For readers outside the Britain, here’s a quick summary of the British general election campaign. Voting is on May 7 (tomorrow).
For most of the last couple of hundred years, voting in Britain has boiled down to a choice between two parties. Since WW2, that choice has been between Labour and Conservative.
Last election 2010, Conservatives were forced into a coalition with the centrist third party, the Liberal-Democrats, because no single party had enough votes for a majority in parliament. In this country, a general election means you vote for your local Member of Parliament who is 99% likely to a member of one of the big political parties. The party that gets the most MPs gets to put their own chap or chapess in Number 10 Downing Street.
Unlike many other countries, this means that all seats in the House of Commons are up for grabs right now, with every single candidate in every constituency trying to hang on to his or her job.
Over the last five years we have seen a dramatic strengthening of support for non-traditional parties.
• The right-wing UK Independence Party which want to leave the European Union.
• The nationalists: Scottish Nationalist Party and the Welsh Plaid Cymru. Despite losing the referendum to leave the UK last year, the SNP is predicted to take almost every seat in Scotland. This completely changes the balance of power.
• In Northern Ireland, things divide differently: Unionists who want to stay part of the United Kingdom, Sinn Fein who want out, and the centre parties who might go either way.
• The Greens, who have developed a raft of left-wing policies as well as the usual save the planet stuff.
Polls are predicting a “hung parliament”, which means no party gets a majority. The government will have to be a coalition, or a minority government that gets legislation through on a vote by vote basis. If no one can cobble together a government then we may be forced to have another election. Messy but other countries manage.
Our two choices for Prime Minister are Ed Miliband for Labour or the incumbent Conservative David Cameron.
Until this election campaign, Ed Miliband has had a startlingly poor public image — a geek, a nerd, and maybe worst of all, “weird”. The press — especially the Murdoch-owned tranche — has been vicious, particularly after Miliband refused to kiss the Murdoch ring. Since the campaign started however, Miliband has risen in the public estimation somewhat. It turns out he’s just intelligent rather than an egghead. He’s even garnered a smidgen of street-cred because of the Milifans, young girls who tweet about him gushingly, and an interview with comedian and activist Russell Brand.
The thing that strikes me first is the affinity with the UK 1801 chart, the one used by astrologers for British politics and economics. The British Moon at 19° Cancer is close to Miliband’s IC and his natal Moon, while the UK Sun at 10° Capricorn is at the midpoint of Miliband’s Sun and Mercury, also in Capricorn. This suggests that, despite appearances, he has a feel for the country, the land and its people. And as you might expect, his destiny his bound up with Britain’s. It’s a shame his handlers during the campaign have not let him anywhere near the public because he would have done well. The more he’s allowed to be a real person, the better he comes across.
When Miliband says he is a defender of ordinary working families, he really believes that. His Moon is very powerful in his chart, placed as it is in its own sign Cancer. He must have strong emotions, which he keeps under control thanks to the overwhelming Saturnian influence in his chart. That Moon in Cancer can mean a great love of country — and of mother. Miliband’s mother, Marion Kozak, was — and still is — a political activist, and at a time when women didn’t have degrees, she had one (Moon in the 3rd). Although he wasn’t homeschooled, his education must have been mainly at home.
But the person Miliband identifies with is his Dad, the professor. He has an exact trine between Saturn and the Sun in the 9th house. Sun in the 9th is a professor’s placement, and Miliband’s 9th is also ruled by Jupiter, the guru. Saturn and Sun both represent the father. This is very key to his sense of identity. He feels himself to be a teacher and a father, just like Dad. He wants to be a parent to the nation.
Miliband is vauntingly ambitious: a Capricorn with Capricorn on the MC and Saturn Rising. He wants to be in charge and, despite what the press say, he’s a confident decision-maker. However, it looks like he needs all the information before he makes a choice, but once he’s done that, he’s a bit of a bulldozer. Taurus Rising is relentless, and with Saturn just there too, he is doubly so. He’s hard-headed, hard-working, and has a deep sense of responsibility. His job is his life. Saturn Rising, Jupiter, the expander, in the 6th house of work.
He’s known for his brains, of course –– Mercury at the top of the chart –– and big-picture thinking — Pallas, the asteroid of strategy (political and military especially) is up there too. With both these planets in Capricorn, he has a very structured mind and is inclined to institutional thinking. Indeed, Miliband’s entire life has been spent in institutions: school, university, Parliament, a stint teaching at Harvard, Westminster… Not much life experience then.
And he may not be quite as smart as he thinks he is, because this is not someone who thinks outside the box. His Venus in Sagittarius may help him there though. You’d think that placement might have given him a love of travel and wide open spaces, but in fact it is his wife who has done the travelling. Apparently, she travelled around South America after university with the future Mrs Osborne, wife of the current Chancellor. This gives you some of idea of the narrowness of the political classes in this country — and why some people will be voting for anything but the Tories, Lib-Dems or Labour. Venus in Sagittarius also loves big ideas, but Miliband’s big ideas will be idées recus not original. However, we don’t need a Prime Minister who’s going to set the world on fire with his ground breaking intellect. Prime Minister equals chief exec — and that is exactly what this chart is. No wonder he got the job of opposition leader.
Pallas, the war strategist so highly placed, also suggests he means it when he says he’ll keep Trident, the nuclear submarine programme. It also suggests that he does enjoy the campaign. Juno, another political asteroid, is well placed in his chart in Aquarius in the 10th: he is a servant to the community. But she is opposed by Lilith in Leo. He cannot see his own ego motivation for this perhaps.
Ed Miliband is an intelligent, responsible apparatchik; a servant of the people. So what of the transits to his chart?
Well, he’s been through the ringer since becoming leader of his party in 2010, hasn’t he?
Look, he’s had Saturn in the 6th and 7th, and it sat hard on his Jupiter and opposed his natal Saturn. That was a lot of hard grind, open enemies and a dampening of spirit. However, because he is a Saturnian character, the Taskmaster is his friend. He was just getting toughened up. He also got married which is a classic Saturn transit of the 7th and had babies. Responsibility piled on responsibility.
Then there’s Pluto on his Moon, squared by Uranus: ouch. This has been emotionally transforming, and maybe his relationship with his mother has had to take a beating. Who knows what went on in Schloss Miliband when he defeated his brother David for the leadership position. David was likely the anointed one.
Uranus? Well, the Uranus half-Return — mid-life crisis — was clearly the decision to lead the Labour Party and go all out for power.
For many years, Pluto has been in Miliband’s 9th house. He has been treading the corridors of power, working in the brains of government, but right now Pluto is nudging Miliband’s MC. (We need to be careful of his birth time, which has obviously been rounded off, so the angle of his chart may be slightly out.) However, Pluto to the MC can only happen once in 260 years or so. It’s significant.
Gordon Brown had this transit to his MC when he lost the last election. But Pluto had just gone past his MC and was retrograding back towards it. This Pluto has not reached Miliband’s MC and its retrograding away. In September, it goes forward. When this happened to Brown, he donned his hood of invisibility and vanished into the Scotch mist. However, astrological patterns don’t necessarily work in exactly the same way each time. This is about power, and the quest for power.
If Miliband gains power in this election, which is a big if, he may well get his feet under the table and stay to make swingeing changes in Britain for a long time. He is already battle-hardened by Saturn. If we were absolutely certain of the time of birth, we could be more certain of the timings on this, but the Rodden rating for birthtime is B and I can guarantee that an English birth in the 1960s will not have been recorded to the minute by the hospital.
This certainly does not look like a victory, but nor does it specially look like a defeat.
So what of his progressions then, if we can’t quite get a handle on his transits?
Solar Arc Neptune is nearly on his MC. That’s either ambition washed away — or super-stardom! Tony Blair was elected on a wave of hope when Neptune transited his MC. It’s certainly a fog, which is how I feel looking at all the politician’s charts for this election — except one who is a clear winner. But that’s for the next post.