May 2010 general election

Lib Dems: the yellow Tories exposed

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Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg had quite a rollercoaster of an election campaign.

Propelled into the limelight by the televised leaders' debates and riding high in the opinion polls, Clegg seemed to fancy himself as a British Barack Obama. "Change" was the order of the day. Labour and the Tories were the "old parties".

Coming from the leader of a party that was formed from a coalition of Whigs, free trade Tories and middle class radicals in the 1850s, this all seemed a bit rich.

Labour: Things didn't get better

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After 13 years in office New Labour has been beaten. Pat Stack surveys the wreckage of a party that attacked its own voters.

As the Tories and Lib Dems scrabbled together their unsightly coalition it seemed a lifetime ago that Tony Blair was being greeted with anthemic pop songs and cheering crowds bathing in the optimism and hope for a new dawn. This time the optimism was replaced by cynicism and bewilderment at the haggling that finally allowed David Cameron to sidle into 10 Downing Street, while Gordon Brown slouched out in just about as dignified a manner as was possible at the end of a wretched campaign.

The making of a cutters' coalition

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To their dismay, the Tories failed to win a majority in the election, leaving Britain with a hung parliament. Labour was not wiped out, and, despite losing seats, Nick Clegg led the Lib Dems into government with Cameron's Tories. Dan Mayer analyses the coalition that no one voted for.

The general election will be remembered as the election nobody won.

It was supposed to be the Conservative Party's triumphant return to power. Backed by Rupert Murdoch and the City of London, facing the tired and unpopular Gordon Brown, David Cameron was supposed to fulfil his Etonian destiny by effortlessly sweeping into Number 10.

Disaster capitalism

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Volcanic ash, eh? What is it about disasters and capitalism? It seems that any event outside the daily norm exposes all the system's horrors and weaknesses.

Throughout the general election campaign, the consensus of the major parties remained that private enterprise, the free market, low taxes and a move away from "welfarism" are all good things. You would hardly think that a system founded on these principles was going through the worst economic chaos experienced by anyone not old enough to have lived through the 1930s.

Nor would you think that this chaos was in no small part created by the unfettered and unregulated behaviour of ultra-greedy bankers and capitalists.

Support Tusc!

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I put myself forward as the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (Tusc) candidate for Tottenham because cuts in my college are a microcosm of the cuts threatened by all the main parties.

An electoral challenge to David Lammy MP had to be mounted. The campaign is gathering momentum. A growing team of people from the college and the community have been postcarding door to door and on the street. The response has been really positive.

I've lived and worked in Tottenham for 21 years and have seen the effects of rising social inequality. We now have the highest unemployment in London and life expectancy is 17 years lower than in the wealthiest areas.

Vandalise this!

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After the ridicule prompted by David Cameron's giant airbrushed face telling us, "I'll cut the deficit, not the NHS", and "ordinary voters" telling us, "I've never voted Tory before, but..." the Tories have rethought their election poster campaign - looking for something that Photoshop and spray paint won't tarnish so easily.

Lord Saatchi, responsible for the "Labour isn't working" posters of 1979, is back with the Tories. The new posters feature Gordon Brown's smiling face with statements like, "I increased the gap between rich and poor. Vote for me." The Conservative Party website address is written in a small typeface below.

Perhaps they realise that, while people might be persuaded not to vote Labour, encouraging people to vote Tory is easier said than done.

New Labour Sleaze: Any Byers?

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As we head to a general election no doubt concerns will once again be expressed about levels of turnout and "voter apathy".

Tedious comparisons with The X Factor will be made and all sorts of silly suggestions put forward to solve the problem. However, the reasons for disenchantment are surely staring us in the face.

The first must be the ever narrowing ideological divide between the two main parties. There seem to be no great principles separating them - indeed, Tory or Labour, they increasingly all look and sound exactly the same.

The Labour debate

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Working class people are angry at Labour, but at the same time they are fearful of the prospect of a Tory government. Judith Orr responds to the arguments about Labour and the election

The debate we are having on the pages of Socialist Review about whether socialists should call for a vote for Labour where there isn't a left alternative reflects a very real debate happening across the wider working class movement. After 13 years of Labour in government the bitterness against it among workers is intense.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition: a beacon of resistance

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Trade union branches including some from the RMT, Unite, the UCU and the CWU, were discussing backing a new left alternative to Labour last month.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (Tusc) has been launched to contest seats in the coming general election on a clear anti-cuts and socialist programme.

The coalition includes the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Party, a number of groups of individual councillors from across the country and trade union leaders Bob Crow of the RMT transport workers' union and Brian Caton of the prison officers' POA. Several RMT branches have also pledged support alongside many leading officers of the public sector PCS union.

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