Another Dire Election Result

I’ll have a post tomorrow on ending class-based discrimination at U.S. colleges. It’s a post that just kept growing, and it brings together a lot of research.

But tonight I wanted to mention the British election results. At this point, it looks like another Conservative-led government, though that party lacks an overall majority. (Update, next day: 331 seats in the Commons and an overall majority.) It’s extremely disappointing to see that gang of superannuated hooligans back in with increased representation in the House of Commons.

There are lessons here for the allegedly progressive parties. First, it’s good to see the utter rejection of the Conservatives’ partners in crime: Captain Clegg and the Liberal Democrats. On current projections, they are expected to go from 57 seats to 10. (Update, next day: 8.)That’s what you get when you abandon all your promises and spend half a decade acting as human shields for the Tories.

The Labour Party is losing seats, mainly due to being crushed in Scotland by the Scottish Nationalist Party. Voters there rejected independence just last year, so this is pretty clearly a vote against austerity and right-wing policies in general. Labour lost credibility on those issues during the Blair-Brown years, and they clearly haven’t won it back under Ed Milliband.

It’s a similar lesson to the one the Democrats are in the process of failing to learn since last November. Right-wing economic policies don’t work, and many who hate those policies have become disaffected. Democrats and Labourites have not succeeded, economically or politically, by following conservative prescriptions.