THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
An Election decided in the courts?
Scotland vs England

What have we learned?

Have we learned much from this election? We already knew that, for most people, voting is about fear of worse not hope for better. We already knew that - for all the election time flattery about the wisdom of the people - most voters are political and economic imbeciles. We knew that, even though our government is borrowing 20 pence of every pound it spends, there is no national appetite for prudence. No candidates were ready to look us in the eye and say this can't go on. No candidates were ready (for fear of being thought "negative") to point to the markets jittering at every opinion poll and tell the truth that there is a limit to national credit. No-one was even putting forward a plan to reduce debt. The arguments were about when to start slowing the rate at which it increases. The economic debate stank to high heaven of irresponsibility, as the politicians peddled their old, powerful lie of "something for nothing".

We already knew that so few people care about habeas corpus, jury trial, the presumption of innocence, policing by consent or even respect for privacy or freedom of choice that these were not election issues. The parties banged on about what they could do for us if elected. What they could spend on us. They talked about tax credits, benefits, "investment" in education and health - all without any word about the cost or who would bear it. Except, of course, for the evil "rich". All three main parties despise those guys, yet all also seem convinced of their loyalty, patriotism and generosity. If you based your opinion on what politicians expect of the rich, rather on how they speak of them, you might think them wonderful.

Nor was there talk of reforming a "democracy" in which the Conservatives' electoral failure would, for Labour, have been a triumph. No-one mentioned the iniquities of a system that allows a Scottish led Labour Party to bribe Scots with English gold into imposing a socialist system for which the English did not vote.

No-one was promising to end the sickening waste of human potential involved in a state education system more Marxist than any ever implemented in the Soviet Union. No-one even hinted at a plausible plan for weaning corrupted millions from state dependence.

The outcome could scarcely have been worse. While the politicians squabble over their dunghills, the decisive economic action we need will never be taken and the cost, when it is finally forced upon us, mounts. This unstable situation will not last. We are stuck in a permanent election where no question is too dangerous to be ignored. The electorate has voted for denial.

The political mould was not broken. The number of Liberal Democrat MPs fell. They are now reduced to political whoredom, pimped by their lightweight leader. The Labour core vote - incredibly - held. I cannot imagine what Labour would have to do to a Glaswegian, Geordie or Liverpudlian before he would stop voting for them, but I am pretty sure - if filmed - it would get an "18" certificate. The Tories sold their souls, but the Devil cheated them of their price. If a two constituency sample is anything to go by, it seems that Britain has about 65,000 Libertarians. Even if all well-armed and fighting fit (and most of us are neither) it's barely enough for a coup d'etat, let alone an electoral breakthrough.

It seems the British people will sleep until external forces wake them from the childish dreams which comprise their political thought. They will believe in "something for nothing" until economic realities take that something away, a la Grecque. So much for the voice of the people then. We will hear the voice of money now. Don't expect it to sing lullabies.