Here we are, as of the date of this blog, in the midst of the worst crisis in English political history. So forgive us if we bang on about it.
Brexit has divided the former “United” Kingdom up and down the middle. A referendum on membership of the EU was promised by David Cameron in his 2015 election manifesto. Because we (the Conservative Party) cannot decide between ourselves on the issue of European membership, we’ll let the country decide. This is what happens with indecisive governments; you will notice that all of the national referenda since 1975 have been held under Tory rule. OK, 1975 was under Labour rule, so it was the last two, then. All right, I’ll let you have the 2011 one as well, that was about changing the voting system in the UK and that was given under a Coalition of Conservative and Liberal Democrat rule.
So, it’s just this one, then.
Ever since, oh God, for ever has the Conservative Party been completely divided on Europe. All of our major political parties seem to have some issue or other that just totally rocks their boat – with “New” Labour, under Blair and his pet dog Brown, it was devolution and its various dependent issues. The current Labour lot, under Jeremy Corbyn, seem to be divided on just about everything, including Europe as well, but one of the main issues is the divide between those who cling on to Blair’s and/or Alistair Campbell’s vision of “New” Labour and the traditional left-wing policies that Corbyn was elected to assist the party to go back to. I could go on about that, but that would deserve, I think, a blog rant, or blant, entirely of its own.
Let’s just accept for now that Jeremy Corbyn and his leadership of the Labour Party has been one huge disappointment for those of us who shouted from the rooftops at his election, as great a political event as that was. It’s a massive blow that all Corbyn has done is shot himself in the foot by trying to appease the more central, and right, Blairite elements of the party rather than sticking to his own beliefs. I think, if he had stuck to those with courage and conviction, he might be better placed to offer a more stable resistance to Mrs May and her Conservative shower; as it is, Corbyn offers nothing substantial, no resistance at all to speak of – indeed, all he seems to do is shout at Mrs May in Parliament while telling his party to get cracking on with Brexit. This despite the judgement in Europe itself that Article 50 could be revoked in a court of law if necessary. All Corbyn wants to do is appeal to the middle of the party and the middle of the country.
Except yesterday, January 15, in what I presume – I don’t know for sure – was a free vote, i.e. not one that was persuaded by party policy or choked into submission by the chief whip, Labour and all of those who oppose Mrs May’s Brexit “Deal”, which included some Conservative MPs, soundly rejected the deal and, subtly, Mrs May’s negotiation of it.
To be fair, the deal was clumsily negotiated. Mrs May, who campaigned to Remain in the UK during the Referendum in June 2016, was desperately trying to please the massive 1.9% majority in the UK who voted to Leave the EU. She now believed passionately that the UK must Leave, in an overnight decision, after she suddenly found herself as Prime Minister.
After this turnaround, she didn’t know what to do. She had been elected leader, after Cameron resigned (he had campaigned to Remain in the EU and had, therefore, lost power and the trust of Parliament), to get the United Kingdom out of Europe. However, since she put a deal together, or was put together for her, she has stuck rigidly to it — mainly because she has no idea what to do in any sort of Plan B scenario.
What would any Plan B look like? Presumably, the direct opposite of the one we have now; which means that whoever voted for yesterday’s deal would vote against Plan B, and all those who voted against it would vote against the new one. Mrs May might not be too worried about that; that would at least ensure her a victory in Parliament, because those Tory “rebels” who are doing so much damage to their own leader and Prime Minister would then be supporting the government and not the opposition, and there would be no “Vote of No Confidence” in the leader such as we have got today.
I’m not sure what’s going on in Corbyn’s head at the moment. He has tabled this vote, but he must know for certain that he has no chance of winning it. Those self-same Conservative rebels who voted against the Brexit deal yesterday will vote in support of the Prime Minister today, thus a majority win for the Prime Minister and the media — not to mention everyone else — off her back for at least 24 hours or so.
Who could have conceived that this chaos would come about during the Brexit Referendum campaign of 2016? Who would have thought it? I expect many with far more political nous than myself could have seen it coming, but not I. I write from the perspective of someone who reads the news sometimes and goes, “Holy sh**balls, Batman!” each time a story of some considerable shock value crosses my path.
When I speak of chaos, I speak of headless chicken-chaos: from our PM, from our MPs, from our media, and from the general population. Some supermarkets, for example, have begun stocking up on various tinned food products so that they may make a profit when supplies of fresh fruit and vegetables, which make up around 30% of food consumed in the UK in 2016, dry up after Brexit ‘happens’ on March 29.
Yes, that is the vision of a post-Brexit Britain that some of our media ‘sources’ are touting around the place. Bread queues, job queues, medical queues, starvation and fibre-optic contracts running out are all part of this nightmarish hell-on-Earth vision that some, like the political equivalent of Boris Karloff known as Owen Jones.
Jones likes nothing better than getting in there, and winding people up. It’s a mystery to me what could have happened to him as a child; however, whatever it was was bad enough to leave him craving attention at any and every single little available opportunity. The media that exists on the ‘right’ as it were, and supports conservative (with a small ‘c’) policies around the world, has plenty of toxic people and poisonous journalists; while the left has only one that I know of, and it’s Owen Jones.
Nothing, not a single word that Jones utters, is about the subject at hand and is all about himself and the poison he wants to inject into people individually and society as a whole because of some trauma that must have happened to him when at a pre-school age. There is some itch that he is permanently trying to scratch, and he just…just…cannot reach it.
It is unfortunate that the left has this individual championing its corner. Except, of course, he’s not; he’s championing himself and his self-righteous and sanctimonious points of view — some of which are outright lies.
Most recently, he was on the British political programme This Week, hosted by Andrew Neil, which he tried to hijack by taking the subject away from Brexit and onto host Neil’s relationship with The Spectator, which has enjoyed a successful run ever since it was first published in 1828 — longer than even Owen Jones has lived. Neil, rather understandably, was having none of it and constantly tried to shut Jones up; an attempt that was, for the most part, successful, because I cannot now remember anything that Jones said up to that point.
Jones is one of those sad individuals who love to be confrontational, enjoys winding people up and is what I believe the young people now call a “troll.”
So, there we are: we are a country with a party that suffered the worst Parliamentary defeat by a sitting government in English/British political history. We hope that the scenario will play out this way: that the government will realise can overturn the Article 50 decision, do so, and then sort out the issue among themselves and the country. What is the solution? I wish I knew, but I don’t. To me, it would be to simply apologise to the EU as a whole and each nation individually. The PM ought to go on a tour of all 27(?) member states, get down on one knee before their leader and say, “I am deeply sorry for all the trouble I have caused, will you have us back?” If, and only if, the other EU states accept the apology, then the UK should Remain in the UK, stick to its trade deals and not become an economic and political pariah.
But they won’t do that, will they? No, they will continue to make a bad situation worse by playing politics with each other, forcing general elections here, there and everywhere until they become meaningless until the people of the United Kingdom are finally fed up enough to march down onto WestMunster and demand – yes, demand – change. Yes, in place of marching, I will accept wheelchair usage, partly because I will have to use one myself. x