. It’s Farage ad nauseum at the moment. To put it all in perspective, though, remember “Cleggmania”?

The fear is, with the media running with the didn’t-Labour-do-badly story, Labour will turn even more chicken. Despite its lacklustre performance in opposition, despite the media’s deep right wing bias, the party still managed to do well. The lesson to be learnt is that people are able to see through all the politricks and that hope survives.

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