Sleazy does it

 Woke up this morning to find England not doing too well in the second Ashes test match and a big swing to the LibDems in the North Shropshire by-election. Overturning a 23,000 Tory majority in a seat the Conservatives have held for 200 years is no mean feat. However, there can be little doubt this was mainly down to a protest vote against numerous examples of Tory sleaze (including that of Owen Paterson, who's resignation caused this by-election) plus general dissatisfaction with the current Government's performance and that of the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, in particular. It took me all the way back to 1997 when Martin Bell stood, and won, as an Independent MP against the incumbent Tory MP, Neil Hamilton, who was embroiled in sleaze allegations. Plus ├ža change.

It was nice to see the Official Monster Raving Loony Party still going if not going that strongly. If we ever return to normal again, we can expect the Conservatives to retake the seat at the next election.

The only reason I posted about this was a notification in my inbox for a post by Tim Harford in the Financial Times: What Parking Tickets Tell Us About Corruption. Tim's post made a number of interesting points on the topic of sleaze and corruption and I recommend reading it. To be clear, corruption is not restricted to the Conservative Party but is more often associated with the party in Government. And the situation in the US seems to be much worse, perhaps because their politics are even more polarised than ours in the UK.


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