The English are very pragmatic about elections, one of the main reasons why they only hold one every five years. Three year parliaments, such as we have to suffer here, would be far too frequent in the Englishman’s (or woman’s) mind. For a start they always, for some mysterious reason, take place on a Thursday, breaking into a busy working week, on a day when many get paid – or used to before the wonders of electronic transfers, etc. Also, although the British hate politicians just as much as we and most other countries do, they believe that in all fairness, the party that won should be given enough time to prove that their pre-election promises at least had some meat on them. The electorate are frequently disappointed on this score!
The English system really only has two major parties, the Conservatives and Labour. The Liberals were once quite a power in the land, until their leader at the time, (who shall remain nameless), indulged in a bit of hanky-panky with another bloke. They have never really recovered from that little adventure. Even the Communists have had a go in the past, but their stronghold didn’t really stretch any further south than Birmingham, while on the other extreme of the political arena, the older ones amongst us may recall Oswald Mosely, a strong supporter of Hitler and his mob. Their descendants are the National Socialist party, but virtually all their membership comprises of skinheads wearing braces on their denim trousers and ‘bovver-boots’ on their feet – not an image the average English person would like to see standing up to make a speech in the House, especially with the type of language they are well known for using!
So, until the present election, the English effort has always been fairly decisive, for one or other of the two main parties. This time though, the situation seems to be developing somewhat differently, as much as anything because the quality of all their ‘pollies’ is pretty abysmal; in fact they are now no better than the lot we have to put up with here, and that’s saying something, when you recall that England was the country that once produced Disraeli, Churchill and Thatcher! Like most politicians around the world today, the art of statesmanship, wit and repartee seems to have been lost, in a heap of squabbling and childish, self-seeking human beings.
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All pretty sad really, when the English system is recognised everywhere as about the best in the world, imperfect as it may be. But it does seem to have lost its direction in the past 20 years or so and one can only hope that there will be some sort of recovery, in the not-too-distant future!
Are you following the British election? Which party do you think will win?