Peter Hitchens weighs in with his thoughts on the lifeless General Election...
The hardcore of each party grows smaller every year. When political parties have outlived their usefulness the electorate should sack them. The system doesn’t work – you can’t have a two-party system where both parties are effectively zombies without any life left in them. This is the problem we have; where the real divisions we have in society are not reflected in any party.
The two-party system ought not be removed, but I think it might be. That’s only because people who want to get rid of it will take advantage of this hiatus between what ought to be one dying set of parties and a new set of parties. If
it wasn’t for the dodgy billionaires, who give money presumably because they expect short-term gain, and the state aid they receive, the Conservative and Labour parties would collapse – if you held a flag day, nobody would give anything to them. They have no real support – nobody would care.
I say switch off the life support and let them die, and we can create some new ones. The divisions in the country would be best represented by, say, the Daily Mail and my newspaper, the Mail On Sunday, and The Guardian. That’s a much greater division in our country than that between Labour and Tory. There are real divisions on whether mass immigration is a good thing or not, whether egalitarianism is a good thing or not, whether political correctness is welcome or not – all of which are things the main parties are all in favour of.
That said, I find David Cameron’s air of relaxation about the whole thing rather enjoyable. I don’t get the sense that he takes it especially seriously. I don’t dislike David Cameron as a person at all – he seems to me to be entirely sane about this kind of thing – he doesn’t seem to care very much about politics, and he doesn’t seem that bothered about staying prime minister, apart from the very normal feeling that you don’t want to be chucked out of a job rather than leave it on your own terms. He can do what he likes afterwards – it’s not going to be a dark night of the soul for him if he’s chucked out. He could deal with life outside politics, and good luck to him.
Peter Hitchens is a columnist for the Mail On Sunday