The U.K. election has delivered a huge victory to conservatives—and to Tory leader Boris Johnson—and astounding losses to the Labour Party. The results mean much more than the Conservative Party continuing to control the U.K.'s governing bodies.
With at least 364 seats won, the Conservative Party has well surpassed the number required for a majority in Parliament. Prime Minster Boris Johnson "will now enjoy a comfortable majority to 'get Brexit done'—in other words, to pass the withdrawal agreement that he negotiated with European Union leaders in October," notes The Economist.
"In truth, the election-night story was not so much that of a Tory surge but of a Labour slump," the magazine adds.
A working class revolt - against the left. https://t.co/t0V2cxMNLy
— Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) December 13, 2019
The Jeremy Corbyn–led Labour Party will see its parliamentary vote share drop eight points. It was the party's worst showing since 1935.
Labour's steepest drops came in areas where the Nigel Farage–led Brexit Party did well. (But as The Spectator notes, Farage's party did not "even come close to winning a single parliamentary seat.")
I'm sure I'm not the first to point this out, but at national vote share level, this is *not* a Labour to Tory swing. It's Labour to Lib-Dem and Brexit Party. The *Green* vote increased in absolute numbers by almost as much as the Tory vote. pic.twitter.com/0JaDPE4jMY
— Jo Michell (@JoMicheII) December 13, 2019
In any event, it looks like Brexit is on.
Looks like Brexit's getting done friends. pic.twitter.com/iEjY3B1qhO
— Kate Andrews (@KateAndrs) December 12, 2019
And with the chances of Scottish secession rising again, some say this could kick off the destruction of the United Kingdom itself.
The election also speaks to the rising power of combining left-leaning economic policy with conservative social views and immigration policies (so, you know, the worst of all words for free minds/markets/migration types).
Simple lesson: there is a big majority in US and U.K. for anti-pc nationalism wedded to leftist economics. The first Democrat to get there wins.
— Andrew Sullivan (@sullydish) December 13, 2019
Britain's third largest party, the Liberal Democrats, also "had a dreadful night," points out The Economist. And yet
the Tories' mighty new coalition is sure to come under strain. With its mix of blue collars and red trousers, the new party is ideologically incoherent. The northern votes are merely on loan. To keep them Mr Johnson will have to give people what they want—which means infrastructure, spending on health and welfare, and a tight immigration policy. By contrast, the Tories' old supporters in the south believe that leaving the EU will unshackle Britain and usher in an era of freewheeling globalism. Mr Johnson will doubtless try to paper over the differences. However, whereas Mr Trump's new coalition in America has been helped along by a roaring economy, post-Brexit Britain is likely to stall.
Some say the results highlight how it's easier for right-leaning politicians and parties to embrace left-leaning policies than vice versa, though this idea has its skeptics:
Another way to frame this same theory would be that conservative economic policies are wildly unpopular and have to be carried into government hidden in a Trojan horse of reactionary identity politics https://t.co/TmZia5Srb9
— Ames Grawert (@AmesCG) December 13, 2019
"The British election results, like any election result, is the result of unique circumstances and multiple factors," suggests Jonathan Chait at Intelligencer. "It is also, however, a test of a widely articulated political theory that has important implications for American politics. That theory holds that Corbyn's populist left-wing platform is both necessary and sufficient in order to defeat the rising nationalist right. Corbyn's crushing defeat is a decisive refutation."
"Vaping policy" consumes White House.
It's also been one of the most dysfunctional policy efforts we've seen in this White House. And that's saying something. Constantly shifting policy without knowledge of key staff, driven by anecdotal political analysis ahead of public health analysis, etc. https://t.co/McqqS5KZBI
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) December 13, 2019
A good piece from Jane Coaston on the new porn wars, with cameos by Katherine Mangu-Ward and myself:
For several decades now, movement conservatism has adhered to Andrew Breitbart's maxim that "politics is downstream of culture," arguing that rather than engage the forces of government to create change, conservatives should focus on changing popular culture instead. But some social conservatives are now arguing the very opposite….
Arguments in favor of the use of laws to change or improve human behavior hasn't been a characteristic of the post-2010 conservative movement that still bears the influence of the Tea Party and libertarian-leaning Republicans. In fact, Mangu-Ward told me that such arguments were, in her view, generally made by left-leaning politicians and thinkers. Referencing former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's efforts to ban large sodas, she said such rationales stem from "the idea that we should prohibit people from making bad choices," or in short, "make the bad thing illegal."
Catholic theocrat and New York Post op-ed editor Sohrab Ahmari told Coaston that pornography is "degrading" and "Andrea Dworkin was right."
- Rep. Thomas Massie (R–Ky.) is introducing a milk freedom bill:
Our Interstate Milk Freedom Act simply says that if two states have legalized the sale of unpasteurized milk, then no federal department, agency, or court may take any action to prohibit or restrict the interstate traffic of milk between those two states.https://t.co/ZN80TQgqQZ
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) December 12, 2019
"The Senate @HSGAC is expected to unveil legislation that would give the @DHSgov's cyber agency the power to issue administrative subpoenas to Internet Service Providers for subscriber information related to critical infrastructure IT." https://t.co/cvA0TrT5Rm pic.twitter.com/I2y9HZUHWs
— Protect Our Power (@GridProtection) December 12, 2019
- A West Hollywood councilman wants to launch a task force to look at the "lived experience of sex workers in West Hollywood and the greater Los Angeles area" and prepare a report for local and county authorities.
- American Samoans are U.S. citizens by birth, says a federal judge. "American Samoans living in Utah brought the suit in 2018, arguing that being 'non-citizen nationals' instead of US citizens closed the door to some employment opportunities and didn't allow them to vote, among other rights afforded to US citizens," reports CNN.
- California's gig worker "protection" bill continues to harm gig workers and freelancers.
- The new U.K. Parliament will have a record number of women:
— Janine Gibson (@janinegibson) December 13, 2019
British democracy in one image. The Prime Minister next to Elmo, a man who has just finished a 1920s motor race, and someone wearing a t shirt saying "Jeffrey Epstein Didn't Kill Himself." pic.twitter.com/WePXKIhEat
— Ned Donovan (@Ned_Donovan) December 13, 2019