In the final week before the manifestos drop, it’s there's lots of speculation in the world of the election. Labour is going to eat the children! The Lib Dems will give everyone £4,000 to spend on puppies! The Tories will get Brexit done!
Which makes everything a little chaotic. As we get closer to the day of reckoning, the nights are getting darker and the gaffes worse. Boris Johnson initially refused to call a state of emergency despite the flooding in Yorkshire and made a deal with the Brexit party (probably) so they won’t stand in Conservative-held seats. Candidates are standing down left right and centre after only putting themselves forward moments before. Jo Swinson keeps pretending like the Lib Dems are A Thing. I’m not even sure exactly what Nigel Farage is doing to overcome his deep, gnawing sense of irrelevance, but I’m sure it’s suitably obnoxious.
5. CANDIDATES WHO QUIT MOMENTS AFTER STANDING
It seems like every week now that candidates are stepping down for saying racist, sexist or classist things on Twitter. Who exactly is responsible for vetting these candidates is unclear, but what I can say with confidence is that it's always fun to watch the clusterfuck ensue after it emerges that they tweeted how much they hate [enter minority].
This week, we’ve had Kevin McNamara, a Lib Dem candidate for Thurrock in Essex stepped down after racist and homophobic tweets were discovered. And don’t forget Andrew Griffiths, who in 2018 resigned from his ministerial position after he sent 2,000 sexually explicit texts in the space of three weeks to two female constituents, standing down in 2019 in his seat in Burton. A double standing down! Thrilling! And then there’s those who still haven’t stood down, like Anthony Browne, the Conservative MP who a former aide to Boris Johnson who wrote in a Spectator column that immigrants were bringing HIV to the UK.
Just another day in British politics x
4. THE LIB DEM CANDIDATE WHO SAID SHE’D WON A NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
From the people who bought you “dodgy polling charts” and “bad surveys based on leading questions”, we present to you “Lib Dem candidate who said she won a Nobel Peace Prize despite not winning a Nobel Peace Prize”!
3. JO SWINSON’S "GIRLY SWOT" T-SHIRT
In true head girl / “can I talk to the manager” / asks you to take your feet off the train seat even when she’s not sitting there-style, Lib Dem leader Swinson made a public appearance this week in a t-shirt with the words “Girly Swot” written on it next to a black widow brooch that resembled the one worn by Supreme Court president Lady Hale. Class this outfit in the same superficially woke category as a Harry Potter mug that says “Without Hermione, Harry would have died in Book 1”.
The idea that misleading information is a big part of any election – or that MPs lie – is nothing new. But with the mass dissemination of information through the internet and little regulation on what’s true or false, things can get a bit out of hand. Lies are powerful: we've already covered the dubious polling techniques of the Lib Dems, and you only need to look at Brexit to see how misleading information can swing a vote.
Then there’s the right-wing press, who make no qualms about publishing factually-dubious information. This week, the Sunday Times published a headline on Labour’s spending policy based on Conservative calculations, claiming that it would borrow “one trillion pounds” if it came into power, which just sounds like they could have said “1 bajilion” or “1 gazillion” and it would have been about as accurate. This was also parroted by Tory MP Giles Watling in a debate on BBC Question Time.
This was later debunked by organisation Full Fact as a claim based on no clear evidence – the Tories had not calculated or costed Labour’s borrowing (or spending, as it was originally claimed), nor had there been any Labour literature claiming this.
1. BORIS JOHNSON GETTING SHOUTED AT BY NORTHERN WOMEN
There is truly no limit to the enjoyment felt watching Boris Johnson get dragged in public. You just simply cannot get bored of it. After visiting flooded Doncaster around five days too late, he had to face the full force of Strong Northern Mam™, angered by his inaction over the floods. In a video that truly exemplifies the distance between our current prime minister and normal, everyday people, a volunteer from Stainforth is seen berating Johnson, asking “Why did it take you so long?” Johnson could only muffle out some pathetic PR line.
And then another true comrade in the fight for socialism emerged – this time a woman pushing a wheelbarrow (a true object of the resistance) also in Stainforth, who batters away Johnson’s attempt to make small talk, tells him she doesn’t want to speak to him and that he’s done nothing for them. Not to mention all the other various Yorkshire residents telling Johnson, in not so many words, to fuck off.
Northern Women of the World, Unite!