As the dust settles over the local elections in England, Wales and Scotland one thing is becoming very very clear – all the Tories have to keep saying on the mythical doorstep to voters is…Jeremy Corbyn. The Sunday papers are full of analysis about the size of the Tory majority. Some are being cautious and suggesting a majority as low as 70 – others are starting the throw caution to the wind. I have even read that Theresa May might have to call yet another election in 2019 to get whatever settlement passed her reluctant Eurosceptic wing. Perhaps. However, as I sit here typing these words I can’t help thinking that the Labour Party in the United Kingdom is doomed much as it appears to be in Scotland and if that is the case then it is surely impossible to make reasonable predictions as what might be the effect in the House of Commons. The British system works on the assumption that there is some form of coherent opposition to whatever nonsense the government of the day might wish to enact. If there is none other than wind and furry followed by a comfortable government majority then we are all going to be the losers and suggesting that this is what is needed to purge the Labour party of their madness just doesn’t cut it.
Talking of cutting it there seems to be an assumption this morning that Macron will become the new French President. I am not sure. Even if he does win he has no party in the National Assembly to help him enact his policies. I know very little about the French political system other than the Presidency in France has significantly more power than say the President of the United States who has to act with Congressional and Judicial approval as the current incumbent has been discovering. But the National assembly matters and Macron has no party to form a government from – this surely is a recipe for weak and effective government when one is assembled. This might be exploited by a very strong showing for Le Pen, who does have a small but noisy presence in the National Assembly. The cumulative effect of this is that whilst Macron may well win he will not really get much chance to pursue the Pro EU platform he has talked about. If you want proof of this just look how ineffective Holland became even though he had a strong showing in the National Assembly.
As with everything it all comes back to Brexit. This weekend we’ve seen the first real outpouring of Eurosceptic attacks from the Tories right wing. It started on Wednesday with Theresa May’s I am Boudica speech but I first detected the real movements when Michael Portillo forgot he was supposed to be a cuddly former politico and reverted to form and accused the Financial Times of not supporting the British Interest by publishing a story that contradicted the narrow party political interests of the Tory party. It would seem that from now on in we must accept that Tory Interests are the same as the National Interest. It has continued over the weekend with story after story about how don’t have to pay a penny to leave the EU – which whilst technically is correct is hardly in the national interest as we would benefit from a trade agreement with the EU post Brexit. Again Portillo lead the charge saying that such an agreement is now impossible after Junker’s outburst – clearly the Tory right is out on manoeuvres.
So there we have it – just over 4 weeks to go. An utterly incompetent leader who appears to be happy to hand the next election to a weak and split party who only appear strong and stable because of his failings. As a result of this we are going to have to endure five years of an monolithic incompetent government who really do not appear to have any answers to the questions of the day other than Brexit Means Brexit and Strong and Secure. If that wasn’t bad enough we are going to be entering into negotiations with a failing organisation also lead by what appears to be a bit of a buffon. An organisation that is incapable of making any decisions without years of wrangling to find some form of consensus – so whether what is agreed at the end of the negotiations is actually what is enacted is anyone’s idea.
How did we get into this mess? I have now idea and I think that nobody else does either. Nice one David.