Liberal/left firefighting

The Guardian does the litmus test and the result is yellow!

Nulabour crash and burnNulabour crash and burn
There is an air of excitement amongst the political anoraks. The Guardian has endorsed the LibDems. So Michael White, Martin Kettle and Saint Polly Toynbee plus the rest of the motley crew will all have to learn new tricks. The Guardian loves to portray itself as a vital and important source of fact, but this is fantasy. The most important role it has in the left/liberal world is carrying all those job adverts on a Thursday, the jobs in the public sector with strange sounding titles and substantial salaries. This is why many people buy the paper, they don't buy it to 'become engaged'. The social consequences of its pronouncements are greatly exaggerated, social engineering is what it talks about but really it's a job seekers' tool.

So does this add up to much? Well the Guardian has shown itself to be rather weak. Why turn against Nulabour now? It has been clear, from at least the closing months of the Blair era, that the party's fortunes were on the decline and equally clear that Gordon Brown was not the man to reverse the decline. As always with the Guardian the comments are as interesting as the article. Not everyone is happy and they have started fighting with several days to go before the ballot. The attitude of their readership is interesting, many see the move as a betrayal.

So, did the Guardian do this deliberately, have they pushed the LibDems up knowing they were pushing Nulabour down, what level of self interest is at work here? The liberal/left is in firefighting mode at the moment, it's in their interest to do this. The ultra-left organisation Compass, usually associated with MP Jon Cruddas, has also decided to take the same route as the Guardian. Compass describes itself as the 'Direction for the democratic left'. And so they balloted their members, their website says -

The result of the ballot is that 72% (467) of members backed the call for tactical voting with only 14% (93) against. There were 14% (90) abstentions/spoilt papers. This is the biggest return we have ever had on an internal ballot.

I make that 650 people in all. So what? If it rains on polling day the same number of people per constituency may decide to stay at home and keep dry. Is this Compass stuff really important, too little too late?