Twitter is a strange place, you tweet sarky stuff about Tommy Sheridan, George Galloway (before he blocked me and a million others) and Polly Toynbee, and they frequently go and retweet it. It’s not like James Delingpole or Dan Hodges gleefully retweeting hardcore bile directed at them, it seems to be the enduring delight of seeing one’s name on the Twitterfeed, mixed with a large quantity of egomania.
However, all three lefties named above, despite their manifest flaws and mad arguments, have undoubtedly added to the gaiety of the nation, and very occasionally can be right, sort of. In Polly’s post-election ‘long dark night of the soul’ piece, here, she stated:
A leader’s fall always has Shakespearean echoes, and the Miliband brothers’ drama has epic tragic elements. Today Ed stood at the cenotaph like a man at his own funeral. Decent, well-liked, his warm intelligence in private rarely showed itself in his awkward public appearances. He never learned those essential thespian skills for the television age: no use his friends comparing him to Attlee. Davidites may gloat, but there’s no evidence he would have fared any better. He had different strengths and defects, another north London geek they’d soon have said was the wrong brother too.
Which I paraphrased on Twitter with:
Polly retweets it and a bunch of lefties join in. Which brings me to my main point – there is no problem (outside his own household) for which David Miliband is the correct answer. The intermittently sensible lefty types seem to concur. This point was made sharply by the possibly reformed Damian McBride, in his response to DM’s typically calculating tweets:
which lead to:
Which makes the point that I would have thought was obvious from the fresh election result. The public of any political hue are sick of numpties like either Miliband who radiate a sense of entitlement, whilst studiously avoiding plain speaking, in case it might undermine their own self-obsessed strategising. McBride was absolutely right. When it comes to the faraway Miliband, preening in New York, The Knife wrote this more than three years ago, and it seems to me it’s as true as ever today. That piece, written when various New Labour luvvies were plotting against Ed, finished with:
So, to my friends in the Labour Party: go ahead and have your coup. Mili-D won’t lead it, not until he’s had his spine transplant, but he’ll be waiting in the wings for the call. Never before has someone with such obvious limitations been touted so relentlessly for the top job. A man with the same sense of entitlement as Gordon Brown, and the same qualities of leadership as the captain of the Costa Concordia.
The clearest, most savage polemicist of our day, Brendan O’Neill, puts it perfectly in his election aftermath piece:
The most revealing moments on TV and Twitter last night, as the exit-poll results were unveiled and the first results came in, involved the utter incomprehension of liberal observers and Labourites. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing. ‘But the opinion polls said we would do well’, they all said, confirming that these politicos and observers no longer rub shoulders, or anything else, with the masses and have thus become completely reliant on opinion pollsters as a kind of conduit to the little people: modern-day tea-leaf-readers who might reveal what They are thinking. The Twitterati — the time-rich, mostly left-leaning set, consisting of cultural entrepreneurs, commentators and other people who don’t work with their hands and can therefore tweet all day — were especially dumbfounded by the results. Boiled down, their pained cry was: ‘But everyone I know voted Labour.’ They know nothing of the world beyond Twitter, the world outside the Guardianista colonies of London, out where people work rather than tweet….
…What the election has fundamentally exposed is the existence of Two Britains. No, not a Labour Britain vs a Tory Britain — that old divide has been flagging for years. Not poshos vs workers, as Labourite commentators like to fantasise. And it’s not even England vs Scotland. Yes, that divide will undoubtedly be the source of instability in the coming months, but even it is merely a strange expression, an accidental byproduct, of the real Two Britains. Which is, on one side, the Britain of the moral clerisy, which is pro-EU, multicultural, anti-tabloid, politically correct and devoted to welfarism and paternalism as the main means through which to govern the masses, and, on the other side, the Britain of the rest of the us, of the masses, of those people increasingly viewed by the cultural elite as inscrutable, incomprehensible, and in need of nudging, social re-engineering and behaviour modification. Those people whose votes, whose temerity in rejecting Labour, made so little sense to the observing classes. This is the true story of the shifting map, the geographical shrinking of Labour, and the shocked response of opinion-makers to the results.