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The Westminster Bubble

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It's been an extraordinary couple of months for those in the Westminster bubble. Four important developments now look to have taken hold.

The first is that the Conservative Party looks unassailable and may be in power for a decade or more. As a consequence it will diminish Parliament. It will be content with less people being registered and able to vote. 

They will reduce step by step - starting with the cuts to Short money for opposition parties and finishing with an even weaker House of Lords - the democratic state. The Tories know how, like no other party, to remain in power. It's in their very being. 

The second problem is there is no effective opposition. The Labour Party has lost momentum. It has already ceded after less than seven months since the General Election the right to be called Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. The Party has become a laughing stock. Its shadow cabinet found it difficult to support its leader which was clearly evident over the tactics surrounding the vote on Syria. 

Worse, Jeremy Corbyn believes that party members should have more say in how their MPs vote. If this continues I expect over fifty Labour MPs to resign the Whip and then the party. This flies in the face of representative democracy. Mayhem is just around the corner. Corbyn is on thin ice.

Whilst these two developments unfold the UKIP cause is stuck because the electoral system is against it. We may argue that first past the post sees many MPs elected with less than 50% of the vote but this favours the Tories and at this seasonal time, turkeys do not vote for Christmas. Save for the noise around the EU referendum in 2017, UKIP is currently stuffed. 

Meanwhile, David Cameron has had another excellent year as Prime Minister. Obituaries being written about him last Christmas were extraordinarily wide of the mark.. Perhaps, there was too much bubble in the Bubble. He above all other politicians - even "Boy" George Osborne - deserved the accolade of Politician of the Year. 

Whither Boris Johnson? His year has been disappointing but do not rule him out as our next Prime Minister. But if he is to succeed he must trim his sails. Aside from his love affair with cycling what has he achieved as Mayor for our great city? Precious little. 

We are one of the least resilient cities of the western world. Our transport system is cracking up everywhere, our housing for young people is non existent and pollution is worse. BoJo has been pre-occupied with his writing, his publicity machine and his travels. If he is to land the job of PM he has to build a stronger base within his own party at Westminster and give some sustenance to a coherent manifesto for the next decade. 

But 2016 will not be plain sailing for Cameron. He has to ring some changes from a bloated and undemocratic machine in Brussels. Continental Europe's Commissioners and MEPs live in a world which culturally we find hard to comprehend. Even with the toughest economic outlook stretching back and forward almost a decade, they only want bigger and bigger budgets. They are fast becoming the FIFA of Politics. It's time they understood that less is more. 


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