why are the tories shitposting about brexit?
And all the other politics you need to know, in a handy format.
Hey! Hi. This is the tenth edition of Political i-Deology! Which I would be more excited by if it wasn’t already as cold as death itself in London, and if politics wasn’t simply bad and not good at all.
Anyway! We march on! Here is some of the stuff that has happened in the past two weeks in Westminster (and Belfast) that you should know about.
One thing that actually mattered
Brexit is not happening! Well, Brexit is not happening at the end of this week anymore. In a great tribute to Theresa May, Boris Johnson got a deal in Brussels and brought it to the Commons and the Commons wanted nothing to do with it so friends, we are back to square one.
On the bright side, the EU have given us a January 31 extension so we’re not headed for a no-deal Brexit in a few days, but… yeah. There is, once again, no obvious way forward.
Boris Johnson tried to break the deadlock originally by having some Commons votes on an early general election, but he kept losing those as Labour didn’t want to vote for a GE if that meant maybe having a no deal Brexit. Now that has been removed from the table (for the time being), we may well end up having an election before Christmas. Woo!
One good thing that happened
Aahhhhh! There's some actual good news! for once! News you can use! In case you missed it, abortion and same-sex marriage are now legal in Northern Ireland!
As you may remember from a past issue of this column, Parliament passed legislation in July requiring a change in these two areas if Northern Ireland’s devolved government wasn’t back up and running by October 21 and GUESS WHAT, it wasn’t, so both are now legal in NI, eeyyyyy*
*It is in fact not ideal that Northern Ireland hasn’t had a government for a very long time but you know what? We’ll take our wins where we can, and this is definitely a win.
One bad thing that happened
The political discourse remains extremely bad! But it has felt especially atrocious recently!
First there was a study from Cardiff University and the University of Edinburgh, showing that most voters think violence against MPs would be worth it if they get their preferred Brexit outcome in the end. Yeah, most -- 71% of leave voters in England, 70% in Wales and 60% in Scotland, as well as 58% of English remainers, 53% of Scottish ones and 56% of Welsh remain voters.
And that’s not the only depressing paper to have come out in the past fortnight. A parliamentary report has found that murder and rape threats to MPs are now “commonplace”, with many MPs now having to take increased security measures when they deal with the public. Anna Soubry, for example, is no longer able to have open surgeries with her constituents, and has to prearrange every meeting with members of the public.
Another MP who wanted to stay anonymous had to hide in his flat after someone was found to be planning to kill him. So yeah. Extremely bleak! And showing no signs of getting better any time soon.
Done? If so, you must be wondering why the Tories are now shitposting about Brexit. I mean, there’s really no other way to put it: these weird tweets are just pure shitposting. They look aesthetically horrible and weird.
Is it because the Tories are simply extremely bad at social media? Well, yes and no. On the one hand, the Conservative party has famously been amusingly incapable of engaging with The Youths Online, but on the other they’ve just hired this firm called Topham Guerin (lol, what a profoundly Tory name) to do digital stuff for them.
Topham Guerin (no, seriously, how is that name real?) are also famous for having done digital political work in an Australian election, where one of their main moves was to make powerfully cringe “boomer memes” for the party they were working for, which they insist helped them win the election. So there you go: the Tories are now shitposting with a purpose. This is the world we live in now.
One person to watch
Listen, I am going to massively cheat here, because I had something ready for this slot -- I pick all the topics before I start writing -- and as I took a ~Twitter break~ after writing that bit about our close personal friends Topham Guerin I came across a story that fully broke me.
The story is: “Senior Labour figures reportedly embroiled in row over whether giraffes are gay”. Somehow, the headline doesn’t even overpromise. Shadow equalities minister Dawn Butler gave a speech in which she mentioned the fact that giraffes are gay, in a wider argument about LGBT inclusive education.
However -- however! -- Labour adviser Lachlan Stuart hit back by saying that male giraffes have gay sex to assert dominance, so it’s quite homophobic to compare them to gay human beings. HOWEVER, a giraffe expert told PinkNews that giraffes “use sex for multiple purposes” (same).
Anyway, I guess this makes our person to watch “a hypothetical gay giraffe”, which I think we can all agree is flimsy but ultimately worth it. Thank you.
One word/phrase worth knowing
“People’s Vote”! Not because it means that a second referendum (aka a people’s vote) is coming anytime soon, but because shit is going *down* in the People’s Vote campaign as we speak and yeah, it’s making it even less likely that a second referendum will happen after all.
Because it’s all very much happening right now, it is quite hard to explain what’s going on, as so far we’ve had two senior PV people (James McGrory and Tom Baldwin) get sacked from the campaign by someone (Roland Rudd) who we later found out had no power to fire either, and then staff walked out, and there’s maybe a new director but also maybe not.
There is an update here but realistically, we’ll check back in two weeks, as this saga is definitely going to keep running and running.