Tuesday, May 08, 2012

London Mayoral Election Result 2012

The most depressing thing about the results of the London Mayoral election is not that turn-out was so low, nor that the result was fairly predictable nor even the fact that it proved yet again that UKIP is not going to break into national politics any time soon. The most depressing thing about the result was what the political class will take home from it. It's generally agreed that Ken won it for Boris, if Labour had chosen someone less obnoxious it could have been theirs, as it was lots of people (myself included), would have voted for anyone but Ken, which meant a vote for Boris in the event.

No, the most interesting thing was just how well the Greens did. And this is the result that the political class will be focused on. Even in the midst of austerity, the slow-motion collapse of the Euro and the effective disappearance of global warming as an issue, the Green vote went up, beating the Lib Dems into third place. How is that they managed this? Green policies are at the heart of coalition policies - witness the continued debates about wind and solar subsidies, the pussy-footing about fracking and so on. No matter what label the big three parties attach to themselves, Green policies are central to the message they deliver to voters and to the policies they actively pursue. Yet for all the disasters that these policies bring, the Green vote itself went up.

In part this is because the Greens can still market themselves as being anti-establishment and therefore the recipients of plenty of protest votes. They are not in government, therefore they can criticise and be seen as radical, despite the fact that their policies are being enacted by the present and previous administrations. Green is the establishment colour for all the major parties, and green thinking is at the forefront of the mainstream media. Yet despite this, the green propaganda machine (including the BBC and the mainstream media), continue to pump out the message that green is somehow anti-establishment and radical. And so we see a rise in the green vote and in London they came in ahead of the Lib Dems and way ahead of UKIP, the BNP, the Trades Union candidates etc.
The fact that there is still such mileage in the green agenda will not have gone unnoticed. Expect to see all of the big parties redoubling efforts to take on the green mantle and to woo that vote. That's why the London result was so depressing - the green poison will continue to have a noxious influence in politics way beyond the numerical support that the 'official' Green party can muster.

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