The 2010s have proved a decade of two halves

I won’t have been alone in enjoying some of the end of the decade pieces emerging in the dying gasps of the last ten years. To take one example, the declinists at the Guardian have published  this immense piece by Andy Beckett, citing signs of disaster as diverse as phrases like ‘trigger warnings’ and the growing presence of puffer jackets.

History is written in and about the present, and the left is looking to a second decade out of power as much as it is the lapsing first in its gloomy reviews. For a rightwing contrast you can find Matt Ridley of the Spectator, who argues “we’ve just had the best decade in human history”. His optimism must be informed by the fact Boris Johnson, a former editor of that magazine, has 365 seats in the House of Commons, the highest Conservative count for 30 years.

Continue reading →

Good riddance to anti-democrats

The past few years in politics have seen many events that could be described as watersheds, not least the EU referendum result, David Cameron’s subsequent resignation, or the exit poll that showed Theresa May had miscalled the general election in 2017.

The exit poll in the last month that secured Brexit and perhaps ushered in another decade of Conservative rule will doubtless conclude many documentaries in future. But a more satisfying event for me was the quiet unwinding of the People’s Vote campaign, its communications director Tom Baldwin telling the Guardian last week, “There’s no chance of stopping Brexit now.”

Continue reading →

Podcast Ep. 149: General Election – The End

In the final podcast of the year we discuss the results of the general election, the defenestration of the Lib Dems’ Jo Swinson, the future of Labour without Jeremy Corbyn, and the prospects of Boris Johnson’s Conservative government.

Joining us is the ghost of the yearly round-up we recorded then lost.