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

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  • Tom74

    Absolutely, Craig. The BBC have been peddling Tory narratives all along, manipulating vox pops in the hope of various sections of society (notably Northern Leave voters) being conned into voting Conservative because ‘everyone else is’. I actually know of people who voted Conservative last time and will be voting Labour or Lib Dem in this election – but this phenomenon, as you say, gets no coverage from the BBC. There is going to be a lot of egg on the faces of the BBC if their vox pops fail to become the self-fulfilling prophecy their hopes – which probably explains the strange, panicky statements of Neil and Marr.
    The other largelyunexplained aspect of recent polls is why Labour support should have fallen at this election. Why would anyone who voted Labour at the last election not do so again, given the shambles since?

    • Glasshopper

      Because in 2017 Labour held on to their leave voters by committing themselves to leaving the CU and SM in their manifesto.

      Now they are a remain party sharing the remain vote with the Lib Dems, SNP and the “Greens”.

      • N_

        Because in 2017 Labour held on to their leave voters by committing themselves to leaving the CU and SM in their manifesto.

        They didn’t commit to either. They said they wanted the benefits of both, but they recognised that freedom of movement, which is one of the four planks of SM membership, would end. As I recall, they said Britain would stay in the CU but they didn’t put it in the manifesto.

        They’re not “a remain party”. Talk sense.

        • bob

          Labour are a remain party – here’s part of a reply from the labour candidate in my constituency – voted 60% to leave the EU ….
          “I am committed to campaigning to remain in the European Union . The last Parliament could not agree on a way forward so I believe it should go back to the People.
          Should Labour be successful and renegotiate a better Deal than the current one. They will undertake a Confirmatory Vote with the Deal and Remain on the Ballot paper.
          I will vote and campaign to Remain as I worry about the future for my six grandchildren on many levels, economic, climatic and security”

          Talk sense

          • MJ

            “Should Labour be successful and renegotiate a better Deal than the current one. They will undertake a Confirmatory Vote with the Deal and Remain on the Ballot paper”

            Haha. The risible nature of Labour’s Brexit policy laid bare. Should it be unsuccessful in renegotiating a better deal, then what? Presumably if Leavers don’t care much for Labour’s deal, they can take a running jump. What a pathetic policy. Tony Benn and Michael Foot must be turning in their graves. Corbyn is too weak to rein in the Blairite remainer neocons in his own party, who have taken over Labour policy before they take over the party again.

          • N_

            @bob – That’s one candidate, not the party. The party does not have a policy of remaining in the EU.

  • SA

    Andrew Marr interviewed both Nicola Sturgeon and John Mc Donnell this morning. Nicola did extremely well and completely outclassed Marr. The only point that Marr could have got against her is ‘would the SNP vote down progressive policies by labour if they did not agree to have a referendum when she was a bit waffly but otherwise excellent performance.
    As to his interview with Mc Donnell interviewed very well too but unfortunately Marr interrupted him louder and more persistently than he tried to do with Sturgeon. But at the end I am not sure why the rehash of the old accusations of antisemitism keep coming up, there is nothing new that has happened to precipitate the new onslaught.

    • N_

      Did Andrew Marr make the obvious point that there is no mandate for a second independence referendum? Did he then observe that she hasn’t got the guts to seek one? If he didn’t, then the fool Nicola Sturgeon probably did outclass him.

      • MBC

        I don’t suppose you’re remotely interested, but just in case: the SNP have a mandate; they campaigned on a second independence referendum at the last election if there were material changes since 2014, which there were, with the sudden Brexit vote and Scotland so clearly voting Remain.

        • N_

          @MBC – If by “the last election” you mean the 2017 Westminster election, in which SNP voteshare plummeted from 50% to 37%, they didn’t say that. (The EUref had already happened.) If you mean the 2016 Holyrood election, they did say that, but they failed to win a majority either in the constituency vote or the regional vote, and they lost their majority in the Scottish parliament too. They run a minority government in Edinburgh propped up by the Greens who didn’t make the same promise and while they support it now there is therefore no mandate for it. You would have thought anyone with an interest in Scottish politics and some kind of non-rabid perspective on it would know that. You would have thought any such person would realise that to show that there is a mandate for something it’s insufficient to show that your beloved Partei proposed it. You have to show that there was sufficient support for it in the ballot box.

          You want a mandate? Call for another Scottish GE. Risk SNP snouts no longer being in troughs.

          • David

            Can a supporter of the Labour party really have the brass neck to talk about snouts in troughs? Labour’s history in Scotland and the North of England would be what, exactly?

            Coming back to bite now though, isn’t it? Why can’t the diehards on any side ever exercise some self reflection? Just how badly has the labour part let down their traditional supporters in order for some to even dream of voting conservative?

            Very badly indeed.

    • Dungroanin

      Why rehash AS bs?

      It is that old refrain of trying to get Labour into a bit of ‘pig wrestling’.

      Also one of the excuses to cover vote rigging.

  • David Humphrey

    You assert that there is an equal number of liberal Tory voters deserting their party as there are working class voters deserting Labour. Where is the evidence for that, and why is it consistently not showing up in the opinion polls?

  • Glasshopper

    Johnson is a liberal in the Ken Clarke tradition. Pro immigration / gay marriage etc. etc.

    He ruffles feathers due to his day job as a columnist where his main claim to fame has been winding up lefty windbags by making non-pc comments. That will upset the sanctimonious identity cranks, but will win him plenty of support among the general public, including minorities.

    Calling Johnson a bigot,over his Spectator columns is like calling Corbyn one over the antisemitism fiasco. Both sides are playing this card to discredit the other. Ultimately it will be about “the economy stupid!” and that will be Corbyn’s downfall.

      • Squeeth

        Corbyn’s reaction made it a fiasco. what’s Liarbour doing allowing zionists to be members of the partei anyway?

        • Dungroanin

          He doesn’t make party rules.

          We are not electing a President – we are electing local representatives.

    • SA

      It would be a good idea to refer to the original quote if you are not to be accused of plagiarism. What you have ‘written’ appears to have been taken from this blog:
      and the writer is a 20 year old student of journalism. My comment is that it is a rather superficial somewhat immature assessment.
      When you then look further into this supposedly neutral website you come across things such as the following contributors:
      – Andrea Leadsom MP
      – Peter Lilley MP
      – Sir John Redwood MP
      – Dr Lee Rotherham, Research Fellow, TaxPayers’ Alliance
      – John Longworth, Co-Chairman, Leave Means Leave and Former Director-General, British Chambers of Commerce

      • Glasshopper

        What on earth are you talking about? Ken Clarke has often mentioned Johnson as a liberal because he’s well known for being one.
        The “letterbox” quote comes from Johnson defending a face-covering policy that is banned in Belgium, Denmark and France to name but three.
        Why aren’t you campaigning against the French, Belgians etc if you consider them to be more illiberal than Boris Johnson?

        • Laguerre

          Johnson doesn’t have any principles, so he can hardly be described as a liberal. He certainly isn’t; he’s an obvious racist for a start. A visceral substratum, where the brain doesn’t come into it.

          • michael norton

            It is quite easy to suspect Boris of being part of the Elite but not the super Elite.
            It is quite hard to understand Laguerre, why you think Boris Johnson is racist.
            His great grandfather was Turkish Muslim.
            His great grandfather on mothers side was Russian/American Jewish.
            He was born in America.
            Being white, British, male and blond, does not mean you have to be a racist.
            Many people he has chosen to assist him in government are from ethnic minorities.
            It would be difficult to be elected, twice, as mayor of London if the voters thought you were an out and out racist.

    • John Deehan

      Hmm, calling Muslim women letterboxes, insulting black people, working class men, single mothers and so on is hardly winding “ the lefties up”. It is a reflection of the philosophy of the Tory party. In the sixties in West Bromwich in the 1964 GE a Tory leaflet said “ if you want a nxgger for a neighbour vote Labour”. Not forgetting of course : the rivers of blood speech by Powell, Andrew Langley, said in 2012 racism is systematic in the Tory party or Baroness Warsi talking about the Islamophobia is rife in the Tory party. Unfortunately, you seem to think the fabricated AS against Corbyn is true. As Chomsky said you have to admire the MSM for accusing a man of racism, when he has fought against it all his life.

      • Glasshopper

        I consider the slurs against Corbyn grossly unfair and over the top. That doesn’t change the fact that Johnson is a liberal.

        • John Deehan

          Hmm, definition of a liberal “ willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own…”. Besides his open racism and prejudice against: race, religion, gender and class, he threw out over 21 Tory mps who he considered to be against his opni

        • Michael

          I think the modern use of liberal is someone who seeks freedom for capital not people, and I believe that’s the principle on which the Liberal Party was founded in the mid-19th century. It needed to appeal to some Conservative Party voters whose first concern was always money but who may have been uncomfortable with the dire conditions of the working classes. In those days of course only the property-owning classes had the vote so the Liberal Party couldn’t appeal to working class voters.

      • Slave2PaperWithInkOn

        The 3.22 YouTube video ”NORMAN FINKELSTEIN on The Anti-Semite Corbyn Claims,” by Renegade Inc and the 11.25 ”The Infamous Page 48 of Boris Johnson’s Manifesto,” by A Different Bias

      • N_

        @John – You make some very instructive references there: the election in Smethwick in 1964 and Enoch Powell’s “blood” speech in 1968 in which he calls black people “piccaninnies”, a word picked up later by Boris Johnson. Enoch Powell has long been a hero for most Tories, whether they are inside or outside the actual Tory party. Leave is an explosion of Powellism.

    • George McI

      “Calling Johnson a bigot,over his Spectator columns is like calling Corbyn one over the antisemitism fiasco. Both sides are playing this card to discredit the other.”

      Except that Johnson has got the entire media including the BBC on his side. Witness 26 Nov BBC 6 O’Clock News: 6 seconds of Tory Islamophobia against 10 minutes of “Corbyn is Hitler”.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      “a columnist where his main claim to fame has been winding up lefty windbags by making non-pc comments”
      So Johnson doesn’t really mean the things he says repeatedly?

  • N_

    So the Financial Times is not backing the Tories. That’s interesting.

    Regarding Labour, is there a single member of the Labour Friends of Israel who has stood up for the Labour party against the attacks by Zionists, attacks which as we know have included vicious false accusations of anti-Semitism? Time for a split after the election, I hope. If the anti-racist section of the party can’t ban the LFOI, they should leave. If you don’t stand up for your own team when it is under attack, you are a piece of sh*t – you’re playing for some other team.

    • SA

      It is probably best if the labour party, hopefully after a successful election declare themselves a non-racist party and require that for balance it will no longer tolerate obviously racially, ethnically or religiously partisan sub groups but fight for the equality and dignity of all and for the rights of self determination of oppressed populations. It should ask all MPs to sign on this.

  • David

    apologies for the acronym soup to follow, CA & SCL have last week been found to be “deceptive” (actually false & deceptive tactics) by the US FTC.

    16 pages pdf of just-released ‘shutting stable door’ here

    and the BREXIT SCL/CA/AIQ/DUP/etc tie-in is from NYC , from a couple of years ago

    • Mosaic

      I haven’t read the New Yorker piece tha t is linked, but I don’t trust TNY anymore.
      Since David Remnick took over as editor it has become a Zionist rag, IMHO.
      I subscribed for years, but no longer.

  • Squeeth

    “I believe the country faces a lurch to the genuine far right”

    Where’ve you been since the mid-60s?

    • Marmite

      Interesting how what works like a charm for the Tories and their white supremacist supporters (ie, racism) is precisely what McDonnell claims will hurt Labour’s chances very badly.

      While in France, I am intrigued by the use of egalitarian rhetoric to initiate an assault on pensions. I have started to see this elsewhere too. The use of the language of making things fairer to everyone, as a means of making life exceedingly difficult for the working classes. Am I missing something, or am I right to be suspicious of this? Hoping someone can shed some light, though it seems the French have now been left with no choice but to topple their government and make an example to the rest of Europe. One can only hope, anyway.

      • Rowan Berkeley

        “The use of the language of making things fairer to everyone, as a means of making life exceedingly difficult for the working classes.”
        I think you’re right. Hypocrisy is endemic.

  • Alyson


    If you have a postal vote you cannot vote in person at a polling station. You can, however, hand in the completed form at a polling station within your area if you haven’t got time to post it.

    23 Apr 2019

  • Gray Bendel

    Craig, really respect what you say here and many times in past. But am quite surprised about your advice to vote SNP. In some seats, maybe?
    But are you suggesting Labour supporters to vote SNP in Labour-held seats in Scotland where Labour have won election after election since 1983 or 2005?? I’m talking seats such as Midlothian, Coatbridge and other target Labour seats.

    I understand your cautious logic but are you asking Labour to, on purpose, tank in Scotland 2019 as it did in 2015 (under Milliband) so that in future the poor results are used as a pretext to not have a left-leaning leader or progressive programme?

    • Republicofscotland

      “But am quite surprised about your advice to vote SNP. In some seats, maybe?”

      Not in some seat but all seats, the Red Tories in Scotland are finished.

    • MBC

      Gray, Labour have lost Scotland. It’s over. Totally. It’s never coming back. That was clear in the indy campaign when there was no Yes section in Scottish Labour and Scots saw them occupy the same platforms as the Tories to rubbish Scottish aspirations. In 2015 there followed a wipe out of Labour seats in Scotland as Scots abandoned the party they had always thought was Scotland’s party. The scales had fallen from their eyes. In 2017 there was a bit of a Corbyn bounce as some Labour voters were tempted back enough to just slip in a few seats. But since Brexit and Corbyn’s wishy washy stand on that and on his hostility to Scottish independence that is slipping away. Scots are disappointed in Corbyn. He is never going to do anything for Scotland, or for Scottish aspirations, that much is clear.

      • Alyson

        Labour’s stand on Brexit is not wish washy. That is just how the Non Dom billionaire newspaper owners, and the biased BBC, convey it. It is in the 2017 and the 2019 manifestos. It says we stay in the Customs Union for jobs and trade. We negotiate reciprocal rights, especially for spouses and immediate family, and freedom of movement as we see it benefitting everyone. We keep work place rights and environmental protections – and our human rights – and we have the freedom to create national infrastructure free from new EU rules which say markets must have access to state infrastructure. We make our own laws. We have a vote on this, or Remain which would keep all the freedoms and rights we currently have, and the vote is binding. Much of what Labour is promising to deliver to the whole of the UK is already policy and practice in Scotland. So I wouldn’t risk voting Labour. Stick with the SNP

      • N_

        That was clear in the indy campaign when there was no Yes section in Scottish Labour and Scots saw them occupy the same platforms as the Tories to rubbish Scottish aspirations.

        “To rubbish Scottish aspirations”, huh? You realise that you are saying that a Scottish political party deliberately seeks to prevent the Nation from achieving its destiny? You realise you’re saying Nationalist Scots are more Scottish than the Unionist majority?

  • Erasmus Mustang

    Leave voter+ uneducated and stupid. Remain voter = educated, intellectual and more enlightened.
    Got it.

    • Sarge

      Mogg: People died in the fire b/c they’re stupid.

      Patel: People are in poverty b/c they’re stupid.

      Stanley Johnson: The great British public are stupid.

      Boris Johnson: Working class men are drunk, & stupid.

      Leave voters: Wish remoaners would stop calling us stupid, vote Conservative.

      • MJ

        I had some remainer on here the other day advising me, as a leaver, to vote Labour. How stupid is it possible to be?

        • Sarge

          A question that may flash thrru your mind in old age when the invoice drops from United Health Inc.
          Hopefully Boris will help you out.

        • AKAaka

          I voted leave, and I am voting Labour. By your logic that makes me stupid. Well, I’m not going to argue but I will say this. I think that if a fair referendum with honest campaigning and clear exit strategy vs remain still gets a leave result (which I think it would) then that plan would be executed under Labour.

          Under Tories, you get a biased campaign of lies, under a corrupt government, then promoting themselves as strong and stable while being the absolute opposite. They have seen an opportunity to make a lot of money for themselves and that is all. By keeping the economy as unstable as possible they have made a fortune in the ups and downs. By despatching the cabinet from meets telling the press what is happening next, then announcing the complete opposite minutes later officially, it’s insider trading on steroids. They will keep this up as long as possible, ideally before finally crashing out as hard as possible to make the longer investments against the pound pay off. Yeah I’m talking about you Mogg. They don’t give a toss about the damage it will cause, the risk to life, livelihoods and the generations it will affect. They will make a mint that’s all that matters. If that’s not bad enough then yes there is the selling out of our NHS. Drug prices unaffordable running down the NHS further until people actually cry out for private health care because the alternative is death. Then pay £5-20K for insurance and an excess of thousands and still only get some of your care paid for by the policy if you’re not on the platinum package. Still not bad enough, well there’s talk of having gene mapping at birth to detect for problems that might arise later in life. Great stuff, but how’s that going to affect your insurance? People will love it because it will bring premiums down for those who are in the clear, everyone else will be fucked. Whole families are ruined in the US when just one family member falls ill with inadequate or no cover. Whole families condemned to fighting their way out of poverty for generations.

          Vote Tory to Get Brexit Done? Yeah, maybe eventually once they’ve had their fun and games for god knows how many years and personally made their billions. Brexit may eventually get done, and you’ll have been done too.

          • N_

            @AKAaka – Excellent post. Have you got a link about cabinet ministers manipulating markets that way?

          • Magic Robot

            N_ @December 9, 2019 at 04:58
            ‘Ordeal in England’ by Sir Philip Gibbs, pub. 1937, referencing Harry Pollitt and the enquiry into munitions profiteering after the Great War (Or was it John Strachey ‘The Coming Struggle for Power’) sorry, age related.
            The ‘old money’ is still with them; and a leopard doesn’t change his spots, so no link necessary – the old way works better.

    • Marmite

      That’s basically it, Erasmus, but not for the reasons that most would think, nothing to do with Europe or the protection of the privileges of the elite, and nothing to do with markets.

      The remain vote is a more enlightened one because it is realised that isolation, non-cooperation, narcissism, etc., are corrosive to the aspirations of peace and a liveable planet.

      • Glasshopper

        We’re not leaving Europe and plan to trade with them and the rest of the world, so your points are silly and irrelevant.

        Why don’t you go to another island nation state like Japan and tell them they should be taking their laws from Beijing?

        • Dungroanin

          Ah glasshopper you have eyes but do not see!

          ‘The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership[5], (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand). The world’s largest trade bloc, the RCEP accounts for half the world’s economy and, in contrast to the WTO, is biased in favor of developing nations and excludes investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS)[6] mechanisms that advantage private corporations over states.’

          That is just one of several Eurasian groups that China is the big cheese in – Japan knows what is best for Japan – it isn’t the Anglo Imperialists.

          • Johny Conspiranoid


            This sounds like a much better deal than the EU, especially the trade disputes bit. Can we join?

          • Dungroanin

            The EU is already partaking in the EurAsian Economic Union.(EAEU).
            Belt & Road and various other initiatives make it inevitable that the Anglo imperial 400 year hagemony is over.

            The US – Kissinger and co have known it for decades hence trying to keep China and Russia apart, and Russia and EU apart.
            Brexit is all part of that disruption.
            As is HK.

            Instead Russia and China have been pushed together – India, Pakistan, Central Asia, Turkey, ASEAN countries – are inevitably drawn into a RULES based economoic and security relationship.

            That means the US controlled UN is replaceable; the Fed controlled $ is replaceable;
            The BIS is replaceable.

            The EU/EAEU is here and we are part of it unless the Imperialist manage to steal their HARD brexit to make us their Singapore on Thames an off-shore haven where crooks from that new empire can hide their wealth.

        • Marmite

          Glasshopper – Apart from it being difficult to understand your use of language, the logic here also has me somewhat puzzled.

      • bevin

        “The remain vote is a more enlightened one because it is realised that isolation, non-cooperation, narcissism, etc., are corrosive to the aspirations of peace and a liveable planet.”
        Nothing is more corrosive than an organisation of states, pledged in its constitution to insist on the practise of neo-liberal policies and governed by a secretariat which does not have to report to the people but to corporate lobbyists and Head of Government meetings in which half of those involved are semi fascists and none of whom is elected on the basis of EU politics.

        • Marmite

          bevin – with respect, you are missing the point here. None of what you say is contested, and we all agree on that. But I consider it very fallacious if not dangerous to keep using that same tired argument about the nastiness of the EU. What’s new? Anyway, that position is really dated, far in the past here, and reflects a 1990s stance. We are in 2020, and much has shifted. If you take a really honest and hard look at the alternative, which is the exacerbation of an unfettered right-wing neoliberalism state by state, it is really very grim all around. It might be slightly less grim if leaving the EU was executed under a Labour government, where certain things have a better chance of being protected. But that is unlikely to happen, I’m afraid. Given the sorry state of education in Britain (and Europe’s southern and eastern regions), the more likely scenario is a domino effect leading to the rise of fascist (never mind semi-fascist) states that are violently anti-migration and engaged in multiple forms of conflict over the privilege to keep on raping the earth. I know it takes a bit of imagination, but we all need to try a bit harder here.

          • Marmite

            I might also add that one of the things that surprises me most is how gullible the larger share of the British population has been in the face of Tory scapegoating of the EU and migrants.

            I sometimes wonder if all the accusations of anti-Semitism made against Labour have to do precisely with the need to take attention off of a kind of scapegoating (by the Tories) that is no less evil and insidious as the scapegoating of migrants, Communists, Jews and homosexuals under the Third Reich.

  • mike

    McDonnell giving ground on the antisemitism psyop again. The more you apologise the more they’ll come after you. Doesn’t he realise that? Perhaps it’s too close to the election to tell them support for justice in Palestine is non-negotiable!

    • Alyson

      There is no hierarchy in racism. All communities deserve the same rights and protections. This is the response I would like to hear. However if the Jewish community is anxious then it can have the reassurance it seeks that Labour will not tolerate anti semitism at all

      • Tony

        There is no reassurance required. Socialist Jews are out en-masse doing outstanding work on social media debunking this psy-op, but the msm is studiously ignoring them. Right wing Jews (including red torys) are being promoted all over the msm lying through their teeth to promote said psy-op.

    • Hatuey

      Corbyn should make a major announcement on antisemitism. He should apologise for any found and set up a full independent enquiry. He should also pledge to convene a public enquiry into all forms of racism and hate crime should he form the next government.

      This is all tediously conventional PR management stuff — page one, day one stuff.

    • N_

      If anyone in the Labour leadership has made the point that what has angered the Lobby is the manifesto promises to stop selling weapons and allowing judicial immunity to criminals against humanity, and to recognise the state of Palestine, I haven’t noticed. John McDonnell’s grovelling apology was sad to hear.

  • Dungroanin

    I too find the 42% prophecy a dead give away that the vote rigging will be used to achieve the ‘right result’ in these ‘Labour Wall’ seats.

    The ubiquitous Del Piero was also doing the radio round on LBC Mairs show on Friday (Usual AS bs) where he was asking only for callers who had just made their mind up about changing their usual vote – you can guess the vox pops they got!

    In tbe meantime Greyzone have an updates version of the intelligence services anti-Corbyn briefings to our press. It is odious that Nimmo of the AC and ii is allowed to get away with their shit.

    I really can’t wait till they are all dragged infront of Leveson2 and Suckerberg and his social media fellow barons and enforcers are forced to testify under oath.

    If the answer is 42 – what was the question?

    They are taking the piss and we should watch the turnout for these areas where Tories miraculously win and the excuse will be ‘brexit innit’? The social media campaign and flash crowd brexiteer dancers are the visuals that will be used to EXPLAIN why viters ‘changed’. Anything over 73% turnout is suspect. Anything over 80% will be a desperate attempt and dead giveaway.

    How can the postal votes be seperately measured? They already are by Idox the PRIVATE company running the management of PV’s on a contract they got upon its privatisation under the con/libdem coalition. The idea that almost 100% of certain age groups will vote is ludicrous. I mean how do we even check that the DEAD aren’t submitting postal votes? Or just enough to get 42%?

    In a straight assessment my current guess would be an overall Labour margin of some 1.2 million votes at a normal high over turnout of 70%+ that would in my opinion translate to a 20- 40 seat majority.

    No wonder there is blind PANIC and throwing of sinks from the spooky and ex-spooky aristo militarists who are desperate that centuries old Game will finally come to an end and they WILL be held to account! I expect Labour to call in the lawyers should the stitch up proceed. I am ready to take to the streets and stop an illegal Parliament being opened with her third queens speech in a year.

    We aren’t stupid and if civil war is what they insist upon let them start it – we will finish it.

    • Muffel

      Dungroanin, what is ‘the 42% prophecy?’ I have read every post on this thread but have clearly missed something.

      Your comments on vote rigging are worrying and sadly fit with my experience when tallying votes. A final ballot box arrives late with a completely different vote split to the other boxes, tipping the result. It only seems to happen when things are close…..

      • Dungroanin

        You clearly didn’t bother to read CM’s article??

        “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.”

        • Ken Kenn

          Well – they appear to have garnered nearly all Farage’s followers votes and are stuck at 42%.

          Is this ‘ Peak Tory?’

          The great mistake ( and this was the Guardians and Centrists big hope ) was that the Euro Elections would lead to a four party split among the electorate.

          In opinion polls for a while it did until a GE was called.

          EU elections are always low turn out and are not great indicators in a GE.

          We are now back to a two party split with possibilities for minority governments to align on certain policies.

          It’s that obvious even Bottler Boris has spotted the potential connection with the Labour Party and the SNP post GE.

          He (Johnson ) has dropped the hint hat if the Tories can’t secure a majority he will not carry on as the Leader.

          Peak Tory seems to have been hit and it is now down to the Don’t Knows- the young people and some of the Waspy Women to get some payback.

          The larger the turnout on the day the better the chance of stopping these dangerous idiots in their tracks.

          The weather is not as terrible as Cummings would have wanted either.

          Labour have a lot of activists with cars so the door knockers will have their work cutout but the more the merrier.

          It’s do-able and personally I’d be happy to get back to where we were so that Johnson and his mad Cabinet of weirdos
          can’t do what they would like to do to the people of the United Kingdom.

          As I said previously – any potential vote rigging could happen in Johnson’s Constituency.

    • Jerry

      Dung, it’s the Labour PARTY, NOT the Corbyn Party. Labour was voted out for a reason. I’m NOT voting them back in. They have helped murder disabled and other vulnerable people – it’s the exact same MPs, and Corbyn was happy to go along as a backbencher, changing nothing, in order to keep getting a fat paycheck. Had 1 million people died, Corbyn would NOT have resigned in protest.

      But, like Assange, who supports Brexit – I hope he gets the election result he wants: a Tory win – LET’S DO THIS! – you only care about the people you care about and no one else matters. Labour is NOT fit for purpose anymore.

      • Tony

        Sorry, but your post is nonsense. Jeremy Corbyn wants the torys to win the GE? Julian Assange does too because he supports brexit, even though he’s supporting his own demise by doing so?

        Btw, I support brexit, but I’ll be voting Labour because, as Craig has pointed out, there are hugely bigger issues at stake this time around.

      • Dungroanin

        Lol. NuLabourInc. Blairites. Rebel chicken coup PLooPers. FOI members.
        Many thankfully will never be seen in Parliament again after Thursday.
        But many will still remain through their safe parachuted into seats – the election having been called just in the nick of time as they were beginning to go through the reselection processes. They will be the 5th columnists voting against tge Labour manifesto they are standing on! Though many haven’t mentioned it ONCE on their leaflets.

        The desperation is delicious- more please!

    • John Pillager

      My goodness Jerry, your backwards and upside down statements are completely deranged !!!!!

  • mike cobley

    Great and insightful piece – however, as an inhabitant of Ayrshire I must tell you that just as I will never ever vote Tory I shall similarly never ever vote SNP. Other than that, venceremos!

  • mike

    If a Blairite were to become leader of the Labour Party the AS psyop would stop tomorrow.You’d hear no more about it. The EHRC would then say the party is doing all it can to fight AS. Until a LFI Blairite leads them, Labour will never be able to do enough.

    • N_

      Or a stooge of the Lobby without known explicit LFOI membership would be acceptable too – just so long as the three points about Israel that the Jewish fascists dislike are all removed from the Labour manifesto.

      Influence has been exerted over British political culture such that even a straightforward and obviously true statement such as “You dislike Labour policy against the fascist entity called Israel, and that’s why you’re calling us anti-Semites and getting your lackeys to call us the same thing” would be denounced as tantamount to the worship of Adolf Eichmann and Joseph Mengele.

      The 3 points in the manifesto again: 1) Stop selling weapons used to violate human rights of Palestinians; 2) Judicial accountability for war criminals and criminals against humanity; 3) immediate recognition of state of Palestine.

      • Wikikettle

        N_. Corbyn had the chance to withdraw the whip from the 100 Labour MP’s who broke the three line whip on weapons sales to KSA. He should have fought accusations of AS. Now even if he wins, he’s stuck with his back stabbing front bench and Blairite MP’s. Galloway has announced he’s starting a new Party !

      • wonky

        by the way.. Eichmann, one of the uber-nazis who CHOSE Israel as his go-to country after he could no longer stay and prosper in Argentina. No mossad ever kidnapped him heroically, instead they granted him asylum. Why? Troll along, nothing to see here..

  • N_

    Has there been any polling on what proportion of people in Northern Ireland support the Tories’ proposed plan for Northern Ireland?

    • Mighty Drunken

      You would think that would be an obvious and important question to ask. Especially as the media tend to view the election as focused on Brexit.

  • AKAaka

    Hilarious debate tonight. Labour smashed it again. SNP was top notch.

    No doubt youGov will have a poll out saying how the Cons won even though they didn’t show up. I say they didn’t show up, but the presenter was their mouth piece, quite literally, unashamedly announcing that she would answer in their place. The presenter of the debate was the conservative representative! Hilarious. She did get it the neck, but not half as much as she should have.

    It’s going to be a landslide, just let them try and stop it! I’ve said it before I’ll say it again. I think they can nudge the result with rigging, but not enough. Everyone get out and vote. Rig that Tory scum!

  • Rachel

    “John McDonnell has apologised to the Jewish community ‘for the suffering we have inflicted on them'”

    How abject can Corbyn and McDonnell get with their endless apologies? They’re already on their knees! I say they should be imprisoned for what they’ve done. No, execution! Corbyn and McDonnell have carried out nothing less than a Holocaust. Anyone who denies this should do some serious soul-searching.

    But NO apology to the disabled and others that Labour has helped murder when over 200 of their MPs either abstained on or supported the Tories’ “Welfare Reform Bill”.

    I hope Labour loses, and I hope this country gets everything it deserves!

    Time for a big payback for 30 years of British selfishness and greed – time to sink this country:

    • Hatuey

      Three weeks ago I would have agreed and I’m sure I’ve said more than once that England deserves Brexit for being stupid enough to vote for it.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Well informed, fair minded and observant people around the world can tell that Corbyn is not anti-Semitic.

        The difficulty with some folks in Israel and beyond is that anyone who questions settlement expansion or disregard for the 1967 borders or disenfranchisement of Palestinians etc. automatically is labelled anti-Semitic; so be it with Corbyn too.

        But back to the main topic:-

        It seems to me that the UK is at a cross-roads.

        Some believe that Boris Johnson and BREXIT is the answer.

        Others are more fearful of what a hard no-deal BREXIT will mean.

        My reading is that the EU will not make it easy for the UK to leave – and – a heavy price will be paid. Additionally, I think that Johnson is overly optimistic that he will be in a better position with a leave and good chance to have access to a much needed EU market in the best interest of the British economy and her people.

        A second referendum at least gives the waring factions a final chance to say absolutely ‘yea’ or ‘nay’. A slim majority victory either way would not be a good thing for either side, because the on-going national feeling would be that, either way the decision is not a conclusive and/or overwhelmingly decisive result. In political terms that would be yet another hung-parliament.

        The polls seem to suggest at present that ol’ Boris has the upper hand and lead.

        Not long off now for Judgment day.

        We shall see.

        • james

          courtenay barnett and hatuey – yes, i think that over using this term anti-semite is a very big mistake on the part of some.. the label becomes more and more meaningless and will have the opposite effect if they keep on using here as they have on corbyn… thanks for both your comments..

      • Hatuey

        james, good article but he’s hardly saying anything we didn’t already know.

        I think they have over-egged the antisemitic pudding and they know it. Even those of us who think Corbyn is a pretty ineffectual politician would acknowledge that he’s well-meaning and essentially benign.

        Not only have they failed to hurt him with this stuff, they have helped him define himself as the anti-establishment option and that stuff is fashionable these days (hence brexit).

        It’s also likely to backfire — whether Corbyn wins or loses — and leave Jews in the UK exposed to real anti-semitism which has always been a more serious problem of ‘the right’.

        Who will the Jewish community turn to when real bad men come knocking? Yes, people like Corbyn.

      • Bramble

        The real lesson here is that one must go to an Israeli paper for the truth about Mr Corbyn’s alleged “anti Semitism” – that the accusations are false and in fact a blatant example of a foreign state, Israel, intervening in a British election to pursue its own ends. No British paper or media outlet dare say this for fear of being called anti Semitic. Oh – and no, Mirvis isn’t the voice of British Jewry. He represents the 40 per cent who are Orthodox Jews (maybe) but not many others. Actually he is the voice of Israeli interests.

    • James Boswell

      Here’s the top Key Finding listed in the latest Week 4 report:

      The main party leaders continue to dominate coverage of this campaign. Their prominence continues to remain unchallenged for a further week, and Jeremy Corbyn retains his place at the top of the list. But some of the attention paid to the Labour leader, particularly in the print media, continues to be very hostile towards him, his party and their manifesto.

      • Hatuey

        James, I don’t know if I’d say that was the top key finding.

        In context, the study continues to show that the vast majority of articles about Labour were negative, and indeed the number of negative articles about Labour has grown as the campaign has continued, whilst the majority of articles about the Tories continue to be positive.

        We can see that similar negative bias towards the SNP was more or less consistent throughout too.

        This is hard proof that UK newspapers are extremely biased against Labour and the SNP whilst at the same time doing everything they can to put the Tories in a good light.

        It should be front page news of every newspaper but, then, irony aside, I suppose that’s the real conclusion — the vile right-wing bastards can print what they want and are corrupt to the core.

        • SA

          It is interesting that one of Johnson’s tactics is to raise the ‘spectre’ of a Labour SNP coalition as a reason not to vote Labour.

          • Hatuey

            SA, there’s nothing new in that. They’ve done that in the last 2 elections. The problem this time is that a lot of English people have seen and heard Nicola Sturgeon and regard her as a better, more sane, and rational politician than most of her English counterparts.

            Sturgeon keeps talking about the potential or agreement with Labour it seems. Ideally she’d shut up about that but I guess they are asking her about it constantly, just as they ask labour about antisemitism, looking for a stick to beat Labour with.

  • Los

    Looks like on HMGV’s BBC agenda’s this week is to seek to blame Grenfell on the Firefighters sent to deal with it, now that the Fire Chief has been persuaded to resign.

    Westminster Conservatives: “If you seek their Monument, look around”.

    • Mary

      Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council’s chief planning officer, Jonathan Bore, who signed off the installation of the Grenfell Tower cladding, is now an inspector at the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol. He attends local appeals and decides on planning applications and hears appeals against decisions of local councils to protect the Green Belt and open spaces against the developers’ plans which locally even include plans to build on agricultural land! The developers employ top class barristers.

      The so called ‘Local Plans’ were a wheeze created by Blair in 2004 to allow developers to get round the planning restrictions and to simplify the decision making in local councils. A rubber stamp.

      Housing developers are now donors to the Tory Party in the main, eg Tony Pidgley of Berkeley Homes . He even got a gong from Cameron. .

      Planning inspector signed off Grenfell Tower refurbishment
      A planning inspector scrutinising Mid Sussex’s local plan signed off the refurbishment of London’s Grenfell Tower where at least 79 people are missing and presumed dead following the huge blaze.

      • Pyewacket

        Mary, it has always amazed me how some folk get to have a teflon like career path. They create fuck up after fuck up, but always get to both move on, and move on upwards, leaving a trail of destruction in their wakes, and never, ever, ever face the consequences of their actions. In fact the equally charmed luckier ones sometimes become Lord someone or other, or get letters after their names.

        • Mary

          Pyewacket. Thanks. Permission has been given to developers (the McAllisters’ Rutland Group) for 2,000 houses on the redundant BAE Dunsfold aerodrome (used to film the petrolheads on Top Gear) and to an anonymous developer registered in the Cayman Islands! for 2,000 houses on the disused Wisley airfield which is adjacent to the A3 and just a mile or two from Jct 10 of the M25 where the A3 joins it.

          Cosy letters between the local borough council and the county council giving support to and the thumbs up on the Wisley plan have been revealed.

          The local roads including the A3 and the M25 are already like car parks for most of the day (crashes are frequent) and the infrastructure (such as shops. schools, doctors) does not exist. For instance a group GP practice in the area with five branches is considering closure. They are overwhelmed and cannot get staff including doctors.

          Judge Ouseley gave the thumbs up on Wisley. Jonathan Bore (mentioned before!) was the Inspector! YCNMIU

          Waverley BC give ‘garden village’ status to Dunsfold. LOL.

          No brown envelopes were exchanged in these transactions! A prominent and well known estate agent based in Mayfair supported the Wisley application and development. They have no pecuniary interest in the development of course.

  • joel

    Would Tory remainers prefer a Corbyn government to a Johnsom one? The evidence of all modern history shows that liberals, moderates, centrists or whatever they choose to call themselves fear the left far more than they fear the far right. Far more.

    • joel

      Just look at who centrist media, the Labour right, and the Lib Dems have been fanatically smearing and making up lies about.
      It isn’t Boris Johnson.

  • Tom

    Once again, Craig revealing his bourgeois bias against Brexit supporters.

    Do you ever think they might be less well educated because they didn’t have the educational opportunities you have? These days if you want to do a degree you have to borrow tens of thousands of pounds. For people who are already poor, thanks to mass immigration and neoliberal economics, that’s just not feasible.

    Also, the fact that they are less well educated doesn’t make their opinions any less valid or true. They have been fucked over by the EU, and it makes perfect sense for them to vote to leave an organisation that has fucked them over.

    Just like it makes sense for the Scots to vote to leave the UK. But of course, we never heard anything about how uneducated SNP/independence voters are. Can’t think why…

    (Before you fuckwits start, I voted Remain).

    • craig Post author

      You are arguing against a number of things I did not say. I did not say or imply they were uneducated by their own fault. Nor are they poor through their own fault. But it is not immigration that has caused their poverty. It is their lack of education that makes them susceptible to that kind of mindless racist propaganda.

      • Geoffrey

        Why bother educating poor,stupid racist Brits when you can hire keen young Eastern Europeans so cheap ?

      • genner55

        ” It is their lack of education that makes them susceptible to that kind of mindless racist propaganda.”

        That sounds pretty ridiculous to me! Are you saying people need to be taught what to think? What specific lack of education makes people susceptible to mindless racist propaganda? Hopefully most people judge people how they find them (good and bad) and not some kind of judgement based on what they are told or taught to think.

  • Robert Neely

    As a generally supportive reader from Belfast, I am surprised to see your support for the political partner of a terrorist group known for torture, support of rapists, child murder and rendition of women and others for execution in an adjoining country.

    • craig Post author

      I think you’ll find they’ve given that up, Robert. I spent a very interesting weekend in Belfast with a convicted bomber released under the Good Friday Agreement. I found his story and his new dedication to peace and intercommunal cooperation both inspiring.

    • michael norton

      it is being said that Labour are two per cent down on last week, while Conservatives are two per cent up on last week, giving Boris 14% lead.

  • Pyewacket

    Jason, so best not mention the cutting off, of boy babies dicks then, without their permission, because it’s not genital mutilation.

    • Mary

      That was Katya Adler (usually in Jerusalem) reporting from the Women in Film and TV Awards giving her critique on Johnson in 8 tweets.

      Ooh er missus! We can’t have that sort of stuff. She will have to account for herself to Ms Unsworth who replaced James Harding as the Director of News and Current Affairs.

  • michael norton

    The truth about this election is it is all about democracy.
    This is the Brexit Election, either you think Democracy is a good thing and you will vote for a party who promises to respect the Referendum and Leave the E.U.
    or you do not believe in Democracy and will probably vote for the LibDem scum.

    Brexit is about leaving the E.U.
    Let’s look at a few examples, look how they sacrificed Greece, look at Malta, virtually a Mafia State, look at Spain, look at the state of France, always on the streets or striking, look at Germany, edging closer and closer to facism.
    It is in an utter mess, but hey, just vote LibDem for more of the same E.U. crap.

    • Bayard

      “This is the Brexit Election,”
      No it isn’t, nor was the last one. Even the referendum wasn’t entirely about Brexit: a fair chunk of those who voted to Leave only did so because the Tory government, that Tory government that had given them shit for years, wanted to Remain. If the Tories lose this election (here’s hoping!), it will be because they are shitty Tories, not because they support Leave and certainly not because they support democracy, unless “democracy” happens to coincide with what they want to do anyway.

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