My call for civility, and why we had the best possible result

civility

Cartoon by Dave Granlund

On the night of the election, I took to Facebook to express my desire for civility. At that time, I thought the Tories were destined for an increased majority, and worried that we would yet again see the British left acting like a cornered animal, and proclaim that the voters have ruined the country by re-electing the Tories. Believing my Facebook feed would be flooded with anti-Tory diatribes from people who militantly can’t accept the outcome of the election, I wrote a long post wherein I called for people to accept the outcome the election, and to not alienate their friends because of their political differences.

Predictably, I didn’t alienate anyone, because I didn’t reveal my voting intentions. However, I wound up drawing the ire of an acquaintance who turned out to be some kind of far-left, pessimistic Labour supporter who believes that we should be angry at people who vote the “wrong” way, but honestly believes that the Tories will take democracy away. Oh, but a Marxist Labour leader won’t? She doesn’t even cite any evidence for this to be the case, which quickly descended into the false equivalency between Trump and Hitler, which has been debunked countless times already. The whole case basically amounted to someone who has such little faith in humanity that her solution to the proposed problem is to take away that right to choose to vote left or right.

The fact that her position was untenable was not the problem. The problem is that she un-added me from Facebook immediately after posting, not even waiting for me to counter that argument, and there you have the crux of what I was talking about in that post – people dismissing others for not having the same political opinions as you. I wasn’t even endorsing anyone, and even though I ended up voting UKIP, I didn’t suggest that people should have voted for them. It seems to me that we live in such polarised times that even posting something neutral gets you some flack.

Even though I aimed my post at Labour voters (who I thought would be the ones crying all over Facebook), I calling for people of all sides to accept the outcome of the election no matter what, and be completely civil about their disagreements. Evidently that virtue is long dead in today’s world, where people can choose to sequester themselves into ideological ghettos. It’s this sort of problem that makes it hard for people to have any sort of political discussion. Nobody really had a problem with my statement. In fact, the only people who might have had a problem with the sentiment I expressed were the far-left. They can’t handle civility, because they can’t really push their agenda in a society where everyone gets along. They depend on people being fragmented into political tribes so they can put their agenda forward, and it saddens me to see how many people (particularly the young) eat it up every single time.

Moving on from that, people aren’t so much hostile about the Tories winning the election so much as the idea that the Tories will form a pact with the DUP. They’re convinced that the DUP are a bunch of far-right Christian fundamentalists who want to turn back the clock on gay rights and abortion, but when I ask what they plan to do in government that’s anti-gay, nobody can answer me, at least not by heart. In Northern Ireland they block gay marriage using something called “the petition of concern”, but I have no reason to believe they’ll attempt this in mainland Britain. The DUP are no threat to civil liberties. For one, they only have ten seats in Parliament, all of them in Northern Ireland. Second, they’ve made crystal clear that they’ll only bolster the Tories on key issues, such as the economy and security.

Third, this is the only workable option the Tories have. What coalition would you prefer? A Tory-SNP coalition? The only thing it’ll do is weaken the government’s stance on Brexit. Would you prefer another Con-Dem coalition? Well you can forget about that because Tim Farron himself ruled out. Or maybe you prefer a rainbow coalition with Labour and any willing left-wing parties. Mathematically that would be impossible. For it to work requires either Labour having won 20 more seats, or the SNP keeping at least 50. Neither outcome happened, and if they tried it now, they wouldn’t be able to make up a majority. It would still be a minority government, and an illegitimate one considering that Labour were the losers in the election. So when Theresa May says that her pact with DUP is the only workable option, she’s correct. I don’t like it, but I have to take it. It’s called having a stiff upper lip. I thought we Brits were good at that.

Besides, in retrospect this is the best result we could hope for. Having the lost the majority, Theresa May has lost the ability to carry out the worst policies in her manifesto, which, to me at least, means that her plans to censor the internet, which were already unworkable to begin with, may yet be blocked in Parliament, all because the young people voted for Labour in droves because the Tories were coming after their porn. As for Labour, we may now have a strong left-wing opposition to the Tories, and that means the dreaded age of austerity may finally come to an end as Labour will undoubtedly oppose any new austerity measures the Tories try to put through. It also means that fox hunting is as good as dead, and the old people won’t have to suffer Theresa’s unbelievably vampiric social care plans.

Beyond that, the result proves that, even though we’ve come back to two-party politics, people are getting tired of the old establishment politics. The Tories will have to do much better than they have in order to defeat Jeremy Corbyn the next time (even though I think at this point a Labour government in 2022 might be inevitable). It also proves that Brexit isn’t the only thing on people’s mind, that the electorate aren’t a bunch of single-issue voters who the left and the right can simply appease with worthless platitudinal slogans. In a way, it also proves that democracy is alive and well, with the Tories now in a position where they actually have to face opposition.

This will be the last election-related post I make, being as I’m getting exhausted from election politics, and I’d like to write about some topics that I’ve not been able to for a while.

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Why Theresa May is done for

For better or worse, Theresa May managed to survive the calamitous failure of her 2017 election campaign, which led to her leading a minority government propped up by the DUP. I have to give her credit for at least managing to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of power, but she should enjoy her marginal success while it lasts. After this failure of an election campaign, her career may as well be over. After this campaign, she has weakened her hand significantly, and in a minority government, she has lost all authority and credibility that she barely had before then.

How is she doomed? Well for starters, she basically killed her own campaign. She set out to commit blue murder on the opposition, but she ended up shooting herself in the foot instead. All the more damning was that she practically convinced her fellow Tories that she had it in the bag. They were hoping that she would lead them back into a large majority, giving them the mandate they need to do whatever they wanted. Now that she failed, I imagine that there are now a number of Tory MP’s looking for her head on a silver platter.

There’s already talk of a possible leadership contest in the near future. It’s mainly speculation, but it’s not entirely groundless. Now that Theresa May appears to have been weakened, it’s likely that other Tory MPs may try to undermine her, and if the time is right, they might launch a leadership coup against her, just like Labour’s MP’s tried to with Jeremy Corbyn just last year. It’s not an incredibly likely scenario, but it’s not impossible.

The way I see it, even if Theresa May survives the rest of the year in Downing Street, she’ll basically spend what I assume will be her final term lurching from one crisis to another until she is eventually either taken down, or loses the election to Labour, which I believe they will because from here on out the people will see the Tories as emperors with no clothes. The legitimacy of the Tories has been undermined so badly that the stench of failure will haunt the next government.

And then there’s the European question. In this election, the Tories have drawn blood, and like the sharks that they are, the EU leaders will likely smell that weakness, and attempt to exploit that. If Theresa May were somehow able to hardball the EU despite her weakened position, it could perhaps restore people’s faith in her, and that might translate into better electoral performance. However, there will be Tory MP’s who don’t like her approach to Brexit, some of them may have been re-elected.

Of course, even with her successes, she will be remembered for this year’s seismic election, and by extension, her failure to campaign, which has exposed her failure as a campaigner, but also her arrogance. She honestly believed that the election was her’s to win, and that the people would accept that either vote for her and give her a strong majority or we’d have a coalition of chaos. Well as the old saying goes, pride goes before destruction, and in the end, the arrogance of a politician or a party will inevitably be punished by the electorate. In fact, the Tories did so badly that it makes Diane Abbott look more competent by comparison (incidentally, she was re-elected by her constituents in a landslide).

For me, there is really no other way of looking at Theresa May’s career other than through such a pessimistic lens, because that’s the truth. She’s over. She’s overplayed her hand, she’s weakened her own party, and she may well have crippled Brexit, while handing power to her opposition. At this rate, she’s doomed. If she manages to stay in power for the rest of the 2010’s, that in itself will be an accomplishment, but she will perhaps be remembered as one of the worst Prime Ministers in history, single-handedly alienating everyone that she could. As for Brexit, this is perhaps the best result that the slimy pro-European Tories could hope for, and they will have the opportunity to do to her what they did to Margaret Thatcher in 1990.

Here we go again

theresa may

When I saw the exit polls predicting a hung parliament, I was quite worried, but I still clung to some kind of hope that, maybe people were lying to the polls again. When I got up in the morning, I awoke to realise that the exit polls were right. The Tories failed to win an outright majority, and thus, with only 313 seats as I’m writing this, we have entered a hung parliament. The future of my country is uncertain, and the blame for all of this lies with Theresa May. She called this election with the sole intent of strengthening her majority, and in the end she ended up weakening her’s and potentially putting Brexit at risk. As I’m writing this, the Tories are now attempting to form a coalition government with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (who have 10 seats), and if the Tories manage to win enough seats, this could be possible.

Of course we know why this has happened. Theresa May could have had the sweeping majority she wanted. All she had to do was not screw it up. She could have just focused on Brexit and controlling immigration, and she could have gone about making the public case for a hard Brexit scenario. Instead, she didn’t bother going on TV debates with the opposition, making her look weak. She used her overconfident position to put forward widely unpopular policies, such as fox hunting, and regulation of the Internet. She believed that the Brexit-voting public would simply default to her in order to secure Brexit, but the electorate saw right through it, and thus we have our current situation.

Labour, meanwhile, benefitted not just from a significant share of the UKIP vote, but also from a surge of young voters flocking to Labour. This election has been very good for the Marxists in the Labour Party, and I think this is primarily because the Tories wanted to police the Internet. They could have secured the young vote if they at least kept that part secret until they got elected. I also have to concede that Jeremy Corbyn ran a more positive campaign than Theresa May did. Corbyn, for all his faults, at least tried to appeal to voters, and was able to inspire a genuine following. All Theresa May had was a bunch of empty slogans. Her entire campaign was based on assuming that she had this in the bag, and the only way she could inspire people to vote was through the same old scare tactics. Whether or not she’s right about Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t change the fact that people are bored with the old politics of fear.

I can’t help but think that Theresa May deliberately screwed this up. If she wanted to, she could have carried this election. There’s no way she should have done this badly, so I think it’s possible that she deliberately set her campaign up to either fail to get the vote, or enter a wobbly hung parliament, so that she could abdicate her obligation to fulfil the will of the people. After all, she did campaign on the Remain side of the referendum. If there’s a chance that she might have a way out of actually delivering Brexit, I think she would take it. Then again, it could just be pure incompetence, which is unsurprising given her performance as Home Secretary.

Whatever the outcome after the election, two things are certain. First, Theresa May will not resign. She still has the most seats in Parliament, so she could try to either assemble a coalition, or continue on in a minority government, though I think that whatever she does, there will now be Tory MP’s who will turn against her, and try to undermine her in government, with the goal of possibly removing her from the Tory leadership.

Secondly, with UKIP obliterated, the SNP in decline, the Greens remaining stagnant and the Lib Dems only enjoying marginal growth, today’s election results signal a return to two-party politics. Every party has seen a decline in their share of votes except for Labour and the Conservatives. We haven’t seen a result like this since October 1974, when Labour’s Harold Wilson returned to power in a minority government. It doesn’t look likely that Jeremy Corbyn will resign, given that this is the best possible result Labour could hope for. Whenever the next election is held, the path is clear. We will be faced with the terrible decision of either electing a band of Marxist ideologues under Labour, or electing a clearly incompetent Conservative party that can’t even win a significant majority anymore. Either way, politics as usual will never be the same again.

How could the Tories screw this up?

theresa may

When Theresa May first called the election, it seemed as if she was unbeatable. You have the Prime Minister willing to carry out a hard Brexit as the people demanded, leading the Conservative Party against an openly Marxist Labour Party that is increasingly out of touch with the working class. Early polls showed the Conservatives with a 20-point lead over the failing Labour Party. Experts estimated that the Labour party would be left with only 180 seats, and that’s just being generous. But ever since the Tory manifesto launched, the Tories have been sliding further down the polls, with Labour rising and the Tories’ lead being slashed. Now there’s talk of the possibility of another hung parliament, or worse, Jeremy Corbyn taking power.

My question to Theresa May is this – how could she fuck it up? She had a spotless election that the Tories were guaranteed to win as long as they stuck to Brexit as the main issue. She could do absolutely nothing and still win. Then she called to repeal the ban on fox hunting, which most people in the country still want banned. And then there’s the dementia tax fiasco, which saw her u-turn as soon as things looked ugly for her. And then she released her manifesto, which showcased just how vampiric the one-nation Tories could be, and capped it all off by confirming that Theresa May is coming after the internet. In fact, I’m surprised I didn’t comment earlier.

Up until then I was with Tories. I was even willing to look past some of their left-lurching economic policies in the name of securing Brexit. Now I question whether or not I can even bring myself to vote Tory because it would mean endorsing her platform of internet censorship. She’s alienating young people like myself, and she doesn’t seem to care. It’s almost as if she wants to screw up the election so that she doesn’t have to deliver Brexit, and so this is an opportunity to walk away from her responsibilities as Prime Minister. As for my voting intentions, I’m mulling over either voting UKIP (because I think their policies actually make sense), or spoiling my ballot in protest, signing the Libertarian Party instead. Those are the only two honest options I can think of.

What really baffles me is the idea that Labour is actually rising in the polls. Are the Tories so bad that people are willing to vote for communists instead? Is the government so incapable of running an election campaign that it could lose to complete and total moron? Is this the state of British politics as we know it? I would have thought that Corbyn’s weakness on defence and foreign policy would have hindered his rise, but it seems that Theresa May’s ineptitude on social care, and the many other errors in her manifesto, have helped Labour. As the old saying goes – oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them.

Although I might not vote Tory anymore, I still hope that the Conservative Party manages to win the election, because as I have said before, Theresa May has demonstrated that she is the only candidate capable of delivering Brexit properly. I would trust Paul Nuttall to do the same if UKIP were actually electable. As frustrated as I am with the Tories, I still believe they can win this election.

For starters, the media abhors a vacuum, and election campaigns are famously dull, with this election being the dullest of them all. The media hungers for a big buzz, and what better shock for the readers than the idea of an open Marxist being elected to the position of Prime Minister. Second, I think the idea that Corbyn may actually win the election would spur most or all of the right-wingers into voting Conservative en masse just to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of power. In fact, that may very well be the reason why it will be impossible for UKIP to gain a seat. I also believe that the elderly voters will hand the Tories a victory. After all, they lived through the time when Corbyn’s brand of socialism was actually in effect, and would vote Conservative to ensure that their grandchildren don’t have to go through what they did in the 1970’s.

Lastly, I think the polls are being skewed again. What we’re seeing with Labour’s rise in the polls is exactly the same as what was happening with the EU referendum. Thanks to the social stigma surrounding the Leave vote, many people, when asked by pollsters about their voting intentions, lied to them about voting Remain in order to not look like the “undesirables” of British society. When Britain went to the ballot box, however, nobody could judge them for how they would vote, and 52% of people who turned out voted to Leave. I think the same thing will happen here. After the Tory manifesto was released, more people started telling the polls they wanted to vote Labour in order to look good, and when it’s time to vote, most people will inevitably vote Tory. Given the alternative, I can only hope that is to be the case.

A lot of people, including myself, were panicking when the press started reporting of the Tories’ fall in the polls, and we had every right to. However, I am confident that, despite how frustrating the Tory campaign has been, the Tories will still win. Perhaps they’ll do better than we thought they would, and return a three-figure majority not seen since the days of Tony Blair. Of course I’m being an idealist, but I don’t have to be one to assume that the Tories can still defeat Labour, and stop the return of 70’s-style socialism.

Reasons not to vote Labour #1 – The dear leader

comrade corbyn

With a week to go until the general election, I worry that many young people are about to do something insane – vote Jeremy Corbyn into power. It’s not delusional just because they’re voting for a Marxist, but because they honestly believe that he will win, and that he is the only alternative to the Tories still being in power. With that in mind, I’ve taken it upon myself to write a series of posts presenting my case for why Labour isn’t worth your vote, and what better way to start than by talking about its leader, Comrade Corbyn.

When I was a leftist I used to like Jeremy Corbyn because I saw him as a genuine threat to the political establishment, who had principles. Unfortunately I had no idea about economic policy at the time. Of course, now I actually do know about economic policy, and that’s why I think his economic policy is crap (and I’ll get to that when I talk about the Labour manifesto in the next post). Now that I think about it, most of his support seems to come from young people (especially students), and middle class champagne socialists. I’m not even sure he even represents the actual interests of the working class, and it doesn’t help that he doesn’t have a firm stance on Brexit, which is the winning issue at the moment.

I’ve heard the argument that Jeremy is more moral than most politicians. I don’t think so. When I think of a politician who’s more moral than the rest of the bunch, I think of Philip Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley who did battle with zealous feminists in parliament and got into Parliament’s “women and equalities committee”. In my eyes, Jeremy Corbyn is a well-meaning moron at best, and a moral coward at worst. This is the man who supported the IRA during the 1980’s, and tries desperately to spin this as a positive, rather than owning up to his mistakes. He’s also a complete coward on defence, always dodging the question of whether or not he approves the use of nuclear weapons.

Jeremy Corbyn is the kind of politician who just five years ago would have been dismissed as a loony, but he’s a loony with an army of loonies prepared to follow him to the end. Like many Marxist leaders, Corbyn enjoys a cult of personality which he denies even exists. His supporters are so unwilling to see how much of a crappy candidate Corbyn turned out to be that they blame anything but him for his failings, and turn to the age-old leftist tactic of blaming the mass media, as if ordrinary working class people are incapable of thinking for themselves. This cult of personality, I think, is a mask for how crappy Corbyn is as a candidate. I’m pretty sure most Labour supporters are in the position of “I like Labour’s policies but Corbyn is a bad leader”. I can at least sympathise with that position. Don’t get me wrong, I disagree with the majority of Labour policy, but I can sympathise with people who feel that they’re party is getting screwed by its own leader. I feel the same way about UKIP.

It’s not just Corbyn that’s the problem though. His Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, is a full-blown Marxist. He’s the kind of Marxist who saw the financial crisis as an opportunity to advance his agenda, and he’s surprisingly open about his communist leanings, as shown in a May Day rally where he had communist flags behind him, and denies that he was aware of that. And then there’s Diane Abbot, the Shadow Home Secretary who’s so incompetent she can’t even answer a question on how much Labour plans to spend on hiring extra police officers, and blames her embarrassment on the media. Like Jeremy Corbyn, she too was a supporter of the IRA in the 1980’s, and when asked about it on Andrew Marr’s show, she attempted to downplay it by comparing her change of views to a change of hairstyle. I should also mention that Diane Abbott is the biggest race pimp in Britain. A few years ago she once tweeted that white people “love playing divide and rule”, and as recently resurfaced remarks show, she believes that Britain is one of the most racist nations in the world. Of course, she’s going by the Marxist definition of racism, which explains perfectly why she doesn’t see herself as racist.

In summation, Corbyn and his cabinet are a sinking ship. Even though the Tories have been hampered by Theresa May’s manifesto, Corbyn will probably run Labour into the ground because of his inability to give a decisive position on Brexit (which I’ll discuss in a later post). Regardless of whether he’s well-meaning or not, you’ve got to accept that Corbyn has surrounded himself with people who are either complete morons, or people who might undermine him and/or his party. It makes me wonder why he even hired such people, until I did some reading and found out that Jeremy and Diane were once doing each other. A billion-piece jigsaw puzzle instantly came together.

So there’s my first reason why Labour is the wrong choice. Vote Labour, and you get Comrade Corbyn and his loony cabinet, and then Labour will drag the whole country down with them. In the next part, I will be discussing Labour’s manifesto, which, to sum it up in a sentence, is essentially a throwback to the longest suicide note in history.

Why I’m voting Conservative in the snap election

theresa may

UPDATE (4/6/2017): These do not represent my current voting intentions, but rather my views at the time of writing the post.

Yesterday, from out of nowhere, Prime Minister Theresa May decided to call a snap general election, which was passed in the House of Commons today, meaning of course that we’ll have yet another round of voting for us beleaguered Brits in about seven weeks time. To be honest, I had a slight suspicion that there might be an early election, but I was taken aback by how soon and sudden this came up. Before that, I decided that if a snap election were to occur, I would vote for the Conservatives, and now that there is a snap election, you probably know where this is going.

Some of you may find this odd. Why would I willingly cast my vote for the party that I spent the past few years excoriating with ceaseless zeal? Well for starters I am not the leftist teenager that I used to be, and I wish I had actually done more research back then too. Second, let’s consider the reality of the political situation in Britain today. Brexit is definitely happening now despite all the establishment’s attempts to stop it, and right now, Theresa May, whatever you may think of her policies, is the only politician with the ability and the will to make it happen.

UKIP is probably closer to my more libertarian positions, but they’re completely useless. Think about it for a moment. The one thing UKIP was founded for, Britain leaving the EU, is already being accomplished under the current government. As long as this is the case, UKIP has no purpose in the political arena, other than potentially stealing Labour seats from the north. In a normal election I suppose I would endorse the UK Libertarian Party, but I don’t think they will have much of an impact in a sudden snap election. Plus, I don’t know anyone running as an MP for the Libertarian Party who I can vote for.

While we’re here, let’s talk about the other parties. I hope nobody tries to convince me to vote for the Liberal Democrats, because they will quickly find it impossible to convince me to vote for the pack of snivelling sell-outs that the Lib Dems. Under Tim Farron, they’ve become a party for social justice warriors, as if the Green Party wasn’t already. I honestly think the Lib Dems want to fail. Their leader is a useless wimp, and they don’t seem to know how to appeal to ordinary voters. And then there’s Labour, the sad socialist club whose leader was practically salivating over the prospect of a snap election, one in which he will undoubtedly be crushed because he is less popular than most British politicians. At this point, they’d do better if they kept Ed Miliband as leader. Even worse are Corbyn’s deluded fans, those larping revolutionaries who will finally get the chance to campaign for their dear leader, lose, then protest the outcome and start a petition to kick the Tories out.

I should reiterate that I don’t actually agree with most of the Tories’ policies. In fact, if I was a Tory, I’d probably be a very crappy Tory. My policies, which would be considered centre-right in America, would probably be considered too far-right for the Conservatives, which I mostly consider to be conservative in name only. The main reason I am voting Conservative in this election is because I know exactly why Theresa May called this election. It’s a move to strengthen her majority, and giver her government democratic legitimacy, all while thinning out the Labour opposition while it’s already weak. In short, I think she wants to attain a larger majority, which will be easier for her to work with while she’s negotiating the Brexit terms with Brussels.

I know full well that the snap election is a political power move on Theresa May’s part, but I am not voting for the Tories on ideological lines. You may remember that I wrote in favour of leaving the EU. Now that we are leaving the EU, this country needs a capable leader who will deliver on the will of the people, and at the moment the only one who can rise to the challenge is Theresa May. I dislike much of her policies, but I think leaving the European Union takes precedent over everything else at the moment, and I want a government that will deliver on its promise. If Theresa May wants her democratic mandate then as far as I’m concerned she can have it. After all, she has thus far demonstrated that she is more than capable of delivering Brexit, while Labour, the Lib Dems and the Green Party have openly opposed it, and UKIP will do nothing to help, having served its purpose.

I leave you with some predictions for the election in June:

  1. The Tories will win in a landslide victory, increasing their majority by at least 40 seats.
  2. Labour will lose at least 30 seats, and Jeremy Corbyn will either resign or be challenged in a new leadership contest some time in the autumn.
  3. The Lib Dems won’t gain or lose many seats, UKIP will probably steal seats from Labour if they gain any at all.

I doubt that it will be a very exciting campaign however, given how exhausted the general public is when it comes to national politics. One thing I can guarantee is that, after the Tories win again, the left-wing media and the progressive busy-bodies will throw a hissy fit yet again, but this time nobody will care.

However you vote in June’s election, I hope that people won’t pick each other apart over they plan to vote, or are at least less enthused about it than they were in last year’s bitterly divisive referendum campaign.