Thank you to the BBC (a rare compliment at election time), for a hilarious, or worrying article on all those would-be candidates who did not fall at the first fence but fell before the race began. The miscellany of frightening, fortuneless, fallible or frustrated fellows is actually just to scratch the surface:
The guiltiest men and women still won through and will sit in the House of Commons – those who have the personal power to prevent their being defenestrated or who have such seniority that the BBC will not attack them as it does the weaker members of the herd for fear of accusations of bias, or for fear that it will hurt Labour too much.
What a parcel of nutters and victims the list reveals. It is even-handed in covering all the main parties, mostly Labour of course as they are the weirdest. It has been painful to sit through the process through which anti-Semitism has become mainstream, even respected in some quarters. Once it was just snide asides, like the old “More Estonians than Etonians in the Cabinet these days”, but a solidified doctrine taking over the mainstream of a major political party; that is new. As it is mainstream, the only surprise is that these candidates have been removed not celebrated (at least the more dispensable of them have been removed).
Then there are those who have said something off-colour on Twitter. (I thought that was what Twitter was there for? Do people actually take it seriously? That may explain why Fay is so unnaturally restrained on Twitter compared with what she says in public. Heigh-ho.) One day we will ask ourselves as a society whether a word should condemn if it shows no actual intent to malice. For now we are all in Luke 7:32.
It is all at the last minute, and there were so many mild, inoffensive people who could have been picked as candidates, but they do not go into Big Politics.
I thought that the BBC were doing a public service by listing, with complete even-handedness, those who have been defenestrated at the starting gate. That may be the wrong way round though.
The thing is, it is the BBC and its search for gaffes which has made the alleged wrong-doing of many of these candidates an issue. We may prefer a rough-and-tumble candidate who feels free to mouth-off about his opinions, and unless we get those opinions then Parliamentarians cannot develop effective new ideas. We need men like Colonel Sibthorpe, who was wrong in just about everything and spoke in such a way as to bring votes to the other side, but who exposed humbug and questioned unthinking consensus. The BBC will not allow us to have them.
That said, they have done a service in exposing Jew-hate amongst the Labour ranks, and while they will not expose the insane conspiracy theories which sustain it, Auntie can show us where it emerges, before it becomes so mainstream that those hatreds have to be accepted in debate for the sake of neutrality. As to the rest of the fallen riders, they may be the victims of an excess of sensitivity or of their own stupidity. It has been entertaining though, and really that is what the Beeb is best at.
- Accidental spies, useful idiots
- 101 Uses for a Dumped MP
- Westminster in the exit endgame
- Treason, stupidity, recklessness or hypocrisy?
- Woke: A Guide to Social Justice by Titania McGrath
- The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray
- Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay (1841)
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B Peterson
- All Out War: The Full Story of How Brexit Sank Britain’s Political Class by Tim Shipman
- Brexit: Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union by Harold D. Clarke, Matthew Goodwin and Paul Whiteley
- Brexit: How the Nobodies Beat the Somebodies by Sebastian J. Handley
- By David Cameron:
- By Boris Johnson: