Well, “a week is a long time in politics”, is the oft-repeated Harold Wilson quote. Right now, it’s difficult to set about writing anything on the current British political crisis following Theresa May’s spectacular Chequers Brexit betrayal which isn’t likely to be out of date by the time it’s published.
Sadly, this was not unexpected for us UKIPpers. The main surprise is that she still appears to retain the confidence of the bulk of the Parliamentary Conservative Party. It’s shameful to see the likes of Michael Gove, Daniel Hannan and the other (Monmouthshire) David Davies MP busily trying to polish the turd. It doesn’t appear the chairman of the 1922 Committee has yet received the requisite 48 letters to trigger a leadership election which could topple May.
Yet grassroots Tories – who were never allowed a vote on Mrs May’s coronation – are up in arms, as are swathes of Leave voters up and down the country who have watched 2 years of ministerial dithering and establishment sabotage culminate in this coup against democracy. Even many in the normally politically apathetic general populace are taking their eyes off the World Cup and asking, “What’s going on?” “Why has Boris Johnson resigned?” “Didn’t we vote to leave?”
Those Tory MPs may just be biding their time. As the opinion polls start coming in showing Conservative support falling away and they start to think about their slender majorities, they may decide it’s time to get that letter in. Maybe they’re waiting to see the EU’s reaction. Will they reject even these desperate proposals and where will that leave May? Maybe they’re waiting for BoJo to throw his hat into the ring after the summer recess?
Of course, many of them are Remainers and will welcome the softest of Brexits. Others put career before principles. There has been speculation that May was forced down this route by globalist big businesses threatening to cancel their donations to the party. If there were a leadership election, Theresa May may yet win. Even if there were a Brexiteer revolt in her own ranks, she may work with the Remainer majorities in other parties to push her deal through. May’s proposals don’t even please the Remainers though.
Sad to say the pattern we’ve seen throughout these torturous 2 years, including – especially – on the part of the Tory Brexiteer frogs as the proverbial water has been slowly heated to boiling point, is that of country and democracy taking second place to maintaining party unity.
We shouldn’t expect the Tories to deliver radical change. The Tory party is the establishment party par excellence. There is a common misconception that the Conservative Party is right wing. Conservative now means conserving the socialist status quo.
Will it be DUP who ride to rescue and force a no-confidence vote?
The threat which May doesn’t hesitate to dangle in front of her MP who might be considering rebelling is that of a Corbyn-led Labour government.
Labour have indeed already overtaken the Conservatives in the polls and, if voters are going punish May’s betrayal and divided party, who are they going to turn to? We, of course, think they should turn to UKIP for many good reasons. While we are up to 6% in the polls, it would appear to be fantasy to expect the disaffected electorate to flock to us en masse between now and a possible snap autumn election. Though both major parties are divided on Brexit and despite Labour being dominated by Remainers and not having a coherent policy on Brexit, we can expect Corbyn’s party to be the main beneficiary of a Tory government collapse.
It may come as a surprise but I was once one of Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency activists. Back in the dying days of the last millennium, in the wake of Britpop, Cool Britannia and the Labour landslide I had moved to north London and was excited to be where the action was. For a young leftie, that was as true for politics as it was for restaurants and nightlife. After all, Islington was where Tony Blair had famously made his home and supposedly made a deal with Gordon Brown over dinner at the (now long gone) Granita restaurant on Upper Street.
Whereas in most places local parties of all colours struggle to find volunteers to stand in council elections, for any budding New Labour wannabe career politician Islington was the place to get your foot on the ladder. Mary Creagh was a councillor (trying harder to ingratiate herself with Jeremy Corbyn at the time), as was Jenny Rathbone (who was later parachuted into Cardiff). I also recall meeting Remain clown-in-chief Andy Parsons (“What do you do then?” “I’m a comedian.” “Oh really.”)
I think it was just the once I met Jeremy Corbyn, when he dropped in at a barbecue hosted by a local party activist. He seemed like a nice genuine guy – in an earnest leftie kind of way – much more like your average grassroots leftie than any slithery Blairite careerist. Being a leftie at the time, I didn’t find that objectionable. I would often see the dishevelled figure of my local MP passing my window on his pushbike and thought it rather quaint and down-to-earth.
It was a short time after this that Blair went to war in Iraq and I left the Labour Party in disgust. That was one of a series of Red Pill events which led me to where I am today. The way I see it is that I have grown up and moved on, while the aforementioned are still stuck in the same political place.
I was gunning for Corbyn during the leadership elections, not because I still see eye-to-eye with him, nor because I hoped he would damage the Labour Party, but because I saw him as more honest than his plasticky weasel-worded Blairite opponents, who I deeply despise.
Corbyn and his fellow-travellers can’t help being open about the deluded adolescent hard-left policies they want to pursue. They’re not as scheming and duplicitous as the Blairites. They’re not that clever.
Ed – Part II of this article by Comrade K will be published on Wednesday.