The Cottonwool Election 139

On 13 March I blogged “I can assure you the Tories are already considering how to avoid having Leaders’ Debates on television for the next general election. For Corbyn to be able to put a radical message directly to the public, and May’s deficiencies in debate to be so directly exposed, is something they will not want at all. May should be seen and not heard, is their motto.”

When I assure you of things, you should believe me. I do not use such language unless based on direct knowledge. Please revisit that entire article: I promise you it is worth reading.

In the quite extraordinary public politics of the terminal phase of the existence of the United Kingdom, the system of controlled democracy has reached its apotheosis. The media message has achieved a startling degree of unanimity. The Overton Window has become the Overton Slit.

This will be the most controlled general election ever. Never will the message have been so focussed, debate and alternatives have been so excluded. Attempts to query or challenge the Tory narrative will be ridiculed and marginalised.

Theresa May is simply not very bright, is hopeless in debate and has all the charisma of a rabid ferret. She will appear only when speaking from on high to an utterly deferential setting, as in yesterday’s general election announcement. The media’s election will consist of an unremitting barrage of propaganda continuing its xenophobic theme, based upon a few May set pieces. Expect softball interviews by Tory Kuenssberg and Nick Robinson, to give the impression of democratic challenge.

Nicola Sturgeon and yes, Jeremy Corbyn, would demolish May in debate. If any party other than the Tories was declining to take part in debate, the media would quite rightly attack them for it. Do not however expect any more than token remonstration from the broadcasters; they are far too complicit in the cottonwool packaging of May, and have too deep an investment in the Unionist project, to rock the boat. Indeed, the media will now seek to frame any debate between opposition leaders which does go ahead as a gathering of losers, a carnival of grotesques.

Any resemblance between this British general election and democracy is purely coincidental.

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139 thoughts on “The Cottonwool Election

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  • Dawn Robertson

    You have hit the nail on the head with a good clout hammer – what will come afterwards that’s my concern? Will Merrie England be no more? It’s lucky I’m Scottish and live/work in France but I do have friends in England who I’m worried about and even more to the point I’m concerned about the survival of liberal democracy for my children and my children’s children.
    We have to work with the peasants who feel disenfranchised, unemployed, uneducated and unloved while at the same time watching TV endlessly and feeling they deserve respect along with something sugary, better and well-paid.

    • RobG

      Quote: “We have to work with the peasants…”


      You say that you live in France. Watch this and tremble when you talk about ‘peasants’ (for those who don’t speak French, there should be English sub-titles on this video. If not, click on the first little icon on the right of the toolbar)…

      • michael norton

        Far-right presidential front-runner Marine Le Pen said French people felt ‘dispossessed’ in their own country as her second-in-command declared the EU flag ‘an oligarchic rag’.

        France’s Extreme-Far-Right National Front stepped up its anti-European Union rhetoric on Wednesday, days after toughening its stand against immigration, in an apparent bid to mobilise its core supporters ahead of Sunday’s presidential election.

        Le Pen stressed the threats of immigration and terrorism while her party’s number two Florian Pilippot hit out at the EU flag, which he said was a symbol of an oligarch.

        I guess it will be between Melenchon and Le Pen

        • RobG

          Le Pen has been nobbled by the overseas French territory vote scandal.

          Nevertheless, Le Pen will probably get through to the second round, against Jean Luc Mélenchon.

          I hope you got your five quid bet down.

          You can call me wrong next Sunday (first round of the French presidential election).

  • Stu

    What’s the best way to put on pressure / embarrass broadcasters into running debates (empty chair or not)?

  • Mars Aspen-Murray

    We get the government we deserve. We buy the newspapers that tell us the garbage we want to hear. Then we blame the press, the establishment, the conniving politicians, anyone but ourselves for the mess we’re in. Bollocks,the lot of it.

  • Sharp Ears

    We will be hearing and seeing this slogan until we’re sick to the back teeth.


    Snappy is it not.

    May’s battle for the North! PM hits the campaign trail in the Brexit battleground of Bolton – just hours after MPs vote overwhelmingly to back her snap election on June 8
    Theresa May has hit the campaign trail tonight in Bolton and urged voters to give her a ‘mandate to fight for Britain’. The Prime Minister made her first stump speech of the seven week campaign just hours after the House of Commons overwhelmingly endorsed June 8 as polling day. MPs voted by a massive margin of 522 to 13 to call the early election, well over the two-thirds majority needed to overcome the Fixed Term Parliaments Act – which had dictated that the next election would be in 2020. But nine Labour MPs defied Mr Corbyn to vote against the move, while dozens more joined the SNP in abstaining.

    • RobG

      Our Tory PM can’t walk the streets of Britain without heavy police protection; likewise with most senior Tory MPs.

      Jeremy Corbyn has little or no police protection and draws vast crowds.

      Any speeches May gives on the hustings will be in carefully controlled warehouse spaces in Staines, et al, with a cowered workforce.

      People, this is the moment, whatever your politics, to get rid of these total scum for once and all.

      The fate of the Earth quite literally depends on it.

      • Herbie

        “Jeremy Corbyn has little or no police protection and draws vast crowds.”

        They all used to walk around like that, even the PM, before Thatcher.

        You could walk down Downing St to No 10 unescorted.

        It was only with Thatcher that all the security porn started.

  • michael norton

    Oh Dear, Brent Crude has dropped three and a half percent today, better get them thinking caps on, Nicola

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Someone must have told Osborne he has political BO. He’s standing down as an MP…for now… until the memory fades. And to plug the Remain line as hard as he can in Lebedev’s London rag, of course.

    No undue scrutiny is expected, either of The (yes, capital T) Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, the trading name of the Tony Blair Institute (legally ought to be Ltd in the title, but isn’t) the private limited company stated by its dictator to be campaigning to overturn Brexit, and doing so via any media outlet sufficiently short of news to print its press releases. The Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act (2014) would normally require the payment of a hefty fine by a non-party organisation spending its money on campaigning while unregistered, and indeed, has done so in the case of Greenpeace. While Tony remains a member of Labour – disgracefully – he declines to campaign for it, and would presumably be immune on that count. But he’s started openly campaigning on behalf of pro-Remain candidates, and needs to register, I think.

    Apart from these two, whose combined charisma is less than that of a leprous slug, Craig need only renew his subscription to the much-maligned Guardian to find support for EU membership from luminaries of the pseudo-Left such as (Owen) Jones the Sellout and Polly Toynbee, now both waxing hysterical on the topic, as is the new female editrix, when not commissioning fashion guff and advertorials. May gets a fairly rough ride from the Graun today: indeed, John Crace, the sketchwriter, normally lightly and effectively sardonic, is in splenetic attack mode and bugger being humorous.

    So we have not yet entered Erdoğan country. Confirmation bias is still freely available for both sides of the debate.

    Talking of debate, since we are all completely aware of what the cebaters will say in advance, mostly consisting of evasions, deflections, self-promotion and dissing the other lot for their performance a decade ago, wouldn’t it be better just not to bother?
    Debates are charades, and contribute no more to genuine democracy than anything else in the establishment playlist. I’m surprised some of us care. I shall be delighted not to watch May -or anyone else – ‘debating’. It’s one of my best reasons for not having a TV.

  • Hieroglyph

    Personally, I hate TV debates. Just look at the US, they had loads of debates, and I swear not one single memorable word or thought was ever uttered. It’s all just sound-bites, positioning, outright lies, and carefully crafted responses to whatever corruption\shagging\Seth Rich taking 3 to the back of the head scandal most recently exercised the vapid-bots presenting on MSM. Couldn’t give a flying fuck myself.

    Actually, they probably didn’t ask about that last one, which might have been interesting, and thus didn’t pass the filter system.

    Nope, good debaters may not make good politicians, or even decent people, and the less of these debates the better. Though, in fairness, I wouldn’t argue for having ‘zero’ debates; that’s just weird. One is enough, with perhaps a second one to focus on Indy. Any more than that, yawn.

    I note with utter disdain that the Nu Lab war-criminals are careful to bow to Blair and all things Blair-ism, and have immediately ratted on Corbyn, like the scum they are. Well, JC will get the last word, coz most of them will lose their seats – ha ha.

    • giyane


      The Nu Labour neo-cons don’t give a “flying fuck” about social justice at home or justice in UK foreign policy and therefore imagine that they will find 6 figure employment salaries “without seats”. Nobody has explained to them that their job as MPs is to represent their constituents, as opposed to the interests of venture capitalism and neo-con Zionist NWO hegemony.

      This election will be a reality check whether the laws of animation apply to politics, or the laws of science. If they can continue to govern without needing seats and the accompanied answerability to the people – good luck to them ! We will be governed by angelic, Erdoganic, presidential decree from on high, without reference to the demos on the ground. Welcome to Tory Towers, the political Holiday Park packed with flying fuck fun.

      • Hieroglyph

        Long term, this is a good election to lose. Imagine the scenario. Labour lose a lot of seats, mostly Nu Lab drones. JC is then, due to the new numbers, able to gain control of the NEC, and reshape the party, ensuring that Nu Lab scoundrels no longer gain pre-selection. At some point, around 2019, JC can retire (he’s not young), knowing that the young bloods are, mostly, from the centre, or left factions, and the new leader likely to be a non-Blairite. Sounds good to me.

        The alternative, Labour do well, but don’t win, and all the Nu Lab knobbers are still there, causing problems. I’d vote Labour, if the candidate was a JC supporter. Otherwise, don’t care.

        I don’t rule out a JC victory, btw. Those polls are fiction, I’ve no doubt at all.

        • glenn_uk

          Any Labour candidate who asks for my vote will be asked a simple question: Are you a Corbyn supporter, or Blarite scum? If the latter, Plaid Cymru can have my vote – or more likely the Greens (since last time around, Plaid handed my vote over to the “New” Labour candidate).

          • Hieroglyph

            Are you a Corbyn supporter, or Blarite scum?

            An eminently reasonable question. They will of course have a pre-prepared pro-forma answer. Something about how Corbyn is a ‘good man’ who should be ‘given a chance’. This is Blair Scum speak for ‘I’d like to kill that stupid geography teacher, because I’m an utter drooling psychotic’. This answer isn’t the correct one.

            No, the correct answer, as you doubtless know, is something along the lines of ‘Sure, I fully support Jeremy. He’s not perfect, but we’re going in the right direction. Please check my public support for him on [FB\Twitter\Radio, etc] if you have any doubts.’ Or similar.

  • Hieroglyph

    Sorry, feel like a troll now.

    YouGov has Tories on 48%. That is utter, utter BS. I don’t for a single minute consider that even slightly close. I accept they are in the lead, but I bet it’s by < 5%.

    Corbyn for the win.

    • Sharp Ears

      It’s quietened down in the ‘medja’ today. I think election fatigue has already set in.

      The BiBiCee has even been showing film of cuddly baby animals in knitted coats to keep them warm.

  • Martin Odoni

    “Theresa May is simply not very bright, is hopeless in debate and has all the charisma of a rabid ferret.”

    Oh, now now, hang on, Craig. I wouldn’t say she has ALL the charisma of a rabid ferret. About 47%, I would say.

  • Edith Weston

    May might cut it in real life as, at best, a second-rate deputy headteacher. If exposed alongside politicians of the slightest principle and calibre in a TV debate, people would see her for what she is: a monster of terrifying proportions.

    No wonder she’s so terrified of that prospect.

      • JOML

        Interesting, Michael. Do you have the employment figures in reverse i.e. how many rUK are supported by sales in Scotland? I’ve a crazy notion that trade would continue in the event of Scottish independence. Do you think rUK would stop trade and become hostile, cutting their nose off to spite their face? That would be a very odd reaction.

        • michael norton

          No JOML, I am not an economist, nor do I work 4 the government, I have no figures of my own.

          I expect if Scotland becomes an Independent country, one day, that we most likely will trade with each other, however there will be a huge loss of jobs from The Royal Navy and shipbuilding, as no further Navy shipbuilding will be undertaken in an Independent Scotland.

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