The people of Tiverton and Honiton have not spoken – they have roared

THE banner in Tiverton! Photo by Robin Alexander

This is not a country of Johnson fans. This is not a country which will put up with lies, corruption, oppression, racism, law-breaking, hypocrisy and exploitation.

There is a majority not just for specific progressive parties but for the core values of truth, fairness, inclusion, kindness, decency, integrity, humanity and the rule of law.

Tiverton & Honiton parliamentary by-election result:

LDEM: 52.9% (+38.1)
CON: 38.5% (-21.7)
LAB: 3.7% (-15.9)
GRN: 2.5% (-1.3)
REF: 1.1% (+1.1)
UKIP: 0.6% (-1.1)

Liberal Democrat GAIN from Conservative.

Lib Dems polled 22,537 to the Tories’ 16,393.

Thank you, Tiverton and Honiton, for restoring faith in the great British public’s ability to clearly discern between right and wrong, truth and lies.

No doubt Johnson will attempt to shake off the opprobrium. He’ll probably come up with a whole cattery of dead felines and flood the zone with black hole slogans and even emptier promises. But his days are numbered and his particularly ugly reign of vice, falsehood and division will be brought to an end at long last.

This is a massive reproof of the right wing media, too. The message to the media barons is clear: peddle your garbage, your dog-whistles, your propaganda. We aren’t fooled. We aren’t stupid. We won’t take your bull any longer. We’ve got our priorities – climate emergency, poverty and inequality, war, pandemics – and we need good, altruistic people to pull together to tackle these huge challenges.

In the short to medium term, we need to see the defeat of a string of bills being rammed through parliament which reduce our human and legal rights, privatise our NHS, see more and more power grabbed by the executive and move us towards an elective dictatorship.

Some of us will have to hold our noses and vote tactically one more time in the next general election and then it must be all about electoral reform, ending the ludicrous, iniquitous first past the post system and empowering us all…making votes matter, not just in symbolically significant by-elections like Tiverton & Honiton and Wakefield, but in each and every election.

You can help make this change in politics and priorities come to pass by joining or supporting campaigns like Make Votes Matter, Liberty, Amnesty, The Trussell Trust, The Good Law Project and, of course, reading and sharing our articles and those of Byline Times and the regional Bylines titles.