+ The local elections are in full swing, but you’d never guess it from the mainstream media. For most of the fascist rags of course, whatever the result it will be a ‘crushing blow’ for Corbyn and a huge boost to Farage’s Falangists. I suspect it really will be a crushing blow for UKIP if the Brexit Party is standing local candidates. There doesn’t appear to be any of them in Scarborough, so UKIP may still pick up seats although they were hammered four years ago. Local elections were rarely about local issues, and of course only a small minority of people tend to vote in them. I’m standing in Seamer (I think I’ve mentioned this before) where Labour hasn’t stood a candidate for maybe 30 years. That in itself will make the outcome of interest to me personally. For various reasons, but chiefly apathy, these will be the elections that hardly happened. (Photo above): Here I am at Seamer railway station, looking at a timetable. The promised extra trains we were promised haven’t arrived. The ones we have got are more often late or cancelled. Remind you of anything? (Pic: Tina Davy)
++ Back to the ‘new’ politics. Change UK – Independent Party (or whatever they’re called) have rediscovered the Third Way but still haven’t (so far as I know) been endorsed by Tony Blair. Some think this is overdue. Chris Coghlan writing in the New Statesman opined “Tony needs to get his application in for a Change UK MEP candidate fast. If Tony Blair and Nigel Farage faced off in the Euros, it could whip up such a media firestorm that it would leave Labour and the Conservatives in ashes.” Chris clearly lives in cloud cuckoo land and perhaps hasn’t noticed that the media, such as it is, rarely pours water on the Corbyn ‘firestorm’ – so there’d be no change there. And for one thing, Tony was PM for ten years – Farage couldn’t even get elected to parliament, no matter how many times he tried. I said recently that the real new politics are the politics of climate change, and I’m pleased that Labour is this week putting forward a Commons motion to declare a climate emergency. It is also proposing a Green Industrial Strategy, which I read will be officially launched in Scarborough of all places on May 11th. On such subjects, Farage (with his ‘new politics’ side-kick Ann Widdecombe) has nothing to say since he only has one policy. And there are no clues on the Brexit Party website as to any policy substance on that issue whatsoever. You'd think it would be the go-to place to find out what life is going to be like after Brexit, if it ever happens.
+++ Anyway, what is meant by ‘new politics?’ Since the two leading Democratic presidential contenders, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have a combined age of 153, they cannot claim to be exactly new. But we can’t afford to be ageist. Wasn’t Ronald Reagan one of the most successful Presidents ever (some people seem to think so). Yet the question stands, since our general ability to dissect issues and come up with policies that address them now firmly takes second place to what sometimes may laughingly be described as ‘charisma.’ The repellent Boris Johnson comes to mind. His disastrous time as London mayor, punctuated by one policy cock-up after another has done little to dissuade some that he could lead the country. What system could be devised to rid democracy of the curse of ‘charisma?’ Attlee wouldn’t stand a chance today.
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