Do you remember “crush the saboteurs”? Recall when Theresa May’s Tories had a double digit lead over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party? How in the May 2017 local elections, the Conservative party gained 563 seats and Labour lost almost 400? How all of this led to political pundits – including yours truly – to predict a massive Tory landslide?
Of all the things that are weird about the current political climate, I’d pick the strangest as being the fact that the Conservative party is looking to have a repeat of the 2017 general election, one in which they lost the majority they already had, and that the political media seem to be going along with this, oblivious as to what happened only two and a bit years ago. Yes, Johnson has a poll lead and it appears to be going up. But we’ve all been here before, haven’t we?
One of the things the 2017 general election should have taught pundits is that most people who don’t spend their lives obsessing about politics are way behind those that do, and it takes them a bit to catch up. This has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence – some very smart people spend little time on politics; very stupid people can be obsessed with the minutiae of Westminster – it’s much more akin to viewers of a TV series like “The Sopranos”. People who have seen every episode three times are going to know way more about it, and catch up much more on the subtleties going within the narrative than someone who has watched one episode while playing on their phone. This is obvious when put like that, but it took the 2017 general election for us to see it. Well, for some of us to see it.
I had assumed a Tory landslide in 2017 for several reasons, but a big one was because I had witnessed May be so mindbendingly terrible while retaining a healthy poll lead. I figured the public must have priced her lousiness in. Except that wasn’t what happened: they only started to pay attention when a general election came round. It was only then that they saw all of the stuff we obsessives had seen for months.
Number 10 is now pushing the idea of Johnson and Corbyn debates, one on one. So, let’s put bumbling posh man who looks on the verge of a nervous breakdown up against Corbyn in his most comfortable and able arena? Great idea, chaps. Remember what happened in 2017 with this…..oh, forget it.
The Tories two biggest attacks on Corbyn and the Labour Party have now been nullified – by the Tories themselves, no less. One: Corbyn will take huge risks with the economy. Rebuttal: the Tories are proposing to destroy the UK economy on purpose. Two: Corbyn will put the country massively in debt with borrowing for socialist policies. Rebuttal: the Tories have decided the money tree is indeed real and growing in the Number 10 garden. Seriously, what is the Conservative attack line on Corbyn in the next general election going to be? The Hamas/IRA stuff again? It failed last time, miserably.
And yet, apparently Johnson will walk the election. Because he has a poll lead based on pretty crappy numbers in the abstract and the country apparently “wants Brexit”, although that’s far from certain at best.