Well done Britain. Despite everything the Tories did this year, you couldn't bring yourselves to punish them

After the U-turns, the resignations and the endless strikes, apparently we still don't dislike Cameron enough

Holly Baxter
Friday 06 May 2016 11:39 BST
(Getty Images)

Well done Britain. After a year of disastrousness and disillusionment – junior doctors’ strikes, teachers voting for strike action, parents pulling their pupils out of schools, U-turns on the doctors’ contracts, U-turns on working tax credits, U-turns on taking in refugee children from Europe, an overall inadequate and uncompassionate response to the refugee crisis, failures to meet self-imposed targets in the Budget, a trailing economy, investigations into benefit claimants’ suicides, a mayoral campaign that focused primarily on slyly using terms like “terrorist sympathiser” and “dangerous extremism” against Labour’s Muslim candidate, the gradual disappearance of women’s refuge centres for domestic violence victims, the health secretary told off for playing on his phone in Parliament during a debate on cutting nurses’ bursaries, the dramatic resignation of Iain Duncan Smith, and the slow but steady erosion of the NHS – we’ve sent out a really strong message. We’ve gone to the ballot boxes and expressed our dissatisfaction with a result about as clear as dishwater.

It’s true that Labour has managed to hold in most of the north so far and even more surprisingly in the southern coast. But this was a moment for the electorate to take decisive action and send a message to David Cameron that nothing about the past few twelve months was acceptable. At a time when even life-long Tories are deserting the nasty party, this wasn’t the moment for apathy from the left.

Those who lined up this morning to kick Corbyn’s Labour for catastrophic losses have had to hold their tongues, but even the most optimistic socialist isn’t going to jump for joy at the UK’s failure to send a strong message to the Conservatives. Labour has been relegated to third place in Scotland and it looks like they’ll fall just short of a majority in Wales. People are pointing out how it could have been worse, especially across the south of the England. But the point is that it could have been so much better.

2016 Election results round-up

Again and again, it feels like the Tories get away with it. It was a disappointment when the slippery PR execs we now call our government managed to convince the country they should take the helm a year ago. But after every catastrophic blunder, miscalculation and act of downright cruelty that’s come to pass, it’s nothing short of a travesty that they weren’t punished proportionately by the public they’ve been making a mockery of all year.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in