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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Categories: empire watch, featured, UK
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May 8, 2017 9:55 AM

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… Read more »

May 7, 2017 11:09 AM

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!

Norman Pilon
Norman Pilon
May 7, 2017 3:18 AM

“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… Read more »

Dead World Walking
Dead World Walking
May 7, 2017 1:13 AM

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

May 6, 2017 9:36 PM

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… Read more »

May 6, 2017 5:12 PM

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.

May 6, 2017 4:20 PM

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.

May 6, 2017 3:46 PM

“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.

May 6, 2017 3:36 PM

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.

May 6, 2017 2:55 PM

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… Read more »