John O'Connell on Twitter: "Apparently Boris Johnson' is ''still leading''.  Who put an incompetent clown ''in charge'' of our nation at a time of  crisis ? Oh, yes. #Tories voters.… https://t.co/ok5CwC99Ah"

Westminster voting intention:

CON: 44% (+6)

LAB: 33% (-5)

LDEM: 8% (-)

GRN: 6% (+1)

via @Survation, 25-26 May Changes compared with 29 April.

I thought after 10 years of Tory government, austerity, the problems of Brexit the mishandling of the Covid crisis to such an extent that the UK had more deaths per capita than any other country, despite having a good deal more warning than many, and with a clearly incompetent and dishonest prime minister… that with a clever, articulate, relatively non controversial leader, Labour might have expected to make some progress.

Wrong though.

Sir Keir Starmer the most popular opposition leader since Tony Blair, poll  finds | Politics News | Sky News

OK, Starmer probably lacks the “star quality” of BoJo the Clown, but surely his education and training as a lawyer, his ability to formulate competent arguments and present them in an articulate manner (as opposed to Johnson’s stuttering and stumbling half sentences and mainly made up nonsense) along with the fact that he is establishment, proved with a knighthood, and his holding of a senior post in the English legal system, would have made him a more than serious match for Johnson.

But, despite the fishing crisis, the farming crisis, the northern Ireland crisis, the chronic mishandling of Covid et al, the polls remain puzzlingly substantially against him.

I accept that the bulk of the newspapers are more or less with Johnson, but I’m not sure who reads newspapers nowadays, so I’m at a loss.

Sir Keir Starmer WINS election to replace Jeremy Corbyn as the new Labour  leader | Daily Mail Online

Anyone got ideas?


  1. “… relatively non-controversial …”

    tris, do you not know about his role as Head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the Julian Assange business?

    If that isn’t contraversial . . .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. On second thoughts, tris, you are correct. It is irrelevant as far as potential Labour voters are concerned.

      But then again, so much is . . .

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The peace of God has now settled on English politics, which really passeth all understanding.
    The Tories also appear to have lost any ability to differentiate between doing down the SNP on farming questions and doing down Scotland and one wonders whether this will ever dawn on Yoons.

    On a less serious note, John Prescott will now have 2 covid jags to add to his 2 Jaguars, so should he now be referred to as Four Jags Prescott ?

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Maybe its not just about Starmer…I mean who else does the Labour Party have on the opposition benches?
    The shadow cabinet are as unsubstantial as they are ineffective.
    Who amongst the general public can even name them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fair point, Jake.

      You’re right. I recognise names but I have no idea what they do.

      Of course, Starmer could change all that, by finding some more competent shadow cabinet members.


  4. “Why are Labour doing so badly in England?”
    Lack of psychology in the education curriculum.
    Things are not going well, people are hurting, it will probably get worse and worser. A change could make it even worserer.
    When the chips are down the populace want a leader who will be decisive and take the difficult decisions and won’t be held back by possible consequences, a decisive psycopath who doesn’t give a toss. What they have is an indecisive narcissist who doesn’t give a toss and they can’t tell the difference.
    Apart from the risk of change making everything worserer, Starmer might be seen as too normal for the occasion.
    The above is not a frivolous response, except the tortured english which is in response to Johnson’s tortured ancient greek and english, I do wonder if something like the above is going on. Whether right or wrong it is a bazaar poll and another reason to be free.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. It might not have been frivolous, but it made me laugh.

      Better the devil you know, sort of thing? No matter how useless he is.


      1. Twice I tried to link Eric Idle’s support for Indy (the National), WordPress clearly ain’t playing ball.

        Eric Idle’s definitely one of the good guys; excellent wordsmith too.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Labour had a chance to rediscover themselves with Corbyn. The combination of his indecisiveness, dull public speaking and the media monstering that he received (presumably for being a threat to the status quo*) meant that he was pretty much forced out of the party leadership. A more decisive leader could’ve weathered the storm, but judgement by media did for him. He’s no saint, but any party has to be a reflection of its membership and there are quite a wide range of views in Labour. So, antisemitism? It exists everywhere, including the #Conservative Party. Anti-refugees? Likewise. Anti-black? Anti-Asian? The London that my dad lived in? “No blacks, no irish, no jocks.”.

    Labour needs to rediscover socialism rather than aspire to Blairism-lite.

    *No, not them…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Labour under Starmer are Red Tories and English voters prefer the real thing, no matter how repugnant and abhorrent that appears to almost all of us here. ‘Blairism lite’, as Derek puts it so well, has little appeal no matter how hard Starmer tries to peddle it as a preferable aternative to the flounder’s mob. Maybe he should ask his corporate mates at Unilever for advice on how they managed the telling Stork from butter campaign so well.

      Private Eye has a regular feature ‘Keir Starmer Writes’ that satirises his approach with typical acerbity. Here’s an extract, not chosen specially to illustrate th point, just the first PE that came to hand: ‘You’re probably wondeing why I’ve not called for Matt Hancock to resign for not divulging his dodgy contracts, aren’t you?

      ‘Now let’s just take a deep breath. And another. And Another. Are you still here? Oh, you are. I had hoped you’d got bored and wandered away. That’s usually how it works.’

      After several more paragraphs in the same vein, he signs off: ‘…if we start to call for the heads of people like that, where will it all end? It could lead anywhere! Anyway, must dash, got my audience with Tony at twelve and I have to buy a tribute before I go. Sincerely, Keir.’

      Art imitates life, or the reverse? True either way – and hardly like to rally Labour voters, if there are any left.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Labour has kinda lost it’s way. It no longer seems to know what it stands for and hasn’t for a long time.

      Peter Mandelson said in his autobiography that Mrs Thatcher had changed “the country” so much that there was no longer a place for Old Labour…. I suspect he meant that as there were no mines, no factories, no shipyards, no foundries, no mass unionised employers…or at least substantially fewer than before, traditional Labour had no place.

      The party that he, Blair and Brown oversaw, was, as you say, Tory Lite.

      Mandelson said, quite rightly, that there was no point in having a Labour Party with traditional values if it was never going to be elected. And the better off population of the South East (with around 30% of the population) would never vote for traditional Labour.

      So the rest of us had to put up with New Labour.

      I remember my hearing that there were signs that said “No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs” in England. I never heard about No Jocks… but why wouldn’t there be?


      1. Labour got rid of all its real socialist / working class / economic and social justice types in its own civil wars, and we’re left, as has been said, with insipid, milquetoast and uninspiring, dull and grey not-so-new-any-more Labour – they really ought to change their name to middle management. No fire in the belly – an opposition party that can’t be bothered to oppose.

        Bawris delivered the coup de grâce to the old Tory party when he defenestrated Ken Clarke and all the other statesmanlike and pro-European ones to make over the party in the image of Nigel Farage: hard, hard right; eurosceptic to the core; authoritarian; and downright racist. Their thinking is not based in reality, and they compete with each other in their degrees of sheer stupidity and nastiness. The Westminster regime has in fact become a kleptocracy, and when they’re found out, they simply smirk and carry on in complete impunity.

        John said it right, except for Tories and Tories Lite I’d read Fascist Tories and Slightly Socially Aware Tories.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I thought they’d lost the plot when they got rid of the likes of Ken Clarke, Michael Heseltine, Chris Patten, and Nicholas Soames, for heaven’s sake, the prime minister’s hero.

          And Dominic Grieve, Philip Hammond… Annan Soubry

          I didn’t agree with much that they stood for, but no one would deny that they were experienced and intelligent people.

          Replaced by Patel, Raab, Hancock, Truss, and witless morons like Nadine.

          No wonder we are in a mess.


          1. We need a Michael Foot. Someone who believes and isn’t scared to speak up.

            The oldest registered football league player, too…

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Michael Foot was the oldest registered football league player. He was listed as a sub for the team that he supported (Bournemouth or Brighton, I think?) as a 90th(?) birthday present, which meant that he had to be registered as a player and signed up.

                Liked by 1 person

  6. The political situation in England is very worrying: as the Tories swallowed UKIP by shifting far, far to the right, we have a governing party that is effectively fascist. The increasing public support for it among the English electorate, in evident defiance of gravity, is attributable to the kind of mass psychosis that overtook Germany in the ’30s: the lies and propaganda are so widely believed that they have reached critical mass, taken on a life of their own, triggered an avalanche.

    The ’30s were a time of crisis too, with collapsing economies worldwide compounded by devil-take-the-hindmost protectionism, and the collapse of the feeble old League of Nations set up after WWI to try to prevent such a thing happening ever again, and we all know how well that worked out. The rampant protectionism had the effect of shutting down international trade – anything seem familiar so far, at least in UK terms? – and where the ’30s and the Great Depression saw soup kitchens, what we have almost 100 years later is food banks.

    In such circumstances, extremism flourishes – and the worse things get, the more do great swathes of the electorate go for the kind of scapegoating a Priti Patel is so good at, and the kind of authoritarianism represented by a party and a personality who so very obviously don’t give a damn about anyone else’s human rights. As long as he’s perceived – They are perceived – as Standing Up For Britain (hang out more flags! – faux patriotism, false news, alternative facts, Big Lies), and succeed in blaming the chosen scapegoats and bogeymen for the results of Their own deliberate policies and obvious failures, They (and he) can get away with just about anything.

    Bawris’s tousled, tongue-tied posh schoolboy schtick serves very well to allay suspicion that he’s actually an evil, conniving, lying bastard, a corrupt crook, a sociopath, and dedicated to overthrowing the poor excuse for democracy we have at Westminster – and he and his regime will happily ride roughshod over our own feeble democratic institutions here in Scotland. He and They already are, of course. It’ll only get worse, unless and until we regain our independence. Authoritarian regimes cannot tolerate alternative poles of political power.

    Fortunately, most Scots loathe Bawris, and see right through him – but what most Scots don’t all realize is that he and his toxic regime represent existential threats to our nation, because they see no problem in converting a Union based on consent to one maintained by law and by threat of force.

    I’ve put the following up before, but now is an appropriate moment to put it up again, given the subject of Tris’s post. It’s entitled “Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism”: https://archive.ph/wckkR. In that context, I remind Munguinites of the regime’s intent to demand voter ID before electors can cast their ballots. This is right out of the American Republican playbook, as it is a well-known method of suppressing the votes of social groups who are less likely to vote for right-wing parties. It’s also part of a strategy to cast doubt on the security of elections, to portray everyone to the left of the ruling party as election cheats, and their victories at the polls as illegitimate.

    In other words it’s Trump’s Big Lie made vaguely genteel for future consumption by the English electorate.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Off to read that, Ed.

      I have always had concerns about accusing governments of Fascism… because you get Godwin thrown at you, as Niko pointed out!

      But some of the draconian stuff that the English government is bringing in for themselves, and in some cases, Wales, point in that direction.

      The statues thing… OK, I accept that no one should damage statues regardless of whom they represent. But making the penalty for damaging a statue more severe than for assault?

      And voter identity, ostensibly to stamp out fraud… which no one seems to be able to actually point to?

      Demonstrations which can be shut down because of too much noise?

      Ye gads…


    1. I dont think they have looked like us for a long time, especially in Scotland. I can remember not so long ago when the Scottish Labour Conference (with the exception of Jackie Baillie) voted to rid the country of Nuclear weaponry, but the English party voted to keep it, so tough.

      I thought you left Labour voluntarily?


  7. The Labour Party are in opposition but never oppose. Starmer asks his six questions every Wednesday for a bit of theatrics, but that’s it.
    Maybe a lot of Labour voters just follow their leader in thinking if he is happy with government maybe they should be too, maybe there’s just not enough true Labour voters out there anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What on earth happened to the big Labour vote in the North East of England?

      Is it Brexit related… Take back control of our waters? English jobs for English people in the Japanese car factories? Get rid of foreigners?

      I just can’t connect Geordieland with Jacob Rees Mogg … 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tris it’s a mix of things. The people in NE England are sometimes, quite racist, not all of course. They don’t like immigrants, though there is a big community of Indian and Pakistani people there. I loved the Indian shops when I lived there, always great produce to buy. When I came to live in Edinburgh, I loved hearing all different languages on the street. Some people welcome difference, (for want of a better word) some people do not.

        Now, it’s also about loss of jobs, (the region has always been neglected even by Labour) they blame the immigrants many who were born in NE England of course, and their Labour councils are useless.
        My cousin works in social care there, a few years ago they were told their wages would be cut by 1/3, same hours! It turned out the Labour council leader then awarded herself a £20k wage rise, my cousin was a bit angry.

        I have friends who live on the coast north of Whitley Bay, they say there has been huge number of houses built and they are in a semi rural area (or rather the were!), so possibly built on the brown belt I would think, and they are bought up by people from the south, who can afford to cheap houses and like the cleaner air. It’s a great coastline, relatively low population and cheaper so what’s not to like for more well off folk. Blyth, first time ever voted Tory in 2019, a very industrial Labour heartland, my friends were horrified. Of course Northumberland is traditionally a very well off area, it’s a huge county and very low population for it’s size, about 1/3 of a million I think. BBC radio 4 did a programme about Northumberland years ago, the upshot was that there is an active policy of keeping people out unless of course they are very well off. The ‘Duke of Northumberland’ is mega rich, and far as I know, owns most of the region basically.

        Anyway, other than that, voter turn out at GE’s and council elections is very low indeed. People are quite conveniently disenfranchised, and kept down and they have always just put up with it, except maybe the Jarrow marchers, when was that, WW2? I should know, my family live not far from there.
        Sadly a friend I did have there no longer speaks to me because I have a dim view of Starmer.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. First of all, it’s sad that your friend doesn’t speak to you because of that.

          I’ve got friends whose politics make me want to throw up, but we still speak.

          I see what you mean about the racism there. I saw it myself in the Midlands where I grew up. Indeed we went there becasue my father got a job there (incidentally with a Swedish company). But I was told at school that my dad had taken an English person’s job (although it was a job created by Swedish money) and that we should go back to Scotland.


    1. Like Boris will care about that.

      But each time he hammers another nail into the relationship Britain has with the world, Britain becomes less and less influential.

      Now I don;t give a stuff about that, but I suspect that the Global Britain of which they all talk, will care.


  8. They the Torys spent and are spending a lot of Money everybody (well almost)
    Like it when you spend a lot
    On them.

    But when the Torys attack the poorest and the low paid as per usual with some more Austerity.
    Maybe maybe the wheels will come off .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, they have np choice at the moment. Every government has to spend money to try to haul back what was lost over the last 15 months.

      But you’re right, I suspect, at some stage that will have to stop.

      Inflation is starting to rise; interest rates will follow after a while,

      And the real effects of Brexit are still to be felt.


  9. English supremicists – white anglo-saxon nationalism (though it’s debatable that they are as anglo-saxon as they think they are) – Labour has no heart, no left policies and no memory of what it once was. The English electorate know the Tories are a corrupt lot but they are honest about it and shove English nationalism unabashedly in your face. In a sense, they are at least honest in that whereas Labour doesn’t know what it is and follows on the coat tails of the English nationalist Tories. So, if you don’t really stand for anything then eventually the electorate stuff you. Moreover, Thatcher showed prior to this the power of British nationalism in the English voter’s mind. The English have had and have a tendency to wander off to the right but this time they seem to have wandered off there and ain’t coming back.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I guess this is what all the flags and royals and stuff is about.

      Tell people that we are free from the European yoke and the future is bright… once we get past the pandemic… and you’ll see just how the Empire II that they talked of, will take off.

      In the meantime sing Rule Britannia and God save the Queen and sooner of later (sooner for us and later [much] for the plebs) the good times will come…


  10. Manipulation by special interests on Social Media, Facebook and Twitter for sure, probably others that I do not know about.

    Large sections of the voting public have been and continue to be brainwashed and we know nothing about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. BBC, Right Wing newspapers which are not owned by people who have to live here, Bots.

      But for many it’s the flags and the “patriotism” that’s doing it, I’d suggest.

      I’d have thought that Starmer would be seen to be patriotic, English and British, well, English anyway because I doubt he knows much about Scotland.

      I’m mystified at what the masses see in Johnson. He was an amusing clown when he ran London. Notoriously lazy and short on facts and details, but always ready with a stunt…hanging off a high wire, falling in the water…

      But, surely people can see that he’s an utter disaster… even with all the dark works.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This article might help you understand


    Facebook’s News Feed algorithm determines what users see on its platform — from funny memes to comments from friends. The company regularly updates this algorithm, which can dramatically change what information people consume.

    As the 2020 election approaches, there is much public concern that what was dubbed “Russian meddling” in the 2016 presidential election could happen again. But what’s not getting enough attention is the role Facebook’s algorithm changes play, intentionally or not, in that kind of meddling.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Has anyone actually looked at the data sets of this Survation poll? Although the Scottish sub-sample is small (Unweighted 98/weighted 88) it does give a different take on what is happening in England. Johnson’s satisfaction rate in Scotland is minus 44 compared to plus 10 for England.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No doubt at all that political sentiment is very different in Scotland. Labour still isn’t that popular here, but presumably for different reasons.


  13. A great question is posed.
    No simple answer for me.
    The media this morning are spinning the cumming of the handcock as our poor wee bullied boy.
    Even the Independent are suggesting that the flounder can’t sack handcock now as he was just obeying orders.
    My own view of why the englanders are obeying the Hitch hiker rule of 42 is why vote for tory lite when you can have the full fat version.
    The brexit manipulation will finally be seen as a dead end road for the search for empire two.
    The signing of trade deals is just a method of diverting quickly from the EU making it very hard to quickly rejoin.
    The dictatorship isn’t too far away for the english, we in Scotland have to escape the unionist red and blue single party state.
    Looking like we have lost control of the pandemic again, number doubling in a week, the NHS will not be swamped as it is summer and the aim of herd immunity moved closer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very worrying figures on the new varient.

      The trade deals, on the surface, sound good.

      They aren’t though, once you look at how small they are.


  14. Hevn’t read all comments yet will do so later.
    I have to disagree with you on Starmer, he is a Tory, not even a red one either. He supports and stands by the Tories in almost all of what they do. A slippery character imo.
    He is definitely no friend of Scotland to say the very least.


    Here is one of his staff, hear what she says about standing by the Tories. That’s her instructions from Starmer.


      1. I’m sure she was the one who thought that the police in Scotland should behave like the Spanish police over Catalonia… ie beating the hell out of protestors including elderly and disabled one. Seeming away as she was, of the differences between the Scotland and the Catalonia situation.


    1. Good point. Most people don’t do politics in detail. Talk about Brexit at every opportunity and the public associate you with it.

      I can understand that in an emergency an opposition should work with the government. The Tories should have been working with the SNP, and initially, Jackson Carlaw said that they would, but then he must have been told off by his boss and he started attacking Nicola’s handling of the situation (which was better than his government’s)

      But certainly, see what he’s saying about a vision. They seem to have none.


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