Are people angry about the shenanigans in No 10? I expect some people are. I expect some of those personal anecdotes about personal loss, grief, suffering and deprivation were sincerely meant. Personally, I don’t recognise Kier Starmer’s description of the terrible hardship and tough times over the past two years. I’m lucky enough not to have lost anyone close to me (both parents long dead etc), and I’ll even admit to enjoying (especially the first) lockdown.
I look back on those months of empty country lanes, sun splashed bike rides, indolence, and half-hearted working from home with a pang. Those are my losses. Of course the kids were missing out on their education and socialisation. For sure, there are gaps in their knowledge which we’re slowly filling. At the same time, though: it’s only school. Education is for life.
What has been interesting about the hard partying at the heart of government is that it has most definitely “cut through”. Even students who have no interest in news, never watch TV, don’t ever see a newspaper, aren’t on Twitter: even they are aware of it.
This is a good thing, I think.
When I get angry about politics, I don’t really have it in me to be outraged about the toddler-tousled brat basking in his unearned privilege at the heart of government. I mean, obviously he’s unfit for office, but he always (obviously) was. And I do have feelings about his now-wife, who seems to be the party organiser in chief, and displays a really quite vulgar glee about where she is and how she got there. And at least one of the parties was organised so she could crow about getting rid of a hated rival. And she’s the Wallpaper Girl, isn’t she, speaking of vulgarity? I mean, it’s really… it must be… I can’t imagine what this person must be like. This is a person who fucked Boris Johnson. Who voluntarily fucked Boris Johnson and carried one of his many children to term. There is something about this person that seems alien to me, lacking the normal… you know, lacking the usual gag reflex, as it were.
No, when I get angry about politics, I reserve my special contempt for the swing voters. After all, if you live in a safe seat, your vote is meaningless. I’m living in a safe conservative seat, and I know I’m surrounded by that special kind of I’m-alright-Jack selfishness that means no matter how much suffering is going on, these people will still turn out and vote Conservative.
But there are parts of the country where seats sometimes change hands. And it’s the people who live there, who frequently change their votes, that I condemn. These are the ones who put Cameron, then Johnson, into power.
And what I think about this whole parties affair is, it’s kind of good isn’t it? Like a dog having its nose rubbed in shit, they can hardly fail to have noticed who it is they elected. It has definitely cut through. And I think that if the Tories got rid of him (and his weird alien wife) now, it would give them too much time, perhaps, to bring in a replacement who is vaguely competent, who isn’t the kind of person who will repeat a piece of right-wing disinformation as a slur against the leader of the opposition in an attempt to wiggle out of the mess he’s (or she’s) in. Two years of that person might allow the idiot fools who live in swing seats to forget this mess and choose to vote them in again.
I know this is not an original calculation, but it’s got to be in the minds of the opposition. On the other hand, two more years of this, and people might get used to it, might think it’s normal. So the question is, do we want to keep rubbing the swing voters’ noses in shit, or shall we let them come up for air?