(Being my out-of-season contribution to the Moffatt/Dr. Who and Feminism genre). Many people have pointed out Moffatt’s issues with women. There are some good rebuttals – the best being Philip Sandifer’s at the TARDIS eruditorium.
It is, however, obvious that something is going on. And although whoever said you can’t argue with numbers didn’t have a clue – but numbers on their own are a question. Becca Moore has excellent research summarised as an infographic. This is what’s going on. So why?
Labour supporters are trying to blame the Green Party for Labour’s failure at the election. So let’s have a reality check. I worked out how many extra seats Labour would have won if the Greens had all voted Labour, and found 12. Putting the Tories on 319 seats. Four short of a majority. Meaning that a Conservative government was still inevitable. But either another ConDem government or (more likely and much worse) Conservative/Democratic Unionist Party. A party that is anti-abortion and homophobic.
Congratulations everyone who voted Green. That’s what you saved us from. A coalition that would actively make the Tories worse!
And Labour, the blame is entirely at your feet. Possibly if you’d had a better election campaign than “We’re another bunch of pro-austerity economic illiterates – just not quite as bad as the Tories” then you would have had people who actually wanted to vote for you. Rather than losing your votes to Farage and then blaming us.
And you do not own the Green vote. Some of us have hard lines you cross. Many of us will tell you that if you support Frakking and want our votes you can frack off! One of my personal lines is still the Iraq War – I’ll never knowingly vote for anyone who voted for that (which didn’t stop me voting for Jeremy Corbyn in 2005).
As for what harm would 8 MPs have done? Would they have been able to make abortion illegal? No. But it’s possible to restrict access to abortion without banning it. The sort of tricks Nadine Dorries loves to try. The DUP supports homophobic conscience clauses. And all they need is to sneak one or two of those into the back of Tory bills to make a Tory government even worse. All the economics of the Tory party with homophobia and mysogeny on top. By voting Green you stopped the DUP gaining a massively disproportionate amount of influence.
Remember: It could have been worse. And Tory/DUP is even worse than pure Tory. This is what the Labour Party are blaming us for not ending up with.
And that we almost had the DUP (of all people) holding the balance of power is yet another reason the voting system needs to change.
The 2015 election is done. We have a new Tory government – and one that gained about 25 seats. And much is being made of the Tories gaining 25 seats and the Labour losing 25. That happened, and it’s important. But from the perspective of the election (as opposed to the future) it’s a side effect. There are four stories to the election which are probably in reverse order of importance:
- How a party without a vision other than “We’re not as bad as the other guys” makes no inroads (The net change between Labour and the Tories was a two seat swing to Labour (eight Labour went Tory and ten Tory went Labour)).
- That the rise of UKIP soaked up a lot of disaffected voters who’d otherwise have voted “Kick the bums out” in favour of Labour (particularly in the North of England)
- The rise of the SNP (taking 40 seats off Labour and 10 off the Lib Dems)
- The disintegration of the Lib Dems who lost almost all their seats to whichever the competing party was as the party faithful had a real chance to make its opinions on the leadership known. The apparent Tory gain was caused by the disintegration of their coalition partners.
There are a lot of people at this (and every other) election talking of voting tactically. Whether you should is an interesting ethical question – and one outside the scope of this blog post. The only thing I’ll say on the ethics is that many people voted Lib Dem at the last election to keep the Tories out. This is a guide coming from a keen amateur game designer for the would be tactical voters to making the best use of your vote under the First Past the Post system. A system designed for game playing rather than getting representative results. Continue reading
Our IP system is broken. Not as spectacularly broken as John Oliver demonstrates the US system is. Copyright’s equally absurd – just look at Happy Birthday. And in the US, copyright has already been extended twice (1976) (1998) just before Micky Mouse was due to come out of copyright (it’s now due out in 2023…). And in the US the following books have become public domain in the past five years because their copyright expired. Indeed the current system of copyright in the US is so toxic to older books that in 2013 Amazon had more books from the 1880s than the 1980s.
But Britain isn’t the US. So what’s that to do with us? We actually have had books coming out of copyright for the past 20 years. The only thing is that the books that came out of copyright last year also came out of copyright in 1994 and were then taken out of the public domain by 1995 legislation (imposed on us by the EU)*. And our term lengths are the same.
The current copyright system is broken and corporate controlled. It needs a radical overhaul
Money is a consensual myth. We currently have fiat money – money that is ultimately imaginary and only worth something because a government says it is, and people believe it and choose to treat it as if the money were real. And people work this out and think it’s ridiculous (it is). And that because it can print more money the government can devalue your savings (if your savings are in a sock under the bed it can; a house remains a house and a company a company regardless).
They then jump from there to one of a number of solutions – normally the Gold Standard, but there are other functionally indistinguishable ones including the Silver Standard, a price-fix based on a basket of commodities, and Bitcoin. And they all have the same flaws as fiat currency – you can’t eat them or take shelter under them and are only worth what people think they are. But rather than having a potential for the government printing more and thus reducing savings, they all suffer from the same thing. The Scrooge McDuck tax on everyone’s work.
“I want to vote Green, but it might let the Tories/Lib Dems in.” – a common refrain for anyone who spends long round the Green Party. I used to hear simmilar round the Liberal Democrats, and I’m sure some UKIP supporters hear the same thing.This is very seldom the case as our First Past the Post system has many issues.
In March 2015, the Electoral Reform Society declared the results of 364 of the 650 (56%) seats being contested. Their equivalent prediction in 2010 was 99.5% accurate (they can’t predict personal scandals in the run up to the election). It’s unusually low this year due to the unprecidented rise of the SNP.
So where does tactical voting make sense? And in specific where will voting Green give the Tories a chance of getting in? To find out, we’re going to look at the Labour Party’s own numbers, as leaked to Buzzfeed last month. Continue reading