Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

10 May 2015

Justified: My Faith In The British People Was Well-Placed...For The Most Part

The only 'faithful' thing about The Left is they will act predictably vile and violent when rejected.  So, if Ms Daley had 'faith' in that, she swept clean

By Janet Daley

I took the kind of punt that professional commentators are not supposed to risk last week. In the face of overwhelming polling data which was even endorsed by the judgment of the American statistical sage Nate Silver, and the virtual unanimity of my brother pundits, I forecast that the electorate would defy all predictions and vote decisively for the Conservatives. 

Based on nothing but the conceit of my own intuition, I ventured that so many people would be enraged and alarmed by the absurdity of the Labour leadership combined with the effrontery of the SNP which threatened to impose its will (“lock David Cameron out of Downing Street”, etc) on the vast population which had no say in its election, that they would turn out in force to register their resistance. 

Then there was a very long five days in which I nearly lost my nerve: there was a particularly bad wobble around Wednesday when the whole media operation was centred on the mathematics of coalition and the constitutional etiquette of how to avoid involving the Queen in a messy solution. But on Thursday morning I woke up to the thought (sorry, this is really true) that this was all crazy. How many people in their right minds wanted to see as prime minister a man who makes a dead-of-night visit to a comedian whose professional shtick consists of sounding like the sort of lunatic you’d avoid on the bus?

Miliband's 'Edstones' 

Believe it or not, this was one of 'the most exciting, game-changing, enthusiastic recommendations' by Miliband adviser, David Axelrod, who, evidently, has been advising American politicians to utilise something similar with pledges for a Second Bill of Rights and FDR's Four Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. If you are interested in acquiring this priceless artifact, I understand that it is available on eBay for £5 (now latest bid is 1,000 for a 30,000 piece of limestone) and comes with an unopened bottle of champagne! - SoRo 

How many serious voters – and the act of voting means that you are, by definition, serious – could possibly support a party that thought engraving its platitudes (sorry, pledges) on a stone tablet was anything but an insult to the nation’s intelligence? Never mind potential damage to the economic recovery and the dishonesty about the deficit, the Labour political pitch should have been regarded as unfit for grown-up consideration. Could we actually be entertaining the possibility that the most sophisticated, rational electorate in the world was divided neatly into two camps of exactly equal size, one supporting this idiocy and the other in favour of a party that had performed an economic miracle? This had to be – simply had to be – all wrong. 

So we got to Thursday night and the exit poll. You know the rest. Watching the expressions on the faces of the “experts” in the television studios is a memory which I shall cherish. After it was announced at around 1:50am that the Conservatives had held Nuneaton, which had been a crucial Labour target seat, the whole thing became a bit of a blur – literally, because by that time I was crying with relief.

But what remains of the Great Prediction Mistake of 2015 is a proper analysis of how it could have come to this: all that expertise, all those hours spent questioning and analysing enormous piles of data which was designed to the most foolproof standards – and it was all wrong. It is very important to examine how this terrible error came about because the reason is not methodological, it is political. And the political reason is fundamental to an understanding of what is going wrong with our public discourse. 

On Friday, Peter Kellner, the president of YouGov, one of the most highly regarded of those hapless polling organisations, uttered these immortal words by way of explanation: “What seems to have gone wrong is that people have said one thing and [then] they did something else in the ballot box.” You don’t say. Mr Kellner sounded as if he had been taken utterly by surprise by the possibility that voters might be sentient beings rather than mathematical entities, and thus capable of deliberate deception or evasion. 

Gone Boys: Nigel Farage (l), Ed Miliband (c), and Nick '2010's Obama' Clegg (r) all resigned within a hour of one another on Friday morning. Honestly, however, one of these is not like the other. Most would have you believe that UKIP was relegated to the ash heap of historical British politics, but that is simply untrue. UKIP came in third with 12.6% of the vote. Compare that to the 'The Scottish Lion Has Roared' (racist, brutish/thuggish, perpetual 'victim' whining, nationalist, and Stalinist) Scottish National Party, which received only 4.7% of the vote - UKIP won 2.7 times the votes that SNP received - 3,881,129 v 1,454,436, but SNP won 56 seats while UKIP was left with only one. FPTP does not permit an actual reflection of voter sentiment, especially in a parliamentary system. - SoRo 

But the question that demands an answer is: why did so many voters feel compelled to avoid telling Mr Kellner and his friends their real intentions? Because that is certainly what happened. I am as sure of this as I was of the eventual election result: the four in 10 poll respondents who said they had not yet made up their minds who to vote for (a figure that remained remarkably consistent right to the end) did not, as one Labour spokesman claimed, suddenly decide “when they had the pencils in their hands” that they were going to support the Tories. Most of them knew all along that they were going to do that – but they were not willing to say so. 

Somehow we have arrived at a point where the conscientiously held beliefs and values of the majority of the population have become a matter for secret shame. The desire to do as well as you can in life, to develop your potential and expect to be rewarded for it, to provide your family with the greatest possible opportunity for self-improvement and to do that on your own without being dependent on the state – these are the assumptions that seem to have become so unacceptable that identifying with them is beyond the pale, or at least so socially outrageous that it is not worth the ignominy of admitting to them. 

The Left has so dominated the conversation and so noisily traduced the “petit bourgeois” values that guide the lives of what used to be called the “respectable working class” that, ironically, it is only the most socially confident who can openly embrace them. 

The very people whom Labour needs to attract (and which it did attract when it had re-invented itself as New Labour) are once again being bullied into hiding their true attitudes and opinions. 

So they prevaricate and evade when asked how they will vote because they are intimidated by the condemnation of the Left-wing mob, or else they just are not self-assured enough to make the moral case (even in their own minds) for their choice. But when they reach the sacred solitude of the voting booth, they do what they know must be done for the sake of their own futures, and that of their families, and even of those the Left insists are being disadvantaged – because they genuinely believe that dependency is a bad thing and that self-determination is a social good. 

In the end, what does the Left (and its army of media friends) accomplish by all this activist pressure on public opinion? In a circle of mutually congratulatory agreement, the liberal establishment may demonise the social attitudes of the majority until they are blue in the face. They may succeed – as indeed they obviously have – in making ordinary people afraid to utter their real views. But there is a dreadful price to be paid: if you browbeat people into withdrawing from the debate, then you will never know how robust their convictions are – until it is too late and you have catastrophically lost an election, or staked your professional credibility on unsound predictions. 

This is the danger of the activist trap. As I said last week, if you are surrounded by a crowd of people whose opinions are identical to yours then together you can make a great deal of noise. But what you don’t hear is the silence of those outside the crowd. If parties of the Left are ever to become electable again, they will have to stop shouting and listen. 

So, as you will have gathered, I am ecstatically relieved at this splendid election result. Not just because it has returned a government – this time with a clear, working majority – which I think the country needs. Not even because the Tory win has saved my professional bacon after that mildly insane journalistic gamble. Much more important, the election of 2015 has reassured me that this is still the country – and these are still the brave, undaunted, principled people – that I have loved and admired since I arrived here half a lifetime ago. 


SoRo: For those of you interested in the also-rans (Greens, Class War, Socialists and Workers Party (all kind of redundant when you have Red Ed leading Lab in their battle cry 'The Red Flag',* I'm not even going to dignify the disgustingly vile piece of anti-Semitic, anti-American, Jihadist ass kisser, George Galloway, and Respect Party with a mention): 

The Monster Raving Loony Party (my fave):  8,398 votes 

The Cannabis Is Safer Than Alcohol Party:  8,467 votes 

I guess #PotBeatsLoons 



The people's flag is deepest red, 
It shrouded oft our martyred dead, 
And ere their limbs grew stiff and cold, 
Their hearts' blood dyed its ev'ry fold. 

Then raise the scarlet standard high. 
Within its shade we'll live and die, 
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, 
We'll keep the red flag flying here. 

Look 'round, the Frenchman loves its blaze, 
The sturdy German chants its praise, 
In Moscow's vaults its hymns are sung
Chicago swells the surging throng. 

Then raise the scarlet standard high. 
Within its shade we'll live and die, 
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, 
We'll keep the red flag flying here. 

It waved above our infant might, 
When all ahead seemed dark as night; 
It witnessed many a deed and vow, 
We must not change its colour now. 

Then raise the scarlet standard high. 
Within its shade we'll live and die, 
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, 
We'll keep the red flag flying here. 

It well recalls the triumphs past,
It gives the hope of peace at last; 
The banner bright, the symbol plain, 
Of human right and human gain. 

Then raise the scarlet standard high. 
Within its shade we'll live and die, 
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, 
We'll keep the red flag flying here.

It suits today the weak and base, 
Whose minds are fixed on pelf and place 
To cringe before the rich man's frown, 
And haul the sacred emblem down. 

Then raise the scarlet standard high. 
Within its shade we'll live and die, 
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, 
We'll keep the red flag flying here. 

With heads uncovered swear we all 
To bear it onward till we fall; 
Come dungeons dark or gallows grim, 
This song shall be our parting hymn. 

Then raise the scarlet standard high. 
Within its shade we'll live and die, 
Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, 
We'll keep the red flag flying here. 

Ed singing, along with every other Lab leader, at the 2013 Labour Conference 

Then, he croaked...along with any prognostications and analyses of Labour's immediate past and future electoral successes. 

Seriously, who would want this guy to run ANYTHING? He gives the except same, scripted talking point to EVERY. SINGLE. QUESTION.: 

'These strikes are wrong at a time when negotiations are still going on. But parents and the public have been let down by both sides because the government has acted in a reckless and provocative manner. After today's disruption I urge both sides to put aside the rhetoric and stop it happening again.'