It seems that if you want to lead a political party, you ought to be a woman. Except Labour of course, because if Angela Eagle stands to be leader she will be beaten by Jeremy Corbyn, Some close to 130,000 have joined Labour recently. Two of these have been my friends, stumping up the full £60 each, both to vote for Corbyn. Both socialists, they haven't been involved as such before.
Now since the Liberal Democrats did the dirty and upheld the Tories, so that at the last General Election they could take the blame, be punished for manfesto dishonesty, and the Tories could duff them up in key areas of the country, I have also been pro-Corbyn or at least as supporting someone prepared to see this rotten economy we have for what it is and to invest instead in people economically and socially. So, a social liberal - that's how I'd describe myself - it was punish the Liberal Democrats and bye bye and adapt to the new situation.
Plus I worry about Tim Fallon's Christianity as much as Andrea Leadsom's, although she is the real deal when it comes to loony religion and loony politics in combination. She's had travel paid for by the neo-Cons when visiting America, she's anti-gay, was always anti-minimum wage, telling the House of Commons of a banking management and stretching her CV when not so, and of course saying things to The Times clearly on the audio tape that she claims she didn't say. But if she's a Donald Trump, then it's all publicity and could energise the nutcases who find a privileged hom in the Conservative Party. The country is going to hell in a handcart and might soon have imposed on to it a horse to gallop it there. Although Theresa May is by far the preference of the Tory MPs, there is nothing stopping the Tory membership from doing a Corbyn and electing Leadsom. Be very afraid.
Everything has changed since this Tory Party referendum was hoisted on to a general public that could not even be bothered to find out how the European Union works, never mind discover its founding principles. The Remain camp would not idealise it, even if flawed. Some thought the EU is neo-liberal: well, if it is, blame the lethal combination of British Economic Liberalism influence and German monetary discipline. We've always had the latter, but the EU was set up as dirigiste in its economic affairs. And had we joined the euro, it would have been a far broader currency and not seen such a division between north and south Europe. Meanwhile the exit camp played on fears and people's mental images of immigration and some wonderworld outside the necessities of sharing sovereignty with people like us. Turkeys therefore voted for Christmas because the people who fed the ideology to them were turkey farmers. The EU referendum was one elite versus another, one able to draw on the frustration of a de-ideologised ex-working class and underclass that has been politically too uninvolved to see that they were being sold a fake prospectus.
And once again on a false prospectus we make a decision to be a bull in the china shop and find there is no plan once the pots are smashed. The Scots will be to us like the Kurds are to Iraq: about the only place to benefit.
But all has changed because I think politics now is NOT about the best deal for how to leave the EU, but how not to leave the EU at all. There is no best deal. Politics for others is also still about leaving, if they can afford it. The people like me at present are a minority, but the minority has to battle to prevent disaster. At present the disaster is starting to unfold due to uncertainty, but it will unfold proper when the UK breaks up, when businesses and finance relocates to the EU (for example, in Edinburgh...). Northern Ireland faces added tension. England faces an even greater dispossessed.
Corbyn's socialism might be the only thing that holds up the dispossessed in a world beyond the EU, but it will only come after a Leadsom has led us all into some kind of marketised cheap hell hole. Go her way, go his: like a manic-depressive on one leg. Except it won't go like that - will it? Corbyn won't be introducing socialism, because the present Labour MPs won't let him. But we might all be sent into the market jungle in a low tax desperate economy based on shelter and food.
Well, the EU referendum made new friends and new enemies. Should the Tories elect Leadsom, then Leadsom might well lose her majority. If Angela Eagle loses to Corbyn, as she will, Labour MPs in the Commons will either temporarily break away from the Labour leadership (deselect them!) and start to make new alliances. The alliances will be based on the EU referendum. So there could (among some) be another SDP type gathering, but this time even wider across, but all with the Lib Dems surely in opposing any invoking of Article 50.
I am waiting for David Lammy to change where he sits in the House of Commons. Surely if Corbyn is re-elected leader he will move. Corbyn is not interested in preventing Article 50 as a matter of principle, only as a matter of what will be the negotiating position at its point of invocation. Presumably, if it isn't satsifactory he'd vote against, but he might accept UK versions of the Social Chapter, for example. So what? - with the EU Qualified Majority sitting on its hands while the clock ticks, the UK could well end up with comparatively sod-all, whatever was its position for a negotiation. Bye bye UK, oh and if you ever wanted to come back, it's not on the terms you had before. In fact, some say, the EU is better off without the UK. The temporary economic hit to Europe and its economy will soon be restored by relocations and the EU can be dirigiste again.
Yes, everything has changed. My friends have joined up, and at the same time the EU vote has given me the space to say that, although I overlapped with Corbyn, I am different. I am now prepared to go back to the Liberal Democrats if they offer clarity. None of this "Don't ever vote for them again" nonsense. Politics changes. The sinners have chances to repent.
My own position, personally, won't be much different. In a sense, this is about the rest of these islands. It's about Europe too. It's about my own mental map, my own idealism, the wider view.
I don't know about Corbyn. I don't know when the next General Election comes if he will reconnect with the underclass and just above, or if UKIP will get a tipping point in its favour and return many MPs. UKIP will still be about because they are like a classroom monitor regarding an EU exit and also tweaking at the ordinary prejudices people have when they want to blame other people for what has gone wrong. The danger then of Labour imploding is to end up as a rump, a second Scotland, this time in the North and Midlands, and then of course Corbyn will go, but it will be too late. But he won't go beforehand. He has the Militant Tendency - no, not them - Momentum driving the discipline and lots of signed up socialists to keep him there. Monte Carlo or bust, and bust is most likely.
The only logic for Labour is to deselect its MPs so that they are going to support its leadership. If they don't, then the 80% of its MPs will never work with the Labour leadership, and it will crumble. The immediate future though is the danger that Leadsom will be the right wing tendency for the loonies to run the asylum, just as they did the exit referendum campaign. They all were: Cameron, a loony for calling it, and a loony defensive remain campaign, and the backstabbing loonies on the exit side, most of whom broke the sodding thing and left it on the ground by running away. But I don't want, hell I don't want, Leadsom to be the wild-eyed one to try and put the pot back into one piece. She is a real ever present danger now.
So, with this change, I'm arguing my corner. Some 16000 have joined the Liberal Democrats since the referendum result. I won't - too wary for that (and broke) and I'm waiting for clarity. NOT a policy to have the most pro-European exit, but to stop it. To argue that a General Election with a manifesto to stay in trumps any advisory referendum, and that beforehand MPs are representatives who discern before they vote. And 76% of them were for staying in the EU. Well, will they agree to do what they don't believe? They are not delegates but representatives. If it is too dangerous, and too stupid to leave the EU, then don't do it. If Leadsom (assuming it's her) can't command a majority she won't invoke Article 50. No one has to help her. So don't do it.