I know the last few weeks have been an absolute clusterfuck in politics, but since when did winning an election count as royally messing everything up?
This is the world we live in now it seems, where alternative facts have wafted their way across the pond and flipped the concept of numbers on its head. The Conservatives started with more than a 20 point lead on Labour and now they’re practically having to beg the DUP for support, a party that seems to have slipped under the radar right up until the exit polls came out and everyone went “oh shit, we forgot Northern Ireland was part of the UK”. No point being coy about the fact that the DUP has links to paramilitary groups in Ireland (otherwise known in the trade as ‘terrorists’) which makes May look just a little bit hypocritical criticising Corbyn.
To be honest the whole thing just smacks of “well the polls said we would win, so we thought we’d buy all the champagne early”. No doubt this will attract a response or two displaying some of the greatest political gymnastics the world has ever seen in order to distinguish the DUP from Sinn Fein but there we are.
Honestly though, you’d think the Conservatives would have learned from Cameron who was roundly told to fuck off after the Brexit vote. Arrogance reared its ugly head again on June 8 it seems, only to be swiftly dealt with by the executioner’s axe that is the electorate – weeks of “we know anyone with a three bedroom house and two cars will probably vote for us” as a campaign strategy seems to have backfired somewhat.
You’d think the Conservatives would have learned from Cameron who was roundly told to fuck off after the Brexit vote.
While it’s all well and good to just ignore one demographic (after all, who said a political party had to represent all citizens), it is maybe not such a good idea to simultaneously ignore predictions that students will all suddenly turn up this time and then start taking the piss with the grey vote. It’s a little known fact that people who have worked hard all their lives so that they can live comfortably in their older years would rather you didn’t fuck around too much with their pensions.
To be fair to Theresa May, she managed to deliver her victory speech outside No. 10 without mentioning ‘strong and stable’ once. Unfortunately old habits die hard and one suspects that ‘safe and secure’ will provide the replacement high as she has refused to commit to an increase in funding for the people that actually make the country safe and secure.
I could treat that kind of thing more seriously but Labour’s Blairite MPs couldn’t do the same for Corbyn so not sure why I should bother – not only has he not told them to fuck off yet, as any reasonable person might do by now after two whole years, but he’s managed to keep them all in their seats (give or take) and if they hadn’t decided to go full Brutus on him last year then they might have been in with a shot of having the most seats in the Commons. Sure they’d probably need the SNP to beef them up after Farron refused to do his job as leader and actually do some politicking, but I’m sure the Conservative/DUP coalition-that’s-really-more-of-a-gentleman’s-agreement definitely won’t fall apart the moment anything small, like immigration, gets raised. Conservatives want strict controls on immigration and the DUP don’t want a hard border with the rest of Ireland, definitely doesn’t sound like cause for concern.
Clegg losing his seat was like England had won the World Cup.
The main parties weren’t the only ones delivering surprises – Angus Robertson managed to lose his seat to the MSP Douglas Ross in a shock twist that was neither expected nor particularly cared about. For those of you not clued up on who’s who, Robertson was the SNP Leader in the House of Commons, and filled a similar role as Nick Clegg, but without actually having much power.
Neat little segue onto the man of the hour (if the hour in question was sometime back in 2010): Nick Clegg has indeed been ousted from his seat in Sheffield Hallam. I was in Bar One when the result came in and fuck me it was like England had won the World Cup whilst someone simultaneously announced that David Attenborough had found the elixir of eternal life. Honestly I don’t think you could up with a better metaphor for youth disenfranchisement than 1,000 students screaming with joy whilst the camera zooms in on a sad politician losing his seat. I’m surprised I’ve not seen someone dub ‘Mad World’ over the clip yet to be honest. Say what you want about Ed Miliband but at least he runs for a seat which is guaranteed to vote Labour, although if the Conservatives start offering tax breaks based on the number of tracksuits per household he might come unstuck.
Beyond that, people aren’t really interested in the rest it seems. The Greens didn’t get any more seats but they didn’t lose the one they had, which is more than can be said for UKIP. Paul Nuttall put up a valiant effort in his role as leader for all of seven months, but seemed to forget that if you’re a single issue party, and the issue gets pretty much resolved, then you’ve not really got any issues for your party to deal with.
The reappearance of Lord Buckethead seems to be an adequate satirical statement on UK politics in itself.
Natalie seems to be having the last laugh here, not least because the Greens have been smart about their single issue: saving the environment isn’t really a thing that can be solved by a single referendum. On the bright side, Farage has boldly stated that he may be forced once more into the breach – who knows, maybe after Brexit finally happens he’ll get that retirement from politics he’s so desperately been craving these last few years (if the sarcasm was any thicker it’d pour off my laptop like syrup).
As per usual the obscure candidates emerged from the woodwork like comedy lice – honestly, how on earth is the Monster Raving Loony Party still going? Have they not realised running for elections costs real money? The amount they’ve spent on buy-ins for standing, I could probably use to pay off a nice chunk of my student loan. Then again, given the value of a degree these days maybe the Monster Raving Loony Party is getting more value for money. Newcomers to the ‘Standing-at-The-Back-Dressed Stupidly-and-Looking-Stupid’ Party included Mr Fishfinger and fucking Elmo, and we were also treated to the reappearance of Lord Buckethead who ran against Thatcher and John Major back in the day. Don’t really need any jokes for that, seems to be an adequate satirical statement on UK politics in itself.
All in all, a whopper of an election with spills, thrills, and an intense debate over precisely how hard Theresa has managed to fuck herself. Here’s to the next few months of relatively stable politics before she calls the next election.
Comment pieces are the view of the author and in no way reflect the views of Forge Press.
Image credit: John Lubbock.