Being cruel to be kind

Jul 04, 2024By Pete North


Guest soothsayer, Pete North, provides a parting shot as the corpse of this exhausted government twitches its last. It will not be missed.

People ask me why I put so much effort into analysing Reform instead of attacking the other parties. It's simple. I actually want the right to win. By trade, I'm a software analyst. It's my job to find faults. I'm good at it too. Without my work, companies would end up shipping bad software that doesn't work, and they'd lose money. You have to be self-critical to stay in business. 

The same is true of politics. The Tories never addressed the fundamental flaws, and look what happened to them. As with software, sometimes you just have to admit that the code is so badly corrupted or poorly structured that it's better to simply scrub it and start over.

I could have spent the entire election attacking Labour or the Tories, but I don't need to. It's all on record. I've spent more time analysing energy and immigration policy than most of you combined. You agreed with me then, you just don't like what I'm saying now. 

We also know why the Tories are going to lose, and we know roughly what kind of disaster Labour will be. Nobody's voting Labour because they like their policies. Moreover, I don't have a stake in either party. I don't care if they both die and I rather hope they do. What interests me is how we take back power. 

To that end I asked myself if Reform can succeed and whether it was worth backing. It can't, and it isn't. That's my considered opinion as a long time policy analyst and political writer, and someone (unlike you) with a functioning long term memory. Much of my analysis is centres of Farage and his all-too-predictable behaviours. 

I don't deny the man is the best communicator in the business. I don't even disagree with much of what he says. He's just a very poor leader and an even worse strategist. Most of what people say he's about is pure projection, largely because he's a symbol of hope to many. But that's why I find this all so depressing. He will dash those hopes. 

People say I should stop "being negative" and "get on board", which is really just code for "shut up". I know you don't want to hear it. It even costs me to say it. My Substack hits are way down this month because I'm not telling you what you want to hear. But I have always been in the business of telling people what they want to hear. There are plenty of right wing YouTube ranters who sing the songs you like to hear, telling you what you already know about wokery, Net Zero and gender, and I couldn't compete with them even if I wanted to. My conscience could not bear it. 

As it happens, my analysis very much is "getting on board". I have written, at length, what corrective actions should be taken. I have travelled the country to talk to people at my own expense, with money I don't have, and taken to X to produce original content that many of you tell me is too long to bother reading. Well, fine. That's more a reflection of you than me. 

Where I don't want to be in 2029 or 2034, is in this same rut, with nobody to vote for and without a political pot to piss in. That's what motivates me. That's what drives me. I have concluded that there is no future in Reform, it is incapable of becoming anything more than what it is, cannot break through the inherent ceiling that goes with lazy populism, and the barrier to developing it into something sustainable is its leader (and his notorious aversion to detail and consistency).

As such, I'm not prepared to throw good money after bad, or invest my energies in something that cannot succeed. I know roughly how this exercise ends, and it leads us back to square one. You might not care to learn from experience, but we've already seen from Vote Leave and Boris Johnson how this goes. When you delegate the details and delivery to someone else, you end up back where you started. 

That Boris Johnson squandered Brexit is not in the least bit surprising to me. I gave the same warnings at the time, but was again told to stop being "negative" and to "get on board". And here we are, with the Tories about to lose by a landslide - to the worst iteration of Labour there has ever been. How d'ya like them apples?

I take no pleasure in the fact I will be vindicated eventually. That's why I'm so despondent. But I will go on saying it how I see it, because I know some are listening, and they're the ones who will have a voice in building the alternative. In the meantime, if you don't like what I do, take your mithering elsewhere. I don't owe you anything, especially not conformity.

Pete's post on X - comment here... aims to provide efficient and common sense government without the millstone of dogmatic politics