The Twelve Days of Brexit

On the first day of Brexit Nigel gave to me, a country that’s once again free.

On the second day of Brexit Nigel gave to me, two populist shocks and a country that’s once again free.

On the third day of Brexit Nigel gave to me, three crying journalists, two populist shocks and a country that’s once again free.

On the fourth day of Brexit Nigel gave to me, four furious bureaucrats, three crying journalists, two populist shocks and a country that’s once again free.

On the fifth day of Brexit Nigel gave to me, five pints of ale… four furious bureaucrats, three crying journalists, two populist shocks and a country that’s once again free.

On the sixth day of Brexit Nigel gave to me, six triggered Lefties, five pints of ale… four furious bureaucrats, three crying journalists, two populist shocks and a country that’s once again free.

On the seventh day of Brexit Nigel gave to me, seven packs of Rothmans, six triggered Lefties, five pints of ale… four furious bureaucrats, three crying journalists, two populist shocks and a country that’s once again free.

On the eighth day of Brexit Nigel gave to me, eight Vote Leave buses, seven packs of Rothmans, six triggered Lefties, five pints of ale… four furious bureaucrats, three crying journalists, two populist shocks and a country that’s once again free.

On the ninth day of Brexit Nigel gave to me, nine Question Time appearances, eight Vote Leave buses, seven packs of Rothmans, six triggered Lefties, five pints of ale… four furious bureaucrats, three crying journalists, two populist shocks and a country that’s once again free.

On the tenth day of Brexit Nigel gave to me, ten Pepe memes, nine Question Time appearances, eight Vote Leave buses, seven packs of Rothmans, six triggered Lefties, five pints of ale… four furious bureaucrats, three crying journalists, two populist shocks and a country that’s once again free.

On the eleventh day of Brexit Nigel gave to me, eleven fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, ten Pepe memes, nine Question Time appearances, eight Vote Leave buses, seven packs of Rothmans, six triggered Lefties, five pints of ale… four furious bureaucrats, three crying journalists, two populist shocks and a country that’s once again free.

On the twelfth day of Brexit Nigel gave to me, twelve sneering metropolitan elites, eleven fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, ten Pepe memes, nine Question Time appearances, eight Vote Leave buses, seven packs of Rothmans, six triggered Lefties, five pints of ale… four furious bureaucrats, three crying journalists, two populist shocks and a country that’s once again free.

 

 

 

A list of everybody who absolutely destroyed Donald Trump in 2016

​Donald J. Trump really has been the gift that’s kept on giving over the past 18 months. His presidential bid was literally hilarious and provided all of the highly-respected late-night liberal TV hosts a never-ending wealth of material that could be condensed – either daily or weekly –  into YouTube clips and shared across social media.

Trump’s brash, triggering style, which earned him widespread condemnation from our favourite Hollywood stars and paved the way for Hillary Clinton’s storming victory in the popular vote.

Here’s a list of everybody who absolutely destroyed Donald Trump in 2016:

The end.

Sleaford and North Hykeham: Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right

It’s a stunning indictment of our current politics that UKIP finishing a poor second in a by-election is more noteworthy than Labour ending up in fourth. But that’s what happened in Sleaford and North Hykeham as the Conservatives cruised to a comfortable 40-point victory on a 37 percent turnout on Thursday night.

It was a nice win for the Tories, who secured a rare by-election triumph while in government, made even better by the disarray plaguing the rest. Their candidate, Caroline Johnson, was expected to be tested by UKIP’s Victoria Ayling in an area where 61 percent voted for Brexit, but the challenge failed to materialise with the latter managing a low 13.5 percent – a 2.2-percent decline on the party’s performance at the last general election.

UKIP will undoubtedly spin the result and celebrate jumping Labour, but it was a dire effort in a seat where they were hoping to at least run the Conservatives close. Opinion polls have had them holding firm between 10 and 15 percent despite a dreadful few months and the departure of Nigel Farage, but the steady support has yet to translate into electoral success, or even hints of it.

Without being on the ground it’s tough to ascertain exactly went wrong, but one constant is Ayling, who also failed to make an impact in Great Grimsby in 2015, a constituency UKIP firmly believed they could win – she ended up third, behind Labour and the Conservatives, albeit increasing the party’s vote share by almost 19 percent.

Stability finally seems to be coming to UKIP with Paul Nuttall’s election as leader, and the debate will undoubtedly shift back their way if the Brexit process is messy, but they have dropped the ball since 23 June, to the Tories’ delight.

More woe for Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn has enjoyed some friendly elections since becoming Labour leader, from safe by-elections to the London mayoral election which was won by Sadiq Khan earlier this year. Such wins have emboldened Corbynites who believe their man is miscast and more popular than conventional wisdom says.

However, this vote, along with last week’s by-election in Richmond Park – where they failed to even save their deposit – should provide a shuddering reality check. In Sleaford and North Hykeham, candidate Jim Clarke tallied just 10.2 percent – a 7.1 percent slip on 2015 – and was fewer than 500 votes from being pushed into fifth by the Lincolnshire Independents.

Labour’s Brexit dilemma is worsened by the party’s rural-urban divide which threatens its electoral existence. With many Labour constituencies in the north supporting Britain’s succession from the European Union, and a leader who has historically been keener for it than Prime Minister Theresa May, there’s reason to believe they’d benefit from embracing it – at least that would give them somebody to speak for.

They certainly aren’t going to be the party for Remainers, as Richmond Park showed. The Liberal Democrats have their tanks on that ground, but their 11 percent on less-friendly territory suggests talk of their resurgence has been greatly exaggerated. Indeed, with Richmond Park voting 70 percent to Remain, it could be argued that the Lib Dems’ 49 percent in the by-election was below par.

A further test for Labour will come in Leigh should Andy Burnham win the Greater Manchester mayoral election. Nuttall is being touted to stand in the by-election, which will indicate whether the party really can bash Labour in their heartlands.

Tories cash in on rivals’ incompetence

May has repeatedly said Article 50 will be activated before the end of March 2017, so she and her party has until then before the waters start getting choppy – and they’re cashing in on it. Sleaford and North Hykeham was always set to be a good barometer on how Leavers felt the Brexit process was being handled, and 53 percent strikes as a solid approval.

It’s not all to the Tories’ credit, however. With their rivals looking decidedly hopeless, their job right now is hardly difficult. Despite having a narrow working majority in the Commons, they face no apparent danger from anywhere – not bad for a party that was supposed to tear itself to shreds over the referendum.

If there were any concerns for May, their easy win on Thursday should alleviate them. Christmas has come early for her and, with the abysmal state of the rest, gifts could be pouring in for a while yet.

Liberals, it’s time to wake the hell up

It’s not in my political interest to write this piece. I know that if you had your way you would deem this article as “hate speech” and prevent it from being published. Nobody is taking more delight in your hilarious meltdown than me.

It thrills me that your left-wing agendas are being thwarted by electorates across the globe. But to prevent one-party states and to at least give us a challenge, I come to you with this message: liberals, it’s time to wake the hell up and get out of your pathetic safe space.

Your smaller-than-thought clique has had a pretty rotten 2016, hasn’t it? Well, do you know what? Most of us are having a darn good 2016 because we’re running you muppets into the ground. Brexit happened, and now President Trump has happened, and you’re throwing one big, fat, beautiful temper tantrum.

Hell, besides not having a confirmed war hawk in the White House, Trump’s ascendancy is irrelevant to me. He’s not going to impact my life, but if it stops your oppressive, shaming manifesto from gaining traction, I’ll revel in it.

“I don’t know anyone who voted for Brexit,” said British liberals. “I don’t know anyone who voted for Trump,” said American liberals. “Je ne- I don’t know anyone who voted for Le Pen,” French liberals could well end up saying next May.

Why? Two reasons. First, you’re living in a self-imposed echo chamber. You read the articles you know you’ll agree with, post statuses you know your left-wing friends will like, and follow those preaching from the same songbook, all for confirmation bias. If you coddle yourself with comforting views you’ll be fine, right?

And secondly, because you prefer shutting down those you disagree with, instead of engaging in fierce, political arguments. It’s time to end this nonsense that “college-educated” people know better than the rest, when your modus operandi is to ban right-wing speakers from appearing at your universities. Graduates are now college-indoctrinated, not college-educated.

You think it helps you but it doesn’t. Brexit won by four percent, Trump by a mere few thousand in Pennsylvania and Michigan, the states that pushed him past 270. That’s close. Had you not pissed off so many people, you might have been able to stop both.

You created Trump. If things were going swimmingly, do you really think 60 million would have been prepared to take a chance on a brash, political novice? Trump is clever, not a buffoon. Reality TV stars know what people want, and Trump realised people were sick to death of political correctness and the politicians who abide by it because, God forbid, you be upset and start a petition against them.

You hate the term “social justice warrior”. Well, we hate being called racist, sexist, misogynist, and any other “ist” that you slap on us. We’re now at the stage where we don’t bother defending ourselves from your filth. We’d rather laugh at you, beat you at the ballot box, drink your tears and share memes of Pepe the Frog instead.

Too alt-right for you? Cry more.

The minorities you supposedly speak for detest your guts too. They aren’t your pets and they certainly don’t need your help. For all the talk of Trump being the big bogeyman, he outperformed the previous Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney with both blacks and Hispanics. Oh, and those women we were told Trump offended big league, they didn’t break to the Democratic candidate any more than they usually do either.

Let’s also consider how Trump won the Electoral College. He won six key states that Barack Obama won twice: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa. The math alone is indicative that there must have been a considerable number of Obama-Trump crossovers, nullifying the idea of a racist backlash.

As with nearly all of your “arguments”, they fall down like a house of cards as soon as somebody bothers to give them scrutiny.

You’re now at rock bottom. Britain is leaving the European Union, Donald Trump is going to be the next Leader of the Free World and continental Europe could elect Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and Alternative for Deutschland within the next 12 months. If your Dutch, French and German counterparts continue down this insane track, all three could easily end up in charge of their respective nations. And you’ll be asking yourself “How did this happen?” yet again.

I hope this big, fat micro-aggression triggered your poor little Tumblr soul to death. I hope you are now ready to go and grab political debate by the pussy.

But if you don’t, it doesn’t bother me. Why? Because I’m winning, and you’re not.

Photo source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6d/Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_12.jpg

Donald Trump’s route to 270 is fiendish, but he only needs 269 – and here’s how he could do it

It’s no secret that Donald Trump’s path to 270 electoral votes is much tougher than Hillary Clinton’s. Simply nailing down Pennsylvania and one of Florida, North Carolina or Ohio would effectively block Trump’s route to the White House.

However, there’s one caveat hardly anyone seems to be considering, and it could just be pivotal. Trump doesn’t need a path to 270, just to 269 – and there’s a realistic set of states that can get him there.

A 269-269 tie would result in an electoral college deadlock, at which point the House of Representatives would pick the next president, while the Senate would choose the next vice president.

Let’s make two assumptions: one, that the House will still belong to the GOP after the election (a near certainty), and that two, that GOP House would make Trump president should they get the opportunity (yes, I know it’s 2016, but surely, surely they would).

Anyway, enough wonky politics and what-ifs, and into the mathematics.

Since Clinton’s route is so easy, it’s much more revealing to focus solely on how Trump could defeat her – well, tie it up. Providing nothing bizarre happens and The Donald keeps Texas, Georgia and Arizona (a state that’s in true toss-up territory but would likely go Trump’s way should he win the other states needed for this avenue) in the red column, he would have 191 electoral votes.

Iowa, the Hawkeye State, will perhaps be Trump’s easiest state to win that Romney failed to. Polls have consistently shown the GOP nominee leading and, although he has slipped, the slight movement back toward him late on should be enough to win here. That’s 197.

Head eastwards to the Buckeye State of Ohio and Trump has 18 electoral votes that have trended his way, narrowly, for a while. Despite not securing the support of the state’s Republican governor, John Kasich, he has eked out a small edge of around one or two points over Clinton. Flipping this Obama-won state seems more likely than not. That’s 215.

Down to the Panhandle and the Sunshine State of Florida. The prize? A mighty 29 electoral votes in the increasingly diverse state. A notorious election-decider, Florida has swayed back and forth intriguingly during this election cycle.

Both Trump and Clinton secured thumping wins in their respective primaries, and are now neck-and-neck in the polls seven days out. A recent New York Times/Siena College poll gave Trump a four-point lead, while an NBC/WSJ/Marist poll put Clinton one point up. If the FBI bombshell does indeed harm Clinton, Trump may reap the rewards. That’s 244.

North Carolina was won by Romney in 2012 by two percent, but it’s a state that Trump is having significant difficulty with. The early voting has given off blurry signals but the polling has hinted at a Clinton win (as of November 1, she has a 3.3-point advantage according to RealClearPolitics.

A big turnout for Trump on Election Day, and the Tar Heel State has a large number of independents which will likely determine it, and he, like Romney, could tip the Cinton-leaning scales post-early voting. Humour me and make this assumption, and that’s 259.

These scoops would still put Trump 10 short of the tie, taking his quest to Colorado, the 420 blaz… Centennial State, where nine more votes are up for grabs. The Clinton camp thought Colorado was in the bag months back and pulled advertising, allowing Trump to drastically close the gap.

A calamitous early-to-mid October arrested Democrat concerns but the state isn’t a guarantee, with a CBS/YouGov poll putting Clinton just three points up in the sparsely-polled state. Recent Remington Research findings have her one point ahead, although this pollster is Republican aligned. Meanwhile, a Quinnipiac poll conducted more than a fortnight ago had Clinton’s lead at eight. In short, the polling is a mess, but points toward a small to medium HRC win, yet with limited confidence.

Ballots are already being mailed in and Trump has also been pressing hard recently there. Colorado is a tough task, but it looks far more viable than the Pennsylvania and Wisconsin paths being touted by talking heads. If he does complete the heist then that’s 268. One short.

They do things differently up in the Pine Tree State of Maine (and Nebraska too, for that matter). While two electoral votes are available for a statewide win, one additional vote is given to the winner of the state’s 1st and 2nd congressional districts. The limited polling indicates Trump is a good bet for the latter. Things have been volatile and his prospects are nowhere near as bright as in September, where he enjoyed double-digit leads, but it definitely looks doable. And if he does, that’s 269 and likely the presidency.

Fail that, and Nevada’s six electoral votes could nudge him north of 270.

trump-269

It’s a thin, treacherous tightrope and one Trump has a greater chance of falling off than walking across, but it offers a glimmer of hope that the proposed Rust Belt strategy doesn’t seem to. Barring a big polling error, foreseeable in these Brexit times of course, in Pennsylvania or Michigan (which missed Bernie Sanders’ primary win by 20 points), that route looks blocked for Trump.

Anyway, back to the original premise: the idea that 269 being enough for Trump could make all the difference. It’d be bizarre, wacky, unprecedented and bonkers. But has there been a more bizarre, wacky, unprecedented and bonkers election than 2016?

 

Why I’m backing Raheem Kassam for UKIP leader

The idea that UKIP is in the midst of an existential crisis is one very satisfying to the Establishment. There’s nothing they would like more than for the party that actually threatens them to wither and die – it’s why they push the viewpoint relentlessly.

Unfortunately, for once, the Establishment are correct. UKIP is in quite a mess. With Nigel Farage gone, Diane James in and out, and twice leadership favourite Steven Woolfe now departed from the party, UKIP lacks not only direction, but credibility. How can we, the salesmen, sell a party that doesn’t know what its stock is?

UKIP needs a fresh, passionate driving force that recognises our strength isn’t in the wishy-washy centre ground, but as the brash, bullish outsider that stands for no bullshit. We are witnessing a global revolt against Establishment politics, as seen here by Brexit, across the pond with Donald Trump and even as far as the Philippines with Rodrigo Duterte. UKIP must harness this frustration and cash in.

With this in mind, it’s clear to me that there is one definitive choice for leader: Raheem Kassam.

An accomplished media performer, Kassam has shown he is a fiery debater while maintaining the personality and likeability of Farage. Yes, he will be marmite too, but isn’t that the point? You can’t please everybody in politics, nor should you try to. UKIP’s potential is in speaking for the left behind.

I doubt there’s any single Ukipper universally liked by the party, so that Kassam has painted as a troublemaker is not only false, but a moot point too. However, what I have been seeing is a candidate who’s coming up with logical plans to clean up and grow the party.

UKIP has a strong, dedicated collection of activists – the problem is there aren’t enough of them. It’s a direct result of awful organisation and a party that’s too expensive and difficult to join.

Unless you’re eligible for concessions, membership is £30 a year and, once you’ve joined, you’re chucked in the ocean without armbands. Great, you get a card, but little information about how to become active in your area. That needs to change. If Labour can mobilise with a crap message, imagine what a well-oiled UKIP could achieve with a good one.

In the last two national elections, the party has won four million votes. If just one in 25 joined the party, we would have 100,000 members. At that point, we would also have a ground game.

UKIP has been British politics’ best pressure group, and we need to keep that pressure up to ensure no Brexit backsliding. More than 17 million people voted to leave the European Union, and that’s a huge market to tap into if Theresa May’s government lets them down.

Extremist Islam will continue to be a sensitive yet must-tackle topic, and it’s vital UKIP strikes the right chord and balance here – you can’t go making policy up on the hoof. It’s also essential that “security measures” to “protect” western civilisation don’t breach the freedoms that western civilisation is meant to offer. Kassam’s keenness to take on Shariah courts in the UK is, however, encouraging.

And hey, anything that’ll make it harder for the media to shout “racist” or “Islamophobe” must be a good thing, right?

Recapturing our economic roots is also important, with Conservatives and Labour often being indistinguishable. Pressing home on the failures of big government as part of the anti-Establishment drive, and highlighting the benefits of allowing people to keep more of their money thanks to a lower and flatter tax system are forgotten stances in British politics. Kassam and Bill Etheridge, who finished a solid third last time, are both strong on this issue.

The internet has given political parties the chance to be more accessible and transparent than ever, but they aren’t taking advantage. Italy’s Five Star Movement is perhaps the sole prominent example of a party doing it, while Arron Banks’ Leave.EU movement – which has garnered over 200,000 more Facebook likes than the official Vote Leave campaign – has showcased the potential of online activism in the UK.

Being Editor at Breitbart London, Kassam knows what works on the internet, as has been demonstrated by the early stages of his Make UKIP Great Again campaign. His regular live streams are a great way of connecting with party members and recruiting new ones, and addressing their concerns. It’s something I would be keen to see continue if he becomes leader. With the right steps, UKIP can transform itself from the most technologically inept party to the most advanced.

UKIP succeeds by different, and Raheem Kassam is offering something different. We’ll get smeared. So what, we already are. The Establishment will mock us. So what? They already do.

But do you know what? There will be a hell of a lot of people who agree with us. And as their old, broken parties continue to let them down, they’ll keep looking for alternative. It’s our job to offer that alternative, and Kassam is the man to do it.

Donald Trump is politically bombproof but politically incompetent

Donald Trump is staggeringly unpopular in the United Kingdom, with most miffed about how a campaign such as his could gain the astonishing traction it has. The majority of those then conclude that racism isn’t dead across the pond and that demagogues can win because, hey, look what happened in the 1930s.

These are unsurprising assumptions from those who dip in and out of the race and need constant reminders of how the electoral college works. They aren’t wholly wrong, but they can’t truly understand what’s going on as they aren’t immersed in the madcap reality Americans currently are.

Trump has gone after Mexico, China and goodness knows where else, but his most persistent and successful attacks have been levelled at an enemy much closer to home: the mainstream media.

Trump laid the groundwork for this when he kicked off his campaign, and has continued to build on it throughout. Barely a rally goes by without a fierce probe on the ‘dishonest press’ for not panning the crowd or reporting accurately – or at least Trump’s version of accurately. Cringe-inducing tweets about a “dopey” journalist or how much of a disaster former promoter Morning Joe is come morning, noon and night too.

This war on the media has proven mightily effective, so much so that he can easily spout a plethora of lies and half-truths before dodging the splashback. Harsh criticism of Trump from the media, whether it’s warranted or not, screams of, “Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?” to his fervent followers, many of whom then visit their chosen online right-wing source for the “real” news, if only for confirmation bias.

Americans’ trust in the mass media is at a historical low, with just 32 percent saying they have either a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust, according to a recent Gallup poll – an 8-percent decline from a year ago. Much of that can be attributed to Trump, who has simply exploited the omnipresent scepticism of mainstream media. Moreover, a CNN poll discovered that 50 percent deem Trump trustworthy. That’s a whopping 18 percent higher than the media’s trust ratings, and 15 percent greater than Hillary Clinton’s, his presidential adversary.

It’s what makes fact-checking a waste of time too, even from those doing it diligently with noble intentions.

Trump’s lies are pretty obvious – like when he called Clinton the co-founder of Islamic State who, as we all know, was in cahoots with President Barack Obama. Or when he said that Clinton would “abolish the Second Amendment”. But if a voter isn’t picking up on his brazen lies from the off, they aren’t about to do so from a smarmy know-it-all whose reputation Trump has directly or indirectly chipped away at.

Independent fact-checkers are a bit better, but once into the muddier waters of half-lies and half-truths, the implicit bias of the author will inevitably slip in, no matter how much they strive to be impartial.

Not to mention, those with the time and desire to traipse through a fact-checking sheet are likely to be well aware of the happenings of the election and the world to have worked out the “pants on fire” stuff for themselves. Fact-checking is a tool made by political junkies for political junkies, so trapped in their echo chamber that they think everyone cares about the new CNN poll for Pennsylvania and the subtleties of the crosstabs.

Trump is nigh on politically bombproof to media criticism; it’s his penchant for a personal dogfight which has harmed him – borne out of his thin skin and political inexperience. A sweeping generalisation on illegal Mexican immigrants being rapists is forgotten because it’s political, a singular attack from an oafish Trump on an undeserving target isn’t since it’s personal – a big guy going after a little guy doesn’t play well, unless that little guy is Marco Rubio.

Had Trump buried the Obama birther debate years ago, left Judge Gonzalo Curiel alone and responded respectfully with an olive branch to the Gold Star Khan family, he would probably be on his way to victory, simply because despite all of this it’s still a very tight race, largely because – on a personal level at least – Clinton is also an appalling candidate whose image has plummeted.

But, of course, that’s not in his nature, and Democrats are ever-grateful it isn’t, for it has given them plenty of juicy ad material and nice bait for Trump to hook himself with, as Clinton demonstrated in the first debate.

It comes from Trump’s belief that “all publicity is good publicity” and that as a counter-puncher, if someone, anyone, hits him – or he perceives them to have – then he must whack back twice as hard. That may work in business, but on the political battlefield, it’s about knowing when to pick or avoid fights.

If Trump loses by a big margin on November 8, something looking increasingly unlikely, he and his ideas would have been firmly rejected. A narrow defeat, however, it would be because the electorate deemed the orator of those ideas too inarticulate and lacking the political savvy to be a safe pair of hands in the White House.

But if Trump wins, it won’t be because of policy, for he has few. Nor will it solely be down to his brash outsider status. No, the main reason will be because he took on the media, discredited them further and, in doing so, made himself immune – even when he had no right to be.

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