On getting it wrong

Of course as with many previous occasions my predictions about the outcome of the general election were wrong. Not 100% wrong, because Theresa May did win, but maybe 99% wrong.

As someone once said, predictions are hard to make - especially when they're about the future. During the election campaign I assumed that the terrorist events would work in the Conservatives favor, allowing them to dominate with the usual "war on terror" and "law and order" rhetoric. But instead it turned out that Theresa May was an exceptionally weak candidate, unable to recognize the opportunity or take advantage of it and unwilling to engage with the public in TV debates.

The numbers also indicate that there was a genuine surge in support for Corbyn, maybe due to the brief window of mainstream reporting neutrality which is part of the rules for elections. That's very unusual, because when politicians claim that their support is surging it typically is doing the exact opposite.

Today there was a big anti-government rally in London. I quite liked this open mic session, because it includes viewpoints which are critical of Corbyn and the Labour party. I especially agree with the guy who said that we shouldn't wait for Corbyn - or some other political celebrity - to solve all our problems, just start doing things now.

I don't agree with that point entirely though. Whoever gets the tax money gets to control the surplus resources of the society and so saying "just do it yourself" isn't going to work if you have no resources to work with. If Corbyn did become PM within the next year or two I think he could do some things which would improve lives almost immediately. As per the manifesto if he banned benefit sanctions and zero hours contracts, and introduced some laws to enable affordable housing to be built or otherwise made available (perhaps by requisitioning existing unoccupied housing, of which there is plenty) then that could substantially improve quality of life for a lot of people in a very tangible way.

But of course the problems with the economic system are a lot deeper than a few quick fixes and any Corbyn government would still face all kinds of difficulties. In some ways the situation is similar to the John Major administration of the 1990s, with the huge optimism and almost rockstar status which surrounded Tony Blair.