Several cups of tea later… (1)

So, what should we expect from Johnson’s Conservative government? I don’t really know.

The trouble with winning an election with a slogan and with a wafer-thin manifesto, and not engaging with any issue except getting Brexit done, is that there is other work to do.

I don’t even know what sort of Brexit the PM really wants. Do you? Does he? I harbour the hope that it might be a softer Brexit than we have so far imagined because an ERG-friendly Brexit will not lead to a world that will suit the voters of Workington, Wakefield and Blyth Valley in the long run, I fear.

It’s pretty obvious that running a country, and healing the wounds of a people, require different skills from winning an election. And there will be events, dear boy, which intervene. Who knows what floods, agricultural diseases (like bird flu, which is back), terrorist attacks or small wars in foreign parts might intervene to throw the government off course in the next weeks or months.

My worry (actually only one of them) is that the lack of engagement with environmental issues in the Conservative manifesto was not ultra-cautiousness, nor was it a mistake, but that perhaps it was because the plan is to do very little except to dismantle environmental protection as we head out of the EU and start sucking up to the USA looking for trade deals.

The Conservative manifesto was rated by many of us as the worst of all on the environment, and that is not a good base from which to strike out on the ascent of the mountain which is tackling climate change.

Look around. Where is the Conservative environmentalist who is up for the job and could do it? Zac Goldsmith has gone, and is untested anyway as a big hitter on policy – but anyway, he has gone. There may be a whole bunch of able Conservative environmentalists who have been hiding their light under bushels but they have been very well hidden. there may be great environmentalists in the new Tory intake, but they’ll have to wait their turns and progress up the ranks before we will see them. I shudder at the thought that my MP might have any role in environmental policy, but you never know. Unless Michael Gove is sent back to DEFRA to finish the job, and it is a big job, then I fear that we will not be blessed with environmental stars in this government. But I may be wrong, we will see. But if we don’t see a new star then the next five years will be important years wasted at just the time when we need to be catching up and moving on.

I don’t see much hope from what was said during the general election nor from what has been done over the past nine-plus years.

But if forced to be positive, then I would pont out that Boris’s dad Stanley is an environmentalist and surely some of that love of the environment must have lodged in his son’s brain. And Carrie Symonds is an environmentalist, and that must surely have some impact too. A one-nation Conservative would do something on environmental matters, and not just butcher Badgers, talk about recycling and not repeal the hunting act. There is much to do and maybe, just maybe, Boris Johnson will surprise us all (or is it just me) and make the environment a priority. I look forward to seeing what the DEFRA ministerial team will be. Bring back Gove!

And then there is the Labour party – no rush to comment on their problems,

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19 Replies to “Several cups of tea later… (1)”

  1. The problem was simply most ordinary people could not even contemplate voting for Corbyn.
    What a farce having a racist as a party leader now the country has a large ethnic population.
    Even most native English knew he was a bigger liar than Johnston, there was no way we could afford all the benefits he told us we would get.

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    1. Dennis, I am sure you are right that reluctance by many people to vote for Corbyn was a big factor in Labour's defeat. I think your diagnosis that this had anything to do with his alleged racism though is off the mark though. Although there is an issue with anti-semitism in some parts of the Labour Party which Corbyn mishandled disastrously, I don't think that Corbyn is personally racist. On the other hand I am quite sure that there are racist elements within the Tory Party (indeed Boris Johnson has himself used racially offensive language in some of his newspaper articles) and it was the case that both the 2016 referendum and the election we have just had involved campaigning by the Tories and Brexit supporters that played on xenophobic fears and attitudes in the electorate.
      As to the relative honesty of Corbyn and Johnson I think you are wide of the mark there too. Johnson has been proven time and again to have a very casual regard for truth, I believe that there is little evidence for Corbyn being dishonest (if we exclude self delusion). You may be correct that Corbyn's promises were unaffordable but that does not mean he thought they were.

      I am not sure who exactly you mean by 'even most native English'.

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    2. Dennis, I fear that you have been conned by the right wing conspiracy that went into overdrive to derail any hope Corbyn had of winning. How any sentient being could describe Corbyn as racist is beyond me, especially when compared to the many published racist comments made by Johnson. As for him being a bigger liar than Johnson, where is your evidence of that?

      We couldn't afford the benefits of Corbyns manisfesto? It would have cost less than was bunged without question to prop up the banks in 2008!

      I'm sure you meant what a farce having a racist as Prime Minister, its an easy mistake to make.

      As for Corbyn, he was out of his depth and completely unable to fathom the fact that his core voters are simple folk who latch onto three word slogans which promise simple solutions to complex issues and aren't too bothered about the detail, those intellectual lefties in London need to get out more.

      A total failure by Labour to understand whats required in successful elections, I mean Trump, Vote Leave and now Johnson all used the same tactics successfully, you'd have thought someone in the party might have noticed!

      As for environmental issues, I can see there being some progress as long as it does not impede the ability of the rich to get even richer at the rest of the populations expense!

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    3. Let me get this right.

      You think former Labour voters in the Brexit supporting areas switched their votes to the Tories or to the Brexit Party because they thought Jeremy Corbyn was a racist?

      Bizarre.

      By the way, what do you mean by 'native English'? Would that include Jewish people? Irish? Scots? People with a funny tinge?

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  2. Boris Johnson's great asset is that he is totally ruthless. In power he will do whatever he thinks is best for himself, the Conservative party and the country (England?!), in that order. Thus he shafted the DUP to move Brexit forward from the deadlock May created. Like her, he has promised the impossible - in his case, unfettered trade with the EU, the US and the rest of the world. He will resolve this impossible goal by putting the knife in wherever necessary.

    So, we shall see. What will the EU demand by way of environmental protections to keep a level playing field; what will the US want; etc. And then, what he will sacrifice to get 'acceptable' deals. He will try and keep the farmers happy and, above all perhaps, the big Tory donors. Within that framework I expect he'll be happy to do whatever environmental stuff he thinks will win him votes.

    Meanwhile, Birdlife are saying that the new EU Green Deal is good for climate, bad for biodiversity. Oh dear...

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    1. On the last remark on EU deal being bad for biodiversity that will be the tragedy of not aligning climate action with restoration of nature and social justice. I am just sorry that Corbyn and co did not know how to focus on the Green deal and make it make sense to no nonsense northern towns. There is such beautiful countryside in the north and it is well loved and with a strong desire for environmental protections. And on Corbyn, read his Wikipedia profile and then Boris Johnson's. Fact checked and clear. I wish we could all check on the 'gossip' and untruths which have been spun around but it does take the time that we don't seem to have.

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  3. I never in a million years thought I would look up to Gove for some solace. But here we are.

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  4. I think the environment is a wild card in all this - it's not party political in the way many other issues are, it is worrying people and ignoring it is potentially dangerous - partly because of the wide range of concerned people, but also because is the big one coming ? It may be waders rather than wellies next time, and people killed. Can the 'traditional' environmental lobby harness the energy ? I wonder. In the meantime everyone wants to plant trees - both a challenge and an opportunity for foresters like me.

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  5. So, what should we expect from Johnson’s Conservative government?
    Genocide of the poor and disabled. They already had ethnic cleansing of Roma populations as a manifesto pledge. This time around we need to put mere wildlife issues on the back burner, and also accept that non violent civil resistance is not going to cut the mustard. And if you know someone who voted Tory then cut them...

    ... out of your life, because they straight up thought genocide was the lesser of two evils at very best, or more likely secretly wanted it.

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    1. Genocide? I am deeply dismayed by the election of the Tories and I don't believe that the interests of the poor in this country will be well served by Johnson's government but I think your use of this term does a deep disservice to the victims of actual genocide that we have seen in different parts of the World in the twentieth century and the first fifth of this one.
      I don't doubt your passion but it seems to me that hyperbole like this and your nudge, nudge threat of violence towards Tory supporters is very unlikely to persuade people to change in the direction you want them to. As to your suggestion of moving on from non-violent civil resistance I would point out that in different times and places there have been various socialist/communist societies established by the violent overthrow of previous regimes and what they all appear to have in common is that life for the people living in those societies was/is miserable.

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  6. I have never ever voted Tory or even contemplated it in my wildest moments. This will be a disaster for many of the people who were conned ( and I use that word very deliberately) into voting for this egotistical liar to get "Brexit done. " We will be stuck with the current awful and brutal benefits system for the unemployed, the poorly paid and the disabled and you can bet those benefits will not keep pace with wages or inflation.
    The NHS will continue to be both part privatised and starved of cash, so will state schools but we will continue to have free schools and academies thrust on us. I have relatives working or have worked in both health and education they will bluntly tell you the only time they were properly funded or rewarded was under a Labour government.
    All the things we rely on government funding for that benefit us all or just ordinary folk will be grossly underfunded to pay for tax cuts for the rich and profiteering.
    Any environment concerns will be underfunded and government departments remain weak and controlled ( NE anyone!). After all the countryside is represented to the Tories by the CA, shooting and over subsidised rich farmers.
    Corbyn racist, pull the other one. Yes all parties contain elements of racism and Labours was and is anti Semitism, BUT and it is a very big but this was hugely exploited by pro Israeli elements within the Jewish community because of the Labour party objection to Israeli policy towards Palestinians. Lets face it lots of the Tory party faithful and some MPs and Councillors are homophobic, islamophobic and xenophobic.
    Lets put it bluntly if you are poor, ordinary, care about your fellow man, interested in the environment or solving climate change with this government you are almost certainly f----d.
    Wildlife crime and driven shooting will continue and may even get worst, Mark.

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  7. Consider this all you solid Labour voters.You need for your party to get in power to listen to us floaters.
    The result if you consider it instead of rubbishing people's opinion was made by this group.
    Ironic thing is lots of us would have voted for at least two people had they been leading the Labour party so maybe you only have yourselves to blame because the fact is any of us who chose to vote then voted as we saw it for the best of a very bad bunch.
    Corbyn had a very low rating from floating voters whose vote unfortunately for those who rubbish it counts equal to anyone else.

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    1. Dennis in any constituency you are voting for a candidate and the policies NOT the party leader. I have never understood floating voters, as a life long socialist, although I voted LD to try to beat the Tory here ( it failed). The Tories offered very little policy detail, Labour possibly too much but it was all far better than BJs Tories. Most ( but not all as he is really without charisma or approachability) of the dislike of Corbyn is/was generated by the right wing press. I too think Labour would have done far better with another leader (but not a Blairite!) but the policies were/are right.
      Incidentally even though I voted LD I was nearly as overjoyed as Ms Sturgeon when Swinson ( Tory lite) lost.

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  8. On the environment front, we really are clutching at straws.

    On Brexit, what deal Boris wants is hardly important. We will get the Brexit Trump and Putin tell us we can have.

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  9. Re Corbyn and supposed antisemitism - one of the Scottish Labour candidates in the two constituencies in Falkirk district was pulled, we are told, due to antisemitic remarks being found in older social media comments. I don't know what was actually said so can't comment upon it. This incident means that no one could vote for Scottish Labour in one of our country's constituencies. And the context for this which will probably not be highlighted in any future reference to this episode? The candidate in question is muslim. So is this actually an example of supposed Labour party antisemitism or a result of the party trying to be inclusive? A bit of a mess isn't it? What does appear to be happening more generally is that any negative reference to the state of Israel is conveniently labelled as antisemitism. It seems that there are those trying to conflate those criticizing Israel for using underhand tactics in anything with people who claimed there's an international Jewish conspiracy, this in itself is a pretty dirty tactic. Something has went seriously wrong when the Labour Party is being called by antisemitic by those who've shown very little sympathy for anyone apart from their own group, and often attacked those who aren't.

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    1. 'What does appear to be happening more generally is that any negative reference to the state of Israel is conveniently labelled as antisemitism'.

      In one Les!

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  10. Re Corbyn and supposed antisemitism - one of the Scottish Labour candidates in the two constituencies in Falkirk district was pulled, we are told, due to antisemitic remarks being found in older social media comments. I don't know what was actually said so can't comment upon it. This incident means that no one could vote for Scottish Labour in one of our country's constituencies. And the context for this which will probably not be highlighted in any future reference to this episode? The candidate in question is muslim. So is this actually an example of supposed Labour party antisemitism or a result of the party trying to be inclusive? A bit of a mess isn't it? What does appear to be happening more generally is that any negative reference to the state of Israel is conveniently labelled as antisemitism. It seems that there are those trying to conflate those criticizing Israel for using underhand tactics in anything with people who claimed there's an international Jewish conspiracy, this in itself is a pretty dirty tactic. Something has went seriously wrong when the Labour Party is being called antisemitic by those who've shown very little sympathy for anyone apart from their own group, and habitually attacked those who aren't.

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  11. I suspect Boris will revert to type and do what is best for Boris as he has done through his career . Scotland has the option of getting out of the UK and remaining in the EU which is probably the best outcome for environmental protection but will take a bit of work to get there . The Scottish Parliament system is not perfect but with the list system ensures some Green MSPs have a vote unlike Westminster where Caroline Lucas despite her qualities is side lined .

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