Sometime politics is about insane predictions; regarding hopelessly unlikely events all of which turn out to be wrong. So I entitle this piece political dreams, it is about what could be rather then what will be. If you want a prediction then the AV debate will be lost and the two parties will keep fighting over the same centralist voters and the fringe parties will feaster and agitating from the side lines. Milliband will limp on until labour narrowly loses to a bastardised version of the coalition that itself will limp on in one form or another for at least another government.
However there is another world a dream political world a world where the old order of are political systems fatally weakened by the emergence of the labour party finally implodes to be replaced with a four party system. This is predicated on the implosion of the lib-dems. I have no animosity toward the lib-dems indeed their very existence is a product of the death (though long drawn out) of the old British political system.
The lib-dems where the first party which actively sought the centre of British politics and which in a lesser extent sought an ideology free politics (compared with the moribund politics of Foot and Thatcher the last of the ideological greats) and they nearly slayed the monster of British politics by slaying the labour party but for reason, well beyond me, they failed and in that moments died as a force. Instead of being a centralist party they became a highly principled localised party – they became the proto future of our political system.
It was instead labour who became the party without ideology, it was they who crossed the centralist Rubicon, renouncing almost utterly there ideological base and instead adopting the “what works” is policy approach, the sadly forgotten but still dominant third way. The conservative eventually followed creating a new centralist homogeny. This is the exact reason why opposition has become pure opposition because there is no longer a principled position to adopt in neither opposition nor any real arguments apart from timing and statistics.
This move to the centre has further annoyed the loyalist on both sides of the great binary opposition of British politics; the labour party loyalist is disgusted with the slow demise of their brother unions and the party’s lack of any action on workers’ rights. Monetarist within the conservative party are angered by the lack of pro-business tax breaks and the governments pursuit of the third sectors marksed in the big society program and the one nation conservative dislike the harshness of the cuts programs and the raving anti-immigration rhetoric of the party (whilst the small nation Tories loath the lack of action).
There are other divisions with the conservative party but this is not a piece about the tribes of the party nor the labour party the point is these division exist and could cause the formation of four distinct group all thanks to the demise of the lib-dems. In this dream world the lib-dems implode along their own internal divisions, the SDLP wing joining the centralist wings of the labour party, there orange wings joining the reformed one nation centralist wing of the conservative party and in accepting these fragmented wings of the now deceased third party, they alienate their own grass roots.
Those in the david davies camp the raving monetarist / small Englanders would be unable to stage a coup against the centralist in their own party due to the new orange book support and would thus flounce off either joining with UKIP or forming a successor to UKIP representing the harder right of the conservative party and also, no doubt, devoted to the ideals of Thatcher. They would form a respectable nationalist party, flirting and mingling with the racial radically party (whatever name it take) but never officially doing business with it.
The centralist would have a similar blocking effect for the hopes of the (am I mean this sincerely) socialist wing of the labour party forcing them along with the radical anti-establishment movement within what was the lib-dems wither to merge with or co-opt the green party. This njew party would be a party which will vacillate between authoritarianism and ultra-liberalism and representing the harder left and anti-establishment wing of the great divide.
Of course the two party system now freed of the more radical aspects of their memberships would form two gigantic catchall right of centre – left of centre parties, who struggle over the middle ground and wage unrelenting war trying to capture the ideal of the big society from each other and waging a phoney war of more bitter, pantomime esk oppositional politics and the dominance of centralism and the professional politicians.
Under the pressure of a four party system FPTP would eventually disappear, thanks due to house of Lords reform ending the stigma of voting reform and the inequalities of FPTP trying to incorporate these four power blocks. The old two party system would finally end, along with it fatally injured again by lords reforms and the birth of the four party system would the executive dominance of the legislature and Britain would enter the age of a multiparty professional politics.