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Comments 10

The OffG view on the UK General Election

A while back we said we’d watch and wait for developments in the UK General Election. So far, sadly, nothing is happening that could not be expected. The Tory press are almost uniformly bent on destroying Corbyn’s credibility. The notional “left” press are being a little less committed, leaving open the small possibility of support for a Labour win if the circumstances permit. The Labour Party itself is riven, with many of its MPs seeming to prefer to lose the election than suffer Corbyn as PM. The numerous scandals in the Conservative Party pass almost unnoticed.

The voters in the local council elections did nothing that unpredictable, despite claims in the media. If you demonise and ridicule a party leader unceasingly for months you can’t claim to be stunned that many people consider him to be demonic or ridiculous. We live in a propaganda-saturated society in which whole sections of opinion and experience have no voice in the mainstream “news” that is piped into people’s brains every day. The alt media might be growing in strength but it can’t compete yet with the power and reach of the BBC, Sky and ITN. If Murdoch or the state don’t want us to know about something then most of us won’t. That’s just the reality.

Could there be a “surprise” win for Labour? Maybe, but probably not. Corbyn isn’t Trump. He’s a genuine outsider, with genuine integrity, and there’s concomitantly a much smaller chance of any vested interests seeing an advantage in helping him to victory. It could still happen, but we wouldn’t put any money on it.

More importantly, if there is a Labour win, will much be permitted to change? Again, probably not. Corbyn is a sincere and decent man and anyone not deluded by propaganda would rather see him in No. 10 than the vacuously dreadful moral blank that is Theresa May. But the idea Jeremy would be allowed to effect anything real is wildly optimistic. In the unlikely event he makes it to No. 10 he’ll find himself at war with many of his own PLP, and the Right of the party will unite to ensure he’s all but paralysed. There will be the usual fudge, and not much else. Hoping for big change through the flawed and inadequate “democracy” we currently have is an exercise in self-delusion.

That said, the NHS would probably survive a bit longer under Labour. There might be a bit more support for the disadvantaged and the sick. Anyone who visits a GP or has kids in school or cares about the infrastructure of society ought to vote Labour for these reasons alone.

Will the majority pursue their own best interest? Will the result even be allowed to reflect the ballot box? We wish we could tell you the answer to that is “yes”.


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10 Comments

  1. michaelk says

    Increasingly these elections have become close to American style presidential elections where voters are being asked to choose between only two candidates, Corbyn or May. One is voting for a head of state and a military leader too. Reference to John Major is pretty irrelevant today, as we’ve moved on. Major was a product and a leader for his time. The Tory anti-Thatcher, selling a very different image indeed. So one can argue that he was a leader who was very successful electorally, for those times; though he was despised by the Thatcherites in the Tory Party, but he had his uses.

    Corbyn, though he has many qualities, isn’t the man to lead the Left and attempt to wrestle power back from the right. Like many on the left he seems to imagine that the electorate are ‘rational’ and know their own interests, but they’re not. The electorate are close to being the definition of ‘irrational’ and a group swayed my their feelings, perceptions and fears. That’s why they are so easily manipulated by propaganda and misinformation. The bigger the group the easier this becomes. Yet, Labour and Corbyn don’t seem to take this into account or even realize or understand what’s going on. Just blaming the media for not giving Jeremy a fair hearing, totally misses lots of crucial points about the nature of UK political culture.

    One has to understand the system and see for what it really is, before one can have realistic chance of changing it. Maybe after the coming crushing defeat the left will start the process, but I doubt it.

    It’s not even about Corbyn’s obvious lack of fundamental leadership qaulities, it ‘s entire team around him, the entire leadership of the left in the Labour Party, they are, simply, not really very good and not up to the tasks demanded of them. This doesn’t mean their not ‘good’ people, only that they aren’t really competent or equipped for politics in today’s UK.

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  2. CF says

    All this talk about “leadership” I feel is somewhat beside the point. Have you all forgotten that the Torys won an election with John Major, surely not an example of great leadership, at the helm and no policies to speak of? The day after the election the sun headline read “It was the sun wot won it,” one of the few times that that publication has told the truth!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Hoping for big change through the flawed and inadequate “democracy” we currently have is an exercise in self-delusion.”

    Yes.

    And yes, also, a Corbyn win would still be better than a Tory one.

    And then one thing that elections are good for is take the pulse of the breadth of the disenchantment and disillusionment of the general population.

    If it should turn out to be a surprise win, with more votes than expected in favor of Labour, this will be a sign that the tide of opinion and awareness in Britain is perhaps beginning to shift in a truly hopeful direction. Activists should then be encouraged and emboldened and motivated to redouble their efforts in furthering what might be a re-awakening of radicalism among the masses.

    And should this come to pass, the thing that should become the focus of any journalistic activism against the status quo is the extent to which the legitimate government will be permitted by the ‘ruling establishment behind the scenes’ to pursue and enact its policies, interpreting failures not as betrayals by Labour or Corbyn, but as yet another historical instance in the West underscoring the utterly undemocratic character of the charade of “liberal” parliamentary democracy, For at some point people have to come to the realization of the ‘fact.’ Otherwise, there will never be a concerted collective attempt to move things forward. Another failure in a long line of such failures must become an opportunity to learn and to teach, and most emphatically not to retreat into defeatism and apathy.

    The best thing that could happen is for Labour to win in a landslide and then to find itself stymied in its attempts to enact its most substantive policies, providing that Britons were thereby further awakened to the real cause of the impasse, namely, the treason of the ruling class. And awakening them to that cause is the obligation and raison d’être of activists.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dead World Walking says

    According to some experts, Corbyn was 200:1 to win the Labour leadership.
    Cross your fingers and spread dissent.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. michaelk says

    I think the battle now is to stop the Tories getting a huge majority, a ‘mandate’ to do virtually whatever they want with what’s left of the welfare state and specifically the NHS. A Tory majority of a 100 might be on the cards. That spells disaster for huge swathes of the population.

    Labour should be the listening party, the party that listens to the people, not the one that tells them what to think. But the people are told what to think all the time, especially by the mass corporate media, who don’t do anything else. That’s their role, telling people what they should be thinking about almost everything.

    Corbyn may be a nice enough fellow and all that. With clean backbench hands and views. He’s got principles to burn, but he sure isn’t an effective leader with the qualities that are required in times like these. His position is hopeless because he doesn’t command a majority within the PLP and barely on the NEC. All he’s got is the activists in the Labour Party and the support of the leaders of some of the biggest Unions. That isn’t enough.

    Corbyn’s not a very good tactician. Instead of supporting UKIP and forcing them into the Tory Party like a spearhead, doing all he could to make things difficult for the Tories; he did the opposite. His decisions actually helped the government after Brexit and they became UKIP and swept up all their support, with disaster to follow for Labour. This was a catastrophic mistake on Labour’s side. Not cynically capitalizing on the split on the right and doing everything to make it wider.

    The Tories are a far, far, better and effective machine for winning elections and everything is subordinated to that primary goal, whereas Corbyn sticks to his… principles and doesn’t stoop so low… and loses. Who would have believed that Brexit would end as a triumph for the Tories, but Corbyn and his team allowed that to happen by playing the cards they were dealt so badly. People like that, with that level incompetence really deserve to lose.

    Labour should never have accepted the referendum result without thinking of the consequences for Labour. They should have offered the Liberals an electoral pact. !00% guarantee, in writing, of support for PR, in return for tactical voting to keep the Tories out. They could have done this with the Greens as well. They should have made a deal with the SNP too. There are myriad ways they could have ditched their stupid ‘principles’ and found ways to reverse the result of the referendum. Dozens of Tory MPs were appalled by the result and with a bit of support, months ago, they might have been able to create an anti-Brexit majority in Parliament and split the Tories apart. But no, Corbyn, was having nothing of any of that, far too dirty and low for a backbencher with principles. The sooner he returns to the backbenches, where he belongs, the better. Hes’ out of his league. And he’s hand the Tories a massive election victory on a silver platter. That’s unforgivable.

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  6. http://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2017/05/the-rovian-turn-in-election-pundetry.html
    Funny that suddenly everyone seems to have forgotten that polls were giving Tories a 20% lead. Actual result: 11% lead. Turn out: 26%! When outcomes start to disobey the intended direction of travel the Propaganda has stopped working. Mrs May should be very worried.
    http://letthemconfectsweeterlies.blogspot.se/2017/05/authentic-discourses-on-decisions-to-act.html #Whysillypropagandastillworks
    If one looks at the larger sample size of the 2016 local elections and throws the Brexit question into the pot everything is still to play for with respect to a possible hung parliament, then the fun we should have had in 2015 ( but due to election expenses fraud were denied) should really start.

    It’s the problem of Continuity of Government and the Deep Establishment should by some against all the odds blessing a Labour Govt be returned and formed by Jeremy Corbyn and his Team.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. John says

    I have been working on elections with the local Labour Party, where we won all out targeted seats.
    This shows that success is possible if enough of us put in enough of an effort.
    One development that has become apparent during the local elections is the fraying of support for UKIP.
    Regrettably, people who no longer support UKIP are more than likely to vote Conservative instead.
    This factor could provide the Tories with the margin of victory required for a general election.
    If something happens on the EU front, it could reinvigorate UKIP and its supporters.
    If that happens, the chances of a surprise Labour victory might just rise.
    In the mean time, I am just going to keep my head down and work for a Labour victory.
    The deceit, spin and manipulation of the mass media is way beyond my control.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. writerroddis says

    “I have been reminded just how small a bubble I live in.”

    I know the feeling, mog. Bleak it may be but I draw a quantum of solace from being aligned with truth. As a man in my readers’ group (John Smith’s outstanding empirical work, Imperialism) commented a few weeks ago, we still have a duty to understand and bear witness.

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  9. writerroddis says

    Regrettably, I must agree with all of this. Re the penultimate sentence of paragraph 1, Labour’s right wing has a long record of preferring a tory win over a left led Labour. One notorious example was when Birkenhead’s Frank Field told Labour voters in neighbouring Wallasey to vote Tory cabinet minister Lynda Chalker to keep out the left’s Lol Duffy. Chalker scraped back in by 279 votes; Duffy was deselected by backstabbery. His successor? One Angela Eagle: her main claim to fame a challenge to Corbyn, last July, whose only hope of success was if the High Court backed a bizarre interpretation of the Labour rulebook. It didn’t.

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  10. Understandably cynical.
    I have been facing my own delusions. By going out door knocking for Labour for the first time, I have been reminded just how small a bubble I live in. It has driven home how most people are utterly disiniterested in the most significant election since WW2, or how keen they are to vomit up the spurious sewage that they have passively consumed and then claim it as their own opinion.
    I certainly don’t want to make any predictions. If the Corbyn crowds get as big as Bernie’s and somehow the MSM are pressured into covering some of the Tory corruption, then we might end up in a kind of hysteria in a month’s time. A Very British Coup territory.
    As far as what would likely follow such a freak result, I do not think that it would be a smooth acquiescent compromise as you suggest. I think we are on an exponential curve toward an inevitable transformation, and compromise is not on the table.

    Liked by 2 people

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