No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Brexit

We shall defend our Island…

Not a headline I expected to see in the early 21st century.

Apparently it’s something to do with fishing vessels

A Franco-British feud over access to prime fishing waters escalated on Thursday as the two countries deployed patrol and navy ships near the Channel island of Jersey.

Access to Britain’s rich fishing waters was a major sticking point in post-Brexit talks. A transition period was agreed in which EU fishermen would give up 25 percent of their current quotas — the equivalent of 650 million euros per year — in 2026. The deal would then be renegotiated every year.

Until then, EU vessels have access to an area between six to 12 nautical miles from Britain’s coast, but they have to ask for new licenses.

This is where things got complicated.

The French side says London acted outside of the deal by tightening conditions for access to UK waters

Basically a repeat of the Great Cod War of the mid-1970’s then. Not until reading that Wiki did I realise that there had been similar stoushes in the early 1970’s and 1958-1961.

It seems the French are already turning to the comfort of land warfare, where they have a history of far more success against the British than at sea:

“We’re ready to resort to retaliatory measures” that are in the Brexit accord, Girardin told lawmakers in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

“Concerning Jersey, I’ll remind you of the transport of electricity via submarine cables,” she added. “I would regret it if we have to do it, but we’ll do it if we have to.”

Anyway, I don’t think we should treat this as entirely funny because, as the great Edmund Blackadder once said:

Doesn’t anyone know? We hate the French! We fight wars against them!

Did all those men die in vain on the field at Agincourt?

Was the man who burned Joan of Arc simply wasting good matches?

Written by Tom Hunter

May 10, 2021 at 5:32 pm

Brexit Triumph For Boris…

…… and for common sense.

Does anyone remember that strange little fellow who used to hang aound here shouting about the end being nigh for Britain if Brxit went ahead? He lived in bombed out U Boat pen in La Rochelle.

I hope Kiwi and Aussie primary producers are able to grab this opportunity with both hands.

In passing, I didn’t come across this in the Australian media which is preoccupied publishing meaningless hourly updates on the number of Covid infections.

Written by adolffinkensen

January 2, 2021 at 4:33 pm

Posted in Britain, Europe

Tagged with ,

Agitprop for the Social Media Age

Many of our commentators continue to supply much Leftist boilerplate abuse and after these recent ones…

… bears similarities to your poster boy, Tommy Robertson.
….That’s the thing about fascists – believe what they say because they say what they want to impoose on the rest of us.
….I get that you don’t like ANTIFA as they are the bulwark standing against the neo-nazis you so admire and cheer on.
…The Reich Wing…

… I figured other people would get a laugh out of recent Jonathan Pie “doco”.

Naturally I’m not expecting the generators of comments like the above to get this at all. In fact I’m waiting to find out that both the character and the actor behind him, Tom Walker, are “reactionary fascists” or some such.

Written by Tom Hunter

February 22, 2020 at 11:15 pm

All Political Lives End In Failure?

But is that really true? I don’t think it was for John Key, who bowed out on top. Nor was it for President Ronald Reagan, who not only saw his Vice President succeed him – a very rare, third-time Presidential election win – but also saw his greatest enemy, the Soviet Empire, that he had worked against for years, start to collapse within months of him finishing his two terms of office.

And it certainly is not true for this guy, Nigel Farage, shown on the left in one of the greatest Twitter shit-posts of all time.

But you can also seem him in the clip below giving his last speech in the EU “parliament”, a farewell that caps his twenty five year long effort to extract Britain from the EU.

That was a seemingly quixotic task in the beginning, but it saw Farage transformed from being a figure of fun and mockery to a fugure despised and hated by millions as he triumphed. And it included returning from a well-earned retirement in 2016 to lead a final charge with a party he created in a matter of months that finally nailed down the people’s vote when it seemed the EU bureaucrats might win after all with their tactics of delay and deflect.

And now, like Cincinnatus with the wars won, he will retire to the countryside, a path that was held by the American Founders to be the desired model of a political leader.

There are certainly few politicians in history who can reflect on a political triumph as great and as sweet as this one.

You really should watch the entire 5 minute clip as he reflects on the EU stunts that have led to this point, particularly the repeated votes on an EU constitution after it was rejected by French, Dutch and Irish voters. No wonder they and their British allies pushed so hard for a second BREXIT referendum: it had worked before.

And take special note from the 4 minute mark on as perfect example of how the EU still does not understand what has happened here.

In that last minute the school-marm chairing the session actually cuts off Farage’s microphone because he and his group took out little British flags to wave as they left:

If you disobey the rules you get cut off!

Really? And the additional punishment is….??? To stand in the naughty corner? On the naughty step? To be thrown out?

FFS. They’re leaving and telling you to stuff it, in a polite but firm British manner!

And then she gives them a little lecture about it all, like using the word “hate“. Yes, Farage said the following:

We love Europe. We just hate the European Union.

My, how triggering.

But that statement is a perfect summation of the basic reason for leaving. As Farage said, his parents voted in 1975 to join a European Common Market – not to join a political union with flags, anthems, Presidents, a Court of Justice, and even an Army, and all with constant dismissive rejections of the votes of the European peoples.

And of course the full quote is from a person who had his own ideas about where Britain should go:

All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs.

BREXIT will happen at 12 noon New Zealand time today. You can watch it live here.

The following article is also worth reading, The great Brexit wound has almost healed.

I especially noted these quotes, after the article lists a few of the most hard-line Remainers still having a temper tantrum:

And yet these people are a tiny, if voluble, minority. The remarkable thing is that since December 13 the great national divide over Brexit seems to have mended almost completely.

The vast majority of those who voted Remain have long since accustomed themselves to us leaving — a point never really reflected in the mainstream media, which of course prefers dissent to accord and still thought the whole thing was up for debate.

As it happened, that cleft did not take a generation to heal — it took about two weeks. Since Boris Johnson’s remarkable victory, the fugue of complaint has been effectively silenced — except for on that lunatic wing.

It makes the point that by this stage a lot of the Remainers had simply decided to get on with things, even as they continued to disagree with their Brexit opponents, aided no doubt by the fact that…

Not a single one of those egregious Project Fear predictions has come true, not one.

Inward investment stock in the UK was more in 2018 than in France and Germany combined, at almost £1.5 trillion ($1.95 million) — no. 1 in Europe. The UK’s economic growth is predicted to outperform the entire eurozone, with Germany — only recently sidestepping an official recession — heading towards stagnation. Unemployment is the lowest it has been for 45 years and the unemployment rate just a little more than half of that for the eurozone as a whole. Wages are at last rising. The pound is comparatively buoyant.

Then there is this. Will Brexit render your home worthless, as the then-chancellor George Osborne kindly advised in 2016? Nope, quite the reverse. Since Brexit was assured by that general election victory in December, British house prices have risen at their fastest rate since 2002, according to the property website Rightmove.

Written by Tom Hunter

January 31, 2020 at 9:14 pm

Posted in Britain

Tagged with , , ,


The British parliament has voted for the UK to leave the EU on 31 January 2020.    The vote was 358 to 234 … a majority of 124.

But the Tories only enjoy a majority of 80 in the House so what gives?    Simple … despite the nice Mr Corbyn directing Labour members to vote against the Bill six of them crossed the floor to vote with the Tories and 32 abstained.

The ’emperor’ (for now) without any clothes and its not a pretty sight.

Written by The Veteran

December 20, 2019 at 8:19 pm

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with ,

Where to From Here for Britain?

Right. Last post on Britain from me for a while. Must get back to that whole Impeachment farce across the Atlantic.


1) Brexit will now happen. 

There can be no more argument. I suspect Boris will pull the plug on a Hard Brexit by setting a date but with room to move on pressing the EU to soften the lines around exactly what happens on that date. The EU has played tough but they must now know the game is up and will want to limit the damage, and those discussions will then simply merge into the usual trade negotiations that occur between any nation state or trading bloc.

Despite his prominence in the Brexit campaign Boris would have been quite happy to Remain, and his deal will not be what the likes of Farrage wanted. But like his promises of new hospitals and huge infusions of money into the NHS, and having won traditional Labour seats, Boris knows he has a once-in-a-lifetime chance to break old rules – and he loves winning. It’s not altruistic of course, but by the same token all the claims about a new era of Thatcherism are just crap. Boris now owes former Labour voters on the things they care about aside from Brexit: if he fails they’ll go back to a non-Corbyn Labour Party in five years time.

2) There will be no hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. 
The “soft” border wasn’t created until 1993, but whether the border was hard or soft seemed to make no difference to the Troubles. In any case Britain, the EU and Ireland have all said they will not set up a hard border. Notably it played no part during the Leave faction’s great “Fear” campaign of 2015/16; it was an empty threat created later by the EU, intended only for negotiating leverage.

A few months ago I was in a Lake Como supermarket-mall and my mate pointed out the dozens of cars with Swiss stickers, loaded to the hilt with food and other EU consumer items. Obviously running the terrible risk of getting caught at the border: rigid adherence to WTO rules my ass.

3) Northern Ireland will slowly unify with Ireland and the EU. 

It will take twenty years but time passes quickly when you consider that the GFA is more than twenty years old. The traditional Northern Irish voices for sticking with England grow fainter every day and the bad hits on the DUP show that. No leverage on Boris there now either.

4) Scotland will go independent.

Again it might take twenty years. The referendum of 2014 is now null and void, since that was when it meant Scotland would be part of the EU. The votes for the SNP show that ordinary Scots want nothing to do with either British Labour, British Conservatives or British Lib Dems: they want out of Great Britain.

Boris has of course already rejected another Scottish independence referendum, but large numbers of his modern Right-Wing voters support the Brexit-related concept of letting peoples have their independence, and also increasingly not giving a fuck about a “United Kingdom”. There have been gleeful arguments about how this would also permanently cripple Labour, but that’s probably a moot point now since they’re dead in Scotland anyway.

Now don’t misunderstand me: being of proud Scottish inheritance I’ve always wanted Scotland to tell the Sassenachs to shove it. But while I’ve no doubt that most Scots have the same desire, when they got their chance in 2014 they showed their true colours in being too gutless to cut the welfare strings. I’ll let young Renton explain the problem:

It’s shite being Scottish! We’re the lowest of the low. The scum of the fuckin’ Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some people hate the English. I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonised by wankers. Can’t even find a decent culture to be colonised by. We’re ruled by effete assholes. It’s a shite state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and all the fresh air in the world won’t make any fuckin’ difference!

Of course now they have a new potential sugar daddy whose largess will exceed whatever bribes Britain can offer.  Whether the EU will accept Scotland is another matter. Do they really want another future Greece, Spain and Italy on their hands? Conversely how soon will Britain tire of the SNP gouging more welfare out of them by threatening to leave before finally taking them at their word?

5) Wales will stay in the Union.

They’re more locked in physically and mentally than either NI or Scotland.
6) Corbyn is goneburger.
As well as some of his elderly, scummy Marxist mates.

7) A permanent shift in thinking for the Working Classes of Britain.
Although glimpses were seen when Thatcher enabled the great Middle Class home purchase thirty years ago, this latest shift has been more dramatic and has taken some time to occur, starting with Labour PM Gordon Brown’s comment a decade ago:

“That was a disaster – they should never have put me with that woman. Whose idea was that? Ridiculous….. she was just a bigoted woman.”

That instinctive contempt has become the mainstream thinking of the British Labour Party. No Victorian snob ever expressed it better.  Labour sneered at their own voters support for Brexit, their cultural values and became more open than Gordo about calling them racist xenophobes over their concerns about the EU and mass immigration. This was often done by implication – as if anybody missed that “clever” snideness. Labour’s muddled thinking over a second referendum grew out of this basic contempt and trying to straddle its new and old friends.

Defeat has made no impact, as angry Corbynista Paul Mason explains: “…a victory of the old over the young, racists over people of colour, selfishness over the planet“.

I can’t see “Vote For Us, You Bigots” working any better for Labour in 2024.

1) Boris could still stuff up Brexit.
There has already been criticism of his BRINO deal (BRexit In Name Only) so pressure may come early to toughen it up by dumping compromises that were made to the EU and to Tory Remainers back when Boris had no leverage over them. The real question is whether Boris wants to do the same or whether he just wants to get this behind him and say that Brexit is done? If the latter then Britain will find itself in a situation where its sovereignty amounts to little more than continuing to agree with EU regulations for reasons of trade, and that naturally leads to the following…

2) The Conservatives will embrace Big Government more than ever.
In pledging to throw huge amounts of cash at the NHS and “infrastructure” and god knows what else, Boris was cunningly pushing into the centre-ground of Labour leader Gordon Brown a decade ago, who made the same promises for the post-Blair age. But the flip-side will be the usual expansion of government that Right Wing parties around the world rail against but hardly ever do anything to even restrain.

And that’s just the spending. Is there any prospect that Boris’s government will roll back the incredible tide of regulations, only a portion of which can be blamed on the EU? Will there be a rollback of actions on “hate speech” and the increasingly creepy Orwellian approach of the British Police to such things. “Wokeness” is bullshit, many on the Left hate it as much as the Right do, and they especially hate it when it starts to involve police “interviews”, arrests and fines.

The Tories will do little to reverse any of this, mainly because much of it has happened on their ten year fucking watch in government.

3) Corbyn is dead. Long Live Corbynism.
The following Marxists will still be around at the top of the Labour Party: Seumas Milne, John McDonnell, Andrew Murray, Katy Clark, Anneliese Midgley, and Andrew Fisher. They and others like them are a very dedicated core of True Believers that now have control over a lot of the wheels and cogs of Labour and can use them to screw the moderates and keep control. It’s classic Leninist stuff on how to take over an existing body.

They also know this is the best chance they’ve had in decades, perhaps ever, to enact their dingbat policies and all it might take would be a recession to drop the Conservative vote, so they’re going to fight down to the last unbroken bone to keep control of Labour. Unlike Militant Tendency of the early 80’s Labour party these guys won’t be dislodged by a mere election defeat.

And backing them in the rest of the party are the thousands of activists of many Far Left stripes who joined for ₤3 and who think like this…

And nowadays they have the vote for any new leader. Unless that changes we’re just going to see Corbyn 2.0, but perhaps one who can better downplay all the hard stuff in public until they get their hands on power.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 16, 2019 at 11:30 pm

British Labour and the 2019 Election

Perhaps it’s too simplistic an analysis, but the 2019 British general election was basically the second Brexit referendum and the key difference between the two major parties was that the Conservatives figured that out while Labour did not.

Labour had a huge, cluttered manifesto and a wishy-washy stance on Brexit, all in complete contrast to the simple message of Boris and the Conservatives, on which they showed incredible message discipline and which cut through all other messages almost every day of the campaign: Let’s Get Brexit Done.

But Labour certainly had other big problems, and still does, starting with their Marxist leader – and his Marxist minions.

Got a face like a smacked arse now, haven’t ya, Corbyn?


Actually, judging by his speech on Thursday night, there’s no sign that Jeremy Corbyn feels any shame or embarrassment at all in having led the British Labour Party to its fourth loss, the second in a row under his leadership, and the worst result since 1935!

First let’s review the numbers:

So Boris actually did only a little better than May’s “failure” in 2017. But he wins a much bigger victory because of the huge drop in the Labour vote in their FPP system. It looks like about 1.5 million 2017 Labour voters went to the SNP and Lib Dems in 2019; more importantly another million just didn’t bother voting.

I’m Jo Swinson and you WILL vote “yes” for the EU

The SNP took full advantage and slaughtered Labour in Scotland, where the Tories had already been long dead.

But even with all those additional Labour votes the Lib Dems, a party that for almost forty years has aimed to supplant or equal Labour and the Conservatives, basically collapsed. As recently as 2010 they had 57 seats. Before this election they had 21. Now they have 11.

And their leader, Jo Swinson, who was yammering about the possibility that she could become Prime Minister, is no longer even an MP, having lost her seat. For “centrists” it’s a hard pill to swallow. If you’re a fringe party then maybe you’re the extremists.

Meanwhile Corbyn says he’s going to stick around as leader while the Labour Party does some big, internal review. Frankly I don’t know why they’d bother while Momentum – the Party-Within-The-Party – continues to hold such sway, together with those thousands of new “Labour” members who joined on the cheap and were allowed to vote Jeremy into the leadership position.

Those are structural things and unless they’re changed the British Labour Party will be treated the same way Lenin treated Russia in 1917, with a very small number of key people and activists driving the whole thing.

I don’t see much hope of change if the following comments are anything to go by, and although I’ve culled these from The Standard here in NZ (doing the work you don’t want to – ick), there’s no question they’re a perfect match for what’s being said in online forums today by their British comrades.

The tories will take this chance to blitzkrieg their economy just like the Rogergnomes did to ours in 1984-1988. Bye bye NHS and anything else of value not tied down.

The Conservatives were putting forward White Papers in 1944 for an NHS, and they’ve managed it for over forty years of its 71 years of existence. Even the dreaded Thatcher refused to touch it. But sure, Boris and company will flog it off.

To fully appreciate the scale of manipulation here, one has to appreciate why British Billionaires backed Brexit. The only real threat to the power of the 1% within Britain was EU regulation to force transparency and close tax havens….

Basically the whole of London’s financial class – “The City” as they say – opposed Brexit, as did any number of British billionaires. Are there no billionaires in the EU, or if there are, are they significantly hamstrung by the EU and don’t have tax havens? FFS, the ignorance on display here is stunning, as well as being yet another example of how the Left believe in the power of the regulating state and never question how wealthy people are the ones that capture such a state for their own ends – especially to get wealthier.

Brexit is a blindsiding of Westminster Democracy for a neoliberal plutocracy hell bent on taking power no matter what the price. Dark days are ahead for Britain under neoliberal Boris and Labour’s impending implosion into sectarian fighting will ensure two terms.

Don’t you worry my little Far Lefter: I’m sure many of those billionaires are on board for the fight against AGW – and the Tories will probably hand over the cash so they look like they’re doing something about it.

Dredging through all this you’d have to conclude that there are no problems with either the leadership of Corbyn and his Marxist aides, or with their fabulous policies, which we are assured “The People” love?

This calls for a Star Trek TNG double facepalm.

Then there were the organisational stuffups, which is what I expect from Marxists now, as identified by one pissed off Labour staffer:

Party staff were divided into two camps during this election. Those who had fought election campaigns before 2017, and repeatedly warned that the data pointed to massive losses, and those whose political education starts and ends with Corbyn, who believed blind faith and winning the Twitter war would see Jeremy propelled into Number 10.

Although I’ve long suspected that the managerial capabilities of Marxists have always been overblown, even during their revolutions. The success of Lenin and Mao is more a case of their opponents being even more useless, with any revolutionary management weak points papered over by the crude effects of using large-scale violence and terror. Without the latter all the centralised, bureaucratic bumble-fucking of later decades was simply the revealed truth. So goes Corbyn and company today.

There was an unprecedented mis-allocation of party resources. Activists were being bussed to no-hoper seats and concentrated in London until a fortnight ago. Staffers with no organisational experience, but the requisite ideological purity, were handed senior paid campaign roles. There was a total lack of control as Momentum directed their volunteers to seats where Momentum activists were standing.

You often read this about losing campaigns, along with blunt, over-stuffed manifestos. But that’s not the real long-term problem Labour faces even with their Brexit confusion no longer an issue.

Alan Johnson, former Labour Home Secretary and a man who lives in a Working Class place in Yorkshire, absolutely gets stuck in during ITV’s election night coverage, with one of the key leaders of Momentum sitting right beside him.

I’m afraid the Working Classes have always been a big disappointment to John and his cult.

Jeremy Corbyn was a disaster on the doorstep. Everyone knew that he couldn’t lead the Working Class out of a paper bag.

Aiming to keep the purity. The cultural betrayal goes on. You’ll hear it now more and more in the next couple of days as they… this little cult… get their act together.

I want them out of the party. I want Momentum gone. Go back to your student politics.

Another commentator also gives a glimpse of this in looking at the seat of Bolsover, formed in 1950 and held ever since by Labour, with the current MP holding it since 1970. He was 87 years old and a ex-miner.

Dennis Skinner has been there forever, in an impregnable Labour fortress, and now he’s gone – like the mines, the jobs, and the hope. No point trying to sugar-coat this result, Labour heartlands that loathed Thatcher even when she won landslides, have gone to the Tories now. You can’t replace those with a handful of university towns.

Oh come now. He should be thanking Thatcher for closing all those coal mines and cutting CO2 emissions: she had a science degree, and saved Labour the trouble of destroying their lives later.

But I got more enjoyment from another similar “shock” Tory win.

Yes, “Gorgeous George” – a vile, evil little shit who paved the way years ago for the Far Left huggers of Western-hating forces to take over Labour – got 489 votes.

But then why vote for George when Labour now think the same way, but have a better shot at power?

West Bromwich East and Bolsover are just two examples of what happened to Labour seats everywhere – even those they won – as its ties with the Working Class were severed for the first time in decades, in some places in a century.

These and many other seats are examples of what has been happening in recent years as “the continental plates of Western democracies appear to be cracking and shifting“, with “The Toilers” increasingly turning away from their supposed defenders.

The same Labour staffer as before sums it up:

This election is a damning indictment that finally proves these despicable London-living politicos and pundits do not understand the working classes and never will, and what comes next is on them.

The Swing Vote: 2017 vs 2019

He could just as well be speaking of working class Americans in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania reacting to the East and West coast snots of the Democrat Party. And yet what is the response of the Corbynites?

The Brexit campaign used Boris and Farage as front people while exploiting Cambridge Analytica’s ability to target angry white working men who had been left behind by globalisation. Manipulating working class resentment into making a decision like Brexit to ensure the power of the 1% is as Machiavellian as it gets.

Cambridge Analytica? Man, that is so USA 2016. The curse word now should be those colonial upstarts Topham Guerin.

Were those white working men as easy to manipulate by Labour in the past? Is that why Labour won? Or were they perhaps voting with a combination of hope and to best serve their self-interest? And if they were voting for those reasons back then – with all that “Working Class Solidarity” being so much bunk – then why is that not an equally good explanation now?

But no! Now it’s a manipulation by dark, nefarious voices good at stirring up “discord” via Social Media. And lying. And racism. It has to be, right?

I so hope they keep thinking that way – and globally too.

UPDATE: From a commentator on this thread:

Written by Tom Hunter

December 14, 2019 at 9:27 pm

Here’s Why Boris Will Bolt In

One of the very best political adverts I’ve seen in a long, long time.

As The Veteran says, this is almost certainly the work of Topham Guerin  and here are two articles from David Farrar on the young men from NZ who are shaking things up in the political world.

First up is this Kiwiblog piece from April 24, 2019, that introduces them and gives their background. It starts with fearful rumours from The Grundian about the frightening new beast, as well as our local weepy, Russell Brown, writing in his usual passive-aggressive manner:

Topham and Guerin, both young men making their way in the booming industry of digital persuasion, may not feel that they’re doing anything wrong here; that it’s all in the game, that working on contract for Darth Vader is just a hell of a career opportunity. But the rest of us might feel that the material involvement of politically-connected New Zealanders in such a deceptive and deeply cynical covert politics project brings things a little too close for comfort.

The rest of us“? I always love that casual arrogance: speak for yourself pal.

Next up is the story around the Australian election, The Kiwi Connection:

A low-profile Kiwi digital and creative agency was in the thick of the ‘miracle’, come-from-behind campaign that saw Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Liberal Party re-elected. 

Topham Guerin, established just three years ago, helped the Liberals outgun Bill Shorten’s Labor campaign with high octane digital messaging, deploying videos and ads around the clock. 

Founder Sean Topham was based at the party’s national campaign centre in Brisbane with members of his Auckland staff and has been credited in Australian media reviews of the campaign with helping execute a digital campaign that swamped Labor.

Looks like they’re doing it again, this time in Britain. As one final example here’s something released by the Conservatives early in the campaign.

lo fi boriswave beats to relax / get brexit done to

Guido Fawkes explains what it’s about – for old farts 😁

‘Lo-fi Chill Beats Study Mix’ is a popular genre of long-form video on YouTube featuring relaxing trip-hop and hip-hop backing tracks that people often put on in the background to relax or study to. The genre has spun off popular parodies ranging from Waluigiwave to Moggwave.

And also makes this point:

The Tories’ digital gurus Topham & Guerin are making sure this election is nothing like 2017…

Written by adolffinkensen

December 9, 2019 at 11:55 pm

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with ,

The British Election Funhouse (2019 edition)

There seems to have been some recent excitement about the latest British election campaign as we get into the last few days before the vote. A poll from the Grundian had the Tories on 46 and Labour on 31, whereas The Times had a poll one day later with the numbers as Tory 43 – Labour 33.

I’ve also seen comments about “nervousness” creeping into Boris’s ranks as the gap supposedly closes in some running polls.

Uh huh. Sounds more like parts of the British MSM trying to put their increasingly weak fingers on the scale in a last desperate appeal to vote Labour – plus other sections who’ll support the Tories but will also publish anything for click-bait rather than the boring coverage of an election where nothing dramatic has changed in weeks.

Readers of NoMinister might therefore enjoy an analysis that does not tip over into partisanship nor is driven by click-bait needs. A chap called Evan Scrimshaw takes a rather refreshing look at polling and the bigger issues often missed, starting with the great polling screwup of 1992, where Tory Transport Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, was being interviewed on the BBC Election night show:

When asked about that forecast, Rifkind unloaded; “how can you say we’re doing badly in Scotland when we’ve just won back South Aberdeen from the Labour Party and when we’ve held on to Sterling which all the experts confidently claimed we would lose … all your predictions have been turning out to be wrong, therefore I think you were very unwise to make that prediction.”

After that election – when super-squishy “wet” Tory leader John Major somehow pulled out an election win that ultimately meant the Tories would govern for just shy of twenty years – the pollsters made lots of excusing noises about improving their methods. And it’s true that they’ve done better in Britain since then, although they had small miss in 2015 and the Brexit vote was a pretty big black eye. Scrimshaw explains how improving the detail on the numbers may not be the answer:

…the narrative got away from the math, because the narrative made more sense, but the idea that Michael Forsyth would get an increase in his majority but half of the Scottish Tory caucus would lose should have been seen for what it was – and what it ended up being. It was laughable, and worthy of the contempt that Rifkind showed it.

Ah yes, that scary old “narrative” again, the Achilles heel of the modern MSM. And appying it to the 2019 election…

IPSOS-Mori released some polling this week (although, no top-line vote intention numbers). One of their questions was expected result of the election, where by 44% to 38% voters expect this election to end with one side ending up with a majority as opposed to a hung Parliament, and only 34% believing the Conservatives will get the majority they want.

In other words “people” think the election will be close. There’s a poll and a question that makes it so. Scrimshaw pours cold water on that by looking at overall polling numbers in a different, and more relevant way:

… here’s the 2019 UK Election in a nutshell – per the most recent YouGov polling, the Tories are at 72% with Leave voters and 16% of Remain voters, on average, with Labour on 48% with Remain voters and 14% with Leavers, and those broad findings are backed up by the findings of Survation, ComRes, and Opinium. The Tories are winning with their good group over Labour’s good group by 20-25%, and with their bad group over Labour’s bad group by about 5%.

But why look at it in terms of Remain vs Leave rather than Tory vs. Labour vs LibDem?

The media conception of who the swing voter in the UK is much the same as in the US – the fiscally conservative, socially liberal suburbanites who like tax cuts, “responsible” spending decisions, and who would feel perfectly comfortable living in any major US or European city.

As a local example David Farrar of Kiwiblog fits that description perfectly, and Scrimshaw points out that MSM types hang around such people almost exclusively, which just reinforces the narrative about all these “sensible” people swinging elections.

Trouble for the narrative is that they’re not the swing voters anymore:

The new swing voter in the UK is the reason the Tories are on track for a large majority government. The new swing voter is the fiscally liberal, socially conservative voter who wants more money spent on northern towns and health care in regional areas and less money spent on “elites”, which routinely means whoever that voter isn’t a fan of. 

They’re wary of immigrants, mad at the Blair-era broken promise of only 13000/year net immigration from the 2004 EU Accession states – 250000/year would come in the decade after – and is annoyed by social issues that grip the modern left. This class of voter was staunchly Labour for decades, especially in the aftermath of Margaret Thatcher’s term in office.

Note that “socially conservative” does not necessarily mean religious! Swap the words Tory, Labour, Blair and Thatcher for GOP, Democrats, Obama and Bush and you’re talking of US swing voters who elected Trump. And of course that point about the comparisons between Boris and TheDonald have to be included:

To those kinds of people, Boris Johnson is a Trumpian figure – an unserious grifter whose unseriousness should be so obvious it should be immediately apparent he cannot win. 

While to an extent the comparisons may be dubious, there are enough similarities between the two men for the comparison to be worth making. Both are men who come from family wealth and power who attended the best schools available, who flailed around the world of private business and then entered the world of politics. Both are controversial, loose speakers with stories of affairs littered in their pasts, and both took over political parties whose establishment was contemptuous of them. 

And both of them are breaking the political map by outperforming their more conventional predecessors with the new swing voter.

And what of the British Labour Party and those new swing voters? Can Corbyn repeat his magic of 2015 with a burst of Corbymania?

These voters were tempted by Theresa May last time, but went home to Labour because Corbyn did enough to reassure that Brexit would happen. With Labour policy now being a second referendum with an option to Remain – and every senior Labour politician outside Corbyn saying no possible deal is better than staying in – their likelihood of repeating their 2017 trick is somewhere between small and non-existant.

With the pivot point being Remain vs Leave, and analysing Tory vs Labour within that context, Scrimshaw concludes about Labour:

There may be an election where someone has won despite such a bad hand, but it’s not immediately apparent. Predictions of a close race – and anyone who wants to suggest a Hung Parliament is in the offing – should be met with extreme caution at this stage, and the wise words of Sir Malcolm Rifkind should be remembered; as of now, any such prediction would be very unwise, indeed.

Written by Tom Hunter

December 9, 2019 at 6:00 pm


I am pretty much an agnostic on Brexit and await the election results with interest.   They will provide an indication of where the country wants to go.    In the meantime can I share with you a sign seen at a recent rally … amusing.

Hat-tip to KJ … one of our loyal readers from the Sandgroper State.

Thank you to Psycho Milt for his expert tutoring.

Written by The Veteran

December 4, 2019 at 8:19 am

Posted in New Zealand

Tagged with , ,