THE BLOG

May's Campaign Was Lazy And Arrogant, Corbyn Proved Everyone Wrong

12/06/2017 13:18
Eddie Keogh / Reuters

This has been the most exciting election upset in my lifetime. The right wing press hammered Corbyn, the underdog. The Guardian gave him a thrashing, too, now many are backtracking. When he was first elected leader I was hopeful but not impervious to the derisive commentary and consensus that he was unelectable. After Brexit and May's spectacular entry into power she looked unassailable in a smug, supercilious way. Believing the polls, I really thought, they will be in power for eons, we're heading for a one party state. I was resigned, but Corbyn wasn't. He has retained a Zen composure throughout, survived the rigours of an Andrew Neil interview drawing in crowds in their 1000s, and Momentum launched a phenomenal social media campaign. He eschews the posturing that many politicians adopt. There's nothing disingenuous about Jeremy, he's everything he says he is on the tin.

The last time I have seen the press this discombobulated was when Thatcher was ousted. Everyone hailed May as the new Thatcher, I grew up under the Iron Lady, May was never in her league. Young people voted with a vengeance, angry about Brexit, low pay, sky high house prices that are out of reach, but above all they wanted their free tuition. I was one of the last beneficiaries of a free LSE university education, with a full grant. University shouldn't be the preserve of the rich nor land people in huge debt.

May was simply out of touch, she even alienated the usually unwaveringly loyal grey vote with her dementia tax. Her performance on Question Time was abysmal, she was almost scathing when a nurse complained her pay had remained stagnant since 2009, shrugging her shoulders saying, 'there is no magic money tree'. Of course they there is the cash if the billionaires and multinationals are properly taxed for starters. It's just not acceptable that some public sector workers are using food banks out of necessity.

When a partially blind woman spoke of her struggles, arguing NHS was a shambles when it came to mental health May's anodyne platitudes left me unconvinced.

2017-06-09-1497038307-1052615-aronbennetbookcover.jpg
Book cover design for Aron Bennett's memoir of life on Seraltine, an anti-depressant. Mental health must stay at the top of the political agenda.

In light of the recent terror attacks cutting 20,000 police, when she was Home Secretary, seems an egregious error. May was intransigent when it came to Brexit and abysmally underwhelming as an orator, she shunned TV debates and came across as myopic and repetitive. Her sound bite, 'strong and stable' is going to literally haunt her for life. Where once Corbyn was the butt of jokes now May is the subject of derision. Party members are livid and no one wants to cross a mad Tory.

This election upset reflects how people are sick of the super affluent being protected and tired of being told there is no dosh. Even though the pound has plummeted we remain the 6th biggest economy globally - stop with the excuses.

When Corbyn says he will serve the many not the few, I believe him. Britain's political system needed a massive kick up the backside and it's got it.

Politics is fluid and fast changing, so far this is the latest:

1) Despite losing her two closest aides, May says she will carry on for another 5 years - what planet is she on? George Osbourne, editor of the Evening Standard, declared that May is a 'Dead woman walking' politically.

2) She has proposed forming a government with a DUP alliance - they sound dire with their views on gay marriage and abortion rights. An alliance with the DUP seems politically expedient and what's more, according to the Good Friday agreement, the UK government must be impartial regarding the peace process. How is that possible if the Conservatives are aligned with the DUP? There are already grumblings within Tory ranks that it is not tenable.

3) She's not sacking or changing any of her inner circle, will Boris start plotting, barking and biting?

4) Corbyn may have got 40.2 per cent of the vote and wants to form a minoirty government with no deals? It looks like a remote prospect. More realistic is to just sit it out and wait for the Tories to implode.

5) The biggest upset was Labour winning Kensington, Tory heartland, by 20 votes.

Everyone said Corbyn had no chance, who is having the last laugh now? He didn't win, he's not in power, the Tories are still clinging on even though we are sick of their machinations and hubris. The Tories are weaker after blowing their majority. Will Corbyn continue to consolidate his ascendency? One thing that is certain the political landscape has changed irrevocably, the young mobilised, the press had less of an impact on voters than social media, and the Tories are certainly no longer unassailable.

Comments

CONVERSATIONS