Having a Lend

One of my pet peeves this election has been the idea of “lending your vote”. The idea that you “lent” the Tories your vote to get Brexit done, but that you aren’t actually a Tory voter.

No. You are now a Tory voter, and your vote for the Tories has helped deliver five more years of Tory rule. You’ve voted for the Bullingdon boys and the credit traders and all the rest of them. At least be honest about it.


Some are arguing that backing a People’s Vote has cost Labour badly in Leave areas. But Labour benefited in 2017 not so much from being pro-Brexit, but from the ambiguity of their position, when Leavers could back their promise to implement Brexit and Remainers could back them in the hope that things could turn around in the next 18 months. That would have been impossible to sustain this time, this close to the edge. If Labour had been anti-People’s Vote they would have lost Remainer votes.

Farage’s decision to pull Brexit Party candidates in Conservative seats has given a distorted impression that Labour did particularly badly in Labour Leave seats. If Brexit Party candidates had taken votes from Tory incumbents as well, we would almost certainly have seen more Labour or Lib Dem gains. Maybe not enough to deny Johnson a majority, but it would have been a closer result.

Now we get to watch the Tories tear their party apart even more in deciding what kind of Brexit they actually want, once it dawns on the Mark Francoises and the Dominic Raabs that passing the Withdrawal Agreement is barely the beginning of “getting Brexit done”. And everyone under fifty-ish or non-white, -English or -rich gets to be collateral damage of the baby boomers’ last-ditch attempt to cling to the Britain of their youth.


have a lend of (someone) (Austr.): to take advantage of someone’s gullibility, to have someone on

14 December 2019 · Politics