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.

Voting reform requires a Labour strong enough to rule, but not on its own

When people criticised the democratic deficit inherent in the EU’s structure, many remainers responded that Britain was hardly an example of unvarnished democracy itself.

They were correct about this, although wrong about the implications. First, having two layers of flawed democratic government is worse than having one. Second, the UK has a much better claim to represent a political ‘people’ than the EU, which is a desirable quality in a democracy. And third, even if the UK were less democratic than the EU, the prospects for Britons to reform it are much better.

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Corbyn’s anti-patriotism was never likely to be a vote winner

The polling evidence for Labour’s defeat in the general election last week is pouring in as I type. And while more knowledgeable people than me are working out the full reasons behind the result, it’s obvious that a big factor is the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

There are several reasons why people took against Corbyn, but the must standout is his attitude to his own country. He is notable for having backed Britain’s adversaries in many conflicts since he became an MP, most damagingly by inviting IRA members to parliament after the Brighton hotel bombing, which killed several people linked to the Conservatives, and might have claimed the prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.

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We need lessons in losing elections

The Conservative routing of Labour was among the results pollsters thought likely in the general election last Thursday, but it was still a crushing end to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership (if not his politics) and the campaign to remain in the EU.

Despite not voting for the Tories, I had partly hoped they would get enough of a majority to take the UK out of the EU, fulfilling the moral and democratic obligations of the referendum. I am likewise glad that the anti-democratic remainers have lost, putting an end to their parliamentary and legal attempts to overrule the referendum.

The Tory gloating in these circumstances is natural, and other partisans would have been as gleeful had the result gone the other way. Such bad winners do little to encourage the acquiescence of losers, but bad losing is the bigger problem in our democracy right now.

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Podcast Ep. 148: General Election – Return of the Shits

In the last podcast before this week’s general election, we discuss the campaigns, the manifestos, the leaders, the bigotry, the propaganda, the polls, our votes, and the probable result.

Joining us is Jazza’s impending livestream on Thursday.