diamond geezer

 Friday, July 05, 2024

It's all downhill from here.

This stonking Labour majority is as good as it ever gets. Comparable only to Tony Blair in his pomp, Keir Starmer's massive victory is a rare and astonishing victory for a left of centre party. Nothing will ever again beat the massive total of red MPs on their way to the Commons as a result of 2024's General Election. All future totals will inevitably be a disappointment. It's all downhill from here.

This set of freak circumstances is never going to happen again. A Conservative party proven long-term incompetent by a sequence of abysmal Prime Ministers, a last minute intervention by Nigel Farage draining support away from the right, the Lib Dems resurgent and draining support away from the centre, a Labour party so intent on offending nobody that it has a minimum of policies - these will never again occur simultaneously. It's all downhill from here.

Everyone voting for 'Change' gets a massive burst of optimism when they see that 'Change' has been enacted. Oh golden dawn, oh exalted day. Then the weeks and months pass and it becomes clear that the 'Change' isn't quite the change you envisaged - you wanted X, they did Y, and whatever happened to Z? It happened for Brexit - such high hopes, such crushing non-delivery - and it'll happen to Labour too. It's all downhill from here.

Even if you wanted the Conservatives to win, it's only going to get worse. Yesterday your party was in power and could legislate as it liked, now it's been cast out and can only gripe from the sidelines as its work of the last 14 years is painstakingly undone. Hell, even the BBC's going to sail through its next Charter renewal in 2027 without being savagely neutered and thrown to the commercial winds. It's all downhill from here.

Sir Keir is currently a blank slate, as former Leaders of the Opposition tend to be. He's said loads but he's done nothing, not yet, so it's too soon to judge him on his record. But you wait until he starts announcing things, doing stuff, making changes... there'll be things in there you don't like - it only takes one - and then you can start to dislike him, hate him, despise him for not doing what you would have done. It's all downhill from here.

Labour have won only ten General Elections in the last century, and half of those were marginal scrapes. Days like today are rare as hen's teeth. Last time Labour won an election Crazy Frog and Peter Kay singing Is This The Way To Amarillo were in the Top 10, and last time they won big the Queen Mother was still alive. There are adults voting today who weren't even born the last time Labour won, that's how rare this is. It's all downhill from here.

Even if you wanted the Conservatives to win, it's only going to get worse. The battle to succeed Rishi is not going to be pretty, and picking a credible name from the Parliamentary rump is going to be tough. Even then party members are certain to pick the most batshit of the two choices (see Liz Truss), and they'll then drag the party horribly to the right and are highly likely to end up in Number 10 after Sir Keir disappoints everyone. It's all downhill from here.

Did you laugh at all those self-important Cabinet Ministers losing their seats? 2024 has put 1997's Portillo Moment totally in the shade. But such mass decapitations don't happen very often, it takes a massive swing, and next time it happens it'll be away from your favoured party which'll send those nice politicians you like to the job centre and you won't be laughing then. It's all downhill from here.

Even if you wanted Reform to win, it's only going to get worse. The huge disparity between votes cast and seats won will only breed discontent, and it doesn't take much for folk who think they've not been heard to fester. Imagine how much angrier you'll feel after five years of woke government - the Conservatives were bedfellows in comparison - so best get your blood pressure checked before you explode in fury. It's all downhill from here.

You wait all these years for a left-wing government and then - gaaaaah! - they're not left wing enough. Labour are going to be timid on wealth tax, insufficiently forthright on Gaza, frustratingly unsupportive of gender rights, indeed miserably underambitious on all the principles you hold dear. Prepare to be relentlessly disappointed for the next five years, and all because the left-wing government you really wanted wouldn't have been elected in the first place. It's all downhill from here.

Even if you wanted the Lib Dems to win, it's only going to get worse. They only prosper when the Conservatives are in retreat, and that retreat is never going to be greater than it is right now. Ed Davey's stunts have worked a treat this time, at least in terms of numbers of MPs, but he's still as far from power as he's ever been (apart from that time he actually was in power during the Coalition, and we know how that turned out). It's all downhill from here.

OK so the UK might have elected a sane centre-left government but we're very much the exception globally. Continental Europe is lurching right, France might be toppling imminently, South America loves its populists, China and Russia are far beyond democracy and the USA is sleepwalking into re-electing a deranged narcissist who could destabilise everything at home and abroad. Britain might be calmer under Starmer, but what succour is that as the world burns around us. It's all downhill from here.

In the British electoral system the pendulum always swings, and OK it may have swung left this time but at some point it'll swing back right, sure as eggs is eggs. And when that happens the Conservatives will have shifted even further to the right to scare off Reform, might even have merged with them, and that is going to be a horrorshow of a government the like of which we've never previously seen. Enjoy this brief pre-fascist interlude, it's all downhill from here.

An air of optimism might be in the air today but it won't last. You still won't be able to get a dentist, your mortgage will still be too high, prisons will still be at bursting point, your weekly shop will still cost too much and boats will continue to bob relentlessly across the Channel. You can't change Britain's most intractable problems overnight, and it'll probably require additional financial pain to start shifting things in the right direction. It's still all downhill from here.

Every government ends in failure and this one will be just the same. The speed of that descent varies but eventually it'll have disappointed us, deceived us, irritated us, infuriated us, and the country will once again be yearning for change. Change always wins out in the end, change to whatever alternative is available, however distasteful that alternative may be. For now the shine is real, the optimism is high and the potential for good is enormous, but eventually the wheels will come off, the bad apples will emerge and the national mood will darken. Today is a phenomenally good day to be a Labour supporter, the best in a generation, but it's all downhill from here.


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