I don't think I'll be watching the coverage this time, because there's no realistic possibility of getting a result which isn't utterly awful. In fact I've never been less eager to know the result of an election.
Not being a Tory voter and anticipating that my readership isn't either, I don't see much point in dwelling on just how awful I find the current crop of Tory leaders and their policies. In short :
Then we've got the Labour party. Never did I think there would come a day when I looked at Labour and thought, "yep, they're just as bad". Now, let me clear - most of their policies are a damn sight better than the Tories. I like their anti-austerity approach. I like their pledge to cut university tuition fees, introduce a corporation tax and re-nationalise the railways. I don't think all of these are entirely practical (in particular I think their economic approach consists largely of wishful thinking) or that they'd achieve all of their goals as well as stated, but if it was a case of voting purely on policies, Labour would win hands down. Unfortunately, it isn't.
The problem for Labour is trust and ability. I've said all this before several times. Since no-one is listening, let me just summarise because when the faeces hit the proverbial fan - and they will - I'll point to this post and say "I FRICKIN' TOLD YOU SO YOU DUNCE SEE THIS ANGRY RANT AND LINKS THEREIN FOR DETAILS YOU BLITHERING IDIOT !". So at least I'll have that moment of bitter pleasure as the country goes the way of Atlantis.
Corbyn's policies - leaving aside the (credible) prospect of returning too much power to the unions and threatening us with nationwide strikes every five minutes - are ideologically opposed to much of what we've seen in British politics for the last many elections. At last, those of us of the same leanings thought on his election victory, a chance for us to have a real voice, to start something really new. What did he do ? After the first leadership election, sod all. He continued doing sod all throughout the Brexit campaign. He had a fantastic, unprecedented opportunity to start building a real social movement for a new type and form of politics, and he completely and utterly wasted it. The current Tory crop were never popular, but instead of taking advantage he just sort of sat there, shuffling his feet and presumably growing amusing vegetables in his allotment.
In fact he did nothing much of anything except when his "power" was under threat. MPs were threatened with deselection, his own innumerable rebellions dismissed as matters of principle whilst insisting that the party follow his line, resorting to "I was elected with a mandate of blah blah blah" as though it were some kind of insanely powerful magical chant that could ward off evil spirits and awkward questions whenever the least bit threatened. That his own MPs were all democratically elected as well, and had principles of their own, he cared not a jot. Did he even challenge the naked xenophobic racism of UKIP during the Brexit campaign ? Not really. Even UKIP's own MP seemed to be more concerned than Corbyn did.
He won another election campaign but remained oblivious to his wider unpopularity. He ignored losing a vote of no confidence from his MPs as though somehow that would all just go away once he somehow won the election for them (which he later described as "rigged" but vowed to win anyway - oh, yay).
Well, it won't. You can't form a government from people who hate you. It doesn't matter how much you want to, or even why they hate you, you can't. What we'll get is a shambolic, impotent farce, and Corbyn won't care. What makes me think so ? Because he hasn't shown a glimmer of caring at all thus far in his leadership career. He didn't care about building up support in opposition - he cared only about his own position. If you think he's magically going to turn into some kind of Action Man as Prime Minister and start rallying the troops, you're going to be disappointed.
remarkable given his diametrically opposed style and policies.
Furthermore, Corbyn's initially novel approach of not always knowing what to say and being a bit socially awkward has long since given to way to, at best, just another form of classic political bullshit and often is just textbook-standard bullshit without anything the least bit interesting about it. He used to at least basically acknowledge that he couldn't answer questions; now he just answers different questions instead. Straight talking honest politics ? It looks oh so much like standard spin doctoring to me I find it hard to tell the difference. It isn't even straightforward honest bullshit, because with most politicians at least everyone knows they're just spewing political crap that you're not supposed to take seriously.
Everything about this man and his cabinet, to me, screams, "DANGER ! DANGER !". There are two possibilities. Either he's chronically incompetent and apathetic, in which case Labour really will be annihilated at the election next time if not sooner, or he's actually villainous. The latter possibility is something I give serious credit to. There are just too many associations with terror groups, too many admissions and - ironically - denials which are quickly refuted and sheer bullshitting about alleged and documented meetings, too many times of giving terrorists organisations far more than grudging respect but an open hand of friendship. Corbyn wasn't involved in the peace process in Northern Ireland at all, so why are we now expected to believe that he was ? He never had any role in the Middle East peace process either, so what's he doing calling Hamas his friends ?
I'd love to believe this was all just Tory propaganda on a par with the time the Daily Mail called Ed Milliband's father "the man who hated Britain". That instance was ludicrous. It was so outrageous it even got Ed "hell yes I'm socially awkward !" Milliband fired up, for crying out loud. But Corbyn and the IRA ? The man doesn't bat an eyelid. Similar accusations toward Diane Abbott - a woman who continuously seems like a high school student giving her first presentation with zero rehearsals but who somehow thinks the oratory isn't important in politics - and John McDonnell are met with similar pathetic denials. Getting them to admit that terrorism is wrong is possible, but by God it's like pulling teeth from a donkey*. This pattern of behaviour is too consistent and too broad-ranging among Corbyn's cronies to dismiss as entirely fanciful. The absolute best-case scenario is a widespread track record of massive, massive incompetence and really utterly shite judgement. The worst case scenario doesn't bear thinking about. In either case, the idea of straight talking honest politics is just so ludicrous it's becoming frankly offensive to common sense.
*Likewise, you can read whatever Brexit policy you like best if you cherry-pick the right bits from Corbyn's occasional statements and don't care about statistics.
That's why, then, I don't think this election represents the clear choice it's being made out to be. Even between Milliband and Cameron, two relative centrists, the choice was far clearer. But now we've got the Nasty Party on the right and the impotent lunatic communist party of the left. Whoopdee-frickin'-doo-dah.
This is far worse than the situation of voting for someone I just don't like very much. Sorry people, but I'm not that stupid - I do recognise the difference between things I dislike and things I'm morally opposed to. And the current leadership of Labour scare the bejesus out of me - yes, every bit as much as the Tories. It's not a case of choosing the lesser of two evils or of voting for the Labour party so that the Tories don't get in. I despise the Tory party, but Labour have gone and made themselves into something just as bad. That it's a different kind of bad does not remedy the level of badness : I'm not voting for them, and you shouldn't either.
Suppose the associations of terrorist sympathies are just overblown fanciful nonsense, touch wood. Then you still have a track record of chronic incompetence in the shadow cabinet led by a man who pretty much ignored the biggest political issue of this generation because he has the lunatic idea that the EU is all about crushing people beneath the mighty boot of capitalism. You have someone in charge who was not the slightest bit interested in holding the government to account in opposition, i.e. in doing his frickin' job. What in the blazes makes you think this is going to end well ? It won't. Hasn't got a hope in hell.
Best case for a Labour majority : an incompetent shambles of such a scale that it will be child's play for the press to turn against them, yes, even if the Tory party remain as bad as they are now. You might be voting for them purely on the basis that you prefer Labour's policies and genuinely don't care about the leaders, but if you do that you are handing the Labour party its own destruction on a silver platter.
Best case for a Labour-led coalition government ? Scarcely much better. Corbyn doesn't even listen to his own MPs so there's not much reason to think he'll listen other parties. And, much as I respect certain members of the SNP, I'm not entirely convinced that people who think Scottish independence is a good idea could act as any real kind of moderating force anyway.
Best case Labour loss with a Tory victory (or somehow another coalition) ? The best outcome, not improbable, would be that the Tories get a very small minority that could be challenged by backbench rebellions so that they won't keep molesting the populace on a daily basis without some restraint. Corbyn could finally see sense and leave and hand the torch of party reform on to someone who's not a communist. Unfortunately that latter prospect won't happen unless Labour's loss is devastating (thus giving us five years of unopposed rule by the Grand High Witch), because Corbyn takes the smallest signs of approval as absolute endorsements by the whole country and has a long track record of refusing to leave when it's patently obvious even to members of the Monster Raving Loony Party that he needs to go. So that isn't going to happen.
Best case long term realistic solution ? Labour have to split. Take a lesson from the Simpsons :
But most likely, for the next five years everything political is just going to suck. Sorry people, but it will. We're screwed.
(Is there any ray of light at all ? Perhaps one. Now that he's got off his arse because his position is under threat, Corbyn has exposed the weakness and vulnerability of the Tory party. Austerity isn't popular and May doesn't look sensible. Left wing ideologies remain alive and well, but sadly, with tremendous irony, it looks very much as though Corbyn could inadvertently be the one to deal the death blow to left-wing politics.)