Cross-posted Richard Millett
The country knew by 10pm on Thursday night that there had been a political bloodbath.
Contrary to all the opinion polls putting Labour and the Conservatives level the Exit Poll published at 10pm told a different story; the Conservatives had won a crushing general election victory. Labour had lost many seats and the Liberal Democrats had virtually disappeared.
An Exit Poll is pretty trustworthy and within minutes of its announcement the British Pound was surging on the financial bourses. The United Kingdom had voted for stability.
All that was left to be decided was the scale of Cameron’s victory (the Conservatives finally ended up with 331 MPs, Labour 232, the Liberal Democrats just 8) and which MPs had lost their seats. Famous names were about to disappear from the political scene.
The Liberal Democrats won 56 seats in 2010 but were heavily punished due to Nick Clegg’s pre-2010 election promise that he would abolish tuition fees for university students. He reneged once he was in coalition with the Conservatives.
For those supportive of Israel the demise of the Lib Dems is sweet. If the Israeli army was called on to defend Israelis from Hamas’ rockets Nick Clegg would call for an arms embargo on Israel.
And one has to question how Clegg can lay claim to any morals after not sacking David Ward who suggested that Jews had not learned the lessons of the Holocaust.
After minimal admonition from his party leader Ward was free to continue as a Liberal Democrat. Pleased to report that Ward has now been swept away politically by the good people of Bradford East.
And the good people of Bradford West swept away the Respect Party’s George Galloway. Maybe they felt that Galloway was far more concerned with Tehran West than Bradford West.
It would be nice to think that Bradfordians also felt uncomfortable with his venomous anti-Zionist rhetoric (he declared Bradford an Israel-free zone) and were concerned for Bradford’s small Jewish population.
It was also goodbye to Simon Hughes and Bob Russell, two more anti-Israel Liberal Democrats swept away in the political tsunami.
Meanwhile, Labour lost 24 seats from last time! Much of Labour’s Parliamentary party is still anti-Israel and Labour’s main anti-Israel firebrands survived, including the likes of Gerald Kaufman, Andy Slaughter and Richard Burden who has met with Hamas. Labour also added Rupa Huq to their anti-Israel numbers.
For five years Labour has been isolationist on the foreign policy front. It voted not to assist the Syrian people being slaughtered by Assad.
There was, however, one country on which Labour was not isolationist: Israel. Precious parliamentary time was wasted by Labour MPs these last five years smearing Israel as evil and debating, and voting for, a future Palestinian state.
But despite the election results there is no room for complacency for British Jews. The Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) have virtually swept away Labour in Scotland. They grew from six to an astonishing 56 MPs!
The SNP like to paint themselves as supportive of multiculturalism but there is, again, one country they are not too accepting of: Israel.
These are SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon’s words to the ‘Ending Scottish Arms Trade with Israel’ conference only yesterday:
“As you may be aware, during the recent conflict in Gaza the Scottish Government wrote to the UK Government urging an embargo on arms sales to Israel. The Scottish Government is a firm friend of Palestine and we will continue to press this issue after the election.”
An SNP council also once voted to ban Israeli books in its libraries.
No doubt the SNP will soon be joining forces with Labour, what’s left of the Liberal Democrats and Caroline Lucas of the Green Party to attack Israel.
In the meantime the average hard-working grassroots pro-Israel activist can enjoy some well-earned schadenfreude at the demise of Galloway and Ward.