Skip to main content

Some polite words regarding the British General Election on July 4

Bring out the champagne.

4 min read

Apropos of nothing, here's some lettuce

On July 4th I’ll be on the beautiful Oregon coast, and I plan to have a bottle of champagne handy. Not so much because of the American Independence Day — although there’s nothing wrong with celebrating that, and I’m sure I will — but because of the British election happening on the same day.

It’s been a long fourteen years of the worst government imaginable: a Conservative Party that brought about the formidable economic and social own-goal of Brexit, an intellectual blunderbuss to the foot followed by several subsequent very practical blunderbusses to the crotch, followed by a succession of the most ineffectual, rotten-souled Prime Ministers in British history, one of whom famously had less staying power than a literal salad. It was brought into being by a coalition aided by Nick Clegg (who has since made a career of putting a shiny face on terrible things), and then pitifully trumped along in a meandering path fueled by middling opposition, middle-England small-island nationalism, and the distant, smarmy memory of Tony Blair and the Iraq War. (Here I mean lowercase T trump, which means fart, rather than uppercase T Trump, which means Trump.)

I’m not particularly excited about Keir Starmer’s Labour. It seems to be a sort of 21st century riff on John Major’s Conservative Party of the mid-nineties, presumably in an effort to reach old-school Conservative voters who are sick of the Asda own-brand lunacy of the modern incarnation of their party, knowing that actual left-wing voters have nowhere else to turn. So this isn’t me hoping for major change from him; I expect very little to actually happen. But I am absolutely psyched for the Tories to have their well-heeled posteriors handed to them and their nannies with a fork and knife, finally. It’s been a long time coming.

If it sounds like it’s personal: yes, it’s personal. I’m a European citizen who grew up in the UK and left for the US to look after a parent, assuming I’d just go back afterwards. It didn’t even occur to me that David Cameron would hold a ham-fisted referendum on European membership, and it didn’t seem to occur to him that he’d lose it and the country would vote to leave. (Ham-fisted, of course, is the way he likes it.) I took it very personally; I still take it very personally; if this post feels like I’m being unusually effluviant, please know that I am holding myself back.

I’m under no illusions of any major change, even outside of Keir Starmer’s Primark blandness. All these runts will get cushy jobs as chairmen of boards and minty after-dinner speakers. Britain is effed to infinity, and there’s only so much play you can even have within that framework, particularly considering that nobody seems to want to shift the Overton window even slightly leftwards. Heaven forbid you protect the poor and vulnerable and strive to build an inclusive society within a lasting peace. Still, the catharsis of seeing those cordyceps zombie-suits roundly voted away from the nominal seat of power, even if their ilk will continue to be the effective ruling class for evermore, will give me some superficial glee. So, champagne.

Oh, and I’m excited to see Nigel Farage get his, too.

Now, back to technology and stuff.

· Asides · Share this post