If Michael Foot Had Facebook and Twitter 80

Online Tories are consoling themselves with two memes:

1) Michael Foot got huge crowds but lost in 1983, so Corbyn’s crowds mean nothing
2) Young people won’t turn out to vote

The parallels with 1983 have a certain validity. This is probably the first time since 1983 a genuine ideological choice has been put to the electorate in England and Wales. As a direct consequence of this, it is the first election since 1983 where the mainstream media has been effectively unanimous in extreme and naked bias against the leader of the Labour Party.

But there are important differences. An important and unexpected one is that, if we are considering crowd size, in 1983 the Tories could pull a big crowd too. Whatever her faults, and they were extreme, at least Thatcher was not a coward like May. She did open air street meetings and the passing public could get to them. Yes there were police around her, but it bore no relation to May’s constant hiding from the public. Do a google image search for “Margaret Thatcher 1983 crowds” and you will see what I mean. Thatcher could draw a crowd of supporters, without bussing them in or corralling workers in their workplace.

So yes, Foot could indeed draw crowds like Corbyn. But May cannot draw crowds like Thatcher.

I had enormous respect for Michael Foot. His book The Politics of Paradise remains one of my favourites, and I once had the chance to discuss Byron with him. What the scoffers forget is that, prior to the Falklands War, Foot held very large opinion poll leads over Thatcher, consistently for two years. It was only the fit of extreme jingoism over the Falklands War, and the “Khaki election” Thatcher opportunistically called on the back of it, that caused Foot to lose.

The Tories have tried precisely the same trick on Corbyn that they tried on Foot; using jingoism against him. Indeed Paxman even referenced the Falklands War itself in his attack on Corbyn. But the world has moved on, and this simple imperialism does not have the pull with voters it did back in 1983.

To watch the Tory and mainstream media puzzlement that these attacks have not sunk Corbyn has been one of the joys of the last month.

But of course the biggest difference between now and 1983 is the existence of new media. Foot faced a very similar hostility from mainstream media, and public meetings, leaflets and local activists pounding the streets were all that he had to combat it. But now we have all those things plus social media. The impact of this cannot be over-estimated.

An article in Today’s Guardian shows that one blog, Another Angry Voice, is reaching more people online with its articles than the Independent and the Guardian, and that the Canary was in the same league as the two mainstream outlets.

I wondered how we do on this list, so I contacted the ranking company, Kaleida, and they replied that they had only analysed the sites the Guardian had asked them to. That makes the Guardian’s ethics pretty questionable in presenting a “top 25” when they had pre-determined who they were, but let that pass. Another Angry Voice is in any event excellent and to be commended on its achievement.

As is Wings over Scotland, which today published its readership figures for May:

That is a very strong readership for effectively a one man, pro-SNP blog. Which is also a fair description of our blog, which has an even bigger readership than Wings. I downloaded the same analytics to get the exact comparable figure:

So this little blog is getting 800,000 unique viewers a month. Some individual posts have been getting 250,000 readers. You have to remember when looking at newspaper circulations that nobody reads an entire newspaper and individual articles get a fraction of the quoted total readership. That is why AAV is outdoing the Guardian and Independent in those rankings.

When you add together the efforts of Scottish Independence supporting sites like mine, Wings, Wee Ginger Dug, Bella Caledonia, Newsnet and scores of others, the readership really does run to millions. On a UK basis, if you look at Another Angry Voice, Pride’s Purge, the Canary and again scores of others, the anti-Tory forces are finally at a combined readership that genuinely can offer an alternative influence to mainstream media.

On twitter the dominance of the left is unquestioned, with Labour Eoin a whole national campaign by himself.

This campaigning combination of old fashioned flesh pressing and meetings, with a social media reaching out to millions on millions, is very potent indeed. I participated in precisely this combination of activities, and saw how it enabled us to increase support for Scottish Independence up from 28% to 45% in the course of the referendum campaign. I have now witnessed it shove back a massive Tory lead in this general election.

It is an astonishing fact that the Tory campaign has been pushed to the point of disintegration by this social activism, despite having the support of the mainstream media, to the extent it is often impossible to tell which is the “journalist” and which is the Tory politician.

If only Michael Foot had been able to fight with the weapons of social communication now at all our disposal, and the support of citizen journalists against the media billionaires.

Which of course is the answer to the second Tory meme – that the Tories will win as the young will not vote.

It is by now notorious that the difference between different opinion pollsters is down to the extent by which they allow for differing turnouts between age groups and social classes. Those still showing a substantial Tory lead, are assuming the young and the dispossessed will vote in very low numbers, as has been historically the case. Those showing Labour close to overtaking the Tories, are accepting people’s own description of their likelihood to vote.

Precisely the same factors apply in Scotland, where the Tory vote is again heavily concentrated in the older population. I strongly suspect that the much higher propensity of the elderly to vote Tory is likely to be matched by a much higher propensity of the elderly to get their information from the BBC and other mainstream media sources. I believe this is likely to be the primary cause of the truly startling age differential in voting intentions.

I exect the young and less affluent will now vote in greater numbers than usual in general elections because, for the first time in decades, there is a chance to vote for a real change that will make a positive difference to their lives. Historically they were unenthused because there was nothing to enthuse them. Only in Scotland was there a realistic chance for most people to elect somebody who was not simply a shade of Tory.

Now there is real choice and they are enthused, be it by Corbyn or by Independence, depending on location, and they will vote.

But also they will vote because they are going to get reminded to vote on social media on election day, many, many times. That is something everyone reading this has to make sure to do. It is not just our individual responsibility to vote. It is our individual responsibility to make sure that everybody votes.

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80 thoughts on “If Michael Foot Had Facebook and Twitter

1 2
  • defo

    Small point Craig, but WoS isn’t a pro-SNP blog.It’s pro-Independence. Almost, but not quite the same thing.

        • defo

          I’m glad, that’s how it was meant.
          Both you, and Mr Campbell are national treasures.
          And BTL is a fantastic source of info, a real eye opener.

          I said to a valued friend many, many moons ago that the internet might just save our ‘civilization’, and still feel that way. It could be the great unifier.
          But without those brave enough to stick their heads above the parapet…

    • reel guid

      I think it’s more accurate to say that Stu Campbell is a former liberal voter who supports independence and who advocates voting SNP as the best means to achieve it. However, he makes it clear that he is not, and has never been, an SNP member. That he does not speak for them, but in favour of them.

  • Brianfujisan

    Like The Last post yesterday.. This is Great stuff.. Many Congratulations on the Blog success.. Some great Commenters.. With so much Knowledge here Too..

    I had the Old vs young conversation with my daughter today, as my 18 year old Nephew was not much interested in voting..He got a wee lecture.

    I worry about that bit about the Internet in May’s Manifesto…Ominous

    Keep up the Great work

  • John Edwards

    I agree with most of this analysis but the main factor undermining Foot was the creation of the SDP and the consequent split in the Labour vote. I actually went to a Michael Foot rally in South London which was not that well attended. In those days it was possible to walk into the hall off the street. Corbyn rallies often have to be held outdoors due to the difficulty of finding halls big enough.

    • K Crosby

      True that, the Gang of Four did more damage than the Falklands crime. I’m rather curious about the fascist wing of the Liarbour Partei and its relative silence. Are they preparing a surprise split if Liarbour wins or if the Tories (Official) don’t get a majority of seats (as far as any partei contesting fascist FPTP elections can be said to have been voted into anything).

      • sentinel

        I am pleased for Jeremy Corbyn on a personal level; he had to put up with all that nonsense from a block of Labour MPs in 2015/6(?) plus the expected anti-Corbyn bias of the MSM. However, despite Labour doing well in the opinion polls, I don’t think Labour will ever again win a working majority in the HoC because they have lost Scotland (50+ HoC seats).

        The vista of a coalition or even a confidence and supply arrangement with the SNP during the final days of the 2015 GE led to a sufficient number of English LibDem + Labour supporters switching to the Tories to give Cameron his unexpected majority. I suspect the same will happen again this time and Labour fall back 2-3%.

        It seems unlikely that the Greens (mission almost accomplished) or LibDems (tuition fees + social care cock-ups) will ever be in a position to form a government so there needs to be another political party. Remember the majority of people that joined the SDP had never been members of a political party. But it will also need some centre-right Labour supporters (but not the authoritarian kind such as Blunkett), disenchanted Pro-EU conservatives and (once the bandwagon is underway) most of the LibDems.

        • Ultraviolet

          I can’t help but wonder about a situation where May falls a few seats short of a majority. Will a block of Blairite MPs break away to prop her up? Given that they have attacked Corbyn far more than they have attacked the Tories over the past couple of years, it is easy to imagine they would prefer May as PM. But having said that, one of the most powerful driving forces has been opposition to Brexit, so how could they suddenly decide to support an MP dedicated to hard Brexit?

          Not that extreme hypocrisy has ever been a problem for them.

          • K Crosby

            If Liarbour does a deal with the Shinners, I’ll laugh my head off. Gerry Adams, North of Ireland Secretary, COME ON DOWN!

        • Flaminius

          Absolutely spot on, Sentinel. Next week, if polls continue to narrow, will be all Coalition of Chaos — Campaign Fear mark 25.

  • John Goss

    First of all I think you have two or three blogposts in this one, each valid in its own way. Yes, there is a good comparison between Michael Foot’s campaign and the difference today with social media. Yes, Theresa May, who was never elected, is demonstrating why she should never be elected. I hope there will not be a war to save her. And more.

    “I expect the young and less affluent will now vote in greater numbers than usual in general elections because, for the first time in decades, there is a chance to vote for a real change that will make a positive difference to their lives. Historically they were unenthused because there was nothing to enthuse them. Only in Scotland was there a realistic chance for most people to elect somebody who was not simply a shade of Tory.”

    I so agree with this. In my family are two people just finishing degrees. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour team has committed to cancel the university student debts (which were introduced by Blair’s policy of more universities places paid for by students). You think these students are going to want to pay for an education they are entitled to for free? Most exams (if not all) are over this week. I expect to see even more students pushing their peer group to vote Corbyn.

    However there was no need for the Tories to call an election with such a large majority. My suspicion is that May knows she (or any other negotiator of Brexit) cannot get a good deal for the UK. The simple reason is if the remaining EU countries were to allow the UK favourable terms all other countries would consider divorce. Although the stupid Cameron got us into ‘another fine mess’ by calling a referendum nobody can get us out of it. So they think Corbyn will take the rap for their stupidity. I hope it buries the Tory party once and for all.

    The bankers probably think they can bring down Corbyn’s government by taking their cash elsewhere in the world. But the future preime minister has proposed a People’s bank. I really look forward to this. I envisage new lamps for old. The genie is waiting to emerge. Yes.

    • Johnny boy

      I thin the EU could deal quite fairly in negotiations, especially now the french have rejected LePen and therefore any chance of leaving soon. It is in their interests to have a strong UK as trading partner as well as political entity.

      Their choice would be Corbyn or May? Who would get the better deal purely on grounds of governing the country to their liking?

      • John Goss

        I partly agree. The big problem is the moneymongers would not want to see a strong UK (or whatever it becomes) under Jeremy Corbyn. There may be interesting days ahead.

  • Merkin Scot

    Spot on, Craig. Let’s cut to the chase and get out there and do the business. I spoke with a very good friend of mine who is very intelligent and, generally, politically aware. I had to remind him that this is not a Presidential election. At the end of the day Corbyn is still a Red Tory and does not have any interest in Scotland – Kesia Dugdale’s position shows that in spades.

    • Shatnersrug

      Jeremy corbyn is not a red Tory. I’m not sure why that was deleted. But there it’s back now.

    • Xavi

      Just take a cursory glance at Corbyn’s long political career: he’s further to the left than any Scottish politician except George Galloway and Tommy Sheridan.

  • Jiusito

    Craig, I’m not sure you can add the readerships of AAV, Pride’s Purge, your blog and the Canary together. Lots of people read all four, as I do (tho I bother less and less with the Canary because it is so intemperate). By contrast, surely, most people who buy a newspaper buy only one title.

    • John Goss

      Jiusito, I try to keep my eye on all the alternative media. But I watch too for changes. I suspect many alternatives get bought up by those with the money to do so. On a more mainstream theme George Osborne (Gideon) is editor now of the Evening Standard. And he will be attending the US Bilderberg summit.

    • Ultraviolet

      Jiusito, that was exactly my thought as well when I read that. I do the same as you, and share your view about the Canary.

      That’s not to say that the social media figures are not impressive and influential. But we need to be careful not to get too carried away.

    • Wolsto

      The Canary is so shrill and tabloid I struggle to trust it as a news source.

  • Ruth

    People need to be aware that there’s a major flaw in the system in which marginal seats could be rigged.. Postal votes are just mixed in with the ballot slips from the polling stations. They aren’t counted separately so there’s no check to see if they tally with the main votes.

    The procedure for making sure postal votes actually come from the voters is fine, quite thorough. Rigid checks are carried out by councils into the validity of the votes. However, after this is done, the actual ballot slips in their envelopes are put into large boxes ready to be taken to the counting centre on election day. There they are counted to check that the exact number of votes registered at the council offices matches the number of votes. The envelopes are opened and the ballot slips are mixed with the polling station slips.

    If a government was so-minded/desperate for a certain result, surely it would be very simple to get its agents to enter council offices overnight and swap boxes making sure that the total number of votes correspond to the number of council registrations of the postal votes sometime before election day. Postal votes make up about 20% of the vote. If this 20% were manipulated the outcome of many marginal seats would be affected. To help make the public believe the outcome of the election opinion polls need to be manipulated which isn’t so difficult as they are very often carried out by companies with government/Establishment links.

    If postal votes were counted separately, this would eliminate any potential major rigging as their result would be expected to match more or less the polling station votes..As it’s too late to change this now, there must be independent exit polls in marginal seats. Exit polls give a very accurate indication of how the public voted.

    • John Goss

      Thank you for that information Ruth. I spoke to a man on his doorstep yesterday who in the absence of a Communist canidate has already voted by postal vote.

    • glenn

      Ruth – I saw this happen with my own eyes, and was pretty shocked by it. There is not even the possibility of envigilators such as myself at the vote count to detect any funny business going on, because the painstaking job of mixing together postal and ballot box papers means that votes are deliberately and absolutely rendered indistinguishable.

      As to why this is done, as a matter of policy, is something to which I have received no answer. Nor any reply to the obvious point about distinguishing between these voting methods to highlight and counter ballot-stuffing.

      • Ruth

        I think it’s a deliberate strategy left by the Establishment to secure the election in their favour when need be

    • Loony

      It is not a flaw it is policy.

      A Judge has opined that the system of postal voting is open to fraud on an industrial scale and that the system is unviable


      Nothing has been done to prevent such fraud. The government itself concluded that nothing has been done to clamp down on fraud for fear of upsetting Muslim voters


      Don’t it make you feel ashamed to live in a land where justice is a game

      • Ruth

        What I’ve described has nothing to do with Muslim or other voters. This is rigging the vote on a massive scale. The ballot boxes containing the processed postal votes have hundreds of voting slips. All you have to do is exchange boxes overnight in council offices – not a particulary difficult job for our intelligence services.

        • Tom

          The ‘Muslim voters’ issue is a diversionary tactic by the government so people think they are taking the issue seriously, while in fact the government itself could be behind the rigging.

          • defo

            Ask Craigs friend J Straw. He was up to his curry scented neck in it in Blackburn.
            It effing well is a Muslim issue. The Imams set the agenda, for favours returned obvs, the patriarchs then make damn well sure that the family vote en block.
            Fuck all racist about calling a spade a spade.
            It’s how it is.
            Is it racist, or ageist mibbees to point out how the same party harvest the old folks homes votes ?

        • Loony

          What you have described is a theoretical process with no evidence that this process has ever been used to rig elections.

          What I have described are the results of Judicial investigation which has reached conclusions based on evidence.

          Is there some reason why you wish to introduce theoretical abuses in order to divert from the existence of evidence based actual abuses?

    • Rob Royston

      As a voter who works abroad on rotations, I sometimes find that the postal vote system often makes it almost impossible to get my vote in. I have had my voting papers sent by my family to workmates who have hand carried them to me. I have then trusted other workmates to post my voting envelopes when they get back to the UK.
      When I am at home I sometimes just take my envelopes to the poling booth and hand them in there on polling day as I feel that there is less chance of interference than having them sitting in boxes in council offices where they are open to fraudulent activity.
      Why can’t I register with an email address where my voting slip can be sent. I could have set up a Pin number on registering that would activate the voting document that I complete and send back.
      I exchange emails at work, I order stuff on-line, but I never require a signature as there are other ways of identifying that I am genuine.
      Why is voting not allowed in a similar secure method?

  • Jo

    More irony. One brave young man just did a piece on This Week re media bias towards Corbyn. Once in the studio Ed Balls actually kept his face straight when claiming the BBC, as an independent broadcaster, helped to combat the bias in the newspaper industry! Yes, he actually said that!

    • Xavi

      Balls just looking out for further ‘celebrity’ gigs for himself on the beeb. Very sad.

  • Alan McMahon

    Thank you for that reminder Craig of the circumstances that surrounded Michael Foot’s much and most unfairly derided defeat. Funny how it all comes flooding back; almost above all that stupefying outbreak of jingoism that the Tories and Thatcher managed to engender in the British public north and south of the Tweed. One last hurrah, you might have thought, for British imperial might. Or maybe not. That could be shaping up to be the Brexit, when what remains of the British of empire stamp puts itself once and for all to the test against an adversary of considerably more substance than the meagre resources and political expediency of General Galtieri.

    That of course is not the only parallel with today. When I read the mealy-mouthed backtracking of the Guardian’s house journalists – people like Jonathan Freedland and, even more pertinent, Polly Toynbee, I think on the perennial betrayal of Labour’s own right wing; their ever-readiness to jump ship in their own selfish unannounced interests. Toynbee, oddly tolerated for decades by the Labour party, was of course a key figure in the SDP breakaway that consolidated Thatcher’s victory and heralded what has become nearly 40 years of neoliberal hegemony and dismantling of all but a fraction of the post-war settlement.

    Your point about the new technology and the plethora of channels of access to non-fake (and fake, of course) news is well made. Happily, the distinction tends to advertise itself to all by the least endowed of seekers of information. The young are at home with getting their news and opinions in this way, and they seem to love it. Its capacity to expose mainstream media’s distortions presents a break against the kind of bushfires spread by those MSM outlets still seducing politician like Amber Rudd into making such ludicrous claims as the Tories reputation standing on its record. We are seeing delivered such delicious Ceausescu moments. May we continue to witness them. And feel the air leave our lungs in relief that the public seems finally beginning to twig.

    • kathy

      I don’t recall there being much jingoism in Scotland at that time. In fact, friends of mine on a visit to London were shocked by the jingoism there and were thrown out of a London pub for refusing to sing “Land of Hope and Glory”!

    • Jim

      It’s almost as damning as the five hours of election night coverage Franz K posted as evidence last year. Nothing could beat that though. I’m tempted to start a petition.

    • glenn

      They get away with it because the hard-core reicht still screech “Left-wing bias!” at the BBC at every opportunity, which gives lazy PR hacks at the BBC the chance to trot out that tired old line of “If we’re annoying both sides…” etc. etc., giving that lie of impartiality.

      What was that line by the Dead Kennedy’s? “… In ten years or so we’ll leak the truth… but by then, it’s only so much paper.”

      With so many Tory grandees, hacks and stooges at both the executive and the business end of the BBC now, the idea that it’s broadcasting on behalf of the British public instead of the Tory party is a miserable joke. The only funny part, I suppose, is that some of them convince themselves that being a Tory stooge is acting in the best interests of the country, rather than working for the rich, greedy and selfish, which is actually the case.

      • Jim

        Kuenssberg’s got to be the worst though, I mean it’s just so blatant. No sane person could watch that and think anything other than that she’s half in love with May. It’s enough to make you puke. We’re living in a fascist state.

  • Kempe

    ” When you add together the efforts of Scottish Independence supporting sites like mine, Wings, Wee Ginger Dug, Bella Caledonia, Newsnet and scores of others, the readership really does run to millions. ”

    Err, how can you be sure it’s not the same 800,000 or so people viewing each site? Are they all in the UK?

    Viewers are not always supporters. How many here look in on the Daily Mail site from time to time?

      • fred

        I have, I visited one of them today because someone posted a link to it from here so I visited then it then debunked it.

        • glenn

          Great stuff Fred, so you’re not a regular visitor to all of them like Kempe was implying. Thanks for providing an extra data point.

          • defo

            No time left to visit them, he’s too busy fighting a lost cause here. 🙂

  • Loony

    Ah yes Michael Foot a man, who had he been elected, would likely have been supportive of British deep mined coal. A man who was supportive of the 1984-5 Miners strike.

    Consider now the people trying to somehow inveigle the memory of Micheal Foot to the current Labour Party. Ask yourselves how many Corbyn supporters will also be disappointed or alarmed that Trump has just just withdrawn the US from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Next ask how a viable British coal mining industry would be compatible with this Agreement.

    When you have answered these questions you will conclude that Michael Foot held views that were radically different to most of those who claim lineage as between Corbyn and Foot.

    Foot was for the working classes – they no longer exist and so no longer need representation. Those that Foot tried to represent were willing to also fight for themselves. Those that Corbyn seeks to represent are willing to do nothing beyond proclaim themselves as victims.

    • Dave

      I agree, and Jeremy knows its a climate scam because he would have been told about it by his brother Pier’s who held an alternative Paris conference debunking the obvious hoax. Once coal miners were the vanguard of the working class, now they’re deemed enemies of the plant!

      • Wolsto

        You see, it posts like this “climate change is a hoax” nonsense which mean blogs like this will never get the gravitas and acclaim of mainstream newspapers and other forms of press. For all that they stay within a narrow band of discourse, they do have at least a few fingers clinging to reality. I think Craig is an excellent political commentator, and I agree with most of what he writes outside of Scottish independence, but I struggle to recommend the blog to friends due to some of the content below the line. There’s a fair bet than x thousand of the individual views an article here attracts will be people getting a laugh from the pizza satanist steel girder melting climate hoax comments.

        • J Galt

          You forgot to mention Tinfoil Hats Wolsto old bean.

          Essential equipment for those of us who choose not to believe everything we’re told to.

          I wear mine with pride.

    • Johnny boy

      I misread this comment earlier, I thought you were being witty and satirical, but no. You are Paul Nuttal not Al Murray.

  • Hieroglyph

    I’m awaiting an ‘October Surprise’ from the Nu Lab scum. They learned their lesson about being too blatant, and seem content to chip away slowly. However, it’s crunch time. Corbyn has a chance of being PM, and they aren’t paid to allow that. So, expect a late surprise, probably from Watson and Jess Phillips. The nature of this surprise I know not, but knowing Phillips, it’ll be dumb and unscrupulous.

    Mind, they are kinda out of ammo now. Short of accusing him of having sex with a donkey, I don’t know what they’ve got left. Probably anti-semitism, I guess.

    • K Crosby

      That always comes in handy, no-one gets criticised by analogy to T4 and its murder rampage through hospitals and residential homes in the 30s. Scratch a zeddist and you can see the fascist uniform underneath.

    • Manda

      The anti-Semitism in Labour smear is raising it’s head via Newmark and Streeting today.

      CCHQ is also apparently editing Corbyn’s words to smear him in their online campaign. https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/870669735263961088

      Problem is Tories and neoliberals in Labour candidates are mainly stuck with recycling tired old smear attempts, their effect is wearing thin amongst many but real diehards it seems. I am sure this is just the beginning of a big smear campaign… it was to be expected if Corbyn’s campaign did well, hopefully they are prepared for much of what is to come.

  • Resident Dissident

    “What the scoffers forget is that, prior to the Falklands War, Foot held very large opinion poll leads over Thatcher, consistently for two years. It was only the fit of extreme jingoism over the Falklands War, and the “Khaki election” Thatcher opportunistically called on the back of it, that caused Foot to lose. ”

    As pointed out before this is just not true – the poll leads had gone before the Falklands War.


  • Dave

    Tuition fees (graduation tax) like PFI were introduced as part of the mickey-mouse accounting to get UK into the Euro-currency. Now following Brexit they can be abolished and the debt written off. And the reason this is possible is because the fees were mostly not being paid, because students couldn’t afford to and because it was administratively too expense to collect. But under mickey-mouse accounting it was officially deemed private not public debt, hence officially keeping within the Euro-rules.

  • Matt B

    Craig, the only problem is that the 480,000 who read Wings will be part of the 800,000 who read this blog, who will also make up part of the AAV readership etc etc. A huge bubble is still a bubble nonetheless, it’s like the build-up to 2014 and the 2015 election all over again.

  • Ishmael

    Maybe, but that’s for them to decide.

    Myself I hope this is part of a sea change where people realise what’s going on more and take action in their lives. This may result in lots of voting, but many things I think primarily more important no matter who is in office. The youth have great potential power. It hurts me to think of the betrayal by all those mainstream media outlets. How they have lost all sense of making a better country. Or caring.

    I realise reading some comments that I don’t belong here. Most are very traditional political animals with very particular ideas about politics. Im glad to say though I’m no longer that young I’m still youthful enough to say sod people who would lecture they young about voting like it’s some civic duty. If this is the idea people get about what power is it’s more like a straight jacket. An acquiescence to given systems and I would not expect much ongoing political enthusiasm as a result. There is nothing fun about it either. It’s a degrading act that may sometimes be useful, but yea.

    Who do we have to thank for a lot of this political upsurge ? They are not the results of voting but of occupy and similar movements. I say don’t be captured by traditional politics, And though I distinguish between the independence capture of youth and JC’s it is principally the same. And people should not EVER let these events stop us. When they don’t go a good way It crushes all those hopes, practically forced into them by the older generation in this corrupt system.

    What is imo far more important to nurture in the fount of creativity, imagination. And invest hopes in ourselves that can’t be snuffed out. That we can live lives that are fun and political, not just when elections come around. This is not politics imo. Its more political to think afresh and do what people really want. To try and live out the lives as we dream them.

    This is what got me about occupy. It was said that it did not take “political form”…. it did/was and with radical consequences on traditional political forms. They were/are afraid of that freedom. It’s clear what they fear most, what shakes society up most, is that idea we can do something ourselves, that we don’t need them.

    I want to be part of something (am) that can’t have it’s back broken on the torture device of elections, exposing the worst aspects of human perversion as they do. It all very well for people here to pontifacte but I suspect few have been part of something mildly radical. As it’s all about so called big power. Your may be interested in the little things that go on, but your not part of them because you’d rather capture it, use it “for their good”. But imo you’d be better off laying it down and getting exclusively involved in some small thing that would make you obscure to all traditional imaginings of where power is. But in that small thing you’d be doing something that actually mattered to you personally. And a million of those drops is a storm.

    This is indeed my mistake. Or miss-step. As if it isn’t well demonstrated to myself that after all the efforts to compromise it’s still feels I’m morally forced to be part of this monster I don’t really enjoy or believe in. Id rather paint fish on small rocks by the river. Or materialise things or events that don’t exist. And what of consequences? I won’t be shaking the foundations of society? Not by myself, but the point is doing something we as individuals really want to see or believe in is extremely powerful.

    Politicians are quite dead people in this respect, why are they never creative ? Because they never do look to themselves believing power to be what they do. So never write great music, create a fantastic work of art that inspires a generation. Never really happens does it? I think to help make real tangible change this “power” must be set down. It’s hard when so much is going on, it makes you want to try and help in a “bigger” way. And we can imo. But what it actually demands is primarily not go out and vote. It’s dream and live every day. To do what joys you, expresses sadness, whatever. To fill up that parts that makes life liveable, and make that the main part.

    One thing I do know is focusing on all this necessary to take part in your dam “power” has emptied me. How can an empty shell absorbed in this horror fest do anything.. Really? And where told the MAIN important …duty? Is to knock a vote in one direction or the other (as if anon does that)… and now, right now is so important. ?

    I suspect it’s always been like this in essence, advocated by those blinkered enough in the system to believe this is how change happens. No. What we see is a result of forces that we neglect at our real peril.

  • David Murdoch

    Craig, I have been reading your pithy and insightful comments for only a few months now and greatly appreciate them. I thought the first independence ref a joke as the economic numbers were beyond rational consideration (mostly due to an apparent fixation on he North Sea). That situation is now greatly changed and an educated, open minded and enthusiastic independent (in Europe) Scotland is a very valid and tangible idea.

    These viewing stats are remarkable. Very well done and please continue.

    Also feel free to not display this as it adds nothing to the debate.

  • Clydebuilt

    Never mind Twitter or Facebook…… Old Footy needed a stylist, those cardies and that haircut ruled him out from the start.

  • Clydebuilt

    T-shirt slogan for the last week of this election.

    “If you are young and don’t vote, you’re letting pensioners do your voting for you!”

  • Jo

    O/T I know but I’m still chuckling at Andrew Neil’s meltdown during his Farron interview last night. I thought he was going to seize him by the throat to get him to stop talking! Neil was so rattled he even referred to the experience at the end of This Week five hours later. I’m not sure Farron was that interesting but his antics were certainly entertaining when Neil was losing the plot with him.

  • m boyd

    Craig, i just typed in Margaret Thatcher Crowds and it showed crowds celebrating her death in Brixton? Is that what you meant?

  • Republicofscotland

    ” I had enormous respect for Michael Foot. His book The Politics of Paradise remains one of my favourites, and I once had the chance to discuss Byron with him.”


    The media gave Michael Foot a hard time of it, they even claimed he wore a Donkey jacket in 1981, at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. Of course Mr Foot didn’t wear a Donkey jacket, according to Michael Foot’s biographer Lord Morgan, but the damage had been done by the media.

    As for Byron, this sticks in my mind regarding him. That female admirers would send locks of hair to him in his fan mail. Byron, would return the favour, by sending locks of hair in letters back to his female admirers. However the locks of hair were clipped from his dog Boatswain, and not from Byron’s own head.

  • J Galt

    The Tories do seem to be suffering from a run of Bad Luck.

    It makes you wonder what other bits of “Bad Luck” they have planned.

  • Brus MacGallah

    Craig, do not forget the formation of the SDP, setup by the very same people who here openly taking CIA money in the early sixities to overturn the uni-lateral nuclear disarmament position adopted by the Labour Party.

  • Tom

    Like so much in the media now, May is a fake. She is packaged as something good and authentic while being the opposite.

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