- Thu Aug 06, 2020 8:45 pm
To put it as nicely as possible, change in this country isn’t based around poor people rising up (much as Corbyn’s fans will that to happen). It revolves around comfortably off people being made to feel less comfortable.
Major won an election, don’t forget. Even after years of Thatcher and sticking with the Poll Tax. But he died because everyone felt worse off, his government were mired by broken promises on being decent people and the sense was they were a spent force.
Cameron’s government was mediocre, but Miliband never really connected. May’s government was awful, and she nearly lost. But Corbyn never, ever seemed like a leader in waiting. In fact, he seemed like the most stereotypical opposition leader from the right-wing press ever. Starmer does seem like a leader in waiting, so that’s one part of the puzzle in place. He doesn’t have to be perfect, he just has to seem like the sort of person you’d want shaking hands with heads of state and making crisis decisions.
Right now, everyone doesn’t feel worse off, or if they do they will - temporarily - put it down to coronavirus. But it is less than 5 months to January 1st. After that, *everyone* will feel worse off. Everyone. People who still think project fear is all just a big liberal panic. People who don’t really care about politics. People in Essex who just like a few lagers of a Friday. People in Surbiton who are old Tory and like their red wine. Everyone will be worse off. The lies cannot extend past the reality of midnight in December 31st. And that’s just bills and availability of luxuries. Then there’s medicine shortages, job losses and brain drains, people being forced into jobs they believe are beneath them because of universal credit and Sunak winding up furlough, closures of favourite shops and restaurants, higher prices in the ones left. Less of everything and more cost and grief to do anything and get anywhere than in most people’s living memory. The big Brexit reality come home to roost.
Then, when everyone is having a shit time and Mr Bluster is on TV umming and aahing about how we have world class access to goods and how the shops aren’t empty when the only shop he means is the Harrods food hall, that’s when it cracks. Then he has 3 more miserable years of trying to make it better, but as with Major once you’ve lost the crowd, you’ve lost them. Funny old posh Boris isn’t funny when you used to work in a nice coffee shop but now you have to do night shift at Tesco. Or when you had a nice building firm but now you’re back to being a jobbing brickie.
I’m from Essex. I know precisely how ignorant and oblivious people can be, and how they can ignore all manner of stuff elsewhere. But you make their life worse? It’s personal. And if the other guy makes you look like a thieving clown who laughs about something that killed your Nan or your Mum, no amount of pleading Sun headlines will help.
I’m a great believer that most people don’t want to have to care about politics. When you make them care by making their lives worse, they not only take it personally, they also hold a grudge that you made them have to care. And unless Boris pulls a deal out of his arse - which he won’t do because that’s not what his backers want, it’s coming.