For rather a lot of clueless pundits, last night was rather like the Monty Python election sketch: “The result was exactly as I predicted, except the other party won”. The Pundit Establishment, that closed body of the overpaid and out of touch, the kinds of people who bridled at the Labour manifesto because they didn’t think earning over £80,000 a year made you one of the 5% richest, knew what the results would be. Except they didn’t.
The expectation of being proved right was there at the start, exemplified by the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, who would make an ideal choice to follow deeply unpleasant Sun editor Tony Gallagher out of the door, tipping the real world the wink. Tweeting out yesterday’s Sun front page, he told “You know what to do, Britain”. Except that the real world didn’t give a crap what the lying gobshite thought.
And then came the dreaded exit poll. The Tories were not just not going to score that landslide majority, they weren’t going to score a majority at all. Still reality was not permitted to intervene, as Spectator editor Fraser Nelson, another for whom lying comes far too easily, airily asserted “David Cameron used to say that two words could lift his mood no matter how grim he felt: ‘exit poll’. I suspect the same is true tonight”. Wrong.
But soon, reality dawned, even though a grasp of history did not, with Tim Montgomerie venturing “Theresa May has been most disastrous Tory leader since ???? …Eden?” You forgot Cameron. And Eden might have fouled up over Suez, but he’d effectively been PM for most of Churchill’s last term, and his support during World War 2 was exemplary.
Elsewhere, the sheer selfishness of the right wing punditerati was demonstrated by Julia Hartley Dooda: “My number one priority in #GE2017 is a Govt/PM who will deliver a genuine Brexit. How can that happen now?” It’s all about Herself Personally Now. About whom most of the remaining 60 million couldn’t give a flying foxtrot.
Another who thinks her agenda is the only one that matters was Isabel Oakeshott: “Iain Duncan Smith on @BBCRadio4 injecting some much needed calm into proceedings. Abs priority is forming a Tory led govt. Nothing else”. Duncan Cough is a congenital liar. And the priority of a growing number of people is for politicians to stop pissing them about.
At least Mark Wallace at ConHome had the good grace to hold his hands up: “Fair play to YouGov - they were right, I was wrong”. Correctamundo. Likewise Survation. All other pollsters will be entering a period of intense head-scratching.
But in one corner of the pundit enclosure, there could be no backsliding from the deceit and spin: step forward the loathsome Toby Young to reprise his “I think this reflects rather well on the Prime Minister” idiocy when forced to reflect on the momentary controversy that was Young Dave and Piggate. So what was Tobes’ best shot this time?
“Very impressed if it's true that the Prime Minister has decided to soldier on. In these circumstances, that takes real courage”. Oh just f*** right off Tobes. No wonder he’s known as Captain Bellend. Because he’s a bellend.
Some in the pundit establishment are letting the real world into their lives. Most are not.