Tuesday 16 October 2018


All week on my way to work there have been people from the People's Vote on the bridges into London handing out their leaflets. In the main, they are not too bad. Some dreadful T-Shirts and the same earnest faces of the deluded Corbynistas, Happily, 99.9% of people walk straight past hoping they will go away.

However, today I noticed a change, clearly some of them are getting angry at lack of engagement they are receiving from the passing public - all of whom of course to them must be passionate remainers. It is not enough to hand out leaflets, they need some affirmation. So today up goes the volume, they are stopping people more aggressively and becoming more shouty.

Of course, with people on their way to work and busy with their real lives, this has zero effect apart from to make the odd leaver get shoulder-shruggy at the intrusion.

On reflection is demonstrates many of the difficulties with modern politics which are evident:

1) there is money to be thrown at causes, like People's Vote, without any real scrutiny of who they are or where it comes from. This would apply equally to the referendum in the first place - political campaigning regulation is yet to catch up with the single issue , identity politics of our age.

2) So many activists live in a bubble away from reality - 99% of people don't really care about Brexit and rightly so, it wont make any real difference to their day to day drudgery.

3) The bubble the activists live in is entirely filled with people of their own views, confronted with reality they can become angry and hostile, as I saw today.

4) Politics in the UK (and across  Europe is badly serving the people). In this country there are 2 main views through which prism people view politics currently -  Leave or Remain. Neither of the main parties can decide what side they are on or what it would mean - so they fudge, fudge and fudge some more. There is no outlet of expression for the main political decision of the day and so everyone feels unrepresented by their politics, Leavers and Remainers. That is a very poor state of affairs for civil society.


dearieme said...

"Politics in the UK (and across Europe) is badly serving the people": it sure is, pahdner. It's evidently encouraging the use of the American placement of adverbs.

CityUnslicker said...

Dearime, I spend a lot of time in the US. My already sub-standard grammar is suffering as a consequence!

andrew said...

We all need to work less or work differently.

Over the last 70 years or so we seem to have become less involved with the community around us.

My grandfather owned a small chain of bakeries in the east end from the 30s-mid 60s.
They (acc to my dad) were v.v. involved in the local life - in the conservatives, masons and british bakers association and local golf club.

My dad worked for allied lyons 65-80ish and was somewhat involved - in the pta of my sisters school and occasionally helped out with scouts, also played snooker at hte golf club.

I sing in choirs when I can.

Mixing with other different people tends to burst bubbles and stops them forming in the first place.

I fear that long term 'progress' is pushing us in a societally malign direction.

Tony Harrison said...

I've felt "unrepresented" since the mid-'90s at the latest, by which time I'd stopped voting Conservative. Far from coming to terms with things, and very depressingly, things are even worse now, so I feel even less represented: my MP is a Remainer who turned her coat and is otherwise un-Conservative, the Tory Party is as mad as a box of frogs, full of folk who'd be happier as LibDems and led by the ghastly May (probably the worst PM in my long voting carrer not excluding Blair or Cameron), while waiting in the wings are the improbably loopy but still dangerous Marx Bros. Christ...

Anonymous said...

I wonder who's paying those people? I guess they could be students.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

I look back at Harold Wilson & Jim Callaghan almost with nostalgia. Both useless prime ministers but at least they were plausible and spoke well. Wilson in particular was brilliant at thinking on his feet and dealt beautifully with hecklers - in real live meetings! With actual members of the public!

I contrast them with the robotic incompetent dullard who occupies Number 10 and I wonder at it, I really do. How did that particular turd manage to float to the top? The mind boggles. I wouldn’t trust her to sit the right way round on the lavatory. She wouldn’t even pass muster as a middle ranking HR manager. Yet there she is, flushing the nation down the toilet.

Charlie said...

Re: living in a bubble. This is an internet/technology phenomenon. Twenty years ago, the types accosting you on the bridge would be 20,000 lone nutters being laughed out of 20,000 different pubs. However, now they all follow eachother on Twitter and think they’re a “movement”. Corbynism couldn’t (and didn’t) happen without Facebook. You can now produce and distribute a very slick, professional-looking video in the time it used to take to get some posters printed. The internet and technology have legitimised the fringe view.

Brexidote: I had the (nice, but rather useless) Dutch bloke who sits next to me at work tell me the other day that Leave voters are all stupid. Ironic, as this guy is probably going to get sacked for incompetence in the next few months. I just said, “I voted Leave”. The thought hadn’t even crossed his mind that people he works with don’t want to be in the EU. I rather enjoyed bursting his little bubble, but I suppose he thinks I’m a racist now. Oh well, never mind, I think he’s a moron!

Electro-Kevin said...

In the street a couple of weeks ago a People's Vote poll was being undertaken by the blue berets. Passers by invited to take part, so I did.

As I put my first sticker on the questionnaire board in favour of Leave an old boy with a "Bollocks to Brexit" T shirt on said "YOU THINK BREXIT WILL BE GOOD FOR THE ECONOMY !"

I put another sticker on the NHS question "YOU DO REALISE THAT 100,000 STAFF ARE NEEDED IN THE NHS"

I said "Look. I'm not prepared to argue about these things in the street."


"Well. If the profanity on your T shirt is anything to go by I can tell how any such argument will go."

"The only profanity on this T shirt is BREXIT !!!"

To which "A word your side invented. I prefer to call myself a Leaver."

I Walked off without completing the survey. If they want to know what people think then they really shouldn't shout at them in public.

(Sorry if I've repeated this tale)

Another. Brother in-law. A high flying production engineer with a leading US company.

"You didn't vote Brexit did you ?"


"WHY ????"

"OK. Who are your MEPs ?"

"I don't know."

"Which EU parties do they stand for ? Oh... you don't know who they are so you won't know that. You don't know what you voted for."

"This will cost British jobs."

"Says the man who's made a career out of relocating UK factories so there are none left."

We still get on, fortunately.

Look. I'm not one of those who has to make Brexit work. I think it's turning into a disaster - especially if we get Brino. The EU will be able to pick us apart at its leisure.

It is clear that we don't have the people to take us out.

Electro-Kevin said...

SW said "She wouldn’t even pass muster as a middle ranking HR manager."

I was thinking that very same thing today.

Electro-Kevin said...

Charlie - I was thinking of the dancing/loneliness proposals.

My gramps used to belong to this club. It opened several times a day where they could sit near the communal fire playing dominoes, cards, crosswords.. they'd take iron fortified medicine and how they laughed !

Of course this was called a PUB but successive governments taxed the buggery out of it, now its a gastro diner with drinks attached.

They told them fags and booze were killing them and it was. Now they die of dementia instead - long, pension-busting lives of dependency... alone into their nineties.

Sorry to hold court on this site.

Nick Drew said...

welcome as always Kev

Y Ddraig Goch said...

RE: Charlie

"Fully ⅔ of the NHS budget goes on treating people who are ill because they are grossly overweight."

Do you have a reference for that? I'm not arguing, I'm just surprised by the scale of it.

RE: SW & E-K

"She wouldn’t even pass muster as a middle ranking HR manager."

Seems a bit harsh. She has an IQ above room temperature so she's certainly smart enough. Perhaps a bit too honest and compassionate though.

Wildgoose said...

I think the recent 4chan meme has hit the nail on the head.

They aren't people, they have no inner voice. They are NPCs - "Non-Player Characters" for those who have never played tabletop or computer role-playing games.

Ever encounter with them goes the same way. Their opinions and conversation are like a tape on an endless loop.

"Brexit Bad! Remain Good! Racist! Sexist! Homophobe! Brexit Bad! Remain Good!" just like the sheep in Orwell's Animal Farm.

Charlie said...

I don't have a handy link I'm afraid YDG - a friend of mine is involved in budgeting for a London NHS trust and is always complaining about "the fatties" costing twice as much as everyone else combined. Another bugbear of his is A&E - I can't remember the figures, but most people are only there because they can't get a GP appointment, are lonely, or homeless. Genuine accidents/emergencies make up a minority of admissions.