Even for those engaged in crafting the definitive 21st century novel (35,000 words in and still going) there come moments when the urgent must surely overtake the important. One such arrived last Thursday night when the Stoke and Copeland by-election results were declared. But before I get into a brief analysis of their meaning, let me just rub salt water into the burning oil on troubled waters drowning the ruffled feathers of the mixed metaphors that are the Labour Party fundamentalist and Blairite Wings.
Ever since the 2015 General Election, I have been stating these two numerically obvious realities:
Respectively, the Stoke on Trent and Copeland results are an exact micro-reflection of those conclusions; but politicians being both purveyors of (and suckers for) anti-reality, in the forty-eight hours since the declaration, we have not seen the smallest spluttering candle of illumination on that subject. For what candle could stay alight in the teeth of the Hurricane Doris of horseshit that has emanated from the two “leaders”of the English Opposition?
“I’m not going anywhere,” said the Hillsborough Country Gent fantasist in charge of UKIP. How right you are, chum. I’m the last person in the world to be politically correct, but Paul Nuttall has emerged as a bigoted yob with almost no saving graces.
“The Stoke result,” claimed Jeremy Corbyn on Friday, “is a victory of hope over fear”. Later that day, he tweeted that the victory there was decisive, and Copeland had been lost because the other candidates were divisive. It is symptomatic of the Corbynista Leftlib activist mentality that all victories are decisive – in which the scumfascists are ‘smashed’ – and all losses are the result of underhand tactics by the divisive forces of retard repression. Defeat is never their fault, and victory is never magnanimous.
Why is this Opposition disarray particularly important now? And why is a solution to it a question of urgency? One simple reason, which I repeat now without apology: all that’s required is for the eventual Parliamentary debate on UK-EC Brexit terms to turn into anarchy. For at that moment, Mother Theresa will call a general election to mandate the Government’s recommendations.
In that election, UKIP will fail to turn votes into seats, Labour will be routed, and the United Kingdom will effectively become two one-Party States at loggerheads: nationalist Scotland and corporatist England.
Leaving aside the ridiculous spectre of one half of the country all for being in the EU and the other half tentatively out, each of the leaders in charge of their respective fiefdoms will be dictatorial women with Parliamentary majorities but minority popular support. Of the two, I know enough about May’s management “style” (and feigned sympathy for real people) to be certain that – by, say, 2022 and the next election – real English democracy will be at an end. As for the lady of alleged lavender tendencies from north of the Border, she is a woman who is not allowed to say “yes”, and thus spends her days saying “no”.
I have nothing against the Scots in general (my kids are half-Scots) but I am hacked off to the back teeth with the Scottish Nationalists, who get a ludicrous number of Westminster seats compared to their share of the UK electorate…yet somehow think they will do better in an EU infinitely more controlling than the hated Sassenachs. And while I fought alongside UKIP to get Brexit, I long ago lost patience with the eccentric dum-dumbs it seems to bring forth. As for Labour, there is little left to say: Metrolabour having lost the Scottish vote almost entirely, Corbylabour is firing on all cylinders in a bid to wipe out what English base it has left. The suicidal nature of the ideologists on either side of the yawning canyon renders them, to my mind, unfit for Office.
In the reduction process taking place, it boils down to this: unless two of them opt for an electoral pact, the three of them are simply in the way. As they’re all busy doing the One More Heave fandango, that clearly isn’t going to happen.
This appalling constitutional danger is exacerbated by two further factors: the complete implosion of the Liberal Democrats, and the capitulation of the BBC as a bona fide member of the British media set supposed to be holding governments to account.
If you were looking for a naive, niche-view nitwit to lead your Party – someone perhaps to counter the narrow nincompoop at the other extreme of the Brexit spectrum from Paul Nuttall – then it’s hardly surprising the LibDems elected Tim Farron to the leadership. There must be times, in between shopping for inappropriate trousers, when Theresa May looks at her three opponents in England and concludes that God is a Tory.
In Stoke and Copeland, the LibDem candidates amassed a pitiful 4,000 votes between them – an average 8% of the poll. In Copeland, Labour lost a heartland that had previously never before been Tory. In Copeland too, UKIP got just 6% of the vote – showing yet again that, when the Conservatives have a real chance to win, Nuttall’s Mintoes get massacred….and that Labour’s base support is, in most cases, going straight to UKIP.
The short-term losers with little to offer (once Brexit is a fact) are, without doubt, Farron’s Fluffies. At least UKIP has mass appeal and Labour a proper machine: Jack Dromey ran things in Stoke, and there’s no doubt he helped. The Liberal Democrats have less going for them than any of the Also Rans: they’re headed for the glue factory.
Meanwhile, over at the BBC, the senior management ensure that nothing nasty gets broadcast about Tories, markets or banks, and the journalists try to avoid saying anything good about Brexit or Donald Trump.
In that free-for-all, the only bloke vaguely acceptable to both sides is the irrepressibly pompous and consistently wrong Michael White. White has been the spokesman for the Guardian tendency inside Labour for forty years, and is a sad figure in decline these days. He’s been a fan of the Party’s repressed minority obsession from Day One, and an opponent of change at the Grauniad that just might have saved its hide. So much is Michael the personification of arrogant bourgeois Libleftism, I was told years ago by a senior hack at the Beeb that Tory strategists see him as one of their greatest assets on the telly.
Unsuprisingly, therefore, Michael White was wheeled out by BBCNews to say that Corbyn should be replaced but can’t be, and that he agreed with Ken Livingstone. I have no doubt that both Conservative and Labour activists thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle; the rest of us were depressed.
But Dateline London is perhaps the most flagrant example of the BBC’s innate neocon liberal bias. The format – foreign journalists talking about British policies at home and abroad – is in theory a brilliant one. In practice, it merely tends to highlight the rigorous use of fake news and sloppy ignorance so often associated with all things uttered or written by Clinton and EC robots.
At one point, the host Gavin Essler (no Tory he) had to butt in and ask them all to stop saying the EU is fine, and instead talk about the euro, which clearly isn’t. One US commentator then tried to argue that the euro was a red herring, while another said Britain had “enjoyed a charmed life” in the EU and should not be so ungrateful as to leave. The two of them agreed that the UK had “thrown away an extremely beneficial trading agreement”, a fake fact that Essler should really have corrected.
It was the most dreadful tosh, but above all it does showcase Auntie’s role as firmly pro the élite line these days. Whichever way you cut it, in the context of Opposition weakness and self-serving agendas in Britain, the BBC is just one more good woman of Szechuan telling ‘good lies’ – and thus one more good man doing nothing. Evil will, therefore, very probably triumph.
Since 1951, the British Labour Party has only once, under Michael Foot, gone to the electorate with a radically left wing Manifesto. The fact conveniently forgotten by today’s Corbynistas is that Footie was trounced, and indirectly that led to long years in Opposition…followed (even worse) by Tony Blair. As to Blair himself, I do not believe that the electorate alive today would make that mistake twice.
This sums up my fears as well as anything: as things stand today, on a three-year timeline the LibDems are doomed, on say a seven year one so too is UKIP….and at any time during or soon after that, so too is Labour. I doubt very much if democracy in any recognised sense of the word would survive in a Britain without an effective Opposition from 2010-2025. The best we could hope for is a corporacratic vassal State fronting up as a fiercely independent trading island of devolved regions.
You might think that, as a committed communitarian capitalist, I might see that as “half way there”. But if the personal and community self-sufficiency elements are merely window dressing, then no change from now would be infinitely preferable. And of course, two massive curved balls are coming everyone’s way: a radical change in the geopolitical power balance, and a globally disastrous econo-financial collapse.
One day – not too far away – the drivel will have to stop. When it does, the ageing detritus of old thinking will be blown away. It won’t be gradual, and it won’t be pretty.