Who will Winalot today? A European country votes.
December 12, 2019 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Today, the bit of Europe between France and Éire takes walkies to vote in a General Election. There are pictures of large queues and important visitors and surprise visitors at polling stations. Final campaigning has occurred. How the results will come in, and live updates from the Guardian and BBC online coverage. Wikipedia page on the election. For political balance (previous).
posted by Wordshore (351 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
 
Just an observation, humans lately have been really bad at elections. I don't have any reason to think they'll suddenly get good at it today, but all these sweet cats and pups gave me an idea, that seems kind of obvious now. Let the dogs and cats vote instead! Dogs definitely know who are good boys and cats won't give rotten people the time of day. What do we have to lose?
posted by GoblinHoney at 7:47 AM on December 12, 2019 [9 favorites]


U.K. Holds A Pivotal General Election, And Voters Bring Their Dogs To The Polls (Bill Chappell for NPR, December 12, 2019)
U.K. voters are heading to the polls Thursday for a general election to select 650 members of Parliament — and determine the futures of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. The election is expected to have high turnout, with key questions about Brexit left to resolve.

Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. local time and were scheduled to close at 10 p.m. (5 p.m. ET). That's when the first projections of the results will likely emerge. So far on election day, the most popular figures at polling stations seem to be dogs.

While politicians stumped for a final push, many voters embraced the hashtag #dogsatpollingstations on Twitter, celebrating the wide range of Labs, collies, retrievers, setters, spaniels and shepherds that got a bit of exercise as their humans exercised their right to vote. Johnson, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and other high-profile voters were photographed taking their dogs to the polls.
NPR, focusing on the important topics of the day.

(Doggo coverage isn't bad, but this is currently only UK election article on their main/landing page)
posted by filthy light thief at 7:51 AM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


From the outside it seems like the UK media has been especially bad this cycle. (Not "worse than the US" just "worse than I had noticed before".) It doesn't seem to be just the conservative media, either. It really looks like everyone who is at all affluent actively wants the Tories to win, even if they are "socially liberal" as the media tends to be.

I was reading the election thread on the blog of mefi's cstross and several UK citizens contended that if anyone but a white man was proposed for Home Secretary [in some theoretical scenario] the media would intentionally whip up so much white supremacist frenzy that the person would not be physically safe, and that basically only a white man can run for anything major because of this. I assume that this is an exaggeration but even so it was pretty disturbing.

~~
Also from the outside, my impression was that even though Brexit is the dominating factor, this election should be substantially about the NHS, the Windrush scandal, Grenfell and austerity, especially the shocking increase in the number of foodbanks in the past fifteen years from one to more than a thousand. And yet I've read a lot of mainstream commentary that downplays all this stuff and I don't understand it.

I don't really expect, as an American, to be able to understand the finer points of the election, and I certainly recognize that Labor has a lot of problems, but from here it seems so obvious that the Tories are going to fuck up the NHS and do nothing to prevent future Grenfells or fix the trains and housing and so on that I am confused about how things are going.

~~
Fellow American mefites would probably be interested Roy Jenkins, who was Home Secretary twice and seems to have been actually a pretty admirable person even if "more socialite than socialist".
posted by Frowner at 8:06 AM on December 12, 2019 [20 favorites]


Yeah I have several friends in the UK who’ve said, regardless of outcome, their trust in the BBC has been completely broken and they’re going to have to regard it as a hostile propaganda arm now.
posted by The Whelk at 8:09 AM on December 12, 2019 [23 favorites]


This must be a Brexit election because all the other things are tied up with Brexit. But Labour are failing to show this clearly. I found this interesting, a different perspective: UK no longer makes running on world stage, says ex-No 10 adviser
posted by mumimor at 8:16 AM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


I found this interesting, a different perspective: UK no longer makes running on world stage, says ex-No 10 adviser
Britain has not made the running on any foreign policy issue since at least 2013 and suffers from a fundamental absence of strategic thinking about its role in the world, the most senior foreign policy adviser to David Cameron has said.
Chalk up another win for Russian disinformation. A reminder or refresher: Russian interference in the 2016 Brexit referendum (Wikipedia).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:19 AM on December 12, 2019 [8 favorites]


I am sick of drinking this curdled cocktail of hope and despair. This decade was full of it.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:26 AM on December 12, 2019 [30 favorites]


I was reading the election thread on the blog of mefi's cstross and several UK citizens contended that if anyone but a white man was proposed for Home Secretary [in some theoretical scenario] the media would intentionally whip up so much white supremacist frenzy that the person would not be physically safe, and that basically only a white man can run for anything major because of this. I assume that this is an exaggeration but even so it was pretty disturbing.

The last two Home Secretaries have been Sajid Javid and Priti Patel. This isn't an endorsement of either (Priti Patel, in particular, is one of my local MPs and she's utterly absymal and completely immoral even by the standards of the current Conservative party), and nor is it any attempt to minimise Britain's horrible racism and xenophobia, but neither of them are white men.
posted by dng at 8:32 AM on December 12, 2019 [24 favorites]


UK Polling Report: Final call election polls.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:39 AM on December 12, 2019


As a request, please don't use this thread for alarmism or hot takes.

These are difficult circumstances, and unwarranted vitriol or pessimism may make this thread painful for the people being affected by this election.
posted by Eleven at 8:39 AM on December 12, 2019 [35 favorites]


I've read a lot of mainstream commentary that downplays all this stuff and I don't understand it.

Most of it doesn't affect white middle-class people, and the media has no interest in bringing it to public attention, so it's easy for many well-off people to comfortably ignore it. One of my corporate fundraising colleagues had a meeting with a Fleet Street editor a couple of weeks back, who professed to be shocked at the horrific child homelessness figures, and asked why we weren't publicising this. My colleague showed him the press release on this subject we sent to his paper at the start of this year, and which his paper entirely ignored.

In 2019 most positions of seniority in most professions have been occupied by cowardly mediocrities who usefully serve their masters. Journalism is no different. The stupid and weak have been deployed, by the handful of sociopaths who own things, to form the most embarrassingly inept managerial class this country has ever produced (which, let's face it, is achieved in the face of some stiff competition). They're too thick, spineless and lacking in self-respect to do anything but fall into a lazy and dishonest denial of reality.
posted by howfar at 8:40 AM on December 12, 2019 [18 favorites]


Yeah I have several friends in the UK who’ve said, regardless of outcome, their trust in the BBC has been completely broken and they’re going to have to regard it as a hostile propaganda arm now.

The naked pro-tory bias at the BBC has never been more evident, far more than 2017, and I'm definitely not a Corbyn supporter in the slightest. They're not quite at the pravda-level support of the telegraph or daily mail, and it's not every single reporter, but Laura Kuenssberg (the BBC politics editor) might as well be on the tory party payroll.

e.g., just two days ago; after Johnson refused to look at the photo of a sick 5 year old forced to sleep on coats on the floor at A&E for hours, then pocketed the phone of the journalist trying to get him to look at it and comment. To try and dead cat the negative press, the tories privately briefed several journalists on a 'new' story, which she then tweeted without doing the slightest bit of verification.

"So Matt Hancock was despatched to Leeds General (sorry not just Leeds Hospital), to try to sort out the mess, hearing Labour activists scrambled to go + protest, and it turned nasty when they arrived - one of them punched Hancock’s adviser."

Complete lie, one aide walked into an outstretched hand of one activist from behind - barely made contact. We know this because there was footage, and Kuenssberg deleted the tweet, no apology at all.

And of course then the full swing of disinformation was in effect (the original story was all faked etc, despite the original report coming from a local newspaper that had verified the facts and had an apology for the event from the manager of the hospital)

And yesterday, she was accused of breaking electoral law - which prevents reporting on people's votes before the polls close - in an interview.

She said: “The forecast is that it’s going to be wet and cold tomorrow. The postal votes, of course, have already arrived. The parties – they’re not meant to look at it, but they do kind of get a hint – and on both sides people are telling me that the postal votes that are in are looking pretty grim for Labour in a lot of parts of the country."

Which of course could suppress voting today, 'no point turning up' etc, which benefits the tories.

The are many other examples of unequal coverage, substantial differences in interview robustness, and other 'access' journalism where they just regurgitated lies without the slightest fact checking.

The BBC has always had a pretty small-c conservative stance, and been arguably too pro-big business points of view, but it's just visibly naked propaganda now from a supposedly neutral, public service, tax funded organisation. I am seriously considering cancelling my TV licence, as I get enough bullshit tory propaganda on facebook, from relatives etc without paying the BBC to get more of it.

I haven't voted yet, but it will likely be for the lib dems as they're best placed opposition in my safe rural tory seat, and he's a good candidate, but since it hasn't changed hands in 100 years I'm not exactly expecting my vote to matter much. If I lived in a tory/labour marginal, I would absolutely hold my nose and vote for the Labour candidate because no matter the flaws of Corbyn as party leader (in my opinion, this is not a dig at mefites who are labour supporters), Johnson and the more-hard-brexity-than-the-Brexit-Party tories are 100 times worse.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 8:56 AM on December 12, 2019 [19 favorites]


When the brexit vote came back yes, that’s the moment I really understood that it was entirely possible, if not outright likely that Trump would win, that the world had turned.

I know this is a huge favor to ask, but if you guys could vote out the Tory government, giving me some sort of sense of hope for the world again, I’d really appreciate it.* I’m not trying in any way to be glib, honestly. It would just be really nice to see enlightened self-preservation make a comeback, and for something good to happen in the polls for a change.


*i realize my potential gratitude is pretty far down the list of entirely convincing reasons to vote the Tories out, but it’s there if needed.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:06 AM on December 12, 2019 [13 favorites]


I'm in a tory constituency with a meagre chance of switching. The next door one has a very narrow margin Tory but there hasn't been much noise as to the chances of getting him out. His majority was only 1500 last time and there are enough Lib Dems who could switch to get him out. The campus I work on is in that constituency and has about 1200-1300 students who seem to have been out in numbers all day. So some hope there I guess.

My own constituency is about a 3800 majority, much more in the way of potential LD tactical voters and maybe 3500 students. Slim hope I guess. That's what they say kills you, isn't it?
posted by biffa at 9:12 AM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


It's not the hope, it's the dread.
posted by dng at 9:39 AM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


I was canvassing today in a pretty Brexitty/Labour area, and heard virtually nothing about Brexit, except for the people who said they voted for Brexit but they sure as hell weren't voting for the Tories. Now, this is just me and my little crew of canvassers, and we were doing a GOTV push, but we were talking to people who clearly regard Brexit and the next government as two separate things.
posted by skybluepink at 9:42 AM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Ignorant American here: what time (in NYC) can we expect to start seeing the results?
posted by Sangermaine at 9:44 AM on December 12, 2019


Sangermaine: The exit poll at 10pm UK time will probably be accurate to within 5 seats or so. So 5pm NY time.

After that, unless it’s extremely close the outcome will be clear by 3-4am, so 10-11pm NY time.
posted by pharm at 9:46 AM on December 12, 2019


Ignorant American here: what time (in NYC) can we expect to start seeing the results?

As linked in the FPP, the first results start around 11pm. Take five hours from that for time zones, and you are looking at 6pm NYC time onwards.
posted by Wordshore at 9:47 AM on December 12, 2019


Current status
posted by pharm at 9:55 AM on December 12, 2019


Well, I'm just back, cold and wet, from voting tactically. This has historically been a very safe Tory seat, but we've had a ton of new voter registrations, and also, well, the Tories aren't exactly what they've historically been, are they? So, who knows. However, for the record, tactical voting feels horrible and I'd really appreciate it if we could fix our abominable voting system so that I never have to do it again please, ta. There was a lovely hopeful person in a green rosette outside the polling station, and I usually vote Green, and this time I couldn't, and now I feel sad.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 9:55 AM on December 12, 2019 [21 favorites]




Not allowed to vote as a mere resident (10+ years here but until I know for certain, the almost £2k for citizenship is too much right now). My vote wouldn't make a difference in my constituency anyway so in a time honoured tradition of my adopted home I'm taking tomorrow off and getting twatted with my equally anxious (though less directly affected) British friends.
posted by slimepuppy at 10:16 AM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


here was a lovely hopeful person in a green rosette outside the polling station, and I usually vote Green, and this time I couldn't, and now I feel sad.

I'm a bit of a floating voter having voted lib dem and labour over the years (not at the same election, obviously!) but the greens are my usual home too these days. Completely pointless outside EU elections of course, but I like to try and help them keep their deposit and show that some of us do recognise the existential threat of global heating, especially for our kids.

But even the tiniest glimmer of despair-hope that somehow there's a hidden surge of tactical voting that might just stop the tories getting a majority was enough to make me vote tactically, though I certainly struggled for a minute when in the booth. Given the current state of denial the lib dems are in re their part in austerity, I can't say I feel good about it.

(it's a pretty looking, rural area full of well-off retired people, and a lot of land owners too. Many would vote for a tub of rancid lard if it had a blue rosette on it. 65% tory vote usually.)

I'm not going to stay up and watch the dissection tonight, I'm going to have one last sleep where the world hasn't ended yet and cross every finger I have that the polls are wrong.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 10:21 AM on December 12, 2019 [9 favorites]


I voted earlier today around 1:30 - not too many people at my local polling station.

As per usual, the bookies had a lot of interesting bets on. We'll see what happens.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 10:33 AM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Your vote should just count less as you get older.

I would never have agreed with this until recently, when the idea has started to appeal. Several older people - all but one women - felt the need to unload a volley of abuse at me today while volunteering as a lib dem teller in a Tory/lib dem marginal. It was all 2nd hand daily mail rubbish but said with such spite and invective that it was all I could do to nod my head, smile, bite my lip and imagine the shock they'll get when they realise the lack of beds in A&e after their impending stroke is an equal opportunities deal.

They have bought the whole 'enemies of the people' schtick hook line and sinker and if we do end up with a Johnson majority after today, I can only see this generational divide becoming rapidly more pronounced and antagonistic.

Fortunately, 4 hours of canvassing in the cold and pouring rain restored some faith in humanity - young and old. There is clearly a bigger turnout than expected and I genuinely think the lib Dems can win this seat despite the most recent yougov prediction in favour of the Tories.

And as far as the olds losing their rag with me for being responsible for pretty much everything wrong in the world as a result of Jo Swinson saying she would revoke Article 50 if elected PM? Imagine if I'd told them I'm actually a labour supporter just doing my bit to Get The Tories Out? I honestly think at least one of them would have tried to have me arrested for high treason on the spot.

I think I will stay up to watch the early results tonight. I'm not looking for a portillo moment tonight - people tend to forget that was one unexpectedly positive result in an otherwise unexpected Tory majority - but a sense that some, or maybe even most, have taken a step back from the brink and put their faith in compromise, not complicity. Here's hoping.
posted by barnsoir at 10:52 AM on December 12, 2019 [21 favorites]


To lighten the mood, polling place signs:
Plaistow, West Sussex
Clapham, London.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 11:26 AM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


Your vote should just count less as you get older.

Can we not.

I'd rather focus on increasing turnout among young, non-white and / or working class people - all three groups have well below average turnout (mostly due to political disengagement) and either have a sizable majority of Labour voters (young, non-white) or are pretty evenly split (working class).
posted by inire at 11:39 AM on December 12, 2019 [11 favorites]


This tweet makes me happy:
🚨 Tory insiders are telling me Boris Johnson could “genuinely be in trouble in #UxbridgeAndSouthRuislip”.

Exit pollsters think the Lib Dem vote has collapsed there probably due to tactical voting for Labour.🚨


Still not voted yet. Or got out of bed. I rent, and my boiler's broken and 30 years old and my letting agent doesn't believe me. I guess that's all the more reason to vote Labour, right?
posted by ambrosen at 11:47 AM on December 12, 2019 [16 favorites]


Barnsoir... "people tend to forget that was one unexpectedly positive result in an otherwise unexpected Tory majority"

Possibly because it was in the 1997 Labour landslide, and the last 3am nail in the coffin of the old Tory government? (I was still up).
posted by altolinguistic at 11:50 AM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Most of it [NHS, Windrush, Grenfell, austerity, etc.] doesn't affect white middle-class people, and the media has no interest in bringing it to public attention, so it's easy for many well-off people to comfortably ignore it.

Worth noting that, while the working class and less well-off are at the sharp end of a lot of this stuff, it doesn't seem to be having the effect one might expect on their choice of party - class matters a great deal less than it used to:

"Back in the 1960s, political scientist Peter Pulzer famously stated that "class is the basis of British party politics; all else is embellishment and detail". People in middle-class jobs were more likely to vote Conservative, and the working class were more inclined to vote Labour. Any other differences were relatively unimportant.

The picture is now very different. The kind of job that someone does is expected to make very little difference to how they will vote at this election. On the other hand, whether they are young or old may matter a great deal.

Polling companies divide voters into ABC1s (those employed in middle-class "white collar" jobs) and C2DEs (those in a working-class "blue collar" occupation). These two groups differ little in how they propose to vote at this election.

At 42%, support for the Conservatives is the same in both, while at 33%, support for Labour - a party originally founded to advance the interests of the working class - is only five points higher among the working class than the middle class.

This trend has been in evidence for some time. At each of the last three elections, the Conservatives have advanced more strongly than Labour among working-class voters. In the last election, the difference between the two groups had become quite small. This election looks set to repeat that pattern.
"
posted by inire at 11:58 AM on December 12, 2019


Portillo went in 1997 - I was a student, sorting out some computer stuff with another nocturnal not very politically engaged nerd and I still remember hearing the massive roar from the nearby bar at about 3am, then staring agape at one another as we found out and realised what was happening.
posted by doop at 12:17 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Also from the outside, my impression was that even though Brexit is the dominating factor, this election should be substantially about the NHS, the Windrush scandal, Grenfell and austerity, especially the shocking increase in the number of foodbanks in the past fifteen years from one to more than a thousand. And yet I've read a lot of mainstream commentary that downplays all this stuff and I don't understand it. [...] from here it seems so obvious that the Tories are going to fuck up the NHS and do nothing to prevent future Grenfells or fix the trains and housing and so on that I am confused about how things are going.

I think media focus on Brexit gives a false picture of the extent to which it's determining voting intentions for this election.

Some interesting analysis from polling maven John Curtice in response to the question 'Will this be a Brexit election?'. TL;DR, Brexit is a major influence on voting intention (more so than in 2017), but voters see the NHS as being roughly as important an issue as Brexit (although Leavers and Lib Dems tend to focus more on Brexit, while Labour voters in particular tend to focus more on on the NHS), and crime, immigration and the economy are lesser but still significant issues.

As to why that concern about the NHS doesn't translate into the Tory vote going up in flames - they make great play of planned Tory investment in the NHS (using the billions we will supposedly save post-Brexit), and a sufficient number of people are too thick, uninformed and / or distracted to understand the reality.
posted by inire at 12:30 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Doh.. brain frazzled by early start leafletting thus morning. It was Chris Patten in 1992 that I'm thinking of...
posted by barnsoir at 12:31 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


The UK and US are following the same pattern of increasing age-related partisanship (young = left, old = right), overwhelming a lot of prior stuff about geography, etc.

The US is also seeing a lot of education-driven partisanship (the more educated, the more left), which wasn't previously true here, but I'm not sure if that's so in the UK as well.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:50 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]




"It's Happening," Declares Jeremy Corbyn

no no jezza don't curse it!

That said, my only source of pleasure is the idea that Boris Johnson will get a worse night's sleep than me, for once.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 1:33 PM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


Voted this morning in my home town, where the Lib Dems are projected to maybe - maybe - squeeze out the Tory [YouGov MRP]. Family, and family friends, have deserted the Conservatives this election, after a lifetime. Because of Johnson. Everything is crossed.

Good luck, everyone. This is a good place; has been a good place to commiserate and support, for the past three years. I know I'm not the only one feeling at the end of their tether. Thank you, Wordshore, for the FPP.

Whatever happens, tonight / tomorrow, it'll feel good to share it with friends, if you can, or on here, or wherever you can find the company of the likeminded.

Good luck.
posted by Quagkapi at 1:44 PM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


The US is also seeing a lot of education-driven partisanship (the more educated, the more left), which wasn't previously true here, but I'm not sure if that's so in the UK as well.


That was certainly true for the brexit vote, where the higher your education level the more likely you were to vote remain, but polling for 2019 has a fairly equal distribution for tory vs labour regardless. This is itself one of Labour's problems, as older, less educated blue collar workers is historically a reliable base, but brexit (and Corbyn) has eroded that the last few years. Whether those losses have been stemmed and/or outweighed by younger university educated workers voting for Labour in defiance of the polls we should get the first indication in a few minutes...
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 1:47 PM on December 12, 2019


Surprisingly young lad came knocking with IDS leaflets asking if we'd voted, pleased to respond "yeah, not for him."
posted by lucidium at 1:47 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


oh, ambrosen, that is the sort of hope which will lead to despair. If only.
posted by paduasoy at 1:49 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Just looked at the Uxbridge results from 2017. There were hardly any Lib voters then anyway. 24k to Tories, 19k to Labour (14% swing from 2015) and 1,835 Lib votes. Even if they all went to Labour you'd need something else to unseat Johnson.
posted by paduasoy at 1:53 PM on December 12, 2019


Fuuuuuuuuck.

Exit polls have Tory 368, labour only 191.

SNP 55, Lib dems 13.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 2:01 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


The exit polls are about as bad as they could be.
posted by paduasoy at 2:01 PM on December 12, 2019 [9 favorites]


Well, there goes all the hope. Forever.
posted by dng at 2:02 PM on December 12, 2019 [7 favorites]


Nooooooooooooooooooo
posted by adrianhon at 2:02 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


My constituency has a Tory MP with a 20,000 majority, so I'm not hopeful of change. But today was wet and windy, and there's a large elderly population in this area who traditionally vote Conservative, so maybe ... just maybe ...

In the next-door constituency, Ian Duncan Smith (architect of Universal Credit and a thoroughly cruel, loathsome creature) is facing up against Faiza Shaheen, who's been described as the British Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It's a mixed constituency of very wealthy people living in mansions to large council estates, so that's the one I'll be interested in, it could be anyone's game.
posted by essexjan at 2:02 PM on December 12, 2019


At least the SNP got 55/59 seats
posted by adrianhon at 2:03 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Will sausages be nationalised?

No.
posted by grahamparks at 2:03 PM on December 12, 2019


Plaid's even projected to lose a seat.
posted by kalimac at 2:04 PM on December 12, 2019


wow....
posted by Pendragon at 2:05 PM on December 12, 2019


This is bad.
posted by mumimor at 2:05 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Truly horrific - we really are a nation of bootlickers
posted by Beware of the leopard at 2:06 PM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


How can so many people choose cruelty? We are fucked.
posted by essexjan at 2:06 PM on December 12, 2019 [19 favorites]


What
posted by Happy Dave at 2:06 PM on December 12, 2019


Welp, time to look again at the 'flee to my wife's country' option. With Johnson's comments in the campaign about EU citizens, it may be better to get out before the deportations start. Christ. This country has become such a racist shithole.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 2:09 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


its only a flesh wound
posted by lalochezia at 2:14 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


I moved to 1929 in May this year. Stopped reading current news. I've gradually got caught up again in the present. I really need to retreat again. Today's news in the Daily Herald: the Labour govt wants to raise the school leaving age to 15. I'll take that over tomorrow's headlines.
posted by paduasoy at 2:14 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Congratulations to Scotland on becoming an independent nation (soon enough).
posted by gkhan at 2:15 PM on December 12, 2019 [28 favorites]


Indeed. I hope they'll take English refugees.
posted by Acey at 2:17 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Gonna be a hell of a fight with the Tories, who'll do anything to deny Scotland another referendum. 55 out of 59 Scottish MPs is an impressive mandate though.
posted by adrianhon at 2:18 PM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


At least the Tories will have no-one else to blame for the colossal Brexit-fuck heading straight for them.

Poor old John McDonnell having to face up to Andrew Neil as I write.
posted by Kiwi at 2:19 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Fuck. I feel bad for thinking this as an American, but I can’t help thinking this bodes ill for our political future as well. Sorry for making this about America, but it’s tough to get it out of my head - especially for someone who sees Corbyn as the British equivalent of American progressives.
posted by eagles123 at 2:20 PM on December 12, 2019 [11 favorites]


BBC just now:
The Conservatives are set to win an overall majority of 86 in the general election, according to an exit poll for the BBC, ITV and Sky News.

The survey taken at UK polling stations suggests the Tories will get 368 MPs - 50 more than at the 2017 election - when all the results have been counted.

Labour would get 191, the Lib Dems 13, the Brexit Party none and the SNP 55.

The Green Party will still have one MP and Plaid Cymru will lose one seat for a total of three, the survey suggests.

posted by doctornemo at 2:20 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Well that's pretty much the end of the UK isn't it?
posted by howfar at 2:21 PM on December 12, 2019 [13 favorites]


At least the Tories will have no-one else to blame for the colossal Brexit-fuck heading straight for them.

Oh, they'll find a way to blame anyone but themselves.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:21 PM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


At least the Tories will have no-one else to blame for the colossal Brexit-fuck heading straight for them.

I was thinking this. Then I remembered: no, wait, they'll blame literally everyone else.
posted by Acey at 2:22 PM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


What a goddamn tragedy.
posted by great_radio at 2:23 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm heartbroken and just . . . bewildered.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:24 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Fucking BBC News sticking the knife in Labour. Utterly cruel and pointless. At least this election has exposed the charade they're politically neutral.
posted by adrianhon at 2:24 PM on December 12, 2019 [9 favorites]


Tiny glimmer of hope:
"Should note the exit poll features 65 seats classified as 'too close to call'."
posted by grahamparks at 2:26 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Well, shit.

Good news for fans of people lying on trolleys in hospital corridors and children knowing they won't eat without foodbanks.
posted by reynir at 2:28 PM on December 12, 2019


scaryblackdeath / Acey you're right of course.

(e.g. as the Nasty Party would have it, austerity is entirely and inevitably a result of Gordon Brown's 2010 worldwide financial crash.)
posted by Kiwi at 2:30 PM on December 12, 2019


Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

I don't know what else to say.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:30 PM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


Everyone is assuming SNP’s strong showing guarantees a (victorious) Scottish referendum. If only! Prepare for an ugly few years of Tory insults and stonewalling.

So, as an SNP supporter, these results give me little joy.
posted by adrianhon at 2:31 PM on December 12, 2019 [9 favorites]


I was thinking this. Then I remembered: no, wait, they'll blame literally everyone else.

Which is precisely what they did in the campaign - blame everyone else for the NHS failures, the brexit delays, everything. They've been in power for 9 years, Boris was a key part of May's fragile balancing act, and yet blaming EU immigrants and opposition MPs for tory screwups just paid off in massive spades. Of course, exit polls can be wrong - they were last time - but not by that much, it's going to be a solid Tory majority, whether it's 70 or 90 doesn't matter. Johnson can do whatever he likes for the next 5 years off 40% of the vote, and people will just suck up the bullshit and spit it back in our face.

The brexit vote was a huge blow, but at least it was tight, and we've fought a grueling 3 year battle on the basis that people didn't really want a catastrophic hard exit. A majority may well still not, but thanks to our shitty election system, a labour leader who's probably just got less seats and is less popular than Michael fucking Foot combined with a trumpian approach to the truth supported by a spineless (or actively supportive) media means we will almost certainly see the breakup of the UK - NI at least is now gone for sure, and Scotland is only going to be kept by refusing to have another referendum.

Pour one out for the 3 million EU citizens that didn't even get a vote.

I guess turning us into an international pariah state, a pirate ship off the coast of europe is one way to stop the foreigns coming here!

For me, my dad was planning to vote tory, as he always does. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to be on speaking terms with him now, given the impact this is going to have on me, my wife and especially his grandchildren.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 2:33 PM on December 12, 2019 [32 favorites]


Earlier today I watched a woman on TV interviewed as she volunteered at a foodbank saying she was voting Conservative and the interviewer gesturing around at all the donated food, asking if she made a connection between years of Tory austerity policies and foodbanks ... and she couldn't. She fucking couldn't connect the two things.
posted by essexjan at 2:34 PM on December 12, 2019 [22 favorites]


Carole Cadwalladr:
America, wondering what UK election means for 2020? Think: zero idea what is going on in real time. Zero idea who is being targeted with what data. Zero idea who is placing 1/3 ads. Mainstream media still being gamed. Lies absolutelyfuckingeverywhere. Like Britain except worse

Wrote that before exit poll came in. If you continue to follow where we lead, it’s a second term landslide for Donald Trump

posted by Quagkapi at 2:35 PM on December 12, 2019 [14 favorites]


At least this election has exposed the charade they're politically neutral.

Exposed to who?
posted by PMdixon at 2:35 PM on December 12, 2019


The New Statesman article on Dominic Grieve, one of the expelled Tories, is worth reading. (from the @britainelects account grahamparks links above)
posted by paduasoy at 2:36 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, y'all.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:36 PM on December 12, 2019 [7 favorites]


Well, there is the known fact that no-one can make Brexit happen. Even if the Tories force a crash-out, that is still only the beginning of years of negotiation. Probably more years after a crash, actually.
And with no Brexit or not-Brexit also no economic security, and absolutely no improved NHS or job-growth.
It's no comfort, to put it mildly.
posted by mumimor at 2:36 PM on December 12, 2019


PMdixon: Exposed to me and to other people I know. If you want to out-woke me in your distrust of the BBC, be my guest, I guess I'm just a fucking sheep, right?
posted by adrianhon at 2:38 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


> asking if she made a connection between years of Tory austerity policies and foodbanks ... and she couldn't. She fucking couldn't connect the two things.

It's bizarre, somehow things the Tories do are seen as just inevitable natural events.
posted by lucidium at 2:38 PM on December 12, 2019 [7 favorites]


Wrote that before exit poll came in. If you continue to follow where we lead, it’s a second term landslide for Donald Trump

people seem to be blaming Corbyn...but that might have to do with negative ads run against him, I have no idea.

I know this is not about America, but we're being attacked by the same cabal. I don't know what to do about any of it.
posted by schadenfrau at 2:39 PM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


[Folks, gentle reminder that while the UK results will have an impact on the rest of the world, the US included, it'd be kind to not try and and take this immediately in a "and to put this in a US context" sort of direction.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:39 PM on December 12, 2019 [44 favorites]


Someday soon, somebody in government is going to tell us that everyone who voted Labour was pro-Brexit because anyone who wanted to revoke A50 would have voted Lib Dem.

And my head is going to explode. Literally. I will not be able to contain the rage.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 2:39 PM on December 12, 2019 [8 favorites]


As an American, I'm not directly affected by this result. But if the final balance of power looks anything like these exit polls project, I'm going to be crushed, for I strongly supported Labour's vision of the future and hope to see something similar succeed in the US.

Mainly, though, my thoughts are with the UK posters who will have to deal with the fallout from this.
posted by davedave at 2:41 PM on December 12, 2019 [8 favorites]


I'm finding deep advance pessimism a useful protective balm. I've learned a hard-earned lesson of not leaning too much on hope these days, after going into too many elections with a glimmer of it, only to wake up and look at my phone in the morning to be hit by despair (the first step in this lesson was that watching a painful result come in blow-by-blow is not helpful and I might as well switch off and let it unfold without me).

I decided long ago that there was very likely going to be a no deal Brexit and therefore I didn't necessarily have to get caught up in every single convulsion of the process. So far nothing's really made me think I was wrong.

I figured before this election that a Tory landslide was a distinct likelihood. As soon as the exit polls flashed up, I switched off the TV. Now I'm now going to go and write a MeFi card swap card to a friendly stranger I've never met, tomorrow I'm going to go for a run, stare at the sea for a bit, keep trying to do my bit to help my community, and give up watching BBC News.

Sorry, that's not meant to be as bleak as it sounds - it's actually more of a positive recommendation of how to deal with it all without despairing, and steer an even course between the highs and lows (lows and lows?) so that you don't drown utterly in the despair. The sun will still come up tomorrow, and if you're here reading this, you're alive to keep on fighting. And I know it's a position of privilege to not be scared for my existence, but those of us who do have that privilege need to use it, to not give up and be overwhelmed by despair.

Best of luck to those of you committed to an overnighter,
posted by penguin pie at 2:56 PM on December 12, 2019 [39 favorites]


And with no Brexit or not-Brexit also no economic security, and absolutely no improved NHS or job-growth.

By the next election people will have adapted to the post No Deal Brexit hellscape as the new normal, the same way they've adapted to austerity. You can't just tell people that things would have been better if we hadn't done this - they just won't believe you.
posted by grahamparks at 2:58 PM on December 12, 2019 [13 favorites]


Thanks, penguin pie. I needed that perspective.
posted by paduasoy at 3:01 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Staring at the sea helped me re-ground myself after the referendum result. Might try it again tomorrow.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:03 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


You know, I wish I could just say fuck it all and go to bed. I slept terribly last night and ended up falling asleep this afternoon after going to vote, only to have a nightmare in which I argued pointlessly with Boris and eventually woke up in a cold sweat. There is no escape.
posted by Acey at 3:03 PM on December 12, 2019


Well this is awful. And I'm nowhere near the sea either. I'm going to just eat all the biscuits. All. The. Biscuits.
posted by Dysk at 3:06 PM on December 12, 2019 [23 favorites]


PMdixon: Exposed to me and to other people I know. If you want to out-woke me in your distrust of the BBC, be my guest, I guess I'm just a fucking sheep, right?

I was overly terse: I meant that I doubt most people's opinion of the BBC's bias has changed sheerly because most people do not know how to explicitly reason about the usefulness of different sources of information so their beliefs mostly stay put.
posted by PMdixon at 3:11 PM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


PMdixon: Got it, no harm done. Emotions are running high (at least, mine are!)
posted by adrianhon at 3:13 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Keep in mind that exit polling gets more skewed the more there's a fear of censure for a (percieved) unpopular position.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:18 PM on December 12, 2019


I'm going to just eat all the biscuits. All. The. Biscuits.

I've just comfort-eaten an entire six-pack of salt-and-vinegar crisps, in part because I'm trying to compensate for the amount of wine I'm drinking. I feel like the old lady who swallowed the fly... What do I consume to counterbalance the crisps?
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:20 PM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


If you're anything like me and your coping strategies include ironic distance and laughing so you don't cry, you could do worse than tuning into the trashfuture live stream tonight.

Tomorrow is another day. It was never going to be easy.

Don't mourn, organize.

Solidarity.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 3:22 PM on December 12, 2019 [11 favorites]


What do I consume to counterbalance the crisps?

Chocolate.
posted by essexjan at 3:22 PM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


Here to express solidarity for those like me who had dared to hope and are now feeling utterly crushed.

I went out canvassing to get out the anti-Tory vote in a neighbouring constituency this afternoon. So many good people trying their hardest and so many wishy-washy doorstep encounters.

One guy was with a friend and told us that he didn't want to say which way he'd voted. A few minutes later, he caught us up to say he was voting Labour but hadn't wanted to admit it in front of his #neverCorbyn mate.

I feel exhausted.
posted by doornoise at 3:23 PM on December 12, 2019 [20 favorites]


What do I consume to counterbalance the crisps?

Lebkuchen.

Then more crisps.

And, on preview, thank you for canvassing, doornoise (eponysterical?) and others.
posted by paduasoy at 3:25 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Blyth Valley heading for a possible recount.
If it's that close then the exit poll is accurate.

Arse.
posted by fullerine at 3:25 PM on December 12, 2019


Maybe there were just thousands of shy tactical voters in the exit poll. ha ha ha.
posted by lucidium at 3:26 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Keep in mind that exit polling gets more skewed the more there's a fear of censure for a (percieved) unpopular position.

Unfortunately, assuming you mean people polled will lie, they've thought of that. "Voters emerging from the polling station are waylaid at regular intervals - every 10th voter, for example - by these fieldworkers, employed by polling specialists Ipsos Mori. They are given a replica ballot paper and asked to fill it in without anyone watching. They then drop the replica paper into a box that will be opened later." From this BBC article.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 3:26 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Jeremy Corbyn. What a useless sack of shit. Will they even get rid of him?
posted by biffa at 3:32 PM on December 12, 2019 [12 favorites]


Constituency-level exit poll predictions are here, although I don't think they have the track record of the national result prediction.

- Jo Swinson 95% likely to lose her seat (every cloud etc)
- Zac Racist 99% likely to lose his seat again.
- Labour 97% chance in Kensington.
- Finchley gain for Lib Dems.
- Cities of Westminster and London too close to call.

Johnson and IDS likely to hold their seats, alas.
posted by grahamparks at 3:34 PM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


Blyth Valley goes tory. By less than a third of the Brexit Party vote. This will be a long, terrible night.
posted by Dysk at 3:37 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


people seem to be blaming Corbyn...but that might have to do with negative ads run against him, I have no idea.

Ian Dunt retweet:
"I remember very well the canvass I did in a seat Labour hoped (still hopes!) to get. Huge anger at Brexit - they loathed Johnson. But they feared one thing more: Jeremy Corbyn.

Door after door after door."

I suspect Corbynistas will defend him to the last; that it's all the media's fault, that him getting literally only just more than half the seats that it's someone, anyone else's fault. The worst PM we've ever had, one who it seems cannot say anything but easily disproved lies, just utterly trounced Corbyn. It's not a presidential system, but the way people vote it might as well be.

Yes, the media was biased. But it can also be true that he was a terrible candidate for PM. 3 years of dithering over Brexit - from the 'we will deliver Brexit' 2017 manifesto, to the achingly dragged out crawl to a 2nd referendum, but with a super-amazing-awesome brexit option negotiated by Corbyn, to the widely mocked "I'll be neutral". The manifesto promising everything to everyone for free didn't land. At all. The list is lengthy, and I suspect the post mortem will also be.

At some point -assuming the exit polls are even vaguely right - it's going to have to be accepted that given the choice between Corbyn and a lying fascist, the fascist won a crushing victory, and just maybe, Corbyn should shoulder some of the blame for that.

In 1992, Labour had an unexpected defeat against John Major, making it 4 general election losses in a row. They reformed, moved to the centre ground and won by a landslide in 1997 and 2001, and a unprecendented 3rd time in 2005 under Tony Blair. "Blairite" has now become an insult, synonymous with "red tory" with the Momentum takeover of Labour.

I fear the civil war in Labour that's about to happen over the future of the party will be bloody.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 3:38 PM on December 12, 2019 [29 favorites]


"Unfortunately, assuming you mean people polled will lie, they've thought of that."

Yeah, I'm aware they try to control for that. But I don't think you can eliminate it entirely. I was just thinking that several of the comments above give some reason to believe this might be a particularly heightened effect this time around. Not enough to make a big difference, but maybe the exit polling isn't as precisely predictive as everyone's assuming it will be.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:44 PM on December 12, 2019


Labour votes going directly to BXP in Blyth Valley.
So "going full remain" wouldn't have done shit.
In 1992, Labour had an unexpected defeat against John Major, making it 4 general election losses in a row. They reformed, moved to the centre ground and won by a landslide in 1997 and 2001, and a unprecendented 3rd time in 2005 under Tony Blair. "Blairite" has now become an insult, synonymous with "red tory" with the Momentum takeover of Labour.
Blair gave us Austerity, tuition fees and PFI. That's pretty fucking Tory
posted by fullerine at 3:44 PM on December 12, 2019 [19 favorites]


DUP spokeswanker on the BBC. Not really come to terms with his rapidly emergent irrelevance.
posted by biffa at 3:48 PM on December 12, 2019 [9 favorites]


Finchley gain for Lib Dems

That's a relief. IIUC all but one tactical voting site recommended voting for her. Labour was a distant third, and there was basically no chance that targeting her would do anything but re-elect Mike Freer. It's a great result and should put the lie to the antisemitic claim that Jews expressing concerns over antisemitism were trying to help the Tories.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:49 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


I think I'll have an early night. I stayed up for the results in 1987 and I'm never doing that again.
posted by Grangousier at 3:49 PM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


Well Corbynism has just delivered us 5 years of bullet-proof Johnson, a crash out Brexit in December 2020, many more deaths of the poor and disabled, god knows what's going to happen to immigrant's rights, and human rights in general, further collapse of the NHS and quite possibly it's end, and the breakup of the UK.

Right now, I'd take the sanctimnious post-Iraq war criminal Blair complete with PFI and tuition fees over what's about to happen in a fucking heartbeat.

I think it's time I went to bed.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 3:50 PM on December 12, 2019 [41 favorites]


Pundits talking about how these pickups might make the tories govern differently in order to represent their new constituents, can I get a hit off whatever they're smoking.
posted by lucidium at 3:51 PM on December 12, 2019 [9 favorites]


Where's the rest of Nicholas Soames?
posted by biffa at 3:54 PM on December 12, 2019


I don't even have the heart to drink myself into oblivion. I'm going to stay up another 30 minutes then I'm going to bed.
posted by antiwiggle at 3:57 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Labour votes going directly to BXP in Blyth Valley.
So "going full remain" wouldn't have done shit.


Damn straight, leaning more remain is what fucked us. People may not like it, I certainly don't, but ~17 million people voted leave. They were given the choice to vote for a party that promised Brexit and they did.

Corbyn was deeply unpopular in 2017 too but then they were promising to implement Brexit.
posted by Beware of the leopard at 3:58 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


It's annoying that the outcome is going to be "Labour has to be centrist to win" (which is already all over Twitter right now) because that completely ignores the huge increase in membership and enthusiasm that the left brought back to the party.
A sharp suited centrist Labour party would have failed as badly.

If we have to do fptp both sides need to work together. But I don't see that happening based on the current Twitter reaction.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 4:03 PM on December 12, 2019 [12 favorites]


A lot of miserable Young Labor members here in Australia. I've got my criticisms of entryism, but Jezza and Momentum are inspiring, they point to a possibility of change even in parties with the rot of Blairism deep in their core.

We're still desperately hoping for our own Corbynist movement here. The hope is that enough of that energy isn't lost, and people organise together to combat the horrors of any future right-wing government.

Right now, I'd take the sanctimnious post-Iraq war criminal Blair complete with PFI and tuition fees over what's about to happen in a fucking heartbeat.
This suggests that you're willing to trade the lives of foreigners overseas as an acceptable price for winning the election. It's not a great look. There's a lot of reasons for this happening, it's incredibly reactionary to suggest that Corbyn not being enough of a war-hawk is something you're willing to criticise him for if it does turn out to have been significant.
posted by Acid Communist at 4:04 PM on December 12, 2019 [21 favorites]


[Couple comments deleted. Especially American Mefites, please don't make this about the needs/perspective of people outside the UK. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:08 PM on December 12, 2019 [19 favorites]


This is heartbreaking. As someone still planning to relocate to N. Ireland next year, I had some hope for a moment it wouldn't all be terrible everywhere.
posted by mrzarquon at 4:11 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Why are the three seats officially declared all in the North East? And so close to each other, too.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:14 PM on December 12, 2019


I'm a dual US/UK citizen and this is my first "big" election in the UK since I was granted the right to vote here (I didn't make it in time for the Brexit referendum). Normally I live in the Midlands, in a very safe Labour seat, and unusually I'm up in Scotland, for academic reasons, so I decided to do some GOTV around here. Because I don't feel like I know enough about the SNP to figure out the complexities of the tactical voting issues around St Andrews, I found a LAB/CON marginal, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, where the SNP candidate was dropped by his party (for antisemitism!) and so it's a straight-up let's beat the Tories constituency which I can get on board with wholeheartedly. I went to the campaign office, met the candidate (who was so lovely and enthusiastic) and spent the day walking around knocking on doors with a lot of dedicated Scottish Labour members. Over a distance of around seventeen kilometers I did a really stupid thing -- I allowed myself to hope. There were so many people who answered their doors and proudly declared that they had voted Labour and were hoping to beat Boris Johnson ("that fecking c*nt") and so many people who said how inspired they were by the Labour manifesto, and yes there were people who said they didn't like Corbyn but that they knew the stakes and really wanted to beat the Tories. And so I was hopeful. Such a fool. I drove back to St Andrews just in time to hear the first exit polls. And then to top it all off my partner and I went out to get a bottle of something to take the edge off from the local supermarket and discovered that one of the magical devolved powers of Scotland is different alcohol licensing laws, and the stupid Tesco wouldn't let us buy a stupid bottle of vino verdhe because it's after ten pm. So yay, I know what's about to happen, welcome fascism and goodbye NHS, I loved you so well for the few years we had together.
posted by tractorfeed at 4:15 PM on December 12, 2019 [18 favorites]


Looking at the Sunderland Central result. Lab hold, but lost 8k votes. Looks like about 4k went to the Brexit Party and 1.5k to Libs. Some to Greens also. People going in all sorts of directions.

Can't help feeling the Corbyn problem comes from the change in rules allowing members to vote. (Article about that here.) Never ask the people. Just never do it.
posted by paduasoy at 4:17 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


It's annoying that the outcome is going to be "Labour has to be centrist to win" (which is already all over Twitter right now) because that completely ignores the huge increase in membership and enthusiasm that the left brought back to the party.

Labour needed to have a leadership that was electable by the general public, not just one that made the members feel happy about themselves. Labour loses because at heart it isn't serious enough about getting power.
posted by daveje at 4:17 PM on December 12, 2019 [14 favorites]


It's annoying that the outcome is going to be "Labour has to be centrist to win" (which is already all over Twitter right now) because that completely ignores the huge increase in membership and enthusiasm that the left brought back to the party.

Enthusiastic membership is all well and good, but reaching a more engaged minority is not a better strategy than actually getting the public at large to vote for you. The membership and enthusiasm doesn't win you elections, clearly.
posted by Dysk at 4:22 PM on December 12, 2019 [15 favorites]


From here in Denmark where the socialists recently won hugely, I don't think it's about centrism vs leftism. The 90's are long gone and it's possible to be a good Social Democratic leader without compromising on core values. But this was a Brexit election, like it or not. And Labour never presented a positive alternative. You need to give people something to vote for.
I'm worried about my few remaining family members in the UK, and for my many friends and former students. For some of them, this will be terrible, even life-threatening. I'm worried about Europe, because the struggle with Brexit will distract from more important things for years to come, not least from the much more important challenge of climate change. I'm worried for global democracy, because this is one more proof that lying and abuse works and democracy is far too vulnerable.
posted by mumimor at 4:23 PM on December 12, 2019 [38 favorites]


Blair gave us Austerity

This is straight out wrong. I don't know where it could come from. The only bad post-crash decision made by Labour was the too-early increase in VAT from (a short-lived) 15% to 20%.
posted by ambrosen at 4:24 PM on December 12, 2019 [11 favorites]


This suggests that you're willing to trade the lives of foreigners overseas as an acceptable price for winning the election. It's not a great look. There's a lot of reasons for this happening, it's incredibly reactionary to suggest that Corbyn not being enough of a war-hawk is something you're willing to criticise him for if it does turn out to have been significant.

I think you're misreading me. I'm saying that despite his horrific actions in Iraq, I think Johnson will be far worse - for the people who will die in the UK, for the millions of EU citizens living here, and yes, worldwide. A crash-out Brexit may well be the starting gun on the next global recession. Given the overlap between Johnson's financial backers and Trump's, should a similar result happen in the the next US presidential election - and frankly, i wouldn't count it out - I don't even want to think about what might happen in Iran, or North Korea, and god forbid tension between India and Pakistan -two nuclear nations - gets even worse with those two fuckers involved. And let's not mention the imminent extinction event that Johnson will do nothing about.

Corbyn not being a war-hawk was one of the few things I actually liked about him. So yes, I didn't agree with his approach to Brexit, his leadership, his choice of allies, his lack of ability to convince others to his point of view... Fine, that makes me biased. Dismiss me, I'm a blairite* in disguise. Corbyn 4ever. Who needs to stop the tories anyway when there's a competition over who's more morally right?

* Actually a Green who votes tactically at times, but eh, what do I know. All those polls saying people will never vote for Corbyn will be wrong, any day now...

Definitely bedtime now. I'll deal with our horrific new hellscape tomorrow!
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 4:25 PM on December 12, 2019 [23 favorites]


I'm not totally convinced that the "Labour were too lefty/brexity/remainy/corbyny" analyses will be much use from a practical standpoint. The much much bigger issue (as others have pointed out elsewhere) is that voters just don't seem to mind being lied to.

"Stability and strong government" with Cameron was bollocks, "If we leave the EU we'll have billions extra to spend on the NHS" was bollocks, "it'll be a dead easy deal, we hold all the cards" was bollocks, "FactcheckUK" was bollocks; most of the country seems to have been quite happy for a man who was fired from the Times for lying, fired from the Tory front bench for lying, and who hides in a fridge to escape TV interviews to be nonetheless elected to the highest office. It doesn't seem to matter that the guy is an obvious charlatan when you look closely; he's charming and makes the right noises and that's enough. You can have any flavour of Labour party you like and it won't matter as long as whoever they're up against can just make shit up that looks better in the absence of any critical thought.
posted by doop at 4:25 PM on December 12, 2019 [30 favorites]


Why are the three seats officially declared all in the North East? And so close to each other, too.

A few elections ago Sunderland South (as was) deliberately made an effort to get the first result in. It got them in the news and made election night a bit more interesting (the result was a foregone conclusion). It worked and in the next election the news crews were ready and waiting for the Sunderland result.

After that, the other seats in the area started to race Sunderland South in a kind of friendly local rivalry.
posted by antiwiggle at 4:28 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


The only bad post-crash decision made by Labour

No, it was Gordon Brown not calling an immediate election after succeeding Blair as leader.
posted by daveje at 4:28 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


First thoughts:

1. This has been a peculiar election in a lot of ways. More animated discussion than I've ever heard before at election time, which is unusual because the British are generally pretty reticent when it comes to talking politics in public. But at the same time, a lot of weariness and exhaustion. A strong desire for change, a frustration with the way the country has stagnated, but not translating into genuine enthusiasm for any of the main parties.

2. There's no doubt that a lot of people are fed up with the Brexit delays and just want the whole thing to be over. So the Tory promise to 'get Brexit done' was always going to cut through. But if Johnson had forced his Brexit deal through Parliament (as he could have done) and then held a general election, I think the result might have been very different. This feels more like a vote for Brexit than a vote for the Tories. And that hunger for change isn't going away.

3. I see this as the first real post-Thatcherite election, in that both of the main parties have been promising a big boost in public spending. This is a huge difference from previous elections, after years when the Tories have packaged themselves as the party of good housekeeping and attacked Labour as the party of tax-and-spend. (There's been some of that rhetoric this time round, but it's been very muted.)

4. Johnson's lack of principle, which again makes him very un-Thatcherite, also makes it very difficult to predict how he's going to govern. For the last few months we've seen him tacking hard to the right, but whether he'll continue to do so now that he no longer has to placate the DUP and the diehards in his own party, who knows? The shape of things to come is still very unclear.

5. Comparisons with Trump break down here, because Trump is fixated on his base and doesn't care who else he alienates, whereas Johnson's instinct is to promise jam and cake for everyone. Is he secretly a liberal one-nation Conservative? I don't think so, because I don't think he really has much of an ideology at all, he's a political opportunist. And I think voters recognise that, which is why the old Labour attack lines -- 'Tories = nasty party', 'save our NHS' etc -- haven't really connected on this occasion.
posted by verstegan at 4:30 PM on December 12, 2019 [9 favorites]


From here in Denmark where the socialists recently won hugely, I don't think it's about centrism vs leftism.

Perhaps somewhat more relevant to this UK election, the socialist party in Denmark also turned against immigration, support for immigrants, and visible signs of Islam to get that win. That's become a major pole of elections across Europe and the Anglosphere that doesn't necessarily conform to the 20th century conception of left, center, and right. One has to assume that the Labour->BXP voters that are playing a huge role in the early returns are another iteration of that same mindset.
posted by Copronymus at 4:33 PM on December 12, 2019 [13 favorites]


Tractorfeed, based on the polling results, you weren't wrong to hope for that particular district. Scotland seems to be running away from the Conservatives at full tilt.
posted by rednikki at 4:39 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Perhaps somewhat more relevant to this UK election, the socialist party in Denmark also turned against immigration, support for immigrants, and visible signs of Islam to get that win.

I don't want to start a major derail, but because Denmark uses the d'Hondt method of parliamentary elections, several parties have a say. And though we right now have a Social Democratic government, it can only exist because of three other parties, none of whom support the anti-immigrant policy. I believe the Social Democrats cynically calculated with this, which I strongly disagree with, and I didn't vote for them. I'm aware that exact strategy cannot be duplicated 1:1 in the UK. But on the other hand, there is a space for individual parliamentarians to state their own opinion in their constituencies, and thus the Labour Party could have a strategy of connecting the EU to welfare and growth while some PMs could be more skeptical. That was not what happened.
posted by mumimor at 4:44 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Milo Edwards on BBC radio
posted by The Whelk at 4:50 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


(I mean, you know, fair enough, Corbyn was a bit of a shambles of a leader and the whole beardy weirdy thing didn't go down well on the doorstep. But Ed Miliband ticked all of the Nice Centrist Young Man boxes and still got crucified because of the way he ate a bacon sandwich. )
posted by doop at 4:53 PM on December 12, 2019 [19 favorites]


Fuck, the Lexit people may have been right
posted by The Whelk at 5:12 PM on December 12, 2019 [9 favorites]


I get that the answer is always Corbyn and the left are wrong, but a week ago I thought Corbyn was supposed to be racist trash because he wasn't personally vocally passionate about Remain enough, and it was going to sink the election.

So many respectable centrists and reasonably concerned citizens who were penning piece after piece just asking questions about Labour and the election, now they pivot and twist but we'll not hear a word of apology for the part they've played in delivering this misery.

I started out Lexit with SWP Trots, was told it was foolish, I came around, I was with Trashfuture that Lexit was just a silly fantasy, but bloody hell.
posted by Acid Communist at 5:18 PM on December 12, 2019 [8 favorites]


Fuck, the Lexit people may have been right
posted by The Whelk at 17:12 on December 12 [2 favorites +] [!]


On the other hand I find the argument "if only we'd conceded more ground to the far right, we'd have won people over" to be unappealing.

I think though the focus should be less on infighting in the left (to discount my own point) and "if only we'd..." The key takeaway for me is that there are quite a lot of people in this country willing to vote for Boris Johnson. I have no idea how to respond to this fact but it terrifies me.
posted by Erberus at 5:25 PM on December 12, 2019 [21 favorites]


well, shit.
posted by mwhybark at 5:25 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Labour already tearing themselves apart. Why can't the answer be that both Corbyn's popularity and labour's position on brexit could be blamed.

Saw an interesting tweet from a politics professor who said labour is now split in three: 1) liberal degree holding Brahmin left 2) dwindling blue collar socially conservative left, and 3) students and ethnic minorities. (he was pointing this out to illustrate that the problems won't go away by simply replacing corbyn).
posted by smoke at 5:28 PM on December 12, 2019 [13 favorites]


If Labour had gone full Lexit we'd probably be sitting here looking at a big bunch of Labour seats in London going Lib Dem instead of northern seats going Tory, plus Labour probably going through the same sort of spasms the Tories did under May. It would be trivial for the Tories to weaponize it against Corbyn. In any case the idea of the UK being able to unilaterally go full Seizure of Means Of Production is just as fanciful as the Tory Sunlit Uplands.

Whatever happened to There Is Power In A Union?
posted by doop at 5:39 PM on December 12, 2019 [7 favorites]


> The key takeaway for me is that there are quite a lot of people in this country willing to vote for Boris Johnson. I have no idea how to respond to this fact but it terrifies me.

And that a lot of the press appears to forget their job is to be a check against power and advocate for the truth, not chase followers and click throughs. I can't wait to see the uncritical presentation of the new governments plans and how great it will all be ("The fix to the NHS is privatization! competition in the market will make the best solution!") .
posted by mrzarquon at 5:41 PM on December 12, 2019 [13 favorites]


Labour already tearing themselves apart.
There's a reason every hot-take you see tonight is from a former Labour MP/Strategist/columnist. The centrist right wing lost control of the Labour party in 2015 and they see this as an opportunity to win it back.

Not gonna happen.
posted by fullerine at 5:44 PM on December 12, 2019 [11 favorites]


People are angry. They need to have that anger recognised, and pointed somewhere. Every time we fail to do that, every time we're told to fear conflict in the party, fear polarisation of the population, fear partisanship itself, we open the door to results like this. Because someone will harness that anger, and if the left doesn't then the right does, and they have, repeatedly.
posted by Acid Communist at 5:46 PM on December 12, 2019 [9 favorites]


Plenty of sitting mps or those who have just lost their seats are pissed, too. The problems here cannot be dismissed as sour grapes; the public empathetically rejected what labour was offering this time around, the answer should not be more of the same.
posted by smoke at 5:50 PM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


Johnson is awful, and I think that Brexit will be bad for the UK, but if I were voting in this election, I would not have been able to support a candidate who has condoned antisemitism to the extent that Corbyn has
posted by knoyers at 5:51 PM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


So if Labor moves to the left on Brexit, they lose older culturally conservative voters. But if they move to the right on Brexit, they lose urban middle class liberals and young people.

Meanwhile: If labor moves to the left economically they lose urban middle class liberals, but if they move to the right economically they lose young people and maybe the older social conservatives?

Just how do you square that circle?
posted by eagles123 at 5:51 PM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


The British people I know here in Tokyo are stunned. I know several couples who have had to give up on even the idea of going home with their spouse, as the income requirements to sponsor a spouse have essentially priced them out of it. Another friend who will be marrying their partner next week had always wanted for the two of them to move to Italy, but freedom of movement is as good as dead now. It’s not like he wasn’t aware that was likely before, but this is like the final nails in the coffin for the future they’d planned together, and now they have to find something else.

It just feels like hatred, ignorance, and myopic selfishness are on an unabated winning streak, and show no signs of losing anytime soon.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:56 PM on December 12, 2019 [31 favorites]


People are angry

People have been angry. It’s just that now the people who are angry are the well to do whites running most everything. Everyone else has been angry for years, but forced to hide it or channel it because to appear angry as a woman or minority is to play into bullshit stereotypes. They get angry, and they lose legitimacy. Rich older white guys get angry, and we lose health care, social safety nets, and any concept of equality. In other words, we’re being given an object lesson in just whose anger matters.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:03 PM on December 12, 2019 [38 favorites]


[Couple of comments deleted. Acid Communist, drop it immediately.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:06 PM on December 12, 2019 [6 favorites]


According to Gabriel Pogrund of The Times, this is the Labour briefing to its MPs over the election result.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:12 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


Channel-hopping coverage and feel like I've heard the hilariously-optimistic hostage to fortune "this was a Brexit election, but the next one won't be" waaay more than I'd like.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 6:13 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


(that comment was meant as an independent observation, but jibes with your link beautifully Joe in Australia)
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 6:15 PM on December 12, 2019


Johnson is awful, and I think that Brexit will be bad for the UK, but if I were voting in this election, I would not have been able to support a candidate who has condoned antisemitism to the extent that Corbyn has

Wasn't a lot of choice in the constituencies. Vote Green and not get Green. Vote Lib Dem and not get Lib Dem. Vote anti-Semitic Labour and maybe not get Islamophobic, anti-black, probably also anti-Semitic Tories.
posted by biffa at 6:17 PM on December 12, 2019 [14 favorites]


A wise man once wrote that “men make their own history but they do not do so as they please.” Some mornings, when the ruling class raises Lovecraftian beasts from the cesspools of capital, I wish with all my heart that I was born in different times. That I could wake up and find justice, equality, and liberty had already been won for me — that I could spend my life on literature, art, and love.

For all my hoping, however, I was not born in such times. None of us were. And so we must struggle.

In spite of everything, I know in my heart that we will never return to the quiet cruelty of history’s end. Neoliberalism has failed in its quest for civil, amoral, and quiet capitalist accumulation. For the first time in a long time, the rich are terrified, and so they are releasing their demons upon the world once again. There is no more euphemism, no more civility, and no more middle ground. All that’s left, in the words of Rosa Luxembourg, is socialism or barbarism. I believe that the young socialists who propelled Corbyn to power will remain steadfast — that they will not allow his party to be torn apart by the ruling class.

I know that I will remain absolutely dedicated to my purpose — dedicated to the cause of justice.

Do not despair, for we cannot afford to. Do not surrender, for they will show no mercy.

In these days, the days after history ended, the terms are simple: fight or die.

And we’re not ready to die.
posted by Rust Moranis at 6:20 PM on December 12, 2019 [29 favorites]


At the end of the day, a political party needs to be led by someone, and that person needs to have the qualities of a leader. In our media driven environment, that means knowing how to talk, react, tell a story, spin a narrative.

Corbyn might have great ideas, but he is garbage at managing the narrative.

Turns out people don’t vote for policy. They vote for narratives. The left can learn this. It is possible. But any politician who can’t effectively manage the media NEEDS TO GO.

I’m going to say it again: policy does not win elections. Any strategizing that revolves around policy is doomed to failure. People - left, right, and center - only react to one thing: a good story.
posted by chuntered inelegantly from a sedentary position at 6:48 PM on December 12, 2019 [23 favorites]


[Another deleted. Seriously, people who live elsewhere: just let people in the UK talk about this, rather than making it a proxy fight in service of political goals elsewhere.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:48 PM on December 12, 2019 [39 favorites]


Scotland's turning out nicely. Ochil and South Perthshire back to SNP.

And the LibDem's have only one.
posted by scruss at 6:51 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


I’m going to say it again: policy does not win elections. Any strategizing that revolves around policy is doomed to failure. People - left, right, and center - only react to one thing: a good story.
In which case elections are auto-decided by whichever domestic or foreign (be they US, Russia, China or wherever) power chooses to adbomb us on FACEBOOK or its successors, as opposed to the C20 Murdocking/DailyHeiling approach. God help us all.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:00 PM on December 12, 2019 [8 favorites]


I’d say good policy doesn’t decide elections. Brexit is a shitty policy, but it has the advantage of being a seemingly simple solution to people’s problems that also plays into their xenophobia.
posted by eagles123 at 7:09 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


.
posted by flabdablet at 7:13 PM on December 12, 2019 [8 favorites]


I think though the focus should be less on infighting in the left (to discount my own point) and "if only we'd..." The key takeaway for me is that there are quite a lot of people in this country willing to vote for Boris Johnson. I have no idea how to respond to this fact but it terrifies me.

Boris Johnson is underwater on approval by 12 points according to YouGov. I feel like any understanding of what happened has to include Corbyn being even more disliked (by a lot) and there were at least a few "if only . . . " options.
posted by mark k at 7:13 PM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


Will Jennings, psephologist, has posted some interesting charts on twitter showing that the Tory vote seems closely aligned to brexit votes.

More depressingly, education level has a big association, too. Labour got slaughtered in areas with under 25% graduates.
posted by smoke at 7:17 PM on December 12, 2019 [6 favorites]


My Labour MP's been returned, that's something good.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:21 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


and spent the day walking around knocking on doors with a lot of dedicated Scottish Labour members. Over a distance of around seventeen kilometers I did a really stupid thing -- I allowed myself to hope.

The problem is, you were in Scotland, not the U.K.
posted by Automocar at 7:27 PM on December 12, 2019


corbyn won't contest another GE
posted by lalochezia at 7:29 PM on December 12, 2019


(Will Jennings' twitter - there also seems to be a strongest correlation between the level of deprivation of an area and an increasing Tory vote. This really has been an election utterly won by propaganda)

In better news, Alyn Smith has not only won here in Stirling, but massively so, with 51% of the vote, taking the seat from an (allegedly homophobic) Tory.

It's quite a weird mix of hope and dread watching the results up here, it's horrific thinking how this is going to impact the UK as a whole, but at the same time it's good to see the Tories having their arses handed to them north of the wall.

That said, it's hard to know whether this could lead to independence in the EU, or whether the Tories will block any attempt and instead use their majority (and the extra powers they are going to take for themselves with brexit) to roll-back even the current level of autonomy Holyrood has...
posted by Buntix at 7:29 PM on December 12, 2019 [6 favorites]


And Jezza is not going to take the party to the next election. This is the right and proper choice when you've had two cracks and got spanked so badly the second time. Hopefully labour can find some kind of solidarity quickly.
posted by smoke at 7:29 PM on December 12, 2019 [7 favorites]


Future Prime Minister and nuclear button presser Jo Swinson gone, by 149 votes.
posted by grahamparks at 7:46 PM on December 12, 2019 [6 favorites]




Interesting to see what's happening both in Scotland and in Northern Ireland. The nationalist parties now have the majority in N.I. Does that leave the potential for the Conservatives to solve the Irish backstop by removing it from the UK entirely? Not like they need the DUP now.
posted by rednikki at 7:58 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


I sometimes wonder if all this just means that there are more accelerationists than we ever dreamed possible.

(Cue screaming in a closet)
posted by aramaic at 8:29 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


The SNP's triumph is my only consolation on this dismal election night. But I expect a protracted constitutional conflict after Johnson defecates on Sturgeon's justified demand to hold a referendum on Scottish independence.
posted by abakua at 8:29 PM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


> Interesting to see what's happening both in Scotland and in Northern Ireland. The nationalist parties now have the majority in N.I. Does that leave the potential for the Conservatives to solve the Irish backstop by removing it from the UK entirely? Not like they need the DUP now.

here is a better version of that idea
posted by Reclusive Novelist Thomas Pynchon at 8:30 PM on December 12, 2019 [10 favorites]


Well, Corbyn won’t be around to blame anymore. And the Tories will own everything around Brexit going foreword. So there is that.
posted by eagles123 at 8:55 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


> The nationalist parties now have the majority in N.I. Does that leave the potential for the Conservatives to solve the Irish backstop by removing it from the UK entirely?

Conversely if Dublin wanted to actually implement some wealth taxes and find other ways to curb their "plenty of houses that no one can afford" housing market, they could use that money to fully fund their public sector healthcare so it's better than NHS is today. In essence they could buy a united Ireland - for my younger coworkers in Belfast who identify more as being from Northern Ireland or Belfast that seemed to be a bigger sticking point for them. Or I guess they could wait until NHS is worse than theirs and people will take that instead, but I'm still trying to view this with rose tinted glasses.
posted by mrzarquon at 8:59 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Fucking fireproof JRM going full Uriah Heep/arselicker in his speech. Hopefully that's a sign he has reason to suspect Johnson might use his bigger-than-ERG±DUP to do the dirty on him and his ilk.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 9:14 PM on December 12, 2019 [1 favorite]


Has anyone else noticed that left-wing parties only win elections when they have a highly charismatic leader, but right-wing parties don't have that constraint?
posted by nnethercote at 9:30 PM on December 12, 2019 [12 favorites]


Because they'll always have money.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 9:34 PM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


The nationalist parties now have the majority in N.I. Does that leave the potential for the Conservatives to solve the Irish backstop by removing it from the UK entirely?

That's........ not how it works.
posted by fshgrl at 9:43 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


I really do wonder how Corbyn would have fared had the political scene not been wrecked by Brexit. Like Obama having much of his first half-term consumed by Herculean recession-management and then handcuffed by the 2010 midterms. Could be have beaten Cameron in an election fought squarely on anti-austerity domestic issues?
posted by Rhaomi at 9:47 PM on December 12, 2019


Well, fuck. That's the UK well and truly fucked.
posted by scruss at 9:48 PM on December 12, 2019 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Mister Bijou at 9:48 PM on December 12, 2019 [3 favorites]


the Tories will own everything around Brexit going foreword. So there is that.
Like they owned the past nine years of shit?
They'll blame the EU, the press will back them and the gammons will use that as an excuse to vote for more racism.
posted by fullerine at 10:07 PM on December 12, 2019 [21 favorites]


Fuck that was depressing to wake up to.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:11 PM on December 12, 2019 [6 favorites]


I'm so sorry.
posted by Coaticass at 10:22 PM on December 12, 2019 [2 favorites]


Corbyn snookered himself the second he ordered the 3 line whip on Article 50.
posted by PenDevil at 10:29 PM on December 12, 2019 [7 favorites]


Liveblogging slightly, but having stayed up all night I haven't yet decided whether to go to sleep for 100 years or to never sleep again. Somehow either seems a rational response.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 10:31 PM on December 12, 2019 [5 favorites]


There is nothing for Labour in the centre. The majority pushing for Brexit are doing do because they are getting screwed and believe that will help (falsely). It won't help them and they will still be screwed. Eventually they will notice and the Left alternative has to be on the table. The centre can only mean continuing to get screwed.

I don't think Corbyn was a great vehicle for Left ideas. He hasn't been a great communicator with people who don't agree with him, which is where the next Labour leader needs to be better. A hostile press is never going to change in the UK.
posted by DoveBrown at 11:07 PM on December 12, 2019 [11 favorites]


.
posted by dudleian at 11:27 PM on December 12, 2019


Certainly Corbyn has been a liability, and the Tory press controls the narrative, but there is another explanation for what we're going through: the English are small-minded xenophobic idiots.

Hold on, let me explain. Not all English people are. But when times are good, turnout is low, and the parties are centrist, our worst elements are concealed. Brexit opened pandora's box, and while it's not exactly helpful or productive or charitable to say it, I'm not a politician and I have lived in England all my life and, look, we all know that a significant percentage of people are vindictive, ill-informed, uncaring hate machines. I mean, Orwell knew it.

No politician can ever say it but it's true. Boris tapped into it. And that terrifies me.

And yes, I accept that my faith in humanity is at a low point right now, but that doesn't make it wrong.
posted by Acey at 11:30 PM on December 12, 2019 [39 favorites]


Boris tapped into it. And that terrifies me.

Large amounts of bush country very close to where I live are currently in the process of being burnt to the ground. The fact that bushfire season got started so early this year is clearly a consequence of anthropogenic global warming, but the intensity and destructive power of these particular fires is mainly due to the displacement of the sustainable and sustaining forest management practices in use here before the English invasion by the corruptly administered, inadequately resourced, extraction-oriented patchwork that remains in place today.

I see strong parallels between the physical landscape where I live and what's happened to the world politically since approximately the Gulf War. The floodgates of bullshit that the US intelligence establishment opened to drown the lessons of Vietnam and sweep away public objection to its obscenely spectacular video-game invasion of Iraq rapidly burst their embankments. The flood is now uncontrollably self-sustaining and a political landscape formerly tended with some level of skill and clarity by a somewhat principled press is now completely choked with an undergrowth of thoughtless reactionary prejudice seeded and fertilised by feral self-serving media moguls and their friends in high places.

Given the way things stand, seeing the arsonist Trump elected in the US and Scott from Marketing back in charge here and now that fucker Johnson winning in the UK has me feeling like a wallaby seeing the oncoming orange glow in a bushfire zone. Europe burned in the 1930s and that was bad enough. The world is alight now and I am very, very frightened; I do not know how to deal with being surrounded by people whose instinctive response to their lives being on fire is to hurl Molotov cocktails at their neighbours.
posted by flabdablet at 12:10 AM on December 13, 2019 [29 favorites]


I would understand the impulse to flee to the centre somewhat better if climate change wasn't breathing it's timer down our necks.

Every year of inaction demands that the change be more radical when it does come.
posted by Acid Communist at 12:11 AM on December 13, 2019 [8 favorites]


I don’t understand why turnout wasn’t higher than recent elections when so many more people had registered to vote.
posted by ellieBOA at 12:12 AM on December 13, 2019


"It's Happening," Declares Jeremy Corbyn.

Indeed it was happening, though maybe not the same 'it' he'd had in mind. Seems like it's going to continue happening for some time, alas.

In my constituency the Labour MP held her seat, despite a 12% loss of vote share, largely thanks to a Brexit Party candidate taking a couple of thousand votes from the Tory one. I suppose that must have been a relatively uncommon scenario overall, though.
posted by misteraitch at 12:23 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


National vote share, after 649 of 650 results declared:

Conservative: 43.6%
Labour: 32.2%
Liberal Democrat: 11.5%
Scottish National Party: 3.9%
Green: 2.7%
The Brexit Party: 2.0%
Plaid Cymru: 0.5%

Conservative + Brexit Party: 45.6%
Labour + Liberal Democrat + Scottish National Party + Green + Plaid Cymru: 50.8%
posted by catchingsignals at 12:28 AM on December 13, 2019 [19 favorites]


It would be interesting to see the FPTP results under various scenarios where the vote wasn't split. Like, what if Labour and the Lib Dems were in coalition? What if it was Labour plus everyone but the Lib Dems, DUP and Brexit? Etc.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:36 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Opposition parties, fighting each other to let the Tories in:

Con hold
Chingford & Woodford Green
Party Candidate Votes %
Con Iain Duncan Smith 23,481 48.5
Lab Faiza Shaheen 22,219 45.9
Lib Dem Geoff Seeff 2,744 5.7

Con gain
Kensington
Party Candidate Votes %
Con Felicity Buchan 16,768 38.3
Lab Emma Dent Coad 16,618 38
Lib Dem Sam Gyimah 9,312 21.3
Green Vivien Lichtenstein 535 1.2

Con gain
Stroud
Party Candidate Votes %
Con Siobhan Baillie 31,582 47.9
Lab David Drew 27,742 42.1
Green Molly Scott Cato 4,954 7.5

Con gain
Ynys Môn
Party Candidate Votes %
Con Virginia Crosbie 12,959 35.5
Lab Mary Roberts 10,991 30.1
PC Aled Ap Dafydd 10,418 28.5

Con hold
Wimbledon
Party Candidate Votes %
Con Stephen Hammond 20,373 38.4
Lib Dem Paul Kohler 19,745 37.2
Lab Jackie Schneider 12,543 23.7
posted by catchingsignals at 12:51 AM on December 13, 2019 [12 favorites]


Fuck.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 12:58 AM on December 13, 2019 [4 favorites]


Is that an order? I'm getting ready for work, I don't think I have the time.
posted by Grangousier at 1:01 AM on December 13, 2019 [10 favorites]


Conservative + Brexit Party: 45.6%
Labour + Liberal Democrat + Scottish National Party + Green + Plaid Cymru: 50.8%


So in a better Britain, Labour could lead a coalition for saving the country and the climate? FPTP is evil.
posted by mumimor at 1:11 AM on December 13, 2019 [4 favorites]


As an immigrant (non-EU) and the parent of a teenager, I am just so angry and sad at how this has gone down. Our household will be okay, and I live in the centre of Londonistan in a very pro-Remain, anti-Tory area but still...
One of the saddest things is it underlines just how stupid so many people are. There are people saying they voted for the Tories because 'this means we will leave the EU tomorrow' - non-ironically, literally believing that today Brexit is done and dusted. These are the same people who blame the EU for the number of brown people in the country. The same people who say they think the NHS is important but think the benefits of Brexit (of which there are none they can actually name) are more important. That believe a party that has run that has run the police force and courts in to the ground is going to improve those services. That the system that has seriously fucked them over for the past nine years is going to make things better because...they said so.
posted by Megami at 1:11 AM on December 13, 2019 [12 favorites]


So that's it then. Large Tory majority, as predicted by the pollsters. Boris will get his Brexit deal through, followed by some bitter internal fights in the Tory party about what a trade deal should look like. SNP will agitate for another independence vote. There's going to be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth from the Labour party. Corbyn will have to go, and it looks like my MP has a good chance of being the next leader. I kind of saw this coming and decamped to Dublin 3 months ago - it's extremely disappointing, but not particularly surprising. *Deep sigh*

From my MP: It feels like a punch in the stomach, we will all be thinking of the harm that can be done to those we care for. I understand, I feel pain, take that anger you feel and know it has to be fuel. Maybe not tonight but tomorrow.
posted by BigCalm at 1:26 AM on December 13, 2019 [5 favorites]


I think it's quite difficult for those of us who see politics as central to all human endeavour to understand just how little attention most people pay to it; specifically, how little thought most people give to the making and consequences of public policy.

Most people who live in shitty conditions really do seem to be more willing to conceive of these as akin to forces of nature than as the predictable and in general predicted results of policy formulated by people who don't give two shits about their interests.

Given the difficulty that progressive governments always and everywhere experience in not having everything they've done unwound as a matter of priority as soon as the regressives get in again, the narrative that nobody in power gives two shits about the interests of ordinary people is also pretty compelling if you have neither the time nor the inclination to look too closely at it. Blanket cynicism is just less work than evidence-directed cynicism.
posted by flabdablet at 1:32 AM on December 13, 2019 [24 favorites]


@catchingsignals The problem isn't which box people who voted against the Tories put their cross in. It's that millions of people put theirs next to the party of Johnson.
posted by entity447b at 2:20 AM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


Yes, the real problem is that 45% of the country, even in a proportional representation system, still believe the Tories are the best choice.

Anybody who says they voted Johnson because they hate Corbyn even more was never an ally. An ally would have voted Green or Lib Dem instead.
posted by vacapinta at 2:26 AM on December 13, 2019 [9 favorites]


Just for fun (note: this is not at all fun), here's how the national vote share (after 649 of 650 results declared) could translate into seats out of 650 under a system of perfectly Proportional Representation:

Conservative Party 283
Labour Party 209
Scottish National Party 25
Liberal Democrats 75
Democratic Unionist Party 5
Sinn Féin 4
Plaid Cymru 3
Green Party 18
Brexit Party 13
UK Independence Party 1
Other parties 14

Even if you gave the hard Brexit parties the DUP and all of the "other" seats, they'd still have only 316 seats.

We've been screwed for nine years (and now 14) because the Lib Dems didn't hold out for PR as the price of coalition in 2010, the one thing that would have made them a serious player over the longer term.
posted by rory at 2:29 AM on December 13, 2019 [14 favorites]


Or because Labour didn't get behind the 2011 referendum vote for an alternative voting system. Even though there is clear evidence it tends towards left leaning governments.
posted by biffa at 2:37 AM on December 13, 2019 [7 favorites]


Maybe, and I voted for AV—it's clearly fairer than FPTP—but it still means that minor parties end up massively underrepresented. We need a Parliament with double-digits numbers of Greens, not just 1. If people knew that their Green votes would make a real difference, they'd be more inclined to vote for them.

It's true that the price would be having a similar number of Brexit Party MPs, or UKIP on a different day, or whatever. But look at the damage Farage has been able to do from the sidelines, with no accountability in Parliament itself: they can promise the moon, and never have to confront the practical implications. And they've dragged the entire Tory Party onto their ground. Now the whole world will think that Britain is dominated by hard-right hard Brexiters, when they got less than 50% of the vote.

(In the worst possible sense, of course, we are dominated by them. But they aren't an accurate reflection of how we voted overall.)
posted by rory at 2:47 AM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


I picked a hell of a time to decide to cut back on drinking.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:50 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


Mr. Bad Example: "I picked a hell of a time to decide to cut back on drinking."

Eponysterical.
posted by chavenet at 2:59 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


makes the UK England one of the most right-wing countries in Europe

FTFY.
posted by daveje at 3:00 AM on December 13, 2019 [12 favorites]


Anybody who says they voted Johnson because they hate Corbyn even more was never an ally. An ally would have voted Green or Lib Dem instead.

To win elections - especially under FPTP - you need to appeal to more than just the morally pure allies.
posted by Dysk at 3:11 AM on December 13, 2019 [12 favorites]


In "good" news, Labour are 12 seats up on the exit poll. At the expense of (net) 4 Tory, 7 SNP and 2 Lib Dem seats. Plaid also gained 1 more seat than predicted.

Mystery: The 10pm exit poll declared 19 seats for "other", excluding the Green Party and PC. There are 18 seats in Northern Ireland. Anyone know what the 19th might have been? The original data has all been memory-holed already.
posted by grahamparks at 3:14 AM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


Yes, the real problem is that 45% of the country, even in a proportional representation system, still believe the Tories are the best choice.

Not really. Voting intentions by party under a FPTP system are not representative of how people would vote in a PR system because the existing parties would split. FPTP is inherently so hostile to small parties with geographically dispersed support (while allowing nationalist parties like the NI parties, PC, and SNP with concentrated support to win seats) that parties are necessarily very broad and a lot of effort goes into pulling your party in a desired direction rather than starting your own party.

In a PR system, Labour would split into two parties, the Conservatives would spilt into at least two parties. Both parties would lose votes to a Liberal party, Labour would lose votes to the Green party. The whole structure would be radically different.

This, incidentally is why the LD's gave up so much in their coalition agreement in order to get the AV referendum. A "Yes" on that would have made a centre right Liberal party a major party for structural reasons and able to play king-maker on each of their flanks at each election. The Dutch VVD does this by pulling together either right or left coalitions depending on how the elections have gone and as a result is able to achieve their policy objectives very effectively over time. If they had won that referendum everyone would now think that Clegg made a genius strategic move and he might (seriously, don't laugh) even be prime minister.

They lost the referendum and as a result didn't get much of what they wanted out of the coalition. (acting as a brake on Conservative programmes is electorally impossible to sell because if that's their only purpose people will just vote for the real opposition).
posted by atrazine at 3:18 AM on December 13, 2019 [8 favorites]


Mystery: The 10pm exit poll declared 19 seats for "other", excluding the Green Party and PC. There are 18 seats in Northern Ireland. Anyone know what the 19th might have been? The original data has all been memory-holed already.

The speaker of the house?
posted by Dysk at 3:21 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


All the "It's not me, it's you" comments I'm seeing this morning and the people looking at stuff outside of their control and saying "that needs to change (but I don't)" (not so much here, but the Guardian etc) doesn't make me feel optimistic about he future of Labour.
posted by dudleian at 3:25 AM on December 13, 2019 [8 favorites]


rory: It’s old news now, but Corbyn explicitly ruled out moving to PR shortly before this election because “it leads to coalitions”.

The paradox of FPTP is that a party that wins under FPTP would almost certainly lose or even fall apart into disparate groups under any other voting system, which makes it almost impossible to move away from FPTP, as those with the power to set policy will always be in the position that moving away from FPTP will instantly destroy their own careers.

The LibDems might have been on stronger ground insisting on reforming the Lords & replacing it (or maybe part of it?) with a proportionately elected revising chamber because that would not have directly impacted powerbroker MP’s careers.
posted by pharm at 3:33 AM on December 13, 2019 [7 favorites]


Devoid of agility, charisma and credibility, Corbyn has led Labour into the abyss
Polly Toynbee/The Guardian
Well, the knives are predictably out, that is inevitable. It would have been more polite to wait till tomorrow, but she probably had it ready to send several days ago. And I can't say I disagree with her.
posted by mumimor at 3:53 AM on December 13, 2019 [6 favorites]


She's had that ready to go since before the 2017 GE but was unexpectedly unable to use it until now
posted by Beware of the leopard at 3:59 AM on December 13, 2019 [7 favorites]


Mm. That did give him (and by "him" I'm obviously referring to a team of people branded "Corbyn" rather that one individual) an opportunity to render it irrelevant, that was wasted.
posted by Grangousier at 4:11 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


Corbyn explicitly ruled out moving to PR shortly before this election

Labour had a clear self-interest in maintaining FPTP when it was winning them MP numbers far in excess of its vote share. In 1997 Labour won 122 extra seats thanks to FPTP; in 2001, 145; in 2005, 128; in 2010, 69; in 2015, 34. In 2017... two.

They could have won half a dozen extra seats under PR this time.

1997 45% 419/659 (297)
2001 40.7% 413/659 (268)
2005 35.3% 356/646 (228)
2010 29% 258/650 (189)
2015 30.4% 232/650 (198)
2017 40% 262/650 (260)
2019 32.2% 203/650 (209)

Might be time to join the Electoral Reform Society...
posted by rory at 4:15 AM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


Comparable figures for the Tories:

1997 31% 165/659 (204)
2001 31.7% 166/659 (209)
2005 32.3% 198/646 (209)
2010 36.1% 307/650 (235)
2015 36.9% 331/650 (234)
2017 42.4% 318/650 (276)
2019 43.6% 364/650 (283)
posted by rory at 4:26 AM on December 13, 2019 [1 favorite]


Labour's attitude to PR is a lot like the traditional working class tory approach to economics - why try to make the system fairer so it doesn't favour those at the top when you could just go for being at the top yourself instead?
posted by Dysk at 4:33 AM on December 13, 2019 [8 favorites]


'We should make those who win big share with everyone else to a degree? But what if we won big? We don't want to share!'

Tories on tax. Labour on PR.
posted by Dysk at 4:36 AM on December 13, 2019 [11 favorites]


Is there any reason to think Johnson will let Scotland have a second referendum? I keep seeing people talking about an independent Scotland and a reunified Ireland, but no real discussion of why Johnson and the Tories would go along.
posted by schadenfrau at 5:13 AM on December 13, 2019


Friday is Chris Grey Brexitblog post day. A good (/grim) analysis of what lies ahead.
posted by rory at 5:15 AM on December 13, 2019 [6 favorites]




I suspect Boris' nemesis will be Boris. His standard MO is to bullshit into a position then bail before the bills come due on his incompetence. Does he have anywhere else to go up the greasy pole now?
posted by biffa at 5:32 AM on December 13, 2019 [3 favorites]


Is there any reason to think Johnson will let Scotland have a second referendum?

It all depends on his/the Tories' judgement that not allowing one would risk heading down a path that ends with IRA/ETA-style armed unrest. We aren't anywhere near that yet, of course, but neither was ETA when it started.

A more immediate risk (though still low at this point) might be that Scotland would hold its own unsanctioned referendum along the lines of Catalonia's, which would put the UK government on the spot, or (more remote) that there would be a universal declaration of independence. I would only see either of those happening if the SNP had exhausted all avenues to secure a sanctioned referendum, and were convinced that they had strong majority support within Scotland. They got 45% of the vote in Scotland yesterday.
posted by rory at 5:32 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


I suspect Boris' nemesis will be Boris.

I realise I'm a broken record on this, but for many years the Tories' primary opposition has been reality itself - there are only so many tricky scrapes you can escape by the skin of your teeth before you come crashing down. Of course, they'll bring us crashing down with them. The best advice I've seen so far is to work out what to do in that event, that also work as support networks while we're waiting for them to fail.
posted by Grangousier at 5:38 AM on December 13, 2019 [16 favorites]


Many things about the election outcome worry me, not least the now-inevitability of Brexit, but as a lawyer I am concerned at the vague but extremely troubling proposals buried near the end of the Conservative Manifesto as regards constitutional reform:

After Brexit we also need to look at the broader aspects of our constitution: the relationship between the Government, Parliament and the courts; the functioning of the Royal Prerogative; the role of the House of Lords; and access to justice for ordinary people. The ability of our security services to defend us against terrorism and organised crime is critical. We will update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government. We will ensure that judicial review is available to protect the rights of the individuals against an overbearing state, while ensuring that it is not abused to conduct politics by another means or to create needless delays. In our first year we will set up a Constitution, Democracy & Rights Commission that will examine these issues in depth, and come up with proposals to restore trust in our institutions and in how our democracy operates.

With a substantial majority there will be little to prevent Johnson pushing forward with this, and he will, because he was personally humiliated by the Speaker and the Supreme Court over the prorogation issue only a few months ago. My prediction of how the above will play out:
  • Immunity of the Executive from judicial review.
  • The House of Lords to lose its power to substantially amend or delay legislation, becoming in effect just a glorified review committee.
  • Removal or dilution of specific human rights.
  • Greater Parliamentary and Executive control of the courts, probably by the introduction of US-style political confirmation hearings for senior members of the judiciary.
Now, you would have to be very paranoid to suggest that the combination of the above with the stated intent to repeal the Fixed Term Parliaments Act would lead to a situation where No 10 could prorogue Parliament indefinitely and rule via prerogative decree with the courts either having no power to intervene or being packed with pro-Government judges, wouldn't you?
posted by Major Clanger at 6:26 AM on December 13, 2019 [13 favorites]


A more immediate risk (though still low at this point) might be that Scotland would hold its own unsanctioned referendum along the lines of Catalonia's, which would put the UK government on the spot, or (more remote) that there would be a universal declaration of independence. I would only see either of those happening if the SNP had exhausted all avenues to secure a sanctioned referendum, and were convinced that they had strong majority support within Scotland. They got 45% of the vote in Scotland yesterday.

I think the SNP is much too clever to do that. They know that every year of right-wing government from Westminster makes Scots more inclined to independence. What has also improved the SNP's position over the years is building a track record of quiet competence.

The Scottish electorate is not fundamentally a radical one and certainly back in the 90s when I last lived there, I knew people who did not think of the SNP as a serious governing party. Nobody thinks that now, even people who are pro-union and not SNP voters.

Their brand is that of a pro-independence, centre-left, pro-European party but also that of a morally serious party of sober good government and that goes over very well with Scottish voters. Notably the Conservative party has done well there in the past when it had a reputation for seriousness and steadiness. People really liked Ruth Davidson. Again, even people who didn't and wouldn't vote Conservative.

I can't see them compromising their status as the natural party of Scottish good governance with wildcat referendums because that reputation for stability is so important to attracting wavering independence voters to take the leap. I think there are people who aren't quite sure about it who would be profoundly comforted by the idea that people like Nicola Sturgeon will be the ones guiding a newly independent Scotland through.
posted by atrazine at 6:38 AM on December 13, 2019 [15 favorites]


That’s definitely my take as well. There’s a vocal minority within the SNP who want to see a Catalonia style referendum as a Plan B if there’s no movement on a Section 30 referendum, but the SNP leadership has heartily resisted that.

And a UDI would be a wildly non-linear thing to do. It would make the chaos in Catalonia look like a picnic. For one thing, Catalonia is not the sole repository of weapons for a nuclear armed state. Scotland is. UDI is incredibly dangerous based on that fact alone and would be profoundly undemocratic based on current numbers.

I expect 2-3 years of pushing for a new Section 30 while waiting for the effects of Brexit and the travails of Johnson’s government to move the needle to an undeniable point of majority. Nicola Sturgeon is nothing if not patient.
posted by Happy Dave at 7:07 AM on December 13, 2019 [5 favorites]


I think the SNP is much too clever to do that.

Yes, that's why I said "if the SNP had exhausted all avenues", which I would see as a years-long process in normal circumstances. But it's all going to depend on what happens to the UK during those years. What if Johnson sticks to his "no extension of transition" pledge, can't get a deal done in 11 months, and we really do end up crashing out without a deal at the start of 2021?
posted by rory at 7:09 AM on December 13, 2019


[n.b. there's a commiseration MetaTalk thread now if you're affected by this whole mess and need more of just a place to vent and support each other outside of more concrete discussion of the issues & events.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:16 AM on December 13, 2019 [9 favorites]


Does he have anywhere else to go up the greasy pole now?

Are we not doing 'phrasing' any more?
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:26 AM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]




> Conservative + Brexit Party: 45.6%
Labour + Liberal Democrat + Scottish National Party + Green + Plaid Cymru: 50.8%


I'm reminded of how the Nazis got power not because they got a majority vote, but that the left was too fractured to form a resistance. I feel like this is always a weakness of progressive movements - it is much harder to agree upon which way to go forward than it is to just agree to stay where one is (or go back to an idealized past).
posted by mrzarquon at 8:53 AM on December 13, 2019 [15 favorites]


Well, yes. Rule one of being in the left: when there are fascists in the offing, shit on the social democrats.
posted by Grangousier at 9:27 AM on December 13, 2019 [14 favorites]


Boris Johnson campaigned for Brexit and against the E.U. Now Europe’s leaders are delighted by his victory. It's the Washington Post. There are some good points in there, in spite of the click-baity headline
Leaders are uncertain which approach Johnson will take, since he entered Downing Street in July with bombastic and uncompromising rhetoric, but then backed off some of his red lines in negotiations over a withdrawal deal — and requested a Brexit extension he’d earlier denounced.
Europeans also are unsure how hard Johnson will push for British autonomy and want to diverge from E.U. rules and regulations.
That was one of the main themes of his “take back control” Brexit referendum campaign. But he said little about it in the general election.
Since divergence could lead to economic pain for many British businesses — and for many of the new supporters he picked up in old Labour heartlands — many in Europe are hopeful he will ultimately choose a closer relationship.
Analysts said one clue may lie in the origins of Johnson’s opposition to the E.U. Yes, he wrote anti-E.U. screeds as a newspaper correspondent based in Brussels. But he was reportedly conflicted on Brexit — writing two versions of a 2016 opinion column, one embracing Europe, the other rejecting it. And ultimately his choice may have had more to do with his political aspirations than with ideology.
posted by mumimor at 9:41 AM on December 13, 2019


Electoral Reform Society @electoralreform
Across Britain, it took...

🗳️864,743 votes to elect 1 Green MP
🗳️642,303 votes to elect 0 Brexit Party MPs
🗳️334,122 votes to elect a Lib Dem
🗳️50,817 votes for a Labour MP
🗳️38,316 votes for a Plaid Cymru MP
🗳️38,300 votes for a Con. MP
🗳️25,882 votes for a SNP MP

#ScrapFPTP
2:33 AM · Dec 13, 2019·Twitter Web App
posted by Ahmad Khani at 10:12 AM on December 13, 2019 [13 favorites]


#NotMyPrimeMinister trending on Twitter and protests outside Downing Street.
posted by roolya_boolya at 11:32 AM on December 13, 2019


For anyone wanting some cheer: the vile DUPer Nigel Dodds lost his seat to the son of a man who was murdered by Loyallist paramilitaries.

Now Arlene Foster is on TV dog-whistling about pan nationalist fronts, a term the paramilitary forces used to justify violence at Catholics, so they're taking that well. The shift in the North is massive though - they lost a seat they held since 1895 and which was help by Carson, the founder of modern Unionism, and they are in a minority of MPs from the North for the first time ever. It is hard to overstate the blow to their psyche will be, whatever happens with the border.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 11:41 AM on December 13, 2019 [22 favorites]


modern Unionism

Who knew...?
posted by biffa at 12:37 PM on December 13, 2019


Turns out people don’t vote for policy. They vote for narratives. The left can learn this. It is possible. But any politician who can’t effectively manage the media NEEDS TO GO.

I can't believe that people still believe this horseshit.

You cannot control the narrative. You cannot "manage" the media. Those who control the media decide what the narrative is, they will twist anything you do to suit it, and what they can't twist, they will simply not report.

Blair is the only Labour leader to win elections in 45 years, and he did it by sacrificing the principles of his party in the pursuit of power, by going cap in hand to Rupert Murdoch and doing whatever he was told to get his support.

Do you remember the Ed Stone? It was a direct response to a media narrative about Milliband's leadership not being clear about their principles, or not being committed to following through on them. When, in response, he did exactly what that narrative said he couldn't do, they just spun it instead as being the height of ridicule, the most unimaginably laughable thing in history.

It wasn't. It was six straightforward lines from the manifesto on a mildly unconventional poster. It was a bog standard, unremarkable campaign stunt like every cheesy leaflet photo op ever, but the press decided that it and a bacon sandwich made him uNeLeCtAbLe, and so he was.

Three days ago Boris Johnson, a serial liar without a single shred of principle evident in his entire career, drove a GET BREXIT DONE tractor through a polystyrene wall of GRIDLOCK and the press didn't bat an eye.

Corbyn was shitter at trying to play this game than most, but the left can never win. They are not judged by the same rules.

We can try to reign in the rabid right wing media in this country. We can try to fight ratfucking on social media. We can try to start, support and promote other outlets. We can try to find other ways to reach low-information voters who soak up the calculated lies and the manufactured outrages they pick up in passing. We can try to improve education, awareness, critical thinking. It's going to be a long and hard road to do any of these things.

But I am sick of hearing that if we just had a more media-savvy leader then they could manage the right wing press, just as I'm sick of hearing that we need to build bridges to determinedly ignorant bigots.

We need to stop fucking pandering to all these people and just beat them.
posted by automatronic at 3:49 PM on December 13, 2019 [44 favorites]


Precisely: name me one person on median or lower income that owns a TV station or newspaper. For bonus points tell me how that newspaper or TV station covers labour relations and other issues affecting people on median or lower income.

The workers cannot own the means of propaganda. If somehow a major outlet was to cover stuff that matters to 50% of the country, it would be dismissed as both loony and lefty. The thing uniting everyone here is called a "website", and not even a default government* one like Facebook or Twitter. If you get your news from people that own news sources, you believe what people that own news sources believe, for better or worse.

*c'mon, everyone knows some sites are official
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 5:03 PM on December 13, 2019 [2 favorites]


Also, as seen in Glasgow following the election results: "Say it loud and say it clear. Refugees are welcome here!"
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 5:11 PM on December 13, 2019 [6 favorites]


If Corbyn has waived May’s deal through, he would have succeeded her

He never wanted a second referendum. The election was lost the day that the Remainers in his party forced his hand.
posted by moorooka at 12:12 AM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


Can we stop with the anti-Corbyn hot takes from overseas?
posted by tractorfeed at 2:09 AM on December 14, 2019 [13 favorites]


If Corbyn has waived May’s deal through, he would have succeeded her

Yeah, I guess he could have just voted for austerity too, and then campaigned for the tories in the election.

The point of opposition is to oppose. And frankly, I think your analysis is bollocks. There was a lot wrong with Corbyn and his campaign, but one of the issues at play was that he didn't oppose brexit with any conviction. He had to be dragged kicking and screaming to having any position on it at all. That is not how you won elections. Look at the popular vote: the Lib Dems were far and away the biggest gainers - roughly four times the vote share increase of the Tories. Despite Swinson. Meaningfully opposing brexit was not a losing strategy. Dithering and not taking a strong position, ending up with bullshit neutrality and a refusal to say how it who would be negotiating a deal, etc, etc - this was bungled badly. But "just give them their brexit" was never the answer.
posted by Dysk at 2:19 AM on December 14, 2019 [24 favorites]


You might as well argue that Hillary could've won the last US election by agreeing to build a wall.
posted by Dysk at 2:35 AM on December 14, 2019 [9 favorites]


The election was lost the day that the Remainers in his party forced his hand.

Ahaha. No.

Main reasons voters didn't vote for Labour (via opinium poll)

The overwhelming reason why people switched party was because of Corbyn and his team rather than brexit (even with the completely bungled dithering), with policies a very distant 3rd. Also remember, 2/3 of labour voters voted remain. If he'd tried to hang onto the northern seats by backing brexit, he would have lost way more to the lib dems in London and the southeast than he did to the conservatives; as it was, labour still lost a good chunk, again mostly because of the leadership. Where were the passionate labour cabinet members in the campaign? Muzzled, because they didn't want to risk Corbyn being outshined. Far too much talent stuck on the backbenches because they're too blairite.

Arguably the biggest tactical mistake on brexit was the libs trying to go too far with promising to revoke brexit entirely; it spooked otherwise soft tories who might have defected that never would have gone labour.

The message for labour - keep the socialism, but for gods sake get a better leader that inspires people other than the already converted (and can actually argue the party policies with conviction) and stop being such a goddamn sect that spends far more time on witchhunts of the slightly less left wing in your own party than attacking the tories. You can can be the new socialist workers party, or a government in waiting. Not both.

Also, perhaps try and work with other opposition parties a little? The remain vote was split in multiple seats, allowing the tories right through.

You'd think the absolute thashing for labour at the EU elections and local elections (against an awful campaigner, May) might have conclusively showed that Corbyn was a huge liability, but of course it's taken the general to prove that a bad leader and refusing to compromise has given the worst UK PM in modern times an untouchable majority for 5 years and a likely crashout brexit at the end of 2020. Thanks so much, Corbyn.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 2:56 AM on December 14, 2019 [17 favorites]


48% of the country did vote Remain, and in England, at least, those voters felt their choices were: (1) A party that wanted to Leave in the stupidest way possible, (2) a party that was mostly kind of in favor of Leaving but had been dragged kicking and screaming into saying all right we'll be NEUTRAL on it are you HAPPY NOW, (3) a minor party in favor of Remain best known for selling out to the Tories and who weren't going to win in very many seats, (4) an even more minor party in favor of Remain who were going to win hardly any seats.

In, for example, Scotland, where there was a Remain-favoring party capable of winning, they made major gains.
posted by kyrademon at 2:59 AM on December 14, 2019 [16 favorites]


In 2017 Corbyn had a low approval rating, a left-wing manifesto, and a policy of delivering Brexit. He got a decent vote share and denied the Tories a majority.

In 2019 Corbyn had a low approval rating, a left-wing manifesto, and a policy of a second Brexit referendum. He got a catastrophically low vote share as the Labour pro-Leave areas went Tory.

The Lib Dems, with an even stronger anti-Brexit stance, also did badly.

Theories that the 2019 defeat was because of Corbyn's personal charisma or poor media management need to explain why those mostly affected Leave areas and only in the last two years.

Theories that it was because he wasn't clearly Remain enough need to explain why the Lib Dems also failed.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 5:11 AM on December 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


The Tories weren't running a woman for PM this time around.
posted by flabdablet at 5:36 AM on December 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


I thought this was more insightful than many of the hot takes being thrown around:
While the party bigwigs threw their weight about, the mines and the manufacturers, the steel and the shipbuilding were snuffed out. With them went the culture of Labourism: the bolshy union stewards, the self-organised societies, most of the local newspapers. Practically any institution that might incubate a working-class provincial political identity was bulldozed.
....
Meanwhile, the big gap in the electoral market that opened up was for a party offering a welfare state with reactionary social policy. That was Nigel Farage; now it’s Boris Johnson. What won on Thursday night wasn’t Conservatism: it was Faragism.
....
In the 2017 election I wrote that a party that grew out of social institutions needed to turn itself into a social institution in precisely those areas it historically took for granted. That remains the key task...

This Labour meltdown has been building for decades by Aditya Chakrabortty in The Guardian
posted by tavegyl at 6:02 AM on December 14, 2019 [6 favorites]



Theories that the 2019 defeat was because of Corbyn's personal charisma or poor media management need to explain why those mostly affected Leave areas and only in the last two years.


I think you have that backwards. Labour lexiteers need to explain why, when labour still had a 'deliver a better labour brexit' stance they came 3rd in the 2019 EU elections, losing 8 MEPs on a -10% swing, with the lib dems in 2nd with their pro-referendum stance under Vince Cable getting a +13% swing and going from 1 to 16 MEPs (net +15), and the greens similarly got a +5% swing with +4 seats - the SNP too improved slightly and got an extra MEP. The tories of course came 5th behind the greens under May, with the brexit party cannibalisuing nearly their entire vote. Which was the main thing that toppled May.

It was *after* that trouncing that labour was forced to finally confirm they'd have a referendum with remain as a 2nd option, but wouldn't say which way they'd campaign. It was only in the GE campaign that Corbyn stated he'd be neutral in the referendum. He frankly wasn't trusted by remainers OR leavers by that point, not least after Momentum tried to purge Watson.

Theories that it was because he wasn't clearly Remain enough need to explain why the Lib Dems also failed.

One word. Swinson. Who replaced Cable when he retired. She was rightly tarred with backing austerity for which she refused to apologise, which meant she wasn't going to pick up many Labour votes, then became a laughing stock when she started out claiming she had a realistic chance of becoming PM, and made a big tactical error in saying that she'd just revoke article 50, getting hammered for being anti-democratic and losing any chance of getting swing votes from wavering 'soft' tories who could live with a 2nd referendum on the final withdrawal deal but didn't want to outright cancel brexit. Plus you know, sexism which is rampant in English politics. They did however get an increase in vote share and MPs over 2017, so while they didn't meet their goals (which under FPTP were always going to be modest, especially since they were competing with labour for the same votes given the lack of tactical arrangements) they were hardly crushed.

Corbuyn himself wanted to make the election about anything but brexit, and avoided the topic like the absolute plague, and even on the NHS concentrated on a future drugs pricing deal with the US by Johnson instead of hammering the conditions right now after 9 years of tory cuts.

Labour did not have a coherent position on Brexit, a leader that was widely distrusted and a manifesto that most people saw as fantastical, while any actual remainers in the party (such as Starmer, and of course the now leaving Watson) were muzzled and not let anywhere near the press ala Rees-Mogg's getting stuffed in a box. Labour really should have picked a position and gone with it; their triangulation for 3 and a half years pleased absolutely no-one.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 6:10 AM on December 14, 2019 [11 favorites]


Yes, the Lib Dems increased their share of the vote from 7.4% to 11.2% yet lost ten seats, thanks to FPTP.

Labour, meanwhile, benefited in 2017 not so much from being pro-Brexit, but from the ambiguity of their position, when Leavers could back their promise to implement Brexit and Remainers could back them in the hope that things could turn around in the next 18 months. That would have been impossible to sustain this time, so close to the edge. If Labour had been anti-PV they would absolutely have lost Remainer votes.

Corbyn's net approval rating by the time of election day in 2017 was also far better than this time around. It's been heavily negative all year.

Farage's decision to pull Brexit Party candidates in Conservative seats has given a distorted impression that Labour did particularly badly in Labour Leave seats. If BP candidates had taken votes from Tory incumbents as well, we would almost certainly have seen more Labour or LD gains. Maybe not enough to deny Johnson a majority, but it would have been a closer result.
posted by rory at 6:20 AM on December 14, 2019 [5 favorites]


One of my pet peeves this election has been the idea of "lending your vote". The idea that you "lent" the Tories your vote to get Brexit done, but that you aren't actually a Tory voter.

No. You are now a Tory voter, and your vote for the Tories has helped deliver five more years of Tory rule. You've voted for the Bullingdon boys and the credit traders and all the rest of them. At least be honest about it.
posted by rory at 6:31 AM on December 14, 2019 [12 favorites]


Meanwhile, the big gap in the electoral market that opened up was for a party offering a welfare state with reactionary social policy. That was Nigel Farage; now it’s Boris Johnson. What won on Thursday night wasn’t Conservatism: it was Faragism.

Genuine question tavegyl - Farage was offering a welfare state? Really?
posted by penguin pie at 7:17 AM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


The Tories weren't running a woman for PM this time around.

Theories about sexism aside, in 2017 the Tories ran a campaign that could be described as “running headfirst into a brick wall, repeatedly”. Despite this, a Corbyn led Labour party was still unable to deliver victory.

2017 is not a baseline for 'how well a Corbyn-led Labour party ought to be able to do'. 2017 is 'how well can a Corbyn led Labour party do against the worst Tory campaign in living memory'. Spoiler: they lost. Against a well-run campaign run by Dominic Cummings? Well, it’s no contest is it?
posted by pharm at 7:29 AM on December 14, 2019 [6 favorites]


One word. Swinson. Who replaced Cable when he retired. She was rightly tarred with backing austerity for which she refused to apologise, which meant she wasn't going to pick up many Labour votes...

So the explanation involves Labour voters hating austerity, therefore voting for Boris Johnson in the former Labour heartlands.

This is quite complicated stuff. A simpler explanation covers Labour's drop from 2017 to 2019, the distribution of the vote with Leave areas going Tory, and the Lib Dem performance. Leave voters strongly want the referendum result respected, Remain voters don't all feel so strongly that the result should be overturned, so parties don't do well in general elections unless they look likely to implement Brexit.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:21 AM on December 14, 2019


Genuine question tavegyl - Farage was offering a welfare state? Really?

I also paused at that part of the quote, but I think it's plausible, if you consider that Faragism is about the entitlements of a particular largely ethnically-defined in-group at the expense of out-groups (i.e. foreigners who take 'our' entitlements, including taxes, NHS, jobs and our sovereignty). The term 'welfare state' perhaps implies something rather more thought-out than the morass of anger and entitlement Farage deals in, though.

Here is a summary of the Brexit Party 'manifesto' for what it's worth.
posted by tavegyl at 8:22 AM on December 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


... And here is a summary of the UKIP manifesto in 2015, under Farage's leadership.
posted by tavegyl at 8:38 AM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


Overall share of the Conservative vote rose from 42.2% in 2017 to a mighty ... 43.6% in 2019.

The Labour share collapsed from 40% down to 32.2%, yes, but it doesn't necessarily make a lot of sense to say those were all Leave voters who switched to voting Tory. Some probably were, but the Lib Dem, SNP, and Green vote share all went up, too. The Lib Dem vote went up by far more than any other party, for all that they lost seats because of FPTP.
posted by kyrademon at 8:38 AM on December 14, 2019 [1 favorite]


Interesting, tavegyl. I guess they also had the benefit of knowing they were unlikely to ever be in Government, so could promise all the treats they liked if it meant they’d win votes. And if they’d ended up holding the balance of power in a hung Parliament, they could blame the Tories for not ushering in their “welfare state for whites” paradise as promised.

(Which does at least remind me that, if we’re looking for straws to clutch at and silver linings to squint at, at least the Brexit Party came screaming in will zero seats and Farage remains locked out of Parliament. Yes, I know that’s because the Tories have become the Brexit Party in disguise, and being unelected has never stopped Farage before, but I’m trying, give me a moment...)
posted by penguin pie at 9:01 AM on December 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


The hard right in the rest of Europe are promising welfare for white people, so my guess is that Farage just learnt from his colleagues in the EU Parliament
posted by mumimor at 9:37 AM on December 14, 2019


So the explanation involves Labour voters hating austerity, therefore voting for Boris Johnson in the former Labour heartlands.

You do this in every brexit thread - you ignore everything that people say and just pick out the odd quote to try and gotcha people without addressing a single one of their points. It's pretty damn rude, and you've been doing it in every damn brexit thread for months and I'm sick of trying to be polite about it. I'd give you some examples, but I know you won't bother reading them.

To answer _you_ though, labour leavers who defected to the tories weren't ever going to go lib dem, as you obviously know. The lib dems were targeting labour REMAINERS - and got some, but not enough to make a difference in FPTP, and that was in part because Swinson supported austerity. And Swinson was shit, and ran a shit campaign.

You want a proper blunt answer? Your leader was shit, his team was shit, and they ran a shit campaign in 2017, and both times in 2019. They got away with being vague with their brexit plans in 2017, because they were up against an even shitter PM who ran an even shittier campaign (the dementia tax, the robotic behaviour, "nothing has changed" etc) and Labour successfully managed to turn it into an election about public services instead of the Brexit election May wanted.

E.g. here's Emily Thornberry, shadow foreign secretary at the time, and recently shadow brexit secretary, just after the 2017 election.

"Look at what we offered the British public: proper investment in our NHS, social care and schools; more police on the streets; reversing Sure Start cuts; free childcare for two- to four-year-olds; scrapping tuition fees and the bedroom tax; a real living wage; no more zero-hours contracts; protecting pensioners’ incomes; investing in infrastructure; and taking back control of our rail, water and energy industries."

You know what's not in that article? A single word about Labour's brexit policy. Because in 2017, they barely had one and did everything they could to avoid talking about it. So your whole thesis that if only labour had doubled down on their 'we will do brexit better than the tories', they would have swept the board 'like 2017' is bullshit from the off, because a) that's not what the election was about, b) May was really shit and a turnip could have probably beaten her and c) Corbyn STILL LOST!

Corbyn was more shit in 2019, when people had got to know him and lost repeatedly. First in the EU elections, and really, really badly in the general - worst result since 1935, I believe?

You want to try again, then perhaps you might answer this simple question:

If labour had swung towards lexit post 2017, and said no to a referendum, we're leaving - why would labour remainers, and lib dems and SNP voters vote for labour? Let me remind you, there were more labour remainers (2/3 of previous labour voters), remainer lib dems and remainer SNP voters than the labour leavers you were trying to hang onto.

You needed the remainers, because even in 2017 you didn't get enough votes to win.

Look again at the 2019 EU election - which was almost entirely about brexit, no NHS distraction etc - and tell me why labour diodn't romp home when they had their "labour brexit" plan firmly in place. They lost major numbers to the lib dems, greens, SNP AND the brexit party, and the tories lost hugely to the brexit party because they weren't hardcore enough. WHY would people wanting a 'proper' brexit even vote for labour, but not instead vote for the new tories in brexit party clothing?

I will also remind you that even in this general election, 55% of voters voted for 2nd referendum backing parties, and only 45% backed the tory and brexit parties. FPTP fucked everyone that wasn't the tories because the Brexit Party left the tories a clear run, and labour refused to even talk to the Remain Alliance.

So I contend that Labour could have chased after the handful of voters lost to the tories by going full brexit, but at the cost of losing far, far more to the remainer parties. *That's* what the voter numbers show.

Labour needed to squeeze the lib dem vote, and the SNP vote. You needed to hang onto your labour remainers, and convince labour leavers that the social policies would make their lives better, while a tory hard brexit would only make them even worse. Corbyn failed on all counts. Or you could have abandoned all that, tried to out-tory the tories on brexit and lost even worse.

But why did people leave labour? Because Corbyn was shit at his job.

Feel free to SHOW your evidence if you're just going to repeat that lexit would have saved labour.

Remain voters don't all feel so strongly that the result should be overturned, so parties don't do well in general elections unless they look likely to implement Brexit.

The EU election, the vote shares in this one shows that remainers cared VERY much about brexit policies. Or did you forget about scotland?

And if you say "but 2017" again without bothering to address anybody's points, then well, that says all that needs to be said.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 12:41 PM on December 14, 2019 [22 favorites]


Corbyn is very good at preaching to the choir. He's even good at driving sign ups for the choir. What he can't do is fill the pews.
posted by Dysk at 1:44 PM on December 14, 2019 [6 favorites]


[To reiterate from upthread: [Another deleted. Seriously, people who live elsewhere: just let people in the UK talk about this, rather than making it a proxy fight in service of political goals elsewhere.]]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:30 PM on December 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


Freedland's analysis in the Guardian isn't too bad, gucci mane.

Personally I don't agree with the stuff about the manifesto being too left-wing - I don't think it was, I just think it was poorly sold (Best Manifesto, with Worst Possible Leader!) - but certainly Corbyn's complete inability to accept his own massive lack of popularity and charisma-void outside the Sect Of True Believers has a lot to do with it. And there was a lot of that, and the True Believers are still wingeing that it was the media, it was racism, it was the moon, it was fucking anything but Corbyn's own Lack Of Skillz.

Everyone who genuinely liked Corbyn was already a party member two or three years ago. He did nothing - absolutely nothing - zero - zilch - fuck diddley squat all - to try and win over anyone else. And his supporters told anyone who raised the slightest criticism to fuck off and join the Tories.

Sadly, that's exactly what happened.
posted by motty at 5:39 PM on December 14, 2019 [7 favorites]


I am by no means a Corbyn booster, but I have found the Guardian's years long hate-boner for him so fatiguing (this said, I find most of their UK political op-ed writers execrable, I can't believe they get paid for the predictable middle-class shit they write day in, day out).

After the failure of a Blair-ite, neoliberal message to stick with voters, it's understandable that many people were frustrated and turned to a genuinely socialist agenda. And it's also understandable that they thought it would be attractive to people.

I mean, it wasn't, and I agree completely it's time to try something different. But the Guardian's legion "I told you so" columns are not helping.

It's easy to buy into a kind of "narrative imperative" after election losses and look for mono-causal factors that make for a clean story. However, there are lots of reasons former Labour voters turned away from party.

This is not to make excuses, for anyone. Rather, I think it serves to illustrate how much needs to change for Labour to achieve success, on many axes.
posted by smoke at 6:08 PM on December 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


This might seem completely off-the-wall, smoke, but maybe - just maybe - the reason that the uniformly broadly left-wing political journalists writing for the Guardian had a 'hate-boner' for Corbyn was that in their judgement, as people who had spent their careers writing political journalism and covering the politics beat, they were confident that Corbyn had a) little chance of winning and - worse - b) every chance of letting the far worse Tories back in?

Which he has now done twice.

I could be wrong, of course, and maybe they just had a hate-boner for him for some other wacky reason, but meanwhile, Boris Johnson is our Prime Minister and Corbyn hasn't even seen fit to resign yet.
posted by motty at 6:37 PM on December 14, 2019 [11 favorites]


Behind Corbyn was momentum.
Every single one of those fuckers should go.
More interested in purity of message than embracing a political machine that could form a team to fight and beat the nastiest bunch of shysters and snakeoil salemen seen on the british political stage in living memory.
Anyone who is able and interested in seeing off this monstrous right wing government should join labour immediately to add their voice to reform the party.
The purpose is to win and exercise power in the here and now. It is either a plausible vehicle for government or it is nothing.
At the moment Labour is not fit for purpose
posted by adamvasco at 7:23 PM on December 14, 2019 [4 favorites]


There's no need to be condescending and sarcastic about it, motty. We can disagree without being pissy.

It was rather amusing, last election, to see Toynbee, Freedland, etc tie themselves in knots after Corbyn did much better than they had been predicting. I suppose a bit of schadenfreude is inevitable now that's their prophecies have finally come true.

I'm not against opposing Corbyn - far from it - but they have been writing essentially column over and over ever since he got in. The fact the Guardian continues to employ such ur-examples of the white, bourgeois left annoys me. They have a far more diverse batch of one-off op-ed writers, I wish they'd jettison these ones.
posted by smoke at 7:29 PM on December 14, 2019 [2 favorites]


Building left unity would have been incredibly hard when so many people, even on somewhere allegedly progressive like the blue, seem to absolutely hate Labour and Corbyn. Which I'm sure is actually about him, and nothing to do with him being a socialist.

Everyone's casting this as Labour witch-hunts, but it looks to me like the problem might be more that centrists undermined the campaign at every turn, and still can't decide whether they're more unhappy about losing or happy about seeing comeuppance for that filthy commie?

I know, being called a melt on social media is the ultimate insult, and after undergoing such vile personal abuse, I can understand why so many people felt that they had to write publically about the danger Corbyn represents. These are true allies, who would never turn to fascism before socialism, they just had to let people know of the incredible risk posed by Rose emojis shitposting on Twitter.
posted by Acid Communist at 8:14 PM on December 14, 2019 [3 favorites]


So tired of people seeing the slightest criticism of Corbyn being characterised as 'hate for him, hate for Labour, hate for Socialism'.

That's. Why. We. Lost.

For many of us: we don't hate Socialism, we don't hate his platform, we don't even hate him, per se.

We just think - rightly, given that he just lost two elections in a row against the worst two Tory leaders ever - that he is not and has never been fit to lead the Labour party, not because he isn't a nice man - he is a lovely man - but because he is a crap leader.

One example among many: a good leader, in this position, putting party before self, would have resigned already.
posted by motty at 8:23 PM on December 14, 2019 [23 favorites]


One example among many: a good leader, in this position, putting party before self, would have resigned already.
Like Cameron? lol

That's not how the Labour Party works.
Members select the leader, they are not beholden to their MPs and resigning now just means a pointless interim leader until the members vote. Corbyn is putting party before the tidal wave of melt bullshit clamouring for a return to the centre.

Staying on, even until the conference season allows him to soak up the criticisms and gives Rebecca Long-Bailey or Angela Rayner a clean sate when they take over.

The thing about the changes to the Labour Party is that Corbyn wasn't the goal. McDonnell has today said "our work is done, it's time to move on" because he knows that the last few years have put genuine left members in positions of power within the party and there is no danger of a return to the Tory-lite policies and personnel of the 90s.
posted by fullerine at 12:05 AM on December 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


Everyone's casting this as Labour witch-hunts, but it looks to me like the problem might be more that centrists undermined the campaign at every turn, and still can't decide whether they're more unhappy about losing or happy about seeing comeuppance for that filthy commie?

Part of dealing with this absolutely terrible result for everyone that's not a tory or SNP is going to have to involve some reflection and soul searching. And humility.

Labour were crushed. Utterly and totally crushed. The lib dems saw the EU elections, thought they could get 100 seats off the back of remainers abandoning labour, and were also slapped back down for their hubris. The greens tried, and got record votes, but too spread out, and also split the anti-tory vote. The SNP did really well, with a competent leader, a socialist platform and a concentrated vote share but with a tory government seem pretty unlikely to achieve their main goal of a 2nd indy ref.

I'm not seeing happiness here at corbyn 'getting his comeuppance'. Just sadness, depression, and some anger. Certainly the mainstream press (like the Guardian) is invoking a certain amount of 'I told you so' which is understandable, I've admittedly done it myself here, but ultimately is not very helpful even if it is a bit cathartic.

We all lost here. We've got Johnson for 5 years, and the thing that many here have been dreading for years, a tory hard brexit, is now certain in little more than a month. Stage 2, the future relationship, has to be resolved by december 2020, which seems impossible, so we seem very likely to crash out. For 3 million EU citizens living in the UK, this is very bad, with Johnson basically saying they're not welcome here in the campaign. For the poor, sick and disabled, this result will result in less support, more pain, and tragically more avoidable deaths.

For myself, we're now going to have to scrape together the 2 grand and the paperwork for my wife to try and become naturalized if she wants to secure her right to carry on living here with our kids after almost 15 years. I'll admit, I'm quite angry about that. I'm angry about the naked media bias against anyone that wasn't Johnson. I'm angry at the tories for their shameless nationalism. I'm angry at voters for backing it. And yes, I'm angry at Corbyn for failing to stop them, and I am angry at momentum for keeping Corbyn in place when it was clear he wasn't up to the job.

But mostly I'm tired. And sad. And depressed at how fucked we all are now.

If Labour, and the anti-tories more generally are going to come out of this, it's trite, but lessons will have to be learned. Enough voters didn't trust Corbyn, didn't trust his team, didn't trust their labour MP, didn't trust the lib dems either, and did trust Johnson's lies. That's a hell of a thing, and should not be dismissed.

because he knows that the last few years have put genuine left members in positions of power within the party and there is no danger of a return to the Tory-lite policies and personnel of the 90s.

If Labour is going to ever win a general election again, there is simply going to have to be an alliance of the left wing and the centrists in Labour. Even beyond the party; Blair had a plan in place with Ashdown in the event of a hung parliament in 1997. But you know what? If Johnson gets his 5 years, it will be almost 20 years since Blair last stood for election. If labour is going to win, it's going to have stop fighting the battles of the 90s, and start looking at what's needed to win in the 20s.

And if 2019 proved anything, it's that a socialist platform alone is nowhere near enough, you need to reconnect with the workers, the middle classes, dreaded centrists and start working together instead of against each other, and convince people Labour is better than the tories, even if it means giving up a little purity. Corbyn was certainly not the only reason why the left failed, but he was the biggest example alas. Nor was it brexit; there's plenty of people been popping up in the media the last couple of days saying that now brexit will be 'dealt with' Labour can now stay as they are and win. That really misses how big the disconnect between voters and Labour has become.

Labour is not a party of government right now, and has a very long way to go to become one. And part of getting the tories out is going to be working with people we don't see 100% eye to eye on and trying to come to some sort of agreement instead of constantly pointing the finger at each other and expecting the other parties to kneel before the obvously superior labour. Thank fuck I'm not a politician!

And maybe we can think about tackling the antisemitism, anti-islam and widespread general xenophobia in the public at large. And since even labour would have benefit from PR the last few elections, perhaps reforming FPTP that only really benefits the tories is worth some discussion time.

Or we can carry on fighting on multiple fronts among ourselves, stuck fighting the battles of yesteryear while the world literally burns around us (yay for these critical years to start the sea change needed on climate change being wasted), with centrists blaming the left for being a personality cult and washing their hands of it, and the left blaming the centrists for being 'too blairite' or failing to embrace a leader that ultimately proved to kinda suck, or daring to be in another party entirely. And then the tories will be in power for another decade, which hopefully we can all agree would really suck.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 12:55 AM on December 15, 2019 [28 favorites]


I keep writing a bunch of angry responses, but I think they all centre around this one question:

What does an alliance between moderates and socialists look like? Which anti-racist policies are too much? What attempts to wrest control of the economy from the hands of the wealthy are permissible? How much feminism do we have to drop? How much is reasonable to concede?

Because I'm all for working with moderates, but I'm strongly against compromising on any plank of a socialist platform. For people who see the loss of the election in failure to compromise, what would you have removed from the Labour manifesto?
posted by Acid Communist at 1:17 AM on December 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


It wasn't the manifesto that was the problem. Well, maybe a bit that explaining it was too unfocused with a new different thing every day and little concrete message of why it mattered to real people. The 2017 manifesto was simpler on the plans, and better for it.

But focusing on the manifesto is not what I'm talking about. It's not the socialism, few people cited actual labour polices as why they switched away. It's the lack of trust that Labour could deliver it, any of it, and lack of trust in the people charged with delivering it, or that they would even benefit.

Even the tories switched to promising spending more on the NHS, the police etc. And people knew Johnson was a huge liar, but still thought he was more likely to deliver on his promises than Labour under Corbyn. THAT'S the big failure.

Because I'm all for working with moderates, but I'm strongly against compromising on any plank of a socialist platform.

That's not working with moderates, that's expecting them to kneel. And that's one part of the problem. It *should* be a willing partnership if we're ever going to convince people that left-leaning policies can a) be done and b) matter, not a fight to dominate each other and expect the moderates - including the voters! - to shut up and be told what's good for them, or the moderates to try and exile the socialists to a dark corner and lose all that energy and will to fight from momentum.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 1:30 AM on December 15, 2019 [11 favorites]


That's what I'm asking. What is the willing partnership you imagine? What is the right amount of people socialists should be ok with being deported?

So it's necessary to bend on a platform of human rights. Whose rights should Labour advocate abrogating first? Where should Labour bend the knee to moderates, if they're never going to have any principles of their own?
posted by Acid Communist at 1:38 AM on December 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


What is the right amount of people socialists should be ok with being deported? ... Whose rights should Labour advocate abrogating first?

None, the answer is obviously none.

But you're still missing what I'm saying by focusing on policy. Let me try one last time, then I will shut up for a bit. Keep 100% of your policies, all of them, they're good policies, or at least all of them bar the one you had on brexit...

The partnership I'm talking about is not treating us like the enemy - and note, I'm not Labour. Not saying that if we thought Corbyn was bad at convincing the non-converted, we must THEREFORE also hate socialism, socialists, and everything you stand for.

Look, I get it. The 90's sucked for the socialists as they were basically ignored and shut in a dark hole while Blair cavorted with celebs then went on to start that terrible war. I marched on the stop the war marches, by the way. You've *won* the argument on spending on public services, on helping those who need help. What you haven't done is convinced voters that you can DO it if in government, and you haven't convinced voters that it matters to THEM personally, and you haven't convinced them that when voters come to you with their issues and concerns, they won't be dismissed out of hand as not-socialists onboard with the one true vision and thus don't count and don't matter. It's arrogant, and a massive turn off for voters.

You know who you need to be asking those questions of? Not me, I'm a green, I'm pretty fucking left wing. You need to be asking the voters, especially the ones that left Labour. What did *they* want from you, where did Labour fail *them*?

Listen to people, talk to them, and *convince* those that can be that socialist policies matter, that's it not just all natural forces why everything is getting shitter, instead of just declaring it to be true and waiting for the world to come to your door. Some of the voters will be xenophobes, will dislike immigration, will dislike their crap jobs and don't see how 'waffling on' about 'LGBT rights' matters. You need to convince, not demand. Listen, not ignore. Talk to, not dismiss. And that goes just as much for the centrists that see socalistS (not socialism) as a threat to their party. Though to be fair, because of threats of deslection, and because not backing Corbyn resulted in death threats, christ look at a moderate labour MPs twitter feed sometime, it's fucking horrifying how many left wingers basically say if they'd left the party, or died, and been replaced by a true believer then we'd all be in a socialist paradise.

Centrists also have a legacy of shitting on socialists for decades, and trust is not built overnight, so they're going to need some fucking humility too.

It's not about the policies, or the principles. It really isn't. But it is about going to where the voters are, and convincing them you can be trusted to look out for them, and that socialism matters, and all the wonderous things you promise can actually be achieved, and most importantly, you're the people to deliver them.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 2:03 AM on December 15, 2019 [18 favorites]


So it's necessary to bend on a platform of human rights. Whose rights should Labour advocate abrogating first? Where should Labour bend the knee to moderates, if they're never going to have any principles of their own?

Who said it's necessary to bend on a platform of human rights? That is a strange straw man argument.
I'd guess the hardest part of compromise is about nationalization. In theory, I like nationalization, but I'm also old enough to remember the national institutions that were inefficient and expensive. So maybe I'd prefer hard regulation, quality standards and taxation today. I'm a moderate on that.
Compromise is also about priorities, mine would be a green new deal and better welfare, both things about a better future for everyone and both things that are inseparable from a close partnership with the EU. They also imply close coordination with industry and agriculture, a moderate position.
posted by mumimor at 2:15 AM on December 15, 2019 [6 favorites]


I had my first conversation with someone who voted Tory tonight. He could clearly see my shock and looked a bit uncomfortable, I asked him, why he would vote for Johnson?

His answer: "We just need to get it done! We need to get it done, and he'll do it."

This is a man under 40, with a degree... I was gobsmacked that he had clearly swallowed the mendacity so happily. I bet him a beer that the UK would still be undergoing convulsions from Brexit in a year, and he confidently took the bet.

I mean, what can you say in the face of ignorance like that?
posted by smoke at 2:24 AM on December 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


Staying on, even until the conference season allows him to soak up the criticisms and gives Rebecca Long-Bailey or Angela Rayner a clean sate when they take over.

Oh god, please not Rebecca Long-Bailey.

McDonnell has today said "our work is done, it's time to move on"

And the centrists are being accused of celebrating the Tory win?
posted by Dysk at 2:47 AM on December 15, 2019 [4 favorites]




What is the right amount of people socialists should be ok with being deported?

Fewer than they are - hey walked us into letting the Tories make that decision by refusing to compromise on anything, on trying to reach voters, on having a competent leadership. This was not about being "too left" this was about getting bad at winning elections, bad at messaging, bad at actually selling a left wing position. So now we've got Johnson. That's the uncompromising socialists being willing to see far to many people deported. Not because of their socialism - though that's the straw man that they will wail about whenever they are criticised for anything, it's the evil Blairites - but because of their tactics, their unwillingness to work with other progressive parties, their unwillingness and inability to sell actual opposition to the tories of brexit. How many deportations is enough? I don't know, why doesn't the wing of the party that argued against opposing brexit tell us? The EU hasn't just helped EU citizens in the UK, EU rules have hampered the Home Office's ability to expel people. It's hard to see how opposing that is the enlightened anti-xenophobic position.
posted by Dysk at 2:54 AM on December 15, 2019 [17 favorites]


The latest post-election Talking Politics Podcast is worth a listen. Amongst the highlights:

- Jo Swinson and the Lib Dems' hubris for calling the election, running a Presidential campaign with Swinson touted as possible PM, and then her being defeated

- Corbyn being perceived as unpatriotic by large sections of the electorate

- Labour having lots of policies that are individually attractive but hard for some voters to understand how they'd get all of them done at the same time

Note that TPP is avowedly apolitical, although it's pretty clear Runciman leans left. Harder to pin down Helen Thompson though.
posted by adrianhon at 3:23 AM on December 15, 2019


I bet him a beer that the UK would still be undergoing convulsions from Brexit in a year, and he confidently took the bet.

I recommend shaking that confidence a bit. Make it serious. Up the bet to $1024, with the proviso that if he takes that bet, he can request that the stake be halved at any time he likes, up to but not past the end of this financial year. See how he likes dealing with a choice between having to repeatedly walk back his bullshit or hitting a hard deadline for a doomed outcome.
posted by flabdablet at 3:58 AM on December 15, 2019 [9 favorites]


winterhill: the difference in underlying attitudes to the EU in Scotland and rUK is not that great.
posted by matthewr at 4:16 AM on December 15, 2019


I bet him a beer that the UK would still be undergoing convulsions from Brexit in a year, and he confidently took the bet.

I mean, what can you say in the face of ignorance like that?


Double or nothing.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:20 AM on December 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


> why is Scotland so pro-EU compared to England and Wales?

Anti-EU sentiment is hugely correlated with English nationalism. The Scots have no obvious part in that.
posted by stonepharisee at 4:23 AM on December 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


Every country has its own flavour of patriotism, and from what I've observed living in England and Scotland is that there's a very big difference in what the two countries are proud of.

I'm generalising here, but England is proud of winning WW2, painting the map of the world a shade of Imperial Red (confirming its martial and scientific and economic superiority), and being morally superior, why not (the US was worse on slavery, and we gave India railways!). England punches above its weight, a plucky little country with a seat at the top table and nuclear weapons. It can stand alone, just as it did in WW2, and to the extent it works with other countries, it does so from a position of power that's deserving of respect.

I'm deliberately not trying to exaggerate here, and to be perfectly honest, this was my own personal view until I reached my 20s. And my parents were from Hong Kong!

Scotland can't pretend to have won WW2 or conquered the world. When Scotland attempted imperialism on its own (the Darien scheme), it went so badly that it essentially led to the formation of the Union, and before that, Scotland was on the losing side of various wars with England. So Scotland is proud of different things, like the Scottish Enlightenment and the Scottish literary renaissance, progressive ideas that have shaped the world. And Scotland is well aware it's a small country, too small to thrive without being part of a club – hence the desire to rejoin the EU.

I don't want to pretend Scotland is perfect - god knows it deserves to be blamed for the damage wrought by the British Empire, and there is an undercurrent of racism and sectarianism that belies the beautiful progressivism the country puts on show - but I think it is much more realistic about its standing in the world than England is.
posted by adrianhon at 6:07 AM on December 15, 2019 [31 favorites]


As I mentioned in another thread, I think England's problem is that it no longer, really, exists: It was the first country to be absorbed into what would become the British Empire (which is actually quite distinct from England) and as the empire wanes, finally, there's nothing there. So an identity is being knitted together from barely remembered ... lies, basically. Also, the other parts of the UK get to define themselves in terms of England (as a stand-in for the empire), but England doesn't have a context outside that history to define itself. The English crisis is real, far-reaching and something we're only just beginning to be able to conceptualise.

I've spent some of today watching John Harries' Anywhere But Westminster videos on YouTube.
posted by Grangousier at 6:45 AM on December 15, 2019 [9 favorites]


Here's a list of UK general elections (since 1802).

Now, the Labour Party didn't come along until the beginning of the 20th century, so let's count elected prime ministers since the 1920's (so, party leaders who won the general election and became PM; not people who took over partway through, unless they then won a general election. May yes, Gordon Brown no.)

Conservatives: Law, Baldwin, Churchill, Eden, Macmillan, Heath, Thatcher, Major, Cameron, May, Johnson. 11 different leaders won a general election.
Labour: MacDonald, Attlee, Wilson, Blair. 4. That's it.

It shouldn't be surprising when Labour loses; it should be surprising when Labour wins.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 6:51 AM on December 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


Seems to me that the fact that Scotland isn't that much less "eurosceptic" than England while at the same time being largely opposed to Brexit is very telling.

I've really appreciated the discussion here about what went wrong with Labour. It's filled-in some gaps. What keeps raising red flags for me are these big differences in worldviews -- young vs old, England vs everyone else, London vs everyone else -- that cut across party lines. It seems like none of the three can adjust to this, especially Labour. For the LibDems, these divisions eliminate the existence of a middle-ground. The Conservatives have Farage-ified, but that can't be viable long-term. But it's Labour which is really cut into pieces by these divides. What's needed are more parties and proportional representation.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:15 AM on December 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


I wonder if Labour’s poor performance combined with the continued strength of the SNP (thus weakening Labour) might make them more amenable to supporting proportional representation. This would kill any chance of Labour ever having a complete Parliamentary majority but it could put into place a permanent (or at least default) centre-left alliance of Labour, Lib Dems, and Greens.
posted by adrianhon at 7:25 AM on December 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


I think it is worth stating again and again that some people left Labour because Corbyn would neither properly acknowledge or deal with anti Semitism in the party. Not everyone who voted elsewhere is a Tory lover or fan of racism and austerity and some irrational Corbyn hater.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 7:26 AM on December 15, 2019 [5 favorites]


> why is Scotland so pro-EU compared to England and Wales?

Tricky question, but I would cite The Auld Alliance between Scotland and France as a long standing cultural reason: if England were to attack either France or Scotland then the other country would (and did) join the fight against England. In both times long past - and in the recent epoch of the EU, Scots have got used to seeing continental neighbours as being more likely to be allies than foes.
posted by rongorongo at 8:53 AM on December 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


re: "what went wrong with Labour"

a pithy summary: "They want the patronage of the powerful, not to challenge their power."

it's Labour which is really cut into pieces by these divides

IMO: "the faultlines in the Labor party, as with left coalition in many parts of the world, are the major culprit. Globalism/localism, front-row back-row, and intersectionalism. Bridging these is not going to be easy."
posted by kliuless at 9:14 AM on December 15, 2019


Folks considering denying the BBC their license fee out of anger over election coverage (or for any reason really) can take heart: the knives are out already.

As the BBC shrinks, you can be certain that all kinds of terrific stuff is "oven ready" to fill the void.
posted by Chef Flamboyardee at 9:32 AM on December 15, 2019 [3 favorites]


If the BBC goes under where will creatively inclined posh kids go to fill their CVs?
It'll just be beaten down into a factory for lucrative fantasies of quirky Englishness set in a shrinking number of photogenic locations in the Home Counties and Central London.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 9:43 AM on December 15, 2019


I find it frustrating that Eurosceptic has become the brand for wanting to leave. And it did a long while ago: it predates the referendum by a long time, and was always fundamentally about backing away as fast as could reasonably be managed.

It is good to be sceptical of any government, and when you are sceptical you can analyse it, find problems and try to fix them. Being sceptical allows and should encourage you to engage.

The word for brexiters is ’quitters’.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 12:54 PM on December 15, 2019 [6 favorites]


Harris, obviously, not Harries. Sorry. He wrote this for today's Observer, and I think there's something in it.
posted by Grangousier at 2:49 PM on December 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


why is Scotland so pro-EU compared to England and Wales?

Because in any union, Scotland will always be a small partner in something bigger. Scotland can only ever hope for a fair negotiated settlement in any deal. For England, being part of the EU meant that they always had to be subordinate to someone else. Outside the EU, England gets to be the Big Dog and push the other three countries in the UK around.
posted by scruss at 3:15 PM on December 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


From the article Grangousier linked:

Over the weekend, I put in a call to a Labour person who won. Luke Pollard is the spirited, energetic MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, a rare red dot in an ocean of Tory blue, and part of a working-class city where 60% of voters backed leave. From the outside, people might assume that the presence of thousands of university students in his seat is its defining feature, but he also represents large areas with the same basic features as the places Labour lost. His local party, he says, is “mixed”: there are Momentum members and self-styled moderates, and “a lot of people who don’t really back one side or the other”. He has activists who are involved in youth clubs, and homelessness initiatives. One of his local party’s key assets is the presence of former teachers, who often have a strong connection to many of the people on whose doors they regularly knock.


Crucially, the Labour party in Plymouth takes its place in a web of social enterprises and co-operative organisations, many of which have been fostered by its endlessly innovative Labour council. Pollard has campaigned against defence cuts that would have a dire effect on the local economy, and on the dangers of local tower blocks with Grenfell-type cladding, all publicised via Facebook videos that his constituents often mention without prompting. When last Thursday’s exit poll came through, he feared he was about to lose his seat. But in seven of the eight council wards in his seat, he came top. Somewhere in all that is the beginning of hope, and lessons Labour has to learn as a matter of urgency.

posted by mumimor at 3:25 PM on December 15, 2019 [9 favorites]


Yes, that fits in with the "Labo(u)r has lost touch with its roots" issue, which is something they've been battling here in Aus for several decades and definitely has more than a grain of truth about it.

Unfortunately, a good whack of the Labor party here - and, from what I understand internationally, worker's parties elsewhere too & particularly Labour in the UK - seems to think that what people mean when they say that is they've lost touch with the unions, and so double down on a 'reconnect ourselves with / listen more to the unions' line. But, as the article mentions, what people seem to really mean is that they're missing the other ways both the unions and the party used to connect to people. Things from supporting local social enterprises and co-ops, right up to nourishing the once-ubiquitous Mechanic's Institutes, Working Men's clubs, Women's Institutes, and the like.

Those things served not just as clubs for union members, but as connections to and between people, communities, and services. That's where modern Labo(u)r's wider support was nurtured and grown, but they seem to have forgotten that. Yes, those things withered for several reasons (free ubiquitous public education - largely a Left initiative - being the obvious one; the rise of part-time and transient employment - largely a Right initiative - being another).

And it'll be hard slog to build those sorts of social - genuine social, not employment/class related - connections again. But it's time to start working on getting those connections back.

Imagine how less self-centred unions could use collective expertise of their members to create or support hackerspaces, men's sheds, community gardens, local charity workgroups, informal training schemes, and other groups that connect with people and tie communities together while serving them.

That's not only PR of the highest order, but the source of new supporters. Because we've got to face the fact that unions - at least as they have existed for the last 100+ years - have both stagnated and been diminished to a point where, if they try to continue with their old core role, can't recover. Which is what they seem hell-bent on doing.
posted by Pinback at 5:42 PM on December 15, 2019 [13 favorites]


Now Is The Time Of Monsters
posted by The Whelk at 9:51 PM on December 15, 2019 [1 favorite]


I agree with all of that, and would also point out that the drive to centralize power is always and everywhere a corrupting influence that always and everywhere achieves very few positive outcomes except for the few who end up in positions of power.

The centralization of power is inherent in the operation of a free market: the amount of wealth to be gained by trading in a market is pretty much exactly proportional to the amount of wealth invested in doing so. It takes money to make money, and those who start with more end up with more more.

If markets are to operate sustainably they need to benefit all participants, as the free-market ideologues would have you believe that they inherently must; but the typical pro-laissez-faire free-market analysis is always based on nothing deeper than looking at the isolated interaction between two entities engaged in a trade, observing that any such trade entered into freely and without coercion must always benefit both participants or wouldn't happen, and concluding that that's all there is to know about free markets. Which is, of course, a completely inadequate analysis that ignores all the emergent dynamics that arise from large numbers of market participants interacting repeatedly.

The 1980s saw the rise of deregulation and unfettered corporate capitalism, driven by the complete misunderstanding from influential laissez-faire free-market ideologues about how coercion in markets actually operates. In identifying government regulation and government-provided services as the only coercive distortions of an otherwise universally beneficial free market, rather than as a necessary precondition for its sustainability, the monetarists displayed a complete lack of ecological insight.

Those of us in the English-speaking countries are currently experiencing the predictable and predicted consequences of their fetish for privatizing everything in sight and ripping the guts out of regulators: our mainstream markets have been operating under conditions offering essentially no effective counter to the officially sanctioned centralization of wealth for some decades now.

What needs to happen, it seems to me, is making our financial systems leaky. The market ought to spring relieving leaks wherever the pressure of wealth builds up to extremes. The larger any entity's total transaction volume is within any given time period, the higher should be the percentage of those transactions creamed off and redistributed downward by the State, like leaf litter on the forest floor of the economy.

But none of that is going to happen while the present clown car of grifters, chancers and spivs remains in charge of the global casino. And the only way they're ever going to not be in charge, and the only way we can put back the farm that used to be there before the casino paved it over, is when most people come to understand their bullshit for the bullshit it is, get fed up with being fed it rather than aspiring to emulate it, and organize to get rid of them.

Unions arose as a partial counter to the extreme power imbalance between very wealthy and very non-wealthy participants in the labour market. In order to do this successfully, the interests of a union's members need to be quite closely aligned with each other, and the union's administrators need to retain a very strong connection with individual members. If a union gets big enough that maintaining these connections becomes unwieldy, then it begins to serve the interests of its administrators over those of its members, in much the same way as the operation of a large private corporation evolves a tendency to serve the interests of management over those of its shareholders. A union big enough for this kind of dynamic to have emerged serves no useful social purpose and will become widely and correctly regarded as essentially pointless.

The union movement (at least in Australia; somebody please correct this analysis if it's inapplicable elsewhere) saw the rise of corporate capitalist power in the 1980s as an existential threat and reacted by entering a phase of union amalgamations that continues to the present day. The gains from this, much like the gains from the corporate takeovers and asset stripping that were also very fashionable at the time, have been temporary and of benefit only to a few, and the long term effect has been to render the union movement as a whole almost completely irrelevant to the relatively powerless market participants whose experiences gave rise to it in the first place.

Labour parties, as the political wing of the union movement, have found themselves likewise struggling to retain relevance. None of them seem to know what they stand for any more. And the answers will not be found in endless consultation with existing unions or their peak bodies. Labour parties need to start affiliating with the small-scale, overtly decentralized organizations that have started to grow up in the wastelands left behind where functioning unions have been burned out. And if those little organizations are to be worth working with, their members need to understand that free trade between peers under pre-agreed conditions involving as little effective coercion as can be achieved really is the basis of sustainable prosperity for all.

This last is quite understandably seen by many socialists as some kind of capitalist and/or centralist bullshit, but it really really isn't. The point is to adopt structural rules that maintain, rather than destroy, the inherent tension between rising prosperity and the ensuing tendency for wealth and power to centralize. Because wealth will always tend to centralize in a free market, and the only way to stop that completely is to shut the market down entirely.

Collectivized ownership and central economic planning were attempts to do exactly this, and they failed as they must always fail. Because apart from the howling point-missing inherent in trying to avoid the evils of power centralization by going directly to centralized power without passing Go, it's simply not feasible to kill personal ownership, and by extension interpersonal trading, altogether. You can't stop people from caring about our own families and our own resources, and you can't stop us transacting pairwise to mutual benefit. To the extent that mainstream markets don't facilitate this, black markets will arise that do; and the form of centralized wealth that emerges naturally from the operation of black markets is organized crime. If you want an example of how a society turns out when it's the centralization of black markets that dominates public policy, you need look no further than present-day Russia (or, quite arguably, the US prison-drug-industrial complex).

So while it's not about getting out of the market's way and standing back and letting it rip, and it's not about shutting the market down entirely and collectivizing everything, nor is it about adopting some kind of compromise goal "between" these two extremes. The position we need is not some kind of centralist compromise between any two extremes; what we need to be doing is adopting a stance of paying attention to what's actually going on right now, regardless of what we think an ideal society ought to look like, and tending what we have in the light of past experience to make what works well work better and what hurts people happen less.

Past experience over my lifetime suggests to me that one of the things we need to remain firmly conscious of is the need to push back, consciously and deliberately and persistently and in appropriately organized ways, against centralization of power - centralization in all forms, not only the centralization of overt wealth.

We let a bunch of slick economic sales droids talk us into dropping the ball on that in the 1980s, we're currently suffering the consequences, and we shouldn't let ourselves be fooled again. But it doesn't pay to be completely hardline in the opposite direction either. We need some central structure to facilitate agreement about and enforcement of the prevailing economic ground rules, so it's vital that this structure remains scrupulously democratic. DiEM25 has been doing good work in this space and deserves more attention than it gets.
posted by flabdablet at 10:41 PM on December 15, 2019 [12 favorites]


One of the big questions thrown up by this election is where do English Remainers now go. The Scots have the SNP, and even in Northern Ireland there is, I believe, a majority of broadly "nationalist" MPs. The Welsh seem to have, broadly speaking, followed the path of the English. But for English Remainers, there is nowhere for them to go politically. The Tories were never their home, and nor, sadly, was Labour under Corbyn. The LibDems failed - again - to prove anything like an easy choice for those who want something different from the main two parties. A good and wise Facebook friend - a Hungarian immigrant who moved to England in 1957 - said that "they...[English Remainers].. have been cancelled.". I know what he means. Those who lose their voice politically are always dangerous. I mean, we were endless told that "the liberals" had ignored the concerns of the dispossed working class in the north, and that, as a result of liberals ignoring them, cancelling them if you will, Brexit was the result, and that, somehow, was the fault of the London-urban, liberal elite. English Remainers will inevitable retreat for a while, but history shows that the repressed, the cancelled, will ultimately rise and seek their revenge.
posted by vac2003 at 11:46 PM on December 15, 2019 [4 favorites]


Didn't like the messenger...

Talking to regulars the same allegations surface again and again. That Corbyn consorted with the IRA, that he is soft on terrorists. That he has remained silent on prosecuting veterans over the Bloody Sunday killings. The leader’s shifting agnosticism on Brexit, in this context, is portrayed as yet another failure of patriotism, just as symbolic as his unforgivable reluctance to sing God save the Queen at a Battle of Britain remembrance service.

Sedgefield: They come from pit families with strong military ties – and it was patriotism that made them switch their vote for the first time
posted by Mister Bijou at 11:48 PM on December 15, 2019 [2 favorites]


I keep writing a bunch of angry responses, but I think they all centre around this one question:

What does an alliance between moderates and socialists look like? Which anti-racist policies are too much? What attempts to wrest control of the economy from the hands of the wealthy are permissible? How much feminism do we have to drop? How much is reasonable to concede?

Because I'm all for working with moderates, but I'm strongly against compromising on any plank of a socialist platform. For people who see the loss of the election in failure to compromise, what would you have removed from the Labour manifesto?


First, the major fault lines between the left proper and Labour moderates (and the Lib Dem's for that matter) are not on anti-racism or on feminism so there are not necessarily many concessions that would have to either be considered.

Second, what the left has actually conceded in this election is everything.

Everyone on the Left of British politics is still obsessed with Tony Blair (to be fair, many are still obsessed with Margaret Thatcher as well) who has now been out of power for more than 12 years, two years more than he was PM. Routinely, MPs who were children when he was elected and weren't elected until years after he left are called "Blairites" which was a label that barely applied to anyone even when he was PM.

You know what though, the "Blairites" did an enormous amount of good for the British working class. Achievements of this club of right wing maniacs:
-Introduction of full civil partnerships
-The Human Rights Act
-Introduction of a minimum wage
-Removing most hereditary peers
-Setting up the Scottish and Welsh assemblies
-Very substantial increases in areas like the NHS and education (public spending went from less than 40% of GDP to 48% during the New Labour years)
-Introduced SureStart
-Reduced child poverty and pensioner poverty
-Increased taxes to pay for the above

The idiotic decision to back the Americans in Iraq can, obviously, never be forgiven and Blair will personally carry the shame of that forever but when people attack the Blairite domestic agenda they are attacking the best government this country had for the working class since the 1970s.
posted by atrazine at 4:35 AM on December 16, 2019 [25 favorites]


Quite so. The right time to be getting into policy disputes with leftists closer to the centre than oneself is when those centrists are in Government and you are the Opposition. Whenever the Steal All the Things Party is in in Government the priority has to be turfing them out, because no part of a Left agenda can be implemented until that's been done first.
posted by flabdablet at 5:11 AM on December 16, 2019 [11 favorites]




> why is Scotland so pro-EU compared to England and Wales?

Anti-EU sentiment is hugely correlated with English nationalism. The Scots have no obvious part in that.


True but that just shifts the question. Why is English but not Scottish nationalism correlated with anti-EU sentiment?

I think it's because many Scottish nationalists have correctly understood the difference between de jure and de facto sovereignty.

A de jure fully sovereign country accepts no external legal constraints on its policies but unless that country is economically and military powerful enough to stand alone it must do as the weak do and suffer what it must. Its de facto sovereignty is therefore constrained unless that country is the United States which actually does have that kind of power.

I think of sovereignty a bit like being an independent adult. In theory I could just stay in bed and eat sweets all day, in practice I do not have enough money to allow me to do that and my practical sovereignty is sharply curtailed by more powerful external forces.

In fact, Scotland has historically made exactly that trade-off. Giving up independent government in order to secure a place within the British empire. (Had Scotland had the money to deal with Darien by itself, that is not a compromise it would have had to make). For years, Scotland did very well as part of the home nation of the world's largest and wealthiest empire. The docks of Glasgow and the banks of Edinburgh did very well from that. In a world before a rules based international order and supranational para-states like the EU, Scotland was better off as a small part of the UK with MPs and a real but small voice in how it was governed than as a de jure independent country which would in practice be told what it could and could not do by more powerful states (including their larger Southern neighbour).

I think many Scots have understood that they would gain effective sovereignty by being a small country within the EU which has mechanisms to protect small countries from domination than they currently have by being a junior partner to England in the UK.

Scottish pro-EU attitudes are therefore about pragmatism than ideological European federalism. That isn't surprising because outside relative small numbers of people in most European countries, pro-EU attitudes are usually pragmatic rather than emotional.
posted by atrazine at 5:46 AM on December 16, 2019 [18 favorites]


Just to come back to the shit we have rather than the shit we might have, Otto English asks I'm guessing there's a lot of er ... interesting new MPs ... anyone particularly juicy that hasn't made it onto my radar.
posted by adamvasco at 9:50 AM on December 16, 2019


One of the big questions thrown up by this election is where do English Remainers now go.
and also:
Why is English but not Scottish nationalism correlated with anti-EU sentiment?

Some years ago, when I was growing up in Scotland, the SNP seemed to be about "blood and soil" nationalism. The party seemed to cater to those who were super Scottish: people who tossed cabers and could memorise and understand "Freedom come all ye". As somebody half English, they seemed rather parochial. But then the party changed its policy to adopt civic nationalism: if you were somebody who lived here, paid the same council tax and got soaked in the same downpours - then you were were "one of us" - no matter where who came from. That more open approach has worked pretty well for the party in terms of membership and votes. It is also a policy that is comfortable with the idea of immigration: from the EU or elsewhere. See Nicola Sturgeon's explicit attempts to re-assure EU residents living in Scotland.

At the same time, the Conservative Party seems to have adopted the blood and soil stance of the old SNP. Brexit is a form of closed English nationalism. That can be appealing to people who feel they qualify to join the club. But after a while the feeling that your neighbours are enjoying a rather more exciting and cosmopolitan life - while maybe giggling behind your back - can start to make it a challenging path to follow.

I think this could maybe inform where English remainers go now: With Brexit now about to occur, the project is a medium to long term one. It is about building a popular case to re-join the EU. Doing under the same kind of progressive, civic-national policy.
posted by rongorongo at 10:42 AM on December 16, 2019 [20 favorites]


I see our good friend No 10 Source is going to have a busy few years. Firing line, indeed. Is that how a respectable government speaks?

Indeed. I've been mulling on this one, and if the BBC had any balls left they'd stop reporting from anonymous government sources. What need is there for politicos to go on Today when they can get their lies published uncritically at will?

Briefly cover official press statements, and if they want to get their stories out they'll need to go talk to a reporter on-air, like everybody else does. Ones that won't let them get away with blatant lies unquestioned would be nice too.

Anonymity is vital for whistleblowers, stories that the government doesn't want to be known etc. It shouldn't be Cummings' back door to the morning briefings to float far right trial balloons.

The BBC is a great organisation in many ways, but BBC News has been supine to the government line for far too long - now that it's showing that even submitting won't save them, maybe BBC news could actually start doing their job instead of claiming everything is just fine as it is.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 1:28 AM on December 17, 2019 [7 favorites]


This remarkably prescient and well-written piece from 2015 has been circling the internets:
Last House On The Left: Following Jeremy Corbyn's Campaign Trail

Too many good bits to quote.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:39 AM on December 17, 2019 [10 favorites]


Wow. Putting aside the meat of that article... What an unlikeable author. Dripping with condescension.

This section: "I just couldn't stand those bloody people and didn't want to spend any time with them" was entirely unnecessary, it was apparent throughout.
posted by Acid Communist at 4:30 AM on December 17, 2019 [2 favorites]


“The anti-imperialism of fools” is a good line tho’.
posted by pharm at 4:42 AM on December 17, 2019


This, from Dawn Foster, on the collapse of class as a meaningful signifier in modern day Britain, is probably more worthwhile than yet more tedious sniping about Corbyn:

Any narrative on class that pretends there is an easy answer should be entirely ignored. Doing so seeks to pretend the working class is entirely white and male, and that the diversity of the working class is either a myth, or exclusively confined to large metropolitan areas. Post-election, the narrative has sought to pretend not just that working-class people predominantly live in the north of England, rather than everywhere, but that yet again class is nothing more than a series of stereotypes. Young people are dismissed as uniformly middle class and obsessed with avocados and coffee, while older people live in identikit towns in the north of England, and are concerned with Brexit, whippets and racism.
posted by ambrosen at 5:26 AM on December 17, 2019 [15 favorites]


What an unlikeable author.

I read it more as the anger stage of grief.
posted by mumimor at 8:20 AM on December 17, 2019 [5 favorites]


Dunno, they seem to be having a lot of fun with their snark. I like a bit of witty snark as much as anyone else, in fact more than many people, but they quickly go one simile too far and it's a bit wearing after a while. I've long been in the same position, though, I must admit - I had my Kronstadt moment so long ago... in fact I've had it two or three or maybe more times over nearly forty years, each time my disillusionment compounded by the sense that they tricked me into hope again.

The Left is where I grew up and have always lived, and many of them are my friends, and are lovely people, but... I've said this before, but I've realised that the left as a culture isn't actually capable of achieving anything at all. Sometimes I go further than that and theorising that the whole operation is underwritten by the likes of the Koch brothers to ensure that none of the values they espouse will ever come to pass. That culture destroys anything it touches. It's not a coincidence that the only government that's ever managed to turn things around at all in my lifetime was Blair's New Labour. Never really liked him, had real problems with a lot of things they did, particularly after 2001, but at least they succeeded somewhat for a bit, rather than failing completely and utterly all the time.

One of the birthplaces of the Labour movement turned around and elected a Tory government, and they're still there talking about their popularity with students and whining about the press.
posted by Grangousier at 10:38 AM on December 17, 2019 [4 favorites]


We chose Barbarism, now what?
posted by The Whelk at 11:29 AM on December 17, 2019 [4 favorites]


Maybe get out of the way and stop fucking things up?
posted by Grangousier at 11:54 AM on December 17, 2019 [1 favorite]


What a great article, Joe in Australia, thanks for unearthing it!
posted by doggod at 12:18 PM on December 17, 2019 [1 favorite]


yet more tedious sniping about Corbyn

That's Leader of the Opposition Corbyn to you. Who has probably not abandoned his attempt to shape the Party in his image. His leadership team and their supporters certainly haven't, so a bit of reflection after this unmitigated disaster is probably in order. It's early days yet: he has apparently only now (i.e., a couple of hours ago) apologised to his MPs, those who held their seats. Link to Guardian live stream. The LOTO's defense is that they were on the back foot because the election was about Brexit. Presumably they were hoping Johnson would make it all about foodbanks, the NHS, and people sleeping rough. But he didn't: he ran rings around Corbyn precisely the way the author predicted, four years ago. Scarily prescient.

The really interesting thing about the article, which was apparently written four years ago, is that while it missed the fallout from the referendum that got Osborne relegated and May elected it correctly identified the parts of Corbyn's history that would be a problem and what would happen to Labour's core message:
It assumes that three years of Corbynism would not have toxified the Labour brand to the point where it can only be handled with rubber gloves and tongs, from behind a sheet of reinforced plexiglass. It assumes that by this point, anyone will care what happens to the fucking poor, or whoever. How lucky do you feel?
That seems pretty damn accurate to me, what with counties like Durham turning (mostly) blue. Well, I don't feel lucky; do you?
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:36 PM on December 17, 2019 [3 favorites]


You should feel lucky: you live in the lucky country, so why not keep your nose in your own business and stopped lecturing us while we're fucked up by these wankers here?
posted by ambrosen at 2:58 PM on December 17, 2019 [1 favorite]


Keir Starmer's first interview is a barnstormer, and a good way to put the disaster of Corbyn behind Labour:

He insisted Labour could win the next general election; but only if it sticks to its values. “There’s no hiding from it. It is a devastating result, but it’s important not to oversteer. The case for a bold and radical Labour government is as strong now as it was last Thursday. We need to anchor ourselves in that,” he said.

“I want trust to be restored in the Labour party as a progressive force for good: and that means we have to win. But there’s no victory without values.”

He said these include opposing “the moral injustice of poverty, inequality, homelessness” while advocating for internationalism and human rights.

posted by ambrosen at 3:05 PM on December 17, 2019 [6 favorites]


You should feel lucky: you live in the lucky country

Not nearly as lucky as it once was. I was going to say the weather's nicer, but that seems to be changing too. I'm sorry you felt I was lecturing you. I still have friends and family in the UK and I care about it deeply. Also, it remains a powerful influence on Australia with profound social and cultural connections. Even if I didn't have a personal connection I'd still be very concerned about what the election results say for politics over here.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:32 PM on December 17, 2019 [8 favorites]


so why not keep your nose in your own business and stopped lecturing us while we're fucked up by these wankers here?

I find the idea that these should be British threads for British people more distasteful than anything else actually posted in them.
posted by dng at 3:41 PM on December 17, 2019 [16 favorites]


I find the idea that these should be British threads for British people more distasteful than anything else actually posted in them.

I agree with this, but with a caveat. In this and previous brexit threads we have had a number of hot takes from people in places not directly affected by Brexit/UK politics, or only trivially e.g. holidays, and various derails into 'and now what about country X?' which have kept the mods busy for some time.

So definitely not a British thread for British people, god no, but it hopefully should still be (mostly) about the british issues. EU citizens living here (and those that love them) have been living in dread of their lives being carelessly ripped apart, and with this populist nationalist govt given unchecked power for 5 years the withdrawal agreement protections for citizen rights seem paper thin. And they've promised to rip up human rights generally, and any checks on their power. And still they won a huge majority...

Hopefully those of us on mefi will be able to survive; to have spare time, a computer and internet access to use mefi itself means we're luckier than far too many who are likely to suffer the worst, but all of us will be poorer and we rely on the slowly-collapsing NHS and other public services. Hopefully we'll avoid fuel and food riots, but even that's not guaranteed. For those that need continuous access to meds to stay alive, a crash-out Brexit at the end of 2020 could be literally fatal.

So I'd just plead to bear in mind that it's not just politics as usual - Brexit, and the unrestrained Tory govt implementing it will utterly change Britain for decades, and will intentionally rip up the stable order of the last 40 years. And for some of us here the consequences will be very personal indeed.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 1:26 AM on December 18, 2019 [31 favorites]


I think there was a point being made that not quite but almost by definition, the people most harmed by Brexit will largely not be British citizens. If you voted it means you're not in especially large danger of being deported.
posted by PMdixon at 4:51 AM on December 18, 2019 [4 favorites]


It's not only EU citizens in the UK but also the other way around. One of my best mates is English and fears he will get send back to the UK. He has lived in the Netherlands for almost his whole life but is on welfare so not economically "necessary" (I've forgotten the exact term, but the meaning is clear I hope).

According to the Dutch webpage on naturalization I see some glimmers of hope for him but he said that on a Facebook group for UK immigrants in Holland people were quite desperate.

Just giving some firsthand (or maybe secondhand?) experience here that even more people are affected by this outcome. Even if it's fearmongering, people are getting hurt by it.

He's waiting for the Dutch authorities who have promised to send a letter when Brexit would be unavoidable.
posted by Kosmob0t at 4:54 AM on December 18, 2019 [10 favorites]


The Dutch have been pretty clear about their plans for British nationals.

During the transition period, he will be asked to submit an application for residency. Nobody knows the exact conditions as they have not sent out any applications yet. But they do spell out what the conditions will likely be here.

And, from what I see, employment (or self-sufficiency) is one of the conditions. So, from what I see, things do look frightening. I am sorry for your friend and, really, for all of us.
posted by vacapinta at 6:49 AM on December 18, 2019 [9 favorites]


He has lived in the Netherlands for almost his whole life but is on welfare so not economically "necessary" (I've forgotten the exact term, but the meaning is clear I hope).

Freedom of movement has always legally only covered workers, students, and the self-supporting alas. A lot of countries didn't enforce it, but it's all EU law requires after the first 3 months (6 months for job-seekers IIRC)

Once you've got past 5 years though, the rules change and you effectively get the permanent right to remain automatically, though obviously Brexit is now forcing the formalisation of this process. If he's already gone through that process in the past and gained a permanent residence ID, he will retain his rights and won't be affected.

Looking through the Dutch website, he will only need his passport until the end of the transition, which will almost certainly be 31st Dec 2020. After that, I believe he will need to have a 5 year continuous period at some point in his life where he was exercising his treaty rights when over 18 (regardless of current circumstances) which will qualify him for residency.

Those treaty rights include when working or self-employed; as a student at an official institution; or paying for health insurance and not claiming welfare support. There is usually an additional period allowed if you fall unemployed.

If there's no 5 year continuous period qualifying him for permanent residence, and can't apply though family reunification with a current relationship or child with an EU citizen/permanent resident or other qualifying family rights, I suspect he is unfortunately at risk; as he'll need to be exercising his treaty rights currently (e.g. as a worker, student, job-seeker or through family reunification) to remain in the absence of a more generous scheme than EU law requires.

I hope your friend can find his way through the process, somehow.

But yeah, brexit is definitely causing worry and uncertainly and life changing disruption for millions beyond the direct economic and political ramifications.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 8:30 AM on December 18, 2019 [3 favorites]


Also, if I'm reading the law right, you can qualify for permanent residence as a family member of a qualifying citizen exercising free movement rights. So in theory, if your friend's parent was legally resident in the Netherlands (presumably a british citizen working) then a 5 year period as a child would also count for permanent residency, if you have the paperwork to prove it - which is of course likely to be a stopping point.

This latter problem will definitely affect children of EU citizens born in the UK, and UK citizens born in the EU - you may grow up in a country, but unless you were registered by your parents, you may need paperwork that's decades old to prove your parents were living legally in the country at the time. Fail to do so, and you suddenly have no rights where you've been living your whole life when you turn 18. So this will absolutely cause massive heartache for many years to come.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 8:59 AM on December 18, 2019 [3 favorites]


Trashfuture : we are not owned! We are not owned! “Everyone knows you can’t win by giving people what they want, you win by instead saying they can’t have what they want but implying you can do racism.” “It’s so bad that the American right wing are less fixated in trans hate like like a LibDem voters.” “ ironically the manifesto failed cause it didn’t say yes you can punch any Belgian” “Americans dint realize how trusted they BBC is . Well ...was. The BBC went Luke, Turkmenistan levels of control.” “Non-Stop gaslit all the time.”
posted by The Whelk at 5:19 PM on December 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


Is it just me or do none of those trashfuture quotes make any sense at all? "the American right wing are less fixated in trans hate like like a LibDem voters"? What?

(Also, shouldn't it be rubbishfuture in Britain?)
posted by Dysk at 2:06 AM on December 19, 2019 [15 favorites]


I think it's fair to say it will be.
posted by Grangousier at 7:28 AM on December 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


Papers Please.
Boris Johnson once vowed to “eat” compulsory ID if any government introduced it.
Queens speech today: Boris Johnson has confirmed plans to press ahead with new requirements for photographic ID at polling stations.
In 2018, there was no evidence of large-scale electoral fraud. Of the 266 cases that were investigated by the police, one led to a conviction
posted by adamvasco at 9:15 AM on December 19, 2019 [14 favorites]




@Gabriel Pogrund:
EXCLUSIVE: The Sunday Times has obtained Labour's secret list of target seats for the election

It reveals Murphy and Milne fought "deranged" offensive campaign focused on Tory Leave seats

Hidden from staff, this version was updated 15th Nov and leaked by a trade union

It reveals that despite polls Labour targeted 60 seats and defended just 26

The list includes Tory seats with majorities of more than 5,000 like Stourbridge, Dover and Gloucester

Echoes Murphy's claim that Labour would reject polling. "We ripped up those rules,' she said. (2/5)

Some seats appear to be political - for example Labour continued to target @lucianaberger in Finchley and Golders Green but it did not prioritise @RuthSmeeth in Stoke on Trent North

Ditto with several Corbynsceptics as resources were marshalled elsewhere 3/5

Source says campaign was based on three motives:

- disprove defensive approach of 2017
- show that Lab support concentrated in non-Remain areas
- internal politics, change complexion of PLP

"Unite are behind this," they say (4/5)

They say that Labour was warned but kept this document as their central strategy and refused to develop a new plan

"Murphy and Milne are responsible for the most catastrophic defeat in almost a century. They must go."
[Threadreader version]
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:49 PM on December 21, 2019 [10 favorites]


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