So, here we go again. The politics of the United Kingdom are centre stage once again. Scottish independence Referendum 2014, UK General Election 2015, EU Referendum 2016 and now, UK General Election 2017.
The one in Scotland was the ‘once in a generation’ Referendum you may remember but SNP generations last less than two years, so independence is back on the table there despite the majority of Scots not wanting one. The democratic vote doesn’t seem to figure highly in the lexicon of SNP manoeuvrings but the inability to accept democratic decisions has become a feature of politics in the U.K. as it has in the United States.
In the US the election of Donald Trump as US President came from so far out of left field that many hundreds of thousands of Americans needed counselling to get over it and the rest of the world feigned support for the new administration whilst privately harbouring feelings of great anxiety. Some of the anxiety about President Trump has been proven to be correct as he makes up policy in the early hours of the morning, uses Twitter to inform his legislature, and then implements said policies by Executive Order. It would seem that the Congress and Senate have been made redundant but they have tried to fight back and flex their muscles denying Mr. Trump his new healthcare scheme and getting the judiciary to overturn his cack handed efforts at bringing in anti terror infiltration by immigration into the US by banning flights from a big number of Islamic countries. American politics has been in a state of paralysis for over eight years now through the Obama years and now we have the unusual sight of a Republican President being stymied by a Republic Congress and a Republican Senate.
I raise this point about America because it begs the question as to who is in charge over there and that question has also subliminally raised its ugly head in the UK since the EU Referendum of 2016. The divisions throughout British society that it caused and the non-acceptance of the democratic decision by people who think they know better than the majority but clearly don’t.
In case you had forgotten, the majority in the UK voted for us to leave the European Union but the loud voices of angst raised by many in need of that same therapeutic counselling that engulfed the United States after November 8th 2016 have been given leave by a largely left-wing British media led by the BBC to make their endless prognostications of gloom, despondency and downright insulting commentary ever since. Over 17 million voters in the U.K. have been dismissed as racists, xenophobes and illiterate peasants who didn’t understand what they were voting for. As one of those 17 million I take exception to that and have written extensively on the subject not only on The Daily Globe but also on Facebook countering such accusations with well considered, researched, and erudite messages of condolence to disaffected Remain voters. I have also urged them to accept where we are, move on and embrace the adventure of finding our freedom again, rejoining the real world and sympathising with those in the EU who will be left behind in a socialist maelstrom of power grabbing corruption that will end, inevitably and relatively quickly, in outright disaster.
Why the Election was called
So why did Mrs. May see fit to call an election when she had said that she would not? A decision that even of itself has come in for media reporting along the lines of U turns and opportunism. There may be some truth to those accusations if you want, as the BBC and Sky among others clearly do, to spend your reporting time constantly running down the Government and contributing to the erosion of democratic values in this country. That word, or a variation of it yet again, democracy. An aspect of worldwide political life that has come under considerable strain this last year or so. I would, as is my want, prefer to talk of the positives of Mrs. May’s thinking and the advice she may or may not have been given.
Politics in this country and many others for that matter, have come under intense scrutiny from the voting populace this past year. The voters have finally woken up to a very simple fact. For too long, politicians have ignored their views, not considered their needs and created an atmosphere whereby the ruling elites have been able to ride roughshod over national sovereignties forgetting that the very basis of national sovereignty is that it is bestowed upon governments by the people. The most obvious example of that is the European Union where unelected Demi Gods have seized power from elected national parliaments and imposed dictatorship upon peoples throughout Europe with barely a whimper of protest. That was before the great people of Great Britain stood up to the plate and clearly said, enough is enough, we want our country back. Others in this union of dictatorship will surely follow suit as history has proven that you cannot subjugate the people of a country indefinitely.
When the decision was taken in June 2016 to leave this unelected dictatorship, I felt at the time that the so called ruling elite wouldn’t go quietly, accept the result and get behind the drive to make our departure a resounding success. And so it proved – power brokers don’t give up years of accumulated power positions easily. There would be no uneasy truce. In fact, the Remain mandarins took to the barricades. Former Prime Ministers were afforded almost unlimited air time on our national broadcaster, the BBC. People with the financial wherewithal to so do faced down the elected government of this country in the courts. The oxygen of this level of publicity gave ammunition to those Remainer MPs in the trenches who called for all sorts of public scrutiny and debate in Parliament of what tactics, positioning and expressions of policy the Government would adopt with the dictators in Brussels. Some even advocated for the Government to hold a second referendum to validate any deal done, but more on them later.
On the economic front, the pound sterling spectacularly revalued against the dollar after years of being overvalued and the usual hedge fund, currency speculators, and their ilk made appropriately obscene profits almost overnight. The FTSE, however, did not go into decline but instead grew almost exponentially much to the chagrin of the prophets of doom at the BBC, the FT and, unbelievably, the Bank of England whose Canadian Governor did not emerge from the pre to the post Referendum period with much credit. He remains in his job to this day which might be something a new administration post General Election 2017 might want to look at amidst quite a few other areas of subversive activity such as the BBC continuing to enjoy the largesse of a tax imposed on the people of Britain. The BBC comes from a time when the commercial options of onscreen advertising were not available but now are and the reality of modern life calls into question the license fee and the apparent free reign the BBC has to perpetuate reporting bias without fear of reprisal.
The other major area of concern of course, has been the behaviour of yet another unelected body- the House of Lords. The machinations in the trenches by the disaffected, disbelieving elite did force the Government to take the whole business of implementing the will of the British people through a lengthy parliamentary process with days of debate in the Commons with endless amendments to the Triggering of the Article 50 Bill, a requirement imposed on a government to advise the EU bureaucrats officially of our intention to leave the EU. What the Commons debates did show up was the still simmering contempt that many Remain focused MPs still bore for the democratic process. The expression “I totally accept the democratic decision of the British people” followed by pregnant pause and then a diatribe underlining that they did not accept said will of the people at all, became commonplace but the electorate not only noticed but have taken note. The outcome of General Election 2017 will be interesting to see how many of them survive public scrutiny of their denials of the will of their own electorates if they haven’t had the good sense to step down before polling day.
The Article 50 legislation without amendment was duly passed with a thumping majority for the Government but then had to go to the House of Lords for approval. The leader of the Labour contingent in the Lords did make it clear early on that ultimately they would not thwart the Commons but insisted on having, full, televised debate on a number of Lords amendments. The 103 Liberal peers – yes, 103 peers with 9 MPs in the Commons, insisted that their fractious antipathy to the whole process was to be based on a requirement in their eyes for the final deal on our EU departure to not only need the approval of Parliament but also the approval of the country through a second Referendum. You will note that I have omitted the word Democrat from the title of the Liberal Party. That is totally intentional as I would posit the argument that since June the one thing that they have not exhibited is any understanding of the democratic process seeking to stymie and deny every aspect of the Referendum vote. To my mind, they haven’t earned the right to be called democrats in any shape or form.
The Bill did come back to the Commons after a few days of debate in the Lords where more peers turned up for their £300 a day fee than had been witnessed in years and most of them did manage to stay awake long enough to agree some amendments and send it back to the Commons where the amendments were given short shrift and sent back along the corridor to the Lords who duly put their tails between their legs and passed the Bill. A couple of days later, the Queen gave it Royal Assent and on March 29th 2017, Theresa May despatched, via our permanent representative to the EU, a long letter to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Commission, advising him that the UK would be withdrawing from the European Union by the end of March 2019.
With this kind of backdrop you can probably imagine the conversations in the May household over Easter and a few phone calls with trusted advisers like Philip Hammond and David Davis.
To her husband Philip the Prime Minister likely says “tell me Philip why I should put up with this kind of obfuscation and denial of the democratic process for another three years. Don’t these people understand that it only makes David Davis’ job with Brussels harder if Brussels thinks I don’t have a strong enough mandate from the British people to be forthright about our position? I am faced, every Wednesday in the Commons at PMQs by a man from Labour who doesn’t understand any of the answers I have given him for the last 10 months and whose own MPs think he is leading his party to Armageddon. I then have to take questions from the SNP who only have one policy, care not a jot for the parliamentary process in Westminster and seem to regard Scotland as an independent country already and Westminster as the tea room annexe of Holyrood. As for little Tim of the Liberals he is now labelled as ‘Dim Tim’ by the people which is a bit unfair but I can see what the people mean. He has said publicly that he and his 8 MPs and 103 peers intend to plot, scheme, delay and deny the democratic process of leaving the EU at every single turn I make. I’m not sure the country can put up with this kind of juvenile squabbling from their elected MPs until 2020 and with the divisiveness in our political standing in the world that it is causing. I know I have said that I wouldn’t call a so called snap election but I’m not sure that we can continue like this. I believe it is time, yet again for the electorate to call their MPs to account and make a judgment about who they really want to run the country, how it should be run and who they want to see implement their will expressed last June”.
And so, as they say, the rest is very recent history. Mrs. May called a General Election on Wednesday 19th April to be held on June the 8th 2017.
The State of the Parties for General Election 2017
Immediate positioning by the parties was fun to behold. Corbyn said that he welcomed the opportunity to vote in a Labour Government that would seek ‘a fairer society and invest heavily in the country’ in other words ‘tax the so called rich and borrow more money that we haven’t earned, cannot afford and have no chance of paying back’. Within 24 hours of that statement from Corbyn his Mao reading, economically illiterate Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell announced Labour’s economic plan to an expectant electorate: swingeing tax on the rich by reducing the level at which the top rate of tax of 45% would come into play to £70,000.
By saying this what he, of course, failed to understand was that the figure immediately put every MP into the ‘rich’ bracket and one assumes, all front bench MPs on either side of the House into a bracket of ‘super rich’. He also reiterated a promise to borrow a further half a trillion pounds to ‘invest in the country’s future’ to be paid for by these taxes on the rich and increases to Corporation tax. If it wasn’t so nonsensical you’d have to laugh. He might read the musings of Chairman Mao but he is no student of economic history which would tell him that whenever a Labour Government has tried to extract even more tax from high earners it always results in less revenue to the Treasury as they either work less, take their labour elsewhere or invest their money in schemes that give them tax relief rather than tax burden. Labour never learns.
The shrill noise coming from Holyrood suggests that an election is a ‘miscalculation’ which probably means that Ms. Sturgeon thinks Mrs. May has called an election to thwart the idea of a second Scottish independence Referendum. The SNP is so inward looking that it thinks everything about British Politics is about Scotland. The SNP’s attitude demonstrates an alarming level of narcissism- but we have almost become accustomed to that from Ms. Sturgeon who has become a sort of poster girl for the look at me generation of politicians who seem to think politics is some kind of game, an extension of the university debating society or Blairite spin over substance.
The Liberals see the election as an opportunity to reinvent themselves. It is to be hoped that the electors of Hallam in Sheffield and in rural Cumbria remember that this is a party that has consistently denied the validity of the EU Referendum since June 2016. The Liberals have called into question the thinking of the Leave voters and suggested that they were too ill informed to make a wise choice- while the intellectual Leviathans of the Liberal Party knew so much more.
UKIP & The Greens
Quite where UKIP is in all of this remains to be seen. They have inconveniently lost their only MP on the eve of the election and so it begs the question who and/or what UKIP voters would be voting for as there doesn’t really seem to be a party anymore. The Greens fall into a similar category and maybe the voters of Brighton might wake up this time and see that Ms.Lucas is so pro EU that it begs the question whether she is pro UK.
A Coalition of Chaos
Amidst this motley lot the SNP has posited the idea of a coalition alliance of the lot of them to thwart the governmental process. This underlines what they think of the UK, but does summon up the picture in some Edinburgh drinking establishment of Ms. Sturgeon, Mr. Corbyn, Mr. Farron, Ms. Lucas plotting the subversion still more of the British political process at Westminster. The last time such plotting took place, you will remember, gave birth to the fireworks industry and the grisly public execution of the plotters. Having said that, when you look at the names in that frame, it doesn’t summon up what you would regard as a stellar cast of potential leaders of this country. To vote for any of them would continue a rather perverse line of thinking based on historical party perception rather than current actuality.
The Choice is clear: Vote Conservative
I think it is time I drew this piece to an end. Not a conclusion as that is for you to decide. Given the leadership options above and the mixed messages coming from all of them, your choices might be a bit limited. Do you want the strength, stability and capability of Theresa May to lead the UK through a difficult couple of years and then beyond post-Brexit? Or do you want a Labour leader who would lead this country into Greek style bankruptcy, a Liberal leader who has consistently denied the accuracy of your EU Referendum thinking and thinks you need to be given a second chance, under his monumental leadership, to get it right, or a Scottish nationalist leader who wants to break up the UK and not heal the divisions caused by the EU Referendum? Or do you want the also rans from Brighton and Clacton?
If you are having difficulty with that choice still, then I have clearly failed in my mission to present the current position of British politics. However, reading the runes, I am getting a sense that the great British people know a quality leader when they see one. I trust that the British people’s choice of leader this June 8th 2017 will be overwhelmingly Theresa May.