Monday, September 20, 2010

Catching up...

I've just arrived back from two weeks out of the country, and quite literally the only fragment of information I've had about UK politics over that period was the tantalisingly brief sight of a headline in a British newspaper reading "Shock poll gives Ed Miliband the lead".  Having finally caught up with the figures, my gut feeling is still that David Miliband will win (on name recognition as much as anything), but could there just be a glimmer of hope that Labour is finally ready to move on from Blairism and rediscover a little of its soul?

The other snippet of news I heard overnight was the outcome of the Swedish election.  It's a supreme irony that the success of the far-right could move the administration to the left by forcing Fredrik Reinfeldt to include the Greens or the Social Democrats in his governing coalition, but of course almost the exact reverse has happened in Germany's recent past - in 2005 the left won a natural majority, but the unwillingness of the Social Democrats to work with the ex-communists necessitated a grand coalition of right and left.  I suppose some will predictably leap on results like this as an argument against PR, but the solution to extremist politics can never be to rig the ballot system - it has to be to defeat the arguments, such as they are.

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