Oh yeah, the election. It completely slipped my mind, what with Christmas and everything.
First up, congratulations to MPs Cat Smith and David Morris, who kept their seats. Even if you didn’t vote for them, it takes a phenomenal amount of effort to win and both deserve their success.
Yours truly hadn’t been on Twitter for the best part of a year, mainly because it’s full of shrieking lunatics bellowing obscenities at each other, and infinite scrolling means it is horribly addictive and never ends. However, it’s often one jump ahead of the TV news and election exit polls are very, very accurate. So one minute after they closed, Twitter went nuclear. Tory landslide, Labour smashed to bits.
Then, as the results came in and the Labour heartlands - where historically the party’s votes aren’t counted, they’re weighed - saw a procession of newly-elected Tory MPs in places such as Blyth, Sedgefield and Burnley, pinching themselves to check they weren’t dreaming as returning officer after returning officer, after checking the results six times, announced that their constituency had a Tory MP, in some cases for the first time in 100 years.
For Labour, the finger-pointing started immediately, at anyone but themselves. Labour can blame the right-wing press as much as they like, but the Tories now enjoy an 80-seat majority for two reasons, Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn.
Anyone old enough to remember how Militant nearly bankrupted Liverpool in the mid-1980s felt their blood run cold when they saw Labour’s manifesto, which read like a spoilt child’s letter to Santa and carried as much weight as a drunk uncle’s promise at a wedding.
It’s okay having 500,000 hard-Left members dragging the party back to the 1970s, but not at the expense of millions of hardcore voters whose party turned their back on them.
Labour, before you go blaming everyone else, ask yourself this - just how bad were you that mining communities, decimated by Margaret Thatcher 35 years ago, elected a Tory MP? Yep, you really were that bad.