The US Election is over, business as normal: perhaps

The US election is over, Donald Trump the derided outsider, the flamboyant egotist, the one everyone expected to lose, won. Won an election he claimed was rigged. And the world went into panic mode. As with Brexit race related hate crimes spiked [1], along with street protests against Donald Trump; protests met by a chorus of “The result must be respected” from those who had spent eight years saying loudly that Obama was not their president.

The implications of a Trump presidency on the prospects for Scottish Independence are, to put it mildly unclear, but it seems likely that it will make it more likely but not accelerate it.

While we were watching the media circus in the US, enjoying the sight of heroic aristocrat like figures boasting and preening, as did warriors and princes in the hero societies of antiquity [2] a number of things happened that our beloved Westminster government would rather we did not notice.

The theatre was used to distract the plebs
The theatre was used to distract the plebs

Blue UKIP Red Tory and business as usual

The Republicrats think they can now get back to milking the people and making sure the poor suffer for the sins of the rich. Here in Absurdistan, formerly known as the United Kingdom, Blue Ukip and Red Tory think they can go back to pretending to fight over the 1% of their policy differences, which boils down to a minor disagreement on how much taxpayer’s money is to be given to the 1%, go back to milkng the people and go back to making sure the poor pay for the sins of the rich. And Nigel P Farage, the middle letter being needed as he is eying up a job in Trump’s administration, seems to have quietly become the most powerful man in British politics.

The EU let it be known it was considering a plan to offer individual UK citizens associate citizenship after Brexit and Brexiteers, dedicated as they are to freedom of choice, nearly choked on their warm beer claiming it would discriminate against leave voters. I wrote to my MEP asking them to support the proposal. After all, regardless of the advantages of free movement in the EU, anything Brexiteers oppose must, pending further research, be good for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Here and in the US it comes with a smile that hides the steel teeth
Here and in the US it comes with a smile that hides the steel teeth

Electoral Surprises: a Sea Change in Politics

On a wider timescale the electoral surprises of 2014, 2015, the 2016 Scottish Elections, the Brexit referendum and the US presidential election that has, thankfully, just finished, seem to represent a sea change in politics. Polling experts are going over their calculations to see if and where they went wrong but few seemed to notice that the actual results for all the above “shocks” were within the margin of error that goes along with sampling the electorate for their opinions. This means we do not need to invoke the “Silent Blue UKIP” voter or the silent Republicrat as an explanation, and can note that the last time there was a democratic president for three terms in a row was 1948. It seems that every so often voters get tired of seeing the same faces and, regardless of how much Government tries ot choose the electorate it wants, manage to effect a change. If you are conspiratorialist you would argue that elections are rigged to allow each party to have its turn in power but this would be too simple an answer. The simplest answer to why these were shocks is that the public want certainty and assumed the polls were oracles not samples. But if polls were that accurate why not simply let matters like Brexit be decided by opinion poll not referenda, why have elections, indeed why have representatives?

The Independence Referendum of 2014 could just be put down to media bias and establishment lies, 2015 could be put down to Ed ( Bacon Sandwich ) Milliband of the Red Tory Tribe saying he would rather have a Blue UKIP government than work with the SNP, resulting in voters saying “in that case I may as well vote Blue UKIP”. The Scottish elections could be put down to the voting system, but the Brexit referendum and the US election results have both plausibly been attributed not to the racism that was used to gather their votes, but to anger at having been ignored for decades by a self satisfied political elite perceived as doing nothing but talk and negotiate benefits for themselves[3]. This might be part of the reason for these upsets, but would be too simple an explanation, since even in the Eighties there was a widespread attitude among the working and lower middle classes that politicians, especially Margaret Thatcher “are not interested in the likes of us” with no surprise election results. Perhaps an austerity agenda intended to make the rich richer and promote social cleansing by making the poor poorer till they die out, their jobs replaced by robots was an effective trigger.

Or perhaps the rise of social media, despite the echo chamber effect of algorithms trying to feed you what they think you will like so they can sell your data to the highest bidder has allowed the electorate to bypass the media gatekeepers and this has made the old modes of communication between the rulers (elected as servants of the people but trying to forget that) and the ruled less biased in favour of the rulers. And much as the elite hate the fact, it is not possible to ban the internet, though some may be working on ways to prevent the Great Unwashed using it other than to look for the mythical pot of jobs the unemployed and disabled are allegedly shunning in favour of state benefits.

The War  on the poor continues and they were deceived in the Brexit Referendum
The War on the poor continues and they were deceived in the Brexit Referendum

Meanwhile

An 82 year old military veteran died hours after being evicted from a squat. An arch Blairite is heading a committee proposing cuts to state pensions. And there are calls for London to have its own visa system, while Scotland gets only the promise of a hard border if they end up remaining in the EU.

Notes

  1. It is too soon to know if this is a permanent rise.

  2. Would Trump fit the role of Achilles or Cuchillain and what would Clinton be?

  3. There are probably a number of factors influenced these results but the anger of the Great Unwashed and the middle classes being pushed into the lower classes together with the deep seated racism and xenophobia of (mainly white) working class people in the US and UK were probably the most important.

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