That exit poll!  What a shock!  A big majority for Johnson and the Conservative party? No! Oh please, no!

There was a view that I held, amongst many others, that at the very least we didn’t want to give Boris Johnson a mandate for Brexit or anything else for that matter. So, would we, could we get a hung Parliament? But no, that was not going to happen.

This is a very very significant election. There have been two others: 1945 after the Second World War; and 1979 the beginning of Thatcherism and now this one.  This election has given the Conservatives the largest majority since 1987 and it is the worst loss for Labour since 1935.

I shall write a far more academic appraisal of the results in a later piece, but my first thoughts are this was Labour’s election for the taking and yet it was lost. And lost in the Labour stronghold of the north.  What does that mean?  I think there has to be a huge reckoning within the Labour Party as to what it stands for as so many seats that have been held by Labour for decades and considered the very heart of Labour have been lost.  And there has to be an acknowledgement that Brexit is a key factor in Labour’s loss. Unfortunately, people across the UK with the notable exception of Scotland have voted to get Brexit done, and it will get done now – up to a point. It will be interesting to see the state of our leaving in December 2020.

But the reckoning within Labour must be done, as it is the Labour and predominantly working-class leavers who have voted Johnson in. Labour needs to think about who it represents, and what it stands for, and how it will ever get a majority in Parliament ever again with just one Labour seat in Scotland.

And then there needs to be an acknowledgement that Corbyn is absolutely not the leader that the country wants: he is an old-school lefty type who was catapulted into the spotlight, had a brief fling with fame (in his time he could make a good speech) flew too near the sun, but never got a grip on leading his own party let alone the country (geez the stupidity within the Party around antisemitism) and people could see that. So go, Corbyn and quick.  And the new leader?  Clean that Party up and quick. Do not get bogged down in debating and faffing around.  I’d also look at Corbyn’s acolytes – you know who they are – get rid of them.

And another thing: the Labour manifesto was brilliant with so much lovely and wonderful stuff in it. Actually, too much. In contrast, all the Conservatives had in their manifesto was – get Brexit done. And which manifesto did it for the electorate?

My final thoughts are:

  • Apologies, I got my predictions so wrong.
  • This is a hugely important election: the centre is gone from both the Labour and the Conservatives
  • This is a reshaping of the UK and its Parliament
  • The union itself though may not continue: Scotland will demand independence and Northern Ireland will have tariffs imposed (you don’t believe that lie, do you) and will look to Ireland. So Scotland will break away first but Northern Ireland won’t be far behind in contemplating a different future.
  • Leaving what? A little England and even smaller Wales?
  • I don’t feel English. Johnson doesn’t represent me, I am an internationalist and look outwards to Europe and the wider world
  • I am so glad I live in a Labour-held seat

 

Penny Kocher, Friday 13th December, 2019

 

 

 

 

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36 thoughts on “What now?

  • 13th December 2019 at 09:43
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    Also in shock. The north-south divide of England is even more stark. The only brief crumb of comfort is that in this safe Tory seat where I live, the incumbent’s majority reduced by 5.4%.

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    • 14th December 2019 at 09:29
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      I’ve got over the shock – I think the shift away from Labour has been on the cards for some time. I sure hope they reflect on why at Labour HQ. Have a good weekend.

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  • 13th December 2019 at 09:55
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    I feel so low this morning. I had decided not to watch the results having seen the Exit polls, so went to sleep. Woke again just after 12 and then watched the results come in until just gone 3.
    Three factors I think:
    1. Too many people bought into the Johnson strong leader cult not understanding that Dominic Cummings is hovering in the background.
    2. Get Brexit done. Even previous Remainers had had enough. Short terminism at its worst , no thought about the long term effects of Brexit.
    3. Jeremy Corbyn – so obviously unelectable.

    I had predicted this result but hoped against hope that it wouldn’t happen.
    I’m 70 and don’t expect to see anything other than a Conservative Government in my lifetime.

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    • 13th December 2019 at 10:46
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      I’m almost 60 and feel the same about future governments

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      • 14th December 2019 at 09:36
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        No see my response to Lyndy – at the age you are you will live for many years, Maureen, so you could….. The key thing here is will Labour get to grips with the losses in their heartlands.

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    • 14th December 2019 at 09:31
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      No, statistically you could live a long time so there could be another Labour government but on the other hand Labour really does have to think long and hard about why this happened. I’m still feeling a bit tired!

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  • 13th December 2019 at 10:03
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    Am sitting here crying. Words nearly fail me. Apart from to say Penny, that just because so many up here voted SNP, it does not mean they would all vote yes in yet another bloody referendum for independence if one was to be held.

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    • 14th December 2019 at 09:34
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      The critically important thing for Labour to get to grips with is the lack of Labour seats in Scotland – this will really cut their chances for getting back into power. I get it re: another referendum. I wonder how it will all pan out with independence.

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  • 13th December 2019 at 10:45
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    I am beyond despair. The people have voted for a misogynistic racist liar rather than a man of principle. People were more concerned about Brexit than the NHS. Won’t be cheering when it’s harder to get a GP appt or wait longer for an operation, or pay more for food due to WTO tariffs.
    This has been a disaster for Labour thanks to the right wing media and the Jewish lobby. I’m not sure how the country will ever recover

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    • 13th December 2019 at 12:50
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      Oh how I agree with you and share your tears.

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    • 14th December 2019 at 09:42
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      I am horrified and was in shock but it’s been a disaster in the making for a long time and I speak as quite a left-leaning Labour supporter. I truly hope their HQ, MPs and all activists have a deep and very thorough debate on the reasons why so many preferred to vote for Johnson rather than Corbyn. And I totally see that the media played its part but there are/have been big shifts in the status of the British working population which Labour has not dealt with. Will write on this very soon.

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  • 13th December 2019 at 11:25
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    Nil desperandum: having sat up and watched the whole damn tragedy unfold, I’m comforted (a bit) by the thought that if you give an idiot enough rope . . .

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    • 14th December 2019 at 09:45
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      Actually, you are so right. Rather like May before him Johnson’s saying all the right words outside No 10, but let’s see what he’s like one year on.

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  • 13th December 2019 at 11:35
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    Worst nightmare indeed. I can’t believe in my own constituency where we had a bright, local, caring Labour candidate that once again our Tory lump of lard has been re-elected and with an increased majority. Our hospital is beyond breaking point, our GPs are overwhelmed. If I hear anyone that I know voted conservative complaining about waiting for an appointment in the next few weeks I swear I will deck them!
    I’m so depressed. Like the contributor above, I too am 70. I hope I live long enough to see a new Labour government, but I know that will be down to me – I daren’t get I’ll! Please keep posting Penny, you are a bright light in a sea of despair.

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    • 14th December 2019 at 09:53
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      It’s not the fault of the Labour candidate or the electorate – but why did this happen? I really do hope Labour activists are totally honest with themselves and think outside the box and out side their bubble.

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  • 13th December 2019 at 12:57
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    I live in Leeds , West Yorkshire not Kent! Originally from London.
    I’m devastated too.
    My only comfort is that we held onto our lovely Labour MP with an increased majority.
    I think that some people struggle with seeing the whole picture and can only hold onto sound bites whether they are true or not’ Get Brexit done ‘ is a classic.
    How ? Not asked or answered.
    So many people now in poverty , living in fear, disenfranchised. It’s easy to blame the other’. History has shown us this but we haven’t learnt by it.

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    • 14th December 2019 at 09:55
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      I do hope Labour learns from this otherwise….. There’s hard road to get back into power, not least that there are virtually no Labour seats coming from Scotland.

      So glad you retained your Labour MP – hold on to that. And also note all the other comments – you are not alone.

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  • 13th December 2019 at 14:12
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    Still hardly able to believe it After 9 years of Tory rule, austerity, food banks, poverty, universal credit, education cuts, NHS in crisis how could this man have achieved such a result.
    But the Labour party has some excellent people ( Kier Starmer, Yvette Cooper, Harriet Harman, Jess Phillips) , so at age 76 I am determined to live long enough to see a Labour government again.

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    • 14th December 2019 at 09:58
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      Yay, same here at 73 re: wanting another Labour government, but my goodness there’s some hard work to be done, and those good people – totally agree. Thing is I truly hope the Momentum sillies are cleared out along with Milne and co. And I say that as a left-leaning Labour supporter.

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  • 13th December 2019 at 16:33
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    What now indeed? I am saddened, depressed and frightened for the future of our society. I take some comfort in reading the heartfelt comments on your post. Seeing the election results for Brighton and Hove where Labour and Caroline Lucas (the Green Party) have held their seats, I feel our decision to move there will come sooner rather than later. I survived Thatcher, I only hope I can survive the buffoon.

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    • 14th December 2019 at 10:01
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      Brighton is a shining light on the left, but never forget it’s a bubble. There are people who I know who scratch their heads and say sorrowfully, I don’t know anyone who would vote to leave the EU. Well that’s one reason why we’ve lost the election! The left-leaning have to meet with and understand why people voted that way.

      P.S. You’ll love living in Brighton

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  • 13th December 2019 at 16:51
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    What is a disgrace is the ‘left behind’ have not be listened to for decades. BJ admitted he had only been ‘lent’ votes by many in the Labour heartlands, and the new govt had to earn the right to those ‘lent votes’. Really hope that Labour listen to people like David Blunkett and understand that the road that Momentum has taken the Labour party is not going to enable Labour to win seats.

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    • 14th December 2019 at 09:50
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      Sarah – you’ve hit the nail right on the head – there’s a very big debate to be had by the Labour Party on who they are and who they represent. Labour so needs to listen and understand why and get out of its London and city bubble. And I’m old enough to remember Militant!

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  • 15th December 2019 at 18:38
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    Hello, Penny,

    You asked why anyone woukd vote to leave the EU. Well, here’s why I did. Because I was sick and tired of having my life dictated by an unelected bunch of self-serving bureaucrats with their collective agenda of total rule. consider too, the scandalous amount of tax payers’ money which has been wasted in membership payments (since 1973, for crying out loud), with no accountability whatsoever for the spending of it, but with an accompanying abundance of patronising scorn and distain. I, for one, would walk away today without a deal if push came to shove.: not ONCE has the EU had its accounts signed off as true and correct. Doesn’t that worry people?

    And when people bemoan the state of the NHS et al – and I do agree that such services are in a sorry mess – has it never occurred to them what a monetary struggle it has been since the Conservatives came to power just to maintain any kind of status quo given our expanding society? Do those people not remember the note left behind on a Treasury desk: ‘There’s no money left.’? The Goverment’s been playing catch-up ever since since inheriting those empty coffers! With money still in the bank, it would have been much easier to weather the then world recession and maybe even stay ahead of the game.

    I could go on, but enough! My take on things may not be popular with your readers, but you did ask and I’m just saying…

    Fingers crossed that it will all work out though, something we all wish for, I’m sure. Hopefully, the money saved by not having to funnel precious funds into the EU money pit, will benefit the NHS, the police service, the disadvantaged and others instead. So let’s all be positive . Please!

    And thank you, Penny, for giving me space to put an atlernative perspective.

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    • 16th December 2019 at 08:26
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      I am so glad you’ve commented as we so need to understand the why’s and wherefore’s of the anti-EU vote. It is not good to live in a bubble of only thinking one way. Fingers crossed you say – well yes. Now in responding to you I’m not going to go tit-for-tat and say how wonderful the EU is, and counter your arguments (I’ll do something like that in a post which I’m going to write this week) But I will say this that I’d infinitely rather we’d never gone down this path – we should never ever have had the Referendum as we just didn’t have the information. I’d argue we voted with our gut and our hearts and the little we knew from our very biased media. I know that was the way I voted 3 years ago. Since then I decided I have to open my eyes and understand, so really my recent sarcastic pieces don’t reflect my aim to be analytic and indeed pragmatic. The election was about Brexit but it’s complicated (ha!) and there is the huge change in voting from Labour to Tory which I think is a consequence of the massive change in work which has happened over several decades, which is both fascinating and well, quite frightening for Labour. More about that in my next post.

      Thanks again for your comment – we need to communicate more, and not shout at each other as the media and especially social media does.

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    • 16th December 2019 at 12:23
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      Zeperine
      You are not the only one in having views about the deplorable way the EU was run. If Robert Mugabe had run the Zimbabwean govt the way the EU govt was run people would just say ‘That’s a dictator for you’ The EU govt is the only govt in the world where elected politicians do not make the legislation. That is written by the unelected Commission, and MEPs are entitled to vote. That is NOT democratic. We are also told ‘We should change from within’. But how? The EU have wanted for decades to change the two towns hosting the EU, but cannot get the treaties altered. So how is the EU going to alter something that the MEPs and Commission do not all agree on?
      NHS – there is alot of money going into the NHS, there has to be to pay off the £80 billion debt incurred by building £10.7 billion of hospital infrastructure with PFI (Private Finance Initaitive). Then there are the salaries for NHS England (policy group) and CCG (Clinical Commisioning Group – of which there are 200 offices in UK) that deal with the administration of that policy – and the 1500 employees of the Quality Care Commission.
      Environmental implications of electronic, electrical equipment and batteries – there is so much said about the Zero emissions of Electric vehicles. Why? Are there no emmissions in mining for all the metals that go into this equipment? Of course not. You just cannot see it. So policies about for ‘out of sight, out of mind’ actions. There is one chemical element that you should be aware of, Tantalum. This metal is used in electronic equipment and is a ‘conflict metal’ (like conflict diamonds – now banned). Tantalum is responsible for deforestation and forced removal or deaths of over 5 million people living in areas where it is mined. Central African Republic.
      So none pf the easy slogans from any party hold much weight, in my opinion.

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      • 17th December 2019 at 07:00
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        Hello Sarah – and thank you so much for your comment. We need to hear both sides and the many views that are out there. We need to listen and understand quietly and calmly. I will write further on the whole situation in another piece which will probably now be published next week. But see another reply where I said I think we voted in the Referendum with our gut and heart but little good information. And my heart now? My heart will be broken when we leave.

        As for your comments on the NHS – yes, agree, it has been ruined in so many ways and the serious underfunding is only part of it.

        Thanks again for your comment – we must listen and communicate with each other and not sit in our bunkers shouting at each other 🙂

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    • 16th December 2019 at 19:03
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      I’m a leaver too for many of the reasons you have elaborated. However, I stopped trying to make the argument on this blog because of the response I got from a man who regarded every leave voter as a zenophobic nationalist and/or a dupe of the Leave campaign. That does not mean I’m happy to see the Tories with such a huge majority – I have never and will never vote for them!

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      • 17th December 2019 at 06:50
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        Dear Lynda I apologise and am so sorry the man (actually a friend of mine) stopped you making comments. I allowed his comment because I knew him and could hear his passion for Remain in his words, but he hasn’t commented for some time and don’t expect he will now. Anyway, from opposite sides of the argument we absolutely must learn to listen and communicate with each other which is what I think we do quite well here . Carry on commenting – you are so welcome 🙂

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  • 15th December 2019 at 18:44
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    The problem with Corbin is that he is a conviction politician in an age of pragmatism, with Johnson being the greatest pragmatist of all. Whatever you thought of Mrs T she was a conviction politician too and it was her undoing in the end. Corbin seems to me to be stubborn individual unable to accept criticism even within his own party and hopelessly mishandled the anti-semitism row. I don’t think he is an anti-semite as it happens but he failed to understand why anyone would accuse him of it so could not respond appropriately. I’m left -leaning but Blair put me off the Labour party. Here in Winchester we – but not me- have re-elected our lack-lustre Tory . If half those who voted Lab without a hope of winning the Lib Dem would have got in. I’m no longer a fan of them either but it would have been one less for the Tory majority but it hardly seems to matter now! I suspect she would have been eaten alive anyway;politics is now so toxic for women that would not suggest it as a career to my worst enemy (although I hope I don’t have any!)

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    • 16th December 2019 at 08:43
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      You’ve got in one re: Corbyn and antisemitism – I think he was so shocked to be accused of this that he just didn’t respond well, and then thereafter never caught up with the whole ghastly consequences, and the actual antisemites. The byzantine complaints procedures in the Labour party didn’t help either. Corbyn is actually a good man with some rather wonderful and rather old-fashioned ideas which individually are well liked especially protecting the NHS and re-nationalisation of the railways. But that humungous manifesto just didn’t do it. Thing is they are so democratic in the Labour party that in this election it really did sound as though everyone pitched in their good ideas, end of. Actually we need slightly fewer people who know how to pitch slightly fewer policies to the whole nation including sceptical middle England – which I might say is heresy to the purist – ye gods, at this point……!!!!

      Reply
  • 15th December 2019 at 19:37
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    Now you know exactly how we felt – across the pond – in 2016. I am actually still in shock – by our results and by yours!!!

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    • 16th December 2019 at 08:33
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      Oh yes, exactly. And what’s more is he going to have another term?????????

      These two parties: Labour and the Democrats have to work out who they stand for. Recently watched Michael Moore’s documentary Fahrenheit 11/9 and, oh my word, Obama drinking that glass of water in Flint – was so very very shocked.

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      • 16th December 2019 at 13:27
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        I don’t know but I’m stocking up on whisky and making sure my medical insurance premiums are current in case I have to check into a looney bin!!! SOOOOO scared about 2020!!!

        BTW, there are several fashion blogs that I have been reading for YEARS and your is – hands down – my favorite!!! Thank you for being so very awesome and happy holidays!!!

        Reply
        • 17th December 2019 at 07:03
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          Oh Chrys – what a lovely thing to say about the fashion blog – it’s great to get this kind of feedback. Happy holidays to you too 🙂

          And here’s to a good 2020 – fingers crossed x

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          • 17th December 2019 at 14:59
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            Well it’s the truth – you have amazing style!!! And here’s to a good 2020 for both of us – we’ll need it!!!

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