Sunday, 11 June 2017

Everything is Different Now

'Everything is Different Now.' (Charles Moore's mantra since 2008.)
Strange though this will seem to foreigners, the British election was not fought over the issue of Brexit. It got relatively little mention. Both parties were committed to taking Britain out of the EU and ending free movement of people.

Mrs May inanely repeated that 'Brexit means Brexit', without saying much more except that it would mean the ECJ no longer having jurisdiction over our blessed isle. Leaving the Single Market, in other words. Labour's policy came to the same thing, though they were unenthusiastic about it.

University fees and fox hunting were more important issues, but Brexit was crucial in one respect. The referendum result made young people, who mostly want to stay in the EU, see the importance of voting. They did so and they overwhelmingly voted Labour, in large part because of Mr Corbyn's irresponsible offer of free university education.

Irresponsible, that is, if he were a normal politician but he is not. He wants to gain power to lead a left-wing social revolution. Balanced budgets are his last concern.

The Observer says Herr Juncker repeatedly advised Theresa May to hold an election so that she'd be in a solid position to negotiate.

The Sunday Times and The Daily Mail said David Davis pressed an early election on her.

It doesn't matter who did. The decision was hers. 

It now seems a catastrophic mistake, because it was a huge and unnecessary risk, but it needn't have been a mistake. In the polls, to start with, the Conservatives were heading for a landslide. They did very well in the local elections five weeks ago after the general election had been called. Actually they mostly did well in the week before the vote, but the polling companies didn't know how many young people would vote. Most said they would and it turned out that they did.

The real mistakes were in the campaign and for once the campaign mattered. Those mistakes were Theresa May's fault.

She seems, according to an unnamed 'Western Prime Minister' quoted in the Sunday Times, who claims to be friendly to Britain, to have no idea what the EU negotiations will entail. He said this became clear when she met other leaders. This sounds wholly believable, now that we see the prentice errors that led her from a twenty percent lead to this.

She must be replaced. Preferably by a new leader emerging to hold the fort until the Brexit negotiations are concluded. And then by another election fought after the boundary changes, that will happen next year, give twenty or so seats to the Conservatives. 

But though that fends off the danger of Corbyn coming to power for some time how can Brexit be negotiated by a minority government dependent on ten DUP MPs and many of whose own MPs would prefer not to leave the EU at all?

It is all very difficult indeed. Those of us who want Brexit to happen may have to be content, initially anyway, with a soft Brexit.


  1. I think that we have to stick with her at least for this year. Continuity is important. She made a gamble and lost. But one must look at her possible replacements - Boris would be a contender, but is gaffe-prone and would be good on Brexit but not so good elsewhere. Gove has shown himself to be a third-class Iago - and the public will not forget that. I think the country is currently punch-drunk by elections, and if the party in power is taken over in a putsch, it weakens it. The strongest critics of May right now seem to be people like the Remainer, Anna Soubry. She is hideous to voters.

    A Morgan

    1. You might be right - the age of leaders 'emerging' might be over. But I just don't think Theresa May is up to the job, so we must have an election. I agree about Anna Soubry. A right wing friend of mine who is her constituency voted Labour to try to get her out. My friend says it might be as well to let Corbyn is once Brexit is secured to break up the consensus in the hope a more right wing party will emerge.

  2. The Express and the Sun don't matter as much as they used to.

  3. Cant see benefit of replacing Mrs May now , as damage is done and negotiations have to begin in a week or so.
    The return of Mr Gove must be significant: the job he has been given seems an unlikely one so I assume he will be considered helpful for the talks?
    I must say I'm often told that both he and Boris are extremely bright: neither seem to feel the need to show that in office

  4. She brought this on us, and must pay the price. A shame we must as well.