Sunday 24 November 2019

Nervous Times for the Comrades

I think we know what's happening here.  A camp within the Labour manifesto-drafting team always wanted to include the WASPI pension giveaway.  McDonnell overruled it as being too costly.  The compromise was to keep it up their sleeves in case the other unicorn-promises weren't doing the trick.

Come Saturday's daily war committee, there's panic in all eyes: it ain't working!  Tories pulling ahead in the polls.  OK, says McDonnell, f**k it, we'll unleash the Big One.  So WASPI it is.

But given the disbelief with which the rest of the giveaways have been greeted, is doubling down going to work the trick?  Hard to tell.  WASPI gets some very heated middle-aged ladies very heated indeed.  I'm almost surprised every party didn't offer something on this, much like they all promised 'something' for Equitable Life victims (such as, errr, myself).

It all reminds me of an episode in Blair's 1997 successful campaign.  Curiously and needlessly, halfway through he got nervous: even John Major seemed to be doing OK.  Whadawe do now, Alastair?  Campbell handed him the doomsday script: Blair put on his ashen face for the cameras, drew himself up to his full height, gripped the lecturn with whitening knuckles, paused at length for maximum effect, set his lower lip a-trembling, and pronounced the Big Lie:  "The Tories ... are going to scrap the state pension!"  

We may see a replay of one like that in the next couple of weeks, if the polls don't look any better for Corbs.  Campbell will be preparing a choice of scripts even as I write.


UPDATE:  I have just found this - a bullet-list of the entire Labour manifesto.  There (appox) 570 pledges.  Overcooked?  Looks like it.


Anonymous said...

Difficult to tell, but I don't see/feel this massive and increasing Tory lead on the mean country lanes of chez Anon, nor among the headscarves, pushchairs, Balts and Francophone Africans of the nearest large town. My kids all went Corbyn last time and I think they're all about to repeat, unless they're following tactical instructions from Remain HQ and going Authoritarian Democrat-only-if-we-like-the-result.

It's almost as if Rachel Riley and Maureen Lipman aren't playing well with the 20-something demographic.

I feel a 2017 coming on.

At least if Boris gets in and legalises 5-10 million illegal infiltrators, they'll all be so grateful to him they'll form a solid Tory client group, just as Reagan's 1985 amnesty made California an impregnable Republican electoral fortress;-)

E-K said...

Ant Middleton gets many a middle aged woman heated... and his position on Brexit ???

Get him to vote Tory and they will follow.

Lord Blagger said...

Notice that the courts said to WASPI, that it was men who suffered historical discrimination. They retired later, paid in more, got less.

I'm surprised the lawyers haven't jumped on this and demanded men get compensation.

andrew said...

under a Corbyn govt,

_everyone_ is entitled to compo.

Raedwald said...

Housing is yet to have the electoral impact it deserves, given the importance to everyone.

Anyone who has passed through what used to be the London suburbs by train cannot have failed to notice that high-rise has transformed most of the outer city; once you saw rooftops from the carriage windows, now one gazes up at 13 - 20 storey blocks built right up to the tracks. This goes right out to the 'blue doughnut' boroughs - and most of it has gone up in the last 10 years. Yet this dramatic and highly visible concentration of new homes amounts, we are told, to only 200,000 a year *nationally* - and we need to double that, particularly in places such as London.

I have to ask - where?

Dense cities are good things in St Greta terms - sustainable, energy efficient, fungible, highly suited to high public / shared transport use - so I don't reckon low density greenbelt villages, Duchy pastiche or garden cities are much of an answer. If London is set to become a megacity - over 10m - as I think it is, we need to go denser, higher, build over rail tracks and low rise retail parks everywhere. In short we need the kind of town planning (you haven't heard that term for a few years) that we haven't seen since Abercrombie

And Labour, who should be in the vanguard on this, are exactly nowhere. Perhaps this will be their next Unicorn over the coming fortnight?

Anonymous said...

@Readwald - it's the same with Manchester, high rises sprouting up like acne on a teenager.

Living in t'hills, the local council is also trying to build in the leafy areas - higher rates of council tax to mine - without considering the need for additional infrastructure.

All a bit of a mess.

Anonymous said...

Only thing missing is a Minister for Flying Pigs.

YDG said...

RE: Raedwald @ 8:05

"If London is set to become a megacity - over 10m - as I think it is, we need to go denser, higher, build over rail tracks and low rise retail parks everywhere ... "

" ... we need the kind of town planning ..."

I think pretty much everything you need for that environment was already covered in the Judge Dredd comics.

YDG said...


"McDonnell overruled it as being too costly."

I'm having real trouble visualizing a reality in which McDonnell rejects anything on the grounds of being too costly.

Lord Blagger said...

They clearly must know what they offer is madness.
So one explanation is they know they are screwed, so offer the world as a last throw of the dice.
Or perhaps like Pol Pot or Mao, they think the UK needs to revert to year zero and start from scratch

It's hard to explain.

Anonymous said...

This one caught my eye...

Require large companies to set up inclusive ownership funds (IOFs) – up to 10% of companies will be owned by employees with dividend payments distributed equally and capped at £500. (Any surplus from this will be used to top up the climate apprenticeships fund.)

So they want the peoples to be owners of the companies, but only up to £500 - the rest goes to the government.

It all reads like sixth form politics - all very virtuous in principle, but spend 30 seconds thinking about the reality of implementing half these measures and the potential side effects these would cause and you realise it's utter nonsense.

Nick Drew said...

@ I'm having real trouble visualizing a reality in which McDonnell rejects anything on the grounds of being too costly

YDG - IMHO, McDonnell is seriously power-hungry (unlike Corbo, who basks in oppositionism) and truly doesn't wanted to upset his chances of getting it - hence (e.g.) the Trident commitment, which must have caused much wailing & gnashing of teeth, not least in Corbo's cottage

(Of course, McD is surrounded by idiots and has had to humour them endlessly)

dearieme said...

'Blair ... drew himself up to his full height ...'

Toni wore "lifts" in his shoes so he drew himself up to more than his full height.

Bill Quango said...

in 2015 I was pretty certain, along with almost all, the pundits, that it was going to be a Labour government without a majority.
In a confidence arrangement with the rump of the Libs and the SNP and other Inds.

No matter which way you crunched the numbers, the Tories weren’t going to hang onto enough seats to stay in power.

What happened, of course, is the Tories gained seats. Seats in places they had no recent history of winning. Mostly at the expense of the imploding ‘Liar Dems.’

Then, in 2017, it seemed hard to see how the Tories could NOT gain any seats. Considering their poll leads that we’re gifting a 50+ majority.
Even with the manifesto designed to lose as many votes as possible, and with a terrible media performer as leader, a minor gain on Cameron’s win seemed likely.

Tories lost seats.

2016 Trump.

Conventional wisdom. A US president must win 4 of the 5 largest states, to have much hope of winning.
Hillary got 3 of the 5.


The fifth biggest EC is Illinois with 20 votes.
Pennsylvania, sixth on the list, also has 20 ec votes. But was a Democrat gimme. No way for trump to win.but he sneaked a win.
Trump won 3 of the top six states. By an absolute whisker in two of them.
It was enough.

The Brexit referendum had leave ahead on every poll, until the final week. And even then, it was a too close to call in a few polls. But on the day, it looked like a win for remain was still very, very likely.
I remember on that one, about to go to bed, with Farage conceding defeat. Only for Aaron Banks to pop up a few minutes later saying he had private polling and was filling his chiller cabinet with as much champagne as he could stuff into it.

Who knows?
Who knows if Boris is ahead, or behind? Can he beat even May’s dismal score if he loses Scottish and some southern former Libby seats?
Students have no reason at all to vote for Boris.

At this stage last time, May was still going to win a comfortable majority. Even though the red scare was creeping closer. Corbyn looked very unlikely to be able to make up such a lot of ground to be the next best loser.

But he managed to do so, in the end.

The boundaries haven’t been addressed.
Postal voting is still open to fraud.
Photo I.d. Voting isn’t in place
Students can vote wherever they like, as often as they like.
The loser coalition of undemocrats are aiding each other with tactical voting.
The SNP are very confident of success and a referendum or two.
It is almost December.
The shopping frenzy and busy busy preparation and partying begins in a week’s time. And lasts in its full throated roar until the 19th or 20th December when it dies down.
It is raining across much of the UK. It may become worse. Cold and rain. Which will slow the vote. Gales on the day would be a game changer in turnouts. The whole board could be flipped on a metropolitan certain to vote, vs rural, not going out today.
The media are still left wing remain. Last time May’s slightly hesitant approach to the terror attack was jumped on by an angry media who wanted their debates, as weak leadership.

Anything can happen.
Something, probably, will.

Take your pick.

Lord Blagger said...

Boris is optimistic. Corbyn isn't.

hovis said...

I'd tend to agree with BillQ;
Maybe it is projection on my part, but the Tory campaign seems hollow, shell like. May's was just dire but they (wrongly) believed they could win at that point. This all feels much flimsier.
Don't get me wrong Labour are all at sea too.
Large parts of the electorate are disenfrachised as there is literally no one whom they trust.
I imagine the FPTP system will deliver something unwanted.
As for legitmacy no-one is getting over 52% of the vote, right? ...