Reform, huwah! What is it good for ?

Someone floated a question on twitter yesterday asking

Can someone please explain why electoral reform is the answer to an expenses scandal?

I felt sure then that I knew the answer (because then you can talk about an election without actually having to have one), but now I wonder if it might not be that at all.

I wonder if the Labour Party is promising us reform – even though the only reform we asked for was for most of them and much of the opposition to resign pending public lynching and prosecution; in that order – as a bribe.

It is traditional for governing parties facing uncertain prospects in the next general election to offer the electorate some kind of bribe in the form of lower taxes, more spending, or draconian and poorly thought through knee jerk legislation against the demon de jour.

For a party facing certain annihilation the impetus to offer something that might convince us must be even larger.

But Labour has nothing left. The coffers are empty. They can’t promise lower taxes or a higher spend because there isn’t any money. After twelve awful years in power, much of which they have spent creating 3,000 new offences, criminalising and demonising their way through their long list of bogeymen, there isn’t room left for any more draconian knee jerk legislation than we’ve already got. At least not of the popular kind. Continuing one upmanship in this area has led to the point where the kinds of legislation still on the wish list are those that would have ashamed the East German Stasi themselves. DNA retention, universal surveillance, mandatory ID papers, etc. Hardly vote winners.

And it does seem that, despite the fact that everyone except the hardest core of activists and trot mentalists now openly despises them, the PLP genuinely believe they still have a chance of turning it round if they can just find that one winning policy. It truly is cargo cult politics.

Perhaps delusions are infectious ?

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