by John Ward
Many are the victories being declared following the elections to the European Parliament, and many are the false dawns. The best an objective commentator can do in such circumstances is try and deconstruct the bollocks. For as usual, the entire farrago of claim and counterclaim has been characterised by muddle and invective. As ever, nobody personifies this more comprehensively than Paul Mason.
This won’t be the most popular sentence I write today, but while the British euroelection results represent an astonishing triumph for Nigel Farage, they do not bode that well for the Leave cause in general. For while committed leavers scored 35%, thanks to a LibDem “resurgence”, the total committed leaver score was 40%.
There are several caveats to that observation. The turnout was as usual well below that of a general election (around 34%). Also, some Labour and Tory voters are fiercely tribal but do want to leave the EU. Conversely, the LibDem result would not be repeated at a general election, because the majority of its new voters were Labour protestors. By the same token however, an unknown proportion of TBP supporters here would also vote Tory in a UK Parliamentary election.
Caveats are rarely proper excuses: the real failure (as most polls predicted) at the British end of this farcical election was that of the two self-appointed major Parties. Together, they attracted the support of less than 1 in 4 voters. In a nutshell, Leavers clobbered the Tories for betraying Brexit, while Remainers clobbered Labour for not betraying Brexit.
The fact that 2 in 3 voters stayed at home (and the Conservatives are seeking a new leader at long last) means that it would be a foolhardly person who projected permanent change from these statistics.
The MSM, meanwhile, did their best to omit, obfuscate and censor.
Driving to my nearest Lidl here in France this morning (I know how to live, let me tell you) I spent twenty minutes listening to Radio Culture’s coverage of the elections for the European Parliament country by country. It was as if Great Britain didn’t exist. By far the most anti-Brussels result among the Member States was not so much seen as uneventful; it had become an unevent. The third biggest economy in the region had sunk beneath the waves.
That probably represents the most overt example I’ve yet encountered of the contemporary misuse of mass media. But equally misleading was the immediate claim by Nigel Farage that his Brexit’s Party’s stunning UK performance “demands a seat for us at the next round of Brexit negotiations”. It doesn’t: to get that, Nigel is going to have to start winning seats in our Parliament. Power for our Parliament is what this hoo-hah is supposed to be all about, so that’s the way to do it old sport. Mr Farage had his chance of one recently, but delegated it to another. C’est la vie, c’est la guerre.
Either way, the European Parliament is a talking shop which, during its forty years of corrupt existence, has never once stood up to a major decision on policy or leadership made by the Commission – an unelected Star Chamber, as we know, incapable of understanding the word “no”. And as far as these election results go, it’s a good job the EP has no teeth, because those who are pro-EU still vastly outnumber those who want it radically reformed or dumped entirely.
Soundbites and headlines rarely tell the truth these days, and this election’s old media coverage has been no exception. Here’s a list of some pinwheels being EU-spun around Europe this morning (in blue) and why they are untrue (in red):
The nationalists have topped out, but can still only manage 180 seats versus our 609. While the seat count is right, the attitude is a fallacy. The Confederal Group of the European United Left has only 38 seats. And the idea that european nationalism has topped out is wishful thinking.
The turnout has leapt from 43% to 51%, thus proving that faith in the EU’s delivery of democracy is stronger than ever. Not really: if you tot up the level of surge in favour of anti-EU populists across Britain, France, Italy and Poland, it comes to an average of about 6.8%. So some 85% of the increased vote probably consisted of doubters and haters.
On the far-right, two groups in the parliament had well over a 100 seats, a 40% jump from 2014…so this is a dangerous development. An excellent example of the spin merchants wanting it both ways: “we’re in control but the Nazis are growing, so it’s important that Signora Mogherini’s army is allowed to jump on them”. In reality, the ‘200 seats in two Parties” is a lie: there are 180 seats in total that are avowedly eurosceptic, and they are split three ways. And as always, the definition is just linguistic manipulation: Fidesz isn’t far right, any more than the Brexit Party is.
As a penultimate point, I merely reiterate that these elections are but a facade of democracy expressed as real power. I offer evidence rather than fulminating via assertion or insulting intelligence via smears.
Already today, senior members of the Strasbourg Parliament are insisting that the new President should be chosen from the chief election winners among their number. For myself, I’d prefer it if this person were chosen by all EU citizens, but set that aside for now. Reuters has already asked some EC bigwigs for a view on this, and been informed that they ‘are not minded to feel bound by such demands’.
So there you are Femi old love: that’s EU social democracy in action.
And finally, let me put before you the most pleasing dimension of this somewhat anarchic event. That is, c’est à dire, the predictably incorrect analysis from every judicious thinker’s greatest gift, Paul ‘Hurray for Macron’ Mason. Is he Hard Left, is he Centre or is he just all over the place? He is all of these my friends, because he spends his entire time switching position in order to hide the fact that the last thing he said, tweeted or wrote has since been outed as handjob cobblers.
This was Mason’s immediate pre-vote offering:
He said the polls were wrong. He was wrong. He said all TBP voters were fascist racist bigots & climate deniers. I think he is probably wrong to assert that 31% of Brits come under that heading without, you know, just a teensy tadette of evidence. He said he could bury Farage’s Party. He was wrong. He said he was voting Labour. 86% of voters thought he was wrong.
But lo…now Paul thinks Paul was wrong. For he has spent the last twelve hours on Twitter and in The Guardian blaming Labour’s abject performance on Jeremy of Nazareth. For whom he voted. But Paul was in fact misled by the evil Corbyn, whose mystic presence made him – entirely against his will – vote in the wrong way. For he voss only obeying ordures. And ordures must be obeyt at all timess.
“Labour must unite around a strategy of Remain,” he now declares, confusingly….while uniting around a direction that squashes a democratic vote.
There is more:
“The Labour right are clearly mobilising a new coup vs Jeremy Corbyn now. I will defend him unconditionally,” he says after spending the morning telling us all how the Labour EU dithering has been total cock…and reflects the private view of, um, Jeremy Corbyn, the man he will defend unconditionally. For it eess verboten unser geliebte Fuhrer to contradictamus, eefen if he iss wrong about me beink right, or right about me beink wronk. Naturlich.
How empty life would be without Herr Mason.