Any remaining apologists for the country formerly known as United Kingdom (FKaUK) and its system of representative democracy need to look very forensically at the December 12th General Election result and its immediate consequences.
Beyond the triumphalism of Johnson and his cadres the facts are as follows:
- There are around 53m adults (i.e. 18 and over) in the UK (52.4m ONS June 2018)
- Of those 47.6m (wiki) may be on the electoral roll (45.8m, ONS December 2018)
- Of those it appears 67.3% voted – so +/-32m
- Of those, just under 14m voted for the winning party
- And there are around a further 1.5m 16&17-year olds able to vote in some elections and referenda and among the most affected cohort by the result but excluded from GE 2019
So, the real result is illustrated in the pie chart opposite. It is important and very revealing.
First the Tories get an absolute majority of parliamentary seats (56%) with the votes of 25% of the adult population. Their government is able to rule pretty unconstrained for 5 years although three out of four adults never endorsed them.
Second – as in every parliamentary voting test of public opinion in recent years, more registered voters (28%) couldn’t be a**ed than actually voted for the winning party.
Third – Johnson’s claim that ‘Brexit is now the irrefutable, irresistible, unarguable will of the British people’ is a total LIE – the serial liar will not change his spots. Brexit is probably now irresistible because of the Tory majority in the House of Commons, but the electoral statistics show the country is still hopelessly divided but with a clear and increasing Remainer majority.
Those that voted Labour and the other remain parties (31% of adults) thumped Johnson and the Brexiteers (27%), Brexit received 3m less votes than they received in the 2016 referendum. And one suspects the ‘not allowed to vote’ +/-7.5m are overwhelmingly Remain.
Until the Old Etonian letch shows some humility the healing will never begin. And because he is incapable of honesty and humility there will be no healing.
Johnson’s ‘one nation tory’ mantra – is, ironically, his only example of modesty. His impending Government clearly represents at least three ‘nations’ – Putin’s Russia and his mafia – exemplified by his suppression of the Russian interference report; and the more nation-less non-dom tax exiles (some of whom are Russian mafia). These are represented by Johnson’s championing in Rothermere, Barclay Bros and Murdoch’s press vehicles and have been petrified of EU oversight of their tax avoidance. Johnson’s third ‘nation’ are the over-55 Little Englander xenophobes – whose collective cognitive failure determined the outcome of GE2019.
What his government absolutely does not represent are three of the four nations of FKaUK. The Tories were thrashed in Scotland by the SNP and actually lost vote share and seats. In Wales Labour won although the conservatives made some modest gains. Northern Ireland now has effectively a significant pro-Ireland, pro-EU majority.
His government also does not represent the under-45s where they were massacred by Labour. Lord Ashcroft’s polling suggests three times as many 18-24-year olds voted Labour as voted Tory, whose vote was even exceeded by the Lib Dem/Green/SNP total.
This blog has argued that the 2020s will see the break-up of the UK. That prediction seems even more likely following GE2019. It has made the case that UK representative democracy is not fit-for-purpose. After GE2019 it is genuinely toxic – producing binary winner-take-all outcomes that are massively unrepresentative of the views of huge swathes of the population and totally contrary to need for thoughtful, deliberative, consensus-building.
This blog also predicted that Cameron’s GE2015 victory was pyrrhic. He was gone in June 2016. It does not affirm the same fate will befall Johnson – but it might.
Brexit will not ‘get done’ by either January 31st or December 31st2020. There will not be credible trade deals whilst Brexit remains work-in-progress and Trump is wrecking the WTO. The winter will be harsh for the NHS and Johnson has neither the wit nor the interest to tackle the longer-term care crisis. The pressures from Scotland and Northern Ireland will increase the centrifugal momentum tearing the union apart. And if London loses even a modest amount of its status as the technological and financial capital of Europe, the fiscal consequences will be profound. Government will have highly limited financial resources to compensate increasing poverty in regions and nations outside London and the Home Counties as major global industries in the North and Midlands make adjustments to reductions in EU and global market access.
Johnson is as f***ed as Cameron was in 2015 and like his Old Etonian bedfellow it couldn’t happen to a more deserving person. That is no compensation for the author. Johnson will continue to live an immensely privileged life, lying his way through his corrupt premiership whilst so many will suffer genuine hardship as he plummets the depths of his ego and its pathologies. And the seeming short run emasculation of progressive forces at national level is a huge concern – and deserves a future blog of its own.
Ultimately, however, GE2019 confirms the major thesis of this blog since at least 2016. Large nation states with pretensions of national exceptionalism and exclusion led by power-hungry sociopaths need to be deconstructed. Small nations and regions building consensus and intimate connections to their communities, collaborating as networks in continental arrangements to tackle global challenges, are the future.
That type of agenda hardly made an appearance in GE2019. But it is the beginning of the progressive realignment that will be required as and when the Johnson project collapses under the weight of its dishonesty, criminality and the expectations of its Russian mafia and non-dom financial backers…