A Very Difficult Night 299

Quite possibly the most ungracious speech I have ever heard from Michael Gove. So much for uniting the country. Five years of vicious triumphalism and denigrating opposition loom.
The SNP vote share in Scotland is just higher than the Tory vote share in the UK. So if Johnson has just been given a resounding mandate for Brexit, then the SNP has just been given a resounding mandate for Independence.
Banff and Buchan was the constituency held by the Tories which means Johnson is now definitely over the line with a majority. One thing I can absolutely guarantee is that the duped fishing communities will be sold down the river completely when serious negotiations with the EU on trade get going next year.
I normally manage to find some sympathy for MPs who have lost their job, on a purely personal level. But it is hard to believe that their Tory replacements can actually be worse than Caroline Flint and Ruth Smeeth.
Astonishingly, after results from all kinds of Scottish constituencies, the SNP is currently at over 50% of the popular vote itself. With the news from North Belfast, it looks like Boris has got his Brexit and lost the Union. This is vital; the break up of the UK is the only way to break the weird imperialist delusion that feeds this extreme English nationalism.
The BBC, in case anyone isn’t feeling bad enough about Boris Johnson’s triumph, now bring out war criminal Alastair Campbell to lecture us.
Seeing the back of the inane Kirstene Hair in Angus was particularly welcome. Putney was cheerful and gave hope for Uxbridge. In Scotland the SNP getting swings of about 5% from both Unionist parties.

It is hard to doubt the basic accuracy of that exit poll now the Conservatives have taken the Blyth Valley. If the Conservatives sweep to power in England, then we have to move very early – and I mean within weeks – on Scottish Independence.

I am extremely sorry for all my friends in England who have no such escape route from the Conservative Party. I am much more impacted by this result than I have ever been before, because it brings a still more right wing Conservative Party to untrammeled power, and because I genuinely feel the electorate which has swung are fueled by anti-immigrant racism. I am not vehemently opposed to Brexit itself, funnily enough, but the ending of freedom of movement and single market access I view as crazed xenophobia.

I am also unhappy with the campaign itself, which seemed to take media bias to new levels in ways I have documented, particularly from the BBC. We saw the same in 2014, and the entire experience has been a reminder of how difficult to fight any new independence referendum will be.

If the SNP takes 50 seats in Scotland I shall be delighted. Scotland is of course a Remain area. I am for the next glass of Lagavulin clinging to the idea that Remain leaning areas in England may cause trouble for the Tories too.

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299 thoughts on “A Very Difficult Night

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  • M.J.

    THe SNP got 48 seats, so at least you can be “almost” delighted!
    Even though Labour got decimated in constituencies with leaver majorities. I remember thinking, when Theresa May’s deal was repeatedly rejected, that a lot of Labour MPs could lose their heads over it -for not carrying out their promise to their constituents to implement Brexit. That seems to be exactly what happend.
    I’m glad I voted Lib Dem, even though they didn’t win where I am (though I believe they did a bit better overall) because if I had gone for Labour, I’d probably be feeling worse. Jo Swinson has my sympathy – she miscalculated and went the way that so many Labour MPs did, because of Brexit. Of course fighting the SNP in Scotland at this time was never going to be easy.

  • Republicofscotland

    Great result for the SNP, England and Scotland are moving in two different directions. The SNP must now concentrate on delivering independence.

    • Mr V

      Great result? Way too many scottish idiots voted tory, the number of tory seats up north gives strawhead the perfect excuse to ignore anything else that happened and switch the propaganda machine to make SNP “antisemitic” and “anti-NATO” next…

  • Clark

    Democracy is fundamentally broken – by the media.

    Would I rather the children roast in or out of the EU?

  • Mrs Pau!

    Sorry everyone but I do not see how Scotland will achieve increased political and financial independence as a separate country within the EU. Surely it will become just another small country EU member, subject to fiat from Brussels, and without the benefit of the Barnett formula subsidies.

    • Mr V

      You wot? Ireland, small country the size of Scotland, went from poor, backward state 50 years behind continental Europe to one of its richest members, precisely thanks to EU funds and access to all EU markets and institutions. Educate yourself, please…

      • Mr Shigemitsu

        Ireland’s appearance of economic success is largely due to being a low-tax regime for multinationals’ headquartering.

        Compare its GDP with its GNP to see the real effects of this policy.

        In addition, much as in huge swathes of Southern and Eastern Europe, one of its main exports is that of its unemployed, which further improves the appearance of economic rosiness.

        • Nick

          @Mr shigemitsu
          Precisely. The youth unemployment is horrendous. Many families torn apart as mothers and fathers watch their progeny leave for distant lands…never to return.

        • Mr V

          Granted, the tax parasitism is bad, but still, they are in vastly better situation than they were pre-EU, a failing, half-theocratic state with little to offer the world. Ireland is now much better placed to transition to modern economy than it ever was.

          And export is that of its unemployed? What? If that was even remotely true, there wouldn’t be so many people coming to Ireland to work there. And the situation will only improve for Ireland (and independent Scotland) as they will be now the main English speaking areas of the EU…

    • Bramble

      Better a small independent country which is part of the EU than a left behind outgrowth of small, struggling county which is totally dependent on the USA.

    • Karen Wallace

      The Barnett formula is a mechanism whereby a proportion of the equivalent spend in England is RETURNED to Scotland from the income it sends to Westminster in the first place. e.g Money for the NHS. There is no subsidy!!! Please stop perpetuating this notion.

  • Keith Alan

    Looks like the British people do not want a communist pro EU government after all. It seems that they have kicked out a very large number of Remainer MPs. The cold hard reality may now, at last, seep into Remainer heads. We want out of the EU because it is undemocratic, socialist, elitist and very, very bad for Britain. Scotland is deluded enough to vote for the SNP, fine. I say good luck to them and how are they going to pay for the border wall Brussels will demand as proof of their allegiance? Do they think Brussels will even take them on? A lot of nasty surprises have come and even more to follow I suspect.

    • Mrs Pau!

      The EU is socialist? In your dreams. The opposite – It is increasingly driven by neo Liberal policies.

      • Laguerre

        If the EU is neo-liberal, as you claim, then it can’t be dictatorial, as you claim at other times. Logically inconsistent.

        • Mrs Pau!

          Brussels imposes neo Liberal lPolicies on member States and is unaccountable in many areas e.g Council of finance ministers. Widespread corruption in Cap subsidies which increasingly benefit wealthy and politicians

          • Laguerre

            “Brussels imposes neo Liberal lPolicies on member States”

            Like many Brexiters, you have little idea how the EU actually works, it really doesn’t in practice. In any case why criticise an institution like that, which is far more democratic than the Britain you live in. I haven’t seen you criticising the lack of democracy in Britain.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            In 2012, Mario Draghi, in an interview with the WSJ, declared that the Social Chapter was “dead”.

            The EU’s neoliberal, free-market, pro-austerity bias is evident in its treaties.

            There is nothing remotely socialistic about the free movement of capital, people, goods, and services. These are all pro-business interests, and the cross-border mobility of workers and money facilitates that.

            The fact that woolly liberals choose to frame that exploitation as welcoming in and being nice to foreigners masks the ruthless intentions behind the so called “four freedoms”.

            Funny how when Tebbit told everyone to get on their bikes to find work, lefties and liberals were appalled, but when the EU effectively say the same thing, it’s all framed as international brotherly and sisterly love.

            Exporting the unemployed is not any sort of left-wing policy, yet it’s endemic within the EU.

            Most people just want a job near where they grew up, and prefer not to have their wages undercut.

      • Mighty Drunken

        The EU is more socialist than the governments of the UK over the last 40 years and less neo-liberal. With Brexit the UK is likely to align even more with the USA, the big daddy of neo-liberalism and socialism hater.

      • Mary

        I agree. How strange that a woman trained as a physician to heal and to do no harm, and a mother of seven children, performed as Minister of Defence in Merkel’s government, upping the establishment and procurement of weaponry for the Bundeswehr. Surely she is conflicted.

        She has been embedded in the neoliberal EU set up ere long and recently replaced Juncker as President of the Commission. How lovely for her.

        Read on. She’s in the World Economic Forum set up too as a member of the Board of Trustees. Of course.

  • Mrs Pau!

    Sorry everyone but I do not see how Scotland will achieve increased political and financial independence as a separate country within the EU. Surely it will become just another small country EU member, subject to fiat from Brussels, and without the benefit of the Barnett formula subsidies.

    I mean I support Scotlands desire for independence but am cynical it can be achieved within the context of an increasingly neoliberal EU run from Brussels.

    • MBC

      Instead of remaining another large and ignored county of England?

      We would be better with a Norway deal, it would liberate us from Common Fisheries and Common Agricultural policies and we would thrive the minute we have our own treasury and full fiscal powers.

  • Leif Sachs

    As long as the Scots keep voting SNP instead of Labour, the Tories will remain in power. With demographics and the unfair FPTP system remaining as they are, it looks like that’s going to be a very long time indeed. And as long as the Tories remain in power, the Scots will never be granted Indyref2. The net result is that not only do Scots seeking independence lose, but British progressivism as a whole loses.

    • Why?

      Utter nonsense. 55 Scottish Labour MPs would not have changed the power demographic at Westminster. The UK gets what England votes for almost consistently at every general election, and they vote Tory. And as for progressivism, Corbyn’s Labour were trying to enact policies that the SNP already have implemented in Scotland. And how would 55 Scottish Labout MPs help an indyref2 case. Your whole post is such BS.

  • Hatuey

    The big losers last night were Iranians and possibly the Chinese. Brexit is an aggressive form of English nationalism and the only way to feed that monster is to attack other countries. History has taught us that lesson a thousand times.

    Anyway, I digress. I came here to offer my congratulations to the small-minded racists of England who finally have the leader they always wanted. England basically voted for the National Front yesterday and gave them a landslide victory.

    The English/British MSM is a disgrace and is dangerous but, as with English politics, it seems to be representative.

    • Laguerre

      I don’t think either Iran or China is attackable. One of the conditions of NeoCon style aggression is that the victim is too weak to cause damage to the attacker. That’s true of neither. Attacking one or the other is very risky.

      • Hatuey

        Yes, I’m familiar with that theory and it holds generally in normal circumstances. Aggressive nationalism isn’t normal though. It always leads to outward lunges and war. There’s good reasons for that, it’s sort of structural, but I won’t bore you with the details.

        Anyway, you can find plenty of examples in history.

        • Laguerre

          It’s not a theory. Neither Trump nor Johnson could launch a war that led to substantial British or American casualties, because their electoral support wouldn’t tolerate it. The US, although still in Afghanistan, hardly leaves its bases any more, even though the Taliban have no substantial weapons. Both Iran and China have very substantial weapons.

          • Hatuey

            Laguerre, everything is a theory when you get right into it. Even the theory that everything’s a theory… outside of mathematics, nothing is certain.

            If you look even at the post-War period, there are plenty of examples of your theory failing, in the balkans, Argentina, and even the US.

            The core problem is that it’s based on assumptions regarding what other countries will do, so that you might presume minimal casualties in a war against say Uzbekistan — satisfying your requirement do avoid body abs as far as the home audience is concerned — but fail to predict the reaction to your aggression by say Russia or whoever.

            Funnily enough, when Japan raped Nanking and hammered south east Asia, the generals in Tokyo expressed the same sort of argument you are supporting — keep the wars short and sweet with minimal casualties, etc. Hitler was famously the same — blitzkrieg was about moving fast and avoiding drawn out conflicts and casualties.

            These were huge miscalculations of the sort I’m talking about.

            It’s inevitable that the US, Israel, and now Britain will just push it too far one of these days.

            Nobody woke up at any point in history and thought “let’s have a massive bloody global war that results in millions of our own people dying”. These big wars all have the sort of calculations and miscalculations that you are making amongst their root causes. Every one.

        • Nick

          The parallels with 30’s Germany are stark
          Orwell’s constant state of war is the only way it can happen.

    • Antonym

      Yeah, nationalism is OK for Scotland, China, Iran, Pakistan, Palestine, anybody but NOT for the UK (or Israel or India.)

      The biggest racists, misogynists & pedophiles in the UK were members of the “Asian” “grooming” “rings”. I could translate that in plain English but the Mods here might get upset. They were not National Front voters.

      • Hatuey

        I’m not sure the biggest but big enough. I am trying to fathom the idea that the National Front is a natural remedy or response to grooming, though. There’s a leap there that defies my understanding.

        As for Scottish nationalism, I think it sounds like a bad idea, but maybe we could try it some day. Once we achieve national liberation, we can consider it.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I voted Labour last time. I did not vote this time, because the democratic will of the people had been ignored for over 3 years. Despite this I was saddenned, when I heard the exit poll at 10pm last night, and went to bed.

    It was however a win for Democracy. Most people are not that politically motivated, but what they can’t stand is Betrayal. The Lib Dems suffered the same fate after 2012, because they reversed All their promises and principles, when they came to a power sharing agreement with The Tories. From that point onwards I refused to vote Lib Dem again, for that very reason. I can’t stand betrayal either.

    Ian Lavery who lost his Labour seat explains the situation precisely.

    “It’s Brexit’: Ian Lavery blames second referendum offer for Labour losses”



    • Giyane


      Yes the BBc rapidly want Labour’s losses not to be about Brexit so that they can blame Corbyn’s socialism. Corbyn and McDonnell between them have always failed to understand that people hate immigrants being dumped on their cheaper housing by Westminster while they themselves no longer work in factories organised by unions, but have to embrace the modern world.

      They should have both resigned long ago and allowed people in who understand the sub- contracting small company world.
      Dinosaurs can always argue that they adapted into birds.
      I had a boiled egg this morning. . I’m not saying I eat dinosaurs for breakfast, just that working people have adapted to change successfully do why should politicians be stuck in the Ark?

  • grafter

    Donald J. Trump


    Congratulations to Boris Johnson on his great WIN! Britain and the United States will now be free to strike a massive new Trade Deal after BREXIT. This deal has the potential to be far bigger and more lucrative than any deal that could be made with the E.U. Celebrate Boris!

    Woops !! There goes your beloved NHS.

  • MBC

    We still have 6 Tories in Scotland! This is incredibly worrying and disappointing though we came close to toppling another 2 of them.

    Hoping that Corbyn can be replaced quickly in England but it looks like he will try to hang on. He has the charisma and fire of a wet cloth, it’s not so much his politics that puts voters off but the man himself. Labour must replace him with somebody with more zap. But he is still blaming the media. He has had a bad press but his cardinal problem is that the man himself is just not inspiring.

      • MBC

        It’s not his policies but the man himself. His meetings pack out by devotees of his policies but on TV he just does not inspire those that are not his devotees, the people he needs to convince. He is just not a leader and should for the sake of the country and the Labour Party step aside for somebody more able. You have to distinguish between his policies and the man himself.

        • portside

          The media told you Tony Blair and David Cameron were charismatic leaders, look what that got us.
          Now they have sold you another charismatic leader in Boris Johnson.

          • Giyane


            I fear Syria will be re-opened and the Oaf will enjoy playing Wonkstan Churchill playing war games against Russia.
            He is totally self-deluded in a cigar whiff of Eton smoke.

            I survived Thatcher and I will survive the Oaf. Mostly by switching his odious voice off.

    • Mighty Drunken

      Does anyone find Johnson inspiring?
      No the media are most definitely to blame. Did the woeful economic recovery make the front pages? Rising homelessness and NHS troubles? Corbyn could do nothing right, while Johnson could do nothing wrong, even when lying or hiding in kitchen appliances.

  • Kejee

    There is one positive in England… some of the Iraq war voting Labour rotten wood just lost their seats. Margaret Hodge is still there… on Radio 4 this morning trying to rebrand Labour as the ‘nasty party’. Her crazy attacks on Corbyn and her own party weren’t anything to do with defeat of course…

    • Mighty Drunken

      I doubt it will be much of a positive. Corbyn left wing persona and polices will be blamed. The PLC will look to a Blair clone to chase the next election victory. The right lesson will be learnt, Corbyn was too left wing. But for the wrong reason, not because the electorate don’t like the policies but because the media do not like them.

      If you are against war and wish to help the poor, you are an extremist in today’s political climate.

  • DiggerUK

    The EU is an undemocratic supranational monster, it is not an intergovernmental organisation. How many of you even realise what those two entities are. Craig Murray does, he was a diplomat and knows the stark difference, yet still he promotes this deceitful organisation as a friend of the people.
    The reality is that it set out to disenfranchise a whole continent and has almost succeeded. All hail the philosopher kings. To believe there is anything beneficial in this anti egalitarian construct is bizarre.

    The EU is what cost Labour this election. The remainer liberal elite who promote the non politics of climate catastrophe, identity and gender claptrap, did for any hope the poorest and low paid had with Labours manifesto promises.
    The lessons of the Clinton arrogance, as shown with the reaction to her infamous “deplorables” comment seems lost on some here.

    I am not a racist, neither am I some little englander or “deplorable” The only comfort for me in this election is that I get Brexit. At the cost of five Tory years…_

    • Marmite

      Tell us something new, Digger.

      We are all Eurosceptics here, so there is no point in beating your little drum and taking part in the relentless scapegoating of the EU, which is really tiresome and misses the bigger picture.

      That’s not the point, and going on about being anti-Europe just represents a highly outdated stance, decades old. We are in the twenty-first century now, and things have changed. In case you haven’t noticed, there are much bigger problems (and Labour sought to address those, but miscalculated the intelligence of the voting public to see that, as always)

      The point is that without a Labour government that could have served as a powerful force of resistance within the EU, shaping it so it is a little less bad, and in the interests of the common good, we are all in deep deep deep trouble, and the prospect of planetary survival is now all but nil.

      Greta admitted just the other day that nothing has worked and nobody is listening. Reminds me of Saramago’s Blindness.

      And I see the zombie journalists at The Guardian are back in action, blaming everything on Corbyn and Labour. Boring!!! Do they ever get tired of the excrement they write?

      Until England’s mindless voters wake up to the fact that they have been played like puppets by a billionaire-funded heavily-biased media, with a one-track and highly deceitful message about ‘Brexit or nothing’, then a meaningful election in this country won’t ever be possible.

      What’s most to blame for the result we are faced with is not Labour or its leader (and nobody could have worse judgement than Toynbee here), but simply our age-old petty-mindedness addiction to class society and zealous hatred of egalitarianism.

      This is Britain!

    • Carnyx

      DiggerUK said

      “I am not a racist, neither am I some little englander or “deplorable” The only comfort for me in this election is that I get Brexit. At the cost of five Tory years…_”

      What makes you imagine the British elite are any better than the Euro elite? England has greater regional wealth disparity than any comparable northern EU state, the UK has 9 of the poorest 10 regions in northern Europe, 7 of them in England and yet it has the wealthiest region in all Euro with London, this is the fault of the British ruling class not the EU. Almost everytime the British state and EU clash it’s the EU on the less neoliberal position.

      I’m marrried to a Greek, I’ve seen with my own eyes what a monster the EU is, although I voted Remain, I don’t think all Brexiters are racists, but selling of the NHS to give more power to an even worse group of elitists who are intent on turning us into a failed Singapore is a colossal mistake, regional England has just throughly shafted itself. It’s the UK itself that made the EU ever more neoliberal and Atlanticist and expansionist, they are in fact better off without us.

      • salvo

        “Almost everytime the British state and EU clash it’s the EU on the less neoliberal position.”

        I agree with you as for the neoliberalism of the British ruling class, but the EU is essentailly just the supranational institualization of the german export-driven neoliberal model, the EU is neoliberal to the very core, they are certainly not less neo-liberal than the British ruling class, they are differently neo-liberal

        • Carnyx


          And yet comparable EU states have less regional wealth disparity than the UK, they make more effort to distribute weath around their own countries than the UK does. Bojo notoriously stated that a ‘pound spent in London is worth more than one spent in Glasgow’ which od course stands for the rest of the UK in this context.

          It’s true the EU is being subjected to Germany’s export model, but this didn’t effect the UK as much as southern Europe because it’s not in the Eurozone therefore the Germans didn’t need to force deflationary policies on us. Meanwhile German industry screwed the UK’s before we joined the EU anyway because of the close relationship between German finance and industrialists affording them extra long term loans, which helped them adjust to fluxes in demand.

          The UK elite with their class and imperialist heritage have for a long time been more elitist than those in countries which had revolutions against the feudal elite, that heritage influences the choices of the elite, the UK invented classic liberalism, Thatcher was the first to kick off the globalising neoliberal wave, Brexit is only going to make things worse for anyone in the UK outside London

      • Laguerre

        “I’m marrried to a Greek, I’ve seen with my own eyes what a monster the EU is,”

        I take it you would have preferred the EU to let Greece go bankrupt, and for your in-laws to have lost all their money, instead of, as I presume, some of it.

        • Carnyx


          I think Greece should have left the Euro, Greece was bankrupt already. Remaining in the Euro will continue to benefit Germany at the expense of southern Europe by concentrating production in Germany and it’s neighbours, who in turn bribe corrupt officials for state contracts which they lend the money to pay for, therefore profiting at the expense of the Greek public, it’s all going to happen again and it will happen to all periphery Eurozone states.

          • Laguerre

            Greece had the choice of leaving the Euro, but chose not to. They were not forced. It’s southern Europe that has benefited enormously from the EU, not Germany from S. Europe. Have you been? Andalucia and Sicily are fabulously well provided for these days, not poor like they used to be.

          • Carnyx


            They voted to refuse the bailout, which they were told was a vote to leave the EU, the Syriza govt decided capitulate after the EU refused to extend emergency liquidity to Greek banks, they had to impose capital controls to stop a run on the banks, so the EU used financial pressure to force acceptence of their measures and the govt folded. Tsipras in fact called the referendum because he thought he’d lose and it would give him the excuse to fold.

  • Steph

    I think my head is about to explode. That was almost certainly my last election, I’m extremely unlikely to make it to the next. You cannot imagine how sad it is to end my days watching the remainers blaming Corbyn for being a ‘Brexiteer’, the leavers blaming Corbyn for being a remainer, the English blaming the Scots for failing to produce Labour MP’s, the Scots blaming the English for dragging them out of the EU, the tories calling the socialists idealistic fools and the socialists calling the tories soulless bastards. There is more bad feeling and finger pointing than I have ever known. How bitterly ironic it is that when, for the first time in my life, an MP finally came forward that hadn’t voted for wars, hadn’t fiddled expenses, hadn’t voted to kill badgers, didn’t want to blow up half the world, rode a bicycle to work and actually tried to listen to what people had to say, he upsets just about everyone and is deemed a dismal failure. I wonder what that says about us as a species.

    • Marmite

      ‘…for the first time in my life, an MP finally came forward that hadn’t voted for wars, hadn’t fiddled expenses, hadn’t voted to kill badgers, didn’t want to blow up half the world, rode a bicycle to work and actually tried to listen to what people had to say, he upsets just about everyone and is deemed a dismal failure. I wonder what that says about us as a species.’

      One of the best posts I’ve seen here, and needs to be quoted.

    • salvo

      I live in Germany, so I’m not an expert of British politics, but I wondered nevertheless why the British would prefer a known liar to someone who is generally regarded as a “decent” man, so on the great blog nakedcapitalism I asked the question:

      “interesting, that a lot of people claim Corbyn is just to decent a man to become GB’ leader, so people prefer a liar leading them?”

      this is the answer I got

      “People prefere a leader. A known liar who looks leader-like (Trump, Johnson) is perferable to somoene who doesn’t even seem to be interested to be a leader. That’s humans to you”

      • Bramble

        They left out the regressive Nativist trend. The flag has been waved in English faces for years now, especially since the Olympic Games and throughout the “celebration” of our “victory” in WW1 (a hundred years later, Germany is still the “enemy” and their experience of those four years ignored. Some “history”). Meanwhile the anti immigrant dog whistle, loudly blown by the right, is always effective. Humans don’t like outsiders. The other thing to remember is that the English despise and hate other English – they don’t really love the NHS which tries to treat everyone equally, even the undeserving lot on benefits.

    • Nick

      It is that more than the result that has left me depressed at humanity this morning.
      Morality and decency is dead in this 21st century.

    • nevermind

      Could not agree more with your account Steph, thank you. We will now see what happens in the next 5 years.

      We will still be negotiating a Brexit trade deal and we will still see our services diminished and child poverty rising.
      So looking forward to the Tories report on islamophobia in the Conservative party.

    • George McI

      “….watching the remainers blaming Corbyn for being a ‘Brexiteer’, the leavers blaming Corbyn for being a remainer, the English blaming the Scots for failing to produce Labour MP’s, the Scots blaming the English for dragging them out of the EU………. I wonder what that says about us as a species.”

      It doesn’t say anything about us as a species. It says everything about the oldest trick in the book: divide and rule.

    • Ken Kenn


      Corbyn has nothing to apologise for.

      His people let him down – he did not let his people down.

      They voted for the newly branded Party of the Working Class – the Tories.

      And if you believe that – I’ve got Johnson’s unstarted ” financially seeded ” London Bridge to sell you.

      He owes Londoners around 45 million quid – but don’t hold your breath.

      Any Northerners with sense should move to Scotland now.

      I mean Jess ( that’s enough about you -let’s talk about me ) Philips as a candidate – bloody Hell!

      History repeats itself second time as farce.

  • JB

    The main stream media deserve congratulations on playing so ferociously and successfully the supporting role in the (further) destruction of society in the UK and the neo-colonial wars, covert and overt, around the globe. So much glee for them today, Friday the 13th, starting with the now truly grotesque Guardian. This is the future they are so invested in:
    With Trump’s win in the US next year nothing good awaits. But the UK, if the planet survives, will collapse under its own lies, delusions, evil-doing and crimes, as will the US. This election outcome is a firm step into the collapse. I deeply regret that; the harm, suffering, injustice, indignities and inhumanity that are the certain consequences of this choice of the UK electorate.

  • SA

    Why did Labour lose so badly.
    But this is not simply because of Corbyn’s fault but a combination of factors related to Corbyn
    1. Corbyn represented a shift of Labour from a centrist Blairite almost neoliberal stance to a Social Democratic stance. This was opposed by the majority of the PLP who attempted several times to replace him and failed. So, they decided to undermine him from within.
    2. The antisemitism accusation has been one constant features of the attack on Corbyn. It should have been dealt with decisively from day one, not remain to haunt at each step and amplified. Apologising and taking a defensive position is not the way to deal with this. Even at the beginning of the elections, Labour should have pre-emptively addressed this question through a clear statement or even call a press conference rather than be held hostage to fortune. We all of course know that this was hyped on purpose, but the handling was intrinsically faulty.
    3. Similarly, association with Terrorism. With regards to the IRA a very clear policy statement should be made. As SF is no longer an enemy but a participant in the peace process and a Stormont power share agreement (albeit on hold for last three years) the tone of discussion about Corbyn’s association with SF should have been strongly pointed out to be mischievous and divisive and endangering the peace process, an turned the tables on the accusers.
    4. Corbyn failed to deal firmly with his internal critics because of fear of splitting the party. In so doing he lost control. Many who sought to wreak havoc should have been disciplined and thrown out of the party. No leader should tolerate public abuse from his own MPs as Corbyn did in the case of Margaret Hodge calling him a F******g anti-semite. This is a clear case of bringing the party into disrepute.
    5. Corbyn promised to abide by the democratic decision of the people when accepting article 50 and on the back of this won a big swing to Labour in the 2017 election despite a lot of demonization. I am now clear that he should have stuck to his guns and supported Brexit and said that he would respect Brexit but only a more acceptable version provided by Labour. This would have been a clearer and less contentious message that would not give his enemies the weapons to attack him.
    6. Labour played to the game that the Tories wanted to Americanise the elections into a presidential one. Very few good Labour politicians were seen. Some of these like Angela Rayner are extremely convincing. If Labour had done this, they would have flushed out all the rather lightweight extreme figures in the Tory party. It would also deflect from the claim that it was all Corbyn.
    The ‘Blairites’
    It is interesting that the rabid Blairites where the strongest remainers within Labour and time and time again insisted that Labour should become a remain party. This they achieved in this last manifesto and that was the major difference on this subject that was so consuming from the winning manifesto of 2017. All the discussions now by the Blairites are focusing on Corbyn’s ‘Toxicity’ but totally forgetting the fact that it was insistence on remain as a main policy that led to this disaster. That is also without even including all the undermining by them of Corbyn ever since he was elected.
    The Manifesto
    The Labour manifesto was a dream in more ways than one. It was extremely good. But the electorate is not swayed by reading a complex document promising a lot. It looks at immediate problems, it also looks at prioritizing them then looks at whether they are achievable. The message therefore must be punchy and clear, not requiring detailed examination and explanation.
    To give an example or two: Labour’s message about the NHS was not clear enough and the diversion into US buying the NHS did not work out well. The message should have been punchier: NHS was re-organised by the Lansbury act (with the help of Lib Dems during the coalition) which opened the door to privatization. This was easily provable and visible. Waiting lists and chaos in A&E easily visible and provable. Shortage of nurses clearly ascribable to May’s cutting of nurses’ bursaries. Whatever the Tories figures produced; they would only go back to correct the current deficit.
    Privatisation and nationalization are easy concepts for the electorate to grasp. But when labour started to be too ambitious about the extent of privatization, the message was lost. Initial concentration of popular themes like the railways and an indication that other services will be looked at would have been a much stronger message than diluting it with other privatisations including Broadband.
    Boris Johnson
    The Tories had the advantage of a sitting PM to start with. Boris had lost almost every vote he presented to Parliament. He was shown to have lied and tried to cheat and distort the (unwritten) constitution. Boris was also one of the main architects of delay in Brexit. Together with the ERG he voted down TM’s deal when Tories had a majority. He deliberately then presented a flawed deal with borders in the Irish sea hoping it would be rejected. When it was not, but subjected to scrutiny, he pulled it and called an election. All of this meant that Boris was not behaving in good faith and that he really was not interested in ‘Getting Brexit Done’. This flawed narrative was neither picked up by the analysts, the media or even in a clear way by Labour. This should have been at the heart of the Labour campaign. Instead Labour wanted to avoid discussing Brexit
    Boris Johnson of course had the added advantage that he could lie to your face and insist that white is black despite the evidence. Boris developed a highly skilled escapism from scrutiny and again this hollowness should have been a major discussion point. But all of this turned a major character flaw into a strength relished by his support. I would not be surprised if the Tories will eventually get rid of him when he outlasts his usefulness and commits huge gaffs on the world stage.
    Jo Swinson
    A very destructive part was played by Jo Swinson. She attacked Corbyn much more than she attacked Johnson. It looks as if she was hoping to hold the balance of power with another Tory-Lib Dem coalition. This started even before the elections and was also the cause of why the election was called. She would rather wreck all chances of removing Johnson which she could have done by agreeing to a Corbyn-led minority government to replace Johnson, but she insisted on an airy-fairy compromise of having some unelected person like Harriet Harman for this task. She did more harm to remain voters by her insistence on annulling article 50 and on insisting that Lib Dems would form the next government, a Walter Mitty like vision. She did get her comeuppance.
    The BBC
    Not much needs to be said about this as we are all familiar with their bias.
    The Guardian
    After several years of running predominantly anti-Corbyn propaganda the Guardian realized, too late, that they have really increased Johnson’s chance by having demonized Corbyn.
    Other press
    Not much need be said.
    Nicola Sturgeon
    By insisting so much in public that the price of supporting a Corbyn-led minority garden she would insist on an indyref she gave the Tories the chance that was so well used to attack a Labour SNP coalition. She even used the AS smear on some occasions.
    Many who wished a Corbyn victory (myself included) became complacent on the basis of the 2017 election results, pretending that it was the springboard rather than the highpoint of Corbyn’s achievements. We relied on the comfort provided by the analysis of fallibility of the polls and spent a lot of time convincing ourselves that surely it was not this bad.

    • Alexander

      Many thanks SA. I don’t expect to see a better analysis of the reasons for Corbyn’s defeat.

    • Kejee

      Labour didn’t lose the election in the last few weeks… 2017 was a base to build on… they lost it over the past 2 years. Come the election they start rolling out absurd policies like free broadband… people didn’t buy the bribe.

      Labour are still in government… they run a lot of councils – terribly. Maybe there’s enough muscle in that local council control to get to grips with problems like homelessness nationally… if Labour Councils all acted together in a concerted way to solve those problems. Instead of building hotels for multi-nationals and so on. Don’t hold your breath…

    • Loony

      Corbyn lost because he so obviously loathes the people that he claims he wishes to represent.

      The whole anti Semitism farrago stems from his obsessive interest in Israel and Palestine. Rightly or wrongly very few people in the UK (the domicile of his electorate) have this issue high on their list priorities.

      Most people are not well disposed to terrorists – be that historic Irish terrorists or current ISIS terrorists.

      In this election people were forced to choose between a liar (Johnson) and a coward (Corbyn).They chose the liar. Who can say this was an error. The cowardice of Corbyn is writ large in his EU stance. This is a man whose entire career prior to 2016 supports the conclusion that he detests the EU and yet suddenly he decides to support these corporatist freaks – preferring them to the people that might actually vote for him.

      • Laguerre

        “The whole anti Semitism farrago stems from his obsessive interest in Israel and Palestine. ”

        Not rather the obsessive interest of the Chief Rabbi and his cohorts? It wasn’t Corbyn provoking the attacks; Johnson can be proven to be more anti-semitic than Corbyn.

      • Hatuey

        Once they install the austerity 2.0 firmware update, everything will become clearer.

        For me it’s already clear enough. The only economic solution for Britain outside of the EU is the Shanghai model. That hinges on low tax, low spending, low workers’ rights, dismantling public services and the NHS, and 20 to 30 years of painful “adjustment”.

        The only silver lining in this as far as the average Brexit supporter is concerned is that the rest of us get to say “we did warn you” — it’s a shame for their kids, I suppose.

      • SA

        I am sure you chose your nom de plume for a reason. It is becoming clear to me that the reason is that you can say things which you know are nonsense but expect others to take seriously. A more appropriate name perhaps should be an agent provocateur. The modern equivalent which may however not capture all the nuances is a troll.
        If most people are not well disposed to terrorism then why do states regularly not only perform terrorism but even glorify it? Terrorism is in fact a lazy term to trigger fear amongst citizens and to unfetter state reaction, What else can you describe the carpet bombing of Dresden and Hamburg towards the end of WW2 or the dropping of not one but two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki when it was clear that the war was ending and that these were clearly civilian targets. Irgun and Israel started with terrorism and nobody seems to mind that nowadays despite the continuous terrorisation of civilians living in what has been described as the largest open air prison. Mandela was once considered a terrorist yet his memory is cherished by many.
        So selective distaste for ‘terrorism’ is like all other hypocritical statements, just that, hypocrisy.

      • Ken Kenn

        So you think Northerners gave a monkey”s about antisemitism?

        They wanted Brexit and they’ve now got it with both barrels.

        No one else to blame but themselves when Johnson’s promises turn out be hollow.

        They were six feet under before all this – Johnson will use his hitherto unused shovel to bury them ten feet under instead.

        Anti Semitism will not have been mentioned in Blyth – not mentioned at all.

    • Anthony

      A fine clear-eyed assessment SA.
      Important we remember these facts through the coming blizzard of extreme centrist revisionism.

    • Steph

      Thank you for that first rate and comprehensive analysis. You rightly and eloquently set out the multi-faceted and complex factors which bring us to this point, a perfect storm almost, and a sorrowful reflection of us all.

    • Tom74

      Great analysis. But re: the attacks on Corbyn, it shouldn’t have been down to him alone to defend himself. Where were people like Kier Starmer or even Gordon Brown denouncing the ‘anti-semitism’ smears as ludicrous? Everyone was too frightened to stand up to the McCarthyite ‘anti-semitism’ smear, from Tony Blair to John McDonnell.

  • pete

    Re A difficult night.

    Difficult? Did you mean awful, at least if you are not Scottish.
    A major victory for short sighted xenophobia and bad news for Assange.

    You are right this is the time for Scotland to go for independence, there could be no clearer evidence from the voting results that they should go it alone. I can’t help but feel that their first act should be to pull the plug on the BBC operation north of the border and have a separate national Scottish channel TV channel, the bias of the BBC is now reached profound levels and they need to be stopped.

  • Goodwin

    “Quite possibly the most ungracious speech I have ever heard from Michael Gove. So much for uniting the country. Five years of vicious triumphalism and denigrating opposition loom.”
    Wee Jimmy Krankie’s reaction to Swinson’s departure wasn’t exactly magnanimous!

  • Republicofscotland

    Inspiring speech, and direct to the point by the FM on ITV a few minutes ago. She must now move with haste before Johnson drags us out of the EU, on the 31st of January.

    I’d imagine Johnsons 80 majority will, see his government debase even further the very poor EU deal already on the table.

    Meanwhile the Tory media has been sticking the boot into Corbyn all morning.

  • Hatuey

    In view of the result for Corbyn, can we still say the BBC and mainstream media were wrong when they attacked Corbyn and talked about people abandoning Labour in the North of England? In retrospect, it seems they were just calling it as they seen it where previously we assumed they were lying…

    Would it arguably have been remiss of the media to ignore or keep quiet about what they were seeing on the ground? I’m sure some will argue that this rejection of Corbyn and Labour was media driven, on the antisemitism stuff I’d agree, but I think the scale of the loss suggests otherwise.

    As for antisemitism, I’d guess that for most of those who dumped Labour it was just another one of many negative reasons to abandon them. Outside of Jewish voters, I don’t think antisemitism in itself would have been enough to drive many towards the Tories, not in the northern heartland anyway.

    The media knew Corbyn was screwed. That’s how it seems. And they told us, weeks ago.

    • Steph

      Unpalatable, but almost certainly true. If I felt it, so did they. I spent many hours throughout the campaign on the Labour ‘Dialogue’ system calling prospective voters in marginal seats. Plenty of quite unpleasant abuse from both the southern ‘I can’t vote for Corbyn because he’s a Brexit enabler’ and the midlands/north ‘I can’t vote for Corbyn because he’s betrayed the referendum’. Almost all seemed to vent their anger directly at Corbyn rather than the party. Sadly only about 1 in 10 saying they were pleased to be supporting Labour. As an aside, many on here will be proud to know that Glaswegian voters were almost always pleasant, even those intending to vote for other parties.

    • SA

      You are quite right in what you say. However the process was started well before the election. The negativity surrounding Corbyn was fostered by the BBC and even the most leftist of all the MSM, the Guardian, ever since he was elected. So for us who were dedicated Labour, it seemed just an extension of what has been going on. The election was really lost in the last two years not only during this last phase. Yes the media were reporting correctly because they had already successfully painstakingly built a self-fulfilling scenario.
      Having said that I also think some of the blame should go to his advisors. It was only lately that he started to be portrayed as human and less wooden and a killjoy. The AS smear could have been handled better and proactively rather than wishing it to go away. He was also not ruthless in holding his opponents at bay and for them to account for their action. And then we also have a part in the blame, we became complacent and blamed everything on the media.

    • syntax_error

      It seemed to me to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Not to say Corbyn wasn’t at fault but the BBC created a vacuum for the public to fill. Or rather asked a question the public were encouraged to answer.

  • Billy Brexit !

    So Jeremy will have a bit more time at home which is good as his front garden could do with a bit of TLC, seems he neglected his core supporters wishes too.

    • Wikikettle

      Billy Brexit. So you think Boris will improve the lives of Labour supporters who voted for him.

  • Ross

    Once Corbyn is gone, watch the antisemitism claims vanish like a fart in the wind. Their operational purpose served, the troll army will be stood down, and the Integrity Initiative will be brainstorming new lines of attack.

  • Tim

    Craig, I generally rate you highly, but you really need to give it a rest with the accusations of racism and xenophobia. That we on the left have seemed incapable of distinguishing solidarity with immigrants from freedom of movement has been disastrous. Without the embrace of free movement by Blair et al we wouldn’t be in this mess. There’s nothing progressive about freedom of movement. It’s a neoliberal policy which drives inequality and invites employers and landlords to exploit poor people.

    • SA

      What exactly do you understand by freedom of movement? As this seems to be such an important point for non-racist Brexiters, it ought to be analysed and also a decision to be taken as to whether it is such a great threat to our security and wellbeing. To me freedom of movement means that anyone within the EU can travel and work gainfully in any part of the EU as long as they remain within the regulations of that country. Freedom of movement has never meant freedom to settle or freedom to claim benefits irrespective of any status of residence. If the system has been misused then it should be tightened. Imagine in this hostile environment where there are many claimants who are very deserving, who have paid their taxes for years and whom we hear have to fight to get their benefits. Then you have scaremongering stories from the usual suspects such as the Mail and the Sun about these Romanian or Bulgarian immigrants coming to swamp us. Then we sanitise this story and present it as a genuine problem in civilised blogs such as this and we have, hey bingo, proven that freedom of movement is harmful. If there are claimants who are using benefits without entitlement then it is a failure within the system not a failure of the principle of Freedom of movement.

      • Tim

        Hi SA, I understand freedom of movement in the same way as you I think, but I’m not talking about ‘misuse’ of the system – I’m suggesting that there are fundamental problems inherent in the system and that progressive people need to stop defending it. And just to be clear, I’m not a Brexiter. I’m no fan of the EU, but I’m even less of a fan of the disaster capitalist dystopia the Tories have planned for us. I’m still reeling from the election so this might not be as articulate as I might like.

        The anarchist in me longs for open borders and the collapse of the nation state, but in practice, where we are trying to hold together functioning democratic communities, freedom of movement seems like a dreadful idea. How do you create and maintain a functioning democratic state when your polis is porous, i.e. when a greater number of non-citizens have the right to reside in the country than the number who are citizens? It seems almost inevitable that when existing residents who have invested in building a community now have equal legal status to a large enough number newer arrivals, resentment will breed. I’m a passionate believer that ‘human nature’ isn’t fixed for all eternity and we could all learn to be more welcoming, but I think everybody would have a limit on how many new people they would accept.

        A lot of us bourgeois types moved away from our family at a relatively early age to go to university and then moved several times since, so can’t relate to the experience of our familiar local community being transformed relatively quickly via a large influx of people, rents going up, services being put under strain, and some community spaces being inhabited by people who don’t speak the same language or have the same culture. This isn’t just tabloid scaremongering – it happens, not everywhere, but we often fail to acknowledge that it does and has happened at a significantly greater pace over the last two decades or so. Some people have a very close relationship to place and community, and wouldn’t have the confidence or desire to migrate themselves. To suggest, as some people do, that these people are awful bigots who just need to suck it up and get with the programme is horribly unfair and divisive.

        In terms of the effects of large scale immigration, when you hugely increase the size of the potential labour market, you decrease the bargaining power of workers and increase the leeway for employers to be exploitative. I don’t believe you’re ever going to be able to have strong enough employment protection to ensure some people don’t have their wages driven down by all the extra competition in some sectors. Quoting aggregate statistics on the contribution of immigrants to the economy is going to cut no mustard with somebody who has just been undercut by newly arrived immigrant who is happy to work for less. This humiliation is compounded when the person who has been undercut then tries to assert their rights and refuses to work for less, only to be told they’re ‘lazy’, unlike all the hardworking immigrants.

        Of course housing is another elephant in the room. I despair when I hear another person saying the housing crisis is nothing to do with immigration, but about not building enough houses. It’s blindingly obviously not an either or – it’s both! And how are we going to expand the construction sector enough to build all the new houses we need? More immigration? This odd black and white thinking happens in so many contexts – in our admirable effort to appear open, liberal and welcoming, we continually argue that the potential negative effects of large scale migration just haven’t been mitigated enough by government, that negative scare stories haven’t been challenged robustly enough, but can’t bring ourselves to admit that perhaps those negative effects are a feature, not a bug.

        I sense there’s a vague idea that free movement within Europe is supposed to even itself out – as people from poorer countries migrate to richer ones they send back money, establishing a flow of money from richer to poorer areas. I think if there’s one thing we know about chaotic, unregulated systems its that they tend towards disequilibrium. We don’t imagine that if we removed all regulations on the movement of capital everybody would end up with the same amount, so why would we expect that from free movement of people? What seems inevitable is that there’s a flow of people from the periphery to the core, and you end up with large urban centres like London sucking up all the talent and creating a brain drain and decline in other areas.

        Within an individual country, you potentially get the situation we’re now seeing in the UK – an increasingly stark divide between a) large cosmopolitan multicultural urban centres, which attract more and more people and investment, where people are more educated, mobile affluent and liberal, and b) de-industrialised areas with a less confident, mobile population with more of an attachment to deep rooted community, but few opportunities and little investment. These become denuded and run down, thus breeding yet more resentment, and the kind of growing cultural and political fracture we’re experiencing now. So ironically, immigration can have even more negative effect on the places that don’t attract much immigration – you get the well attested phenomenon whereby the places with fewer recent migrants and fewer opportunities are primed to be even more hostile to immigration than places with more, because there’s such a scarcity of opportunity any additional competition feels threatening. We’ve totally failed to address these serious structural issues, have tried to sweep it under the carpet and now the whole thing has just exploded very spectacularly in our faces in the form of Brexit.

        I feel like free movement is in many ways the worst kind of laissez-faire capitalism, where a state absolves itself of responsibility to ensure employment and education for its population. When employers have a ready supply of qualified people from elsewhere, why would they bother investing in training? Why would the state even bother providing education? At the same time the EU is absolving itself of doing the hard work of truly resolving deep inequalities between regions by leaving most of the work to the market.

        I see people endlessly preaching about the economic contribution of ‘immigrants’ (as a kind of undifferentiated mass), to the economy. We have this weirdly dehumanising debate about whether immigration is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ as a phenomenon, in a way that belies the fact that immigrants are individual people, who are all totally different, and that some types of immigration might be good, and some bad, that it might be needed in one place and not another. But with free movement that debate is fairly academic. One of the most pernicious elements of neoliberal logic is where people are reduced to their ability to function as an economically productive unit, rather than appreciating their inherent value as a living, breathing, human being. So we end up lionising the ‘noble immigrant’ who ups sticks to ‘make a better life for themselves’ which in most cases actually just entails making more cash. The more ambitious and acquisitive somebody is, the more they are ‘contributing’ to the country. I wonder what that says to the people who have been left behind – unskilled, disabled, elderly, homeless people, people with mental health problems? Will these people ever gain equal standing as valued fellow humans if they’re not able to ‘add value’? The more we value people in terms of their economic potential, the more we erode our more basic sense of compassion and camaraderie with our fellow humans. It’s like the system encourages people to be more instrumental and acquisitive, and then we complain when they don’t show enough compassion.

        Wow, that was longer than I expected, but those are some reasons why freedom of movement feels like a catastrophic race to the bottom and has been a major contributor to the quite specacular fuckedness of our country. I can probably think of more! I’m happy for some counterarguments though and I’m always open to having my mind changed – these opinions don’t win many friends.

        • SA

          Thank you very much for writing this, you obviously have spent a lot of time thinking about this and your arguments are sensible. I am almost converted. But the problem is that this is a dreadfully complex subject where there is no black or white. Some arguments can be used by both sides. It is in fact a product of a system which has become what is known as globalisation. In this system in order for progress to be made you have to unfetter the flow of money in such a way as to realise the potential of the capitalist class to make more money. This model therefore depends on export of capital to areas where labour is cheap and workers can be exploited. Similarly the import of cheap labour to more affluent areas will lead to a race to the bottom for wages to local workers. So far I completely agree with you.
          There is another view of globalisation or international worker solidarity which was promoted by Lenin and others which proposed that socialism in one country will not be able to survive because if the rest of the world is capitalist then socialism will be crushed. So what I am saying here is that there may be more than one way at looking at problems regarding freedom of movement. This model of internationalism is egalitarian.
          The EU started as a rather good idea in trying to bring countries closer together by fostering closer trade relationships. My feelings, and I am a remainer, is that the project went wrong when it took on a political and military dimension. After the collapse of the USSR, the main aim of the EU switched to an emphasis expansion of NATO. My personal belief is that this was the price extracted by the US in order to ally the EU inextricably with the US militarily and politically. This is a theory and I have not researched this properly to see if there is proof but the fact that in many cases the former Warsaw pact nations were accepted into the EU with a lowering of ‘parity’ was the result of a drive to enlarge NATO to surround or contain Russia. So slowly, an economic project became a military and political project.
          The EU in its original form would have and perhaps should have formed a powerful economic entity with sufficient clout internationally to be politically and perhaps militarily independent but this expansion has stymied that process. You can see however that there are moves in the EU, currently led by Macron who are trying to revive this concept and replace NATO with a European army.
          So this is the larger picture. The local picture of course is as you describe. But within all of this we all play our parts. You describe how after university you had the mobility to move and whether you moved from Scunthorpe to London or Paris you became an ‘immigrant’. In so doing, you have weakened your community and competed with local Londoners or Parisians or whatever. I am not personalising this to you because I could accuse myself of even worse.
          This is also turning into a long answer but what I am trying to say is this in looking at the system with its intricate macro and micro manifestations it is easy to pick one aspect. When asked what the answer is it may be to curb immigration or this or that answer. But the system will punish you by other means. The fight should be concentrated not on secondary effects of the system but on the system itself. How we do that I do not know.

          • Tim

            Thank you too for your considered response. You’re absolutely right – I’ve been a migrant to London, and in that sense, absolutely both perpetrator and victim. I’ve witnessed the process of arriving in an area, seeing it gentrified, and then being forced out when rents become unaffordable – it’s no fun and it makes me feel helpless and guilty at the same time.

            I think you’ve more or less hit the nail on the head re the EU – it hugely overreached on a number of levels. Re socialism in one country, I just don’t think freedom of movement can possibly be a tool of working class solidarity. It seems destined to militate against it, because it isn’t egalitarian in practice. The people who need it most economically – those who feel stuck, with little opportunity – are the people who don’t or can’t use it (can’t afford to travel, have caring responsibilities, don’t speak another language, have low self confidence etc), so it will always drive inequality. You end up fracturing the working class, between the mobile and the stationary. It is theorectically possible, especially in today’s hyper-connected world, to build worker solidarity without physical proximity.

            I feel like freedom of movement has been catastrophically divisive in this country in ways we’re still not fully understanding, and neither main faction of the Labour Party seems to have grasped this. The right frankly have, but will never offer solutions that promote healing, so the left will have to step up. I strongly suspect the resentment will only deepen in Germany, Italy, France et al as well. We haven’t even mentioned immigration from outside the EU. This is difficult to say without laying oneself open to charges of bigotry or sounding like a right-winger, but suffice it to say, multiculturalism is not going to help us heal divides, and we need to be honest that some cultures and religions are less palatable and more divisive than others, just as is the case with political ideologies.

            If I’m honest, I don’t feel optimistic that we can hold things together for too much longer. The current government will of course fuel further division, people are screaming at each other across an unbridgeable political divide and I just don’t see what we can do to stop it leading to actual conflict, sooner or later. I strongly suspect that when the system changes it’ll be with a bang rather than a whimper. Sorry to be so gloomy!

  • Peter ski

    Take your Fair share of National debt and the rest of England will happily say goodby suckers.

    • Mr V

      Once you pay back all the North Sea gas money you stole. Deal?

      See how laughably stupid argument this is? If anything, UK should be pay Scotland massive damages, so STFU with your cheap right wing propaganda piece that apparently was rammed into your mind so many times you parrot it instead of actually thinking…

    • Gavin C Barrie

      @ Peter Ski, National debt? A fair share of the debt arising from Westminster controlled finances? Really? And you omitted to mention your doubtless concern over “Scotland’s deficit”, the assigned costs decided/imagined, by…Westminster! Oh,and you omitted to mention “fair share” of national assets.
      Enjoy your dalliance with PM Johnson, it is only for…. at least, 5 years.Plenty of time for the rich to become richer, and the poor poorer.

  • Chas Mac Donald

    Much as I agree with AS & Tim, their analysis is far too technical and nuanced, while yours, Craig, is more unfocused than usual.

    Somebody said to me yesterday that independence for Scotland would not happen. My visceral, and therefore predictively factual, reaction was – it will. It’s settled, now. It’s over. All that remains is how will Scotland operate within the EU.

    NS has to go through the machinations of asking and being rebuffed. It’s no more than a ritual.

    The only thing proven by this election is that Scotland and (basically) England, are on two different political planes. That’s all that matters. And the fact of it has, I believe, reached critical mass.

    Thus, it is not so important to hold #IndyRef2 within the next 30 seconds. 30 months is more like it.

    But, and this is vital, the SNP must, absolutely MUST, get the cybernats under control. Otherwise, Nirvana may be lost by the idiots

  • Toby

    Yes a difficult night and also a sad one, because the winning party gained its victory on the basis of lies, smears and a quite false prospectus. And whatever his policies may prove to be, Johnson in himself is a fundamentally bad man, who will do bad things.

    The next five years will be bleak for the UK. But this doesn’t have to be Scotland’s future.

    The door to independence is now unlocked. Will someone give it a push?

  • Raymond Hitchings

    Just think of it. just 12 years ago the SNP were still fairly much a fringe party…Now the dominant party of Scotland… we are moving in the right direction… maybe not as fast as some would wish… but we are on a long journey… we are getting there.

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