Well that was a roller coaster ride…
If the 2017 UK General Election has left you with a sour taste in your mouth, despite the ‘just dodged a bullet’ edge-of-our seats ending, then you are not alone. Like me, you are probably minded to start a revolution right about now.
But first there will be reams and reams of reflection from the Welsh commentariat on how we got here (some of which will be genuinely insightful, more actually since we have welcomed Nation.Cymru on the scene).
And there will be lots of ignoring us completely from the UK media, especially now that they have discovered Northern Ireland.
Because we mustn’t forget to pause for thought before we get swept up yet again in someone else’s existential crisis.
I think we’ll actually look back on this election a few decades hence, with a wry smile and a raised eyebrow. We will peruse it from the perspective of history and be able to say ‘UK elections, remember them?’ Because, lets face it, this farcical process feels like it has had its day.
It’s true that the result has thankfully not produced the apocalyptic scenario we may have feared a month ago.
It seems that young people may be stepping up to inherit the world, in politics at least, and the Daily Mail suddenly appears so last century, it’s like the bogey man under the bed.
This looks refreshingly like a whole new reality compared with a month ago, and one I am more than ready to believe in.
But. There is a but here.
Quite a few actually.
Like, shit, this is kind of a mess, guys. It’s an interesting mess, don’t get me wrong. A kind of, well, our luggage just imploded into three hundred and eighteen pieces, and we need to get on a Brexit bus in about five minutes (well, just under two years, but that bus is not waiting).
Or, maybe we don’t want to be on the bus. Or we do. Or we might take the train now instead.
Who knows actually?
Because suddenly we’ve gone from the ‘now you see her now you don’t election’ to ‘election? what election? Carry on, nothing to see here….’
It’s like it never even happened.
Which is kind of weird, and more than a little bit galling.
But gives us time to reflect that meanwhile, closer to home…
It does rather look like we’ve done that thing again. That thing where we just kind of vote in England’s election, without really pausing for thought and thinking about the Welsh context. It does look rather as if we have elected 8 Conservatives out of 40 MPs in Wales, but because England still elected the Tories as their biggest party, we are going to end up with a Government, again, that we didn’t vote for (a wobbly one, propped up, at an alarming angle, by some angry men with some questionable views about, amongst other things, reproductive and LGBT rights, before you even get me started on climate change and state supported terrorism).
Because you are kidding me, the DUP? If this crazy-ass situation doesn’t prove once and for all that UK politics has finally abandoned all credibility, then I don’t know what it’s going to take.
Another election in another six months? Be careful what you wish for…
So, as far as revolutions go, I’m not convinced that this one is all that jazz.
Because if Corbyn represents the revolution, I’m not sure how what he is leading for translates into Wales. And I don’t mean into Welsh. Because obviously the Welsh for revolution is ‘Chwyldro‘.
This will be common parlance on the street before long, I’ve no doubt, or at least it needs to be if a revolution, a genuinely Welsh one, is going to take hold…
Because young people in Wales aren’t stupid. And neither am I. So they are going to notice soon, if they haven’t already, that Jeremy Corbyn isn’t too hot on the topic of Wales (a couple of quick-fire questions for you Jeremy… Education, devolved, or not devolved? criminal justice, health? And so on…)
Also, we have noticed that Welsh Labour (let’s call them that, for argument’s sake) aren’t too hot for Jeremy Corbyn. Or they weren’t until about 10.05 pm on Thursday night.
It’s a bit like that time at school when your best friend slated your boyfriend because they thought you were breaking up. And then you got back together they had to pretend they didn’t really say all of those things that they said.
So as much as if I lived in Yorkshire or Gateshead (big-up, bro), Birmingham, Clapham or Canterbury (hooray, you did it!) I would be jumping up and down for Jeremy Corbyn… I do not live in these places and so I kind of feel, like, hmm.
Because I do like Jeremy Corbyn’s policies, obviously. If you are into terribly radical stuff , like social justice, fairer tax and not blowing people up with nuclear weapons, the guy talks a lot of sense.
But I am not willing to play dumb. I am by far the first person to point out that Labour in Wales have already voted against many of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies in the Welsh Assembly (like abolishing zero hours contracts).
Because I see that many people have taken one for the team there, or feel that it made sense to vote Labour to keep the Tories out…
I get it, hell, I had that conversation with myself. And thank God that I don’t live in Bridgend (Hi Tadcu, if you are reading this, I love Bridgend) and that therefore I didn’t have to think about voting for Madeleine Moon in order to stem the blue bile... Oh that we didn’t have to make these kinds of decisions.
But, in case you missed it, if you are one of the many Plaid leaning voters who did lend Labour your vote this time, you should know that they are not saying ‘thank you’, they are mocking you:
@welshlabourpress, replying to tweet from @plaid_cymru:
‘Successful? Vote share ⬇️. 3rd in Ynys Mon. 3rd in Llanelli. Nowhere in Rhondda & Blaenau Gwent. Majorities slashed. Rejected across Wales’
A bit of a slap in the face, I would say, and worth bearing in mind next time.
Oh for a reality in which voting in Wales was always about Wales and not about what the landed gentry in England are doing with their votes and how many Tory signs one can fit onto 5,000 hectares of land you have inherited from your ancestors since the enclosures act sometime during the thirteenth century.
I know we have Welsh Tory land-owner-types here too, with their ‘look at me and all my Alun Cairns signs’ carry-on. But although they probably don’t give a flying fox hunt about your grannie’s social care, to be fair there are only about a few dozen of them (or so) and they’ll all most probably be bankrupted after Brexit (hello Andrew RT Davies if you are reading this, if there’s any justice in this world, it’s you they’ll come after once they realise what they have done).
So my point is this, dear reader. If you and all the Tory voting Welsh farmers hired a mini-bus (get them to pay) and went on a tour of the ‘Blue Triangle’ as it is known, you would I think be truly shocked by the wealth on display, and how far removed it felt from our reality here in Wales. You would no doubt vow to start a kind of urban-meets-rural Marxist insurgency in the Vale of Glamorgan (you would probably base it in Peterston-Super-Ely, the last place the Empire will come searching for the Rebel Alliance base).
Although it may feel like we have dodged a Tory bullet, I suspect in the long term we may find that rather than hitting the jugular, it’s just kind of lodged annoyingly behind the shoulder blade, and will go on to seriously restrict our mobility and quality of life.
That it will in fact prove quite debilitating in the long term.
So whilst last night’s results temporarily cheered me up, it has only taken until teatime today for Theresa May and the shambolic state of UK politics to rile me up again, leaving me in know doubt what-so-ever, that I do not want many more UK elections, thank you very much.
Like, many more in total, ever. It has stopped being fun, it has stopped making sense.
I would like to vote in an independent Wales please, and I’m aiming for 2033, so that’s about three more UK General elections by my reckoning or about seven if we have them at the rate we are at the moment, in which case we’ll just have to go indy a lot sooner.
Don’t forget that young people in Wales are the most strongly in favour of independence, and as we have just seen, they are inheriting the Earth, so you work it out….
I’ll see you no doubt at a Rebel Alliance shindig somewhere soon…
You can find out more about how to infiltrate the Death Star here.