Wednesday 21 June 2023

Cranking It Up

Despite lavish coverage, Change UK took three per cent of the vote; you may well have forgotten about it. Despite no shortage of attention, Reform UK averages six per cent of the vote in the few wards where it can find the 10 signatures to put it on the ballot paper, while the rest of those formations are electorally negligible even by that standard.

Yet these eccentric centrists and unpopular populists operate a media duopoly, with each of their respective positions assumed to be held by one third of the electorate, and with the remaining third assumed to be persuadable between the two. Especially due to the war in Ukraine and its economic consequences, every party that returned anyone to the House of Commons in 2019 now dances to that tune.

And what are those positions? Exactly the same economic policy. The same foreign policy between the eccentrists and at least half of the unpopulists. And a fake culture war in which only one side really means what it is saying, when either of them turns out to be saying anything.

First in demanding that Glastonbury cancel Oh, Jeremy Corbyn: The Big Lie, and then in gloating that it had done so, the eccentrists and the unpopulists have deployed a strikingly similar turn of phrase, quite distinct from how any normal person would speak or write. Who says "the crank Left"? Do you? It is like saying "trope"? Do you say "trope"?

I wish that I could be surprised. But they are single project, and while the likes of "Security and Intelligence", and not only Britain's, are in the mix behind, around and within that project, so are plenty of other, purely venal interests; while plenty of other, purely venal interests are in the mix behind, around and within that project, so are the likes of "Security and Intelligence", and not only Britain's.

The pressure on Glastonbury was primarily commercial, from the corporate sponsors of an event that is not priced for the average earner, because such were always the driving forces behind hostility to Corbyn and his movement, and they remain so now that this film is acquiring it a second generation the members of which were small children the first time round. Anti-Semitism or anything else was an excuse, as it still is. They knew that it was rubbish, as they still do. They themselves would be rabidly anti-Semitic if they thought that it would sell. Just so long as they never had to pay any tax on those profits, and retained their political influence for far smaller payments directly to political players, eccentrist and unpopulist alike.

But I for one will continue to work to create a thinktank, a weekly magazine of news and comment, a monthly cultural review, a quarterly academic journal, and perhaps eventually a fortnightly satirical magazine, all in the service of the other 91 per cent. In good, old-fashioned print, so that no one would be able to press a button and delete them. The thinktank and the weekly magazine need to be up and running at the start of the forthcoming General Election year.

You see, when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.


  1. At last someone who understands.

    1. I may be the only person who says it out loud, but there are a lot of us about.