Response to the hammering of UK Labour

Provisional results from the UK election:

  • Conservatives 365
  • Labour 203
  • Scottish National Party 48
  • Liberal Democrats 11
  • Democratic Unionist Party 8
  • Sinn Fein 7
  • Plaid Cymru 4
  • Green Party 1
  • Other parties 3
  • Brexit Party 0

Share of the vote (which under First Past the Post for electorates doesn’t determine the outcome):

  • Conservatives 43.6%
  • Labour 32.2%
  • Scottish National Party 3.9%
  • Liberal Democrats 11.6%
  • Democratic Unionist Party 0.8%
  • Sinn Fein 0.6%
  • Plaid Cymru 0.5%
  • Green Party 2.7%
  • Other parties 2%
  • Brexit Party 2%

The Conservatives and Boris Johnson are obviously celebrating, and so are those who want to see an resolution to the Brexit debacle.

Johnson is promising to take the UK out of the EU next month “no ifs, no buts”

A lot of response from Labour supporters has been to blame Brexit, the media and voters for being stupid and other things, but Jeremy Corbyn has copped a lot of criticism. He has said he will stay on as leader through a transition but won’t be leader at the next election.

Guardian: Jeremy Corbyn ‘very sad’ at election defeat but feels proud of manifesto

“I have pride in our manifesto that we put forward and all our policies we put forward that actually had huge public support on issues of universal credit, the green industrial revolution and investment for the future,” he said.

“But this election was taken over ultimately by Brexit and we as a party represent people who vote remain and leave, my whole strategy was to reach out beyond the Brexit divide to try to bring people together.”

Proud of a losing policy platform? Brexit was obviously a significant factor but Corbyn was seen to have handled it poorly, so it wasn’t so much that Brexit was the problem, it was that Corbyn wasn’t considered capable of sorting it out.

Some Labour MPs and officials were scathing.

Others not:

Here in Aotearoa there was dismay as the results came in at this ‘you must be deemed a lefty by weka to comment here’ post – Lefties on The Standard: UK election edition

Bill: “Ah well. It’s yellow vest time then, innit.”

Adrian Thornton: “Yes it is, time to get out on the streets.”

If you don’t like democratic elections revolt.

UncookedSelachimorpha:

I hope Labour sticks to a strongly progressive agenda, and doesn’t return to its neoliberal / Blairite ways. Might take a few election cycles before people give a progressive party a go – best to keep working towards that, than simply returning to Tory-Lite.

Weird that public support for individual Labour policies is strong – but they can’t get enough people to vote for the party. I suppose the party is the target of the media smear campaign, while the individual policies are not.

Adrian Thornton:

I am not really sure why anyone who has been following UK politics is at all surprised  at a poor result from Labour, Corbyn has been absolutely and well and truly fucked over by all MSM, and most damagingly by so called ‘liberal media’ who, as I harp on about here all the time, have shown that they are more closely aligned ideologically to the Tories and Boris than they are to a progressive Left project…at this point in this very real battle for the future of  our planet, and a more fair and equal society for all citizens,  they are our No,1 enemy.

Often something or someone else to blame for failings.

The 2017 election here showed that a different leader with much the same policies can make a huge difference. Media have their faults, but in general they give better coverage to better leaders, and poor coverage to poor leaders.’

Sanctuary:

If the exit polls are correct, then this is a really ominous result for Jacinda and her administration of merry and complacent elite politics managerialists.

It looks like the centre has collapsed in the UK, USA etc and that has largely been to the benefit of the far right.

NZ Labour continuing to cling to neoliberal centre will eventually lead to it’s destruction.

An alternative view from Ad, who for some reason was allowed to comment critically against ‘the left’:

The hard left saddos you describe are dying off and only appear here on TS for the occasional ideological burp.

And occasionally at protests like Ihumatao and in socialist youth gatherings numbering no more than two hands.

They’re gone.

Observer:

Drawing conclusions for NZ is frankly pointless (MMP changes everything).

There is now a vast gulf between Scotland and England, between London and northern England, etc. That’s reinforced and exaggerated by FPP.

Poli-geeks like us might view everything in terms of left and right but actually “We’ve had enough” is a major driver of voter behaviour. Traditionally, “we’ve had enough” is about a long-lasting government. This time, it’s Brexit.

There will never be another Brexit election in the UK (there might not even be a UK). So simple lessons “for next time” don’t apply.

I posted a comment that was promptly moved as I’m not deemed left enough (I think i was the only one moved), but that evolved into an interesting to an exchange on Open Mic.

Wayne (ex National MP):

Weka,

I note in your “lefties only” comment item on the UK election that some (you included) are saying Jacinda will loose in 2020 because she is not left enough.

Surely the result in the UK shows that is wrong. Jacinda is successful because she is not seen as extreme. She uses progressive language, but does not threaten an economic revolution. Instead she says things can get better with a moderate amount of social democracy.

Most people don’t want revolution because who knows where it might end up. Revolutions are full of risk. And basically don’t happen in democratic nations.

While there is no doubt Johnson’s simple Brexit message appeals because it offers certainty (in contrast to Labour promise of more confusion), I am also certain that Corbyn’s socialist message did not appeal. What Labour needs is a modern Blair. In fact that is exactly what Jacinda is. Which in my view is why she is successful.

A question, would Blair be reviled if Iraq had never happened, or instead would he be seen as the most successful Labour Prime Minister ever?

Weka:

No, I think Labour will get to form govt next year, but it will be closer than is comfortable for the left. Labour do have a problem in that many people voted Labour last time presumably because of JA (multiple reasons) but may be disappointed in what Labour have achieved. The solution to that is to vote Green, so we’re not in the same situation as the UK.

“I am also certain that Corbyn’s socialist message did not appeal.”

Obviously not enough, but I think the UK election is more about poor voter turnout, people being sick of Brexit back and forth, Labour Leavers objecting to Labour’s second referendum, vote splitting with the LDs, MSM and poll bias and so on. In other words, lots of dynamics going on.

The issue for the left is how to shift the Overton Window in NZ. I agree with you that NZ doesn’t want a revolution, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to move the centre. The right has done this in the past 35 years without prior approval /shrug.

Blair is hated because of how he cemented neoliberalism. Without Iraq only the neoliberals would see him as a great PM

Wayne:

I know that is a theme with the momentum left, but in truth their views only appeal to a small minority of voters. Some on the left also accuse Helen Clark of also accepting/endorsing neo-liberalism, but most people regard her as a very good PM. Without Iraq wouldn’t Blair be seen in the same light?

In my view NZers (apart from a mysogonist rump) have formed the same view of Jacinda as they did with Helen. A same pair of hands who won’t fundamentally unsettle the economic compact that prevails in NZ (for instance her commitment against CGT so long as she is PM). The major criticism she gets is that she (her government) have not delivered that well on their stated targets. In my view that is fixable with more focus and discipline.

A problem with a place like The Standard is you get a few remaining die-hard (I mistyped that as dire-hard and nearly left it) anti-neoliberal far lefties who make a big noise, aided by their ‘lefty only’ approach, not just as commenting rules but active and often nasty attacks on people deemed not left enough.

But they only represent a small minority of voters.

Weka sometimes says she wants to encourage views from the right but the calls them trolls if they say things she doesn’t like, and warnings and bans strongly favour her left.

Elections won’t be won and lost in blogs, but they can provide an interesting insight to dedicated political activists and their frustrations (there is a similar but more open avalanche of ‘not right enough with more abuse of alternate views at Kiwiblog).

We don’t have strong a strong left or right in Aotearoa. Which I think is a good thing, most voters don’t think as divisively as the political blog remnants.

Leave a comment

90 Comments

  1. A very fair assessment. The North of England is little more than an economic desert and has been so for over 30 years. What is happening now is long overdue. I wish all the news in the UK had your ability to take an even hand in stating the general situation.

    Reply
  2. Henry Cooke (Stuff): The Left keeps losing. Winning will take new friends

    But it hasn’t just been a bad year; it’s been a bad few decades. Union membership around the world has plummeted, and with it the share of income that goes to people who work for their money, rather than having their money work for them. The “left-wing” parties who have won have generally done so by explicitly unmooring themselves from actual left-wing ideas and embracing technocratic centrism: see Tony Blair, Barack Obama, and Jacinda Ardern.

    So where to from here?

    In the UK, Corbynism is far from finished, even if Jeremy Corbyn is. The Labour Party he has built over the past four years will not replace him with a Blairite. But whoever the new leader is may have to hold their nose and make some sort of alliance with the centre.

    This would involve a lot more on-the-ground organising with people you disagree with, and a bit less ironic Stalinist trolling and infighting. It doesn’t mean submitting yourself to losing positions like a second referendum, but it could mean allowing parts of your party to hold positions you find personally distasteful. It could well involve allying with another party, which is problematic in the UK because of First Past the Post, but doable in countries like New Zealand with proportional systems.

    Indeed, New Zealand’s Left has worked this out already, and MMP allows it to wield partial power in alliance with the centre. The Green Party sucks up much of the urban hard Left vote, which allows Labour to swerve itself a lot closer to the centre and stop itself from alienating people who don’t really mind capitalism, or from the thousands of people who are a lot more worried about putting food on the table than they are about climate change.

    Whether this alliance can hold is far from certain, particularly as climate change becomes more of an important issue into the next decade. The National Party under Simon Bridges is running a campaign aimed squarely at the Kiwi battler, sick of the “wokeness” from Jacinda Ardern, but no massive fan of slick big-business types like Bill English or John Key either. We’ll find out in about a year whether he can pull it off.

    It will be an interesting election year here in 2020.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  14th December 2019

      ”And with it the share of income that goes to people who work for their money, rather than having their money work for them.”

      You won’t get more socialist than that. You won’t get more ideologically blind than that.

      I heard a farmer from up North, on the wireless, who cannot continue to farm under the present government. 800 acres. Riparian fencing. 250 dairy stock units. Mixture of rolling, flat and hill country. native bush..the works. Under National this property would have sold very quickly. However this chap has had the poverty on the market for 3 months. Not ONE taker.

      The end of his farming career came when he was told dry creek beds need to be fenced.

      Yes, it’s going to be an interesting election. How many pissed off people are out there? How many will as usual vote along ideological lines? Can Raptor Squad trump subsidised electric bikes for bureaucrats?

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  14th December 2019

        * property.* Freudian slip.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  14th December 2019

          Dry creek beds ?

          Waterways need to be fenced, but by definition a waterway contains water, and the regulations spell this out.

          Reply
      • Blazer

         /  14th December 2019

        this is so stupid..it’s almost ..funny..’I heard a farmer from up North, on the wireless, who cannot continue to farm under the present government. 800 acres. Riparian fencing. 250 dairy stock units. Mixture of rolling, flat and hill country. native bush..the works. Under National this property would have sold very quickly’

        Reply
    • NOEL

       /  14th December 2019

      “many voter sick of the “wokeness”.

      Trendy term but I wonder how many voters know what that means?

      https://metro.co.uk/2018/06/27/wait-woke-mean-7665438/

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  14th December 2019

        Thanks for that, Noel. Given the words checkered ( black & white squares 😁) past, I am going to ” free note ” and come up with a new word or phrase encompassing all that is wrong with the Left. That won’t be an easy task. If Parti can make up words, so can I.
        Talking of the devil, where is Parti? His incisive insights into supporting a failed ideology would be germane for this thread.

        And talking of elections. My election ad for National:

        BE A MAN. BE A WOMAN

        DO THE RIGHT THING

        VOTE NATIONAL

        The clip then has Simon leathered up; on a Harley, closing in on a patched gang banger, also riding a Harley. Raptor Squad is close behind in their new bullet proof Landcruisers. Simon pulls out a chain mid-flight and thrashes the gang banger who skids off the road and crashes. Raptor Squad stops; they pull out their Todd Combat Knives and are seen in the background working the ”banger” over.

        The clip then pans to Simon standing in the middle of the road; arms crossed, in front of his Harley. The clip ends with:

        REALITY FIRST. LET’S TALK LATER. VOTE NATIONAL.

        Reply
    • Duker

       /  14th December 2019

      Why would Wellington Beltway dweller Henry Cooke have any insights at all of British politics, would he have even been north of Luton if he visited UK
      His only overseas experience is 2 months in Shanghai
      he a classic identity millennial journalist…they think that having a 28 yr old writing about politics means that demographic will ‘trust his opinions’

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  14th December 2019

        If I didn’t realise that Corks has little sense of humour, I’d think that he was joking with that ad idea.

        The words take inanity down to a new level, and the proposed video would be a guaranteed vote-killer.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  14th December 2019

          The word ‘woke’ can’t be said to have had a checkered past; it hasn’t had successful and unsuccessful periods, which is what this means.

          Reply
    • Gotta laugh at calling Ardern a centrist. It’s only true because she’s too useless and incompetent to do anything left wing.

      Reply
  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  14th December 2019

    SNP won almost all the seats but with only 30+% of the vote so the “gulf” between England and Scotland may be less than it seems.

    Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  14th December 2019

    Weka:
    No, I think Labour will get to form govt next year, but it will be closer than is comfortable for the left. Labour do have a problem in that many people voted Labour last time presumably because of JA (multiple reasons) but may be disappointed in what Labour have achieved. The solution to that is to vote Green, so we’re not in the same situation as the UK.

    Weka lives in a cloud of delusion. Corks spotted Julie Anne Genter’s latest brainwave last night. She’s proudly announced a deal for bulk purchases of govt-subsidised e-bikes for public servants around the country. 🙄

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1912/S00129/discounted-electric-bikes-offered-to-public-sector-workers.htm

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  14th December 2019

      Corks and everyone else who watched the news last night; it was quite a long story..

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  14th December 2019

        Was that Newshub – the channel whose young female reporter outside the Whakatane Police Station has just told me we have a “Police High Commissioner”? o_O

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  14th December 2019

          Yes.

          I prefer 3 news because it has less sport ( I wish that there was a news that had none and only had real news) and I can’t stand One’s weatherman who bobs around waving his hands in meaningless gestures and has a very annoying voice.

          I remember one of One’s reporters in an area with a drought in NZ with a teaspoon in her hand and waving it as she said that wherever it was had had x ml in x months…that’s (some tiny number) of these. Er, no, it ‘s millimetres not millilitres that are used to measure rain.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  14th December 2019

            I looked (she said it again tonight) to see if there was, in fact, a High Commissioner and it was my mistake…but no…

            Reply
            • Duker

               /  14th December 2019

              One news had just said Boris had a 385 seat ‘majority’
              They only have to read an autocue and yet some are notorious for flibbing their lines . It should be time for them to move on if they aren’t trained journalists but just presenters who can’t get it right …plenty on radio talk a lot more and don’t fluff their lines

            • Gezza

               /  14th December 2019

              Yes, the latest crop of bright young tv reporters have been throwing out bloopers like nobody’s business. Sometimes it’s just ignorance & sometimes it’s breathless over-excitement where they just don’t realise they’ve used a wrong word.

          • Gezza

             /  14th December 2019

            Ma said it was on 1News at 6 last night too. I must’ve been out in her kitchen. I think it’s an outrageous misuse of government funds.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  14th December 2019

              I heard it first on talkback. Talkback is usually ahead of all other media I know of. That’s why I don’t diss talkback like so many folk do.

            • Gezza

               /  14th December 2019

              How was it going down on talkback?
              Box of fluffy ducks or lead balloon? 😐

            • Corky

               /  15th December 2019

              I don’t know. I just heard the announcement early afternoon. My guess, like a lead balloon, although I have noticed the Left are fighting back. It’s not just a medium for angry disenfranchised Righties at the moment.

  5. Fun to read the Guardian today. particularly their panel of analysts who can acknowledge the Left lost, but can’t acknowledge any errors or the need to rethink. Apparently the loss was all down to old people voting Tory and that’s just fascism or something.

    Best of all is this article. In which the author exhorts the left to learn from its mistakes but cautions the new leadership, whoever they maybe, against making any changes. Glorious.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/13/labour-why-lost-jeremy-corbyn-brexit-media

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  14th December 2019

      And Jeremy still wants to hang around for the debrief..and to understand what went wrong.
      Hell, anyone from this blog could tell the British Labour Party what went wrong. What is it with these people?

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  14th December 2019

        Most people are not so arrogant that they would presume to tell the British Labour Party how to run their party, I hope, and not expect to be to told to mind their own business.

        Reply
    • Blazer

       /  14th December 2019

      so the majority of voters did not want Johnson and the Tories.

      Reply
  6. Noel

     /  14th December 2019

    I agree with this analysis.
    For all voters the primary issue was always going to be Brexit. Not policy in other areas.
    The claim that many Labour voters didn’t vote is interesting.
    https://www.ft.com/content/bc09b70a-1d7e-11ea-97df-cc63de1d73f4

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  14th December 2019

      The Guardian with its subscription model for funding ( as well as its ‘charity’ /foundation which pays most of the bills) relies on telling its readers what they want to hear.

      The original Scott Trust was set up in 1936 to avoid death duties, so its original intent was as tax avoidance Too funny
      In 2014 the current Scott Trust Ltd made £619 mill from selling 50% of UK Autotrader and its investment fund value in 2018 is over £1 bill

      Reply
      • Pink David

         /  14th December 2019

        “The Guardian with its subscription model for funding ( as well as its ‘charity’ /foundation which pays most of the bills) relies on telling its readers what they want to hear.”

        That’s how all newspapers work. They chase the readers, not the other way around.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  14th December 2019

          Have you heard of advertisers ? When I worked in that industry the printing and distribution was the lions share of the cover price, the home delivery part barely paid for itself.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  14th December 2019

            That’s true, but I think that papers tend to tell people what they want to hear to some extent as well.

            Reply
          • Pink David

             /  14th December 2019

            To clarify, this is the bit I was replying too;

            “telling its readers what they want to hear.””

            All newspapers have a narrative to suit their audience. That’s how they get them to look at the ads.

            Reply
  7. Zedd

     /  14th December 2019

    shock horror: Winston (Churchill) reborn.. lets seperate ourselves from ‘the continent’ & took the ‘working class’ along too

    oh dear, how sad…… NEVER MIND ! 😀

    Funny (?) it may finally/actually break-up the UK as well, as Brave-Heart (W. Wallace or Mel G) tried to do in middle ages ?! :/

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  14th December 2019

      It may actually break up the EU as well. Without the UK there to moderate German/French conflicts there are fears for the future of Europe.

      Reply
    • Pink David

       /  14th December 2019

      “shock horror: Winston (Churchill) reborn.. lets seperate ourselves from ‘the continent’ & took the ‘working class’ along too”

      It’s the working class leading.

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  14th December 2019

      Don’t worry, Zedd, you will get over it. Good practice for next year.😂

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  14th December 2019

      Nutters.

      Don’t understand how democracy works.

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  14th December 2019

      You stole my thunder, Dave. Did you see the police use measured baton strikes to keep Lefty ferals at bay? No need for gratuitous striking, unless of course it’s needed.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  14th December 2019

        If it’s needed, it’s not gratuitous.

        As David hasn’t had praise or glory for this, it’s hard to see how he ‘stole your thunder’. This means taking praise or glory earned by someone else.

        Reply
      • Pink David

         /  14th December 2019

        “You stole my thunder, ”

        Yes. I plan on frying it up for breakfast with my eggs.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  15th December 2019

          You aren’t a Leftie, are you, Dave? Think of the ozone you would release.😁
          BTW..in future wait for me to post first.

          Reply
  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  14th December 2019

    Reply
  9. Duker

     /  14th December 2019

    Labour made a huge strategic mistake in opposing the Leave bills in league with the arch remainers and Lib Dems. The 2017 election with Cobyn they got a 9% increase in vote when the ‘supported the result of the referendum’
    Once Brexit was done , then they could have tackled Johnson, instead he has 5 years till the next one. But being UK and the Tories there will be scandals and stuffups galore by this time next year

    Reply
    • Pink David

       /  14th December 2019

      The fascinating thing is that Corbyn is a leaver, and it would have fitted with his policy direction for the UK to leave the EU.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  14th December 2019

        Corbyn was a leaver then a remainer then a god knows whatter. He kept trying to please everybody & ended up satisfying hardly anybody. He kept hedging on Brexit. Just hopeless.

        Reply
  10. Blazer

     /  15th December 2019

    the whole thing is a dogs Brexit…and will continue to plague Johnson,regardless.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  15th December 2019

      He’s on a roll to make Britain Great again.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  15th December 2019

        I can’t see that really happening again. Might become a slghtly more prosperous US vassal state than it is now. It’s glory days are gone.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  15th December 2019

          I don’t believe that at all. Sure, bigger countries may have bigger armies but manpower is not going to win future wars. And as ever ideas and values are what brings and measures greatness. Britain has as much an opportunity as ever to lead in those aspects.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  15th December 2019

            The Great in Great Britain comes from the union of England, Wales & Scotland. (The UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.)

            Britain’s “greatness” came as much or more from its industrial development & strength, its naval & military prowess, & militarily enforced colonial power as its development of a constitutional Monarchy & Parliamentary democracy development.

            It’s no more great now than anywhere where ideas & innovation can flourish. And in that respect it’s average.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th December 2019

              The test is whether ideas do flourish. Probably the relative immigration pressures on countries is an indicator of that. Britain is not average on that score and England is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  15th December 2019

              Yes, great refers to size here rather than excellence.

              It’s odd that it still does when there’s another adjective ‘a great big house’ or ‘a bloody big dog’ but is seldom used thus without one, with a few exceptions like ‘a great mistake’.

            • Gezza

               /  15th December 2019

              Probably the relative immigration pressures on countries is an indicator of that. Britain is not average on that score and England is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe.

              Britain & most European countries are still living off the benefits of their colonial days & the wealth & cheap resource extraction business opportunities that they generated (& still do).

              They therefore have a far higher average standard of living, public services, & more welfare benefits than poor African & Asian countries can yet offer the (often reasonably well-educated) poor living with corrupt & notoriously poorly-functioning governments.

              Cellphones are ubiquitous, even in Africa. They see the conditions there are better than in the dusty, war-torn, poverty-ridden places they’re living in where tribal politics & graft & inadequate infrastructure look likely to last their lifetimes. From an Aljaz tv doco a year or so back, where many of these Africans trapped in Tripoli were interviewed, a surprising number of those illegal would-be immigrants harbour delusions of becoming famous English soccer players once they get there. Not rocket scientists & tech innovators.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  15th December 2019

              Europe is living off the ideas and values their ancestors developed and instilled, not the spoils of colonialism. Like us.

            • Gezza

               /  15th December 2019

              Europe is living off the accumulated ideas & values of multiple countries’ ancestors & its wealth has come from industries & resources sourced from many places. I’m not putting the UK down, I’m telling you that its days of any special greatness based on its values & ideas are gone. Those values & ideas & other forms of workable democracies have spread way beyond its borders & its industries no longer have the edge over those of many other countries.

              It’s a great place to visit. Lots to see. Oodles of history. But you haven’t immigrated there. And I wouldn’t want to. NZ is too great.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  16th December 2019

              Yes, NZ is hard to beat for the lifestyle and outdoor environment I value. But I don’t delude myself that in the realms of ideas and technologies we don’t owe a huge debt to Europe and Britain in particular. No reason why any country can’t be great but perhaps only a few can be great again.

      • Blazer

         /  16th December 2019

        presents a choice for you Al….who will be the ‘greatest’…him or…Doonald?

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  16th December 2019

          Too soon to tell, B. Watch with interest.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  16th December 2019

            I loved the history but the climate would put me off living in the UK again. We lived in Bath for a while, but much as I love Bath, the winter there was diabolical. It was the kind of damp cold that goes through everything. I cadged a huge coat from a large friend who didn’t feel the cold, and although it was floor length on me and the sleeves were so long that I had to make cuffs up to my elbows I was cold even in that. My own coat was as much use as a cotton dressing gown. There was an alley near us that was a shortcut but couldn’t be used from November until May because it was always shaded. This meant that it was a skating rink then.

            Reply
  11. Alan Wilkinson

     /  15th December 2019

    Interesting to reflect on the differences between May and Johnson, in so many ways the stereotypical male/female attributes:

    May: cautious, conciliatory, risk averse, patient, diligent, detailed, obedient

    Johnson: rash, confrontational, gambler, impatient, unpredictable, big picture, rogue

    But the most important contrasts are not sexist: May was dull and cold where Johnson is lively and warm.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  15th December 2019

      Similar contrasts could be made with Ardern & English. They’re not worth much in the overall scheme of things. The world’s most famous pathological liar & narcissist ended up as President of the United States & while lively he certainly doesn’t exude much warmth. Except to people like Putin & Mohammed Bin Salman he wants something from.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  15th December 2019

        Rubbish. These factors are very important in the scheme of things.

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  15th December 2019

        Looking as though Johnson will be quite a radical conservative. Seems to have brains, ambition and ruthlessness in his team. Being compared more to Disraeli than Churchill.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  16th December 2019

          He probably also shares some traits with Kermit The Frog if you want to look for them. Why compare Boris Johnson with anybody? He clearly isn’t either of those two, nor is Britain in the same situation as in their times. He’s best judged on his own behaviour, performance and achievements.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  16th December 2019

            That’s pretty stupid, G. Obviously comparing Boris with his predecessor particularly where there are so many contrasts including success/failure is relevant and highlighting those contrasts is exactly focusing on his own behaviour and achievements.

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  16th December 2019

              how can you compare what you know has happened with what you think…WILL happen?

            • Gezza

               /  16th December 2019

              There’s nothing stupid in what I said. If you & some others want to compare him to previous British PMs there’s no harm in it, but it’s irrelevant to me. Even if he himself cited some previous pollies he admires, there’ll be similarities & differences. Boris is his own man, & an individual, & I’ll view him & his performance as PM accordingly.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  16th December 2019

              Of course the Kermit comment was stupid. It’s even more stupid not to recognise it.

            • Gezza

               /  16th December 2019

              Al ! Where’s your sense of humour gone? I’m sure it wouldn’t take all that long to find an image of Kermit The Frog with an expression just like one of the funny faces boris sometimes makes. He’s got one of the most versatile faces in politics.

              But that wasn’t my point. Boris is such a unique character I see little point in making political comparisons. He’s won a resounding victory based on getting Brexit done & promising a brighter future for all the Brits. He’s gone for optimism & decisiveness where Corbyn went for negativity & indecisiveness. Now, with luck, Boris has got 5 years to deliver & (at present) a united & experienced team behind him.

              As you said earlier – it’s looking like he might be something of a radical conservative. He’s looking like he’s a patriot too. Given his personality & propensity for bullshit I expect there will be gaffes aplenty & he will provide much entertainment everywhere.

              But after all the crap the Brits have had to put up with since the referendum (& before), I wish them well & hope he delivers. For everyone in the UK. I also hope & expect the Scots to stay in the Union. Britain without Scotland is unthinkable. How the hell can Britain have an army without bloody bagpipes?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  16th December 2019

              Nothing wrong with my SOH. Just boiled the pot to see if your frog could jump out.

              Yes, I think Boris and his team could be a big breath of fresh air for the Poms. It will be fascinating watching them try. The way they purged first their own party and then Parliament of its pompous twits was spectacular. Next stop Whitehall and the House of Lords. Pretty sure next year will be playing Trump vs EU. We might get a bit part. Plus what they do to balance the regions may have lessons for us. Even Simon might get to see what sensible policies look like.

            • Duker

               /  16th December 2019

              “Seems to have brains, ambition and ruthlessness in his team”
              Pity he hasnt shown all those attributes before …

              Yes he won an election, so did Cameron in 2015 and May got a 5% boost in the total party vote in 2017, Johnson only did 1.2%. The vagaries of FPP leads to weird results in seats and UK regional politics plays its part.
              Once Labour had big lump of Scotland and Wales seats and the Ulster Unionists were considered to be an extension of the Tories ( as was the Scottish Unionist till it merged with Conservatives)

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  16th December 2019

              Don’t forget the Tories were split over Brexit so Johnson had to make up those losses before he got across the start line. And when he took over the Tories were facing a wipeout wipeout electorally losing in both directions to Farage and the LibDems.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  16th December 2019

              I see Farrar had the same thought about Simon learning some strategic policy lessons:
              https://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2019/12/should_national_try_to_become_the_party_of_the_working_class.html

              Maybe it’s starting to work, he put out two sensible ones today – kill the RMA and convert the fuel tax into RUC for all vehicles.

  12. Alan Wilkinson

     /  15th December 2019

    Some interesting stuff coming out in the Telegraph about how the election campaign was planned, run and won as well as reforms and actions planned. It’s going to be an interesting year up there. Unfortunately it’s mostly paywalled.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  16th December 2019

      i have an interesting excerpt from an 18th century newspaper or broadsheet which uses italics to imply just how the Tory ladies persuaded men to vote for the party in the Covent Garden area (London’s K Rd of the time)

      I suspect that no one would dare to print the equivalent now.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  16th December 2019

        Campaign planned and Run ?
        Any mention of Lynton Crosby this time .
        Boris had it easy on policy , he could blandly repudiate his partys previous ‘austerity’ programs, no need to run on the record of Cameron and May , and the Tory loving media let him get away with it , instead turning Corbyn into the UK equivalent of Kim Dot Com

        Reply

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