Boris Johnson meeting with a top Tory election guru in Downing Street yesterday raises considerable questions.

You may remember Lynton Crosby as the man behind David Cameron’s impossible majority in 2015, or you may remember him as the man behind Theresa May’s total flop in 2017. Either way, he’s someone who remains a big deal in Tory circles, and after a waning in respect for him during the 2018–19 Brexit chaos, which ushered in the dominance of Cummings in terms of strategy, he now appears to be back as a major player with the PM’s ear.

First and foremost, the question was raised, is this planning for a snap election? Well, from the govt’s perspective that…


Thatcher’s water privatisation scheme has been a 30 year racket, and the British public have had enough of it.

In the wake of flooding in parts of London and now Scotland seeing roads submerging, we’ve had a rare policy commitment from Keir Starmer, this is from the Camden New Journal: ““Water should be run in the best interests of the environment and consumers — not shareholders,” a spokesperson for the Holborn and St Pancras MP and party leader said. “Labour believe that common ownership can deliver that.””. This is spot on from Labour, it’s time to end the privatization rip off and take our water back into public ownership, let’s talk about why.

Margaret Thatcher's water privatization was a…


We’re seeing the third wave of cases, for one reason or another, begin to trail off; falling cases is obviously good news, and it’s an unprecedented development outside a lockdown.

We’re very much in untreated territory for much of the world (including ourselves) right now. Because we have vaccinated so much of our population, and almost the entirety of the most vulnerable, we’re in a situation where we’ve seen cases rising at an alarming rate, but held our nerve and not seen deaths pile up. …


The Johnson government is attempting to establish itself as a hegemonic project occupying the political centre ground, with Labour’s bigwigs utterly clueless when it comes to the need for big ideas to combat this.

The headline in the Guardian this Saturday was “Boris Johnson wants to mimic Tony Blair’s project, say No 10 sources”, and this seems to stem from comments by a No 10 source saying “We’re going to do the thing that Tony Blair failed to do for the people who voted for him. We’re going to energise the towns and regions that feel left behind: we’re going to reach out to those places and improve people’s life chances.”
This all makes a great deal of sense from the perspective of the Johnson government. Tony Blair’s political project was a temporary unification…


We’re seeing a shift against the govt by all metrics in terms of public opinion, and there’s little reason for it to bounce back.

The latest YouGov poll has the Tories down 6 points in one week, cutting what was a double digit lead to a 4 point lead in the space of 7 days. This isn’t an outlier; in the last week or so other polls have shown the Tory vote share falling at the expense of either apathy or other parties, and the govt’s approval ratings in terms of both leadership and pandemic response taking a new hit.

This is curious, and it’s new. For the past 6 months we’ve seen the govt enjoying rising approval ratings and massive double digit leads…


The fact a backbench MP gets kicked out for the day for speaking truth to power, while a PM can lie day after day to the house, shows us how broken and antiquated our system of government really is.

Our political system in this country really is pretty bizarre. Everyone is an Honourable Member, even if a fraudster or a sex pest (there have been both on the Tory backbenchers, as is public knowledge), or indeed a genocidal war criminal (the Labour frontbenches in the noughties). So strange, and it means our system is essentially the institutionalization of the “good fellows” view of politics, one all about people and personalities, “goodies V baddies” and moral absolutes, the clash of values. …


Who would have guessed telling your own supporters you don’t want them would cause an unprecedented financial collapse?

Keir Starmer’s Labour party is in the soup big time, and we’re not even talking electorally. The structures of the party he plotted away to take hold of under Jeremy Corbyn are now rotting and falling apart, as members, affiliates, and supporters just ship faster than a bullet leaves the barrel of a gun. …


This proposal is an infringement on civil liberties with several worrying connotations; the left should oppose it.

It goes without saying that in a post pandemic world there are big questions about striking the right balance in terms of surveillance and privacy, data collection, etc etc, that we all need to tackle collectively as a society, and which challenge some of our core instincts when it comes to freedom and what in the longer term is or isn’t an acceptable infringement on civil liberties for public health. …


As of midnight last night, no legal coronavirus restrictions on our lives apply in England. Let’s talk about it.

The feels strange, really really strange. I write to you in a situation I haven’t been in since March 2020; a situation where in England, there are no legal limits on what I can imposed in the wake of the global pandemic. Well, that was a long six weeks eh? Curve still not flattened, high likelihood of some smaller restrictions coming back over winter, new variants could kill all this freedom off, but for now, for the foreseeable, freedom.

This was to be dubbed Freedom Day, in a very hyperbolic manner, and I won’t be buying into the hyper-individualised, libertarian…

Toby Lipatti-Mesme

Insightful and innovative UK journalism and commentary, from Toby Lipatti-Mesme.

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