It’s had some time to sink in now but like an over-zealous application of cheap moisturiser, it’s still refusing to budge and smearing greasy stains on pretty much everything it touches.
A strong and stable PM whose election campaign has resulted in her being too weak to rearrange her cabinet and pick her own advisors and left her forced to arrange a coalition with people who sound an awful lot like what she said Jeremy Corbyn was.
A Europe united further against us through collective laughter is willing to start talks with know-it-all England ‘whenever we’re ready’.
And Jeremy Corbyn. He was never going anywhere anyway whatever happened on 8 June, but losing the election has proved his critics, who said he’d lose the election, wrong and now he’s here forever. Vindicated by an absolutely huge vote for socialism or a vote against whatever the other chaps wanted, at least. Either way, a victory which will no doubt strengthen his and his supporter’s hand – and, I guess, mean more protests and demos about stuff too.
Teresa May activated the Queen yesterday, but this whole process may just have activated the young people finally and it turns out it’s social media wot won it.
And while you can criticise The Daily Mail and the others, whose power it seems has been proven massively diminished, the power of the alternative one-sided story on the Internet (see this for a summary) is probably not much better.
True balance is an aim that, like perfection, is never actually achieved but the excitable headlines that spread on social media are no better than the right-wing traditional media’s stories.
But to all of this there is a communications angle: a Tory campaign which poorly communicated bad plans, and a Labour campaign that sought to interest people with a list of (perhaps) unattainable nice stuff, framed as “it doesn’t have to be like that.”
PR is not only about ‘doing comms’ as it so often seems to be seen, not only about digging an organisation out of the shitbucket, but also about advising how decisions might be seen.
Effective communications is in effect a negotiation and the tight-nit Team May top-down approach seems to have proved the consultative, research-based approach of the Crobyn team right for our times.
Labour’s policies may have been grounded in populist opinion rather than attainability – such as profit being an evil that harms us, corporation tax being a progressive way of taxing and improved public services paid for by someone else – but an effective dose of that is what’s needed in any political campaign.
Letting candidates go out and pitch local campaigns, on local issues, while basking in the relevant bits of the manifesto as showing a commitment to improving things for everyone, has been proven more effective than the ‘standing with Teresa May’ strict ‘lines to take’ approach of the Tories.
I read my local Tory’s campaign promises and I’m not sure what, other than Teresa May, he was promising to do for us locally. On the other hand, Labour and the Lib Dems both told me they’d save the local tip and fight against parking charge increases. Both things that matter.
There are lessons to be learnt here for future campaigns – positivity, hope and all that are essential ingredients of any campaign but keeping people involved, on board and feeling they have some power and will ‘get something’ for their vote is also a big part of framing yourself as the one people want to pick.
That and many other things, including the now-certainty that certainty in any public vote is nothing of the sort.
But this result has produced some questions: is, as some have suggested, a hung parliament the electorate saying ‘none of the above’, or is it more like ‘all of the above’.
What comes next is going to need to be very different indeed to the campaign and what went before if it is to have any sort of legitimacy and risk causing anger against the Tories which won’t subside even if – as seems improbable – the next election isn’t until 2022.
May cannot do what she appeared to be doing yesterday: pursuing ‘business as usual’ on Brexit and her stability.
Even without details of what Brexit with May was, the electorate has not given her a mandate for her interpretation of “yes, we would like to leave the European Union” and that means BAU isn’t an option.
She must now consider her next move, and – as well as becoming more open about her leadership – become more open with us too. Mirroring the EU’s approach wouldn’t hurt her reputation, nor her hand – as she is so adamant it would but doing the opposite absolutely will.
This election was all about May’s strong and stable leadership, strengthening her hand for her negotiations and – although we did enough that she could remain Prime Minister, we haven’t given her free-reign.
When we were shafted by the EU 27 before, the foundations of the narrative for it being Remain and Johnny Foreigner’s fault were there to be built up into a skyscraper slowly and steadily over the course of two years.
Now, the narrative for it being May’s fault has not only got foundations but – in Grand Designs style – has arrived as a pre-built wooden structure which could be put up in just a couple of weeks, even by Jeremy Corbyn.
So everything is pretty much as it was before, but a bit shitter.