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UK General Election 2010
Published: 25th April 2010
On the 6th of May this year the UK will have a General Election, as well as lots of local elections. The local elections have been scheduled for a long time, but the national election was announced just a few weeks ago and so the country is now officially without a Parliament and the election campaign period is underway.
Because the UK is undergoing a long process of deep and comprehensive alteration, the old rules, customs and expectations aren't really applying anymore. It isn't 'business as usual' in the UK at this time, and the way things will be in future isn't yet known, or decided.
In fact, the politicians sometimes are prematurely attempting to settle things, which is going against the grain of the times in which we're living, which are more conducive to stirring things up and re-mixing what's in the pot.
There are far-reaching 'awkward' issues: the relationship with the USA and the EU to pick just two that have a major impact on life in the UK. There are the issues of the UK's domestic union itself: how it's constituted, how it functions (and dysfunctions). There is widespread and lasting dissatisfaction with the electoral and political processes. Who we are and where we stand, not just in the world but within our own nation, are being reviewed in a tremendously profound and long-lasting way, but I don't think the politicians have really grasped that to date.
Astrologically, none of this is surprising. As a nation and as a planet we are approaching a series of crossroads. One of the biggest causes of problems I see recently is the political and media attempt to short-circuit the processes we are in, i.e. to prematurely settle things into more or less the same structures and arrangements that we've had up until now. It's causing an awful lot of strain on the people, the institutions and the relationships between them.
The political attempts to stifle the 'disorganisation' that needs to take place are suffocating the natural developmental processes that are trying to happen, and yet the tedious, droning, incessant, brain-washing chant of the politicians is that they will 'deliver' 'real change'.
The Saturn-Uranus opposition
We could see this as part of the Saturn-Uranus opposition which symbolises a stand-off - and the need for creative resolution - between the need to keep what's best about the past and the need to bring in what's best about the future. Unfortunately, this is often portrayed by politicians as a simplistic, unintelligent choice between 'change versus 5 more years of the same'. It's a false dichotomy. The tendency is for humans to polarise oppositions in this way and to reduce things to over-simplistic categories where it's 'either/or' rather than 'both/and'.
Switching to italics for emphasis...
There is no inherent conflict between what Saturn represents and what Uranus represents. Any conflict between them is human-created. For life to thrive 'Saturn' is essential, and so is 'Uranus'. To create something truly new (Uranus) is only possible organically (Saturn), via the body's process. We can't make new templates, new patterns, new ways of doing things unless we're firmly rooted in our whole bodies, because that's where our accumulated experiential wisdom resides, that's where we interact with our environment, and that's where we live.
The process of invention and origination is an inherently organic one, springing up from the body and its accrued mastery of a subject and the wisdom of experience, which resides in the flesh and bones and the quintessential quality of aliveness which encompasses them.
Without that which Saturn symbolises we become neophiliacs. To a great extent the UK is in a neophiliac phase already. Though there are plenty of people who see the folly of it, the neophiliacs are currently holding the reins in society.
If it's new and 'modern' and associated in any way with the youth then it must take precedence over everything else: architecture and the planning process which is skewed in favour of 'new builds' and money rather than the surrounding character and whether things will stand the test of time; education and how schools, colleges and universities are run, funded, and designed, as well as the subjects taught within them; consumerist technology and unnecessary computerisation/IT projects; badly-written and rushed legislation that ignores centuries of pre-existing legislation; the grafting-on of a Supreme Court, 'Xeroxed' from the USA; and politicians themselves who have to look young and preferably 'good-looking' before they are considered worthy of being 'leaders'.
The Tony Blair era was a neophilic one and we are still stuck in a time-warp as if the world's history can only dump volcanic ash on our yearning to breathe free [sic].
Without that which Uranus symbolises we become obsessive lovers of all things ancient, unwilling to try anything new or open the window to get some fresh air. The UK is clearly not in that kind of phase and hasn't been for at least 30 years, more probably since somewhere around the late 1950s. One of the things we currently suffer from is a 'negatively Uranian' quality: photocopying or copycatting, rather than ploughing a genuinely new furrow. There is also, of course, the empty-headed, superficial 'Big Brother' and 'X-Factor' culture.
Ascendant conjunct Uranus, and Pluto transiting the Sun
What the UK lacks culturally and politically is what it used to have in spades: a healthy Uranian capacity to invent, to discover, to experiment. Importing from the USA is not a healthy Uranian thing to do, nor is grafting (via the EC and EU) Napoleonic French systems onto our home-grown constitution which has evolved over more than 1000 years. We have, quite simply, lost ourselves in the attempt to emulate these two.
Our willingness to learn from foreign cultures has, for a long time, benefited us enormously, but our willingness to 'outsource' our own development short-circuits the process at its core. It's like switching off the lights and saying 'we'll be whatever you want us to be'. Never mind talking about the Queen's or future Prince Charles' possible abdications, how about discussing the citizens' abdication which has already happened? During the Pluto transit to the UK's Sun we have a rare chance to reassert our sovereignty - it rests solely in us, the people.
In the national chart there is a conjunction of the Ascendant and Uranus. At its best this is the 1801-onwards powerhouse (which was, of course, built on previous 'incarnations' of the country): inventing, discovering, engineering, experimenting. Pluto on the Jupiter-Uranus midpoint reinforces and deepens that quality of unceasing preoccupation with researching, questing, uncovering.
The current transit of Pluto to the UK's Sun, IC and Uranus is stripping the nation down to its bare bones. Any politician who hankers after getting into Number 10 so that s/he can batten down the hatches and pretend the crises are over is in for an unpleasant astrological surprise: it's hardly just begun. There is nothing in the UK's astrology saying 'put Humpty Dumpty back together now'; it's saying the opposite. To use a different analogy: the engine must be carefully and uncompromisingly stripped down, every part meticulously cleaned of its debilitating sludge, then the whole thing painstakingly reassembled before the motor will function like new.
As far as I'm aware no politician nor any political party has yet publically undertaken to carry out that kind of thorough process. I'm not sure they've even understood its necessity in their haste to get/stay comfy in Downing Street. During transits like this, and the global transits that we're on the edge of now, a bit of a tweak of the system here and there just won't do. There's currently and in the next decade no 'planetary mandate' for tweaking.
Leaders v Parties v Policies
For a long time UK politics has been dominated by organised political parties, so long in fact that they're now largely taken for granted as if they're part of the fixtures and fittings of our political system. But they're not. The idea that they're not necessary, or that they're causing lots of problems, hasn't really made much headway yet. Nor has the idea that we could vote on policies, not parties or people.
In New Labour's so-called landslide victory the party was elected on less votes than they used to lose with in the 1980s. Along with greatly diminished memberships and near-bankruptcy, that shows the decline in support for political parties in the United Kingdom.
In the 'age' of '24 hour media' the people - sometimes referred to as personalities, which must surely be ironic - who lead the parties have taken and been given disproportionate weight and power. The Pluto transit is a chance to alter this too, since the Sun represents who or what gets attention, and the 'star culture' of 'personalities' that has been particularly stoked over the last 10-15 years.
The newest imported idea from the USA has ratcheted up this trend to farcical levels. The idea is that the UK should have televised debates by the leaders of the political parties, and two of these have now taken place with one due to follow this week. The idea produced a lot of disputation, in large part because there are a lot of political parties missed out: why should the two or three largest parties - whose memberships have drastically fallen in any case, and so no longer represent the citizenry - receive such a disproportionate amount of airtime? In a time of unremitting spin, who benefits from having more of it?
But why should any political parties be given such copious amounts of airtime in any case? And where does that leave independent candidates? They are already disadvantaged in the political system by such undemocratic things like not by right being part of the pool of MPs from which some are chosen to sit on Standing and Select Committees. These committees scrutinise legislation and the activities of government departments and therefore act as vital checks and balances in our political system.
I am guilty of this bias myself. In writing about politics on this website and blog I have often written more about the politicians than about the parties. It took some years after creating the website before I included the charts of other parties and I still haven't given them the focus that they warrant. My defence is that I am one person with limited resources. The media have no such defences.
Astrologically, one problem we run into is that for the Conservative party there isn't an accurately-timed defining chart. As a major player in the party system of politics, that's a serious drawback for astrological writers. It makes it very hard to see what's happening at that group level and leaves just the party leader and maybe a few of the Shadow Cabinet likely to be written about by anyone looking through an astrological lens at the UK's political scene.
Throughout the campaign period Pluto has been stationary. It turned retrograde on the 5th of April, and was virtually motionless for about four weeks before and will remain so for about four weeks after - nearly all of the election campaign period.
On the 6th of May it will be at 5 degrees of Capricorn, creeping slowly backwards. As you can see, the Labour party has its MC-IC axis at 7 degrees of Aries-Libra, at right angles to transiting Pluto. Furthermore, it has an almost exact Moon-Mars opposition at just under 6 degrees of Libra-Aries.
This shows that the party is experiencing a long-term, profound reformation. You could say that it is trying to exorcise a few ghosts. How well or badly it is doing so, I don't know; I suspect one would have to be privy to the party's internal machinations to find out.
After it's finished its retrograde period this year Pluto will come back towards the Labour party's Uranus-Neptune opposition. You could say that that's the biggie.
The party metamorphosed into - or was possessed by - the New Labour project during the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of the 1990s. We're currently having a Uranus-Neptune semisextile, which is resonating with the whole cycle of this planetary pair and is part of why Labour is going through crisis after crisis, but when transiting Pluto fully gets to the Uranus-Neptune opposition in the party's foundation chart I think that's when the party will either die off completely, or will restore its original aims (albeit in updated form). With Pluto transits there is often a dying off, but there is also usually a resurrection of some sort in a new form.
The Liberal Democrats are resonating with the current Saturn-Uranus opposition since the party was formed at the Saturn-Uranus conjunction. But it's not as easy as all that because the Uranus-Pluto series of squares, which is soon to be joined by Saturn and Jupiter, are conjoining and squaring the Liberal Democrats' Saturn-Uranus conjunction.
Whatever electoral success they have - bearing in mind that on the 6th of May there are elections to local government as well as the national government, and the LibDems often have some success at the local government level - will be mitigated by the coming ructions.
Plain sailing is not what's ahead for any party, but with the global transits linking so directly to a core section of the LibDem chart they're not going to be able to avoid upheaval of one sort or another. The summer solstice this year (2010) has a particularly relevant arrangement of planets that points squarely at the Liberal Democrats' chart, probably involving matters of internal finances and/or their economic policies (their 2nd-8th house axis is central to these transits).
Unfortunately the chart/s for the Conservative party cannot be included, for reasons discussed above. The party has a number of symbolically important moments - the Tamworth manifesto, the reorganisation of 1867, and so on - however they aren't 'births' of the party. A defining 'birth' moment is not known and therefore a suitable chart can't be calculated.
Election timetable (external link)
Article on this site
Pluto conjunct UK's Sun
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UK & Scotland and the Saturn-Uranus cycle
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