At just past 22.00 hours, as the exit poll prediction was announced, I stared at the screen in disbelief. I went to bed in the early hours before the results were announced for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle - the seat where I canvassed, as part of a large and dedicated team, nineteen times in five and a half weeks - around two hours plus travel each time - for the admirable Paul Farmer, the Labour candidate. I had chosen to devote my energies in this marginal constituency where the Tory MP was only 1500 or so votes in front at the last election in 2017 rather than my own St Ives, Penzance and Helston neck-of-the-woods where the battle was between Tory and Lib-Dem candidates with the Labour candidate out of contention. Yesterday, I woke up to find that the Tory MP for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle had been returned with an increased majority. Paul had amassed 18,064 votes. The sitting Tory MP had gained 26,764. The Tory majority is now 8,700 votes.
I am gutted - but the resistance starts straightaway. Objectively, from an academic perspective, it is fascinating and remarkable to observe how on one day in one country a meme becomes manifest. Across the country, a swing to the Tories is apparent, varying between around 5 to 10 per cent on average but still a consistent feature throughout England and Wales. It is a swing shaped by people not voting for the Labour Party and often choosing to vote Brexit rather than Tory in Labour-held seats. Why had people abandoned Labour?
|Still the message of hope and intent - still a signal to the rich and powerful: 'We are on to you!'|
An email arrived from the United States yesterday morning. One of my American contacts from my research into the life of Jago Stone - Christopher Michas - was asking: 'What the hell happened? How do the Tories win today. I just don't understand.'
This is a blogpost that is taking shape as I write. This morning, Skwawkbox - my wonderful source of news that
corrects the mainstream media (MSM) version - alerted me to this powerful contribution from a member of the audience in the weekly 'Question Time' programme last night:
"A brave member of the BBC Question Time audience laid some truth on the dishonest right of the Labour Party last night - and on the bias of the media.
Earlier on Friday, Unite boss Len McCluskey's column in the Huffington Post had made it clear that Labour's move away from honouring the Brexit result was the central factor in Labour's general election defeat - while right-winger Peter Kyle gave an object lesson in the wilful blindness that McCluskey condemned.
And the unknown audience member picked up that theme and expounded it perfectly in just over fifty seconds - with time to spare for nailing the gross dishonesty and bias of the so-called 'mainstream' media as well." (Skwawkbox)
|Dominic Cummings -the face helping shape our scary times|
Two key factors, then, help explain why there was a swing against Labour on Thursday - the Brexit issue and the dislike for Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. The spin doctor-in-chief at Tory HQ - Dominic Cummings - had masterminded once again a devastatingly cunning campaign. The promise to get 'Brexit Done' was a sound-bite that penetrated. The constant attacking of Corby as untrustworthy worked. Who were the target audience? The millions who had voted Leave - the majority of the country in 2016. And what had most of them in common? They had suffered the consequences of the Tory policy of Austerity - never an economic necessity, always a political choice, as Jeremy Corbyn kept on saying. People who suffer financial hardship and poverty will look for explanations and in 2016 they were targeted by some rich and powerful men (it does seem to be men) and encouraged to see leaving the European Union as an answer to their problems. These same men - and others - were only too pleased to besmirch Jeremy Corbyn and offer him as a scapegoat figure to all those who felt abandoned. The Labour Party is no longer the Party for you; look who's leading it.' That was the carefully programmed message.
To conclude, I'll return to the person who now wears the mantle and mask of prime-minister of the UK.
|The United Kingdom - still in 2024?|
If Johnson survives the full term of five years, it will be interesting to see how united the kingdom is in 2024. Assuming it is still a kingdom, will the Scots be patrolling their newly created 21st century 'Hadrian's Wall' as members of the European Union, staring down their Sassenach isolationist neighbours? Will northern Ireland have opted to join in union with Ireland for the sake of economic sanity? Will the Welsh nationalists be locked in struggle with the forces of English oppression?
|Johnson's legacy - before the hubris of the election of 2024|
In my pre-election blog a few days ago, I returned to the task of nailing Johnson. Here's a link if you need reminding:
As a member of Resistance, I am still on the job - never forget that we now must suffer, by dint of a decisive democratic decision, the consequences of the leadership of a serial liar, a man with no empathy for the vast underclass that he sees beneath him and his kind of people. We will suffer, many more horribly than I. But I will resist, with others, as best I can.