In this, the follow-up to yesterday’s piece about unelected support for Boris Johnson, The Slog examines what might happen electorally once the Shadow State grows tired of its puppet.
Dateline UK, 10th October 2020: Boris Johnson’s Cabinet is split down the middle on the “need” to stop the spread of Covid19 versus the damage to the economy.
The Tory Party as a whole is split on the issues of Covid v Economy and a No Deal Brexit.
The Labour Party is split irrevocably by the differences between the Momentum-backed Corbynite Hard Left, and the Social Democratic wing represented by Keir Starmer, the Party Leader.
The whole question of Brexit marks a rift between Young and Old, Scots and everyone else, and Labour v Tory.
The question of inward migration (what we used to call immigration before it was deemed ‘incorrect’) marks a Left/Right, Young/Old and North/South schism.
There is a massive faultline of disagreement between the Young on the one hand, and all ages on the Right when it comes to Islamic immigrant behaviour in particular.
The entire question of nationalism and pride in one’s country represents a Grand Canyon between those young and Left of centre under forty, and people over sixty.
Last (but by no means least) there is an increasingly dangerous face-off developing between those who still see politics and Westminster as the real centre of Power in Britain, and the small but growing minority who can see how and why – in the senses of the Unelected State, media bias, attempts to undermine Brexit, Coronavirus hype and UN Migration legislation – the real power is moving away from those we choose at elections toward those we either loathe or don’t know anything about. (See the Covidisinfectant.com news update I posted last Wednesday)
The conclusion one reaches overall is that the term ‘United Kingdom’ is probably the worst national misnomer in history. I cannot think of a single question about which there is a consensus. Worse still, the governance classes themselves are split to the point of raw hatred: the judiciary is blatantly biased towards the privileged – be they minority groups, the very wealthy, or both; the police are increasingly political; and the influence of unelected money from blocist hegemonists, bankers, the City and Globalist business is totally out of control in both Whitehall and Westminster.
Those are pretty dismal and pessimistic conclusions to reach. So, rather than take the Libleft approach of manipulated data (or none at all) I want to put solid evidence (numerated or otherwise) behind the bottom line I drew in the preceding paragraph.
The Covid19 hysteria has caused the biggest UK economic contraction since 1979 – and we’re still only five months into the saga. Over that period, our gdp plunged 11.7%….in round figures, £286 billion. Assuming the same (big assumption) over a full 12 months (without cancelling Christmas) the cost to the Exchequer would be £684 billion.
That’s a smidgen under five NHS budgets at current levels.
But that does not, of course, include the £100 billion of money (we don’t have) being spent on trace and test. Or indeed the cash thrown to those who couldn’t do business (or work) over the period – 2.8 million people, at a total estimated cost of £7.3 billion.
That’s over 5.5 NHS budgets. Kind of easy to see why Rishi Sunak and the Cabinet hawks are somewhat perplexed. But the central points are that:
- We’ve spent five and a half years’ Health budget defending the NHS, and
- I have previously pointed out the appalling damage Covid disaster thinking à la Ferguson has done to those with far more serious illnesses than Coronavirus because – despite that vast splurge of spending – C19 bias in NHS thinking has made it more, not less inefficient.
How much more healthy (sorry, unintended pun) Britain’s economic and fiscal picture would now look if we had cordoned Covid19 off into pop-up hospitals.
As regards the inherent divisiveness of Coronavirus hype, Mask-wearing and lockdown rules have caused deeper social fractures than Brexit, according to a 10,000 strong UK-wide study which suggests that the solidarityof the early weeks of the pandemic has given way to distrust. Nearly 60% of mask-wearers have ‘negative attitudes’ towards those who do not wear a mask, and 70% of lockdown obeyers have ‘strong negative views’ about lockdown rule-breakers.
But don’t imagine that Brexit’s gone away as a running sore: 33.5% of Remainers ‘hate’ or consider those who did the opposite to be ‘bad people’…..almost twice as many Leavers making the opposite comparison. Sound familiar?
Similarly, while almost half of Conservative party members believe Islam to be “a threat to the British way of life”, younger and Labour voters tend to see the problem as one of “Islamophobia” rather than any real threat. Significantly, while about 20% of all Brits see Islamics as a genuine ‘threat to tolerance’, only 3% of us think that about any other immigrant group. Interesting.
What now follows is some conjecture on something I’ve been feeling for several weeks now: that is, a sense that something important has been ‘stolen’ from traditional British citizens, and enough of them feel this way for it to genuinely influence the putting back of socially sound empiricism into our ‘way of life’.
The feeling has been around way beyond me for some time; but only of late have a few things started to coalesce in the shape of what could (if people for once show some sense) a serious challenge to the established political order at Westminster.
While writing this goes against the grain for me, it’s important in all matters to retain an open mind as things change. I have believed for a long time that only root and branch reform of Parliament will ever deliver the change required, and that any new Party’s chance of changing that (without being sucked into the system) represents wishful fantasy.
What’s changed now is that there are several UK political start-ups who are – whether the 3% like it or not – far more in tune with what real people think and feel about the need for Britain to take a radical approach to the need for functionally effective reform – as opposed to virtue-gesturing metro-élite obsessions.
However – as usual – they are all in their own stockades, and can thus be easily ignored by The Duopoly.
The highest profile startup at the minute is the actor Laurence Fox’s newly-minted Party Reclaim, and I must confess that, as a brand name, it is by far the best of the bunch, because it sums up the marginalised and left-out feelings of a broad spectrum of UK voters brilliantly.
Reclaim has been backed so far by a single £5million donation from Jeremy Hosking, a Brexiteer former Conservative donor, who approached him about fronting up the new party in the summer. Fox says more cash is rolling in, and 10,000 people have been in touch to offer support.
As for the UKIP rump, they seem dead in the water as a brand that can win seats, but they still have nearly 50,000 largely active Party members. I doubt if one could put a rice paper between their ideas and those of Reclaim; but they would have to join an alliance and drop the existing name, which is tarnished and being rapidly left behind by European events and social change in Britain. They could offer a ready-made electoral organisation to any alliance.
When Nigel Farage formed a new movement called The Brexit Party, I warned it would damn them to single-issue peripheries that would soon date….as well as jarring with the slogan “Change British Politics for Good”: that’s highly unlike to be achieved through a fringe Party with one policy – No Deal Brexit – which, in the new economic circumstances, is less electorally appealing than it was.
I got the usual torrent of abuse at the time, but that’s effectively where they are today. Farage’s problem remains that he’s cantankerous, and wouldn’t under any circumstances be part of anything with UKIppers in it. In May of this year, there were proposals to rebrand the Brexit Party as the Reform Party, but these have so far come to nothing.
As with UKIP itself, however, it has over 100,000 activist organisers. Their best hope of joining a solid, electable Resistence to Britain’s decent into Corporacratism would be, frankly, to quietly retire Nigel. Cue another shoal of vituperative emails.
The SDP was completely reformed in 1990 but still uses the old Gang of Four logo. As a centre/centre-left movement advocating a social market economy, it has some excellent policies, balancing a commitment to enterprise and the market with support for radical tax reform, substantial increases in the council housing stock, protection of legal aid, changes to the roll out of Universal Credit and renationalising the railways as existing contracts expire. It has no elected representatives at any level. However, the no-nonsense journalist Rod Liddle has joined them….and the SDP is strongly anti the EU in general and Federalism in particular.
The next Resistance Group I bring in to the analysis is a little left-field, but I think could represent a turning point for an organisation that is currently being strung along by one cynical Administration after other – and probably represents the largest “left out” group in Britain.
The 1950s-born female State Pension victims have been the biggest casualties of UK government for over ten years now. They absolutely personify the gradual and accelerating drift of Whiteminster away from the People and towards the Fat Cats.
They have many thousands of organisers and supporters. Having been close to the cause for many years, I have been an advocate of the tougher approach to reaching their goals, made clear I think their legal challenge is a waste of time and money, and in 2017 advocated an alliance with the Brexit Party….which both sides poo-pooed. As a result, both are in limbo.
The current ‘Conservative’ administration led by Boris Johnson is in reality a hotch-potch of conflicted greed. It fulfils enough nasty credentials to the Shadow State to be tolerated, and enough national/populist/pale Green signals to a confused electorate to be slightly preferred to the (see earlier) existentially split and economically bonkers Labour Party. It is also short of money, as the Momentum-aligned TUC three days ago cut its financial support by 10%.
The present Administration became our Government through the ballot box by promising to Get Brexit Done. But its support as of today is a mere 2 in 5 of the population…more or less neck and neck with Labour.
In 1992, 77.7% of the UK population voted at General elections. By 2019, this had become 65.1%. The 35% who abstain tend to be young, white, long-term unemployed or based in a constituency where First Past the Post( FPTP) gives one Party a massive majority.
The proportion of people who trust the Government to put the needs of the nation first has fallen from 38% in 1986 to 17% in 2013. Trust in the credibility of politicians is now in single figures – 9%. A case, perhaps, of rock bottom achieved through attracting the bottom of the barrel.
Amusingly, several polls this century have suggested that if one launched an organisation called None of the Above, more people would vote for it than either “major” Party.
All this is well-known. But another difference emerging this year has been the profile and reputation of a man who identifies strongly with those who feel disenfranchised by the duopoly.
Peter Hitchens has long been the standard-bearer for ‘social conservatism’ in this country. He holds both the Tory and Labour Establishment in contempt…..but has of late become most voluble on the outrageous invasion of civil liberties (and stubbornness) that have become synonomous with BoJo’s enthusiastic Covidiots.
Like The Slog, he asserts with good reason that far more important than the split between the Left and the Right is “the deeper gulf between the restless progressive and the pessimist.” A hard Leftie in his youth, he has described himself as a “punisher of woolly thinking” *.
He is rumoured to still harbour a great deal of ambition. Three years ago he said, “The country is finished. It can’t be rescued and nobody wants to rescue it. All attempts to rescue it are like doctors gathering around a corpse and injecting it with vitamins and antibiotics. It won’t make a difference. It’s still a corpse — just a corpse with vitamins in it.”
But today, the task is a different one: finished or not, I sense that Hitchens’ desire is still that we should not spiral down into a fin de l’empire totalitarian corporacratic region answerable to blocist élites with virtue-signalling ideas of health, efficiency and planet-saving.
For be not unclear about this: from Al Gore via George Soros to Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerman, that’s the goal….a NATO-driven global hegemony offering to destroy every last opponent of Green Globalist Technocratic Government (GBTG)…..the main enemies on the list being China, Russia, the Unvaccinated and Overpopulation.
Could Hitchens be a uniting voice – a man willing to be the spokesman for an alliance aiming to break the Westminster duopoly and Reclaim reality for the common good?
Perhaps when the Sunday lunch has been digested, readers might share their feelings about this (and other) ideas designed to stop us slithering down the slope to slavery.
*One of the very few nice things the former Sunday Telegraph Mark Law ever said about me was that I am “a deconstructor of bollocks”. I prefer the word ’empiricist’ to pessimist, but its a small point really: I confess to being a great admirer of Hitchens.
John Ward is awake rather than woke