Saturday, 19 February 2011

An interpretation of the 2015 election

 It as been said that I watch too many movies and think in Movie terms and scenarios rather than come up with my own. This may be true.

That said I was watching Pirates of the Caribbean III the other day and my mind wandered into a giant metaphor for the Liberal Democrats and the 2015 election which if you bear with me I will illuminate.
The sun is high in the blue sky, it's rays warming the sea and air and glinting on the brass gilding on Lieutenant Commander Cable's telescope as he surveys the action from the quarter-deck of the Endeavour. In the distance he could see the Tory vessel sailing across their position.
"What are they doing?" he asked
Admiral Nick Clegg looked up from the charts and a smug smile played across his face. "He expects us to honour our agreement. It's nothing personal Dave it's just good politics."

Down on the gun decks Liberal activists were arming the cannons with election pledges and completed tasks carried out by the coalition to success. They were buoyant with their experience in government, the promises they had kept and the difference they had made. With the defeat of Labour there only lay the olde enemy, the forces of conservatism were all that lay between them and governance. Now they were the party of the people, the party for real change and here to take back their former glory now the Labour usurper vessel had been sent to the depths under the Coalition's cannons. Now he would turn on Cameron and the Liberal warship could pass onto Westminster cove unopposed and form a government.
Clegg gave the signal and the great yellow panelled warship turned towards the last barrier, the wind filling the sails and the golden banner fluttering overhead the dove pointing the way forward as he strode to overlook the decks below his heart filled with confidence.

Ahead to starboard there was a rush of water and the Labour vessel broke the surface in a flurry of surf, it's battle damaged hull seemed to be self repairing and its' own sails billowing as it gained speed. On the deck the Labour activists and MP's were slowly losing the lesions and calluses of New Labour, they  were being washed away to reveal something more pure and Labour in its original form. Captain Milliband, the new captain stood firmly at the wheel. "Arm the guns." he said in a soft but firm voice that sent up a cheer amongst the men.

"Ah she survived." Clegg smiled. This was almost better than facing the Tories on their own! The old ideological enemies would again be busy trying to out shoot each other that he could guide Endeavour past them and into the cove taking ground from each party and offering change, the change people wanted and that he promised. The smile intensified as the two competing vessels headed towards each other. This was going to be the easy victory he wanted.

The smile quickly faded as both vessels wheeled about and set a parallel course straight towards Endeavour.

"Orders Nick..." He could hear the panic in Cable's voice.

Something was seriously wrong, why were the two vessels working together? Why were they both coming towards them? His hand began to shake and he quickly gripped the handrail and gulped hard watching the party members and activists arming and preparing. He wondered how many still fully believed in the cause, in the party or even him. So many questions, so many doubts but he tried to look strong for the crew. But what should they do?

Across the waves the word "Fire" echoed as the Labour and Tory vessels drew level with Endeavour, then the roar of cannon filled the air and the crashing and splintering of wood. With each impact there seemed to be a voice resonating from the heavens.









All the while Liberal crewmen stood stoically by their guns, some being swept away as cannon shots impacted with them, their screams filling his ears as they slowly succumbed to the critics and failings of the party.

"Nick what do you command?!" Lieutenants Alexander and Huhne ran up the steps from the gun deck, their eyes full of terror as the Liberal dream began to be shattered by the stiff examination and the prowess of the other parties.
Nick looked on, his confidence shattered as the party was blasted apart. "It's just... good politics." he muttered

Alexander and Cable quickly exchanged glances and agreed quickly on a course of action. "Abandon ship!" The call spread quickly and with relief many Liberals jumped from the burning shattered decks. Many were glad to be jumping and free, many not supporting what the party had become, others not supporting the policies or the choices that the Admiral had made. A few stuck to their guns and awaited the order to fire, one independently was returning fire, it's voice clear but lost amongst the din.




But it was a lost cause, the vessel and the election was lost. All around him the Liberal dream, the vessel laid down by Thorpe and Steel, commanded so ably by Ashdown and Kennedy was coming apart under his command, burnt and shattered by a fullisade of broken promises and ridiculing the parties aims. The Admiral paced to the top of the steps and slowly step by step came down towards the gun deck. Behind him another fullisade struck each stair moments after each foot was raised from it turning it into a cloud of ruptured splinters..
With each strike he could hear the voice again.




He came to a halt at the bottom of the stairs, the deck was torn asunder by all the damage and the Tory and Labour shells. Liberal members were sparse, most having abandoned ship others laid shattered and exhausted upon the deck, their cause lost under the Admiral's command and leadership. He snapped to attention and as the final volley struck the ship from both sides and ignited the power supply engulfing the decks with fire. The explosion ripped Endeavour into splinters. The Liberal flag fluttered from it's torn mast and landed across a corpse filled sea, the party and its vessel slowly sank beneath the waves and the black murky depths of political memory.

This may seem a fancible fiction of what may happen, in fact I doubt that it ever will happen as elections are no longer decided at sea. The point I was trying to, and hope I have made, is that I truly hope that the someone in Cowley Street is working on the 2015 manifesto or election pledges already, after all it's only 4 and half years. Already signs of targeting a new demographic has been cited by the Liberal leadership. Clegg's call to acknowledge "Alarm clock Britain" has already showed a move away from student groups and some of the other minority interest groups that makes up the party's grass roots. It seems that they are trying to remember what the party had originally stood for and trying to retake its place as the party that cares and understands the workers of this country against the landed gentry of the Conservative party and the union dominated Labour party. Whether this move will pay off only time will tell and this commentator will be watching closely!
We are also being slowly bombarded by Liberal achievements in power. The removal of ID cards, removal of child detention, reviews of control orders, pupil premium etc... the party are eager to show off what they have achieved, or rather what they have been allowed to achieve. We need to be careful of the Conservatives for 2015... When it comes to a leadership debate Nick and Dave are going to have trouble debating past policy and if anything Nick may become guilty of not altering Tory policy enough or for selling out and becoming he dough eyed apologist for the Coalition.

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