The response to the election has been fascinating to see unfold. There is a palpable sense of dread at what’s to come in the immediate future from May’s coalition of chaos, but behind that there are shoots of optimism. It is clear there is a growing mood of disquiet and a desire for serious change growing no matter how much it tries to be dismissed.
It seems bizarre that the next generation that was sneered at and patronised for being lazy self-centred entitled brats for not voting are now being berated by the same people for being naive brainwashed self-centred brats for voting. The left are not capable to vote the right way.
The logic being that we only voted because we were lured by promises of free stuff and bribes from Santa Corbyn. This didn’t seem to be problem in previous elections when the older generation were offered endless little give-aways by all parties. However from what I saw through this narrative seems weak. On social media free tuition fees was barely mentioned. What got young people out in large numbers was something different; a visceral rejection of old politics.
For most of this century, since 9/11 this country has been in thrall to an old politics of fear and nostalgia. It killed the cocky swagger of the 90’s UK and replaced it with a cowering reactionary sepia tinted desire to return to a glorious past that never really existed.
And who was stopping UK reaching back to these glory days? The do-gooder PC brigade, the bureaucrats, the scroungers, the immigrants, the refugees, them, the scapegoats. Through the tabloid media the prevailing mainstream narrative has been to blame, hate, divide, restrict, privatise, deregulate, fear, worry, and suspect.
It’s been this old politics that has led us to this point in history through bloody wars and economic turmoil to our greatest crisis since the Second World War ended with the nation facing a deeply uncertain future.
It was this that got young people out voting. Someone offering a different path; one of hope and opportunity, that spoke of greater things to come rather than our best days being behind us. The result is that the cracks are starting to show in the old politics. UKIP are a spent political force, their old cheerleaders, Farage, Hopkins, Morgan, et al., are marginalised jokes. The Conservatives are weakened while facing the mess they created. The grip of the tabloid press looks like it’s weakening as they are treated no more seriously by the next generation than a drunk ranting at a bus stop.
They threw everything they had at destroying Corbyn and failed. But most heartening of all is that it’s not just the next generation who are turning to this new politics. There’s been a feeling positive expectation and pride these past 48 hours that anything is possible. It’s something I don’t think has been felt since 2012 after the buzz of the London Olympics.
You could see it in the response to the terror attacks. The old narrative spoke of internment, angry retribution, and destruction of human rights and liberty, but the people were out there joining together to help, to heal, to join together as a community and not look back in anger.
The enthusiasm generated by the campaign hasn’t evaporated, but is bubbling below the surface waiting to break out and when this regressive alliance of Conservatives and DUP breaks down the people of Britain will seize the opportunity and next time they will succeed. Don’t believe it. Check today’s poll from Survation, who predicted the actual result most closely. They show Labour now has a healthy 6% lead over the Conservatives.