Friday, March 04, 2011

Cleggerons bomb

The Barnsley Central by-election yesterday brings back Labour on a reduced vote but increased share. The Tories bombed and the Lib-Dims crawled in to a humiliating sixth place after UKIP – which came second – and the BNP.

The election was a remarkable event in that it was called after the resignation of Eric Illsley, the Labour thief who was given a 12-month prison sentence last month for stealing taxpayers' money.

Needless to say, the voters of Barnsley have rewarded such infidelity by voting in another Labour MP. He gets a 13.53 percent increase in the percentage vote, compared with the General Election, giving him 60 percent of the votes cast. But this he managed on 14,724 votes, compared with Illsley's vote of 17,487 – which actually registered 47.3 percent of the votes cast.

The winner of the gravy train award is Dan Jarvis, a former Major in the Parachute Regiment. He now has a nice little earner to go on top of his Army pension and, if he plays his cards right, a job for life. The good people of Barnsley, on current form, seem unlikely to vote for anything else but a Labour candidate. Chances are, they would have returned the thief if he had stood.

We can, however, take some entertainment from the utter humiliation of the Lib-Dim candidate. At the General, the candidate polled 6,394 votes – 17.3 percent of the popular vote, coming in second. The witless Dominic Carman described as a "journalist and anti-fascist campaigner", pulled in a humiliating 1,012 votes, coming sixth with a swing against him of 13.1 percent. The BNP took 1,463 and UKIP's second place was secured with a mere 2,953 votes.

Since the Tories have bombed, coming in third with less than a third of the vote they pulled in the General, we can assume the Cleggerons are dead in the water – at least in Barnsley.

The result, however, is a something of victory for tribal politics, but also for the none-of-the-above party. Jarvis may have come in on 60 percent of the votes cast. With a turnout of 36.5 percent, however, he gets his seat from 23 percent of the electorate. The gravy train gets less than one in four of the registered vote.

To an extent, therefore, people get what they deserve. At another level, people do not vote as individuals in an election. This is the decision of the "crowd", and we see crowd psychology at work. But it is now a very small crowd. The bigger one stayed at home. If it ever decides to do otherwise, we could be in for some interesting times.

However, at still another level, this is a decisive vote against the Cleggerons. With a disgraced, thief for a former MP, on the back of one of the worst Labour governments since Labour governments were invented, and with the Catatrophic Clegg next door in Sheffield, if there was ever going to be a breakthrough for the Lib-Dims, this was going to be it.

That much says the Cleggerons do not have a mandate – not that they ever did. But any pretensions they ever had have been washed away on the hills of Barnsley which, despite its reputation, has some of the most beautiful countryside in England ... one of its best-kept secrets (pictured). Now, the worst-kept secret is that, politically, the Cleggerons are finished.

We shall not mourn the passing of the vile breed. Instead, as the Lady instructed (albeit in a slightly different context), we shall rejoice!