I don’t normally talk politics on my blog, it seems a growing minority of people have become increasingly immature to talk about disagreements in a civil fashion. I thought to make a rare exception as I did after the Brexit vote which I supported then and just as wholeheartedly do so now.
The General Election on Thursday was quite astonishing; for a Conservative government to win a fourth victory in a row and not just winning but doing so in a landslide is quite unheard of with Labour in my mind very predictable (but apparently not to to many) getting massacred.
There are a few issues I think as to what led to this but chiefly it has to be for Brexit. How the party of the working people has come to going against the Leave beliefs of their heartlands is quite staggering.
How the country voted in 2017
How the country voted in 2019 (SW Cornwall’s vote hadn’t yet come in when I did the map but it turned blue.
A stylised map going my the population of each consitutency
There has been years of snide remarks, comments of people not knowing what they voted for but they do now and would vote differently. Calls of a country being against Brexit a divided country when outside of Social Media, I couldn’t find any of this. The country was largely for Leaving though Parliament most definitely wasn’t. This election has revealed just that.
Having kept out of the election and politics; I was asked my opinion as to what the results would be 2 weeks before the election and I said it would be a a strong Conservative win. It seemed so obvious to me and to those on the street that I spoke to. As Labour increasingly rolled back from its promise of honouring the Referendum, it became blindingly obvious that their core voters wouldn’t appreciate being told they were too stupid or racist or whatever by a Metropolitan leadership. Working Class does not mean stupid.
Just look at the senior Labour team; Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott, Emily Thornberry, Kier Starmer. Without exception, everyone of them from London, many of them very plush areas where people have no connection with the reality of those in ‘the real world’.
I should be the most Labour voting person. I live on a ‘Council Estate’ where the most impoverished people above the class of Homeless live. The public services I use are abysmal, namely buses and trains and there seems to be no accountability with the powers that be. I spent the first half of my childhood in the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne which in the 1970’s and 80’s amongst other things was famous for its poverty and unemployment and deprivation; my mother grew up on a council estate and my father in a rather lonely and isolated old mining town in a region where mining was coming to an end.
I’m not alone, in my little row of 6 houses in this estate aside from myself there is a retired bus driver and supermarket worker, a small businessman from Whitechapel, a baker, policeman, a laundrette worker and another retiree from Newcastle.. From what I can tell, at least 4 houses out of the 6, possibly 5 voted Conservative with one Libdem. Really it should be 5 or 6 houses voting Labour.
Similarly as I write this on Sunday morning, every single person I’ve spoken to face to face has warily asked who I voted for before confessing they voted Conservative too and again all these people are those who’d apparently hate Brexit and hate the Conservatives, a single mother renting a small home, a market trader, a NHS worker and an 18 year old from a British Asian family voting in their first ever election.
Yet labour are only part of the issue. The Libdems or the LiberalUndemocrats as many have been calling them have been awful in their own ways. Their leader Jo Swinson admitted even if there had been a second referendum and the country voted to Leave again then she would campaign against it. Her very arrogant attitude that went from her proposing she may well be the next Prime Minister to her party doing terrible and Jo herself laughably losing her own seat so she isn’t an MP was fantastic poetic justice. I mentioned to others a month or so ago that she was by far the worst Liberal Leader since before the 1980’s and so it was proven and yet she had such arrogance and wouldn’t hear a word against it.
The BBC, Guardian etc have absolutely no idea of what people are feeling or saying and when they hear something, they entirely disregard it. As a keen fan of politics shows, I only remember once in 3 years seeing a panel with a majority of Leavers on it, usually it would be 3 or 4 Remainers with one Leaver… some times they would be entirely composed of Remainers.
Even this morning, senior Labour leadership contender and London MP has been accused by a former Labour MP from the north of calling northern voters ‘stupid’ with regards to their votes and views.
My mother was born into a bad council estate in the now infamous Workington. I still visit there and if in the 80s and 90s anyone would say the Conservatives would win there (actually my uncle was a Labour councillor there for 56 years) we’d have thought there would be people living on the moon first. Even when I went there last year it was obvious this was brewing. This election could have been a huge Labour win if they had actually listened to their heartlands and not those who go for a walk on Hampstead Heath whilst their au-pair takes the children to school in a 4*4.
We were told that Remainers had to be right due to 300,000, 600,000, a million marchers following the same cause seemingly oblivious to the many millions who were staying at home, quiet but increasingly fed up as to every possible bureaucratic obstacle was put in their path that made everyone even more determined, albeit in a quiet way just as was the case before the original Brexit vote.
It was also great to see every single MP who deserted their respective parties to go against the mandate their electorate voted them in on, lose. Every single one of them…. just a small part of the smug moral superiority that the majority of us have been subject to for almost 4 years and all entirely discarded by those who did everything possible to thwart the will of the people.
Yet as soon as the election results came in, again it was anyone’s fault but their own. I wasn’t even that bothered one way or the other about Brexit; in an ideal world it wouldn’t have been deemed necessary but it was. And it’s time people started to act with a little grace and accept the result.
If you don’t respect the people and then you get these to me very obvious events like Brexit and Conservative landslides. By ignoring actual votes then all people have left is civili unrest, terrorism and rebellion. And not listening to people is exactly why Labour lost so badly; some people think that an unemployed coal-miner or a Tesco till worker in a run-down town has a less valid point of view than a stockbroker or someone who goes to classical concerts and sadly at the moment, these views are mostly held by Remainers and Labour/Libdem voters.
The fact is Labour’s few wins includes expensive places such as Canterbury and Putney where houses can easily go for a £1million or more whereas somewhere like Bolsover with houses barely 10% of the price booted out Dennis Skinner after 49 years as MP. Perhaps it is now the Conservatives who the aspiring masses think might give them the best hope of the future rather than Labour who seem to have most support in the most expensive areas of the country… call me old fashioned but a real socialist would not have an au pair!
They don’t want to go back to some 19th century or even 1950’s word of coal mines and grim traditional life. They’re not against change, in fact they want more of it and opportunities…. the sort that other areas of the country have had. Working Class does not mean stupid, it doesn’t mean being lectured to by their supposed leaders, it doesn’t mean freebies for every good cause because if there is one thing that working people realise; it’s the value of money.
Even in the town of Watford where I live which voted Leave, the Labour Party and Libdems competed with each other over who was most staunchly Remain party and stating that only they could stop Brexit. Apparently oblivious to the fact that the majority of people in the town were waiting for Brexit. Of course if one ever spoke out in the last 3 years you were roundly denounced and told you didn’t know what you were talking about yada yada yada and so very few people bothered speaking up. It’s still the same now with only people complaining about the result without accepting the legitimacy of those who all along disagreed with them or the ideas they voted for.
Interestingly the vote almost gives the country a clean slate. It’s always very important to have a strong and competent Opposition Party and so it is in everyones interest that the Labour Party is revamped from the ground up. They need to pick good policies, no-one I ever spoke to had ever spoken about free broadband internet. Everyone I have ever spoken to has complained about public transport. Yet which one was picked up by Jeremy Corbyn.
So much energy was spent going on about a threat of Donald Trump messing up the NHS despite the fact that both governments said it wasn’t even on the agenda and even if it were, many of the facts given were incorrect. Less time spent on such idle fallacies and more time devoted to improving the health service would have worked wonders.
The Labour Party also has to pick someone who has a bit of charisma and is vaguely electable. The rot started with Gordon Brown, a quite clever economist but with no public skills whatsoever. I remember when he resigned and Ed Miliband was narrowly voted over his brother. Everyone I knew thought it was a big mistake, he was far more unelectable than his predecessor and much less adequate than his brother.
And finally to Jeremy Corbyn and his cabal of oddballs. I think Diane Abbott is singularly the most inept politician I’ve ever witnessed and this person who would in effect be the head of police and internal security seemed only to be there because she once had an affair with her leader. John McDonnell, the sort of person you’d bump into in the Marxist Institute in East London. Sir Keir Starmer, a high flying lawyer who spent years berating Leavers and with a few others, gradually strong-armed a change in policy on Brexit to the one that got roundly rejected. I certainly wouldn’t want at least the majority of them working for me; absolutely useless individuals.
My advice would be to find someone from an inner-city, or slightly deprived area preferably from the North of England, Wales or Scotland. Preferably someone who appears to have a character beyond reproach when it comes to racism and siding more with the enemies of the country than our friends. Maybe someone who at least pretends to love their country and doesn’t see everyone as either oppressed, saviour or oppressor. It might work on Twitter or Facebook or even in Westminster and Islington but it doesn’t in the wider world.
I don’t know where to begin with the Libdems, the only party that consistently wanted to Remain which is great as I like principles and honesty but again by not accepting the will of the people they were always onto a loser. The fact that they only one a tiny fraction of the vote compared to all those who voted Remain says it all.
As for the Conservatives; again it offers them a change just like Labour. A chance to widen out from their traditional voter base geographically and socio-economically. It will mean that they will have to actually spend money and invest in parts of the country other than London, something with neither the Conservatives or indeed Labour have done in recent decades and likely one of the reasons for discontent in the first place. However, again they were the only party who made a big issue of actually wanting to do so.
As for myself, as I always think, life goes on and not much ever changes whoever is in charge but I’m glad that finally my tiny insignificant vote several years ago might at last be listened to.
As the poet G.K Chesterton put it….
They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.
We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
I think there are countless faults with Boris but he is to a degree charismatic and is one of the few who actually listened to the voice of the majority of the people and for the moment that is what most people think is most important, for good or ill. Perhaps the most tragic element is that there was no-one who offered a better choice.
I voted for a losing side in a referendum for Proportional Representation. My side lost, I’ve not once complained to anyone and nor have I heard anyone else even though if we had won, modern politics since then would be very different. No-one likes a bad loser, it would be nice if people didn’t act this way for a third vote in a row.
Hopefully as the Prime Minister said, everyone get over themselves and calm down and reconcile their differences and work for a better future rather than spend 3 years bombarding me with hate messages so I have to report them to the police. You don’t have to like the result but you do have to respect it and people who voted for it and if you listen to them, you might just learn something or at the very least gain an appreciation of the wider world and help formulate better ideas for the future of everyone.