Cameron obscurer

David Cameron thinks that the 2009 local elections show that people are yearning for an alternative to New Labour. I agree. They are. However, he is in the darkest of dark corners if he thinks his Conservative party provides that alternative.

34 councils held elections, and 30 of them are now controlled by the Tories. To see a political map of England turn so unremittingly blue is sad, but the country is inherently conservative, with or without a capital C, so it is hardly a shock. For Mr Cameron to regard the council results as proof his party are truly popular, though, is beautifully delusional.

The turnout was between 30 and 45% of eligible voters. The BBC estimates the Conservatives took 38% of that vote. Even if we accept a turnout figure of 45%, 38% of that is still only around 17% of all people who could vote. 17%, Mr Cameron! That means 83% of the voters didn't vote for you! A ringing endorsement if ever I've heard one!

If further proof were needed that British democracy is in a state of sad decline, three members of the British National Party were elected as councillors: one in Burnley, Lancashire, one in Coalville, Leicestershire, and a third in Hertfordshire. Thankfully, we can at least put this virulent strain of neo-fascism in its place, as there are now 16 Green Party councillors, and 97 independent ones. The BNP might think of itself as the voice of Middle England, but it isn't, even less so than the Conservative Party is. Far more people are interested in the environment and in thinking for themselves. Or in not voting at all.