If the Brexit Party doesn’t get Real and Organised about electoral tactics, it will be humiliated on December 12th
Glancing across the UK press titles this morning, it was hard to spot a flash bulb, glimmer or even scintilla of insight about the forthcoming election on December 12th. Now we have established that pregnant women will not be able to vote on behalf of their foetus, Uzbeckhistanis will be disenfranchised and horses will be for courses not polling booths, I had hoped there might be somebody with a longer view. Alas, no.
The Guardian says the Brexit Party is all over the place about how many candidates to field, The Times insists that moderate ‘One Nation’ MPs are standing down in droves because the Tories are all over the place, the Telegraph says the Illiberal Demagogues will give Dominic Grieve a free run, and that shows they’re all over the place, the Express reports that Labour’s manifesto will have contradictory policies proving that….yes, they’re all over the place, and the Independent says the one thing that could cost Boris the election is that he’s a** o**r the pl***.
Tribal business as usual, then. And – as I will point out below – the latest polling data doesn’t suggest any kind of political earthquake is coming.
That could be a badly misplaced perspective: in reality, SNAFU has never applied quite so profoundly as it does to the existing Westminster Parties going into this contest.
But for now at least, there is a need to spell out some short-term electoral imperatives for Brexiteers.
When was the last time you saw two major and one potentially popular Party going into a General Election with so much controversy surrounding the leader? Two thirds of the PLP would like to dump Corbyn, over half of all Tories will be delighted if Boris Johnson comes a cropper, and now the upper echelons of The Brexit Party are briefing the media across the Board on what they variously describe as the “sloppy”, “fantasising”, “disorganised” and “amateur” nature of the myopic inner circle clinging to Nigel Farage’s “Do It Alone” dream.
When did you last see the run-in to a General Election involving such substantial disaffection of MPs (often at Cabinet level) with their Party’s line, and consequent defections to other Parties?
When did you ever experience a General Election in which all the traditional LibLeft Parties and their external support groups were so casually overt about a universal disdain for the Common People they affect to support?
For almost voters aged 30-85, this is probably the most important expression of democracy they will ever make. How telling that expression is depends far more on the objective of that vote than the Party for which they vote. In my lifetime (and I arrived on Earth as the result of a sexual congress that occurred at some point in June 1947) the degree of thought required today in casting that vote is unique.
In that context, the guidance being offered to voters so far is at best superficial, and at worst mendacious. This election is about demanding that MPs know their place….and that awareness being forcible applied through the ballot box. Brexiteers have talked big on social media; but will they walk tall when the time comes?
Let me make this very clear from here on: everyone is calling this The Brexit Election. That is no more descriptive of its likely consequences than the name given to the ‘Coupon Khaki Election’ after the First World War in 1918.
Nevertheless, here are some very interesting parallels. The 1918 election was called immediately after the Armistice with Germany which ended the First World War, and was held on Saturday, 14 December 1918. We had been involved in a struggle lasting four years against a European enemy.
People were keen to get back to normal. They wanted the Kaiser to be punished. They had no realisation at all that the pre-war Edwardian World had gone with the wind.
The wartime coalition headed by Liberal Prime Minister David Lloyd George sent letters of endorsement to candidates who supported the coalition government. Lloyd George was up there with Boris Johnson as a high-libido sociopathic schemer. His coalition was returned with a landslide victory. Germany, said DLG, would be “squeezed until the pips squeak” for its war crimes.
In 1922, the divided Asquith Liberals were left with a miserable 36 seats. The Liberal Party – having seemed to many in the 1900-1924 era the Party of the future – never recovered.
A century later in 2019, we have a Tory leader who harps on endlessly about “getting Brexit done and returning to the normal business of government”.
He too, I think, fails to grasp that defeating the EU is unfinished business, that his WA2 proposal is a dysfunctional compromise….and above all, that the financialised globalism he reveres as ‘the future’ is the past. Soon enough, it too shall be gone with the wind.
The election scheduled for 12th December this year is not the Brexit Election. Rather, it is the precursor to the one after that: the Independent Reformed and devolved UK versus the Corrupt Vassal State of the US/EU globalist debt victim UK election.
Bit of a mouthful; but then, I’ve never been one for puerile soundbites.
What we should be seeing is the long overdue demise of self-perpetuating Parties seemingly immune to social change – because they are funded by everything from the TUC and the CBI to the EIB, Rupert Murdoch and George Soros.
As Churchill would’ve said, it’s not the beginning of the end for such institutions: but if votes are cast this time in favour of the future not the past, it will be the end of the beginning.
So: what signs are out there, at this early stage of the 2019 General Election, suggesting that tribalist clinging to what was might be replaced by courageous support for what could be?
This is the latest poll of polls calculation – updated today – from the FT:
Sorry to rain on the Brexit Party parade re this one, but it’s central casting classic archetypal stuff from the Hansard archives: two Biggerwiggers well ahead, Middlypiddlies looking hopeful, and Brexit looking squeezed. I will lay you fifty quid to a freshly dropped ordure that both the election itself, and this pretty disastrous opening set of numbers, will have caught the TBP strategists by surprise….even though its rating has been slipping slowly downwards since the Spring launch.
But there’s a long way to go yet, and Brexiteers can take heart from the following important factors:
- These are percentages which, under our archaic FPTP constituency system, are halfway to being meaningless.
- It does point up very clearly that hardly any voters really grasp just how much of a crock the BoJo WA deal is. So it gives Nigel in particular a very clear and focused job: to set out the ruinous financial liabilities and hidden sovereign controls in the “deal”.
- The aggregated weightings do not reveal don’t knows and abstention levels. Lots of minds can change in the next forty days of campaigning.
- TBP has not yet revealed its Manifesto.
Sorry, but that’s the end of the good news.
Overall, the numbers suggest that the sclerotic tribalism of UK Party politics has not been that rattled by the appalling behaviour at Westminster this year.
Farage’s preference will be for lots of barnstorming rallies preaching to the converted. He’ll have to depart from that if he wants to make any headway. He needs to get some seriously influential financial/fiscal guru allies on board to add weight to any critiques of the WA2 “deal”.
There is a clear need for TBP organisers on the ground to target those saying they’re either undecided or not interested, and alert them to the danger while at the same time offering them bussing to the polling booth. If you’ve never done this, then you won’t know just how debilitating a process it is: it requires seasoned professionals with thick skins. I’m still to be convinced that Farage has thought about it.
The low figure of 11% means there must be a focus solely on those constituencies where TBP stands a practical chance of winning.
Finally – sorry to bang on about this yet again – but whatever the Party’s Manifesto winds up saying, it absolutely must make a firm and unequivocal promise to SPA reform victims that TBP will deliver the restitution they seek. This will not only ensure the best part of 6,000 votes in every seat they contest, it will also persuade still more Labour traditionalists to switch.
Farage has just returned from a US visit to love up Donald Trump. He should heed the President’s advice: “Kid, you can’t do this alone”.