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Saturday 7 May 2011

Telegraph – Picking Over The Polls

The aftermath of Thursday’s local elections, and the referendum on the Alternative Vote (AV) is considered at length today by the assembled hackery of the Maily Telegraph, though whether the gallery of increasingly tired and clueless “names” bothered to do any research beforehand is debateable.

In the bear pit that is Telegraph blogland, Damian Thompson dutifully rubbishes Ed Miliband, managing to ignore the fact that Labour gained eight hundred council seats, many local elections were only for a third of councillors, and the Coalition cuts are yet to hit home. Thompson says Mil The Younger is never going to be Prime Minister, a punt that should go in the diary right now.

This, though, is a mere warm-up act for the supposedly big beasts. Reminding his readers why Private Eye often tells that “Moore means less”, or “Moore means worse”, Charles Moore also dutifully lays into Labour. But the title of his piece – “David Cameron has seen off AV – but now he must see off Alex Salmond” – manages to ignore the inconvenient fact that Salmond has an overall majority in his manor, while Young Dave does not.

Moore then floats a not really frightening vision of a “balkanised Britain” (mainly because it ain’t going to happen) before sounding the charge for defence of the Union. But he isn’t confident in “our current legislators” to make that defence, and tells that “Sir Alex Ferguson would have greater influence”.

FACT: Alex Ferguson is a rock solid Labour supporter. That’s the party that Moore has just spent much of his article rubbishing.

Can anyone save this dismal show by the Telegraph? Ah well. There’s always the trusty prose of Simon “Enoch Was Right” Heffer. And the Hefferlump has drawn one conclusion from Thursday’s polls: Young Dave should forget any idea of going the full five years and call a General Election. It is, at least, a course of action that involves action. But Heffer would be best advised thinking again.

In England at least, Labour polled a higher percentage of votes than the Tories (37% to 35%). Scots are sensible enough to vote differently in Westminster elections to those for Holyrood. The cuts had not bitten by this week, but as time passes, they will, and the Tory vote may not hold up as well over time. Cameron didn’t get a majority last year, and can’t assume even one Lib Dem seat would go Tory.

None of this enters the world of the Hefferlump, nor of the Telegraph more generally. It’s so much easier to be a comfortably off hack than to have to make those difficult decisions and judgment calls.

1 comment:

hobson said...

How would a single party having a majority (or not) at Westminster affect whether the Scottish Parliament votes to have a referendum on independence, or whether the Scottish people vote "yes" in that referendum?