If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Monday 10 May 2010

Words I Hate 2

Well, phrases then. I wrote about my hate of the misuse of the word 'appropriate' a while ago. Now there's a new one, and one I am sure we are going to hear a lot about in the near future (and possibly for a long time after that): progressive consensus.

It's being used as an excuse for the two loser parties to get together and form a government in the face of clear rejection of them both by the electorate. Because Labour and the Liberal Democrats between them got 315 seats, and the Conservatives only got 306, they are claiming that this shows that the British electorate are in favour of the 'progressive' policies represented by the two left of centre parties.

Leaving aside for one moment the misuse of the word 'progressive' (what's progressive about raping civil liberties, taking money for peerages, increasing unemployment, and all the rest?), this is complete, utter, unadulterated, weapons-grade, gold-plated bollocks.

Look, you self-deluding morons:

Labour lost 91 seats, compared to 2005.

The Lib Dems lost 5 seats, compared to 2005, despite the unprecedented advantage of the leadership debates and a wave of Cleggmania.

The Conservatives gained 97 seats, a bigger gain than any since 1931 and on a swing that was bigger than the one that swept Margaret Thatcher to power in 1979. This is despite the fact that it takes more voters to elect a Conservative MP than it does a Labour MP (due to Conservative constituencies being larger), a fact that the Lib Dems were not shy of pointing out in the run-up to the election.

How anyone can argue that this points to an affirmation by the voters of their belief in centre-left politics is beyond comprehension. And if you say it's the fault of the archaic FPTP system and get all proportional on my ass, then look at it in terms of vote share, something which the Lib Dems and the newly-converted Labour Party ought to regard as difinitive:

Labour down 6.2%
Liberal Democrat up 1%
Conservative up 3.8%.

If that shows anything, it shows that the electorate rejected Labour in large numbers, thought the Lib Dems were a little more desirable, but that the Tories were more so.

Progressive consensus? I don't think so.

The only good thing about this is that they believe it to be true - and it isn't. And so any move towards a new government which relies on this non-existent consensus will fall flat on its arse.

I suppose that's 'appropriate'.

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