Evening Standard debate on AV last week was that 'voting for AV is not voting for Proportional representation'. That's a truism, but what George has nicely pointed out is that voting against AV hammers the nail in the coffin of PR for the foreseeable future.
His message is clear. If you ever want to see a government made up of the parties that the population actually voted for you must vote Yes. PR will never happen if you vote No.
AV itself is only slightly more proportional if you're a Liberal, if you're a Labour supporter it'll probably make not a jot of difference. If you follow the Tories however there's a real chance that, for the next couple of elections at least, AV will reduce the number MPs returned to Westminster. This is why they really aren't interested in changing. George might like to suffocate the brown children of poor people with Waitrose carrier bags (Or he might not, we'll probably never know) but he's not stupid. He is likely to be very unpopular at the next election and would really rather keep his job as an MP. How else is he going to afford his council tax and carrier bag collecting hobby?
It's also why the main donators to the NotoAV campaign are big Conservative funders. Posh bookmaker Michael Cruddas gave a cushty £400k, another city wide-boy Michael Farmer gave £100k and shopkeeper Lord Sainsbury coughed up further £100k. These are all big Tory donors and don't want to see their hard earned (cough) cash donations end up without a little say in what sort business environment they'll be working in.
People don't donate to political causes because of hard intellectual ideals, the contribute because they want their life to be easier when their boys get the power. George Osbourne knows this, but still thinks that the Electoral Reform Society donating to the Yes to Fairer votes campaign "stinks". It "stinks" that a society that campaigns to change the way we choose our leaders is supporting a campaign that wants to change the way choose our leaders.
It didn't stink quite so much when another Tory & NotoAV donor Andrew Cook donated to the Conservative war chest. This bought his company a nice little kick-back when the incoming government dropped a loan to help his competitor Sheffield Forgemasters expand.
It also didn't stink quite so much when Rupert Murdoch supported his political party with paper bags stuffed with used fivers and in return got Vince Cable sacked and subsequently the opportunity to buy Sky and tell us all who to vote for and what to buy for the rest of our lives.
|Rare image of Mr Osborne in his part time|
role as assistant till operator at the Jolly Frier