We need to accept this: that the Right are cleverer than we are. By the ‘Right’, I don’t mean those who voted for Brexit and Johnson necessarily, but those who so successfully manipulated them. And I’m not sure that they really are so ‘clever’, rather than simply unprincipled. You can get an awful long way in this world by following the advice (or were they warnings?) of Niccolo Machiavelli, and reaching Faustian compacts with the Devil. (Or with Dominic Cummings, as he’s known today.)
Anyone could see – especially after ‘social media’ revealed the true depravity of people’s thinking – that the British electorate wasn’t deeply interested in politics, except as a game. And that it could be easily seduced by superficialities, propaganda, lies, and pandering to its prejudices; at a time of general discontent; with the Press on your side; and with the help of a few clever tricks to divert all this into channels that suited the manipulators. It didn’t need Cummings’s great brain to work this out; only a willingness to put all morality aside in the interests of ‘winning’. Rightists, it seems, can do this. For moral Leftists – which I like to think describes most of us – it somehow goes against the grain. Is that why we’re destined always to lose?