13 Thoughts for Friday 13th

  1. And lo, it came to pass, Corbyn was unelectable, pilloried by the right wing press, and – more importantly – continually undermined by the only slightly left-of-centre quality newspaper, the Graun, who saw him, presumably, as a threat to their trust fund. And they have the nerve to constantly nag for my support. It was Michael Foot: the Return, after all, and a slow motion car crash.
  2. Ten years ago, we might have naively thought that these new social media would be a platform for us, a way to cut through the billionaires and their lies. Turns out, unscrupulous politicians of the right are far more effective at using these platforms, and apparently the tax avoiding multinational corporations who run them aren’t with us. 
  3. Tactical voting doesn’t work. Has never worked. Will never work. Perhaps everyone will learn this lesson and shut up about it now. The only way to beat the Tories is to beat the Tories. I have ashes in my mouth this morning because I put a cross in a box next to the name of a former Conservative minister. Will all great Neptune’s ocean rinse these ashes from my mouth?
  4. You beat the Tories, incidentally, by being Tony Blair. I was never a fan, and he was just Tory Lite as far as I was concerned, but that election win in 1997 ushered in what turned out to be a kinder, gentler era – at least until 2003, when it all went tits up. He’s hanging around like Marley’s ghost now, an eternal reminder of what we lost. But if you’re going to beat the bastards and convince the shallow swing voters who are fooled by “Get Brexit Done”, then you need your own superficial bastard. A crusty possible communist asset in a donkey jacket didn’t cut it in 1983, and, turns out, doesn’t cut it now.
  5. I’ve always hated my neighbours, who are white haired oldsters and very obvious Tories. One of them even hangs a flag outside his house on occasion. I now hope they slip on some ice this winter and die of septicaemia.
  6. Labour’s stance on the EU was always unconvincing. Not anti enough to convince the angry Left Behind voters; and not pro enough for people like me, who hate the idea of this little island becoming more insular. Once the narrative is that you’re sitting on a fence, you’re done for. It didn’t matter that they tried to be nuanced, people don’t vote for nuances.
  7. In fact, the simplistic and misleading message of “getting it done” was what seemed to convince people. I personally think you should be ashamed of yourself if you believed that. But the people who did aren’t reading this, so I move on. In hindsight, the resistance to Brexit over the past three years has played into the strategists’ hands. By making it as painful and convoluted as possible, they managed to persuade people it needed to be over. Maybe on a different time-line, it just went through first time, and then people realised the consequences and, about now, the perpetrators’ heads are on spikes around the battlements.
  8. People vote their pocketbooks, as they say in the States. They vote their wallets. They vote for whatever option they think will leave them better off. And, as I often say, enough people feel they are just about managing and don’t want it to get worse. When people earning over £80,000 are trying to argue that they’re just about coping, you’re screwed.
  9. Ambition ought to be one of the Seven Cardinal Sins. I guess it goes with Pride, which is the worst of them. Ambition is what makes people want to trample on the backs of others. Ambition means someone with whacky ideas gets that promotion and gets to ruin everyone’s working life until they fail. Ambition whispers in your ear and tells you that, one day, you might be earning £80k and do you really want to hike the tax rate for people earning that much?
  10. It’s such a cliché but nevertheless true that it’s the younger generation I feel sorry for. At least I’ve once experienced the heady triumph of 1997, before the crushing disappointments and unnecessary foreign wars, when we saw the Tories finally ousted after nearly 20 years of hurt. My own muted emotional response last night was nothing compared to my daughters who, like me, voted against their conscience in hope only to see the stark reality. They’ll have to suffer another ten years of this, possibly, before they have something to cheer about.
  11. I hated them then, but the Conservatives led by Thatcher and John Major are nothing like the ones who won last night. We’ve got a UKIP government in all but name, and all that that entails.
  12. Go metric. It’s an empty gesture, but more than ever now we owe it to ourselves to work in metric measurements because they hate it.
  13. It took two years after Thatcher’s win in 1979 for the riots to happen. I can only wonder whether, within the same timescale, the same will happen again.

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