That’s the thing about democracy…

…it’s all well and good until actually, not enough people agree with your point of view.

If you’d have looked at social media for the last few weeks, you’d have seen a near non-stop barrage of anti-Boris, anti-Conservative, Pro-Corbyn rhetoric. If social media was the way in which new governments were elected, there would surely be no doubt as to who the winner would have been.

But – shock, horror – that’s not the way things work. And suddenly, reality has hit home and Boris has been elected with a massive majority.

There are a few different ways that you can deal with this sort of disappointment. You can wail, gnash your teeth and stamp on a newspaper picture of a triumphant Mr Johnson, like a toddler who didn’t get its way:

Nah then, Mardy Bum!

But it really won’t make any difference. And then a cleaner will have to clean up after you. Well done, Uzair.

You could accept that maybe your party didn’t have a clear policy on Brexit, didn’t work hard enough get rid of its massive anti-semitism problem, didn’t approach the election and the electorate well.
Or maybe your party did have a clear Brexit policy, but not the one that people wanted. Maybe your party also had a clear leader until last night in Dunbartonshire East.

But no. Surely the best way is just to keep telling yourself – and everyone else – that those people who voted Conservative are just stupid. Maybe throw in a Turkish proverb (and I’ve seen this three times already, so it must be true):

‘The forest was shrinking, but the trees kept voting for the Axe, for the Axe was clever and convinced the trees that because his handle was made of wood he was one of them.’

or just let people know that you know what’s going on, and the 14 million individuals who voted the other way, simply don’t:

Honestly, voters are just sleepwalking our country into a worsening services crisis.

or combine the Turkey thing and the festive season and tell those 14 million Conservative voters that they’re clearly idiots and you know better than them; you know better than all of them.

If the exit polls are correct, the turkeys haven’t just voted for Christmas, they’ve helped hang the decorations and buy the stuffing!!!

After all, choosing to belittle Leave voters after the Brexit referendum worked really well and got that one reversed, so why not?

And then, the final option: your plan to move abroad. Apparently, Ireland always looked great (although it rains a lot). Portugal: shit economy, difficult language, but an EU passport. Or now – suddenly – Scotland. You’ve always liked Scotland. Oh, The Drama of it all. I did lol.

#notmygoverrnment?

Mmm. Yeah. Actually, it is. That’s just how it works.

Look, I’m not saying that Boris Johnson is going to be the greatest leader that the UK has ever had. I’m not saying that Brexit is going to be easy – albeit that this is clearly a mandate for it to finally go ahead now.

But what I am saying that life really isn’t over just because “your guys” didn’t win. I’ve often been a bit sad when Sheffield United didn’t get the result I wanted, but hey, we’re all still here, aren’t we?

Hello?

UPDATE:

Oh right. That’ll be what it is then. [rolleyes emoji]

#TrollingTheGuardian

Not really moving on from my angry rant about political hysteria comes the wonderful twitter hashtag #TrollingTheGuardian. An open opportunity to take the piss out of their columnists who, by way of their wildly lefty thinkpieces, have been doing exactly the same to us for years and years now.

People have been busy, and the results are hilarious.

Some examples of the genre:

And now, as if to demonstrate just how utterly bonkers some of the Guardian’s headlines are, let me tell you that several of those examples above are actual genuine Guardian headlines. Yes, including the poo one.

If there’s one thing that can be said for The Guardian, it’s that at least it doesn’t hide its left-leaning. Rather it celebrates it, like a little hammer and sickle pin badge on its beret; like something to be proud of. Compare that with The Independent, which still claims to be… well… independent, but is actually chilling alongside the Big G on the red side of the bed.

Twitter hashtags come and go, but #TrollingTheGuardian is one that I will be revisiting regularly.

Political hysteria

It’s election time in the UK, and I’m really glad I’m not there.

If the hysteria and hypocrisy on social media is anything to go by (and to be fair, it’s probably not), it must be an absolute crapfest over there at the moment.

Taking a step back 6000 miles… away from the situation, it’s always interesting to me what the combination of acute politics, access to the internet and a glass or two of wine can bring out in people. In an age when we are trying desperately hard to educate our kids as to the dangers of poor social media etiquette, people – parents! – really don’t seem to think before they share and post stuff online.

Take this hilarious meme, for example. Yes, yes, I see what they’re trying to say here, and of course they’re entitled to their political opinions, but in stating one particular party in the slightly altered heading (did you even notice?), for me, they’re implying that any other party’s propaganda is fine.

That definition of propaganda for you:

information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view.

So if one party is lying, that’s [emoji poo], but for anyone else, it’s fine?
Ok then.

It’s another good example of the hypocrisy that is conveniently overlooked when shouting about these things. Because if you think that Labour or the Lib Dems (other parties are available) are going to deliver on their election promises, you really haven’t been concentrating on any election ever.
And yet the people posting this sort of crap are (mostly) well-educated, professional individuals who wouldn’t dream of saying something so clearly illogical in any other area of their life.

There’s some major sociological study just waiting for a suitable PhD candidate right here. (It’s probably already been done, to be honest.)

I’ve said it about sport:

…it’s fine to be irrational, as long as you know you’re being irrational. Sport brings out the irrational side in a lot of people…

The trouble is, much like sport, politics encourages this weird kind of behaviour as well. And, much like sport, it’s exacerbated by social media.

Take a look at your friends’ posts online now. And if you don’t see this phenomenon, you’ve either chosen good friends (well done) or you’re deep inside the echo chamber with them (oh dear).

Dead cat

You either love him or you hate him: the current marmite of UK politics is PM-contender Boris Johnson. But this isn’t supposed to be the preamble to a post which will divide my readership, it’s merely a means to share this quote he made in 2013, and which is back in the news:

When you are in trouble, diversionary tactics can be a useful way of escaping immediate censure. In politics is almost routine, because all you need is a suitably foolish audience (and god knows that the voting public are pretty much that).

Recent (just before the general election) local case in point:

JOHANNESBURG – The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has weighed in on Tuesday afternoon’s altercation between eNCA journalist Samkele Maseko and African National Congress (ANC) deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte.

The ANC’s integrity committee is set to look at the processes around candidate lists.

Duarte revealed this in a post-NEC meeting briefing earlier on Tuesday.

The move follows reports that the ANC’s candidate lists have been tampered with.

Serious stuff. This is basically who gets to sit in Parliament for the next 5 years if the ANC get enough votes (which they were obviously always going to). And it seems like the process may have been interfered with?

Not good.

Remember this line?

Let us suppose you are losing an argument. The facts are overwhelmingly against you, and the more people focus on the reality, the worse it is for you and your case.

Jessie remembered.

What happened next was that poison dwarf Duarte flung a dead cat onto the table – and the eager reporters present were… well… perfectly outraged, alarmed, disgusted.

But the rest of the briefing on what the ANC’s top decision-making body had discussed was overshadowed by Duarte’s public altercation with a journalist.

During a briefing with reporters at Luthuli House, Duarte described Maseko as arrogant, saying he thought of himself as “lord of the media” instead of the mere journalist that he is.

And the newspapers were full of that instead of whether or not the candidate lists of the ruling party had been compromised.

Thing is, anyone with half a brain will see directly through your flimsy tactic and completely ignore it, so Duarte was clever with her perceived “attack” on Maseko: playing for a defensive, emotional response from his colleagues present. And getting it. Because was the ANC candidate list unduly influenced from within the party? Well, we’ll never know, because the rest of the briefing (and consequently the rest of the reports about the briefing) was only about what Jessie said to Samkele.

Canny woman. Clever move. Brilliant politics.

Boris would be very proud.