That’s not a tough contest

The seat has switched from red to blue for the first time since the constituency was created. Jill Mortimer, the Tory candidate, was elected with 15,529 votes to Labour’s 8,589 votes.

Ms Mortimer said it was “a tough contest, but one that has been fought with dignity and respect”.

For a government in office at a byelection that is not a tough contest. Actually, at a GE that wouldn’t be considered tough although we’d probably expect turnout to be higher then.

It’s also a startling commentary on Ukip’s election strategy. The aim was, as you might recall, not to gain office but to leave the EU. Hartlepool was one of the most Ukip constituencies in the country. Rock solid Labour and yet very Ukip. The dual point being made was that sure, Brexit might make some Tories split away and damage Conservative hopes in the south. But oop north it was possible to damage Labour hopes the same way. That is, either major party – and who, really, cared which? – could gain electorally by picking up the Ukip policy of Brexit.

Which is exactly what has happened. Those who didn’t want it but accepted it once it happened have and are gaining seats as opposed to those still grumbling and hoping to reverse it. Ukip got what it wanted, Brexit. And as it sank in that this is what was happening that’s why the referendum took place.

Sure, it would have been much more fun to have won at Westminster and herded Mandelson, Hutton and MacShane into the auto da fe but the Ukip brand of politics was about the result, not the exercise of power.

25 thoughts on “That’s not a tough contest”

  1. Don’t follow your logic here. For a mid-term where the government has totally bombed the economy, you’d expect the Tory incumbents to be polling single figures& taking sixth place behind the Monster Loonies. However, they seemed to have hoodwinked a gullible electorate with “scientific models” & propaganda of fear & with a Labour Party offering even more of the same, but wrapped in a red ribbon, stolen the seat. Could have been a lot tougher if the Raving Loonies had actually been standing & offering responsible government.

  2. I think it’s way wider than just leave / remain. Labour is motivated by anti-patriotic, woke, nannying, intolerant children. They basically fucking hate the values of the normal, decent, apolitical, sensible, proud and moderate people of middle England. Those people have noticed.

  3. Following his comment a couple of days ago, I very much hope to see Voldemort as a sludgy puddle on the pavement somewhere today.

  4. @Patrick: ” Labour is motivated by anti-patriotic, woke, nannying, intolerant children.”

    Yes. But can we really say that BoJo’s ‘conservatives’ are all that far behind them?

  5. “they seemed to have hoodwinked a gullible electorate”

    Hurrah for calling those you disagree with ‘gullible’. That’ll win them round to your way of thinking.

  6. To explain further to BiS: the voters were offered half a shit sandwich or a full on English breakfast of post-curry diarrhoea.

    And they said ‘You know what? We can always put a bit of mustard on this half a sandwich and choke it down somehow.’

  7. @ Julia:

    But can we really say that BoJo’s ‘conservatives’ are all that far behind them?

    No. With the Cons, you get the exact same policies as Labour – just five years later.

    There is no party which considers the lives, the liberties or the well-being of the English people as having any value, let alone as the main plank of their manifesto. Nor, in my opinion, would the Establishment permit any such party to exist.

  8. “They basically fucking hate the values of the normal, decent, apolitical, sensible, proud and moderate people of middle England.”

    It has recently been pointed out to me that this is “oikophobia”, the hatred of the familiar, and it does seem to explain a lot of woke policy and behaviour.

  9. The reason Labour are failing in the North is that all those old union/Labour links are gone. Labour once was the party of the unions, people in these areas were heavily unionised/Labour. But the unions are now public sector, and so Labour is more about expanding the public sector. And there isn’t much public sector in these places. And there’s probably some older people in those areas that still have a religious hatred of the Conservatives, but the younger people don’t care.

    Look at where Labour is strongest, it’s where there’s tons of government.

  10. bloke in spain,

    More than that, almost no-one is looking at the bill. There’s £600bn to repay, and there’s going to be costs to catch up on all those waiting lists once hospitals re-open.

    And the worst thing about this result is that the Tories are going to go into more “Build Back Better”. More fucking choo-choos costing billions that no-one wants. More bike lanes for the odd lycra wanker.

  11. BoM4=”More fucking choo-choos costing billions that no-one wants.”
    yeah i did detect exactly that in Jill’s victory speech. paraphrased : I promised you Jobs and investment and I intend to deliver.
    ok not the last MP to say that, but what’s the method? Not fracking full steam ahead, not open cast coking coal mines, Not lower corp tax, not new, faster (toll because we’re broke) roads. One suspect boondoggles galore in the North.

  12. @HallowedBe: when I heard the phrase ‘Labour has taken the people of Hartlepool for granted for too long…’ I did rather expect it to be followed by ‘…and now it’s our turn to do it!’, I have to admit.

  13. Never has the choice of shit or shite been more obvious. This is a Labour defeat not a Tory victory.

    ZaNu under Stumour have kissed Johnson’s arse while making their hatred of ordinary people quite brazen and demanding even worse LD tyranny than Bogus Blojob himself.

    What most don’t yet quite get is that the Tory Hierarchy are exactly the same middle/upper class marxistic scum. They may not talk the talk–they talk faux patriotic bullshit instead–but they intend to walk the walk. With social credit tyranny and greenfreak impoverishment of first the plebs then all non-elite.

  14. @rjb It has recently been pointed out to me that this is “oikophobia”, the hatred of the familiar, and it does seem to explain a lot of woke policy and behaviour.

    It’s hard to be an “elite” when your values and beliefs are the same as the masses. You don’t get the same feeling of condescending smugness.

  15. JuliaM- yes her speech was dripping with cliché, which invites cynicism. it was also because she’s promising an outcome not policies. That sets off alarm bells.

  16. Theophrastus (2066)

    “It has recently been pointed out to me that this is “oikophobia”, the hatred of the familiar…”
    ‘Oikophobia’ is fear of home – from Greek ‘oikos’ – home or household. (Also, economics comes from ‘oikos nomos’ or household management.)

  17. Theophrastus (2066)


    “…the government has totally bombed the economy…”

    No, it hasn’t. It has suppressed demand*, which is quite different. Once the restrictions on demand come off, the economy will expand rapidly – by more than 7% this year, according to the BoE. A “totally bombed” economy would be one where supply and demand were both suppressed or destroyed.

    *whether or not this was necessary is another discussion.

  18. Hartlepool where Mandleson got elected, and Labour tried to go with Tory sleaze as a strategy, voters obviously not bothered with that one.
    Hopefully he has a meltdown, just a shame it wasn’t him being kicked out. On of the most shameless politicians around, someone who manages to make even politicians look worse

  19. Bloke in North Korea (Germany province)

    It’s hardly a secret that I don’t agree with the UKIP aim, or the outcome (while respecting the democratic decision and having defended such on principle to the point of losing remoaner friends), but I definitely respect the “let’s get this thing done” attitude over “let’s get into power and milk it for the next X decades”.

    Now, how do we achieve this with an anti-lockdown party?

    You’ve got 30% of the population whose lives are totally unchanged by lockdown, except the face nappy for the weekly trip to supermarket.

    30% of the population who are happier because they aren’t forced to interact with the modern world.

    20% are terrified into compliance with this new religion/faith/zealotry.

    And the rest of us totally fucked, and seeing our future totally fucked by that coalition of the compliant and indifferent.

    Any tips, Tim? You’ve succeeded before, can you help us out on this one?

  20. Suppressed demand? Oh it’s Theo’s “Theo’s conservatory -no pun intended–and his wife’s hairdo will save us all” bullshit again is it?

    This was a self-created Labour defeat not a Tory victory. A bit like the Duke of Wellington (and please: the comparison ends there) waking up Waterloo morning to discover Napoleon and his army had all shot themselves the night before.

    Tory “campaigning” consist of bullshit promises of legions of jobs that will never materialize.

    You cant run freeports and green ruin rundowns of most major industries-cars+air travel for plebs/energy/petro-chemical inc oil industry and the comfortable lifestyle ord people enjoy–both at the same time.

    Had Labour stood for personal freedom -a joke with socialism I know–and joined with Tory rebels they might have defeated Johnson several times already and prevented his tinpot tyranny. That would have got back some ground lost in Dec 19. But they chose to kiss Johnson’s fat arse while moaning his antics weren’t evil and destructive enough. Plus taunting UK Brexit supporters–an increasing majority–with their love of Remain and Remainiacs. Including the mouthy kingshite Remainiac they picked as Hartlepool candidate. As a “fuck you” spit-in-the-eye for the people they claim they want as Labour voters. They discovered 2+ 2 does not make 5 just because they decree it.

    It will be next up Blojob Johnson’s turn to learn that lesson. Bogus faux patriotic bullshit talk has sustained the twat so far but that is fading. He has the stage to himself now. That he is a talentless and malign hack cannot be hidden from even the dim cowardly mugs much longer.

  21. I was a small part of that machine, not a driving force. You need to find your Nigel………our Nigel perhaps

  22. A party dedicated to nibbling off a bit of Tory and a bit of Labour in support of real liberties until the pressure is unbearable for one or both and they do it themselves. Some older Tory lovers of of lock down possibly need to shuffle off their mortal coil or see their wealth taxed hard to pay for it all before there is any hope of getting a bit of Freedom back…

    Given the people turning out to protest, I think it’s gonna be Corbyn’s brother rather than a Nigel or a rightish wing type…..

  23. I don’t know if anybody mentioned it, but something else has shifted. People like free stuff. In the past it was clear you had to have socialism to get free stuff, so campaigning on “vote socialism, get free stuff” was a winning forumula. But the Conservatives have demonstrated that you can have free stuff without socialism, so the choice is now free stuff, but with socialism stealing everything to give you grey bland free stuff as long as you behave, or free stuff without socialism. People are happy to go for the free stuff without the socialism.

  24. jgh–Only 3 ways to get free stuff with socialism.

    1-Try to produce actual goods/services in socialist production facilities Proven disastrously false and unworkable by Soviets and Mao’s China.
    2-Steal by Taxation. Just drives productive away and/or out of activity if they cant escape your thieving clutches.
    3-Printing funny money by the ton.

    What you call “free stuff without socialism” is No 3. Sunak’s funny money is the reason Johnson has been able to wipe his arse on UK for the last 12 months and still be in No 10.

    But the bill will be due soon.

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