The Truth About this Election 350


UPDATE Andrew Marr seemed to have a moment of contrition, much too late. In the “paper review” agenda-setting section at the start of his programme, he actually pointed out that the large majority of the papers are Conservative supporting, the first time I have heard this noted on the BBC. He then promised that today the paper review would be “balanced” by a look at social media.

This balance turned out to be a 15 second reference to the billionaire owned Huffington Post, the rabidly neo-con internet “news” site which is NOT social media. The content of this “balance” was rabidly anti-Corbyn Brexiteer ex-Labour MP Gloria Del Piero (who was herself the BBC “balance” to the Daily Mail’s ultra-Tory Brexiteer Sarah Vine, wife of Michael Gove), praising Angela Rayner for saying to the Huffington Post she understood why so many Labour voters were leaving the Labour Party.

Read the rest of this article, written yesterday, to understand why this is so stunning:

This is the most vital fact to understand what has happened so far in this election. There is a striking consistency across the opinion polls that the Tories have stabilised around 42%. That is just less than they achieved at the 2017 election.

So how can the Tories be slightly below their 2017 vote, when every single news and current affairs programme on TV and radio for the last three weeks has included vox pops or audience members switching from Labour to Conservative over Brexit?

The undeniable truth is that almost precisely as many voters have deserted the Tories as have switched to them. Hence they are on the same percentage. As the media have lovingly documented, and as is the accepted narrative of the election repeated to us ad nauseam, there are a substantial number of working class Leave voters switching from Labour to Tory over Brexit. They tend (and it is a simple matter of fact) to be less educated, older, and from deprived areas that have suffered most from a finance sector led economic policy.

But an equal number of voters have deserted the Tory Party. They are mostly pro-EU, better educated, more liberal and horrified by the change of the Tories to a hardline far right populist party. Their existence is hardly a secret, and they have an extremely impressive, ultra high profile leadership in John Major, Michael Heseltine, Kenneth Clarke, Phil Hammond, Dominic Grieve etc. Yet the liberal Tories abandoning the party in droves have been almost completely unrepresented in broadcast media coverage.

Here is the zinger. I have been keeping a tally of vox pops and audience members declaring they are abandoning their allegiance on broadcast media.
I have tallied 57 vox pop/audience members saying they are deserting Labour, because of Brexit/Corbyn. I have tallied 1 – yes ONE – audience member (and zero vox pop) saying they are abandoning the Tories over Brexit/Johnson.

Even though, with the Tory vote stable, we know in the real world both groups are the same size, and Major/Heseltine/Clarke/Hammond/Grieve are not friendless and uninfluential.

Now this is not a count of the entire coverage, but of those news and current affairs programmes I have watched during the campaign. It is weighted towards the BBC with less of Sky and ITN, and very little radio apart from the Today programme. But is is a pretty good sample, and while I would welcome a more scientific study I do not expect it would show anything significantly different. I don’t think anybody reading this can claim their own experience of the coverage is different.

How is this achieved? Mainly, of course, because the media pre-set the narrative that this election would be about Labour voters in the North switching to Brexit, having been heavily briefed to that effect by No. 10. They then concentrated almost exclusively on this narrative. Deliberately choosing vox pop locations to suit the narrative has been a key part. Dudley, Hartlepool and Grimsby; not Putney, Bath and Bristol. There is also then editorial choice of who is selected to speak.

What is undoubtedly true is that the broadcasters have colluded, by massive, repeated and deliberate acts, in pushing and reinforcing the No.10 strategy of seeking working class Leave votes, in an effort to normalise the idea that working class northern English communities can vote Tory. And it is undeniably true that they have massively under-reported the equal movement of liberal Tory voters – and former Cabinet ministers – deserting their party.

Nowhere has this been more obvious than in the comparative treatment of Ian Austin and John Major.

Austin was a Labour Parliamentary Private Secretary, the most junior of all ministerial ranks, for just eight months. When he urged people to vote Tory, it was the first headline on every BBC News broadcast all day. Austin had 15 minutes unchallenged on the Today programme to spill out bile against the Labour Party, before going on to eight minutes unchallenged on BBC Breakfast TV, and a similar appearance on Good Morning Britain, all of which from the timings and travel must have been pre-organised, especially as he left from there to a pre-prepared giant poster launch, carried by all the print media.

But Austin was a comparative nobody. Yesterday John Major, seven year Tory Prime Minister, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and Foreign Secretary, urged people not to give the dangerous Johnson a Tory majority. He was backed up by former Tory Deputy PM Michael Heseltine and former Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer Kenneth Clarke. On any rational measure, this is a far, far bigger story than Ian “nobody” Austin giving the opposite message.

Yet unlike Austin, Major was not the lead story on any major news channel. He did not get 10% of the total broadcast time devoted to Austin. Because the narrative of moderate Tories not voting for Johnson is comparatively suppressed; to the extent that the only possible explanation is the active connivance of broadcasters in securing a Tory government.

So who do we vote for?

The Tories are stuck around 42%. That means tactical voting is essential to knock them back. You need to look very, very carefully at who can beat them in your own constituency.

In Scotland, it makes no sense to vote anything other than SNP. There are no Labour/Tory marginals. There is nowhere that a SNP vote risks letting the Tories in. There are however plenty of constituencies where voting Labour risks letting the Tories in. In Scotland do not overthink, just vote SNP.

In England and Wales, it is complicated. Firstly you need to research who can best beat the Tories locally. Then you may have to hold your nose and support a near-Tory Lib Dem or, and there are still a good few of them as Labour candidates, an even-nearer Tory Blairite. The majority of people who need to abandon their natural choice and vote tactically against the Tories are Lib Dems. I urge you to do what needs to be done, because we have to work within the stupid electoral system we have at present. In probably 85% of English and Welsh constituencies the answer is to vote Labour. Elsewhere, Lib Dem, Plaid Cymru, Green or Independent. Please check carefully.

In Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, I urge people to vote for Dominic Grieve. He was chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee and treated me extremely well in enabling me to give my evidence on torture and extraordinary rendition and reflecting it in the very fair – and damning – report. In Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy vote for Neale Hanvey, who has been badly treated.

In Northern Ireland I generally support Sinn Fein, but just this time in safely Republican areas I would prefer people to vote SDLP, as having votes available at Westminster may be vital.

That Tory strategy of going for right wing populism has changed the demographic of their vote in a way that has reduced its geographic concentration. That can be a disadvantage under First Past the Post and the Tories may end up losing seats in Scotland, London and parts of Southern England, and piling up votes in northern England, without achieving enough there to actually win the seats. This election is not a foregone conclusion by any means.

But to stop Johnson people sweeping the board on 42% people have to vote smart.

I do not condemn anyone who instead votes with their conscience for their preferred party. But I believe the country faces a lurch to the genuine far right, and just this once I urge you not to. Vote to stop Johnson, whatever it takes.

Note: This post very briefly said 87 not 57 due to my inability to read my own handwriting. A transposition error in para 2 has also been corrected.

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350 thoughts on “The Truth About this Election

1 2 3 4
  • Dave

    Hi Craig,

    Second Paragraph:

    or audience members switching from Conservative to Labour over Brexit?

    Surely you mean the other way around.

    • Jack M

      This website recommends the best party to vote for in each constituency to get the Tories out:

      https://tacticalvote.co.uk/

      “Tactical Voting 2019
      UNITE AGAINST THE TORIES
      Most constituencies can only be realistically contested by two parties.
      Tactical Vote shows which way you should vote on 12th December 2019 to prevent the Tories from getting into power again.”

      Enter your postcode to find the party to vote for in your constituency, or check the table at https://tacticalvote.co.uk/key-seats/

      • pete

        Re tactical voting, thanks for looking into this.

        Craig is right, this is the way to go, it is worth considering even if you don’t approve of the party who gets your vote, the menace of the promise in the Tory manifesto on page 48 is real, it is worth opposing whatever your belief in Brexit might be, better liberty and a hung parliament than a dictatorship.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Pivotal election for England and the wider United Kingdom – to say the least.

    • Coldish

      Good question, Dave. While many of us, me included, would like to see the great orator George Galloway back in parliament, the safest tactic on this occasion would be to vote Labour.

      • Robyn

        Going by George’s published articles and from what I see of him on his weekly Sputnik TV program, George is more Labour than Labour so he’d certainly get my vote.

    • Rob Armstrong

      Today’s date is March 1st 1933

      Assuming that isn’t a totally random comment, do you refer to events in the 🇺🇸 (Roosevelt’s Emergency Order 2039, the “New Deal” et) or those in 🇦🇹 (the beginning of the Dollfuß dictatorship)?

      Those are my best guesses, notwithstanding their total irrelevance to this run-up to a General Election. Perhaps you’re in fact referring to something obscure, like the birthdate of the founder of the “Igaracy Rum-R” Cult, the secret drinking society in 🇧🇷 (a kind of Oxford Bullingdon, but for ex-members of the NSDAP)?

      Cryptic As Fuck

  • Los

    I’d suspect the Opinion Polls are dodgy, firstly because some of the companies running them appear to be associated or owned by the Tories, and secondly because even if they were otherwise unbiased, I suspect they may significantly under-represent younger voters.

    • Matthew

      Well the deciding factor will likely be how many young voters choose to vote.
      All of polling which indicating a Conservative majority assumes the turnout amongst younger voters will not be that high.

      If there is reasonable turnout amongst younger voters then we will have a hung Parliament.
      Worst case scenario is significant voter apathy and a very low turnout.

      • Marmite

        Indeed. Has nobody else been shocked by the press going on about how bad all the options are and how boring the debates have been. It all sounds very strange. You’d think that none of that would matter for the average person who just wants a semi-decent govt that isn’t too far to the right (since it seems that’s all we can hope for). It seems that the media coverage of this election has been all about the manufacture of apathy. And if you don’t even receive your poll card, that just kicks home the message. No need to vote as both options are terrible. But of course they are not and it makes all the difference.

    • Yr Hen Gof

      Was it not Churchill who said: “There is no such thing as public opinion, only published opinion”?
      Having in the past been briefly involved in polling, I know it’s possible to get whatever answer the client wants, phrase the question and be selective as to whom you ask it of.
      Didn’t Snowden tell us that GCHQ had been trialling ‘interfering in polls’?
      Rig the polls, rig the ballot?

  • Sopo

    “In Buckingham I urge people to vote for Dominic Grieve. He was chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee and treated me extremely well…”

    That’s a reason for you to vote for him, Craig, but hardly why others should.

    • craig Post author

      He is a decent man who did not go along with a government cover-up of complicity in torture. That is a very good reason.

      • djm

        In modern times the Electorate has tended to wash their hands of those HoC representatives who switch Party by revealing their true colours. It is to be hoped that Grieve, Sousebry & Umuna (other names are available) are totally humiliated next Thursday.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          There is no valid comparison between Grieve on one hand and Sourbry and Umunna on the other. The latter were Changelings and are standing for the LibDems. They quit one party formed another and did not grant their constituents the opportunity to voice an opinion on their treachery. Grieve remained a Tory MP ’till the thug Johnson withdrew the whip. He now offers himself up to his electorate as an Independent standing on his own personal agenda, not that of a political party that he had previously opposed (like the odious, careerists like Umunna and Sourbry).

        • Rod

          I think,djm, people like those who change allegiances to a particular party without consulting the electorate who lent them their votes in the first place don’t really reveal their true intentions.To my mind they reveal only that they will fall in with whosoever at that particular time it is expedient to do so and they are not to be trusted.

          Mr Johnson, a professed great admirer of Winston Churchill, will say and do whatever is politically expedient to further his personal standing; just like Churchill who ‘crossed the floor’ when it suited him. I wouldn’t put it past the likes of Mr Umuna to seek re-entry into the Labour Party if conditions changed that favoured such a move for him. If they do it once, the likelihood is, they’ll do it again.

      • Peter Beswick

        He went along with the cover up of Dr David Kelly’s death as Attorney General.

        That is a reason not to vote for him.

        • Giyane

          Peter Beswick

          David Kelly. That particular show was being run by the US. Bush had declared that anybody opposing US policy was an enemy, including David Kelly and therefore Grieve if he had acted differently.
          Usukis has spent most of my life destroying Muslim countries with active participation from Islamist terrorists. Terrorists tried to blow up Mrs Thatcher. So why would Grieve tie himself to the rails with two possible assassins heading his way?

          Putin has had the courage to stand up to usukis…
          He has a nuclear button ‘ which helps, and maybe logistical support from China. Grieve has just his pin stripes and his own skin. The record of Putin’s miraculous interventions against the sTories is getting to be boring.

        • Mary

          He refused to grant an inquest for Dr Kelly and then contested the holding of a Judicial Review of that decision. A stooge of the NWO.

      • Tony

        He’s quite happy to play a leading role in the “Russian interference” nonsense though.

      • sf

        You mean Beaconsfield, not Buckingham (that was Bercow’s constituency).

        [ Mod: Amended, thanks. ]

    • Matthew

      The other obvious reason: one less seat for the Tories.
      The Lib Dems (the only other party who could realistically challenge the Conservatives in Beaconsfield) have stood aside for Grieve.

  • SA

    It may also be the case that a sizeable number of seriously disaffected Tory voters may abstain and not vote in some of the Tory held seats as a protest. Even Tory brexiters May be miffed enough by the fact that Brexit has been delayed by Teresa May’s unnecessary call for an election when she had a majority and by Boris withdrawing his deal and calling for this election.

  • djm

    Scottish Independence voting intention.:

    No: 56% (+5)
    Yes: 44% (-5)

    via @YouGov, 03 – 06 Dec
    Chgs. w/ Sep

        • Bayard

          Well, if every other poll but one is saying it, would it not be logical, or do you think that your little Johnny is the only one marching in step?

      • Goose

        Even if true, it’s still a mighty impressive level of support, given there is no official campaign underway. I remember how low support was at the start of the 2014 referendum campaign. Cameron only granted the Section 30 order under the Scotland Act because support was so low and he thought he could quote : finally put the issue to bed.

        Twelve months into an unpopular Johnson administration and could be like pushing on an open door for the SNP if that poll is anything like accurate.

    • Republicofscotland

      djm.

      Why carry out a indy poll during a close run GE, and there you have your answer.

    • Willie John

      If those numbers are so decisive why are the unionist parties so scared of allowing an Indref2?

  • Chris Young

    I only listen to the radio not TV and when the BBC newspeak comes on I try and endure as much as possible before I shouting abuse. Repetion of sound bites and bias would appear to be a state brainwashing tactic from the highest levels of those running our corporatocracy. I suspect they dont like Corbyn as they are hitting him harder than during their campaign offensive for the Laboury Party leadership contest. Everytime I hear a new anti Corbyn theme on the BBC I donate more money to the Labour Party. It’s costing me a fortune!

    • Yr Hen Gof

      BBC Radio is every bit as bad as BBC TV, our local Three Counties Radio never miss a chance for a bit of Corbyn bashing.
      The totally ludicrous claim of him being antisemitic is taken as positively proved and unworthy of any debate.
      Despite its very clear Charter, the BBC seems to think its job is to support the status quo, caring nothing for the damage they’re doing to democracy and what reputation they once had.

      People seem to think this is a recent change in the BBC’s behaviour but the role they played in the General Strike of 1926, denying a voice to trade union leaders and Labour politicians suggest they’ve always been this way and it’s only the arrival of the Internet and social media that has revealed their duplicity.

      Their reputation was undeserved.

      • Republicofscotland

        Its not just BBC radio stations, local ones in Scotland such as Clyde1 and Clyde 2 pour scorn on Sturgeon and Corbyn daily. The media are mainly Tory minded with a keep the status quo.

  • MJ

    For whom would you recommend Labour-supporting Leavers to vote, particularly those living in constituencies with a sitting tory MP where the Brexit Party has withdrawn?

      • MJ

        Labour’s position on Brexit is absurd. In this particular election there is no more important issue.

        • Giyane

          MJ

          The Tories took a meat cleaver to their party and humiliated their female leader in public, then lounged on the seats of the house of commons gloating in their disgusting behaviour.
          You say Labour’s brexit policy is absurd, which makes it sound as though you think the Tories butchering their elected leaders is intelligent.

          Johnson opposed May because she was too soft.
          Corbyn opposed her because she was too hard.
          The spectrum tolerated by Corbyn is from Remain to soft brexit. The spectrum tolerated by Johnson is from pit bull savagery to destruction by butterfly bullets and white phosphor.

          When I say tolerate, I mean Johnson would rather strangle himself on his lead than sllow Europe to set human rights law or control sensible banking..
          I hope you have steel armour on your financial shins when Johnson’ s slobbering jaw reaches your savings.

        • J

          How can allowing the British people a chance to vote on a sensible Labour Brexit plan or remain, be absurd? Many people have changed their minds in either direction and the quality of debate since the referendum means people can make a more informed vote. The only position which is not acceptable, and is by definition absurd is no deal, or any Tory deal which means further deregulation and privatisation.

        • Ultraviolet

          There is nothing absurd in saying that they will seek to negotiate a deal as close to what the leave campaign promised as is possible, and then put that to the people.

          I guess for some people there is no more important issue, but frankly the survival of the NHS, and of our democracy (see page 48 of the Tory manifesto) will make Brexit seem like a parish council squabble.

          • Christopher Dale Rogers

            I find it rather difficult to talk about democracy, when our Parliament has failed to implement the last Referendum outcome, namely the UK’s Exit from the EU. And, Labour’s policy on Brexit is crass, namely, and unlike its position in 2017, the Party will now try and renegotiate a different deal to the Clown, and then put the outcome of said negotiations/deal to the electorate and then the bulk of the PLP and Shadow Cabinet members will then campaign against said deal negotiated by a Labour Government in favour of Remain. In a nutshell, the Labour Party policy is now Remain, which is a strange outcome given the absolute Party of Remain, namely the Lib Dems has seen its Polling data tumble.

            Now, please explain to me how we uphold democratic outcomes if the last major democratic outcome has not been implemented after 42 months, and how do we seriously negotiate with Brussels to uphold the 2016 decision, when Brussels has zero incentive to offer anything whatsoever, based on the fact that whatever is offered will be rejected by the government doing the negotiating in any secondary Brexit Referendum. And, if it really does make sense to you, can I sell you an historical bridge in London please?

          • Dungroanin

            Chris your HARD brexit is dead dead dead.

            This is the anti – austerity election.

            Duh – it’s about saving the NHS stoopid!

            Take your tired laments and …

        • Royd

          ‘Labour’s position on Brexit is absurd. In this particular election there is no more important issue.’

          IMHO I think you are incorrect MJ. This election is about everything else – Brexit really is just a side issue. I say that because, should the Tories succeed in their bid for re-election, democracy (as we have known it) in this country will be dead and buried. The Tories will ensure that the Executive, no matter what decisions it makes, what policies it implements, go unchallenged by Parliament and the Judiciary. That is very frightening at the best of times. It’s even more alarming when one considers the calibre of Tory Cabinet members and their hard-right ideology. An ideology that most of the MSM seem to go along with.

          For me, this election is about the kind of country we want to live in, the kind of values we espouse and enact – whether we Brexit or not. If you think Brexit is the key issue then you’ve been well and truly hoodwinked.

  • Republicofscotland

    Yeah the media are currently pushing this.

    Now the revelation that the USA and Trump will ravage our NHS once a deal with the USA is carried out, is now being put across in a light touch fashion, by the media, that its not true and its a Russian disinformation attempt to blacken the Tories, and damage their chances of winning this GE.

    I for one believe what Corbyn found out the truth regarding leaked documents and the tearing up of our current NHS by big pharma in the USA. I don’t for one minute believe the “Russians did it” trope.

    • Steph

      I posted this on the previous thread but it is perhaps more aposite here.
      I was puzzled when the government refused to publish the intelligence report on supposed Russian interference in UK referendum/elections,.as early reporting suggested that no interference had been found, see https://www.buzzfeed.com/albertonardelli/intelligence-report-russia-no-interference-brexit Hard to see why it would be suppressed if nothing much in it.
      But I see today a rumour building that the papers containing US-UK trade negotiations about NHS might have been ‘leaked by russian campaign’. Ben Nimmo is hinting support for that rumour and we all know what that means. I wonder now if this isn’t the real reason why the report has been suppressed, just another tool in the box for Corbyn smearing. Having suppressed the report, thus ensuring everyone believes it contains damning evidence, its so much easier now to build a ‘kremlin connection’ around Corbyn.

      • Los

        The Leak of the documents being attributed to the Russians appears to be a False Flag operation, since the best result for them is for Johnson to get a Majority and then proceed to trash the Nation and releasing the unredacted documents only helps Labour.

        If the Russians really wanted to Help Labour, they would leak the Russia Report that Johnson is sitting on.

        All the coverage of the alleged “Russian Leak” the assertion is stated as being “likely” rather than Proven, so it is all speculation. It might be interesting to conduct some research of the people and companies spinning this to see if they have any interesting connections or past form on this.

        There’s an interesting article in the online Tech Journal, The Register, on how these sort of False Flag operations run:

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/12/05/fooling_attribution_breadcrumbs/

        The most interesting online resource is the original (very, very long) Reddit thread where a wide variety of theories as to what actually happened:

        https://www.reddit.com/r/redditsecurity/comments/e74nml/suspected_campaign_from_russia_on_reddit/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

      • Royd

        The BBC, to their everlasting shame, on Saturday morning were running time and again with headline news bulletins that very clearly were attempting to plant in peoples’ minds a link between Jeremy Corbyn and Russia, via the hacked document. I keep thinking that they can’t get any worse and then they do.

    • Bramble

      Even if the Russians did it (which I don’t believe) it is still a fact that the US is planning to pillage the NHS. Yet notice how the same trick was played to divert outrage against Hillary for stealing Bernie Saunders’ nomination. I cannot believe this mind-numbingly stupid propaganda is being swallowed, and is dominating “progressive/moderate” politics on both sides of the Atlantic, but somehow it is. Why?

    • Willie John

      If there is a hung parliament the Boris will need the Orange Tories to bolster him, and they have receive around £334k in donations from pharma companies (Electoral Commission CO414266). I doubt that was for the tea fund!

  • jeanne barrett

    Edinburgh South, tactical remain voting leaflet and campaigners say to vote labour for Ian Murray. Other constituencies, Snp mainly.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile Tory candidates in the suburbs of London are promising the Tamil communities a two state solution in Sri Lanka if they vote Tory.

    But you Scotland shut up no indyref for you ever, now get back in your box.

    This and a million other reasons is why we must vote SNP.

    The duplicity of the Tories knows no bounds get them out in the rUK as well.

  • Ian Robert Stevenson

    I saw a comment on a pro-Eu Somerset facebook site today which suggested that Johnson has manipulated the media. Undoubtedly the messages coming out of Downing Street are designed to distract. Today the message is that the UK-US trade talks document is a Russian plant. Surely they only have to match it to the redacted document from the government and note the ending of lines and paragraphing -unless it is a VERY complex forgery.
    But I feel it is more likely whoever directs the media have manipulated the rise of Johnson to suit their agenda. He is a low talent individual with no scruples and great ambition. Why would anyone -like the Telegraph -pay more than the Prime Minister’s salary for his indifferent journalism? The donors to the Tory party, Oligarchs and Hedge Fund managers have an agenda and the welfare of working class people in northern Labour constituencies are not part of it.
    I always had a hunch that Reagan was the very sell-able front man for the corporate interests. It might even apply to Trump. When he fails to further their cause, he will be gone.

    • Republicofscotland

      “I always had a hunch that Reagan was the very sell-able front man for the corporate interests. ”

      It has been well, know for years that chairman of Merrill Lynch called the shots when Reagan was POTUS.

      Here he tells President Reagan to hurry up.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QTcL6Xc_eMM

      No doubt Johnson has similar doyens calling the shots.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “No doubt Johnson has similar doyens calling the shots.”

        He’s called Dominic Cummings. Dom tells him what to say, how to dress, how to get his hair cut, what TV shows he can appear on. I wouldn’t be surprised if Johnson’s current squeeze is simply a Dom media stunt to make him appear more settled and less sordid – she was after all a Tory PR person before her “affair”, maybe she’s just taken a big pay rise to act as his girlfriend.

      • Deb O'Nair

        Nancy used to quietly prompt him along during press conferences. He really was a dullard.

      • Dungroanin

        Think he was a god bothering commue basher from wayback in Hollywood and political operator in CallyfoneyA.

        Yes definitely a bit dotey at the end.

  • Alastair

    Craig – re: Dominic Grieve do you mean Beaconsfield rather than Buckingham?

    Buckingham is an interesting case, as we have no recent data on voter intentions due to not having had a proper election in 17 years! We also have 3 Tories standing (including an ex-Tory cabinet minister for the Lib Dems), so our pro-remain Labour candidate ought to have a better chance than might superficially appear to be the case.

  • Roger

    One always has to take the Election System into account. I am an American. Which means that in the restricted 2-party form of democracy (only 1 more party than the Soviets allowed), I almost always have to vote for candidates I really don’t like. In America, its known as the Lessor of Two Evils. Normally, the candidate I’d support as being close to my beliefs would be some combination of Green + Libertarian. But, in the Land of the Free, I can only do that as a Protest Vote. Normally I am in a situation where I am trying to decide which of the lying confidence game artists is Less Evil than the other liar. In the past, that has meant I often vote Democrat to block. But, of recent, the Democrats have been upping their Evil game and its now usually much closer.

    Which is just a long statement that says in the warped, fake versions of Democracy with which we are told we must exist, people must vote Strategically. From a distance, the UK now seems to be in a state where it must stop Alexander de Pfiffel Boris the Spider Johnson. Like in American, the overall totals of popular votes shown in the corporate polls are meaningless. What matters is making sure that the Tories and their minions don’t get a majority.

    • syntax_error

      “In America, its known as the Lessor of Two Evils.”

      South Park had a much better description for the options available 🙂

  • pasha

    I’m curious to understand why, Craig, you place any reliance on the polls when the pollsters have a vested interest in pretending that the Tories will win. The predictors have got it badly wrong since Evil Blair was ousted, so why assume that what they prognosticate now is correct or honest?

  • Jack

    “As the media have lovingly documented, and as is the accepted narrative of the election repeated to us ad nauseam, there are a substantial number of working class Leave voters switching from Labour to Tory over Brexit. They tend (and it is a simple matter of fact) to be less educated, older, and from deprived areas that have suffered most from a finance sector led economic policy.”

    Totally false but very symptomatic by pro-Labour & Remainers.
    The so called educated class have proved the idiocy with open-borders and liberalism in general for many decades now. Its not about “less educated”. Totally arrogant claim.
    Call these voters stupid or not, they have seen something you have not and that is why Labour is most likely not going to win this election. They have failed their core constituents.

    • Steph

      ‘they have seen something you have not’
      Please can you elaborate, what have ‘they’ seen? I was very much with the leave voters who were angry at remainers telling they were wrong or stupid etc., even though I voted remain myself. Up until very recently that is. Now I find it totally incomprehensible that someone who, like myself, has felt the brunt of Tory austerity should vote to be battered over the head for another five years. To me it seems the biggest con of all, but perhaps you know something I don’t?

      • Jack

        Steph
        Its very simple – just hear them out. Its about its about immigration and how that affect the society, west in large. It is a very big issue, one could argue its bad or one could argue it is good. Quite a few working class think it is very bad.
        Some Pro-Labour, Remainers seems to believe that the working class of today think globalism, open borders and identity politics is something they should to care about, because that is what the self-assured pro-Labour / Remainers think are the most important issue themselves and that is why they dont understand these views. In a way they have become elitist.

        • Steph

          Well I’m afraid we will have to agree to differ. Whilst I accept that ‘some Pro-Labour, Remainers’ might believe all the wrong things about many leave voters, and their prissiness has appalled me at times, to imagine that most of them do is stereotyping in exactly the same way. What matters to me is that despite kicking the poor, disabled, mentally ill, elderly, just-about-managing and anyone else who gets in their way in the teeth for the last 9 years, this shower of rich, right-wing, privilidged b******s have somehow managed to convince a fair few folk to let them to carry on kicking. They must be laughing their heads off.
          Btw – it’s not ‘simple’ at all, far from it.

          • Jack

            Steph

            You correctly said alot of these voters are “poor, disabled, mentally ill, elderly, just-about-managing ”
            Isnt it better then to take care about just these people and not accepting more immigrants that is also often plagued with the same social situations? Resources are not unlimited. The people at the top are not affected by immigration, but people in the bottom sure is and thus the voting is perfectly logical for them.

          • George McI

            I’d say the biggest issue is the NHS. If the Tories get in they’ll sell it off to the US. And I can’t think of many things more terrifying than US type health “care”.

          • Steph

            Jack (can’t reply to your last post)
            Do you honestly believe, even in your wildest dreams, that Johnson et al are going to ‘take care of’ anyone at all apart from themselves? The evidence for such a belief is non-existant. Do you really think that voting Conservative is going benefit anybody apart from the already very fortunate? Don’t you think you might have been had?

          • Jack

            Steph

            It is the reality, pro-immigration do not win elections today.
            Immigration cost alot of money, adding more refugees into a nation doesnt help the already poor, it is often on the expense of the poor. Of course the wealthy ones support open borders, they have the money, resources the poor, disabled i.e do not.

          • Bayard

            “Immigration cost alot of money, adding more refugees into a nation doesnt help the already poor, it is often on the expense of the poor. ”

            Ah, I see you believe in Scrodinger’s Immigrant, simultaneously unemployed and a drain on the state and taking a job from hard-working British natives.

          • Jack

            Bayard

            It is a well known fact that refugees but also immigrants for many years, cost more than they give back in taxes.

        • Dungroanin

          Jack,
          “..its about immigration and how that affect the society, west in large. It is a very big issue, one could argue its bad or one could argue it is good. Quite a few working class think it is very bad.”

          Give it a rest with your racist whistleblowing and did you avoid adding ‘white’ to your ‘working class’ patronising.

          The main reason these northern/midland/welsh counting regions ended up with Leave as a result was by ballot rigging – anything over 75% turnout is a dead giveaway in a mature democracy without mandatory voting – all these should have been investigated.

          And NOBODY voted for a HARD brexit.

          • Jack

            Dungroanin

            Another trap, either the vote is manipulated or the people voting is racist. Its so bizarre that leftists turning on themselves like this, meanwhile Tory lead big. No wonder when they are up against yourself sir that are busy shaming the “deplorables” from your own kind.

      • Jack

        Steph

        Tory, Labour, left, right – politicians are the same. What is evident however is that Labour have failed a considerable volume of typical voters obviously.

        • Steph

          Politicians are not all the same but yes, if we lose this election we’ve all failed to help anyone but the very, very rich. And this time they’ll make damn certain we don’t get another chance. Thank you so much for your support.

          • Jack

            Steph

            I think we are seeing a obvious tide in the west today where pro-immigration parties lose to parties with more strict view on immigration. I think it is sad that Labour elite do not realize this because it concerns alot of people and not only on the economic tip.

          • Steph

            Perhaps that is what’s obvious to you. For my own part what I see today is manipulation of social organisations throughout the world in order to concentrate wealth and power into the hands of a very small number of people. It would appear that you believe you are ‘taking back control’. Haha, the irony of it.

          • Jack

            Steph

            Of course it is obvious, just look who win elections today.
            I think the left, right label is useless today, that is why we see some people flocking to Tories on this subject.

    • Mighty Drunken

      “The so called educated class have proved the idiocy with open-borders and liberalism in general for many decades now. ”

      WTF? The idiocy of liberalism? You’re against equality before the law, freedom and democracy?

      The crap commute, long waiting times at the doctor, high house prices, etc have little to do with immigration. Immigrants also pay taxes which pay for these things. The problem is a lack of investment and no desire from recent governments to fix these problems.

      • michael norton

        Mighty Drunken, it actually has a fair bit to do with immigration.
        As you increase the population more quickly than homes are built, the cost of homes increase faster than they would have done, one of the underlying reasons is quite simple to understand, there is no more land, therefore the more call for land, the higher the cost of land.
        This will not change.
        If the population of the U.K. were to go down from 70 million to 35 million, the cost of land would also halve.

      • Jack

        Mighty Drunken

        Yes the open border project is of course a project riddled with idiocy, besides classic liberalism have nothing to do with open-borders, it is a project driven by the highly educated elite which have no idea what regular people think of this project. In fact the elite do not care.
        Brexit prove that, Tory lead prove that, not to speak of europe at large – where this neoliberal open border policy get fewer
        and fewer supporters in the elections.

        Of course immigrants have an impact on society, i.e. if the doctor have to deal with not 30 patients a day but 40 there of course will be an impact on resources and taxation. A rich patient do not have a problem with that but the poor, that is the one that will have to pay.

  • FranzB

    I heard a couple of those BBC radio vox pops from Scotland. Needless to say the people interviewed weren’t going to vote SNP.

    I see BBC radio are now running a Zinoviev letter type scare story. The claim is that the Russians leaked the UK-US trade talks document. (the one that documents the USA’s interest in having access to the NHS’s drugs budget).Heard at least one commentator hint that the Kremlin leaked the document. That goes against the narrative that Putin wants the UK to leave the EU.

    Paul Mason did a video recently (seen on the Canary) claiming that the media would run a number of scare stories in the last week of the election.

    Interesting take on polling stats here which should equally apply to SNP vote:-
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/06/tories-victory-stats-tell-different-story-labour-youthquake

  • Ralph

    Seriously Craig, you expect me to vote for the liberal DUMBS, liberal in their stupidity, to get out my con mp??? No, instead I will vote by spoiling my ballot paper because we have 4 persons standing who don’t represent me, so it’s the way I can show my disagreement and displeasure, and besides, I don’t want a big con majority either.
    In other news, it has been reported today that the % in favour of Scottish independence has dropped.
    By the way Craig, assuming somehow that Scotland does become independent, what number of foreigners do you want Scotland to allow in, and based on what criteria?

    • Willie John

      If the Tories do get in and when Scotland gets its independence you may well wish to emigrate there yourself. What criteria would you like to have to meet?

      • Ralph

        Apart from the fact that you are not Craig, I have absolutely NO interest in living in Scotland; whatever gave you that crazy idea???

  • Alyson

    It was a bit unsettling seeing Dmonic Raab commenting on the early postal voting count to date.

    (Hahaha – sometimes spellchecker!! Sometimes…..)

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14478267.concerns-raised-over-senior-tory-mp-link-to-election-count-firm/

    A TORY MP is a director of a company that has become a major player in how elections are managed in Scotland, it has emerged.

    Concerns have been raised with the Electoral Commission about the involvement with Idox of former Tory Cabinet minister Peter Lilley, who is a senior non-executive director.

    Idox has had a hand in providing count software, including postal vote management support, among other services, for elections since at least 2012.

  • Willie John

    Unfortunately in Scotland we seem to have a wannabe green Tory in Patrick Harvie. By standing candidates in almost every seat he is risking taking votes from the SNP in quite a few marginals. This may well allow a Tory/Lab/LieDem in by default.

  • Brian c

    The vox pops are obviously a psyop. But Tories will always vote Tory if the alternative is even a bog standard European social democratic government. Look at all those high principled Tory “rebels” now sitting in Johnson’s cabinet.

  • J

    Also worth noting that the most often quoted poll, Yougov was set up in 2000 by Stephan Adrian Shakespeare and Nadhim Zahawi.

    Nadhim Zahawi is a currently serving Tory MP and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Industry. Stephan Shakespeare, former owner of website conservativehome . com has had a string of government appointments on advisory committees since 2012 and was named one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in Politics in the Debrett’s 500, 2015.

    • Mary

      I always like to include the facts that he is an Iraqi born oil billionaire and that he heats his horses’ stables and claimed for that on his parliamentary expenses. He has no shame.

          • AKAaka

            my father in Law is one of those voters. Knowing we are Corbyn through and through, brings up and slags off Corbyn asap whenever we see him, then says we won’t speak politics in his house. (Because he knows his daughter will have an answer for every one of his nonsense arguments that he parrots as if straight off the front of the Sun or the Mail.)

            Once she managed to get him to listen, and he said she almost had him convinced, and he said how he used to always vote Labour because “I wanted to make sure those that couldn’t look after themselves would have help, and I knew I’d always be able to take care of myself”… And in the same breath he said, “then I realised they are all just freeloaders.”

            This is the guy who had nothing when he met her Mum. She had a degree and became a teacher. Supported him while he got qualified as a teacher. Then after starting a business together with her money, he cheated on her with an employee, leaving her Mum when my better half was 7, took all the money and the business. Never paid maintenance pleading poverty while raking it in, off the books. Now has something like 4 houses. He was never Labour, and if my Mrs didn’t love him, I’d have knocked his teeth out by now.

            Love may not be the right word. He’s vile, always has been, and she knows it, but we both like to believe there is a glimmer of light inside there somewhere. Problem is he’s like Trump. Thick as shit but thinks he’s all that. And he is all on board with whoever has his ear at the time, which is us briefly, then the golf club as soon as we leave.

  • Mary

    In a Tory stronghold, I was promised that I would receive postal voting paperwork by 27th November. Nothing has arrived.

    On the form that contained that information, I was told that being registered for a postal vote disqualified the person from voting at a polling station! I have phoned the council’s electoral office several times to find out what’s happening.

    On the first I was told that they had problems! The second attempts to contact them were met with constantly engaged tones. What to do??

    • AKAaka

      my better half says threaten to go to the press. I say I’m sure it will still be counted, though the X will not be where you were going to place it.

    • Brianfujisan

      Mary

      What a devious Corrupt bunch you have deal with.. Makes one wonder how many others are being treated like that.

      I wouldn’t take their word for it, that if you haven’t received your paperwork, you still cannot go to the polling station.. I hope you get it sorted.

    • Custard

      Mary

      Go to the Council Offices. Ask at reception to speak to a Senior Officer in Electoral or Democratic Services. Do not leave until you have spoken to them. I work for a Council. My office is next door to Electoral Services. They are all working 14 hours a day to get ready for Thursday.

      Hope you get it sorted out.

    • Tony

      Does not ask what is wrong with Corbyn or Momentum.
      And then, in the studio, spends about 5 seconds discussing movement in the opposite direction.

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