I don’t move in the moanocracy’s social circle, but if I did, I would probably hear the crushed pollsters and bewildered opinion writers saying something like this:
“OK, so we have lost all credibility in terms of predicting how the election would shake out, but at least we can act as a collective intellectual anchor, dragging down any optimism about the prospects of a Labour government.”
The polls have, in the last week, been the least arrogant of this squirming nest of diminished reputations. Survation had a good election and shows Labour ahead. YouGov shows Corbyn edging head of May as his star rises and hers spins comically into a fetid, stagnant pond of Tory recrimination. The Tory mantra, sadly repeated by a Grumpy New Labour fringe, is “that Labour didn’t win.”
Well, way to go, Stating the Blindingly Obvious Person. We know. Nobody is saying Corbyn did win. The point is that he and his team, supported by an army of volunteers, raised Labour’s share from 30% to 40% and denied a previously hubristic May a majority. It was the first bold step towards office, not office itself. It has further narrowed the Tories’ room for manoeuvre and shredded their catastrophic Manifesto. Corbyn is now setting the agenda and looks more Prime Ministerial by the day. That is a very significant achievement.
Moany Martin Kettle, the most depressive implement in the discursive kitchen, sums it all up in today’s Guardian. He says getting a Labour majority will be harder. This is code for: “OK, we were talking complete, negative bollocks during the General Election, but we’re right really because Corbynistas are morons, well neuggh.”
Kettle and his various interpretive pots and pans get stuff wrong, not because they don’t know their swings and polls, but because they look at politics from the wrong end of the telescope. They live in permanently Normal Times during which abnormal things don’t happen: young people don’t get excited about politics, politicians don’t mean what they say, parties that won Brexit don’t collapse because they have nothing else to say, Brexit election campaigns don’t talk about just about anything but Brexit, surging remain parties don’t fail to surge and millions of people don’t jettison austerity when the entire media says it is nasty medicine, but good for them. But, Mr Kettle, this all happened. Pop that in your spout and steam about it.