CAMPAIGN AND SUFFERING: So Far, So Predictably Crap

Hello BTLers!

I write to you after a weekend of doing very little politics because my life is now almost entirely politics.

For obvious reasons, I can’t go into too much detail about life at LDHQ. What I will say is that there is an incredible sense of purpose, of everyone wanting what’s best for the country, and genuine optimism about what will come next.

Also, a lot of people who are quite sleep-deprived.

I have desperately missed writing for Between the Lines. I write a considerable amount of blogs and emails for the LDs, but, as you’d imagine, I have to tone my rhetoric down quite a bit.

For example: I recently drafted a blog about Trump, Farage and Johnson being in bed together. I likened them to the Three Wicked Witches, except instead of magic their power was midlife crisis-induced masculine insecurity.

I also called Johnson and Trump “blonde-haired blusterbags.”

My manager asked me to redraft the blog. Politely, but firmly.

So here I am, back at the keyboard to write in my own style again. It’s good to be back.


GENERAL ELECTION

One thing I have learned from working for a political party for all of two weeks is that tunnel-vision is a very real thing. Since I started, I’ve tried my best to follow goings-on on Twitter and in the papers but the reality is that my life is Liberal Democrats.

I can see why Labour or the Tories can often seem so out of touch – you are surrounded, constantly, by people who only share your views. The LDs, to their credit, make a real effort to talk to normal people and be as broad a church as possible.

The same cannot be said for Johnson or Corbyn.

Let’s have a look at how they’ve fared on the campaign trail so far.

GENERAL DEFLECTION – BORIS JOHNSON:

  • Had the worst starting week to any campaign in living memory:
    • A minister stood down for derailing a rape case
    • The Tory Party chairman failed to turn up for a Sky interview, so Kay Burley “empty-chaired” him
    • Johnson was filmed spouting utter drivel about Brexit, showing he either doesn’t understand it or was blind drunk
    • And Dickensian tampon-applicator Jacob Rees-Mogg called the victims of the Grenfell tower tragedy thick.
  • Has seen an exodus of One-Nation, moderate Tories (many of them women);
  • Has got into bed with Nigel Farage, opening the door for attacks on the Tories as being the new Brexit Party;
  • Hasn’t got into bed with Nigel Farage enough, as the actual Brexit Party will still contest all the Labour-held seats he needs to win;
  • Was heckled to all hell by victims of the flooding in Doncaster;
  • Was interviewed for an easy chat on breakfast television and came across like he’d crawled into existence from a bog that morning and was still learning what humans are;
  • And yet somehow has gone up in the polls.

Remember though, folks – polls these days are as trustworthy as a fart after a vindaloo.

GENERALISSIMO: JEREMY CORBYN

  • Saw his deputy, Tom Watson, announce that he was stepping down as an MP at this election.
  • Saw Ian Austin, a long-standing ex-Labour MP, say that everyone should vote for the Conservatives.
  • Seems to have plucked policies out of thin air – nationalising Broadband is a bold, yet totally mental move.
  • Has had the entire Jewish community come out against him.
  • Was heckled as a “terrorist sympathiser” in Scotland.
  • Had a car-crash interview with Andrew Marr.
  • Had his long-term ally Len McClusky, the head of the trade union conglomerate Unite and major financial donor, say that Labour isn’t a Remain party.
  • And rumours circulate that he isn’t physically well enough to be Prime Minister.

Our two candidates, ladies and gentlemen.

Or so the media would have you believe…


GENERAL MALAISE

Look, I know I’m biased. I work for the Liberal Democrats.

But the reason why this all feels so… so…

…nihilisitic?

…is that these two men are utterly appalling candidates for the job of Prime Minister. One is a misogynistic toad who casually writes racist slurs, the other an antisemite who is more rooted in ideology than common good.

And yet they get all the air time. The wider media’s coverage of the election is CONSERVATIVE vs LABOUR, oh and here’s the Lib Dems, SNP, Greens and Brexit Party. lol, almost forgot

The reality is that there is another choice.

I strongly encourage everyone to look at their constituency’s results from the 2017 election. The BBC have a brilliant service for this, just go to:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2017/results

Have a look and see how your seat fared. In many cases, seats can be won or lost by a few thousand (or even hundred) votes. My constituency was won by 45 votes. That’s all it can take.

Tactical voting is, unfortunately, a requirement of this election. Our First Past the Post system doesn’t allow for proportional representation, so we have to be clever.

…in human speak, we elect our MPs, not the party itself. If I lived in a constituency where the Tories got 95% of the vote and I voted for the Lib Dems, my vote is basically meaningless. The Tories will win regardless, and my vote doesn’t have any meaning other than “you lost.”

If you hate the Tories, or hate Labour, and your seat is marginal between the two… Then, and I hate to say this, vote for the party that can win.

But if you live in a seat where that’s not the case, and you’re sick and tired of Johnson vs Corbyn, well…

You know what to do.


GENERAL REFLECTION

I absolutely do not want to turn Between the Lines into a mouthpiece for the Liberal Democrats. The joy of politics is being able to have reasoned debate, to criticise and argue with your peers from across the political spectrum, and to make your own choice at the end of it.

I will try to write about the election more generally when I can, rather than op-ed pieces like this one.

But the way I see it, there’s only one party that is moderate, progressive, and has the country’s interests at heart. Johnson is an egomaniac, Corbyn a Marxist.

Neither of these things are good.

If you feel like the news is a constant stream of disappointment, please do remember that there are other parties out there.

This week is manifesto week. I dare you to read the Liberal Democrats’ and see if you disagree.

Just please, please, please. If we can avoid a Johnson majority, we absolutely must try our best.

He might think he’s Churchill. He’s really just a chancer.

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