- Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:13 pm
The whole thing just seems really, really weird, and gives me a feeling of profound unease.
We have two men contending to be the UK's new Prime Minister, and they are both trying to outdo each other by increasingly, and actively, advocating a course of action that overnight will throw Britain's economy into absolute chaos, cost thousands of people their livelihoods, and make life needlessly more difficult for most people in the UK. What they are proposing also threatens the continuing existence of the union of UK nations, and risks the return of terrorist activity in Northern Ireland by trashing the precious international treaty known as the Good Friday agreement.
By threatening an exit from the EU with "no deal", it is somewhat obvious that both Johnson and Hunt feel obliged to do so in order to impress the Conservative party membership that will decide which man will get the job. An electorate that, according to a recent notorious YouGov poll, is apparently prepared to see just about anything trashed, including their own political party, to see the UK end its EU membership.
But they're both lying. In theory, a "no deal" exit can take place by default if no intervention occurs by 31 October, but the reality is that there is sufficient opposition within parliament, including the Commons Speaker, to stop a "no deal" Brexit.
Both men are also lying about re-opening negotiations with the European Council and achieving an alternative withdrawal agreement to that already agreed by PM Theresa May, and furthermore, one that will secure passage through parliament. But negotiations are over. The EU has repeatedly emphasised this - there can be no other re-negotiated agreement.
It may even be the case that the likely accession of Boris Johnson will immediately trigger a motion of no confidence in the government which, because of the imminence of the putative "no deal" scenario, actually embodies a real possibility that the government could fall and an immediate general election ensue.
At that general election, incredibly, there is no prospect of the Labour Party winning a parliamentary majority. The best that we might realistically hope for is to be the largest party in another hung parliament, needing to enter into coalitions or agreements in order to govern.
Such an unappetising prospect is entirely due to the inept mismanagement of Labour's political strategy in opposition of its leader, Jeremy Corbyn. He has much to answer for, as the hopes of many for an end to the cruelty and destructiveness of the Tory government are embodied in the Labour Party, and failure to return the party to government condemns those people to more austerity, hardship, failing public services, and the continuing slow death of our precious National Health Service.
The whole business is, I'm afraid, profoundly disturbing, and profoundly depressing. It makes me deeply uneasy.
"The opportunity to serve our country. That is all we ask." John Smith, Leader of the Labour Party, 10 May 1994.