John Bull Profile picture
7 May, 17 tweets, 3 min read
Okay. Let's talk incumbency and why Johnson isn't cursed with.

For a new PM of an existing government party to be seen as an incumbent government, they have to represent some kind of continuation of the ideas and policies of the previous PM.
Now traditionally this has always happened at least partially, because the new PM has either come from the same wing as the old one.

Especially in the Tories, where rebellions tend to eat the candidate that kicked them off, with a continuity candidate of sorts winning.
The two notable instances of this NOT happening in British politics in the last 70 years or so are both in weird extreme circumstances:

Churchill (who then led a National Government anyway) and Boris Johnson.
Boris Johnson positioned himself as the hard brexiteer opposition to Theresa May, whereas May NEVER managed to convince EVEN HER OWN PARTY that she wasn't just a continuation of "Remained" Cameron.

May was incumbent.
Johnson, however was the vocal opponent of that swept in at the Tory elections on a promise to do everything different to May.

It doesn't MATTER that if you sweat the details he basically just did a shit version of her deal.

He LOOKED like he was fresh blood doing different.
Similarly it doesn't matter anymore that he's a Conservative. At least to most people, because we've had 30+ years now of party politics weakening as the media narrative around elections and governing has become hugely presidential.

We even have sodding 'leader debates' now.
The ONLY WAY Johnson was going to look like he WASN'T fresh blood, and for the incumbency tag to stick with him, would have been if he'd been forced to CONTINUE the general stagnation on Brexit that had happened under May.
This was happening at the beginning of his reign. We all forget this now as it was a crazy time with everything happening so fast.

It's why Johnson was so DESPERATE for an election that he was essentially trying to no-confidence himself.
He needed an election QUICKY to allow him to ride the initial narrative he'd partly created (and partly lucked into) that he was "fresh blood".

Because he was perfectly happy to trash talk May as much as Labour in such an election.
And his opponents, in love with their own hubris and some made belief that there were secretly thousands of Lib/Lab votes the polls weren't counting, gifted that to him

(The SNP were ALWAYS going to benefit from an election. In seats or in narrative if Tories won big in England)

Big BORIS win (not a Tory win). Brexit delivered (who cares if it's a poundshop May deal). Incumbency timer reset.

Indeed this is all why you'll notice that he basically now just pretends May's government never existed.

He knows how important that reset was to him.
And the NEW incumbency timer will remain paused until post COVID, at least now the vaccine rollout has gone well (get mine tomorrow!) which is what people care about right now.

Cos everyone just wants the weird shit over. And investment. And Houses. And jobs.
Which is all shit Boris says he'll 100% get to and deliver for everyone, covered in glittery unicorn jizz and Union Jacks, once COVID is done with. Pinky swear.

And until his incumbency timer ticks up, or he runs out of populist boogeymen to excuse failure, he's safe as houses.
As a final point, I'll add that Boris wasn't a genius for pulling off the incumbency timer reset.

Pretty much EVERY recent PM has tried it. Both Major and May tried it, but with limited (or no) success as they couldn't afford to totally trash their predecessor.
Similarly Brown DIDN'T try it. He had a brief window to do so and came close to pulling the trigger on election, but didn't.

If he'd called one in the wake of the Scottish airport terrorism incident he'd have won.

But he played it safe. Great PM but bad modern political leader.
Boris just had the right timing and (lack of) qualities to pull it off:

1) big issue he was CLEARLY more in touch with the public on than May OR Labour (Brexit)
2) low-popularity opponent with key floating demo (Corbyn)
3) The backing of the key right-wing press
4) big fat liar
Johnson isn't a political genius. Never has been. He's just a sociopathic populist who's worked out there are very little negatives to being one if you're posh, white and male. Simple as.

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More from @garius

6 May
One of my friends has just admitted to me that he had to get his cat its own prayer mat to avoid issues during Ramadan, which I absolutely love and is the most cat thing ever.
Now I am googling "cats on prayer mats" and am amaze.
This is 100% one of those things thats like:

"Oh wait. Of COURSE this would be an issue"

Once you stop and think about it for even a second.
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6 May
Everyone forgets that there was a DEEPLY shit TV series remake of Passport to Pimlico in the 90s, which focused on how funny it would be if one shit little town in England decided it didn't want to be in the UKEU etc.

I think about that a lot.
I have at various points tried to track it down, just to horror-watch it again, but with little luck.
The two leads were the rabble-rousing woman who owned a shop and led the town in standing up against elf and safety gone mad etc. etc.

And the civil servant sent to tell the town to stop being silly who magically fell in love with her and decided the town had a point.
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5 May
Me, when someone says:

"Let's quickly go through the minutes from the last meeting." Napoleon lying dead on his ...
Me when we FINALLY get to the action I did. Napoleon looking resplenden...
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5 May
Yeah. But can they implement it? No evidence of that so far.

Politics junkies get hung up on who had the idea. But people (rarely) vote for someone just HAVING certain ideas. They vote for whoever they think is most likely to get that idea DONE, or whoever did it already.
Which, again, is why letting Johnson reset the incumbency clock with an election was the biggest fucking electoral mistake of a generation.

And we'll all be paying for it for some time.
But ultimately, if the Tories SOMEHOW managed to bring about a LEGITIMATE economic lift in the north, and build enough houses to make home ownership real for future generations, then fair fucks to them.

Get's that one out the way. Brilliant.

Now let's deal with climate. etc etc
Read 4 tweets
5 May
Political production ahead of imminent elections:

Don't expect to see Labour doing any better for a long, long time.

When decent people make bad choices (Brexit etc) they double down on it first before changing their minds.

Johnson is thriving on encouraging this. Image
There's no point trying to lecture people into changing their minds. Didn't work for Corbyn. Wouldn't work for Starmer.

All you can do is keep patiently advocating good, decent things while making sure things like corruption don't get brushed under the carpet.
You can't shock or gotcha people into changing their minds on a decision they have made an emotional investment in that had real world consequences.

You just have to make the barriers to them having their own, unprompted "Hans" moment as low as possible. "Hans are we the baddi...
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4 May
Find someone who loves and looks after you the same way Windows 10 loves and cares for that ONE PERSON IN THE WORLD who wants Skype to start on system boot.
"Please add Skype to my startup items every time you update" said NOBODY IN THE WORLD EVER.
I will accept that Edge is a pretty damn decent browser now though.

Credit where it's due.

Unlike Chrome, it does accept that MAYBE some other processes would like some CPU time.
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