Thursday, 30 June 2016

Now that Everything is All Over the Place

I have delayed further blog entries because the situation keeps changing. Good job too because I'd not have foreseen Boris Johnson bottling it.

It turns out that the assassin of David Cameron assassinated himself, via his most recent highly paid Daily Telegraph column. His supporters read it and received a cold shudder, that he might tack towards the remain camp. I took it that he might never invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty at all.

The task was to win office and then proceed; obviously, he would not have had sufficient majority to manage matters, and would need a General Election. Although that might be more difficult than some imagine, the weakness of Labour is ever more spectacular at the moment. It could be that Boris would prefer not to take a pay cut in office (though usually they do), or be overwhelmed by the demands of the job - but most likely he might consider that he'd end up a Gordon Brown, an 'after-Blair' character, in this case 'After-Cameron'. He has plenty of time to consider again after a leader has burnt out on a sticky wicket of a decision made that cannot by definition be carried through successfully. It can't because the exit campaign promises cannot be delivered.

And he may have just decided that he'll take the risk, that a wrecker who bottled it won't be considered again.

I was aware this blog entry might not last a day. It seems in part not to have lasted some hours. Since I wrote this Michael Gove has been accused of "student union politics" and it seems the daggers were out more spectacularly than I had considered. It must be the article, because Gove has stressed that the person elected to be Prime Minister must be a definite out person. He'll attract the nut jobs in this, from the Tory Party, but I think he is finished. Boris killed Cameron, he's killed Boris, and the field is left to others. Plus telling us that Boris is incapable, Gove once clearly said that Gove is incapable of doing the PM job as well. So Boris was capable, but now is not; Gove was not capable, but now is; May who wanted in is now sufficiently out. It also seems Angela Eagle could leave it until next week. Until Chilcott? Or have they bottled it? Heseltine is livid that Boris has destroyed so much and then walked away from the bloody mess.

The Conservatives are now all over the place, although leadership and a General Election would refresh. It should not be clear that they would win, although Labour are making this a lot easier than should be.

I supported (did not vote) Jeremy Corbyn as a person with appropriate ideas for the moment, for the future. The Liberal Democrats were pretty much irrelevant, even after a few recognitions that propping up the Tories was a disaster to themselves and a betrayal of their supporters. That's why their representation fell from over 50 MPs to eight, and nearly didn't get eight.

Events that shift plate tectonics throw everything up in the air. As Conservatives are near leaderless, Labour has finally erupted in so far as the MPs without mass reselection do not support their leader. Right or wrong about a coup, the facts are on the ground.

For me that principle fact is UKIP second in Labour constituency after constituency, sitting on a tipping point that cannot be allowed to happen. As I've long predicted, a General Election must come and fast. There is no time for mass deselection of Labour MPs, which would be highly damaging and unjust, as most have good links with their own electorate.

But also needs must. Corbyn has found himself similar to but the mirror of Theresa May politically, she inward and he outward, but in his case we need a stronger pro-EU stance in all that it has offered to resist what the other lukewarm pro-EU person might want in terms of exiting, or Gove do should the one time 'never me' person get the reins of power.

Corbyn is now the wrong man to lead the opposition, regardless. But he wants to resist and go by the rule-book. Recent days have reminded me of the drama GBH. Michael Murray was then a kind of Derek Hatton, if more naive - Corbyn is none of these - but behind Murray the front man were much harder men. It turns out that the hard man, the 'intellectual', is John McDonnell MP, the Shadow Chancellor. He is the one who won't budge, who dismisses compromises, and insists on the rules. Behind him are movement/s and sometimes the mob. In GBH, part of the mob was provided by the British State, stirring it to exploit Murray, and temporarily terrorise the decent Labour Party member Jim Nelson. There is something reminiscent of Militant Tendency in the Momentum movement. You start to wonder who is running the show.

I have wondered if Corbyn is waiting for the Chilcott Enquiry on Iraq, to have a platform to call for the arrest of Tony Blair etc.. and then to withdraw. He surely doesn't need this office to do this.

Others more flexible would recognise facts on the ground. As I write the only said candidate, Angela Eagle, is delaying her challenge, because it would need a challenge if Corbyn won't step down. She is at least good in parts - the despatch box - but who knows.

The future of Britain as a successful, stable, tolerant country is at stake, and a majority of 3% on turnout is not a good basis for a seismic change in direction. There is every legitimacy for a political party to stand on the basis that the referendum was unnecessary and a gamble for party reasons, that its leave campaign was dishonest, and that after the result its claims cannot be carried out. A General Election always trumps an advisory referendum, with a manifesto that takes account of change and the basis of representative democracy. So make it clear, Liberal Democrats. The plate tectonics have shifted, and we have had the earthquake. It is different now. So, making sure it is supply and need, not coalition, you stand as a pro-EU party on that basis regarding the exit campaign, and that the Liberal Democrats will not repeal or enact legislation to activate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. It has to be a solid promise, and not one like on ending Higher Education course loans, which was never a promise in the first place.

It could even be a dramatic reversal of the Liberal Democrats' fortunes, as dramatic in gains as the losses at the previous General Election. Say it clearly - consistent with the Liberal Democrats' position and as Liberals for many decades. I would move my vote back on this basis.

I would not expect Labour, even under renewed leadership to go this far, but the hope is it would not feel obliged to reveal the 1972 Act and pass new legislation to trigger Article 50. My problem with Jeremy Corbyn is that he would be happy to 'introduce socialism' in Europe, Britain, or England, in whatever entity over which he had power. He is not going to be too bothered about leaving the European Union. And frankly, this is not good enough.

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