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July 25, 2017



Looking at the archives in an attempt to check something I half remembered, I found this - a perfect B&T post.

Jamie, you might be able to get away with just reposting old content that's acquired a new resonance with Brexit.

Dan Hardie

I don’t remember seeing that post the first time round. It does seem rather apt as a metaphor.

Otherwise, this is my traditional B&T comment saying that I have just given first aid to a stranger in the street (a food delivery guy knocked off his moped by a car; suspected fractured femur). Which needs to be followed by the traditional B&T comment from ajay expressing disbelief that I should happen to be present at the scene of so many accidents.


Reading the internet's most fearsome schlactbummlers tear strips off each other and rub in the salt underneath Jamie's wry, understated offerings was part of the charm.

Barry Freed

Great to see the best blog back and so many of the old regulars here. Strategist, do you have a twitter or a way to get in touch?


Dan Hardie - I agree with you, more or less, when you say this

" He and they have found out that this (promising diametrically opposed things to different groups) is a great strategy for winning a referendum, but they may just be realising that it creates one or two problems for governing. "

I actually think that the UK faces a full-blown crisis because of people like Hannan promising diametrically opposed things to different groups, yet the UK hasn't woken up to that yet. The vast majority of reporting on Brexit is fantasy stuff that doesn't take into account the fact that most of the assurances made before the referendum were quickly disproved: the promise to negotiate a trade deal with the UK was an empty one because none of those who made that promise had given the slightest thought to what negotiating a trade deal might entail.

One of the reasons why, in my view, we have this crisis but have difficulty in recognising it, is political correspondents who do more to obscure the issues than to clarify them. Chris Dillow said, a few weeks ago, that political correspondents have a tendency to treat politics like a game, and that what matters to them is who wins or loses elections or referenda, and they mainly identify with the winning side: the policy outcomes are of secondary importance.

I apologise for asking you questions about a book you had only flicked through. It was, however, leading to a point that is important, in my opinion: did Shipman highlight the consequences of the way Leave campaigned and won the referendum? My guess (prejudice) is that he did not because the nature of political correspondents is to identify with the political winners without pointing out the consequences of the dirty tricks that are often involved. It would be good to know for sure, though, because it is part of the story of how the UK is supposedly trying to implement "the will of the people" that is open to dozens of different interpretations.

Being of a similar demographic to Jeremy Corbyn (grey beard, bicycle, jam, allotment) I might come back to the question of the possible trajectories of those of use who voted "Out" in 1975. Like Jamie, I think that a lot of was is written is "hyper-extended theories based loosely on his voting record but mainly on the desire of those who dislike him to indulge in super-villain fantasies."


Which needs to be followed by the traditional B&T comment from ajay expressing disbelief that I should happen to be present at the scene of so many accidents.

Actually over the last couple of years people have also been dropping around me like autumn leaves in Vallombrosa, so I no longer regard Dan H the Injury Magnet as a statistical outlier but just as an example of what it's like living in the big city.


And I think it was generally surprise rather than disbelief. Disbelief makes it sound like I either thought you were making them up or suspected you of causing them yourself.


The only people we know for a fact to have done anything like hacking the voting process were of course Vote Leave, who ran Google ads for "register to vote" that actually pointed to the signup for their mailing list.

This makes me utterly furious, because one thing you very very must not do as a bog standard canvasser is handle voter registration forms in any way. Obviously, if you were to offer to post them you could alter them to sign up for postal or proxy votes, or just throw them over a hedge. So this is ferociously illegal.

VL found a way to do this on a bulk scale, which would mean serious police trouble for Alex The Canvasser, but the Electoral Commission's response was literally "sorry mate we don't do websites".


CommentIsFree nutpick:
Brexit will be catastrophic. Yet I still support Jeremy Corbyn
(Tl,dr: hot off the press and still steaming, the latest thinking from Islington)

9th September. Jeremy won't be there, of course.
So this woman has a tricky decision to make. Participate, or follow.
Often comes down to that on the left, doesn't it.

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