All This And France Kicking Le Pen Too?

A strangely muted election night, considering the circumstances and the absolute scale of the defeat. While seeing the back of Rees-Mogg (until he is regenerated into his inevitable final form as a Lord), the hapless Truss, Corbyn seeing off the Labour challenger, and watching the Paisley dynasty disappear from the night were all great fun, Farage winning handily in Clacton and Starmer’s Labour not exactly being inspiring meant it did not quite bring the 1997 feeling.

But maybe that’s a good thing, given what happened there? I can wince at Starmer’s language cancelling the Rwanda programme, pointing out its failure as a deterrent instead of the immorality of it. But on the other hand, he cancelled it within a few hours of becoming PM. Not even waiting until next week. Unlike Blair, they actually plan on nationalizing the railways - Ed finally gets to execute the plan that seems to have survived his and Corbyn’s stints as Leader of The Opposition.

And the idea of creating New Towns for the first time in decades, planning regulations and the green belt be damned? That’s actually pretty radical, and in the right hands could be amazing. Towns built for the 21st century - you can’t say “15 minutes” out loud, but imagine new areas for living and working where pedestrians, bikes and public transit could be given the same priority as personal cars! EV stations! Houses that aren’t just Barratt Homes extrapolated to their 21st century endpoint with cheap fixtures and fittings! New ways of living!

Of course, I’m likely to be disappointed. It’ll probably be “Poundbury, but we added two charging stations”. But still, the possibility of actually building something in the UK that isn’t in London?1

So, a little optimistic? Just maybe?

  1. And Britain can do it - look at the Elizabeth Line! ↩︎