- Date published:
8:15 am, December 17th, 2019 - 154 comments
Categories: australian politics, boris johnson, democratic participation, Dirty Politics, Donald Trump, election 2020, elections, jacinda ardern, Jeremy Corbyn, Politics, uk politics, uncategorized - Tags:
There is lots to pick over in the UK election result. Weka has this outstanding post on the subject that I agree with wholeheartedly.
There was this incredible breakdown of voting intentions showing how stark the generational divide was.
If you equate class to age, and there is certainly a skewering of wealth to the older part of the population, then claims of class being no longer a consideration are not correct.
And Labour strongholds that were strongly pro Brexit were the first to fall to the tories.
Corbyn’s leadership was clearly a factor. Rightly or wrongly he could not withstand the continuous negative media onslaught. And disunity within Labour’s ranks also played a major part.
And there seems now to be no consequence for lying. First Draft estimated that nearly 90% of Tory advertisements contained information that was not true, compared to no Labour advertisements.
Although this time Russian Bots cannot be blamed. From Alex Hern at the Guardian:
” [E]very time we found something odd, closer inspection would reveal that the best explanation was the wonderful diversity of human experience, or, more prosaically, older voters whose desire to engage in political activism outweighed their technical literacy.
Take that intellectual elites.
He also said this:
The internet wasn’t the place for smart campaigning. The Labour party put out slick video after slick video, outspent the Tories on Snapchat and Facebook, and handed Jeremy Corbyn’s Twitter account to someone who understands memes extremely well for the entirety of election day. The Conservatives simply sat down and spent six weeks being wilfully stupid, and it worked.
In fact, one of the few changes in strategy we saw in the online election was the Conservatives doubling down on simple and stupid. The opening of the campaign was marked by a “shitposting strategy”, with the Tory party sharing low-effort, banally funny campaign messages in the clear hope that they would get as much distribution from opponents as supporters.
But, as the election went on, that approach was dropped in favour of a brutally simple one: pick three lines, whether or not they’re true, and just repeat them, for ever, on every platform, without shame or variation. Invent some Labour policies, make up a price-tag for them, and tweet it out as the cost of Labour. Make up a taxation strategy to pay for it, and tweet that out as the party’s tax bombshell. Endlessly, humourlessly, robotically come back to “get Brexit done”. There are lessons here for other political parties, but they aren’t pretty.
The same sort of tactic was tried in the recent Australian election. This is not surprising really given that the same advisors were used. And have confirmed that it is a feature not a bug.
Why does the UK have Boris, America have Donald Trump as its POTUS and Australia have Scomo as its leader? Same sorts of campaigns, keep them simple, rail against intellectuals and other enemies of the state, rely on anger and resentment to motivate your base. And get people to vote against their self interests because of manufactured resentment. This is not only a world wide problem. It is an underlying feeling that is alive and strong in New Zealand.
And in political terms the opposition leaders were all found wanting. Bill Shortland was ineffective and bland as was Hillary Clinton. While Jemery Corbyn was attacked mercilessly for being an anti semite.
The relentless negativity worked. Turnout in the UK election was 1.5% down on the 2017 figure at 67.5%.
With our election less than 12 months away and with National already releasing angry boomer policies like fining cyclists who do not use our non existent cycle network we can expect the same here. Relentless negativity, attacks, the sort of thing that your elderly relative would approve. It is funny that as shown by the above graph but people become more conservative as they grow older. It is also fair to say that their intellectual capacity generally starts diminishing after they hit the age of 50.
What does a left wing party do? I think that Jacinda’s approach is best. Be kind and gentle, yet determined when required. Talk about the future. Keep it simple. Don’t play political games.
The next 12 months will be fascinating. And how the left responds to tactics which are now clearly established will decide the outcome.