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December 13 2019

A Trumpy Election in the U.K.?

by Charlotte Hays

A few days before yesterday’s historic, blowout victory for U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Brit columnist Con Coughlin proffered advice in the Wall Street Journal to dwellers on this side of the pond:

Americans, Root for Boris Johnson.

Well, yesterday Johnson won the largest Tory victory since 1987. That is when Margaret Thatcher was elected for a third time, with Tories winning a 101 seat majority.

Johnson’s overwhelming win means a pro-U.S. PM at 10 Downing Street, who will push through Brexit, which President Trump supports, by the end of January, and negotiate trade agreements with the United States.

Defeated Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn is characterized by “quasi-Marxist politics and visceral anti-Americanism.”

There is something else fascinating about the U.K. election: it was a Trumpy election.

Voters switched sides to support Johnson and Trump.

Like Donald Trump in 2016, Boris Johnson broke the “blue wall” (the U.K. equivalent of the U.S. Democrats’ “red wall”).  

The (U.K.) Spectator’s Brendan O’Neill described a phenomenon that will  bring a sense of deja vue to U.S. voters who watched formerly blue states fall to Trump in 2016:

The ‘red wall’ has fallen. Brick by brick. Almost every bit of it. Seats held by Labour for decades have been seized by the Tories. To me, this is the most exciting thing in this extraordinary election.

It feels almost revolutionary. Working people have smashed years and years of tradition and laid to waste the nauseating, paternalistic idea that they would vote for a donkey so long as it was wearing a red rosette.

The ‘red wall’ results are staggering. In Bolsover, held by Dennis Skinner since 1970, the Tories now have a 5,000+ majority. Former mining towns like Bishop Auckland and Sedgefield — Tony Blair’s old seat — fell to the Tories.

As the raucous American billionaire’s win ushered in a new kind of Republican Party, Johnson’s seems likely to usher in a new kind of Tory:

The plummy culture warriors of Momentum and the Corbyn-loving sections of the Twitterati constantly played up what a toff Boris is. Eton! Bullingdon! That voice! He is utterly out of touch with normal people, they said. And yet now we know those normal people felt far more distant from the performative bourgeois radicalism of Labour’s new woke set than they did from a Boris-led Tory party that at least said to them: ‘Listen — we will respect that important, meaningful vote for Brexit that you cast in 2016.’

That’s the thing. For all the naff, sixth-former ‘eat the rich’ posturing of the Corbyn cling-ons, most voters don’t really care what accent or background a politician has. They care what he or she says. And Boris, in his posh, bumbling tones that will sound so alien to the people of Blackpool South and the Vale of Clwyd — more new Tory seats — said he would uphold Brexit. That’s what millions wanted to hear.

Another parallel: “woke” Labourites regard the new Tory voters as deplorable:

Class contempt of Victorian proportions is already being visited upon these good people, in fact. Enraged Corbynista Paul Mason is describing the election result as a ‘victory of the old over the young, racists over people of colour, selfishness over the planet’. These people seem blissfully unaware that it is such seething contempt for ordinary voters that turned so many people off the newly woke, post-working-class Labour party.

As one commentator put it, Johnson took voters at their word. They voted for Brexit and so he tassumed that they supported Brexit.

Corbyn suggested another Brexit referendum to give voters a chance to get it right this time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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