Friday, November 13, 2009

Political Tribalism at its Best

Watching the BBC News coverage of the Glasgow by-election, won by Labour, I have to wonder at the point of democracy.

People being interviewed, simply stated that they had always voted Labour and always would, with no thought whatsoever of policies or indeed record. To me, this isn't politics, it's simple tribalism and straight out of the pages of George Orwell's 1984.

For Labour, you could just as easily substitute Glasgow Rangers; I've always supported them too.

Once again, this result is straight out of the welfare trap report from last Sunday's papers. The constituencies with the highest numbers of people on benefits vote Labour and this creates a vicious circle of deprivation because it remains in the interests of the party to keep them that way, because as constituencies become more affluent and employed, their voting patterns start to change, invariably starting with a tinge of LibDem yellow before turning Blue.

What does it take, I wonder to jog such populations out of their absolute confidence in a brand rather than a policy or a record of performance? Clearly not the worst recession since the War or Iraq or Afghanistan or a public sector debt now reportedly equal to £84,000 for every man woman and child in the country.

Is it a fear of change or a better life that keeps them loyal and even the Scottish Nationalists at bay? Someone somewhere must have done some research on this phenomenon.


Anonymous said...

And there was me thinking that political tribalism at its best was to be found in Thanet. Well - shows what I know.

Anonymous said...

It is just what is happening all over the country. For example, can you imagine the "blue-rinse brigade" from Birchington suddenly turning out and voting Labour in their masses ? Never gonna happen regardless of policies.

DrM. said...

Birchington and Glasgow may appear similar but they aren't in this example. Glasgow only had a 30% turnout and the Conservatives came in just ahead of the BNP in 3rd place.

The argument here is that entrenched deprivation means an equally entrenched Labour vote and yet over the decades the improvements that should in theory open the door to other parties simply hasn't happened. So Glasgow, in principle votes to stay poor and deprived because it votes Labour; the vicious circle of British politics.