As I type this I only know that the exit polls are favourable to Labour, nothing is known yet.What I do know is that it’s supposed to be politicians scared of us, the elelectorate, not the other way round. However, the direction it is clear with the Tories performing badly, why is this? The problem with project fear is that it doesn’t work, British people don’t get scared easily it’s just not in our psyche. exhibit one is Brexit. There was an outright campaign of hysteria from the Yes camp, unnecessary and self-defeating. Their frantic efforts to frighten the living daylights out of us failed dismally. People who rely on fear as a tactic use it because they have nothing else to offer as persuasion. It is one of any good salesperson’s armoury “look I don’t want you to miss this deal, I may not be able to repeat it again”. Whoa, who wants to miss out on a deal that may end? Classic mild fear factor it happens everyday. It’s also usually so much nonsense. So what’s everyone trying to scare us about?
Immigration. Well, any tabloid short of a headline on a slow news day has a trusty fallback, the swarm of immigrants coming to overwhelm our Green and Sceptred Isle and change our way of life forever. Never mind the fact that Europeans came over here in good faith and make our economy stronger. Never mind our historical obligations of colonialism and our general sense of fair play. Never mind the fact many immigrants work in essential services in the NHS treating us when ill, teaching our children, helping run our railways (OK skip that one) and generally taking pride in living here. It may be the fact you all prefer to keep our country majority British whatever the cost I don’t know. It certainly won’t happen in our lifetimes so no point trying to frighten us. Times and trends change, we simply don’t know. Right now our country has an aging population and shrinking workforce, the costs of curbing immigration in any big way carries costs.
Terrorism. Once again a tabloid but how scared are we of it? The Twitter hashtags certainly aren’t and I think most of us know we are very unlikely to be victims of terror. It is intolerable that our citizens have been killed in the name of some twisted religion but let’s look at the scale of the problem. Islamic law basically refers to warfare in ancient centuries past. Most Imams concur that it most certainly does not apply to the use of terrorism. In most cases preachers of hate are banned from mosques but how the press love to big Hairy Scary Muslims. These people are a minute minority called Wahhabism a tiny cult. I have no doubt whatsoever these loons will be defeated. The best way to think of them is terms of the Moonies. these people come and go and we always win. No need to rip up our human rights or freedom. That way fear wins.
Socialism. I have heard Mr Corbyn referred to as Neo Marxist, has anybody the first clue what one of those is? They’ve just made this rubbish up there’s no such thing. As a rather bewildered ex Norwegian Prime Minister pointed out, Corbyn is bog standard mainstream left and certainly nothing to be scared of. Socialism is dead as a force in the UK and there has been no Socialist anywhere near power for decades. Yes we still have our small s socialists which has come to mean anyone to the left of full on foaming mouthed Libertarian lunatics. You’re trying to scare me with that rubbish, seriously? Feel free to jog on anytime you want, the sooner the better.
Brexit. I will write about the current state Brexit in a later blog but May decided to try and scare us into giving her a bigger majority like it would make a difference. The EU could not care less about who negotiates Brexit they just need a bum in the chair for the duration, nothing else. It is irrelevant who that is, what they want or how secure they are. the irony of this one is that the original Project Fear of the In side are probably correct. It was the presentation they messed up.
The truth is the Labour party fought a happier and more hopeful campaign, the election rallies he held created energy albeit they were in safe seats. The Tories in contrast, were negative, far too keen on character assassination and general nastiness. they couldn’t fight Corbyn on policy so they dug up all sorts of history which you could interpret either way. The cynicism of attempting to tie this in with recent events simply stank. Add the sense of entitlement and the basic horror May had of the general public, she should resign if her majority if less that 30.
It is my hope that the next election is fought in a better spirit than we have managed this time.
I’m too knackered to add links and hope to God the polls weren’t too wrong.
Update. This what happens when the grown ups write about the same topic, here’s david Graeber we ‘re suffering despair fatigue.