Dan Boyle: Once More Into The Bleach


From top: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn: Dan Boyle

Having painfully discovered that asking a binary question does not, of itself, extricate a country from forty plus years of international treaty commitments, our friends across the water (and up North) are now facing a fourth general election in nine years.

In a bitterly divided country, reliance will now be put on one of least democratic voting systems in the World, where victory can be claimed with only one third of the vote.

The value of the votes that get cast in an UK election are but one thing. How votes are informed is a far more important aspect altogether.

Britain possesses one of the most pernicious ‘free’ media in the democratic World, one that isn’t countered in the slightest by public broadcasters there.

It is a media goverened almost entirely by proprietoral interests. No exaggeration is ignored in pursuit of these interests.

A bought and sold for media has managed to convince many in Britain that they are the victims of others, the EU and assorted other foreigners, rather than the destiny makers of those elite and established British privilege holders whose look over there politics has helped them hold sway for far too long.

More than likely this established Brexit narrative will take hold in this election. Boris Johnson and the Tories seem on course to achieve a majority in the next House of Commons.

Whether this majority will be used to quickly process the currently agreed deal with the European Union, or instead pull another rug then steam towards a No Deal Brexit designed to create the dream of Singapore on the Thames, we will yet find out.

The Tory majority, if it comes, may not be that substantial. The party will lose seats in the south of England to the Liberal Democrats. In Scotland to the Scottish Nationalists.

The key to the election will be in how many seats the Tories can win from Labour in Leave voting constituencies in the English Midlands, or in the North of England. A North of England that previously was forbidden territory for the Tories.

Once again Jeremy Corbyn will be the key figure in the election. He is neither the Maoist terror figure he is often portrayed by the Murdoch led press, or the hapless fool is sometimes seen as, at times even by his own party colleagues.

He has though been the author of his own difficulties. His ambivalence, in leading a Europhile party against his long standing opposition to the EU project, was one of the biggest contributory factor in bringing about a Brexit yes vote in 2016.

If a policy led narrative takes hold in this election, then Corbyn could yet make the recovery he made in 2017.

But he will be up against a far better opponent than Theresa May. Johnson maybe incorrigible and more corrupt, but he is a substantially better campaigner.

Victory for Corbyn in this campaign would be to stop a Johnson majority. In this he could be helped by Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party, whose search for a perfect Brexit may siphon off key Tory votes.

Up North a Remain alliance could see DUP come back with less MPs. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Dan Boyle is a former Green Party TD and Senator and serves as a Green Party councillor on Cork City Council. His column appears here every Thursday. Follow Dan on Twitter: @sendboyle

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15 thoughts on “Dan Boyle: Once More Into The Bleach

    1. Dan Boyle

      In Ireland. I have not been resident in the UK since 2016 when I legally exercised my right to vote there.

        1. Dan Boyle

          I worked in Wales for nine months for the National Assembly election there in 2016. Irish citizens resident there were entitled to vote.

  1. italia'90

    Cheers for the reply Dan.
    Would you agree then that EU citizens, resident in one of the other EU27/28 should be entitled to vote in all elections/pebicites in the country they reside in?
    Ya know, the oul taxation without representation argument.
    I’ve always been uncomfortable about this democratic deficit.
    (It’s relevant in the context of Brexit I would have thought)

    Personally, I can vote in Irish and US elections as I have dual nationality.
    My better half can only vote in local elections here but she’s lived and worked here for over a decade.
    Getting Irish nationality is not on the top of her priorities atm and she doesn’t follow Irish politics, unfortunately.
    She does howerver vote in Hungarian elections.
    Due to her being born in the Hungarian part of the Ukraine, she also qualifies to vote there too but she never exercises that right.

    Are you familiar with the voting franchise extention antics of one Victor Orban?
    That would be an interesting article if someone was to report on it.
    Better still, next time you’re in the Merrion Hotel, you should discreetly ask about Orbans attempts to get cash receipts from some of the managers there. I Sh one T you not.

    1. Dan Boyle

      I’d favour younger, I’d favour wider. I’d favour further. Anything that deepens democracy is worth pursuing.

      1. bisted

        …don’t you think that voting in the UK election while retaining you Irish voting entitlement and drawing a pension from the Seanad and looking forward to your TD pension shows a disdain for democracy?

      2. italia'90

        I’d favour higher standards in office and lower salaries and vouched expenses.

        I’d also favour a legal mechanism where politicians are held accountable.

        I’d favour another vote to abolish the Seanad. It was never going to reform itself.

        I’d hold the matches if an Irish version of Guy Fawkes happened along.

  2. Clampers Outside

    “How votes are informed is a far more important aspect altogether.” …and after the last few years of Brexit, Brexit, Brexit I’m sure no one can claim an ill informed electorate being hoodwinked…. But they will, won’t they, if the vote doesn’t go how they want. They being the Remainers.

    At this point, I believe, the UK electorate is as informed as it ever will be.
    To that, I say, good luck to the UK, whatever you do. Just do the feckin’ deal before ya go.

    1. ReproBertie

      “I’m sure no one can claim an ill informed electorate being hoodwinked”
      Really? Haven’t you been following the way the papers have portrayed British incompetence as EU intransigence for the past three years?

      1. italia'90

        Try the past 40 years.

        The EU and the Tories don’t want a Corbyn lead government.
        Especially the Tories in the Labour party.

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