Published On: Tue, Feb 8th, 2022

Parliament’s growing legitimacy crisis in focus: at the Southend West by-election

Upon her being selected as the Member of Parliament for the Southend West constituency, Anna Firth, the insipid and simpering looking Tory (and sole main party) candidate, made the obligatory acceptance speech (or “victory speech”, as imagined by the BBC), and the part in it about being “honour of my life to represent the people of Southend West” should have stuck in her craw, but then Firth is just another charlatan who will have no scruples about being, in fact, on the contrary to what she asserts, wholly illegitimate.

The turnout for the Southend West by-election as took place last week and which Firth “won” (according to the gaslighting from the authoritative voice of the sort briefly evidenced above) was 24%, and the only people that Firth represents in Parliament are Tory fanatics and hopelessly persistent idiots. But the pretence of Parliamentary relevance must go on, and one wouldn’t have expected an initiate into the fellowship of the national government racket to prove herself as a fellow confidence trickster as soon as she could.

Parliament, dear reader, can be thought of as the provider of a service that no one needs. It has, nevertheless, convinced people that it is necessary for them. Enough people – a nation of them, in fact – have been suchwise convinced so that by then subscribing to it, they substantiate Parliament. The question of whether or not it is needed is overlooked in the fact of its existence, so that because it exists, it must serve the purpose it declares it does. So then, there comes into being a reciprocation between Parliament and client population, where the former uses the expectation of provision of service (that it instituted) to impress the latter with an appearance of having capacity to provide. The truth is, however, Parliament is not sovereign, and has no power to set itself up as it pleases, and instead is merely a cloak belonging to the City of London for its purpose, and has nothing to do with proper government of any Briton. And there’s nothing that begins to lift the veil on the fraud than when circumstances produce a charlatan claiming to be representative on the endorsement of less than quarter of an electorate.

While a large number of Southend West people undoubtedly have earned this credit unwittingly, congratulations are in order for what is such an astoundingly impressive embarrassment for Parliament. Congratulations are also in order for sending a message to UK Government regarding its staging of a military intelligence operation by which David Amess was forced to vacate his seat. It’s quite apparent this time, unlike in 2016 at Batley and Spen when Tracy Brabin continued in the stead of the “assassinated” Cox character,  that there was no weird celebration of a departed MP’s legacy by selecting another MP of the same colour. Corporate-media in its reporting of local attitude couldn’t hide how  people appeared to treat the by-election as a bother.

Indeed, reader, don’t let the corporate-media tell you that this event was in anyway comparable to the “Cox” circus, even though the turnout for the selection of Brabin was similar, at 25.8%. The two contests are the same like chalk and cheese. For a start, the support for Amess in 2019, the election prior to this contest, was signified with 27,555 votes. This time, his successor only gleaned a meagre 12,792 votes. It’s a significant margin that needs treating on its own, but for now, just compare this set of numbers with the 21,826 votes for “Cox”, and the 17,506 for Brabin. The much smaller margin between them tells us that Batley and Spen was different in the crucial respect of maintaining the support for the one horse in the race. This was not the case in Southend West, where the dramatic collapse of Tory support is already the elephant in the room of 2022.

Consider this: in the pre-election analysis featuring in the FBEL article called, As UK Government Is Apprehensive About “Dire” Turnout, All The More Reason Not To Vote In The Southend West By-Election, it was reckoned anything under a turnout of 27% would indicate a problem of a quite unanticipated scale. The 27% was a benchmark, already taking into account a trend in the loss of the Tory vote at by-elections, based on the 2016 Batley and Spen contest. So what actually happened was a Tory collapse bigger than expected for the circumstances; indeed, what else could one call nearly 15,000 disappeared other than a severe mortification of a system than weaves its invisible cloth on boasts of being representative.

It’s wholly unsurprising, then, that what is in fact an utter disaster for UK Government has been wholly ignored, or understated by politicians and corporate-media as they have reacted to the Southend West result. On the other hand,  the effort gone into coping with and concealing the great disturbance started as the votes were being counted, when  a good deal was made of rejected ballot papers – numbering in the end at just over a thousand – and how some of these had been spoiled with comments about Boris Johnson. Later, some Tory figures departed from following the vein in corporate-media coverage, and claimed that spoiled ballots didn’t signify unhappiness with the Prime Minister over the mountain-out-of-a-molehill Downing Street party “scandal”. For instance, this from the BBC:

On the subject of spoilt ballot papers, she [Anna Firth, in her ‘victory speech’] said that “you would expect a high number of spoilt ballots in an election where there is actually no left wing candidate standing at all”.

Evidently, this is to suggest that spoiled ballots were cast by voters who didn’t have the usual Labour, Lib Dem and Green candidates to put a cross against (what with their withdrawal from the contest), and because Firth uses the false paradigm to speak to an audience which largely knows no different to it, is blaming all dissent on “left wingers”. Of course, by way of an aside, on the real political spectrum, all of the UK’s main parties are on the statist, socialist, authoritarian end of the scale (because UK Government knows only one way to rule), so to be factual her own left wing party was an option.

But away from such quibbles, what the reader is being asked to notice is that the spoiled ballot paper meme was used as a device by which there could be avoidance of the real story: the catastrophe of nigh on 15,000 missing Tory voters. So, well done to all those not-so-clever-as-they-think-they-are ballot spoilers for presenting this escape route – we’ll return to berating you people momentarily.

Another Tory MP for a seat in the same vicinity as the Southend West constituency also disregarded the idea that Johnson’s partying-in-lockdown troubles had affected the by-election, and he spoke about turnout in the following terms:

The Tory MP for Rochford & Southend East James Duddridge, 50, fended off concerns ‘partygate’ had led to voter apathy in the Essex seat.

He said: “No, in Batley & Spen turnout was about 25 percent, we’ve had turnout of around 24 percent so you’re there or thereabouts.

Mr Duddridge added: “Some people felt a duty to come out, some people always vote but a majority of people didn’t see this as an election that was going to shift the national Government.”

He also claimed postal votes had helped bump turnout up and suggested polling stations were “quiet” even by local Government standards.

So, as Firth framed dissent as a characteristic of official opposition, Duddridge does the same in respect of turnout: he says people didn’t come out to vote because it wouldn’t make a difference to which party was largest in Parliament (seeming to never mind  that by-elections usually don’t). On the other hand, those people who dutifully voted were self-evidently Tory voters, which means that in the clear cut version offered to us by two Southend Tory MPs, it was business as usual for the Tory party.

Of course, reality is plainly different to this fantasy, and while there’s no reason to suspect that the startling dimension of Tory disinterest at street level was related to anything that remote Downing Street staff did to earn the ire of people who volunteered into lockdown restrictions, it is more likely that it was provoked – as suggested in the previous FBEL article mentioned above – by being “subjected for two years to psychological warfare as if they were the population of an occupied country governed by a conquering junta”.

Here’s some evidence. The BBC interviewed Southend West constituent, 70-year-old Maureen Hampshire, who would have voted for David Amess. She said: “I couldn’t be bothered… I think everything is a total mess. I think everybody has had enough of it all. I don’t know who to vote for any more, basically”.

There’s no focussing on the trivia of Boris Johnson here, and if the reader thinks that this woman is groping towards expressing the position of an individual who is realising that Parliament doesn’t represent her, then it’s probably not an accident. The article doesn’t give any more space for the message to be made clearer.

But sure enough, the same piece is thick with other soundings that will be designed to colour the comments of Maureen so that they can be understood in the same way.  So, next up was a man who thinks that the seat is too safe, and so wasn’t motivated to vote Tory as usual (besides which, he was working) because there was no threat. After that, another man whose being “fed up with it all at the moment” is emblemised by Boris Johnson. Tellingly, the BBC continues his opinion in paraphrase:

He says he believes the low turnout and the spoiled ballots, some of which are understood to have been directed at the prime minister, shows he is not alone in how he feels.

Here, reader, the BBC interprets a vox populi for its audience, who is meant to understand that the interviewee has made certain connections himself; i.e. the linkage of low turnout and ballot papers spoiled by  chimpanzee scrawl.  This will actually almost certainly be the BBC’s invention using the tools at its disposal, some as provided by useful idiots, to understate the huge threat to the very system signified by the low turnout.

Another way that corporate-media has smoothed over the issue of the desperately poor turnout performance was with strawmen examples of other by-election results, as if to make out that a pathetically low turnout was not an unusual thing. As it happens, the Southend West by-election saw the third lowest turnout in the UK in a by-election since the Second World War, and corporate-media has been full of this fact, making sure it be known that the two lower turnouts were worse still: at Leeds Central in 1999, where it was 19.6%, and Manchester Central in 2012, where it was 18.2%. However, what corporate-media doesn’t reveal was that the Manchester Central contest was also the lowest turnout in peacetime since 1918 – a fact that puts the Southend West into it’s proper appalling perspective.

In any case, the very important thing to understand with these comparisons is that Leeds and Manchester central have consistently had low turnout figures since what we might call the great dislocation that coincided with the Blair executive branch, before which participation in elections in most parts of the country was always huge and turnouts would routinely get into the 80 percents. In particular, the Manchester 2012 turnout fell from a 46.7% rate of participation in the previous election, and the Leeds 1999 one fell from 54.7%. In contrast, the Southend West turnout fell from a comparatively dazzling 67.4% – which is drop that makes Manchester and Leeds pale in comparison. And if some people in Southend West in 2022 had a functioning brain instead of a dollop of mashed potato, it would have fallen even further.

In the pre-election article the author predicted the usual folly of dumb-as-arse morons who would vote for one of the minor parties instead of declining to participate and allowing the turnout figure to be as low as possible. 2066 people lived up to these expectations. Worse than that, 1084 people might well have been stroking their egos (one guesses) as well as being the stupidest collection of idiots that have lived and breathed, but nothing has been achieved by their doing whatever they did with their ballot papers when they spoiled them other than subscribing to Parliament by submitting an endorsement as valid as any vote.

If the people who voted for anyone other than the one-horse Tory, and the people who voted by spoiling their ballots hadn’t done these things, then turnout would have been 19.3%, and competing very closely to be the worst turnout in peacetime for over a century, and owning a very obvious attribute that signalled what actually was the most dismal by-election in terms of damage to Parliament’s claim to be representative in living memory.

With things really being as bad as all that (no thanks to the voting morons), obviously UK Government has to deploy coping mechanisms, and hopefully the reader can see that, by UK Government’s own careful treatment of the matter of this very real phenomenon of voter number collapse (which is affecting Labour as well, even if this particular story is about a decline for the Tories), there is a starvation of grist for the mill when it comes to presenting elections and their results. This suits corporate-media well – after all, it only does as it is told. Moreover, the reader will also notice that alternative media makes no effort to dig up the grist, and this is all to do with which news events are synthesised by Mi7 to exist mostly in its own surrounding chatter, and which information doesn’t become news. Now, it’s eminently obvious that desperately low turnout and therefore the illegitimacy of Parliament is an observable phenomenon that anyone who hasn’t been sent chasing their tail after synthetic space-filling current affairs can see for themselves. After that one can arrive at a conclusion that the obsessive omission, or careful concealment of the subject from and in all media, corporate and alternative alike, signifies that non participation in elections is a thing that terrifies UK Government silly, and makes it as a urinating dog to the population’s powerful man with a big stick – if only it was a thing widely appreciated, and knowledge used to utmost advantage.

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