Sneakily taking the hinges off the doors of perception

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Jack Graham

Jack Graham writes and podcasts about culture and politics from a Gothic Marxist-Humanist perspective. He co-hosts the I Don't Speak German podcast with Daniel Harper. Support Jack on Patreon.


  1. Matt Moore
    June 9, 2017 @ 11:23 am

    I am interested in the engagement of everyday people with politics that you talk about (more so than Corbyn himself).

    I’m trying to figure some of this shit out so I might just throw down some questions.

    Are the effects of austerity starting to radicalize people in the UK?

    The Overton Window kinda narrowed down in the late 90s to various flavours of soft neoliberalism. It’s now stretched to let all kinds of things thru – from socialism to white nationalism to who knows what. When times are not good people look for other options.

    Do UK people know what they want? Or do they simply know that they don’t want what is currently on offer?

    What is your take on Runciman’s notion of democratic drift & the risks posed by the confidence trap?

    Or Yascha Mounk and the decline of enthusiasm for democracy?

    Anyway, there are some hard boards that require some work…


    • tom jones
      June 10, 2017 @ 9:08 am

      “Are the effects of austerity starting to radicalize people in the UK?”

      I think it’s more accurate to say that it’s de-radicalized people. A big part of the success of the radical right has been their ability to present themselves as the mainstream – the obvious example being Boris Johnson.

      And I’m not sure it’s so much about austerity as about housing. I’ve lost the link, but there’s supposed to be a new build estate in Manchester with over 200 flats, and 90% have been sold to foreign investors and offshore companies. Only TWO were being lived in by UK residents.

      And the other thing is, the Tories had a REALLY bad campaign. IIRC the first policy they announced was fox-hunting! There’s no way they’ll be that terrible next time round – especially since they now know they’re vulnerable.


  2. Aylwin
    June 9, 2017 @ 4:56 pm

    We might pause to wonder where we’d be today if, putting the media to one side entirely, Corbyn had simply recieved the backing of his own party.

    Well, supposing that had made any appreciable difference to the opinion polls, we would undoubtedly be looking at another three years of a Tory majority government, and, at least for the time being, a cohesive and confident one enjoying the full-throated adulation of most of the press. May dithered long enough about calling the election as it was – had Labour not looked dead in the water, she’d never have risked it, and so would never have scored this own goal.

    Instead we have the minority government of a rattled and discontented party under a severely discredited leader, propped up by an embarrassingly charmless ally. And while unruffled party unity is helpful, and having nice things said about you by columnists on a small-circulation newspaper is no doubt gratifying, when it comes to giving a “radical” political project the kind of credibility that can’t be sneered away by opponents with the levers of government and nearly all the news media firepower on their side, I don’t think it’s a patch on winning 40% of the vote from a standing start.

    Perversely, it looks as though getting battered by much of his own side has done Corbyn quite a favour. A sort of accidental rope-a-dope.


    • Aylwin
      June 9, 2017 @ 5:07 pm

      Speaking of boxing, Rocky is almost too perfect a metaphor for this election.


  3. Scurra
    June 9, 2017 @ 6:42 pm

    It’s also worth noting the effect of a few seriously determined leftie bloggers, who consistently posted reasoned article after article*, sometimes two or three times a day, which were shared across social media widely enough that some of them broke through the “bubble” of newsfeeds – and once that happened, the dam breaks and you start to see other things as well from outside.
    And I don’t see them going away any time soon.

    *unlike the rightwing sites that continued to be obsessed with extremist scare stories; they didn’t work because the Mail et al had cornered that market already.


  4. BeatnikLady
    June 10, 2017 @ 9:55 pm

    It’s so very satisfying to see the right-wing redtops have to eat their words. The Sun took a resolutely anti-Labour stance in Scotland and England and (unlike in 2015) it didn’t work. To quote them back to themselves “Gotcha!”


    • Tim B,
      June 10, 2017 @ 11:17 pm

      As has been proven time and time again the S*n really has a shaky relationship with the truth…


  5. Roderick T. Long
    June 11, 2017 @ 7:25 am

    Collectivism is always and everywhere right-wing.


    • Chicanery
      June 11, 2017 @ 10:32 pm

      That’s a very bold claim if you can defend it. An idiotic one if you can’t.


  6. John G. Wood
    June 11, 2017 @ 6:01 pm

    Thank you for this, Jack – it was a great antidote to the low that naturally followed on from the Election night high. Aylwin’s observation was also very encouraging.

    I just want to praise my son Isaac here (who is absolutely delighted that South Yorkshire is now entirely Labour). He is 15 and so not eligible to vote, but he was still canvassing door to door and by phone, even though he hates making phone calls, and helping out the campaign whenever he could. He and I stayed up all night because neither of us could switch our minds off enough to go to bed while results were still coming in.

    My hat’s off also to a lad from Isaac’s school in the year above him, who sat one GCSE on Thursday then stayed up all night before taking another paper on Friday! I’m so impressed, but also glad it wasn’t Isaac doing that…


  7. BeatnikLady
    June 11, 2017 @ 7:41 pm

    I think it’s also good to see that a positive campaign can be more effective than one that focuses on attack – it might (possibly) inspire a change in style of campaigning in politics. Less of the Trump terror and more of the good that can be done. Goodbye Lynton Crosby – we won’t miss your slanders.


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