Off we go then. Eyes down for a full house.
What the election should be about, of course, is the long term economic future of the country and how to move forward from being a set of occupied territories controlled by the City of London. About what a post industrial country should do if it never wants to be held to ransom by International Finance again. But, no, it’s going to be about boasting who can do the required – but always so, so vague – cutting of public services in a way that won’t affect the particular demographic niche the politico happens to be addressing today.
What’s the best thing that can happen? The emergence of a fractured social democratic voice in Parliament. We’ve lived for too long, too unsuccessfully with the idea that social democracy can express itself through Labour alone – or, under Blair and Brown, can be expressed through Labour at all.
We need overlapping circles of social democrats, spread through different parties with different 'dog whistle issues' so they keep each other honest. We need a few Green social democrats and more than a few Plaid and SNP social democrats. Even perhaps an Islamic social democrat in the personage of Salma Yaqoob. David Henry, the Anti-Blears candidate in Salford. & of course we need some good, old fashioned Labour social democrats. (Folk like the ever entertaining Paul Smith, down in Bristol West.).
What I'm dreaming of is the opposite of a Popular Front, where differences are buried to fight the common foe: its the creation of conditions for a ramshackle 'family argument of the left' in Parliament, one where different members of the family remind each other what family loyalty is supposed to be about. & the social democratic family is - or should be - about defending the welfare state and ordinary people, not pruning it back to keep bankers happy.
Mind, when I stop dreaming I still think the Tories are likely to win.