It is only Thursday, but a lot has been happening this week. Mrs May’s attempt to get her pathetic Brexit ‘Deal’ through parliament was voted down with the biggest defeat ever seen in our political history. It’s important to note that. Ever since modern parliamentary democracy has existed in Britain, no government has ever suffered a defeat of anything like this margin. That fact alone should make this week historically memorable. Last night, the government survived a vote of no confidence. No surprise there, as most members of parliament put their jobs and careers before any principles.
But even that overwhelming rejection failed to impress the hapless Prime Minister to do the decent thing, and resign. Rarely has a leader enjoyed less popularity in their own party, and failed so completely in their negotiations with both the EU, the Opposition parties, and their own dissenters. Despite claiming to have worked hard to achieve the best possible deal for leaving the EU, it is apparent to anyone with a functioning brain that all Mrs May has done has been to return from Europe with the deal offered by the other member states, on their own terms, and a ‘take it or leave it’ basis.
I actually feel embarrassed that she doesn’t have sufficient honour to resign, and feels no shame in hanging on to her job, in the middle of this awful mess she has engineered.
Meanwhile, the opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has been making speeches this morning. This former radical, one-time committed Socialist and reformer, now seems intent on one thing. Becoming the Prime Minister. He has gone back on many of his previous statements and promises, by now suggesting that ‘everything is on the table’, in the event of a Labour win in the election that is not actually happening, except in his mind. He refuses to rule out a second referendum, or the much-lauded ‘People’s Vote’, (same thing, different name) and reprises his own demand of remaining in the European Customs Union at all costs.
So, anyone who wants to really leave the EU has no leadership to look to. Both May and Corbyn were firm Remainers in 2016, and both have broken promises to abide by the will of the people, and ensure that Brexit happens when it should, deal or not. The disgruntled Remain voters have wasted two years using their best efforts to overturn the vote, that very ‘will of the people’ they love to crow about., and they now embrace the ideas that demand a ‘second try’, in the sure hope of getting what they wanted in 2016, which was Britain to stay as a member state of the EU.
We hear a lot about how Leave voters were misled. They were confused, lied to even. They didn’t want to leave with no deal, and most of them would now change their minds, and vote Remain. This is exactly what all this stalling, propaganda, and behind the scenes machinations have been about, for the last two years and more. Sowing the seeds of doubt, reassuring the leaders of EU nations that we won’t actually leave the EU, even if it says so ‘on the tin’. Disregarding that ‘will of the people’, because they have no respect for the people that had that will, and consider them to be inferior beings, unable to understand politics, and make up their own minds. It started on the day the result was announced in 2016, and has gone on unabated every day since.
Things always change, after votes and elections. But that doesn’t mean we get another go, at least not until the elected body has completed its term of office. I was unhappy that the Conservatives scraped through the last election. But can I get another one please? Can I change the result of the last one, because I don’t respect those who voted for it? Of course not. Like it or not, that is the system we live under.
At least it was supposed to be.
So what are we to make of our election results?
Theresa May made some wrong moves, and threw away one of the biggest leads in decades.
The tax on property, to allow for social care in later life.
Not attending any televised debates.
Underestimating the UK electorate.
What about Jeremy Corbyn, written off, before the election?
He came across as sincere and passionate.
He said things that people wanted to hear.
He attracted the votes from disillusioned elderly people, and first-time young voters.
Many people believed his Socialist rhetoric.
He secured his position as leader of the opposition Labour Party.
UKIP all but disappeared from the political scene, and their leader resigned. So much for the far right, in UK politics.
The Liberals had some gains, but nothing remotely significant.
Situation normal for them, after the fuss has died down.
Scotland rejected the second independence referendum, and the Nationalist path, with a loss of 30% of Nationalist seats.
Theresa May is unlikely to ride out this storm, and almost certain to either resign, or be ousted.
The knives are out in Westminster, and the sides are forming. She is in neither camp.
Corbyn cannot form a government, but a second election in the short term looks very likely.
That was one hell of a day, in British politics!
Well 2016 was a year wasn’t it?
So we started 2017 with a US President that apparently nobody wanted, a British Prime Minister who got her job more or less by default, and a Labour Party leader whose own colleagues continue to try to depose. Add to that the rise of the Right across Europe, the squabbling over Brexit and the referendum continuing, and the media-inspired panic about Russia’s intentions and China flexing its muscles. It is looking as if this year is going to be an unmitigated disaster for the world, and will change everything as we know it.
Or will it?
Like it or not, Trump was elected. I don’t like him, but I had little time for Sanders or Clinton either. He has started to do exactly what he said he would do, much to the consternation of those who never believed he would go through with it. So he sends silly tweets, and shows off about the numbers who attended his inauguration. He isn’t very statesmanlike, and still looks somewhat surprised that he is really the president. No surprises there. He may not be allowed to get many of his policies past Congress, but at least he is trying to deliver what he promised, whether we like it or not.
Theresa may won the leadership election and stepped in after Cameron chickened out and left the game like a spoilt child, taking his ball home. Her party was never elected on the basis of her being its leader, and she was firmly against leaving the EU in the past. Yet she stepped up, got on with the job, knuckled down to negotaiting with the EU, and even going so far as to hold hands with Trump, hoping for a beneficial trade deal. Now that’s dedication. I would never vote for her party unless I had senile dementia, but given the alternatives at the moment, she has got to be the best of a bad bunch.
Jeremy Corbyn continues to behave with great dignity, despite so many of his so-called colleagues and former friends doing everything but stick a real knife into his back. That bunch of Tony Blair wannabees are more interested in personal power, than in the integrity of their own, supposedly Socialist, party. But the membership, the real people, those without any political influence, they still believe in him. Unless the whole constitution of the party is changed by the plotters within, they are likely to keep him in charge, so that we might continue to see real policies like nationalisation of industries, free university education, and a properly funded health service. Because once he has gone, you can bet your life his successors will be getting out their neutral coloured ties, and matching them with nice blue suits, as they water down everything to appeal to the confused middle classes.
So what am I saying?
In short, just let them get on with it. ‘Special Relationship’ or not, America is a foreign country. Just because some of them sound a bit like us, and they use an approximation of our language, doesn’t make their business our business. Let Trump rise or fall doing what he said he would do, and history will judge him.
As for Prime Minister May, she seems to be doing well enough, at least for a Conservative. I didn’t want her government, but I am stuck with it. So leave her alone to get on with what we voted for, getting us out of the EU.
And whatever you think of Corbyn, the Labour Party would be a grey place without him in it, and the policies would be hard to separate from those of the government. Besides, the members voted for him, so he should stay. That’s democracy, isn’t it?
Or is Democracy only good when you get what you want?