Guest Post – What a Difference A Day Makes

This blog has not spent much time talking about the British election result – mainly because the Tories won, albeit with a very much reduced majority, and so it is, as they say, business as usual.

But I had been feeling some disquiet for a while about this election.

I am a Brit, who has lived here for over 30 years, but still have a lot of family and friends in Britain. And what surprised me most was that just about all of them made it clear – on public forums like Facebook – that were voting Labour.

They have never done this before. They are British. They keep their political opinions to themselves.

So why would they scorn Ed Milliband in droves, and yet vote for a nutcase like Jeremy Corbyn as their Prime Minister? It made no sense.  

Jeremy Corbyn was laughed at from Day 1 of his leadership. Tony Blair even threatened to come back into politics to save Labour from itself. The party was in turmoil.

The worst kept secret in recent political history is that Theresa May was not looking for a ‘mandate’ at all. She wanted to smash Labour into political oblivion. That was to be her legacy.

And Labour in the UK seemed to be heading that way, with the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader being the final nail in the coffin. The party, to be honest, had simply lost its way – and lost the goodwill of the electorate along with it.

Or had it?

During the election campaign, the media had villified Jeremy Corbyn – from calling him a bumbling fool to an IRA sympathiser – even criticising him for turning up to a media interview with an iPad. An iPad, for goodness sake.

But, on the campaign trail, Corbyn presented himself well. And the British public finally began to see him as he really was – passionate, genuine, and not such a bad guy after all.

Socialists are always good at spending other people’s money, and he would never have been able to pay for all the things he promised. Nevertheless, he turned up for TV interviews and the televised political debates, and sent his message. Theresa May didn’t bother. She thought she didn’t have to do anything other than sleepwalk her way to a bigger majority. She was wrong.

You know what they say about the British – blow up the Houses of Parliament, and they will be a bit miffed. But forget to put the milk in the teacup first, and riots may ensue. They are a contrary lot, And they don’t like arrogance. Theresa May displayed arrogance in spades.

So, when you watch a leaders debate as you try to decide who to vote for, if one of the leaders doesn’t turn up, it weakens their position. Massively. It also makes the audience feel a little bit miffed.

And one thing you could say about Corbyn is that he never gave up. He used every opportunity to get as much oxygen as possible – and boy, did it work out in his favour.

So, far from spelling the end of Labour, Jeremy Corbyn has rejuvenated the party – bringing it back from political oblivion in a way no one ever saw coming.

To draw a parallel with Labour in NZ, it would only take one aspirational leader to turn the electorate tide and become the main party of the next Government. The UK election has just proved that.

I’d like to say that Andrew Little isn’t it – but nobody thought that Jeremy Corbyn would manage it either.

I find it hard to believe I am supporting Jeremy Corbyn, and I would never have voted for him in a million years – but having seen a little bit of him on the campaign trail, I actually found him quite likable – and definitely very committed to making life better for the downtrodden in Britain. (I need a lie down.)

He didn’t win – and that is probably a good thing. But he gave his all. And he can hold his head high, and hope for another chance soon.

In the meantime, the knives of the media are now turning in Theresa May’s direction.

What a difference a day makes.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.