2022 minus 26: [Two more] Short Thoughts…

Posted: 6 December 2021 in 2022 minus, politics
Tags: , ,

Two more ‘odds and sods’ today, provoked by a couple of politics things…

This bloody government

The government’s been in the news today. That’s not news. If the government is wonderfully good or egregiously bad, it’s going to be in the news. No surprise with this lot that it’s the latter. Whether it’s

  • the leak to The Times that the government is planning a once a year exercise when they can overrule judicial reviews they don’t like the results of, or
  • the suggested policy of removing the passports of drug users they don’t like, or
  • The government saying that the police don’t investigate things that happened a year ago (to be fair, Raab was specifically talking about covid related matters but even so…), or even
  • the court’s decision that Boris Johnson didn’t act unlawfully when deciding that Priti Patel didn’t break the ministerial code…

…this government seems anxious to suggest new things all the time so that no one will get to caught up on what they’ve done, or failed to do, in the past.

For the last of those items above, by the way, I heartily recommend David Allen Green’s piece on it. It’s far cleverer and more sensible than any of the media organisations takes I’ve read.

Now I’ve said for some time that the secret to understanding Boris Johnson as Prime Minister is that he prizes ambition over, even at the expense of, achievement.

I don’t altogether sign up to the ‘dead cat’ theory to explain Boris Johnson’s government, because there’s never just one thing, one awful, horrible, thing to distract.

Instead it’s almost as if once again, those in Number Ten have watched a bit too much of The West Wing and have decided every day is ‘Take Out The Trash Day’. If you’ve not seen the show, the theory espoused is that newspapers only have so much print space. So if you dump a load of stuff at one go, they can’t devote too much attention to any one thing.

Some have suggested that with the lessening of newspapers’ importance in favour of unlimited webpage space, that no longer applies. That’s nonsense, of course. The ‘limited newsprint’ was always a metaphor for ‘limited attention span’. And that still applies as much, if not more so, these days.

Remember when it was suggested that the orange poltroon across the Atlantic had a plan to keep everyone constantly distracted? As someone else countered, that’s like proposing that your mum’s dog gets excited because he knows it’s his birthday.

But with Johnson, it’s more than possible. I’d say it was probable that the constant crowing about ambition and criticising those with a perceived lack of it is entirely designed to distract from lack of achievement. Johnson may not care about achievement but he’s smart enough to know that others do. Hence the policy of not wanting anyone to examine too closely his government’s entire lack of them.

How you vote

However, for the other point today, I want to get something off my chest that’s been pissing me off.

Yesterday I saw someone sensible, someone I’m on good terms with, or at least someone with whom I was on good terms, have a pop at ‘centrists’, blaming them for the Johnson government, ie for not voting for Jeremy Corbyn in December 2019… The implication being that anyone who didn’t vote for a Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn was directly responsible for the shitshow in which we all now find ourselves.

I was genuinely so surprised to see this person tweet this that I at digest assumed it was a parodic piss take of those on the left who do claim this.

But no, further investigation showed he was absolutely serious.

Huh.

For the sake of clarity and to avoid any ambiguity, if for no other reasons, let me for the record state that I think such a position is unmitigated, unreserved, bullshit, and I view such an argument with unfettered contempt. Put simply: in an election, you’re responsible for who you vote for, not for who you don’t vote for.

Anything more complicated than that and you’re in a real world example of The Trolley Problem.

I didn’t vote Labour in 2019. Nor in 2017. I live in a safe Labour seat. But even had the seat been a marginal, I’d still not have voted Labour in 2017 nor in 2019. For me, the decision was made easy for me in September 2015 when Corbyn was elected Leader of the Labour Party. I had made the decision a few weeks earlier but I put it into practice that day: I would not vote Labour under any circumstances, for any elected position, at all, while Corbyn was leader. I wasn’t convinced at the time that he was personally antisemitic, merely that he was supremely indifferent as to whether his friends and political contacts were. I mean I knew some of his supporters were…

I was convinced, though, that from the moment he became leader antisemitism was no longer a deal-breaker for membership of office holding in the Labour Party. His actions, statements and personal history that came out then convinced me that he was personally antisemitic.

A couple of heart back, I was told on Twitter by a Corbyn fan who knew I was Jewish that even if I, as a Jew, believed that Labour was entirely antisemitic (a claim I never made, by the way, then or now) I should still vote for Labour because… Tories.

Two points: yes, you’re right, that’s someone telling a Jewish fella to vote for somoene they think an antisemite, telling a Jewish man to vote to make an antisemite Prime Minister.

Sadly, while I rarely got told that, I was often told similar: “…but Tories!” was the go to for a very long time, since antisemitism in labour was first raised. That and the “…price worth paying” argument, an argument that would never have been openly, overtly, made about any other form of prejudice and bigotry.

I understand the sentiment behind the often¹ good faith

“We need to get the Tories out, so you should vote for whichever candidate can best do that.”

argument.

I do, honestly.

But, fuck me, it takes some gall to tell Jews to vote for a party/candidate/leader they think antisemitic.

How will I vote in the next election? I don’t know. Right now, I don’t. I won’t vote for the Conservatives, ok. I mean, I can’t imagine voting Tory in a future, any future, election. Will I vote Labour, in whichever parliamentary constituency I find myself? I don’t know. Depends on the policies, I guess. And who’d put them into practice were they to win. If it was another Corbyn, with similar views? Not a chance.

And any look online at any Labour Party forum shows that merely because Corbyn’s no longer leader, the antisemitism hasn’t gone. It’s still there, as are his supporters… who’d vote for the next leader.

Who will I vote for? I’ll tell you when the next election comes.


¹not always, but often

 

See you tomorrow, with… something else.

 

 

Sixty-one days. Sixty-one posts. One 2022 approaching.


I’ve signed up to ko-fi.com, so if you fancy throwing me a couple of quid every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on https://ko-fi.com/budgiehypoth

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to the new year. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.

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