Published On: Wed, Dec 8th, 2021

Parliament’s growing legitimacy crisis in focus; Part One: at the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election

It was as early as April 21st that this site was telling its readership that UK Government had appeared to have made a decision to have Labour win the next general election and form the executive branch, and then on July 3rd that a strategy to do this could not rely on (collapsed) traditional support at by-elections (which had been designed for Labour candidates to win to give the party an appearance of snowballing inevitable success) so that Keir Starmer would have to appeal to the Tory voters who were still not disinterested in casting a ballot. No surprise, then, that Starmer took last Thursday’s result in the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election as a cue to work the operation, through that main organ of military intelligence and corporate-media conjunction, The Times, to claim that Labour was the party of Middle England. Of course, in terms of being an incorrect thing to state, it was entire rubbish.

The truth is, the Labour Party did disastrously at Old Bexley and Sidcup, and Labour party spokespeople who were talking up the result, with some especial help in reaching an audience in the case of Keir Starmer, had the gaslighting on full burn.

Of course, to deal realistically with this by-election result, one has to perceive beyond the superficial screen of party political battles: the fact of the matter is that Labour’s disaster was UK Government’s, and this is where thinking people will be looking to understand the ramifications more real than those put out by political pundits in corporate-media to be consumed by the cattle-headed general population.

As mentioned above, UK Government is looking to install the Labour Party into the office of the executive: to have it become the “government”, as that office appears to amount to in the eyes of the misdirected general public. The Tory Party is mired in “Covid-19” – not sleaze. Its retirement from Parliament’s government benches would be the working of an old mechanism that protects the persistence of a particular system of government-by-hoax, where a military intelligence/City of London amalgam rules the United Kingdom, and its front needs to be changed at intervals so that “government”, as it appears to the people, never becomes intolerable and never invites being physically overturned – because that entails a fundamental loss of control.

The revolving front end appearance also allows for the driving forward of a single agenda that survives across various different party political coloured fronts that are called “government”. When an opposition party ascends to become the one in office, it is presented as an antidote to the “misrule” of its predecessor, and a valve for pent up grievances to be vented from. It will, however, implement the same agenda, but that part of it which is more suited to the character that the public expects of the particular political party in office. In recent times, as the agenda gets closer to being fully instituted, political parties are constantly stealing the clothes of their opponents so that there can still be refreshment of government at the same time as there can be overt pursuit of the same goal – people are literally choosing Coke or Pepsi, with no non cancer-inducing soft drink being offered.

This development wasn’t entirely unnoticed by the public, as evidenced by the UKIP getting loose for a while from its leash when real people joined and were able to exert some control to make it bigger than the protest party it was evidently invented to be. Hence there was a need at that time for UK Government to play Jeremy Corbyn off against David Cameron, in a contest between a Catweazle-in-appearence man of the people and a Balloon-faced-Eton-hot-crumpet-rack, and accentuate main party differences in a reinvigorated class-war scenario.

Thus has it ever been the way of the UK Government’s government-by-hoax (for further reading, please see the list at the foot of the page [pending]). And not only is Keir Starmer’s Labour Party lined up to be the new broom, but it is being styled in the manner of an unsleazy version of the Tories – not only because a return to this mode after Corbyn’s “loony-leftism” was required for the pursuit of the narrowing agenda goals – but because it has become clear at this time that Labour can only prosper by specifically stealing votes from the Tories.  The problematic collapse in Labour support, as catalogued in these pages before, is nothing to do with preferences for Corbyn’s presentation of the Labour Party as opposed to Starmer’s, because it was already underway in the 2019 general election. The explanation is more like this: lots of Labour voters were alarmed at the promotion of EU membership by the parliamentary party at the time of the referendum, and it’s something that could not, and cannot be recovered from.

Naturally, this is not how corporate-media punditry would have it – and the more expansive reason why they won’t is because the Brexit betrayal by Labour of its support became the threshold of a bigger situation (the author calls it the Fake Brexit era) where supporters of all parties would discover universal treachery when Parliament captured itself for perpetual alignment with the EU in that election year of 2019 – as written of aplenty at this site†. So, the Fake Brexit era is one where people recognise that the political system is bust, and there is little interest in participating in it. The evidence resides in the downturn of turnout at elections after 2017: the Fake Brexit era.

Again, this stuff is not for going into detail in corporate-media in routine punditry and reportage, and if there is any acknowledgement, it will resemble that which the Daily Express published about the by-election of our current interest:

Both parties will have shared some concern over voter turnout in the constituency, however, which may show general discontent with the state of British politics.

However, something new has happened after Old Bexley and Sidcup in the form of various opinion pieces, which looks like an irregular think tank working in the forum of corporate-media, dressed as discussion pointed at the public, where a crisis is indeed being recognised. Naturally, as in one such example at The Guardian, entitled Johnson faces trust crisis as sleaze shatters faith in MPs, referring directly to the real problem would be to admit weakness – but nevertheless, what is published is plain enough to understand by it that UK Government knows it has a crisis on its hands.

The turnout at Old Bexley and Sidcup was a tiny 33.6% – the lowest in an English by-election since 14th June 2018, and the one for the Lewisham East parliamentary seat (33.3%) – about which was written the FBEL piece, Reflections On A By-Election: Another Charlatan Claims To Represent The People, This Time Of Lewisham East.

In fact, that piece is completely apposite in connection with a discussion about the Fake Brexit era reality because it is about how a new MP was a “remainer” in a “leave” voting area, and how it also could be said of her that she did not represent her constituency because of the desperately small amount of people who voted for her: a double dose of illegitimacy, and of course the two elements are not unrelated. However, as we can see, the corporate-media would have us believe that if we don’t vote, it is because we are affected for the reasons that UK Government has invented to provide that explanation – providing more scope, of course, for utter distrust. And this actually gets to the ultimate truth of how UK Government is in terminal trouble: it can’t stop lying.

While Old Bexley and Sidcup played host to candidature from the Reform Party (the renamed Brexit Party), which we would no doubt find, if we took a moment to look, is exactly the same commercial enterprise (as discussed here) with its same mission to improve turnout under a new lick of paint, it is probably true to say (in line with previous observations made at this site) that UK Government was not as concerned as generating votes as much as having what did come out to vote against the Tory candidate, and especially for Labour. Did it anticipate 25,000 less voters than in 2019? Well, if it wanted a Labour victory, which the author thinks it did, it would have wanted to see a number like this, but not quite so large.

About 4,000 votes went missing from the Labour tally between 2019 and 2021. Of course, the Tory loss of over 17 and a half thousand makes the Labour equivalent pale into insignificance – but the important thing is that it was the missing Labour votes which meant that that party, in the end, didn’t come close to winning. The Tory result of 11,189 would have been at risk of being over hauled if the 10,834 people who voted Labour in 2019, plus some of the 3,822 who voted Liberal Democrat in the same year, had come out to vote Labour last Thursday. You see, reader, the problem for UK Government really isn’t about guilt for all MPs by association with their Tory counterparts. It is a universal, fundamental collapse in support for the political parties (to reiterate an apparent fact). And the ramification is plain to see: if UK Government cannot manipulate voters into producing outcomes necessary for the system of preservation through rejuvenation and unified agenda implementation, then it has big trouble on its hands.

And there is no doubt that UK Government did its best to have an upset in Old Bexley and Sidcup. Although the Tory sleaze scandal appears to have blown up after it became clear that this seat would need to be contested, it matters not because, as noted at FBEL in April (see link at top of page), this degradation by accusation of sordidness has been on the cards from since before the incumbent MP, James Brokenshire, died and the seat became vacant. The proof is in the pudding that the machinations were in operation at this by-election.

First of all, the Tory candidate only happened to be a local councillor, serving at one time, in his total eight years in the job (basic London allowance in 2018: £11,045), as deputy leader of Bexley Council, as well as being a City worker with employment in financial services. So, he was a type of career politician already, as well as being what could so easily be characterised as a greedy money man.  In short, it was quite possible to paint the Tory candidate as an all round pig-at-the-trough. In fact, this man has a padded look about him that lends something of the piggy to his appearance.

Now, the past participle is used in relation to what Louie French did for several livings, because of this, from a Daily Express article that asked, ahead of the vote, “are the Tories about to lose one of their safest seats?” (as expectation management: more evidence of a desired upset):

So deep is the need for Tory politicians to distance themselves from the sleaze scandal and the Prime Minister himself, Mr French has vowed to step down from his City role if elected next week.

Here is the appeal to sleaze being made in pre-election coverage in a national newspaper. Of course the issue was in play in order to discourage votes for the Tories. In actual fact, while we are about the subject, whether or not French does resign from his job doesn’t matter – as far as a general impression might be had about what the public is allowed to know about his circumstances. Without knowing exactly what he did in the City, his progress to MP is something that looks like it could be a step through the old revolving door between departments of corporate-government. Even if there is nothing corrupt about this particular exchange (French could have been a lowly bank clerk, for all we know), it still gives off a nauseating stench of the preferment into higher-up politics for a certain class of people. It would be being too hopeful to expect that the stink in the prospect of French’s advancement was lost on all of the electorate preparing to vote at Old Bexley and Sidcup – and, in the end, maybe that’s why he was selected as a Tory candidate.

As for French’s main opponent, the Labour man was also making solemn oaths about only having one job:

Their candidate, Daniel Francis, has vowed not to take a second job if he wins, hoping to capitalise on weeks of headlines about “Tory sleaze”.

So, it is clear. Some of this by-election – the critical part – was about who to believe about not having perks from being an MP. The Tory, who is an evil Tory, with well-publicised City links, or the Labour guy – himself also a Bexley councillor of 17 years standing, which could in this case be presented as being a dedicated public servant, rather than a careerist – but otherwise didn’t have a previous alternative job as far as corporate-media could be bothered to report.

In another prong of attack in the attempt to seize a Labour win, there was the timely reshuffling of Starmer’s Shadow Cabinet, which was clearly done with a view to winning votes at this by-election, as the Daily Mail intimated on the morning of the vote:

Labour is hoping Sir Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet reshuffle earlier this week could boost the party’s chances of an unlikely victory.

What we need to do, reader, is realise how extraordinary this almost throw away material is in the context where a seat had been safe by a 19,000 majority. A cabinet reshuffle, says this piece, could improve the prospects of Labour overturning 19,000 seats. If things were normal in the British body politic – i.e. as people had become familiar with in the 20th century – this would have been something too preposterous to print. If it is not recognition of a problem to do with turnout so bad that Starmer must directly appeal to a sense of order and presentation in specific voting-is-a-duty Margot and Jerry Leadbeater of Tory-Avenue-land types, then surely nothing else can do it.

Of course, the Mail’s piece was not alone in talking up an upset. An Express piece that has already passed under our scrutiny does same. Many more could be found if one cared to look – and the purpose in this prophesying is not to provide analysis, but to suggest behaviour in this way: Boris Johnson is a loser, so when you vote, do it for Sir Keir Starmer.

On the other hand, when FBEL showed that there would need to be a change of UK Government’s strategy whereby Starmer would target Tory voters who could be counted on to turnout, this is the result of knowledge-based analysis that doesn’t ignore the crucial component of collapsed support for all parties.

And, as mentioned above, the trend continued at Old Bexley and Sidcup, and although the Labour performance was not as proportionally bad as the Tories, it was perhaps even more significantly appalling, so that when we look at it, we will see just how risible was the gaslighting that came from Labour quarters (broadcast to Margot and Jerry via the Daily Mail).

[Shadow solicitor general Ellie] Reeves, who helped run the Labour campaign in the by-election, tweeted: ‘A fantastic 10.3 per cent swing to Labour in the Conservative heartland of Old Bexley and Sidcup.

‘If replicated at a general election Labour would be within reach of forming a majority government…

‘There’s been a 10 per cent swing over to Labour this evening. We’ve been knocking on doors for weeks here and finding many, many Conservative voters that have said actually I’m not going to vote for them this time, I’m going to vote for Labour.’

In another Tory place (The Standard), there was this:

But Labour has said Boris Johnson should be “worried” by the outcome, arguing that “more and more people are concluding that Keir Starmer would make a better prime minister of this country”.

It’s a huge joke, with the biggest con, of course, being that with a disappearing Lib Dem vote (down from around 3 thousand at the last outing), one can bet the house that the Labour vote was helped not by switching Tories, but by these people. Indeed, they’d have to be dedicated voters to normally vote for the Lib Dems in the usual no hope situation that Old Bexley and Sidcup would represent. Moreover, when there is reportage of the likes of the following, there doesn’t need to be any guesswork:

The Liberal Democrats only convinced 647 voters to turn out in their favour, as Simone Reynolds captured a three percent share.

Their placement came from an alleged informal pact to give Labour a free run of the by-election but caused their support to collapse by 5.3 percent.

It means that anything up to 50% of the Labour vote could have been shored up by an ex-Lib Dem vote.  A catastrophe is too moderate a word to describe what happened to UK Government’s plans at this by-election, not only because of the very obvious failure of Labour, but also the apathy that won’t make any sort of voter out of an ex-Tory one.

Nevertheless, the Tory Parliamentary Party, of course, were playing the same old game of partisan politics that is always trotted out for the deception of the gullible masses, so that there is always focus on the superficial ding-dong, but never any revelation of the secret plotting underneath – and especially not the factors which are making it go awry. The Tory chairman, Oliver Dowden, was on Sky News, bigging-up the dismal Tory result:

We actually secured over 50 per cent of the vote in Bexley. I pay tribute to our excellent candidate and the campaign team there that secured that result.

This idea that Labour have made some surge ahead is really for the birds. They’ve actually got about the same vote share as they secured under Jeremy Corbyn in 2017.

Of course, spouting stuff about percentages means not having to talk about real numbers. 50% of the turnout at the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election amounts to votes cast by about 10,000 people, and is nothing to boast about. In fact, it is an utter disaster. (Likewise, the share that Corbyn got in 2017 would have been from a turnout of a relatively whopping 72%).

So, once again it is fascinating to discover that if UK Government decided that, for purposes of rejuvenation of the face of government, the plot to install Labour turns out to be something that would require too much ballot stuffing come general election day (yes, UK Government does this – see Thanet South), and it would be something that couldn’t be done, then the prospect of winning Tory votes back for a refreshed Tory Party under a different leader might not  be something possible either given the sheer volume of current disillusion.

But the clues tell us that UK Government won’t be asking people to go back to the turd that is the Conservative Party, even if it is polished, because its agents are going hell for leather to get the upset at the coming North Shropshire by-election – another Tory stronghold – that couldn’t be got on December 2nd last week.

Indeed, to say that UK Government is going hammer and tongs to get what it wants on 16th December is a complete understatement. Obviously, the sleaze business is not quite cutting the mustard, so now an extra edge has been put on it: the Tories are also dreadful hypocrites. The reader may have heard about a Christmas party at 10 Downing Street – all very evil, apparently, when the little folk are being asked to wear masks in shops. Now, obviously there is an over-reaction going on about this in corporate-media which points to it being a stunt to generate further reason to spurn the Tories at a very handily placed electoral test of Boris Johnson’s popularity. Indeed, we might safely suspect that escalation of “omicron” mitigation measures announced today will, in part, be about creating a backlash which people in North Shropshire will vent through the ballot box. It is truly desperate stuff – and, all for covering at the time when this site reports on that upcoming by-election in part two of this short series.

 

† More Article 50 Scaremongering; Desperate UK Government Sacrifices Parliament; The “Republic” Sees How It All Stands (link)

With Brexit Causing Mass Loss Of Confidence In Government, Damage Limitation Begins (With The Outright Solution Never Mentioned) (link)

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