Let the Bullshit Begin

It was inevitable that Labor’s loss in the snap UK election would be spun on this side of the pond as the death knell of the Sanders campaign. We’ve seen several pronouncements of death already, and this one will be the same. Nonetheless, it calls for a straightforward account of the reasons why the UK snap election and the US 2020 General Election are related in the same way that aardvarks are related to red squirrels.

Let’s start with something barely understood in the US: Brexit. Brexit — shorthand for British Exit from the European Union — is the yeast that started this brew, and there is quite simply no analog in the US. The controversy over Brexit, and subsequently the controversy over a negotiated Brexit or a “No Deal” Brexit, have roiled the United Kingdom, with the right, center, and left as we understand them in the US having Brexiters and “Remainers” at each pole. Brexit was supported in some cases by the left, noting that the European Union is a neoliberal confederation. It was supported substantially on the right based on anti-immigrant sentiment whipped up by the UK right-wing. The most consistent support for the Remain position was from the neoliberal Liberal Democrats, with a plethora of positions on Brexit within the left-shifting Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn — the guy they are comparing to Bernie Sanders right now in the post election bullshit-fest. Mark Blyth, a Scottish economist, acerbically suggests that Corbyn’s intent has never been to win, but to covertly shepherd the Tory Party into the deep water with Brexit tied to it like a big rock. Corbyn hates the Tory Party, according to Blyth, and sees this as a way to destroy it forever.

So not only does Brexit have no analog in the US, but neither does the political structure. They have a parliamentary system, and we don’t. They have not only three major Brit parties and a couple of minor ones, but also Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland’s Assembly, and the Welsh Assembly. Scotland is likely to move toward independence after the snap election two days ago. We haven’t yet faced any secessions from California or Texas or New York. There’s even been a Brexit Party in UK formed around this single issue.

Bringing us to this creature, the “snap election.” In the UK’s parliamentary system, the UK was not supposed to vote in a general election until 2022. But the Prime Minister can call unscheduled elections under certain circumstances, or snap elections. Brexit was accomplished by referendum, with massive fallout, whereupon Tory PM Theresa May, then her successor, the bizarre Boris Johnson, used snap elections to seek a tactical advantage for their own party. May’s snap election in 2017, aimed at enhancing Tory power, actually lost the Tories 13 seats, forcing May to resign and pass the baton to Johnson.

This would be like the US having unscheduled elections for Congress and two Presidents twice between 2015 and 2020 . . . kind of. As I say, apples and . . . badgers. Boris the Buffoon called this last one in October, which just happened two months later. Candidates did not employ long strategies in crowded fields that took into account delegate counts and whatnot. Snap elections are not called to hash out positions and persuade a lot of new voters; they are designed to take a perceived advantage of the situation as it is right now.

The spin-meisters of the US corporate media establishment are doing their duty with this specious comparison, and that duty is to throw sand in our eyes at every opportunity . . . to deceive, distract, and demoralize. This latest handful of sand portrays Corbyn and Sanders as analogs — they are ideologically similar — then (here’s that sleight of hand) suggest that the electoral process of a UK snap election is somehow comparable to a US General Election. In other words, they want to suggest (look into my eyes) that the election result was a result of Labour being too far “left.” Labour was actually split on Brexit.

This election turned on one divisive policy, not an abandonment of some mythical center. NOTE: The centrist Lib Dems lost their asses this time, especially those who had defected from the left.

While we’re on the topic of the media, the British media establishment had some success in its own smear campaign against Corbyn by portraying this lifelong anti-racist as an anti-Semitic based on the same shitty extrapolation we see here in the US of opposition to the Israeli State being (wrongly) called anti-Semitic.

Little wonder, then, that our own shitty corporate propagandists would seize on this election to lay out a false analogy between the UK snap election and our 2020 contest here. It’s not that they are amoral; they are obedient. They’re just following orders. Morality disappeared long ago from public discourse when modern society became incapable of discerning the difference between manipulative and non-manipulative speech.

This latest gambit, dear readers, is just that. A manipulation. Don’t be manipulated.


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Author of the books “Hideous Dream,” “Full Spectrum Disorder,” “Borderline,” “Mammon’s Ecology,” and “Tough Gynes.”