Friday, December 13, 2019 

For one night only.

Rather than do a massive tweet thread no one will bother to actually read, it's probably better to revive this festering hole for one day only.

And let's do it this way. First, the guilty, or the pricks, in no real order.

 1. Alan Johnson Instead of this useless cunt copping the blame for the disastrous Remain campaign, despite his leadership of it, it was Corbyn who did at least bother to tour the country, who ended up getting it. For him then to pop up last night and claim it was Corbyn that couldn't lead the working class to save his life was just a trifle rich.

I could point that last night's showing was still better than that managed in terms of vote share than both Brown and Miliband, both of whom Johnson served under. I could point out that at least we still have a shadow chancellor who understands economics, unlike the tool who said he would need "an economics for beginners" textbook on being appointed to that role. I could point out that when your wife is so sick of the sight of you that she decides to run off with one of your fucking bodyguards, you're probably not one to talk about leadership. But these would be low blows.

2. The media
And I mean the whole of the fucking media. Every single mainstream organisation, broadcaster, publication has almost without exception disgraced themselves over the past six weeks and in truth for far longer than that. Forget the right-wing press, we're talking the BBC, the Graun, the New Statesman, the lot. You had one job: to try and hold the most unfit person to ever be PM, at least since 1900, to account. You didn't just fail. In some instances you actually gave additional prominence to his lies and distortions. Our most high profile journalists have become clients, messengers, stenographers, rather than analysts. They make everything merkier rather than clearer. Democracy cannot function when we have a media that won't say when someone is lying without contracting out the task out to "fact checkers".

And this isn't something you can try and sort out for next time. Johnson and his cadre have triumphed on the back of 88% of their adverts containing lies. The BBC imagined that they could get Johnson to undergo a grilling from Andrew Neil on the basis of just keeping on asking him. As John McDonnell angrily said "they're playing you". And while this playing was going on, still Kuennsberg, Peston and the rest were repeating what "Tory sources" were telling them. It was left to regional reporters, and fucking Good Morning Britain with the cunt's cunt Piers Morgan to bring out the worst in Johnson.

The message has been clear: lies work. Disinformation works. Spending huge amounts on targeted ads works. Having a servile, boot-licking right-wing media works. We've had four years of the opposition being held to account. That's worked too. And so the message to us poor saps is also clear: the media, even those parts sympathetic to us, will no longer fight our corner. An entirely new media is needed, has to be built, fought for. If they won't do it, we'll have to. Shitposters of the world unite.

3. The People's Voters
As Flying Rodent has been flogging himself to death on Twitter saying, there could hardly have been a more destructive to Labour's chances at this election force than Continuity Remain, and at its heart the People's Vote campaign. This could be more widely extended to the liberal elite in general, to the If Labour Went Remain They Would be 20 Points Ahead crowd, to everyone who failed to listen to those who voted Leave. Yes, of course leaving the EU will make us poorer. Yes, only the ERG and the former UKIPers really believe it will set us free. But it's what the Leave vote came to symbolise: the ultimate refusal on the part of politicians to listen to a democratic vote, however it was achieved.

When it came down to it, the Remainiac narrative was the new centrist party only without the party. Labour had to change policy they screamed, regarding the European election results as liable to be translated at a general election, only they never ever are. Many Labour members fell for it because all their sources of news and opinion reinforced it. And yes, of course Labour should be pro-European party. Just not at the expense of taking people worn down by decades of being taken for granted, insulted, ignored. That's what we did. And it's the reason above all others that we lost.

And so to the not guilty:
1. The team behind the 2017 triumph Predictably, the knives are out for Milne, Murray, Murphy, Fisher et al. And yet following on from the guilty men above, whenever the argument was put across about why Labour was prevaricating against coming out in favour of a 2nd referendum, which was very rarely even given voice to, it was because they feared exactly what has come to pass.

Labour is a coalition, and that has been exposed by last night as never before. It has to appeal to the residents of the big liberal cities and to the traditional towns to get near to forming a government. The move to a 2nd ref and Labour's fall in the polls happened simultaneously. It's not a coincidence. Ian Lavery, the most forceful proponent of not shifting position, clung on to his seat but with a majority of under 1,000. He has been vindicated. Tom Watson, who would have lost his seat had he stood again, well.

2. Momentum
One of stories of the election that will now be underreported is the sheer numbers of Labour supporters who fought like lions for every single vote against what we now know were insurmountable odds. The pictures on social media of dozens of activists out canvassing, fighting for what they believe all agree were unprecedented. And yet from some of the most disingenuous and bitter already accusations are flying of the biggest force behind this surge being in some way responsible or not being in the right places. There will be plenty of time for a full post-mortem of what went wrong. The least those who were supported by these volunteers can do is spare us the sneers until we know for sure.

3. The left
The headlines have all been about Labour's showing being worse than Michael Foot's, which is sadly true in terms of seats. What it isn't is in vote share. Corbyn's 2nd attempt still yielded 32%, higher than Foot, higher than Brown in 2010, higher than Miliband in 2015. After 9 years of Tory rule, yes, of course it should be higher. But does anyone genuinely think that with a centrist leader pursuing an even more aggressively Remain position it would have been any better? Would those Lib Dem and Green votes have added to up to that many more seats? Surely not enough to prevent a Tory majority anyway. When you have 45% or more who want Brexit no matter how hard, this was always likely to be a losing battle.

And finally: Reasons to not be too downhearted
Well, up to a point. And coming from a blog that used to be 33% anger to 66% despair,(1% piss)  that probably sounds a bit empty considering what we face. And yet.

Let's put it this way. Johnson has got his way, but almost certainly at the expense of the union. Another of the real stories that will quickly be seized upon is how for the first time, nationalists in Northern Ireland hold more seats than unionists. The hard border down the Irish sea will further impoverish an already dependent on the public sector state. The SNP meanwhile may not have won the 55 seats the exit poll predicted but their demands for a 2nd independence referendum will become all but impossible to resist.

Nor will the fracturing of the red wall mean those seats are gone for good. Already there will be plenty wondering what on earth they have done, whether by voting Tory for the first time or not turning out. So close to Christmas some families will likely to be eating on the day itself in silence. They can and have to be won back, but to do so will require a listening exercise that few of us will want to hear.

Much will obviously depend on how the Tories now govern. Johnson is a charlatan, not an ideologue, but at the same time the hedge funds that have payrolled his rise are hardly going to accept the slim pickings the Tory manifesto offered. Anything and everything could be up for grabs.

As Stephen Bush has said, at least this gives Labour time. Time to properly ascertain what went wrong. Why Putney went Labour while Hastings didn't. Time too to pick our next leader with the utmost care. My first instinct is it has to be someone with a background hard to smear. Angela Rayner, if she decides to stand is the best candidate on that score, but I'm open to persuasion. They will have to be someone who accepts there is no going back to TINA, to triangulation, but who also can appeal to both city and town. Whoever it is, the party has to unite around them, and I believe it will. The despair of today has to give way to renewed action. We still carry that new world in our hearts.

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