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Cameron’s Triumph: At What Cost?

Pollsters are now shying away from the media following their most erroneous predictions of the just concluded British election as the most unpredictable one in the nation’s history.  Since the dissolution of parliament about a dozen opinion polls were conducted daily, and none of those could succeed in projecting a clear winner. But, as soon as voters came out of their booths it was becoming clear that grounds were not shifting, rather foundation of Cameron’s leadership was getting stronger.

David Cameron has got back to number 10, Downing Street. But, questions have already been asked at what cost? Political pundits across the board are in accord that he has become a prime minister of dis-United Kingdom. His new government will be the first which won’t have any mandate from Scotland. Instead, Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) who swept away the state with 56 of the 59 seats has promised to end Cameron’s austerity programme. If Cameron does not make any concession to them, which will be very much unlikely due to English nationalists’ pressure within his own party would definitely push them further apart. Many of the analysts now believe that Scotland’s cession is now a real possibility.

Before the election I wrote that this election, unlike before, was all about the opposition leader, Ed Miliband and scaremongering of the outgoing ConDem (Critics used to call the coalition of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats by this name) government has successfully taken his scalp. Rightwing Conservative Party has finally got their man, Red Ed, as the Murdoch media portrayed Ed Miliband throughout last five years. He was the man obstructing cut-throat austerity that hurts the working class most and vilifying the rich and wealthiest for wealth accumulation. He was hindering creeping privatisation of the National Health Service (NHS) in the name of reforms. He was pressing for higher minimum wage which the big businesses did not like. He was also a thorn in the heel in relation to foreign policy, in particular on the issue of UK’s relationship with the European Union. Cameron’s former bedfellow, Liberal Democrats also used this scare tactics against Ed led Labour on economic issues and possible blackmailing by the SNP if he became prime minister propped up by them.

Cameron’s promised referendum on in or out of the European Union by 2017 also creates huge uncertainty over the economic stability and political future of the UK. Many multinational and transnational businesses have warned that they will pull out of the UK if it gets out of the union which will adversely affect their access to the European common market. In the global political stage, fears have been expressed by the leader of the free world, President Obama that outside the EU, UK’s influence will diminish significantly. He had already made a passionate argument that UK’s membership and leadership in Europe are crucial for the global power balance. But, fearing a pre-election meltdown within Conservative ranks following two Euro-sceptic MPs defection to an emerging anti-EU force, United Kingdom Independence Party, UKIP and their victories in subsequent by-elections Mr Cameron had to promise this EU referendum. Now, there is no going back on this commitment, more so to keep his extreme-right-wing MPs happy. Some of those anti-EU MPs have too much influence on the backbenchers’ forum known as 1922 committee. Therefore, a number of political analysts are of the view that Mr Cameron’s second term may lead the United Kingdom towards a weaker and isolated nation.

Cameron’s victory has also thrown the other three major political parties into serious crisis. Labour, Liberal Democrat and UKIP all those three opposition forces are now in disarray following resignations of their leaders. There are no designated successors and all of those three parties have to go through a very painful reorganizational process. With the beginning of leadership contests in those parties, there will be calls for changing political course. It is especially ironic for the Labour Party, which was punished by the English voters for a likely reliance on Scottish nationalists against whom they ran a vigorous and successful campaign to keep the union intact. Some commentators also suggest that the Labour was punished by the Scots for not being Left enough while the southerners in mainland England have rejected them for being too Lefty. Indeed, politics is too brutal!

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