Tough Day for the Boris-Hating Punditocracy

Today is a tough day for journalists and columnists who will never be as successful as Boris, particularly the ones that wrote him off.

And what happened to Gove?


Of course it’s not just the pundits who wrote Boris off:

As Brexiteers celebrate tonight, spare a thought for the principled haters and even the mere detesters of Boris, Rafael Behr, Matthew d’Ancona, Philip Collins‏, Polly Toynbee, Owen Jones and not forgetting, of course, Mathew Parris. It can’t be easy for them…

Stephen Bush Becomes New Statesman Pol Ed

The New Statesman’s editor Jason Cowley has made George Eaton joint deputy editor with Tom Gatti. Congratulations to Stephen Bush who is promoted to political editor. Cowley says: “These appointments are to prepare for a planned expansion of the New Statesman in 2019. We have had another successful year…” Losses last year were £477,271.

Stephen Bush On Labour’s Divisions

Stephen Bush writing in the New Statesman‘s morning briefing…

“The terrifying truth is that the Opposition is too divided – within the parliamentary party, within the trades unions, within the Shadow Cabinet and even within the leader’s office – to be anything other than a veto player as far as Brexit goes, and the party’s whole gambit is really about trying to make that weakness look like a strength. Keir Starmer saying that Labour is “increasingly likely” to vote down the deal is simply a reflection of the fact that the one thing the Labour party will be able to agree on as far as Brexit goes is that Theresa May’s deal is no good.”

Will the Young Still Grow into Old Tories?

Who Would You NEVER Vote For?

The Centre for Policy Studies is trying to convert the young away from socialism and fix “the urgent need for the Conservative Party to make the case for its values and principles to the younger generation”.  What Guido noticed in their pamphlet was the party people say they would never vote for. No surprises, antipathy to the Tories halves as the decades pass – and the number for whom voting Labour becomes anathema triples. It echoes that ever-contested quote: “If a man is not a socialist by the time he is 20, he has no heart. If he is not a conservative by the time he is 40, he has no brain.” Perhaps the age brackets are out of date…

Stephen Bush argued in the New Statesman that “this time it is different” and as people get older their values won’t change, they will basically stay socially liberal and keep voting Labour. An argument that has been made since the 1960s and it still hasn’t stopped the centre-right governing for most of the last half-century in most of the West. He could be right about the future, however it is the populists who are hoovering up support from socially conservative types intolerant of minorities. Conventional centre-right conservative parties are already socially liberal in most Western democracies.

David Aaronovitch, Emily Thornberry and others argue that the “Brexit generation” are dying out. Demographics suggest otherwise, people are living longer and voting for right-of-centre parties for longer. Their numbers will be refreshed, just as they have throughout the last century, as younger Labour voters become parents and homeowners. That is so long as the Tories fix the housing affordability problem…

Newsnight Done With Tom

newsnight runners riders

BBC sources tell Guido that senior management has overruled editor Ian Katz in his first choice for the Newsnight pol-ed job. The Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn has been vetoed as too expensive in a time of BBC austerity and job cuts, as well as being too tainted by proximity to Murdoch for the Beeb’s tastes. Stephen Bush is still pencilled in to deputise in a wonkish, political analyst / reporter role…

The telegenic Nic Watt must surely be the front-runner with Newsnight now in danger – due to notice periods – of not having a political editor to cover the referendum. Guido understands that Watt is none too pleased to have been messed around by Newsnight hitherto. Other names in Katz’s hat can be culled from all over the Lobby. Bookies are no longer taking bets….

Star Wars Politics

STARWARS-SIE

Everyone seems to have a take on the politics of Star Wars, was it a Cold War allegory, with the Empire as the Soviet Union? Now that death star has been destroyed the Empire is being re-cast by some as the European Union – after all Princess Padmé Amidala (played by Natalie Portman) in Revenge of the Sith is engaged in a trade treaty dispute at the Galactic Parliament. Her people of Naboo, a small constitutional monarchy, could perhaps be the British, which makes Nick Clegg a political Jar Jar Binks.

James Delingpole makes some sound points about the Star Wars fight for freedom, Tyler Durden too over at Zero Hedge makes a case for Star Wars being an example of libertarian myth-making. The New Statesman’s Stephen Bush seems to accept that the heroes are counter-revolutionary freedom fighters against an oppressive galactic state. He even calls the Jedis “Tories”…

One thing is for sure, these are not the Jedis you are looking for:

corbynista-jedis

YouGov have asked the British public which Star Wars character political leaders identify with:

Clearly they think politicians are baddies…

Delingpole v Stephen Bush on Star Wars

Staggering Political Balance From Sky News

To discuss PMQs on Sky News, a wide range of hacks were put on air. In the lefty corner we have the New Statesman’s Harry Lambert and on the centre left we have Stephen Bush from the, er, New Statesman.

Another Telegraph Departure

Landing in inboxes this morning was the last Telegraph morning briefing from Stephen Bush before he leaves for the Staggers. Wonder what that headline could mean…

Seen Elsewhere