So given how wrong I have been about pretty much everything political recently I thought it would be a good idea to jot down some ill conceived thoughts and commit them to the public sphere so people can laugh at me for the next 5 years at how badly I got things wrong.
- What a tremendous personal vindication this is for Jeremy Corbyn. He fought an amazing campaign that confounded expectations; and even most of his harshest critics had to admit that he had done very well on the campaign trail.
Furthermore whilst we don’t yet the specifics of the voting patterns what is very clear is that vast quantities of new voters were won over; principally due to the appeal of Jeremy Corbyn.
- This result will mean that Corbyn inevitably get’s treated differently by the media. This can only be good for him personally and for Labour generally. The narrative (which I’ll admit I bought into) of Corbyn as a good hearted loser who could be ignored and ridiculed is dead.
On top of this the Tories and the right wing press threw the sink at Corbyn. They didn’t keep any powder dry and those IRA/Hamas etc attacks just won’t have the same resonance when used again in the future.
- I guess some might point out that we still lost but I don’t think that is fair. Labour were in a terrible position after 2015, an awful result in terms of both seats and vote share. It would have I rather suspect been unrealistic for any leader coming in in those circumstances to have expected that they could turn that around in a whole election cycle let alone in two years.
Based on both seats and vote shares Labour are now in touching distance of Government (just a 2-3% swing from Tory > Labour would now probably deliver a Labour majority). This is a great result and a great platform for the Labour party.
- Corbyn’s critics are wrong. I’m sure that the ideological hard right of the party; the Madelsons et al, won’t be able to see this. But for everyone on the “soft left” who had concerns about chances of success and electability rather that ideological concerns the book is now largely closed.
In practical terms though that means Corbyn’s critics in the PLP have to accept that he is here for the long haul and that we are one big push away from power.
- On that party unity is going to be really important. I’ll talk in a minute about what is going to be happening for the Tories but we now have to present ourselves as a government in waiting, and a united party.
The Labour “big hitters” need to come back into the tent. Firstly because the talent is needed, and secondly because a public display of party unity (when I suspect the other side will be doing the opposite) will help push the narrative the Labour are a Government in waiting. I’d love to see Corbyn publically winning over some of his PLP critics.
- So it has now been shown that left populism can be a vote winner. That it isn’t poison at the ballot box. But it has also been shown that it isn’t enough on it’s own. To win in the next election we need to hold this coalition together and get another 1-2% of Tories to switch and we have a majority.
- Whilst it is a good night for us it is a disaster for Theresa May. Calling an unnecessary general election, at a time of national crisis, based on her “Personal Brand” and then it panning out as it did. I think circumstances will dictate she has to carry on as PM for a bit but she is really fatally wounded now.
- And tactically for the Tories this is really a problem. Managing their own internal divisions over Brexit was always going to be difficult but doing so in coalition (formal or informal) with the DUP is incredibly difficult for them.
- Part of the reason they called this election (aside from being confident they could bury the Labour party for a generation) was that they knew being honest doing Brexit was going to be thought and was likely to have very unpopular consequences for the governing party.
They both have reduced room for manoeuvre in parliamentary terms now, and they also are going to struggle to get through 5 years of government with this kind of coalition. They defied the political gravity to increase their vote share in 2015… seems hard to see how they can keep doing that when the Brexit Chickens come home to roost.
- On that how terrible, arrogant, selfish and bad for the country does May’s decision to invoke Article 50; then call a General Election and waste three months look? Whatever you think about Brexit it is clear that the Tory Party acted quite fundamentally against the National Interest in their selfish party interest.
When the dust settles; I really hope the British public, both Leave and Remain rightly blame May and the Tories for making a successful Brexit more difficult for partisan party reasons.
Putting party before country is actually unpatriotic and treasonous; maybe the Daily Heil et al should turn their fire on May rather than us Remoaners!
- On the DUP, I wonder if Sinn Fein might consider changing their position and taking up their seats in parliament? I realise this will be tough for them but with Stormant suspended, and the DUP likely to be propping up the Tory government; and with a big opportunity for their ultimate goal in Brexit negotiations might it be smart for them to actually take up their Westminster seats?
- What a mixed night for the pollsters. I imagine that in the Offices of YouGov and Survation they are popping champagne. Their new methodologies utterly vindicated. Whilst the traditional pollsters couldn’t have been more wrong. Stephen Bush wrote a terrific article about the reasons for the variance here, well worth a read post election.
- Lastly what happens to the Lib Dems? If being the only unapologetic party of remain didn’t work for them. And they haven’t really bounced back as some thought they might in traditional heartlands like Cornwall. It is hard to see now any easy route for them becoming big time again. I won’t say they are finished but it is a really long road for them back to anything approaching relevance.
- Lastly what a bad night for Lynton Crosby and negative campaigning. Between nearly throwing away the Scottish Indy referendum, Brexit, the London Mayoral election and now 2017 the dreadful, nasty, negative campaigning model he is so famous for hasn’t half taken a battering.
I do so very hope that the Tories don’t get wise to this and double down on him and his nasty failing way of doing things.
Obviously the worst things when something like last night happens is the lives cut short. The families torn apart. Those left behind injured because of lost loved ones, or actually physically maimed by the attack.
Nothings is worse that that and my heart, and unequivocal sympathies go out to all those affected by what happened.
So that is the worst thing, but for me a close second is seeing the Terrorists winning. Seeing the evil bastards who did their things last night getting *exactly* what they were hoping for. Seeing people I know, people I like and expect, dancing to the tune of terrorists. Playing into their hands. Giving them exactly what they want.
When people strap a bomb to themselves to blow up little girls, or drive a van into a crowd of people on a bridge they are not engaging in a military tactic designed to win an armed conflict. They aren’t trying to “Best the British Army” in a war…
No they are engaging in propaganda. They are trying to elicit reactions and responses. They are trying to create the conditions that they believe further their cause. And when you react the way they want you to then you aren’t being strong. You aren’t sticking it to conventional wisdom. Your aren’t “Standing up to the PC Brigade”.
No, you are being the tool of evil violent terrorists. You are being the weapon they are trying to wield. You are puckering up and giving them exactly what they want. And it makes me sick seeing people becoming the useful tools of the evil terrorists who think it is OK to blow up little girls at concerts or drive into people going about their lives walking on a bridge.
It makes me sick seeing them get what they want.
The purpose of a terrorist attack is to provoke a reaction that drives a narrative of “Us vs Them”. By making otherwise sensible non Muslim people post shit on my Facebook feed like “It’s time for us to take some big action”; not saying what that is of course just allowing people to infer what they mean… But trying to drive a narrative that on the one side is every Muslim, and on the other side is everyone else.
And when they succeed by getting people to either think that way, talk that way or better still act that way then they get what they are really after. And that is by getting out reactions to convince a larger proportion of what they consider “Their side” to give up on being normal people and instead sign up to their fascist ideology of religious war.
So every Britain First meme someone reposts attacking Muslims in general helps them trying and convince the next guy that instead of going to uni and becoming an engineer he is in a holy war and should strap a bomb to his chest or drive a truck into people.
When they do this what they are trying to do is make us recruiting Sergeants for ISIS or Al Qaeda or whatever the current international terrorism franchise is currently in the ascendancy.
And I say no. We can’t ever, shouldn’t ever, let them get what they want. We shouldn’t allow them to make us their patsies, and their tools.
And the reality is that they do this stuff because they as desperate. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Because they are manifestly losing the war of hearts and minds normally. Most Muslim people in the UK are not flocking to their banner for armed conflict to the death with the west. These terrorists, and fascists can’t win people over with their arguments or vision or words. Most people in this country have utterly rejected this. And they are having to resort to desperate measures, murderous vile measures, to try and change peoples minds.
And we shouldn’t let them. Not now, not ever.
I’ve seen a lot of people posting about “collective responsibility” that someone how this is the fault of people other than the tiny proportion of Muslims who either do Terrorism, or actively support it. But I don’t think the people posting that even believe it.
Nobody is, or should ever be tarred by the brush of others when it has nothing to do with the. The sins of the Father are not the sins of the Son.
I’m not responsible for the murders that Anders Breivik committed at Utoya, because we are both white and he felt he was fighting a race ware on my behalf. Nor am I responsible for Thomas Mair murdering Jo Cox for the same reason.
All Hindus aren’t responsible for the crimes carried out during the Gujarat Riots in 2002. And all Buddhists aren’t responsible the the crimes by Buddhist nationalists against Muslims in Myanmar. And if you think that Islam is uniquely a religion that causes it adherents to engage in violence in the name of faith you probably don’t want look at the history of Christendom.
Because this is an asymmetric conflict we can’t win it with tanks, or guns. And “eye for an eye” won’t work. Because it is a fight of ideas, not a conflict between military powers. And our reaction if we go down the “eye for an eye” route is exactly what they want, and exactly what strengthens their side in the war of ideas in which they are engaging.
So you don’t have to react they way they want you to. You wanna do something constructive go and give blood. That is probably the single more useful thing you can do to help with this sort of problem in the future.
But please, please don’t give into hate and division. Don’t blame whole groups of people for the actions of a few. Don’t be an active participant and making the world the way these murderous cunts wish it was.
How we react, what kind of world we build. That is on us. In these circumstances, and about these things lots of people like to be experts on religions they don’t know much about. Well the dominant religion here, Christianity has something to say about what we should do:-
“Turn the other cheek”
So for those who want to see this as a clash of civilisations, as a war of religions. That is what “our” religion has to say on the topic.
“Turn the other cheek”,
I think it is close to a 50/50 fight.
AJ is so inexperienced to be taking a fight at this level, the truth is we really don’t know if AJ is an elite level fighter because he hasn’t yet really been in any elite fights. Not one of his current opponents was considered a legit top 10 fighter at the time he took the fight (though many now rate Dillian Whyte on the fringe of the top ten).
And some of his biggest flaws to date (little or no head movement, vertical upright orthodox style, few or no feints, or lateral movement, poor distance control) play to Wlads strengths (strangely those flaws were all Furys biggest strengths and why he won so easily).
Now you can equally make a strong argument that AJ has never shown any of these things because he has never needed to, and that he has consistently improved against each opponent and added things as he has gone. He is of course an 18 fight novice in the pro game and can’t be expected to be the finished article right now…
But that does mean I worry that simply because he has never had to do it he will lack the required smarts for the kind of ring generalship you need against such a canny fighter as Wlad.
Having said that….
Wlad has been noticeably slowing down since the Bryant Jennings fight, and I can’t see how this won’t have been exacerbated by 17 months out of the ring and the fact that he is now 41….
And Wlad has always been so risk averse. He doesn’t like getting hit, or taking punishment, not many fighters Wlad has ever been in will hit as hard as AJ clearly does. So much of his reign was based on utilising home crowd advantage and friendly refs, combined with a massive size and strength advantage to clinch and nullify threats before they happen. Then take the opponent into deep water and either bank a comfy points win or get a late low risk stoppage when opponent on their feet.
He simply won’t be able to do that at Wembley, with AJ size, speed and frightening power. It will require a very different game plan for him to win. Moving, boxing on the outside and taking risks. Maybe even just trying to dominate the centre of the ring and push AJ back. This surely won’t be in Wlad’s comfort zone at any stage in his career and surely not right now.
I think there is a good chance that Wlad just won’t want to know once he starts getting hit. And for someone who has always liked to counterpunch he might find that a 27 year old with real dynamite in his gloves gives him a massive surprise on the “take one, to land one stakes”.
So much of Wlad’s game was in using his excellent jab to counter punch the leads from the opponent, one thing that requires though is excellent reactions to get the timing right. I think most people agree that Wlad has by far the more educated jab (a big criticism of AJ for me is that he has often just pawed his jab as a rangefinder rather than as a weapon) but if Wlad’s reactions are just a split second slower that is going to make it a risky strategy.
Let’s be honest when was the last time that Wlad was in the ring with a puncher who had the ambition to take his power and actually knock him out? Probably Corrie Sanders I’d say and that didn’t end well for Wlad. Even Fury had no intention of trying to actually hit Wlad hard, most people just came to survive. For all Wlad’s experience the experience he has of ambitious punchers who stand toe to toe and have come to win is mostly mixed!
When ever I think about it in those terms I become sure AJ is a big favourite.
But then I think about AJs whiskers, and mostly if he has a decent set. I don’t think Whyte is that big of a puncher but he definitely had AJ in trouble. And Wlad really is a monstrous puncher…
And whilst the bodybuilder/ rubbish Frank Bruno jabs are a little over egged, we really don’t know what happens when AJ get’s taken into deep water. Does he have a 12 round engine if in a war and taking punishment. Can he fight on the back foot?
There are so many unknowns here. Which makes it a fascinating fight. The young lion versus the wily old fox. I honestly can’t remember anticipating an heavyweight title clash this much since Lewis vs Tyson.
But my final thought is this. There is a reason why very, very, very few elite athletes are still competing at the very top when north of 40. I saw Steve Bunce say “Father Time is, and always will be, undefeated in the ring”. At 41, and after so much inactivity, I just don’t quite believe that Wlad will be able to for 12 rounds not give AJ an opportunity to punch him on the chin really hard at least once. And I think that if AJ lands hard on Wlad’s chin it is game over.
So after all that Waffle, and assuming that Wlad doesn’t score a knockout first, I think AJ knocks out Wlad rounds 6-9!