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7 october, now always #timeforachange

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

Never has british politics been more precarious. This is not though because of brexit, but a symptom of the same malaise. Setting aside the prime minister's triumphant conference speech (well done, simon, and best commentary is david mitchell's on how the failing lettering was the worst sign) her strategy behind the early election that so undermined her was actually a good one, undone only by its pitiful execution. It's hard to recall now that most of corbyn's parliamentary party were passively-aggressively willing labour to lose (just not too badly) and even his strongest supporters thought staying alive would be above-expectations. The conservatives looked imperious and about to enter a period of thatcher-like dominance giving them time to regenerate and cast the next era in their image, at least if they got through through brexit in one piece. Now universally seen as a disaster, in fact, just an incredulous 71 votes (yep, do the maths) flipping the other way would have given the conservatives a majority and just 23,074 (of the 32m that voted) would have provided a very decent majority of 60. Blair's fall from overlord of everything to pantomime pariah took years; may managed it in days. That is rather symptomatic of trend and time. It is not only british prime-ministers whose average tenure is shrinking, but that of a whole raft of leaders: ftse ceos average time at the top is down from ten to 5 years and the latest premier league manager to go lasted just a ludicrous 4 games, to mention but 2. The conservative party changed in months from being a bulwark of safe-hands and civilisation gallantly resisting the anti-elitist tide that brought corbyn, trump, brexit and the rest into an old people's home that looks a grounded ship with the tide receding. Life is getting ever quicker and expectations higher, driven by 24-hour mass and social media exposing and analysing every movement in real time. It's harder to hide and move quietly on from the small mistakes everyone makes. The demands of league points, dividends or higher poll ratings are incessant and instant. This doesn't make for a satisfied society or durable strategy with inevitable bumps in the road, but drives the desire for instant and constant gratification and results, which doesn't make for a happy life for anyone.