3 May 2011

The Whipping Frenzy of AV

A lot of people are predicting the end of Ed Milliband if the referendum on the alternative vote falls on Thursday.

It should be noted that out of the three main political parties, only Cameron has got his house in order.

Clegg is regarded by the discontented in the yellow camp of being a poor leader, due to his and his whips' inabiity to get a solid line from his party, on AV or anything else. The papers may not say it directly, but they circle him like vultures.

Milliband also prevails as unable to command his party. The 'old school' Labour MPs, the ones whose names are the most familiar, Prescott, Becket and Blunket, are not only demonstrating their discontent with AV, but also with their party's leader.

One wonders why such a revolt did not occur under Blair or Brown.

After all, Labour proposed AV in their '97 manifesto, and there were no platform disputes then.

However, it should be noted, the same Labour dinosaurs that were voting for Dave Milliband in the leadership contest, and were thwarted (ironically) by AV.

The Unions, then as well as now, hold the balance of power in AV. But there was less in-fighting in the Red camp then, and one wonders if Ed is any better at whipping the Unions than he is at whipping his MPs.

There is still everything to play for.

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