I was going to blog about something entirely different today. However, the immortal words of Harold McMillan (“events dear boy, events”) have got in the way with Prime Minister Teresa May calling a snap general election for June 8th.
Over Easter, May was claiming that the country was ‘coming together’ after the Brexit referendum. The general election is about to prove how hollow that claim was.
If I was a Labour MP, right now I’d be updating my CV, because there’s little doubt the party is facing a bloodbath on June 8th. I can’t help thinking that recent polls showing that support for Labour has reached record lows have had an influence on the Prime Minister’s decision – as well as the way many people treat her ‘coming together’ claims with such derision.
There’s no doubt that the Conservatives will win on June 8th, but will this bring the ‘unity’ May talks about? Of course not.
Brexit is the fly in the ointment. Every day that passes it becomes clearer what an utter disaster it is for the UK – and how the country is throwing away much of its influence because of it. One only has to look at the way other nations (including the Europeans) are talking about us – or rebuffing our political and economic overtures.
Whatever way you look at it, I can’t see much good coming out of the election. It will hasten the destruction of the Labour party and see the back of Jeremy Corbyn, but I’m not sure the party is strong enough to rebuild and return to the centre ground. I’ve a nasty feeling the hard-left grip is too strong and they’ll ensure Corbyn’s successor is cut from the same cloth. May’s position may well be strengthened, but a weakened Labour party will be an even more feeble opposition than it is now. This election is like the Brexit referendum. It’s not about the good of the country, it’s about the internal politics of the Conservative party.
My only hope is that enough people rally around the anti-brexit banner. The local elections on May 5th will be a test of that. If the Tory majority is increased in such a way it allows the Brexit fundamentalists influence to be watered down, we may yet see an outbreak of common-sense within the Tories – something that’s been completely lacking recently.
Could we see the Lib-Dems make a political comeback as the only party that opposes Brexit? I sincerely hope so. Right now, we’re entering yet another period of political uncertainty, the ‘interesting times’ of the apocryphal Chinese curse…