Hipster analysis with Ayesha Hazarika: Politics is a game to pundits who never have to take the pain

Brexit meant everything when the People's Vote grift was ongoing, but now the talking heads tell us that we've 'got to move on'...

The tweet above was posted by former Labour adviser, sometime stand-up comedian, and Times Radio presenter, Ayesha Hazarika, in response to the Brexit dealing passing through Parliament. It is a plum example of the glib, chippy, fact-free bullshit that the British commentariat specialises in. After spending years saying Brexit was the issue of the day and that the consequences of leaving the EU would be calamitous, we’re now meant to just move on.

Ayesha 2020 wouldn’t get on well with… Ayesha 2019 who used an appearance on the BBC’s Politics Live to call for a second EU referendum:

What could have changed to make Hazarika so much less bothered about the whole Brexit thing? Wasn’t she in a fury when she believed Jeremy Corbyn — who just voted against the Brexit deal — wasn’t fighting hard enough? Didn’t she cosy up to the curious coalition of Tories, war criminals, toffs, and advertising agency arseholes that made up the People’s Vote campaign? I must be mistaken because she certainly seems very relaxed about Keir Starmer voting through a terrible deal with little complaint.

Of course, Hazarika has responded to criticism of her glib tweet with… a glib tweet. There is a whole category of British newspaper commentators who love to pepper their copy with the kind of phrases that would’ve been at home in a 1950s copy of the Bunty. Hazarika is among them, hence the toe-curlingly awful coinage “Remain ranty pants!” and her insistence on referring to her audience as “guys”, both in print and on-air. Chumminess and a distinct lack of seriousness are part of her weaponry — her points are serious until they’re not, everything matters terribly until it doesn’t.

Hazarika’s second most galling tweet of 2020 — the now notorious “hipster analysis” crack — also spoke volumes about the wider attitude of political journalists and commentators to… well, everybody who isn’t one of them. Hazarika has a degree in law which is… wait for it… a humanities degree. But of course, she has a chair at Times Radio and is, therefore, a provider of Murdoch-approved analysis which soars high above the mere ‘hipster’ analysis of the non-blue tick masses.

There are no consequences for columnists and commentators who consistently honk out hideous and hideously incorrect opinions. As long as they continue to be over-confident they remain in their over-paid sinecures. The British commentariat is a beautifully appointed roach motel, once you’re in, only death can eject you. Even those uncomfortable moments when your bullshit is revealed to be the stinking idiocy that it really is are only fleeting; cries of ‘I’ve been cancelled!’ from columnists are usually followed by a better contract somewhere else.

When howling about Brexit and specifically kicking the Labour Party for its position was in vogue, many commentators could speak about nothing else. But the new line is that Sir Keir Starmer and his frontbench of equally grey-faced functionaries represent “the grown-ups being back in the room” and the whole Brexit thing is ‘done’. So we are expected to nod mutely as the Leader of the Opposition helps the dodgy deal through Parliament and begs us to believe that “the divisions are over”.

That’s everything that’s wrong with the establishment-mollifying, toothless ‘opposition’ offered by Starmer and the milquetoast interventions of commentators like Hazarika. What they want is a quiet life where they and their dinner party racist friends are able to ‘debate’ policy in a jocular fashion while its consequences remain utterly disconnected from their lives. Their desperate hope is that Brexit goes away and most of the “hassle… and faff” as Hazarika so dismissively phrased it is shouldered by poor people they barely consider and certainly hope never to meet.