Austerity protests

So… two days after the general election we have protests. Conservative governments and protests have a long and rich history, but two days is pretty impressive.

The Tories are in for a tough time and I think without the Lib Dems to distract everyone, Cameron is quickly going to find himself out of his depth.

We’ve seen that an extremely marginal, probably statistically insignificant, difference in support (0.8%) can make all the difference between having and not having a ‘legitimate’ government. They have a fairly thin 8 seat majority (including speaker), and the Tory party sweeps up a lot of diverse members because our voting system makes it near impossible to be elected as part of another party. They aren’t unified at all and that small majority isn’t safe.

Ukip has a huge piece of capital in the fact that almost four million of their voters have seen their votes discarded. We saw two Tory to Ukip defections last year. If there was a plausible means for the public to elect Ukip MPs, we’d probably see 30 defections overnight.

If Cameron treats the EU referendum with the same contempt as he did the AV referendum he’ll greatly annoy his Eurosceptic party members, but if he doesn’t, there’s a chance we’ll exit the EU, which (he knows) would be disastrous.

Cameron has to handle all of this while committing to his promised austerity, which is very likely to fail to yield any benefits while slowly exposing more and more people to its harmful effects, thereby eroding his 0.8% majority margin. And then there’s the mess he’s made in Scotland by portraying the Scots as the enemy. He may have successfully divided Labour but the SNP are hardly going to be nice to him.

History may yet be very unkind to Cameron.

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