As the British economy eclipses France’s to become the second largest in Europe, as British forces remain deployed globally, and as British aid money feeds disaster victims and supports third world nations, the UK election was watched keenly around the globe.
From the well judged to the madcap, from congratulatory to regretful, here are some of the best reactions to David Cameron doing what was thought impossible, the mixed fortunes of UKIP, and the evisceration of the Labour party from around the world.
The Commonwealth – “resolve, perseverance and vision”
All of the senior Commonwealth nations, British-heritage countries who have the Queen as the head of state are now ruled by conservative-majority governments – Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in Canada, Tony Abbott’s Liberals in Australia, John Key’s National party in New Zealand, and now David Cameron’s Conservatives in the UK. The four men share a common bond of small government and have led Her Majesty’s realms through the global recession, making them some of the strongest performing global economies.
Although the abandonment of the Commonwealth by the British after they joined the European Union remains a difficult point for some, Canada’s Stephen Harper has clearly recognised what a Conservative majority government could mean for UK-Can relations, especially in the aftermath of 2017’s promised EU referendum. Anticipating a rekindling of old, global trade links with the UK in a post ‘Brexit’ world, Harper wrote to Cameron yesterday:
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to congratulate David Cameron on his strong re-election as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom with a majority government.
“Canada and the United Kingdom share a deep and close relationship rooted in our common history and values, our tradition of parliamentary democracy, our partnership on global issues, and our shared sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“The potential for collaboration between our two countries is unlimited. I look forward to continuing to work with Prime Minister Cameron to ensure our collective security, including in our efforts to support Ukraine against Russian aggression and in our fight against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, to promote the economic ties between our two countries”
Australia’s PM Tony Abbott also congratulated his “good friend” David Cameron, remarking on his “resolve, perseverance and vision”.
Europe – Coming Brexit would be a “disaster”
“If David Cameron has the illusion that he on his own can dictate the terms for a new EU treaty, I think he is mistaken. He may want to renegotiate the UK’s membership and call a referendum. What is there left to renegotiate exactly?” Sophia in ’t Veld – leader of Liberals in Europe
Reaction was more mixed in Europe, especially among leaders of the European Union, who are now expected to simultaneously keep the UK in the EU, without actually giving the British any meaningful concessions on policy changes they actually want, such as the free movement of people.
All talk in Europe is now of the potential for ‘Brexit’ – British withdrawal from the European Union. A manifesto promise of the Conservatives, and unencumbered by the Liberal Democrats, the 2017 referendum is now likely to go ahead. Although they failed to break into the House of Commons in a meaningful way, euro-sceptic UKIP are now the UK’s third largest party by vote share, and will continue to shape the debate.
German newspaper Der Spiegel called the Conservative victory “bad news for Europe” and called David Cameron “weak”, a senior Swedish journalist called it “depressing”.
The Blogosphere – “The country is screwed, the electorate is evil”
Newspaper columnists and bloggers were less measured in their responses to the election, as already alluded to by Breitbart London. Although melodrama levels were dangerously high, perhaps the most risible response in the mainstream media was from The Guardian, which remarked in an article yesterday: “None of us were expecting this. And, upon glancing around this morning, the overwhelming instinct is to succumb to outright despair.
“The country is screwed. The electorate is evil. The UK has become a flat, ugly, smouldering disaster zone, and by the year 2020 we’ll all be dressed in rags and feasting on abandoned placentas for sustenance, like the people in Threads“.
Just thinking about which other facist regimes I'd rather live under than a Tory led Britian ………………..
— lily (@lilyallen) May 8, 2015
But what next? As you read this, literally dozens of left-wing protesters are assembling outside Conservative Central Office to, as their Facebook page says “F*CK THE TORY GOVERNMENT – NO TO ALL CUTS – YES TO REAL DEMOCRACY”.
Showing remarkable humility and tact, an ‘Anti Tory Manifesto’ taken from the organisation page lays out the new law for the right-on of the world, and how they are to deal with their new worst enemies – the majority of British voting men and women. It reads:
1. If you see a Tory, pin a rosette on them so we know who to kick in the street.
2. Never shake hands with a Tory.
3. Never buy or accept a drink from a Tory.
4. If one of your friends is a Tory, de-friend them and encourage your other friends to do the same.
5. If you meet a Tory in public, name and shame them.
6. If you know a Tory at work, start a campaign to get them fired from their job.
7. If your boss or teacher is a Tory, expose them to your colleagues and demand they leave their post on the grounds of moral incompetence.
8. Refuse to work for a Tory or, if that jeopardises your livelihood, sabotage the benefits they gain from your work (piss in their soup, overcharge them at the checkout, poor sugar [Sic] in their petrol tank, sow salt on their garden, saw through supporting structures, etc.)
9. Never ever show respect for the property of a Tory . . .
10. Don’t engage with Tory trolls on social media. If they don’t understand the fundamental obscenity of their beliefs you’re wasting your time.
11. Stop reading or watching Tory-backed media and entertainment that depicts the working classes as competing monkeys obsessed with celebrity and fame.
12. The 24% of the electorate that voted Tory are our Enemy. They support a minority government that is waging a violent economic and ideological War against us, and we must fight back!
13. The wealthiest 20% of our population is 10 times richer than the poorest 20%. It is they, along with the class traitors (cops, city boys, estate agents, etc), that make up the Tory electorate.
14. Exacerbate, at every opportunity, the opposition between Them and Us.
15. Scratch a Liberal and they’ll bleed Tory (see the comments below).
16. This is Civil War.
Quake in ye boots.