Saturday 7 May 2011

What's in a name?

The British upper crust, who continue to dominate British politics, love sporting allusions. Hence party business managers in parliament are called "whips" (though in my view hounding dumb animals hardy qualifies as a sport.)

It struck me yesterday as I watched the counts in several of our local elections that the only time the selection of a people's representative actually has any resemblance to a horse race is the final stage of each count, when they put the bundles of counted ballot papers for each candidate in rows on a long table, and you can see which one is ahead. That's as far as it goes: there is no "post."

So if instead of FPTP we had called the present system the Largest Minority System and AV the Majority System we might have had a more positive image.

For what it's worth the "Yes" vote in Kirklees was 1% above the national average and the "No" vote 1% below, so I regard my neighbours as marginally more enlightened that the rest of the country.

At local level we retained the council seat in which I was working, but in two others our candidates came below the Greens, who are at least honourable. The BNP, who until recently had developed a dangerous momentum in our area, seem to have disappeared as a significant force.


  1. What do you define as the "upper crust"? Do you mean the highest achievers; the most privileged; those who have simply risen regardless of circumstance?

  2. "...the Greens, who are at least honourable" - across Kirklees, the Greens were ahead of the Lib Dems in 9 of the 23 wards. They are also committed to the more egalitarian, anti-upper crust society the Coalition are singularly not delivering, rather the opposite. For ex-Lib Dems like me, the verdant waters are lovely indeed!

  3. To Chris: upper crust = the most privileged. I doubt of either David Cameron or George Osborne would have made the cabinet at their ages if they'd attended Batley Grammar School and Leeds.

    To Viridis Lumen: yes, joining the Greens is very tempting. I am a great admirer of Clive Lord (our local candidate)Caroline Lucas and the concept of the Citizens' Income. However, I've been on the fringe of politics for most of my life and now, we're in the kitchen, feel I should face the heat rather than retreat back to the fringe. It is my hope that the Greens and Liberal Democrats will merge in the not too distant future and the credibility (sic) of the Liberal Democrats allied with the vision of the Greens will form a very powerful force.