Don’t Blame It on the Sunshine

So, it’s all determined. A thumping majority for the Tories and the worst showing for Labour since 1935.

And the analysis had already hit full throttle before my Christmas spray tan had dried at 10pm on Thursday evening.

The truth is, we will never be able to put our finger on precisely why everything panned out as it did, though there will of course be indicators.

However, the excuses proffered so far reflect only that UK politics thrives on unqualified twaddle, while professing a magnificent ignorance of the bloomin’ obvious.

‘Jeremy Corbyn tanked on the doorstep’ has so far been the favoured recourse of the pundit charlatan. So how does that one measure up to scrutiny?

Well first off, it would have depended on which doors you ratt-att-att-att-ed. That patently wouldn’t have been the case in Putney, for example, where Labour gained a Tory seat of some 15 years standing (indeed Justine Greening’s old seat).

And it doesn’t quite explain why Labour bombed so spectacularly, given a reasonably encouraging showing in 2017, though it was a pretty flaccid Tory campaign.

But let’s not kid ourselves, the mainstream press has been ripping into Jezza since the 1980s, so it’s not as if they have only just starting to work him over in the last few years.

‘What, the guy’s hard left and he once talked to the IRA and Hamas?’ Well I won’t be voting for him again’.


And what about the anti-Semitism row? I’d buy that one if I could see a more general outrage in the UK about racism, which lamentably I don’t.

We’ve not cracked anti-Semitism at any point in the last 1,000 years, primarily because we are happy to say it’s a bit off, but not sufficiently moved to act.

In fact, Edward I was the last person to act decisively on the matter. Though that was with the Edict of Expulsion of 1290, so not exactly an egalitarian move.

Bottom line is that few really give a toss, or it would have been sorted. But it has been politically expedient to skewer Corbyn, while everybody (and this applies to all sides) use a conflation of Israel and Jews to codify their views.

Perhaps the Labour collapse was more about the fact that the brightness of the Corbyn star had faded, and the Manifesto was arguably overwritten with numbers that didn’t stack up.

Policy incontinence, as the Unite union big cheese Len McCluskey commented – in the aftermath, of course. Which sounded like a veritable piss-take because I always thought Unite wrote the Labour manifestos, or at least signed them off.

No such criticisms during the campaign though, when it’s an altogether tougher gig to address the thornier matters. When in ‘live’ campaign mode, people argue back.

But hang on a minute.

Surely Labour voters – being Social Democrats – would be more likely to drift over to the Lib Dems if they were perturbed by the accentuated left-lean? Isn’t that where the disaffected centrist MPs (Labour and Tory) had shuffled off in the past year?

And weren’t we all given to understand that Corbyn’s initial popularity had been buoyed by a support from the younger echelons?

Remember that in 2016, following the referendum, we were told by the liberal elite that the old had betrayed the young and that the Leave decision would be overturned by the young within a few years?

The logic here was that with every year that passes, the electorate swells with those achieving majority (i.e. their 18th birthday), while at the same time, the old are dying off. Sounds a reasonable argument, if of course the original premise were correct.

So, after 3.5 years, that should have been more than enough to have reversed the 48/52 split, right?

Well no, that doesn’t appear to have happened.

But why not, because after all, Labour did – albeit reluctantly in some quarters – promise a second referendum?

A few more questions now float to the top of the bowl.

Maybe the notion that the young voted Remain and the old voted Leave was always nonsense? After all, that relied purely on exit polls and other unregulated surveys.

If we accept that the ranks of the youth have indeed swelled, maybe the all-important subject of Brexit (after all, the political world has largely gone on hold, in order to address it for the last 4 years) wasn’t held by the hoi polloi to be that important after all?

Or are we suggesting that people who lamented Brexit as a disaster for a generation and beyond, would have preferred the ‘disaster’ to the appointment of an ineffective PM for 5 years?

It doesn’t add up. Piss poor PMs get ousted anyway before their terms are up, just as lightweight leaders do.

It’s beginning to look a lot like limpness.

Which is exactly an opportune moment to turn our collective ponderings back to the Lib Dems.

Why didn’t the augmented critical mass of youthful pro-EU voters opt for them and secure immediate revocation of Article 50?

Again, would hopelessly inept leadership for 5 years maximum outweigh a generational disaster?

It doesn’t make sense.

The truth is that Labour haemorrhaged votes to the Tories.

That’s not simply making a different decision for another similar option. That’s a swing from the left to the most right-wing Conservative administration since the Thatcher era.

And fundamental switches happen for fundamental reasons.

Throughout the campaign, pro-Remain commentators were urging people to vote to have another say on Brexit. Now it’s all over, the same people are saying that it wasn’t about Brexit at all but about how one man was perceived. It’s not as if his past has suddenly been revealed in a tabloid scoop.

And you can understand why.

If they acknowledge that the decision was effectively a second referendum, then the Remain argument kicks the bucket.

And without wishing to work a final Euro Torq-Fix Pozi Countersunk Screw into the coffin of Remain, let’s not forget that the election was called specifically to break the Brexit deadlock.

It might be Christmas, but even old Comical Ali wouldn’t have had a punt at selling such a turkey that we shouldn’t interpret the vote as being primarily a confirmation of 2016.

And of course, given that the 2016 referendum was purportedly swayed by lies and disinformation, it is a bitter pill for Remainers to swallow if a confirmatory decision has been delivered by the electorate.

Haven’t they spent the last 3.5 years schooling us, exposing the lies, and providing corrective information?

They’ve been running a multi-state-sponsored campaign for all that time and still can’t put forward a convincing argument.

Which brings us nicely to the question of fake news.

Why is this suddenly a massive issue?

Politics has been about misinformation and blagging since the year dot. It is the responsibility of the voter to discern the wheat from the chaff and then make their choice.

Crying about it after the fact is for the schoolyard.

Big boy’s games, big boy’s rules.

And let’s not get sucked into the argument that the liars were exclusively from the Leave camp.

Both sides propagated some humdinging whoppers, for which there was little evidence. Yes, the bus banner was a stretch of creative accounting, but you would’ve had to have been as thick as two short planks not to realise that Vote Leave, as a pressure group, had no mandate to direct future policy.

The real issue was that Remain ran a lazy campaign and took victory for granted. And since then, all we’ve had is retrospective commentary and hindsight that’s worth tuppence a bucket.

The matter was decided in 2016 and validated in 2019. Validated by a public that has never been better informed on the EU at any time in the past 50 years.

It’s all convenient to blame Corbyn, but it’s just not facing up to the facts. And the worst one for all of us is that our politics have become dominated by throwaway analysis that becomes more and more contradictory with each line spewed forth.

Most guilty are the liberal elite who support democracy only if the decisions go their way. And when it doesn’t, they operationalise their privilege to obstruct and frustrate.

It’s the politics of denial, exemplified by the parliamentary deadlock of the last 3.5 years, the court cases, and the social media hysterics.

Want to know why the UK is sliding in so many areas? If the politicians and pundits want to blame anybody for the mess, they need to look beyond the sunshine, moonlight, and boogie.

As we head into 2020, we’re effectively still in June 2016.

They should take a damned good look at themselves and start pitching in, rather than bitching in.


unsplash-logoLaura Pratt

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