Remember, hope won
I think it was Gary Younge who said hope won. Although, many others have said it too.
What’s radical about Corbyn’s Labour is a return to mainstream centre with policies that would have been entirely normal for both left and right once upon a time. They recalibrated the Overton Window. We haven’t seen mainstream centre since the 1960s, so for most of us, it feels strange and alien.
What was on offer were two very important things: an end to neoliberalism and an end to austerity. What Labour did was so powerful, they achieved this anyway without winning the election.
That put the Tories in a very difficult position. The media has kept our attention on Labour’s transformation, so we haven’t seen much written on how the Tories are collapsing. Where before, the Tories were imploding, now they found the rug has been pulled from underneath them. What do they stand for now? What can they offer? How can they continue? What is it their voters support? What are their supporters standing behind? The Tory manifesto had nothing in it, and huge numbers voted for it. What were they voting *for*? Obviously, some would have voted against Labour, but that’s a stupid thing to do, because a vote against something is a vote *for* something else.
So what happened to Labour is about to happen to the Tories. Some Tories fully realise this and are giving thought to what they could become. Traditionally, they represented the ruling elites and the business classes. But gross inequality has finished that. If the Tories are to continue, they have to transform into something we need. But what is that? If the Tories can’t be a party that anybody needs, then we’re looking at another party stepping into the void. We need a party in opposition to Labour, who will it be if the Tories fail to change?
This is a paradigm shift. We shifted to the right in the 1960s and drifted so far, the Tories have turned full UKIP. Today, they make Thatcher look like a fluffy socialist, with her free education and full maintenance grants, and a GP’s assessment being sufficient to award support to the sick/disabled. She wasn’t a fluffy socialist, she just hadn’t got round to changing this stuff. We have accepted the most dreadful changes to society incrementally. We have been frogs in water that slowly got hotter and hotter over a period of decades.
The political and media classes have been so caught up in their illusions, and so cushioned by privilege, they held on to what we used to aspire to be, they completely failed to see what we have become. Right now, they have realised how they cut themselves off from the rest of us. They’re trying to frantically stay relevant, there are mea culpas all over the place, but nobody transforms that quickly. Many are just trying to hold on to their jobs.
We should see dramatic changes across the mainstream media soon, and I would anticipate fresh faces. Wouldn’t be a surprise to see alternate media sources step it up too. Our media is about to transform. The parts that are dying are going to kick off big time, we can see it already with the Daily Mail, off the scale insane. They’re doing it to keep a hold of what readers they have. Trying too hard, because they know they’re on their way out. For the first time since the early 1970s, Murdoch didn’t influence an election. He’s finished.
This election has been a slap in the face for many. We have had seven years of Tory rule to see this sooner. Those who didn’t are realising it now. The Tories are in freefall, and right wing people are feeling challenged to the very core. There’s a lot of cognitive dissonance going around. And like the Daily Mail, they’re trying too hard to hold on to their right wing views. I’m wondering if that’s why we’re seeing so many polarised to the extreme. It’s not a cause for concern, the alt-right are starting to fall. The numbers we’re seeing now are a minority. They’re going to disappear again back under their rocks soon. The alt right have made the right wing look bad. We have seen many reject right wing ideology altogether and join Labour. But the support base is still strong, and there are still far too many who tug their forelocks, ‘yes m’lord’ types, who hand their power over to people who are rich and well dressed because it looks like they know about money. A tired old trope the Tories exploited.
Neoliberalism came with a psychology. It aimed to change us at a fundamental level. It succeeded. I think of it as having Thatcher in my DNA. When I realised, I was shocked and disgusted. I have spent recent years trying to excise her. It’s incredibly hard, because it goes down to core beliefs and our very identity. It’s all so tightly enmeshed. It was worth the effort and I have been able to keep up with the pace of change and felt comfortable I knew what was happening, or had a pretty good idea anyway. So there weren’t many shocks or surprises for me this election.
However, I can see that shock and surprise all around me, and I don’t know what to say. I can only empathise. Yes, right now is shocking, yes, it’s horrible to realise things aren’t what we all thought they were, but yes, it’s totally worth it to see things as they really are. And actually, however bleak things seem, remember, hope won.