For most of the last five years, I have believed we were in Conservative Hegemony. Thrown by polls I conceded I could be wrong but I wasn’t. The world hasn’t changed this morning, we just have a clearer picture of how it looks and some delusions held by people as part of their political identity have been pierced.
First the good news. The neo liberal consensus is broken, and we have a bloc of anti-austerity MPs in the House bigger than existed before. SNP, Greens, Plaid Cymru and a ragtag few others within the Labour Party. Labour have found that their message of ‘we are nice, let us deliver supercharged austerity and exploit inequality to abuse cos the Tories are mean’, didn’t fly. It turns out the UK did not want its first PM sustained by hashtag alone and the ability of online Labour cultures to whip up a mass delusion via twitter did not translate to people voting Labour.
Labour do not currently understand this as they are entitled to those votes and their trust fund funded press speak for ‘the poor’….so therefore the public are stupid and nasty.
With the neo liberal consensus broken, Labour are going to swing right and descend into factionalism between the neo liberal core and the toxic left who have worked tirelessly to prevent challenge to and discussion of austerity that threatens Labour for five years. The only thing Labour have done effectively is prevent discussion of or challenge to austerity for five years and assisted the Tories in selling it. I imagine their ability to do that has just been impaired. If your problem is austerity and not the Tories, then that is a win.
The Tories have been vicious without democratic mandate. now they have one, and the brakes are off. Austerity has a democratic mandate, which is not good news for many of us. Time for the old adage if all you can do is crawl, keep crawling. Austerity was going to be vicious post 2010-2015 anyway. Labour’s inability to maintain a solid public consensus on austerity using their press and unions, could be a benefit of them losing.
Labour Party core are going to swing right and they might have to sell UKIP policy without the addition of insulting UKIP voters. UKIP did not get the seats they wanted, but they did build a cushion of voters which means they will get seats next time. Labour have been booted out of Scotland for good reason. The relationship between Labour and the North has always been that Labour are entitled to those votes and are entitled to use them to represent the South East. I think Labour may find that difficult in futureand UKIP will benefit. Wales are beginning to cast Labour adrift, and the SNP wipe out may be an early potent of what is to come.
One benefit of a Labour win would have been that delivering austerity that wouldkill the Labour Party, and move the debate on inequality on. But I think their freefall has started now anyway. Conservative Hegemony is here and my daughter was 3 when the Tories got in, she may be an adult by the time they leave. It probably wont be Labour pushing them out of Downing Street.
Nick Clegg told everyone he wanted to prop up the Tories and the Tories went ‘oh we may as well vote Tory’ and deluded Lib Dem lefties said fuck you then. He kept his seat because the Tories were asked to tactically vote for him. Stitched up like a silly schoolboy by the big mean boys he only wanted to play with.
What is interesting is that the flatlined opinion polls did indicated a dead patient. Measuring feedback loops on twitter and newspapers people dont buy is not that useful any more. The political press very much lost that election and the questoin is whether they will adapt. We cant accept sob stories, exploitation of pooverty and the corpses decorating Labour friendly editorial any more. The papers tied to Labour need to address what they want, cos they wont survive doing what they have been doing while Labour die.