A UK rethink

While UK Labour are resurgent under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership the Conservatives are trying to manage a mess of their own making.

ODT editorial:  Political lessons not learned

British Prime Minister Theresa May is holding on to power with the slimmest of margins and, if predictions from her own MPs are to be believed, she is categorised as a “dead woman walking”.

Mrs May has literally snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by calling an early election, seeking a stronger mandate to trigger a hard exit from the European Union — Brexit.

Instead, she witnessed a resurgent Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn, a man previously so reviled in his own party he had to win two leadership challenges and watch as some of his MPs resigned before the election in the “secure knowledge” Labour was doomed.

The snap election was one of the biggest political misjudgements ever.

Mrs May had no need to call an early election; she was secure for another two or so years.

Already Mrs May has been forced to sack key advisers. One of her challengers, Michael Gove, has been reappointed to Cabinet and the other challenger Boris Johnson, instead of being sacked as expected, retains his Foreign Ministry role.

This is a complete shambles for a woman who staked so much on the result of an early election. Her power as Prime Minister and party leader has been eroded.

There are lessons in British political history of parties coming second in the Commons ending up forming a minority government.

The Tories based their election campaign on fear — fear of immigrants, fear of EU influence in the courts and, selfishly, fear of losing control. The electorate rejected the fear politics and looked for a new approach. There is no appetite for more austerity or a hard exit from the EU in Britain. A rethink has been forced by millions of voters.

May is remaining staunch. She has just told the Conservative caucus that she got them into their current mess and she will get them out of it.

But she has lost the confidence of many in her own party.

The final step will be another election later this year.

She has also lost the confidence of voters. If as many predict another election will be necessary soon May could make an even bigger misjudgement staying on as leader – it’s on the cards she would end up taking the Conservatives from a position of strength to a chaotic and embarrassing lost of power.

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  1. Zedd

     /  13th June 2017

    Mrs May really F@cked it up !
    she could have sailed on.. as stable PM for 3 years & resolved Brexit.. now she has to deal with the nut-jobs like DUP; anti-progress/everything else.. Ulster Unionists party.

    • Missy

       /  15th June 2017

      Interesting comment, just out of curiosity apart from their views on gay marriage (they support same sex civil partnerships), and on abortion (they are pro life), what else makes them anti-progress?

      I have not had a chance yet to read their manifesto but you obviously have if you know they are anti-progress/everything else, so I would be interested which specific policies are anti-progress/everything else.

      I understand they are Eurosceptic, pro Brexit, pro Union (against the reunion of Ireland), and yes they are against a hard border with the RoI, I also thought (but could be wrong) that they support free trade and a more global outlook than is currently able to be had with the EU. I wouldn’t see those as anti-progress/everything else – okay some anti’s, but they are more positive anti’s than you imply.

      I await your analysis of their manifesto in terms of what progress they are against specifically.

  2. David

     /  13th June 2017

    Silly woman. Having said that if she manages to pull off brexit and start running the country properly Corbyn,s popularity would wane exceptionally quickly because he is a bloody marxist. The Conservatives will have to be pretty disciplined and they dont do that too well but the alternative is if they dont hang together they are stuffed.

  3. David

     /  13th June 2017

    “The snap election was one of the biggest political misjudgements ever.”

    The snap election most likely wasn’t that bad an idea. The execution was the fuck up.

  4. Missy

     /  15th June 2017

    There is a lot of talk about how the election will affect Brexit, and some concern it will be softened, however May has said it is her intention to deliver the Brexit outlined in her manifesto. Anything less will cause a civil war in the Conservative party, not to mention anger in the general population, and no doubt pave the way for the resurrection of UKIP and Nigel Farage.


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