Month: June 2017

…but not quite.

Screen Shot 2017-06-09 at 17.01.46I must admit, I don’t often post my colours, since I no longer live in the UK. But since I resolutely refuse to sign up to any political tribe, I found myself rather dismayed to notice that my voting intention was consistent with that anticipated from my peers and generation. Ugh. Belonging to the over-sixties’ ‘disgusted from Tunbridge Wells’  isn’t a place that’s particularly comfortable for a professional bystander like me.

So, what happened? Labour did better than expected because they had a better strategy. They ran a far smarter campaign and, even though the youth vote was “bought” (let them howl and rage, it’s true) with undeliverable promises of free tuition,  the cancellation of student debts etc, overall the Reds were coherent, on-message and smart. May, on the other hand, ran a scattered, messily unfocused campaign that failed to leverage any Tory strengths and had no  message which might have resonated. Nothing about the economic differences between free-market conservatives versus Hugo Chavez socialism. Very little detail on Brexit. Sloppy tactics on how to address the Islamist extremist issue.

That said, sometime this evening, perhaps, it will slowly dawn on all the jubilant Labour voters that, well, they lost. Two million more votes were cast for the Blues than last time. Poor Reds. They didn’t get a majority. They didn’t kick the Tories out. They’re not going to be able to raise taxes on the rich. They’re not going to be able to scrap tuition fees. Corbyn’s banging on about more pay for nurses and renationalising the railways wasn’t enough. They’re not going to be redecorating Number 10. And Jeremy Corbyn will still be standing on the opposite side at PMQs in a rumpled suit reading out made-up emails with questions from imaginary people. If the goal was to keep the Tories out, they failed.

As for ‘strong and stable’ a government that will not raise taxes, won’t be able to start any more wars and allows business to get on with preparing for Brexit, seems pretty close to “stable” if not particularly “strong”.  The alternative, having Corbynistas negotiating on our behalf whilst Diane Abbott keeps us safe and secure, would have been a good deal scarier.

Nearly…

Screen Shot 2017-06-09 at 11.14.44It’s curious. For a while now, I’ve put together long posts with careful arguments to make some kind of a point, rather losing sight of why I started blogging in the first place. It began as a kind of Swiftian flypast and, as time passed, I found myself editing, polishing, getting waterlogged in and becoming a slave to my own opinion. So, back to today. What a night it’s been for the Government. The gamble didn’t pay off, did it, chaps. That unassailable lead, evaporating. Promethean hubris “…a night (in which) the fog was thick and full of light, and sometimes voices” giving way to a cold, grey, unforgiving dawn.
Now it’s a soft Brexit and Corbyn yapping like a demented terrier at your heels. Boris the Beast will think about throwing his top hat in the ring for sure, as the Lady wobbles on her Manolo Blahniks outside No 10. And, if the DUP have their way, she might have to go  and fawn as a sop to Cerberus in exchange for their support.

The Conservatives can learn two things. They need to adopt the slogan seen so often “for the many, not the few”. Also, they must learn to listen to the young. Their applecart was almost upset by a concerted media savvy campaign that made them look lumbering, ineffectual and old fashioned. The young decided to get stuck in and make a fight of it. The mantra? “We like Jezza. We don’t like that ‘bloody woman’. They almost got away with it.