Wednesday 30 December 2020

The Most Read 20 of 2020

Well, this year was a bit of a surprise and not in a good way. At the beginning of 2020 Boris Johnson was the master of all he surveyed, having seen off the liberal wing of Toryism and the bothersome lefties in the Labour Party. And as the year draws to a close, his Brexit deal is in the can and he looks as unassailable as ever. Just don't talk about the 70-odd thousand dead. It says everything about the client relationship the media has with the government and, yes, the inability of the opposition to do opposition that the Tories have got away with this. We'll see how Johnson and his cronies manage in 2021 without the shield of Brexit but, I suspect, tickety-boo is the unwelcome and unpalatable answer.

Still, the wheels of history grind on and your humble scribe was in situ trying to make sense of it all. What, according to the discerning eyes of this blog's readers, caught their fancy the most during 2020? In the chart no one asked for, here's what set the Google servers aflame.

1. The Problems with Jess Phillips
2. Why do the Tories Want to Cut Furlough Payments?
3. The Weakness of Starmerism
4. The Miserable Collapse of Jess Phillips
5. Keir Starmer's Falkirk Moment
6. Why do the Tories Hate the Arts?
7. Priti Patel, the Tories, and the Death Penalty
8. A Cultural Sociology of Mass Stupidity
9. Saying the Quiet Part Out Loud
10. The Left and Keir Starmer
11. John McDonnell: Be Nice to Keir
12. Obligation and Class Consciousness
13. Stoke's Racist Lord Mayor
14. Losing Long-Time Labour Members
15. On Jeremy Corbyn's Defence Fund
16. The Moral Turpitude of Cllr Ally Simcock
17. Labour and the New Working Class
18. Why I've Left the Labour Party
19. The Silences of John Harris
20. The Demonology of Jeremy Corbyn

Ugh, Jess Phillips dominates with the number one and four spots respectively. If I was the unscrupulous sort driven by numbers and attention she'd feature here more regularly because there is a ready audience for our Jess. Seriously, some people need better hobbies. And for the rest? Why, Labour-on-Labour commentary does well as per, but again it always pleases to see my hobby horse - the Tories - attract the numbers. Bodes well for the book (due to hit the shelves next September in time for party conference season, plug, plug).

No predictions beyond a confident forecast about this place being here this time next year with a few hundred more posts under the belt. But while eyes are cast backwards, how about a few posts falling short of the top 20? Let's take another look the Tories' sovereignty fetish, seeing as Brexit is filling the headlines. What is this concept about? Why are the Tories so attached to it? The mythology grown up around it are unceremoniously shoved aside here. The next selection, also on the Tories, is how they are winning the necropolitics of Covid-19. I.e. They have successfully neutralised the politics of pandemic (mis)management and over 70,000 deaths by blaming them on bad luck and a deficit of individual responsibility, when their containment strategy was half-arsed from the beginning and has caused many thousands to die. Lastly, this revisit advice wouldn't be complete without a chin stroker, and filling this role in 2020 are Some Rules for a Militant Political Science. I do fancy writing something lengthy and theoretical about "the politics", but with the book almost out the way, other projects hovering and a lot of work coming up at work, we're going to have to see. This should provide something of a taster, mind.

And there we have it, the horror show of 2020 is almost over. Hopefully 2021 will be much better for all of us personally and politically, but the last five years' worth of ups and downs suggests heading into any new year with preconceptions and expectations is a foolish endeavour. Don't worry comrades, the going does get good sometimes and as long as we breathe, there is hope.

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