We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The Conservative party gave me absolutely nothing in their manifesto that would make me inclined to vote for them. They have done nothing while they have been in power that would make me inclined to vote for them. The only thing that they had going for them was that they were not Labour. As far as I can see, the hung parliament is a result of his party being utterly rubbish and running an utterly rubbish campaign. They took the electorate for granted when they sowed and this election result is just what they deserved to reap.

– Commenter Stonyground remarking over on Longrider. This strikes me as a near perfect and succinct summation of why the Stupid Party was almost defeated by the Evil Party.

Personally I supported the idea of the election, but even given my loathing of Theresa May, I was stunned by how badly May came across during the campaign, snatching near defeat from the jaws of victory.

45 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Snorri Godhi

    But if the only problem were low Tory turnout, then we’d have seen lower turnout overall, while i understand that turnout was actually a bit higher than in the previous election!

  • But if the only problem were low Tory turnout…

    The problem was not low Tory ‘turnout’, it was an overtly anti-liberty, anti-market campaign that promised nothing to get Tory votes. Which section of the Tory vote was she reaching out to? Damned if I know. The Silly Moo even refused to rule out tax rises. And of course, this was a weird election because certain Tory MPs who voted LEAVE had constituencies that largely voted REMAIN (such as Kensington), so some local issues were also relevant.

  • Lee Moore

    Glancing at the DUP manifesto on Guido Fawkes, it seems to me that the DUP would have swept to a landslide across Northern England if it had bothered to put up candidates outside Northern Ireland. Though they won’t go down at all well with Samizdata folk, I’m thinking we might get a less weak and wobbly government, and a surer Brexit, if we canned the idea of a minority Tory government propped up by the DUP, and did it the other way round.

  • Snorri Godhi

    OK, when i said “the problem” i meant the proximate cause of the Tories doing so badly.
    (Which might not be a problem at all, except for the Tories themselves.)
    The ultimate (or at least, less proximate) cause was of course the Tory campaign.

  • Though they won’t go down at all well with Samizdata folk

    They are a… mixed bag 😆

  • Snorri Godhi (June 10, 2017 at 10:56 am): “But if the only problem were low Tory turnout …”

    There are also many reports of high youth turnout: 40% in 2015, 70% on Thursday. (This appears to be why, for the first time in decades, all polls except the exit poll overstated Tory support instead of understating it. They were using models of ‘who votes in what proportions’ that missed some of this change.)

    May’s government ran many adds during the campaign telling the young to be sure and register. I thought at the time: why are they doing so much of that? Why is the last day to register so late in the campaign?

    I guess that many young people decided to vote late in the campaign. Why Corbyn looked like a huge loser, why bother. When May fumbled away so much of her lead that the usual spread of polls had one showing Jeremy in with a chance then why not “make a difference”.

    Many young people who screamed about Brexit and Trump were told, “If you think it matters so much, why didn’t you vote?” I have wondered in the past whether we should mock other absurdities of the young but leave that one alone.

    These young voters literally do not recall a time when the UK had free speech. Labour abolished it before some of them were speaking and before all of them were noticing politics.

  • Slartibartfarst

    What an amazing result in the UK election, eh?
    Theresa May (Con.) won by losing and Jeremy Corbyn (Lab.) lost by winning. A comedic event worthy of being a Brian Rix television farce – cliff-hanger with a larf a minute.

    A lot of the absurd comments that have been made about members of both parties by various commenters might not so “absurd”, after all? Makes one think.

    This rant from a caller to the LBC radio programme:
    http://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/iain-dale/livid-conservative-epic-theresa-may-rant-watch/
    (watch the full version) provides a rather effective summation of what I reckon could be the main reasons for the election outcome – an outcome which just might herald a new dawn that could plough through and bring about a reform of the adversarial/tribalistic political system in the UK.
    Much as in the US, I suppose, and, as in the US, the voters don’t seem to take kindly to being patronised, lied to, having their freedom’s threatened, or being insulted by arrogant politicos.

    Democracy at work. A clear signal from the voters and a good outcome for democracy.

  • Lee:

    I was listening to the CBC’s podcast news this morning, and the reporter was absolutely apoplectic about the DUP. For heaven’s sake, they don’t support the “climate change” agenda! How positively evil!

  • [The DUP] are a … mixed bag 😆 (Perry de Havilland, London, June 10, 2017 at 12:06 pm)

    (Guessing at the cause of your moderated enthusiasm 🙂 ) if you fight for free speech, your allies will include some high-minded people who can say what they believe and be flattered for it but nevertheless defend those they disagree with. They will also include those whose free speech is immediately threatened – who, for that very reason of being forced to think, may also be high-minded.

    Some DUP voters may (some NI bakers we know certainly do) have opinions that cannot safely be uttered today – except of course, in mosques where they (and much much more, some of it involving high buildings) can be said openly, emphatically and, above all, quite safely for all practical purposes.

    If we thought the DUP were like the left, to whom free speech (like democracy to Erdogan) was a bus – “when you get to your stop, you get off” – then I’d sympathise if they “won’t go down at all well with Samizdata folk”. But provided they are not like that (as I think obviously they are not), then let us all thank God (or whomever you’d rather thank 🙂 ) that a party with a motive to defend free speech has influence on our government.

    I think Perry’s and Lee’s remarks mean they already get this. My point is to say: let no-one even be long-faced about this. We need allies who are motivated to defend free speech – the recent debacle should surely teach us that – and all we should ever ask them is “This free speech thing – it’s for everyone, right?”

  • Jacob

    Who’s gonna make Britain Great again?

  • Slartibartfarst

    @Niall Kilmartin:

    …”This free speech thing – it’s for everyone, right?”

    Yers, nicely put.

  • JohnW

    Have you notice her smile? – it’s more like a leer [the same process is happening to Tim Farron BTW.]
    She reminds me of Gordon Brown – their psychology has made them both incapable of expressing or experiencing any warmth or joy in life.

  • JohnW

    Corbyn “secretly” hates Jews – Jews in the Labour movement already know this – and they will be livid.
    [I would have preferred a small Tory majority and a better UKIP performance but an imminent civil war in the Labour Party is now inevitable, and maybe that will be the best outcome of all in the longterm now Ayn Rand is on the national A level curriculum.
    Snowflakes v Jews – my money is on the latter – I’ll get the popcorn.

  • Derek Buxton

    I was just a little surprised that we ended up with nothing, it is a long time since we had a true conservative in Parliament. The last was I think Lady Thatcher, who was of course lied to by her advisors until she went to a meeting of EU Leaders. I understand it opened her eyes. Mrs May is nothing like Lady Thatcher in any way, she had principles, Mrs. May apparently has none. Unfortunately I cannot think of any in Parliament who are true Conservatives, not Rudd, Truss or any of the others in the witches coven.

  • George Atkisson

    Just a note from the other side of the pond. Apparently the London Bridge terrorist attack is not even being mentioned in all the discussions about why and wherefore of the election outcome. Is that truly the case? Are attacks just part of the expected routine? I’m confused, perplexed, and bewildered.

  • bob sykes

    Nigel Farage is available. He would certainly be a better PM than the rest of the clowns in Parliament.

  • George Atkisson (June 10, 2017 at 7:03 pm), to answer (as far as I can) your question on the election and the recent terrorism: “… Are attacks just part of the expected routine? …”

    The three recent islamic terrorist attacks were not just the expected routine and had much impact. May’s response – the standard ‘nothing to do with islam’ and ‘control the web’ (i.e. arrest them for killing and us for speaking) – did her no favours with those whom she should have been motivating, while the known wolf aspects reminded us she was home secretary before she was PM, responsible for this kind of thing and not good at it, while being not far enough behind Labour in telling police to arrest un-diverse Britons for ‘hate speech’. While May was in meetings about the attacks, Labour – unable to criticise her specifically for any of the above of course – spun the line (somewhat irrelevant but useful for muddying the waters) that she was responsible for fewer police on London streets than in Labour’s day. (Labour’s day ended in 2010 so most of the 2008-crash-induced cuts to police occurred on the Tory watch – of course, other stuff could have been cut instead, had the Tories so wished.)

    Obviously, it makes far less than no sense at all to decide that as May is dire at fighting terrorism one should vote instead for Jeremy Corbyn but it provides some context on how May failed dismally to make it a killer issue that would motivate her supporters to have a high turnout and demotivate Corbyn’s likewise.

  • @Jacob:
    Who’s gonna make Britain Great again?

    Rt. Hon. David Davis MP in his role as Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union

  • Runcie Balspune

    May I remind the collective gentlemen of the events of 1997, when Mr Major, hanging on to a similar wafer thin majority which had been reduced even further over the years by death and defection, was completely and utterly crushed in the election by a certain Mr Blair who gained a stonking 145 seats and the conservatives lost an unimaginable 178 seats, even Paddy Pantsdown managed a respectable +28 against the rotten Tory shower.

    For comrade Corbyn to think he’s a “winner” against a equally piss-poor Tory leader with an equally tiny majority, by gaining a measly 30 seats, not even remotely matching windbag Kinnock who still lost previously in 1992, is a level of stunning arrogance only matched by North Korea claiming it “won” the war against America.

    In true soviet style, Corbyn pontificates as if he’s the saviour of the left, hopefully May will regroup and start talking to her unionist brothers and listen to her ministers instead of SpAds, and the eye will turn on the red menace and consider whether he’ll be in a fit state to contest the next election.

    Once the press suddenly see the glorious irony of Labour attacking May for doing deals with ultra-conservative religious homophobes and misogynists, we might see a period when the tables slowly turn against Jezza, probably when May starts telling people to f*ck off because she’s got a Brexit deal to arrange.

    It just takes time. One can only hope.

  • Mr Ecks

    I told you she was arrogant, authoritarian and THICK.

    She is.

    The Torys must now guard against any more bungling. Neither they nor we can afford it.

    At least the Great Firewall of Britain–Chi-Comm style–is finished.

  • Regional

    I’ve just finished watching the Young Ones series, these problems were becoming apparent then, they stuck it to everybody.

  • Charlie Suet

    1. The Tories soften their approach to Brexit, as reality, Ruth Davidson and the DUP dictate.
    2. People who want hard Brexit decide to vote UKIP ‘to teach the Tories a lesson’.
    3. May clings on for too long, and the false equivalence between the DUP and the IRA convinces more idiots that Corbyn is not immoral.
    4. Corbyn sweeps to power at the next election, and really fucks shit up.

    People have absolutely lost their minds. I know way too many youngish city workers who have decided that the stain of Brexit is so bad that the obvious gulf between the economic viability of a socialist government and a Tory one no longer exists. A few months ago, everyone realised that Lefty-Trump was a moron – now everyone on my Facebook timeline appears to think he’s the messiah.

  • Mr Ecks

    Call Davidson’s bluff. She tows the line or its another election, Corbyn and Venezuela UK.

    That Davidson is willing to put the EU –and/or gay marriage ahead of her country says it all.

    If Corby gets in he will import the 3rd world vote on a Merkal scale and if–after 5 years of Hell –he is still voted out ,he (or McConnell as his successor) simply won’t go. The precedent for wanting to disregard votes has already been set.

  • NickM

    I am somewhat surprised that nobody has mentioned what to me seems obvious. May started this campaign with people (lots of people but not I) predicting a Tory landslide. Things were going to narrow after that. People don`t like being told that and kinda rebel. Especially as May seemed to regard this not so much as an election to fight but as the route to her coronation. You might think “coronation” is a bit OTT but she didn’t – just look at the way the bus was painted. It was May all the Way (and the Conservative party as well I guess). Or the lofty distain from debates but bizarre appearance on “The One Show” where we found out Mr May puts the bins out. People rightly saw May as arrogant and aloof and also utterly complacent about winning.

  • hennesli

    Can somebody explain how Kensington voted for a communist?

  • Can somebody explain how Kensington voted for a communist?

    Simple. The constituency voted REMAIN, the MP voted LEAVE, alienating the large number of pro-EU but otherwise natural Tory voters. It is a temporary blip for local reasons, not a structural change.

  • Mr Ecks

    It seems the Davidson story might now be Telegraph clickbait as she appears to have denied the claims.

    Makes sense as now is not any time for rocking the boat. Esp as the ever arrogant May has appointed another remain hack as her new “adviser”.

    Soft Brexit sell-out in the wind?

  • Here are two important Scottish points, and a corollary.

    1) Ruth Davidson is well aware the Tories turned one Scottish seat into thirteen by running a campaign that said: vote for us to shout in the natz ear “NO SECOND INDYREF”. (Ditto some LibDems and Labour; I know people in East Dumbartonshire who’ve voted Tory or Labour all their lives but backed Jo Swinton on Thursday. Swinton’s acceptance speech was the simple truth: “I would like to thank all those who put their normal party label aside to vote for me.” (She went on to assure them she’d indeed prevent a second indyref). The Tory campaign was the same: our local MP’s leaflet spoke at length about ‘no indyref2’ and otherwise talked about local issues only.

    2) Everyone in Scotland knows that the same dynamic happened a year ago. Every party said: vote Remain to avoid a second indyref. After the vote, everyone in Scotland immediately saw how Scotland’s Remain vote was used by Sturgeon as the excuse for a second indyref. If Scotland’s vote had been 48/52 instead of 38/62, Sturgeon would not have had that excuse. (I of course foresaw this, as did some others, but most Scots only heard all the parties and media saying that a Leave vote would empower a second indyref.)

    Corollary: it is a simple matter to map the natz’ 56-down-to-34 seats to the impact that ‘vote Remain to avoid indyref2’ had on last year’s vote. People can now offer a good argument that 38/62 would have been more like 48/52 without that factor (or indeed 52/48, but if I were arguing with someone I’d offer the less controversial figure). This election screamed in everyone’s ear that ‘no indyref2’ is the dominant factor in Scottish politics. No non-natz Scottish political leader can, if challenged, admit how they cut the natz down to size (which their campaigns, especially the Scots Tories, very frankly did admit) and simultaneously deny that ‘vote Remain to avoid indyref2’ must have impacted last year’s vote.

    Today, Scots Tories are the second largest party precisely and only because Scots Tories present themselves as the firmest on no-indyref2. Were Ruth to do anything to stress the union to serve her personal politics (I note she has denied the click bait article, so has not done anything as yet), we may see Davidson go down like the proverbial stick.

    Scottish politicians who were un-foresighted idiots a year ago will not necessarily all have worked all this out quite yet. But one may hope any who weaken will have these political facts of life swiftly shoved in their face.

  • Mr Ecks

    May’s bungling is now the biggest danger.

    Apparently she has upset the DUP already by arrogantly ( there is that word again) claiming they were in the bag before even speaking to them. Not clickbait this time I think.

    That and appointing another remainer numpty and BluLabourite as “aide” suggest that she may be trying to wreck things deliberately (there must be limits even to her stupidity). After all she is not far off her nice little pension. And Gordoom Brown –despite his ignominious defeat has done reasonably well cash wise since the boot. Who knows what sweeteners her global friends might bung for facilitating the rise of Corbin.

  • AndrewZ

    Some people may think that it is cynical to describe the Conservatives and Labour as the Stupid Party and the Evil Party. But the really depressing thing about British politics at the moment is the extent to which both parties seem determined to prove that it is actually true.

  • Mr Ecks (June 11, 2017 at 3:46 pm), any conspiracy theory that requires a Tory to be intentionally plotting to lose power is wrong. (And any conspiracy theory whose reasoning depends on the claim that “there must be limits even to her stupidity” is on shaky ground. 🙂 )

    As regards reports on the DUP negotiations, keep in mind that there are a lot of chattering class types longing for them to go wrong.

  • Mr Ecks

    That is correct Mr Kilmartin–the source was leftist MSM–Sky news–but it contained a quote from Dumbling St that had Dress Up saying that her previous statements about the DUP “had been in error” (No shit?).

    If there was no such statement that is a big lie even for the specialists in fake news.

  • Dr Evil

    I totally agree. Their manifesto was actually very nasty re older folk. They gave nothing. They basically said: you lot are over taxed and when you get old and start to fall apart, having paid a shed load of income tax including national insurance running in to tens of thousands of pounds, we will steal your properties and disinherit your children. Can we count on your vote? Fucking morons! Try again. Next time get a sensible person off the street to read your manifesto. Also, 5 pages not 88. Keep it simple.

  • Dr Evil

    BTW, I think the DUP manifesto is absolutely spot on. Why? Because it is what the Conservative manifesto should have been. It actually incorporates morality.

  • Deep Lurker

    Andrew Z,

    “The Stupid Party” and “the Evil Party” are terms that have long been used to describe the Republicans and the Democrats here in the US. This is the first I’ve ever heard it used to describe the main UK parties so it sounds to my ear like a trans-Atlantic borrowing.

    Unfortunately, in the US since 2000, the Republicans have made a bid to become “the Stupid and Evil Party,” while the Democrats have made a counter-bid to become “the Stupid, Evil, and Crazy Party.”

  • djc

    Can somebody explain how Kensington voted for a communist?

    I wonder about the demographics of Kensington these days: how many owners or renters of expensive houses are not British and thus ineligible to vote, of those who are so entitled how many in council/housing association properties

    Another observation, here in Somerset (Cons v LibDem) UKIP did not put up candidates, it looks as if a lot of those votes went to Labour.

  • This is the first I’ve ever heard it used to describe the main UK parties so it sounds to my ear like a trans-Atlantic borrowing.

    No, these terms have been used in the UK for quite some time.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Deep Lurker,

    It is difficult to argue with your final statement. 🙄

  • […] have an election. Then she campaigned incompetently. A commenter called Stonyground made a remark that Samizdata picked up which I think is pretty much right on the […]

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Dr Evil, with your name, shouldn’t you be in favour of immorality? And thus against the DUP?

  • Conrad

    Think the stupid party goes as far back as Edmond Burke. The evil party is a new one on me but a sentiment I share.

  • JohnW

    The only thing you need to know about Corbyn is that he is an egalitarian Jew-hater.
    If you understand those two principles everything else from his alleged anti-imperialism to his environmentalism falls into place.
    Chavez is not his idol – his true idol is Pol Pot.

    https://twitter.com/jackcade1982/status/873940790833274880

  • Paul Marks

    The lady has long denounced the Conservatives as the “Nasty Party” because many Conservatives (unlike her good self) do not believe in “Social Justice” and dispute that government can do lots of “good” – and even believe in (boo! hiss!) LIBERTY (freedom being a vile and selfish thing).

    Mrs May does not agree with the policies of Mr Corbyn (he strikes her as extreme), but the lady is unable to argue against his PHILOSOPHY – and that does matter. Principles can only, in the end, be defeated by other principles.