It feels like people are staggering about after some act of extreme public violence, all offering completely different accounts of what they’ve witnessed. I am as incapable of anyone else of making any sense of it so resorting to these …
- The election gives renewed strength to the claims for a mandate for a Scottish referendum. But this still requires fresh tactics, strategy and thinking from the Yes movement, the SNP and the Scottish government. Nothing is easy or automatic and the political task remains to reach out to people beyond the sub-culture of the independence movement.
- The Scottish Labour Party has suffered an un-survivable loss. They have gone from 50 to 1 MPs in a couple of decades. Their inability to change or evolve their constitutional position has destroyed them. The fact that Richard Leonard is still in post is as astonishing as the fact that Jeremy Corbyn is.
- The idea spewing out of the remnants of the New Labour project that the lesson from Corbyn’s disastrous campaign is a return to Blairism and radical centralism is as stupid as the idea from the Corbynistas that they just need one last push.
- The problem with the “only solution is a centrist politics” argument is the huge pile of defeated centrist politicians lying before you … from Jo Swinson, to Ed Miliband, to Chuka Umunna.
- If you think things can’t get any worse, you are wrong. Johnson’s powerbase has expectations and political agenda is self-described as a “New Dawn”. This should be seen as a portent.
- Large sections of the population have been affected by Gaslight Populism. This is the lefts failure as much as the rights success.
- If you want to know how bad things are Felicity Buchan won Kensington for the Tories from Labour.
Kensington is where Grenfell Tower is.
- The malignant role of the media in the election can’t be shrugged off, it’s a new low. But you can’t simply complain endlessly about the state of the media, you need to: build independent alternatives; rebuild public broadcasting and regulate the press. This represents a crisis for alternative media who need to inspire people to support them, but also need the public to step-up and give support.
- It can be both true that Corbyn was relentlessly smeared by a vicious press AND he was remarkably inept, incoherent and incapable.
- Corbyn’s lack of charisma was a problem, but we’ve also had a parade of charlatans with grand oratory (all men): George Galloway, Tony Blair, Tommy Sheridan that suggest that standing up a “charismatic candidate” isn’t the answer.
- The kind of political opoid of right-wing populism isn’t going away anytime soon. The idea that complex difficult problems can be solved with three or four word slogans: “Take Back Control” – “Get Brexit Done” – “Make America Great Again” – is electorally successful, even if it is socially useless. They’re called Glittering Generalities [thanks to @NorthernCynic3]. But the solution doesn’t rely on replicating these forms but by addressing the fact that individuals are exhausted, stressed, vulnerable, and badly informed.
- The use of completely meaningless phrases like “Get Brexit Done” is important. Their complete emptiness is their strength not their weakness. It’s as mundane as “lets have a cup of tea” and that’s why they’ve been created.
- As the right creates less and less content (neither the Brexit Party nor the Conservative Party had manifestos that really said anything at all) – the left and the Yes movement creates screeds of papers and huge thick detailed documents. Mimicking the right isn’t the answer but generating content that’s suited to a tl:dr society probably is.
- Beware false unity. Division is real.
- Whatever the political question or issue, Hugh Grant and Andrew Neil are not the answer.
- The very real differences between the political cultures of Scotland and England can’t be ignored, but they shouldn’t be over-exaggerated either.
- Anti-semitism is real and is part of a spectrum of bigotry and racism. The fact that it’s been weaponised against criticism of Israel doesn’t mean that it isn’t very real.
- The role of embedded senior journalists with the UK government is dangerously unsustainable. The complete breakdown of trust with the mainstream media is not benefitting progressive forces in our society.
- Othering Brexit forces as racist morons isn’t going to work.
- Boris Johnson is a racist liar. Nobody really cares.