I don't normally cover such events here: not even during my years of political blogging did I tend to cover local council by-elections outside of Medway. This time, though, I think there is something of value we can all learn from tonight's result.
This was already a Labour-held seat, as are all three in Colliers Wood ward on Merton Council, and this by-election saw a considerable increase in Labour's majority there. This is no great surprise: I worked nearby, some years ago, and soon grew to understand the nature of the Tooting/Earlsfield/Colliers Wood area. UPDATE: the results are now here.
It was generally tatty, run down, with even then (and I'm talking late 'sixties and early 'seventies here) a larger-than-average ethnic minority population, who tended not to be very bright. I could relate tales of how a few of my employer's other staff used to play on this ignorance and apparent lack of higher brain functions (anyone meeting me might like to prompt me with the words 'engine' and 'coke' for details) but the point was that Tooting was, even then, hardly what one might call 'ethnically English' any more.
This, on top of an area of obvious bottom-end social nature, was always going to make it much more Labour-friendly than anything else – indeed, for the reasons we know so well today, it became Labour-dependent. The welfare handouts were the bribe that ensured party loyalty then, and now.
If one looks around the area in Google Street View, it becomes glaringly obvious that the considerable majority of people captured by Google's cameras are of the 'ethnic minority' type: even the facial blurring cannot disguise that fact. I have just spent a half hour or so checking...
If one looks at the map of the Merton Council area, one sees a clear divide between the Mitcham/Tooting part of the borough and the Wimbledon/Raynes Park area, with some mixed places in between and on the fringes (e.g. Abbey, Dundonald and St Helier).
Although the picture is somewhat clouded by the likes of the Merton Park Residents members and the Merton Coalition (which seems to have let a couple of UKIP folk in through the back door, as they form only a minor part of that group), the old Mitcham/Morden and Wimbledon divide is very clear.
It is therefore no surprise to find that the largest group on the Council nowadays is Labour – though their 27 members aren't that much more than the Conservatives' 21. As there are 59 seats, this means that neither party has an overall majority, by the way.
If one treats this as an example of how ignorance and State dependency swing voting – and governance – in a particular direction, then it becomes easy to realise why government at all levels has become less truly representative of the spirit of our nation, and has (on one side) willingly embraced all that this means and (on the other side of the political divide) compelled at least partial compliance with that agenda in order to have the ability to try to gently steer us back onto a more sensible course.
This is of course David Cameron's dilemma; and while immigration continues to flood our nation (though at a slower rate these days) and the ethnic minority population continues to have a significantly higher birth rate that the truly indigenous sector of the population, the balance will inevitably and inexorably tip ever further in Labour's direction – undeservedly and unrepresentative of the real Britain. Labour's plan all along was to exclude the Conservatives from government – or, failing that, to force them to become like Labour in order to survive politically..
In this, they have succeeded; and until a sufficiently large proportion of Britain's current (and future) population matures politically, this situation will not materially change.
Tonight's by-election result in Colliers Wood provides an alarm call to us all of the unnatural bias that has been infecting our system of governance for decades and even now continues to escalate. This is how we lose our nation, unless we wake up to what has been going on and find a way to combat it.
That isn't going to be easy, but it must be done or we lose Britain as we know it!