Joe Litobarski

Freelance European Political Journalist

Month: December 2019

It wasn’t Brexit…

Brexit was not the reason the “red wall” fell in 2019. Brexit may have been the excuse many lifelong Labour voters needed to finally take the plunge and vote Tory, but the root causes behind so many seats switching to the Conservatives are older than Brexit (and were also present in 2017).

Seats like Ashfield and Bolsover have been gradually turning blue for years. As then-Labour MP for Ashfield, Gloria De Piero, put it in February 2019 (speaking about the loss of working class seats like Mansfield to the Tories in 2017):

Lazy thinking put the loss of these heartland seats down to Brexit or Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, but the left’s decline with many traditional voters had been coming for some time.

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Birth of a buzzword: Digitalisation

In the Brussels bubble, “digitalisation” is the buzzword du jour. I always thought it meant scanning printed texts and converting them to a digital format. That’s apparently now “digitisation” (and the distinction between the two is still not entirely clear to me).

I gather that “digitalisation” refers, in EU policy circles, to the growing adoption and spread of digital technologies across the whole of society (and the economy in particular). I’ve seen it compared to the process of electrification.

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