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Twitter Reacts to the Absolute SCENES in the House of Commons Last Night

By Petr Knava | Social Media | September 4, 2019 |

By Petr Knava | Social Media | September 4, 2019 |


Dear lord dear lord dear lord. If you’re anything like me and you live in the UK and you’re an a) politics junkie, and b) a socialist, then recent moments in British current events might have been leaving you punch-drunk with the heady cocktail that I like to call ‘a F**berry Pie’. That’s two parts crippling anxiety mixed with one part rapturous hope and served with a slap to the face with a leather glove. And a strawberry on top. Chased with a beer.

The most right-wing Tory cabinet in modern history. The biggest chance of a socialist alternative in generations. I HAVE TOO MANY EMOTIONS RIGHT NOW!

Last night a crucial eve-of-Brexit debate took place in the House of Commons. It was to be a litmus test of sorts of Boris Johnson’s nascent yet already crumbling Premiership. It was many things. Johnson’s first Commons vote. A decision on whether or not Parliament should take hold of the Brexit process. A test of mettle for much-touted but rarely seen ‘Tory rebels’. An indicator of whether or not a General Election was incoming. To say that it was eventful would be a massive understatement. The truth is that British politics has been huffing rocket fuel. Its pupils are dilated as f**k and it’s staggering down the mideelf of the road, swinging its fists wildly about. Yet through all the misery and madness, in the eye of the storm, there is a beacon of hope and reason. Don’t celebrate just yet—as all the country’s institutions and centres of power are tilted against it happening—but a national socialist renewal could well be on the horizon.

Before we get to the Twitter reactions to the show the House of Commons put on last night, first a massive shout-out to all those Jeremy Corbyn anti-stans who have been singing their #ANYONEBUTCORBYN tune since 2015. Huge fan of all the centrist naysayers who have been doing their utmost to shoot down the man whose leadership of the Labour Party has made all this possible. If only you’d had your way and we’d booted him and replaced him with Owen Smith or Yvette Cooper then, THEN, we’d…uh.


And then there’s Tory MP Jacob Reed-Mogg. This is the Victorian workhouse ghoul whom centrist hero Labour MP Jess Phillips is best buddies with and who is in many ways the absolute worst embodiment of all the negative stereotypes of what people picture when they imagine the repressive British aristocracy. His performance in the Commons last night was truly something:

Isn’t that remarkable?

You can practically hear David Attenborough:

‘Here we have, in his natural habitat, the British Tory. Here, in the halls of power into which he was born, on the eve of a crisis that threatens to engulf the nation, he rests, relaxed; assured in his unassailable position at the top of the pile, displaying a classic and palpable contempt for those his profession claims to represent. Truly there has rarely been seen such a naked display of power dynamics in the jungle that is British politics. Most of his ilk prefer to practice a more subtle form of dance. But not the Moggius Poshoferus.’

Joking aside, none of these aristocrats and capitalists playing with our future will pay the price for, or are at any risk of, any catastrophe they may unleash. In fact, many of them—disaster capitalists as they are—will benefit from it.

The truth is the current crisis has been building for a very long time, and is laying bare deep, structural problems with British political institutions.

As one of the few quality commentators left at The Guardian, Aditya Chakrabortty, put it in a piece this morning:

The master-text on the moment we’re in was published nearly 20 years ago. Coping With Post-Democracy was an alarm sounded by the British political scientist Colin Crouch towards the end of Tony Blair’s first term as prime minister. He coined the term “post-democracy” to refer to a country that still had its ballot boxes and elected chamber and rowdy journalists - only all were being drained of meaning. Democracy, argued Crouch, “thrives when there are major opportunities for the mass of ordinary people to participate”.

But the post-democratic order he saw taking shape was “a tightly controlled spectacle managed by rival teams of professional experts in the techniques of persuasion”, in which the interests of multinationals and big businesses would always trump “the political importance of ordinary working people”, especially with the withering away of unions.

From here it was a short step to today’s Westminster of “retail politics”, parties touting their “offer” and the apparatus of marketing. For a while, the sorcerers of the new post-democratic system could buy our consent, as long as house prices kept rising and cheap credit could be thrust down our throats. But then came the banking crisis, which just showed our debt was the financiers’ credit and that they would always collect.

Or, as Novara Media’s James Butler put it:

The country urgently needs a socialist government under Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. It needs the refurbishment of its deeply undemocratic ‘democratic’ institutions and systems that his grassroots-focused and egalitarian administration will bring. The alternative is a ruinous continuation of utter misery and a gift to the rising far-right. As we head into a potentially even more turbulent day in the Commons, there is everything to play for…

Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

Header Image Source: Getty Images