Britain’s Wizard of Oz election…

It struck me the other day that, in Britain at least, we’re witnessing something of a Wizard of Oz election… Now please forgive the crude charaterisations here, it’s certainly not intended to wound or make light of profoundly serious matters, but it seems to me that the three party leaders roughly approximate to the characters of scarecrow, the tinman and the cowardly lion…

So for starters, you have Gordon Brown as the lion wishing he had the nerve… Then Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems as the strawman wishing he had the brains to run more than just a Cable chancellory… And David Cameron, ah, well, if he only had the heart…

Squeezing the implausible analogy even further, who’d be the chief candidate for the Wizard? On Labour’s side none other than the mastermind of the 1997 ‘wall of spin’ election, Lord Peter Mandelson… And for Tories, Lord Michael Ashcroft, progenitor, funder and organiser-in-chief of the party’s hugely expensive campaign in marginal seats of which probably half are no longer marginal…

In this ‘unspun election’ it seems, you cannot buy or spin your way to power…

And for the Lib Dems, well not having a dark Machiavellian counsellor of his own to call upon, Nick Clegg is reduced to double jobbing as Dorothy all by himself… It remains to be seen whether two clicks of the heels of his ruby spangled slippers will take us all back to Kansas…

Somehow, with the Greek crisis smouldering over the horizon, I doubt it…

, , , , , , , , ,

  • Cynic

    Yes Peter Mandleson seems to be there manipulating all behind the scenes.

    Informed observers now say that he is working with Clegg on a masterplan to oust Brown on Friday morning and set up a LibLab Pact with Clegg, him and Darling in key roles. This will be a shot at uniting Labour but putting the Blairite faction firmly in control and diverting attention form the fact that he ran their appalling campaign.

    But all may be in vain. In anticipating their most disastrous poll results ever and the prospect of permanent loss of power, the party is already starting to turn in on itself.The Balls faction will be stropping their razors and the blood letting will be mighty.

    So for me its Peter as the Wicked Witch and Cameron as Dorothy.

    Oh yes, and the DUP as the Munchkins

  • English Republic

    Does the cowardly lion in your analogy come from a northern Pride and seek election by the lion’s of that Pride and yet implies to the lion’s of the neighbouring Pride to the south that he has a democratic mandate to enact legislation in a number of areas for which he has no responsibility in the land of the lion’s who elected him?

  • Mick Fealty

    Way above my pay grade ER, 😉

  • Michaelhenry

    i have to say it, reg empty, sorry empey does look like the scarecrow in the wizard of oz, GERRY ADAMS has the tinman, because nothing sticks, i bet GERRY wish was that he had that tin suit on when the loyalists shot him in 1984, peter robinson has the cowardly lion, did the lion not used to be the D.U.Ps logo, which leaves margarrt ritchie has the stupid, sorry, wicked witch.

  • TheHorse

    Michaelhenry Gerry is more like Alice as in Alice in Wonderland.

    “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
    “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
    “I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
    “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
    “–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
    “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

  • Michaelhenry

    alice won in the end, yup her and GERRY are alike.

  • TheHorse

    You dont know much about Alice in Wonderland, in the end she wakes up from her dream. She finds herself sitting under the tree where she fell asleep.

  • Greenflag

    TheHorse ,

    ‘If you don’t know where you are going -you will end up somewhere else ‘

    The Independent has come out with a call for a ‘hung’ Parliament i.e with the Lib Dems holding the key to to the political future of the UK . Sounds like the best result imo. The UK has had 65 years of change and change about from Tory to Labour from extreme left to extreme right and from moderate left to ‘moderate’ right . At no election has the winning party commanded much more than 40% of the vote with more people voting against the new Government than for it .

    Never mind the Wizard of Oz even if the analogy is a major improvement on Turgon’s ‘Battle of Jutland ‘ analogical diggings;) -this election is a chance for the UK to make a breakthrough past the two party log jam which has too often disguised or hidden or spun for the sake of party ideological advantage the real issues facing the UK economy and it’s future direction .

    Lets hope for the sake of the British (and ourselves ) that the Lib Dems hold on to most of their increased surge among voters .

  • Greenflag

    Good one Horse 😉 LOL

  • TheHorse

    I have to agree with you Greenflag the Tories and Labour have been issuing warnings about a hung parliament and how bad it would be for the country. But for too long these two parties have had ultimate power and abused it, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer, giving the banking industry a free hand to do what they liked, what else did anyone expect them to do but abuse that, but making us pay for those mistakes is unjust. Invading two countries and indiscriminately murdering the inhabitants without proper evidence or a consensus from the people is also unjust. If we are all honest these occupations in Iraq and Afganistan are at the behest of the Global Oil companies and the multinational corporations. A hung parliament would force the government to seek support from other parties for their policies, maybe then decent honest electorate will get the political representation they were assured of when they voted..

  • Michaelhenry

    victory comes in many shapes and forms.

  • Michaelhenry

    the british army are no longer on the streets of IRAq, just like here, was that something to do with global oil companies, i think not.

  • TheHorse

    Michaelhenry. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again. Open you eyes and look around you do you see a victory.

  • TheHorse

    Come out of your bubble Michaelhenry theres a big wide world out there and here is just a tiny part of it. Ask yourself, Where does the finance come from to pay for these occupations. In who’s best interests are they fought. In the end who makes money out of it. Tony Blair has made £20 million in the last 4 years from his oil contracts in Iraq, have you ever asked yourself why they went into Afganistan in the first place – To protect oil pipelines.

  • Greenflag

    I read that up to a third of voters are still undecided so this election could end up with a small Tory majority , a returned Labour government with a much reduced majority or a hung parliament with the LIb Dems the king makers . ..

    ‘for too long these two parties have had ultimate power and abused it, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer, giving the banking industry a free hand to do what they liked, what else did anyone expect them to do but abuse that, but making us pay for those mistakes is unjust.’

    Life is not fair said the man . We can only hope that the financial reforms now being debated in the USA will work their way through to similar reform in the UK and elsewhere .

    For the UK result the hope has to be that forced into coalition making with another party both the Tories and Labour will be forced to forego ‘ideological’ purity for the sake of more pragmatic solutions . It’s clear that the Tories fear that prospect more so than Labour which is in my opinion an indication that despite the economic crisis and people floundering in their choice of party the broad mass of the British people still inhabit the centre left of the political spectrum .

  • TheHorse

    “Life is not fair said the man . We can only hope that the financial reforms now being debated in the USA will work their way through to similar reform in the UK and elsewhere”.

    *A Wall Street Journal analysis of congressional disclosures shows that 13 members of the U.S. Congress or their wives were engaged in substantial short selling during the financial crisis of 2008.

    *An individual by the name of Jeff Greene made hundreds of millions of dollars during the real estate collapse by making huge bets against the residential housing market. Now he wants to use some of that money to run for the U.S. Senate in Florida.

    *Goldman Sachs openly and brazenly bet against its own clients as the housing market began to implode back in 2007 and 2008, and they made a TON of money by doing so.

    *John Paulson (with the assistance of Goldman Sachs) has quickly become one of the richest men in the United States by betting against America. Shorting the subprime mortgage market enabled his firm, Paulson & Co., to make 15 billion dollars in 2007. John Paulson alone made approximately 4 billion dollars that year.

    *Legendary investor Warren Buffett said on Saturday that he’s bearish about the ability of all currencies to hold their value over time because of massive deficits being run up by governments in the wake of the global financial crisis.

    It all depends Greenflag if whoever is in power is not in the pocket of people like those above but the reality is that they are and the way things are going that reach is going to be in every Government around the world. If a country cant pay its debt what does it do – Hand over control of its natural resourses.

  • Greenflag

    I’don’t disagree Horse with your above . I’m not entirely convinced that the upcoming reforms by the Obama administration will do the job but I can’t see the Republicans doing any better and perhaps worse . In the UK it seems as if the Tories are ‘ignoring’ this issue in order to keep on the side of the financiers of the City .

    If a country can’t pay it’s debts and if it has no natural scarce resources to offer then the IMF (a subsidiary of the main world banks ) will extract the necessary in whichever way they can . If this has to include political instability , war , mass unemployment or starvation then as the man said c’est la vie or should that be c’est la morte ;(. They don’t care either way.

    ROI has bitten the bullet and some would now say too quickly . Brown’s response in the UK has been slower and ultimately may prove wiser longer term . We’ll only know after the election which path to debt reduction HMG will take and this will be up to whichever party/parties form the governent.

    In addition to handing over it’s resources to foreign investors what tends to happen is that in the wake of an imploding currency with severe local currency devaluation foreign ‘investors’ can buy up properties and businesses at much reduced prices and can then clean up whenever the economy ‘recovers’.

    In your list of the aggravators of worldwide economic misery you omitted Mr Greenberg of AIG who it was who finally put the gun to the other Paulson’s (former SEC chairman)’s head . And don’t forget Magnetar’s role in the mess .

    How can this be avoided or curtailed in the future . For a start effective legislation by all the major governments collaborating together on a new world financial order and secondly by making it a capital crime to defraud people of savings , pensions and investments by those who engage in criminal activity towards those ends. These ‘bastards’ murder the life prospects of millions of people around the world and get away with an electronic ankle bracelet ?

  • TheHorse

    “For a start effective legislation by all the major governments collaborating together on a new world financial order”.

    Unfortunetly this manufactured world financial crisis will lead to a global financial order – A global banking system with a single world currency run by the same people who hoodwinked and robbed mankind in this crisis. How can any Government function properly if they are in debt to the global elite who care nothing about politics who’s only interest is the exploitation of a countries assets and resourses.

  • Greenflag

    re the above

    ‘ If a country cant pay its debt what does it do ‘

    Go Greek .

    ‘Yesterday Mr Lenihan insisted that the State would make a profit out of the scheme (lending the Greeks 1.3 billion euros ) because Greece would pay back more in interest than we will pay on the borrowed money.’

    I trust Mr Lenihan has a plan B for when the Greeks revolt , burn down their banks, and tell those who have given them loans to go #@#@ themselves . And what will poor Brian do then ? Send in our gunboats /gunboat ?

    Unknown territory leading who knows where ? In those circumstances we know who ends up suffering the most . Not the bankers anyway and not the politicians apart from a few cursory figure heads or naturally convenient scapegoats . Poor Pappandreou has the look of a man about to be hanged or guillotined and still has no idea which instrument will remove him from the political life of Greece . In Ireland -Mr Cowen can still just about depend on at least the formalities of an election result .

  • Greenflag

    I don’t see any global currency emerging from this crisis . For the near future we’ll have the dollar and euro and yen with the euro (if it survives the current crisis which it probably will gradually edging out the dollar for primacy ). Also the Chinese yuan will be effectively revalued in coming years . The best that can be hoped for is that the major powers will institute some limitations on international transactions which are primarily directed at undermining the value of those national currencies still extant .

    A new world financial order does not necessarily imply a world currency . But it does mean that the world’s major economies work together to help resolve the global imbalances which have opened up in recent decades as a result of the relative ’emisseration’ of the American and European middle classes and the widening of the income gaps within societies formerly seen as more egalitarian democracies and of course the rise of the ‘creditor’ nations of East Asia .

  • TheHorse

    Like the bit about the gunboats/gunboat LOL. At the end of the day Greece will be at the mercy of everyone who financially helped them – Theres no such thing as a free lunch in politics as they say.

  • Dexter

    where are the results of the prediction competition?

  • Michaelhenry

    well japan paid for the first gulf war in the early 90s, after the second world war japan was not allowed any warships out in the oceans, this war bill was paid and high presto the jap fleet are allowed on the ocean.

  • Greenflag

    ‘At the end of the day Greece will be at the mercy of everyone who financially helped them ‘

    That is true . What’s also true is that everybody will be at the mercy of the Greeks who if they go bust will take several German , British and French banks with them into the financial abyss . The Eurozone countries are not helping the Greeks for altruistic reasons 😉 but I suspect you know that already .

    Scratch the gunboat suggestion . I read they’ve sent our gunboat to South America on a goodwill trade mission, and presumably to give our naval cadets and sailors some high seas experience . I trust not too many of them will jump ship in Rio and disappear into the Amazon ;)?

  • Michaelhenry

    i do not see any armed british soldiers.

  • Greenflag

    Unlike the former Soviet Union and East Germany and present day North Korea the results will not be seen until Friday . First the people of NI have to go through the census filling exercise routine sorry voting exercise routine – to see how many greens and oranges bother their barnies to make their marks tomorrow.

  • TheHorse