The Tactics of Nose-Holding

Given the hubris of opposition parties of all colours in agreeing an election before Brexit was kicked into touch, we are now faced with The Great Nose-Holding of 2019, in which we can only set aside judgements based on past behaviour and focus on the immediate clear and present danger to our way of life.

There are many more – and more existential – issues facing us, the top of that list by a country mile being Climate Change, with side orders of the behaviour of Trump, Russia and the emergence of assorted authoritarian kakocracies. But stopping Brexit is the key to unlocking action in all these areas: each requires outward looking societies that drive global collaboration, consensus building and co-ordinated action. Brexit denies all of those.

So our first order is to stop Brexit, and to prevent the UK continuing in the hands of a far-right cabal who have engineered a self-interested and corruptly funded coup. And that means voting for WHOEVER will stop an official Conservative Party candidate from winning a seat.

Everything else is secondary: Indyref2, Nationalisation, your aunty Nan’s bunions and anything and everything that you might feel passionately about, are trivial by comparison with Brexit: it is the clear and present danger. The rest won’t happen overnight and there’s very likely to be another election once the dust settles from the stopping of Brexit. So hold off with every other issue until then.

Assuming that you agree with all of that – i.e. if you can walk and breath at the same time – here’s my guide to the various parties.

The Conservative and Unionist Party

The best way to ensure the breakup of the UK is to vote Tory (the SNP are miles behind in those stakes) – every iota of their behaviour demonstrates that devolution and the Union itself mean absolutely nothing to these self-obsessed, power-crazed fuckwits.

The most guaranteed way to stop Climate Change being addressed is to vote Tory.

The best way to ensure the destruction of the UK’s service sector and manufacturing industry is to vote Tory.

The best way to ensure the further decline of Britain’s influence in the world is to vote Tory.

The best way to support the continued emergence of thuggish oligarchies around the world is to vote Tory.

Bottom line: Vote Boris, get Vladimir & Donald. And wave goodbye to the NHS.

The Liberal Democrats

You don’t like the LibDems because of their cooperation with the Tories in the coalition government. I get that. You may think that they’re suffering from a serious case of hubris and are falling back into acting in an old-fashioned perception of party interests before the country. But get over it: if there’s a LibDem candidate who, if the Remain vote isn’t divided, stands the best chance of being elected, vote for them.

Bottom Line: Vote LibDem where it makes a difference, and stop Brexit.

The Labour Party

You regard Jeremy Corbyn as an old-school Trot of the Fourth International, and his most ardent supporters as gibbering apparatchiks of the Far Left. I get that, I really do, and the behaviour of Corbyn and his Momentum cohorts has, over the years, demonstrated an unthinking support for repressive populists and ideologues across the planet. Just like the Tories.

Bottom Line: Vote Labour if their candidate stands the best chance of either retaining their seat or unseating a Tory incumbent- you’ll get a lot of dithering, much posturing, but you’ll get a Second Referendum, hopefully around about the time that Labour itself implodes. But don’t let that get in the way.

SNP & Plaid Cymru

You support the union of the UK, so don’t like the SNP or Plaid Cymru. Fine, carry on supporting the Union. But if voting SNP or Plaid will deny the Tories a seat at Westminster, for honour’s sake vote for them – you’ll have plenty of opportunity to argue for the UK – or what the UK could be – further down the line.

Northern Ireland

General principles apply here, simply because I’ve no bloody idea who stands for what, beyond the DUP’s allegiance to the repression of minorities – or, indeed, anyone who doesn’t agree with them, and their refusal to allow women to control their own futures. So the DUP is out.

You don’t like Sinn Fein. Righto, join the club. But if voting for them means that there isn’t a seat for a Tory or DUPe to take in Westminster, so much the better. And if they took a late decision to take up their Westminster seats to kick Brexit into touch, that would be a fine and welcome thing.

The Once and Future Conservatives

You’re suspicious of Independent (former) Conservatives. Fine, but remember that they’re the ones who had the integrity to bail out when it became blindingly obvious that their party had been subverted by the corrupt far right.

The Brexit Party

There is actually a case that can be made in a small number of constituencies for voting for the Brexit Party, where that will split the xenophobe vote sufficiently to allow another party a chance to break in. But don’t, really don’t.

The Devolved Administrations. Or not.

It’s easy to speculate here that parties such as Plaid Cymru, Sinn Fein and the SNP secretly wish to see Brexit happen, in the belief that this would drive a further groundswell of public opinion towards Scottish or Welsh independence or Irish reunification. The paradox here however is that any behaviour that in any way was seen to be trying to bring Brexit about would cause them to take a huge negative hit to their current popularity. All the damage to the Union that needs to be done has been done, and by the UK government – that’s the sweet spot for the post-UK parties and they’re already there. Besides, the breakup of the UK would cause yet more uncertainty and economic impact and you really don’t want to be pushing independence from the depths of a recession that’s been exacerbated by that very argument.

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