kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
[personal profile] kaberett
This is not terribly clearly articulated (i.e. I pieced it together while mostly asleep on a car journey back up from very-nearly-the-farthest-reaches-of-Cornwall) and I'm absolutely certain it's not original, but nonetheless here's a thought on UK politics relevant to the general election campaign in which we find ourselves mired, sparked by reflection on Theresa May's emphasis on strong and stable government.

It seems to me that the Tories (and EU referendum, and the PR referendum) are winning on soundbites about certainty: this will happen, we will do this, we will do whatever -- whatever -- it takes to achieve our stated goals, collateral damage be damned.

(I know that strongly-stated goals are a routine part of election manifestoes and are in point of fact featured in Jeremy Corbyn's ten pledges; I still think there's something about "we will", without any of the how, and the way these pledges get reported on, that is potentially of interest here.)

So. This kind of absolute certainty about the future (I'm also reading Rebecca Solnit's Hope in the Dark finally, does it show): it feels to me like it requires authoritarianism, and a lack of acknowledgement of nuance or complexity or openness to shifting priorities. I am groping toward something like: Labour and the Lib Dems (and the Greens) are reported as inconsistent and untrustworthy and unpredictable even when there very much are entirely coherent reasons for the decisions that are made. So we're ending up trending toward a political climate where politicians and political parties are actively punished for discussing nuance and complexity (because people are exhausted and scared?), in which the people who are most willing to ignore evidence in favour of simplicity and emphatically-stated certainties are handed power regardless of how tangential their statements are to reality.

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