FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2017

MAY TO LAST TWO YEARS ?

 

 

WHO WANTS THE JOB NOW ?

Theresa May could remain as Prime Minister for at least two years. Does Boris Johnson, David Davis or most likely someone we’ve never considered really want the job at the moment ?

The Brexit talks will be long, tiring and are very unlikely to end well. There will be vicious recriminations from both sides in two years’ time. The hard Brexitiers are already expecting betrayal. The open Brexitiers won’t satisfy us Remainers even if they get some compromise on the single market and customs union. Whoever is Prime Minister in March 2019 will not receive the plaudits of a grateful nation but will be blamed as the country expels itself from the European Union in economic uncertainty and mutual recrimination.

So, it looks as if Mrs May will stagger through with the help of her friends from the Democratic Unionist Party. Jim Callaghan survived in minority government for three years in the seventies as did John Major when the Tory Euro rebels made life hell for him. How right Lord Heseltine is, Europe is the cancer at the heart of the Conservative Party.

There is talk of an all-party effort to try and reach consensus on what Britain wants in the Brexit talks. I think it unlikely Labour will enter that trap partly because hard left politicians never like to do deals with Tories and because Labour’s position on Brexit is confused. The party needs to realise that a lot of their new young supporters would prefer to stay in the EU. In these fluid times Kier Starmer, the able Shadow Minister for Exiting the EU should position the party so that if it becomes clear to most people that Brexit isn’t going to work, Labour can say that whilst they respected the 2016 vote, circumstances have changed so much that another vote is needed. This could provide the basis for a popular alliance when the next election comes.

FIRST PAST THE POST STRONG AND STABLE?

Once again, our first past the post (FPTP) system has thrown up monstrous unfairness with the SDP being generously rewarded with 35 seats for a million votes and the Green Party getting just one for their half million votes.

The Conservatives are the greatest defenders of FPTP saying it gives us stable government. Well that’s been blown out of the water by the 2010 and 2017 results.

The Tories would have won if just 401 more people had voted for them. They lost four seats by less than 31 and another four by less than 250. So, bring on those boundary changes! Remember the constituency boundary map was going to be redrawn for 2020 and would have helped the Tories. An election pundit friend of mine said it was “madness” for the Conservatives to go to the country again on boundaries containing undersized Labour seats.

The problem now is will Mrs May dare propose the changes in next week’s Queen’s Speech or will it be ditched like most of the manifesto.

Follow me @JimHancockUK

 

Comments

  1. Interesting and enjoyable read, Jim. Europe will destroy any semblance of Tory unity and it is a huge pity that Labour’s lukewarm Remain campaign painted them into a corner that makes it difficult to exploit the government’s position without the charge of hypocrisy. Even more damaging in the short term for Mrs May is the fallout from the Grenfell fire. When the parts played by austerity, housing policy and fire station closures in London are fully understood the public reaction will be ferocious

  2. James,
    Your anti-Brexit campaign continues to know no bounds. Alas, you are not alone. The BBC is four-square behind Remain – and it shows. And there were three separate news articles in last weekend’s FT all angled against Britain leaving the EU. I can see where Andrea Leadsom is coming from when she calls for more patriotism from the media. It’s difficult enough for HM Government to negotiate a Brexit with a reinvigorated EU – it doesn’t need the British media lining up alongside Brussels. Personally I’m also getting very tired listening to former Conservative government ministers – Heseltine, Clarke, Osborne et al – rubbishing the PM, the party, and its stance on Brexit. I note you are calling on the Labour Party to oppose the government stance on Brexit. How can it? On the run-up to the election they made it clear that the will of the people had to be respected and we had to leave the EU. Remember, too, that the newly strengthened Mr Corbin is an anti-Eureopean of long standing.
    Regards,
    Ed.

    1. Edward,
      Leadsom’s call for patriotism from the media is dangerous. The BBC is reflecting the fact that Brexit was won by a tiny majority. YouGov now shows a majority against leaving. This will grow as the agony,stupidity and waste of time of the whole Brexit process becomes clearer. You are right about Corbyn but I think he can be persuaded to gently move the party into a position of being receptive to the changing public mood. After all it is what his young voters, who’s lives were blighted by our selfish generation, want.

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