Sunday, 9 May 2010

Iain Dale – Utter, Utter, Utter Drivel

Rarely have I read such rubbish as Mr Dale manages in this post, “Celtic Fringes Wot Lost It”.

I append all of his short post below:

“Once again, it has been the Celtic fringes which have delivered for Labour. In Scotland Labour got 41 out of the 59 seats and in Wales, 26 out of 40. In England the Tories got 297 seats, with Labour on 191, the LibDems 43 and the Greens 1 - a clear overall majority of 59.

Votes - Scotland:
Labour - 1,035,528, which translates into 41 seats
Conservative - 412,855, yet only 1 seat

Votes - Wales:
Labour - 531,601 - 26 seats
Conservative - 382,730 - 8 seats

All this will fuel demands for England's voice to be given a greater role in any changes to the electoral system. It surely cannot be too long before the creation of an English Parliament becomes a mainstream political issue.”

He seems to be making two points.  Firstly that the Tories won a clear majority in England, which they did, and were denied a clear and deserved majority in Parliament because Scotland and Wales delivered enough Labour seats.  The Tories were denied a clear majority but not a deserved majority.  Under the current First Past The Post system they fell short.  End of story!   Not Scotland’s fault.  Not Wales’ fault. One might as well say that Scotland and Wales were denied a Labour government by England.

Dale’s second point has less substance than a vacuum.  He looks at Scotland, shows how unfair the distribution of seats is between Labour and Tory.  Yes!  It is unfair.  He looks at Wales and makes the same point.  Yes! It is unfair.

What Dale fails to do is to look at England and at the unfair way the seats are distributed.  He is quite happy with the unfair way the seats in England are distributed and, so, his starting point is the result of that very unfairness.  The Table below shows what happened and what should have happened in England.

 

England

Votes

%age Votes

%age Seats

Seats Won

Seats by %age of Votes

ALL

25047355



532


Conservative

10706647

39.6

57.5

297

211

Labour

8604358

28.1

35.9

191

149

LibDem

6827938

24.2

8.1

43

129

Green

285616

1.0

0.19

1

5

Others


7.1



38

The Conservatives won almost 60% of the seats with less than 40% of the votes.  Labour won many more than they should have but the Liberal Democrats should have won 129 seats.

If seats were allocated according to the proportion of the vote the Conservatives would only have 211 seats far far from a majority in England.

Dale is blind to this unfairness.  

He wants fairness to the Tories in Scotland and Wales but wants to retain the unfairness to the LibDems and others in  England.

This from an apparently serious political commentator.

His post is tabloid crap!

 

By allocating seats in Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland proportionately, Parliament would now have the following composition.

 

PARLIAMENT BASED ON FAIRNESS

Conservative

234

Labour

191

LibDem

148

SNP/Plaid

17

Sinn Fein

5

DUP/TUF

5

Green

5

Others

44

Of course, Dale isn’t interested in fairness.  He demands that his beloved Tories win power based on a sham argument!

There’s more yet. 

All this will fuel demands for England's voice to be given a greater role in any changes to the electoral system.

No doubt this is based on his assumption that England has been badly treated by a system which favours Labour in Scotland and Wales. 

Bullshit!

The system is biased against the smaller parties in each country. 

This is what FPTP does.  It is inherently unfair but Dale cannot let a simple matter of fairness come between the Tories and power.

If Dale does run naked down Whitehall those unlucky enough to witness the event may see his mouth for the first time!

8 comments:

  1. A rather uneven argument that can be pulled apart easily. You have fisked it beautifully Calum

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  2. Thanks, Jams. I was taken aback that he could write such a poorly argued case. It's possible he was just being provocative - good for his blog - but doesn't do his credibility as a serious commentator any good.

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  3. I plan to be out of the country if he does his stunt. Nice piece Calum.

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  4. Your comment on the West Lothian and the Barnett Formula, in terms of fairness, gentlemen?

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  5. Calum, this requires a response from you:

    http://lastditch.typepad.com/lastditch/2010/05/scotland-vs-england.html

    :)

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  6. James

    I'll address both your comments here.

    There is so much unfairness in society you could have continued way beyond the 2 examples you chose.

    I am free to pick my "stories" and I picked Mr Dale's. I may or may not return to the examples you highlight ..... just depends.

    Re the link and "Calum, this requires a response from you"

    No, it doesn't. I have no need to comment on Last Ditch and McKenna.

    I choose my posts on what grabs me and this doesn't at the moment.

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  7. [Without taking the time to check and verify]
    Fine piece, Calum, if I may say so without getting accused of meddling in foreign affairs.
    As easily can be seen when taking a glimpse at Germany, a porportional system does not guarantee better government(s), however it's more representative.

    As for Mr. Dale, to add anything to my recent comment would be utter redundancy.

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