Wednesday 21 June 2017

Negotiations “haven’t proceeded the way we would have expected.”

The Tories can't even impose their will on a bunch of Irish God Botherers they outnumber 30 to 1. 

How the Hell are they going to beat Europe into submission?

Agreeing a deal with a party that is basically on your side shouldn't be so bloody difficult, woman!

Theresa May said she'd thrash Labour ... She didn't.

She said she's bend the DUP to her will ... She didn't.

She says she'll negotiate a deal of absolute awesomeness with Europe ... Given her track record, how do you think that will work out?

Still, third one's a charm, eh, Tessa?

Jeremy Corbyn is far better at talking to Irish people!

Monday 19 June 2017

White People

Following the van attack at Finsbury Park Mosque, which has killed at least one person and injured several more, I think we need to talk about White People.

If the driver of the van turns out to be a White Person (and it is a statistical fact that 200% of all people who drive white vans are White People), I assume we will be calling for white people to be banned? Their values are clearly at odds with civilised society.

Lets be serious about this. No more pussy footing around people's 'sensibilities' for fear of causing offence. Brass tacks time. Forget political correctness. Is it time to intern White People?

I demand to know why White People didn't report him. They must have known. Their silence means they condoned it, were effectively complicit in it.  All of them.

You can't trust white people, they might act nice to your face, but what are they really thinking?

Oh, and White People - you need to speak out and condemn this act. Though if you do, I'll deny you did, or claim you didn't mean it.

Friday 16 June 2017

Why Corbyn matters and why Labour will win (Possibly repetitive)

Forgive me, dear reader, if I am repeating myself.  I am engaged in a lot or arguing across the internet and the nature of troll slaying is that it is repetitive.  But occasionally I say something that I may not have said before, or which bears repeating.

First, with regards the meme being put about that Labour would have won if pretty much anyone but Corbyn had been leader.  Let us dispatch this ideas swiftly.  First, and most obviously, there would probably not have been an election if anyone but Corbyn had been leader.  Labour would not have been so riven with dissent and would not have appeared so utterly helpless (while in fact being poised for a devastating counter-strike).

Further, a different leader would never have put forward such an audacious manifesto or campaigned so successfully, motivated so many canvassers in the constituencies or inspired young voters to roll on up to the polling station. More people voted for Corbyn's version of the Labour Party than voted for Milliband or Brown or even Blair in 2005 - either in terms of vote share or raw numbers. And turnout was particularly high among the young. He managed to bring people to the polls to vote for Labour, far more successfully than in their last three attempts. And the ground war waged by Labour activists was astonishing, by all accounts, and crucial in winning the battles in key constituencies.

Finding an extra 3.5 million votes, and robbing the Tories of their absolute majority just two years after they won it, proving people will vote for a 'leftwing' manifesto, humiliating May and de-fanging the Mail and the Sun ... That's not a bad run for someone we were assured was going to absolutely destroyed, buried, annihilated.

Not only is it likely that Labour will romp home at the next election, they will likely win a majority that will keep them in power for another decade. Strategically, that's far more significant than the two year zombie administration May is likely to be recalled for.

Now, as for the prospects of the Tories.  Below are ten off-the-top-of-my-head reasons why they can expect to be trounced at the next election, which will liekly be within 2 years.

  1. They are in office but not in power. They will get blamed, fairly or unfairly, for every bad thing that happens. This is what did for Brown when he took over.

  2. The Public mood is against them. Look at the polls since the election. Labour in the lead. Unless they do something dramatic and interesting, the Tories will continue to flounder. A 'better manifesto' will be viewed cynically.

  3. Their reputation for competence is shredded. They went in with a majority, came out without one. They look like idiots.

  4. Years of scheming and undermining await - assuming May tries to cling on for a couple of years, her potential successors will be constantly plotting against her and each other. Again. look at how that worked out for Brown.

  5. History is against them. Cameron managed to defy political gravity by increasing his vote share and number of seats. I don't think any other administration has managed to do that in recent history. Almost inevitably, the party in power loses ground - even Thatcher did worse in each election than in the one before.

  6. The Mail Failed. And the other news media that were so shrilly anti-Corbyn. They threw everything at him and it did not work. What do you think they have left to attack him with? The 'Terrorist sympathiser' and similar lines have been used, they wll be even less effective next time.

  7. Labour are getting stronger. With less disunity and negativity, and with a stronger front bench, Labour will look more voteable. A team lead by Corbyn, McDonnell and Abbott probably did worry a few voters. As more 'traditional' Labour MPs get involved, the party will look less like a demented leftwing cult and more like a genuine contender.

  8. Labour have lost the 'loser' image. It is likely some people did not vote / voted for other parties because they did not think Labour would win. Almost all the polls suggested Labour were due for a hammering. Yet they still came from twenty points behind to within three points of winning more votes. If there is an election in the next couple of years (likely) then Labour's vote will get out in droves, and the dispirited Tory vote will be more inclined not to bother.

  9. Ground game. Labour have a superb team of activists. The oft derided Momentum foot soldiers turned out to be a) just normal people, not scary Trots and b) willing to actually get out there and knock on doors and get the vote out. There will be even more of them next time, as the 'One More Push!' message gets rolled out. Where will the Tories get a activists like that?

  10. Time for a change. Whether the next election is in two years or five, the will have been in power for a long time and people will have become very sick of them.
This isn't even considering the horrors of Brexit that await the Tories, or the horrendous image problems Theresa May is experiencing, or the lack of awareness among the Conservative Party in parliament about how unappealing any of the obvious candidates are.

There simply isn't any obvious reason to think they will win the next election, or even just tread water.

They blew it.

Saturday 10 June 2017

Post Election thoughts, Round 2 - Possibly Repetitive

The full scale of the awful situation that has engulfed the Tories is only just starting to sink in.

Probably, the only thing worse than calling a vanity election and losing your majority would be calling a vanity election, losing your majority and still being left to deal with the mess you've made of everything.

I give them two years, max. They won't have a choice. Every by-election, defection or resignation will drive them into calamity.The longer the Tories cling on to power, the worse their situation is going to get.

They will look more and more shambolic and hapless.

People are going to get sickened by the sight of them limping weakly from disaster to catastrophe, too frit for another election as they're (can you believe this) scared of Jeremy Corbyn!

The Tories are waning. Labour, on the other hand, are waxing.

They can sit back and occasionally tweet about how different things could have been, if only ... They will likely have a stronger front bench within a couple of weeks, as Corbyn has a reshuffle and some big names agree to work with him.

Corbyn can carry on spreading his hopey-changey message to da yoof and exhort them not to give up - "One more push! Tomorrow belongs to us!"

The right wing media have shot their bolt. They threw everything at Corbyn. Next time, what more can they say?  So whatever effect the relentless negativity had will be diminished.

The Tories have no message. The said they were strong and stable, and ended up in a coalition of chaos.

What can they say to the electorate that will be believable and which will entice voters to them? They got nothing, because the electorate will look at any offer and say, "Why didn't you say that in 2017?" 

Worse, Brexit beckons. Negotiations are due to start in a week! How are the Conservatives - disorganised, demoralised and divided - going to make anything other than a mess of them?

Only Labour can look forward to another election with any enthusiasm. The Tories will likely slip further away from power - why would people want to vote for them more in 2018 or 19 than they did in 2017?

My only concern is Corbyn's age. If the Tories hang on until 2019, he'll be 70. Will he have the energy for another big campaign? Will he have to hand on the leadership, and just play the figurehead role in the campaign?

A bit of me is wondering if that is why the Conservatives will cling on to the bitter end - hoping that something will turn up to help them, and hoping the irascible Corbyn will stop ruining things for them.

Put to fear by a hapless vegetarian.  Can it get any more humiliating for the part of Churchill, MacMillan and Thatcher?

Post Election Thoughts, Round 1 - Whither Now, Tessa?

Well, that was interesting.

I remember, back in 2010, when Cameron managed to ... um ... not win an election, I predicted that the Tories would live through some sort of grim equivalent of the ordeal Labour went through in the 80s.  I turned out to be wrong, massively, as the Tories managed to form a solid coalition with the Lib Dems and managed to survive for ten years and went on to win an outright majority ...

But, undeterred, I now confidently predict the Tories will find themselves in a situation curiously reminiscent of the 1990s.  And the worst bit of the 90s at that.  Not the good bit where they won an election.

Some thoughts for the stunned mullets on the right, particularly those desperately trying to spin this result as a victory for Theresa May.

  • Your party has no inherent majority. You had one of course, but you threw it away.
  • You're relying on a bunch of Irish Nationalists to give you a working majority.
  • Even then, you've only got a tiny majority.
  • Your leader is humiliated, her authority is broken, her credibility is gone.

Fair summary of the situation, yes? Nothing too controversial or partisan there.

So, the question is, how do you manage to rebuild your party brand so the next election - in 12 months? 18? 24? - isn't a thrashing on the scale of 1997?

  • Can the conservatives offer the country "strong and stable" leadership? No, because the coalition has a tiny majority and every time an MP is sick, or mysteriously absent because they don't want to be associated with a piece of toxic legislation, the they risk defeat. They are at the mercy of events and mavericks. 
  • Can they offer a strong leader that can run a presidential style campaign? No. You tried that, and it didn't work very well. May was awful. Who could replace her? BoJo would be a disaster. Rudd has a tiny majority and is going to be focused on that? Gove is a joke.
  • Can you offer a vision that you can sell? No, you don't seem to have any. There was no vision or ambition or hope in 2015. How are you going to find it by 2019 and sound credible? You can't. That's why the Conservative campaigns are so relentlessly negative. They have nothing good to say about themselves.
  • Can you rely on the opposition destroying themselves. I doubt it. They did there best in 2016, and the still managed to turn May's coronation into a bloodbath. Corbyn managed to re-invent himself as everyone's favourite batty old uncle, and some big names will be tempted back onto the front bench now that they see power is actually within their grasp.

Remember John Major? A basically sound bloke, whose majority was whittled away over the course of his second term. Eventually, he was left propped up by the Ulster Unionists, but even then he was continually embarrassed in the House. He had to endure continual leadership intrigues, eventually having to suffer the humiliation of asking the party if he was more or less popular than John Redwood! His party was divided against itself over Europe. You see the parallels? By 1996, the Major administration was a feeble, zombie government, shambling on wards, hoping that something would turn up to reverse its fortunes. Nothing did. You'll recall what happened in 1997, I think.

It took the second Major government five years - 1992 to 1997 - to reach the sorry pass May finds herself in. She's starting from the 'shambling zombie' situation Major ended up in.

(And at least he managed to win an election!)

So you've got a couple of years to sort yourselves out, Tories. But I think you'll spend it mired in recrimination, feuding, leadership intriguing, and wallowing in the humiliation of continual defeat and gibbering in terror at the prospect of facing the electorate again.


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