General Election 2015: Ed Miliband Rules Out A Labour Government, But That Might Not Be Too Bad After All

Ed Miliband Spring Conference in Birmingham

We’ve run out of time to talk about the election, thankfully, and this’ll likely be the last post until it’s all over. We’re quite pleased, because thinking and writing about our risible excuse for a representative democracy all day is wearing in the extreme, particularly when there’s starvation, drowning immigrants, earthquake-ravaged Nepal and oodles of other harrowing human misery all going on at the same time.

With about a week to go, it looks like neither of the two main parties will win enough seats to form a majority government. The Tory vote will drop, but they’ll probably still be left as the largest party. Labour will do better than they did in 2010, but not by much. They’ll be annihilated by the SNP in Scotland, who could win 40-odd seats. The Lib Dems will lose a lot. UKIP will win a substantial wedge of total votes cast, but not many seats, thanks to First Past the Post. For the same reason, the ‘Green surge’ will come to nothing at a parliamentary level, although thankfully it seems Caroline Lucas will hang on to Brighton.

It looks very unlikely that the Coalition will be able to continue – even together, the Tories and the Liberals won’t be left with enough seats for a majority. The Tory-UKIP-DUP doomsday scenario almost definitely won’t come to pass either, mercifully.

We’ve spent about a month exerting the titanic political influence we wield over our three readers to try and bring about a minority Labour government, propped up and pulled leftwards by an anti-austerity bloc made up of the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens. It turns out some sort of Labour-SNP deal is one of only two feasible scenarios that’ll produce a workable government, unless things change substantially over the next week. The other is a Labour-Tory unity coalition.

We’ve argued for unpleasant levels of pragmatism in order to prevent another Tory government – advising people to vote Labour over the infinitely better Greens in most places to ensure Cameron, Osborne and friends don’t get another five years.

But now Miliband has done something so unutterably stupid that even we, the devout cynics of Castle Bemalot, can’t quite believe it. He’s categorically ruled out any sort of deal with the SNP. In a ridiculous bit of macho bombast, he’s declared he’d rather lose the election than compromise with the SNP to get into power.

Which means one of two things. One, that he’s basically lost the election already. Without the SNP, unless Labour pull off the most spectacular last-minute comeback in political history, Ed Miliband won’t be Prime Minister. No other party that’d support a Miliband-led government will win enough seats.

Or two, that he’s lying, and he will make some sort of arrangement with the SNP after the election – in which case he’ll spend the rest of his life being reminded of that time he deceived the electorate in the most overt way imaginable. People (very understandably) keep on at Nick Clegg about going against his tuition fees promise. That’ll be nothing up against the backlash Miliband will get if he goes back on his word now. Either way, it’s an inexplicable, pig-headed, utterly unnecessary statement to have come out with.

This blog was never meant to be about electoral politics. We believe that if humanity is going to survive the next few centuries, there needs to be the most radical overhaul in the way societies operate and the way we live as individuals in the history of the species. The Palace of Westminster needs knocking down, and in a sanely and morally organised world, most of the people currently in position of political and economic power would be in jail.

In the meantime, governments and political parties exist. Elections happen. Trying to get Labour re-elected was always the most short-termist of tactics on the road to something infinitely better – giving us some breathing space to start building far more substantial, bottom-up alternative to ecocidal neoliberalism, and educate, politicise and organise a generation that’s been blighted by the financial crash and its political after-effects.

We’d never expected Labour to be a willing accomplice in achieving that objective, but who’d have thought the person to rule out a Labour government would be Ed Miliband? Now, we’re probably going to get another Tory government – but a minority one that will struggle to get any of its policies passed. If your aim is to essentially jam the political system so it can’t do too much damage, that might not be so bad a result, all things considered. Alternatively, they’ll be political chaos and we’ll have another general election before the year’s out. In either case, we need to hurry up and A) get the Greens to a position where they can replace Labour wholesale, and B) junk First Past the Post for Proportional Representation so no-one ever had to cast a tactical vote again.

And that’s us done with the general election – right down the Bemolutionary postal vote disdainfully stuffed into an envelope and sent. We’ll be back after May 7th.