Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ conspiracies

February 22, 2023 • 9:30 am

The latest Jesus and Mo strip, called “shady,” came with a note that it was “Inspired by this interesting article”, an UnHerd piece about the ubiquity and nature of conspiracy theorists in Britain. An excerpt:

“The world is controlled by a secretive elite.” This claim will strike some as conspiratorial nonsense and others as an obvious statement of fact. Either way, it is now beyond doubt that a large minority of the adult population believes it to be true. The latest data from UnHerd Britain reveals that 38% of the British population agrees, while 33% disagree and 30% are not sure.

. . . First, it is clear that conspiratorial thinking is not a “Right-wing” phenomenon. Voters who believe in a controlling secretive elite are much more likely to vote Labour than Conservative, and much more likely to live in a safe Labour constituency. By this measure, the 10 most conspiratorial constituencies in the country are all safe Labour seats, whereas the 10 least conspiratorial constituencies are all Tory (except Chesham and Amersham, which switched to Lib Dem in the 2021 by-election).

. . . As the above table shows, the “most conspiratorial” list is made up of poor and highly diverse inner-city constituencies, which may explain why people come to feel so alienated and suspicious. In these places, a conspiratorial world view is the norm — in Birmingham Ladywood, for example, only 14% of people disagree with the statement. Meanwhile, in the rolling Chiltern hills of Chesham and Amersham and the affluent enclaves of Henley and Mole Valley, where the elites likely seem less distant and more on your side, few are concerned. It is a useful reminder to politicians of all parties that, while they may find conspiratorial voters troublesome, many come from the most disadvantaged communities.

But you can read the rest. Here’s the cartoon; I love the last panel!

6 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ conspiracies

  1. So Mo probably votes Labour.
    Interesting graph in the link sent by JezGrove…
    What a spike! MY take, that’s alot of uncertainty on the rampage…
    Given the time we can guess as to what was fuelling the surge.

  2. Somewhat related, I can highly recommend Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America,” an alternate history in which an anti-Semitic Charles Lindbergh defeats FDR in the 1940 presidential election. In the book, part (though not the greater part) of the pro-Lindbergh populace is motivated by fear of a “Jewish conspiracy.”

    A really fine read, very well-written and, incidentally, referenced by others as relevant once a certain orange-haired buffoon named Drumpf was elected president.

  3. This is NOT a new phenomenon. Many gullible people always have & always will assume that there is agency in what happens. We know better – most organisations are incompetent to some extent.

  4. Speaking as someone who lives in the North of England, in a working-class, so-called red wall seat (one that fell to the Tories in the last election), I can understand the feelings of detachment and alienation from the Westminster elites, and my view might not be typical of the majority of people where I live. But there is nothing secretive, or even sinister about our Conservative leaders. We know what’s happening. Tories have a particular mindset of low taxes – justifying their own tax dodging personal practices – so they think that cutting taxes and services will grow the economy and generate prosperity for all, which they tried to achieve with their austerity measures. Would have been a nice idea if it worked, but it didn’t. Impoverishing the poorer in society just seemed to reduce demand leading to a weaker economy and greater inequality. Not a conspiracy theory, just failed economics. A lesson for the right-wing in the US?

  5. Well, if it’s dysfunctional, it may at least be better than the old ‘gods’ conspiracy theory.

    There may be cultural differences here. In Sweden the organization Vetenskap och Folkbildning (Science and Public education) has held fairly large polls 2015 and 2021 and the conspiracy ideation is more set in the populist extreme right party at 20 % levels (and the 2nd worst religious-by-name party at 4 % IIRC). So if you meet conspiracy theorists here they are likely from the party that has its older support in the country side and its younger support from the cities. (That last group likely due to that party’s successful social media range rather than disadvantaged communities directly, but there could be a correlation and be consistent with British statistics.)

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