Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Grown-Ups Are Coming

One of our grandchildren had her eighth birthday party last weekend. The party room was filled with balloons: dominated by two large ones. They were a huge figure 8 and a unicorn.

balloons at 8
Balloons at 8

“Why the unicorn?” I asked her mother. “No particular reason: they just seem to be popular with children of her age” she replied. Funnily enough, this reminded me of something.

Political Parties

Both Labour and the Tories are split over what to do about the result of the 2016 referendum. But their approaches to the problem seem very different.

Labour, and again at its Party Conference this week, seem to be engaged in an intelligent, nuanced discussion which directly addresses the tension between taking a principled approach – in the national interest – and an opportunist one – to take a narrow view in the interest of the Party. Discussion, for the most part, is civilised and evidence-based.

The Tories, by contrast, are tearing themselves apart on waves of an emotional, irrational shouting match. The lunatic fringe, variously called (by me) the Crazies and Dunces, abandoned reason long ago. Theresa May remains trapped by Parliamentary arithmetic and is being held to ransom by this insane bunch. How this chasm will play out at the Tory Party Conference next week, we shall just have to wait and see. Like peering in on a kindergarten, I expect.

It is clear that public opinion is swinging steadily behind the Labour position. Policies that were vilified as extreme left-wing ideas a few months ago are quickly becoming the new centre ground. People are tired of austerity and are finally seeing that this policy was a political choice and not a necessity, as previously asserted by Osborne and co. Corbyn’s Labour has captured the zeitgeist and giving hope to the 48% of us who voted Remain.

Children and Grown-Ups

So what’s the connection between the politics, unicorns and my granddaughter’s birthday party?

Firstly, over two years after the referendum, May’s government has still not come up with a realistic solution to the border issue in Ireland. Fantasy proposals from the UK Government have been compared to unicorns – they simply don’t exist! A “fantasy island unicorn model” was the phrase used by other EU leaders back in April. (The Chequers proposal is largely based on this fantasy model.)

Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said earlier this week: “…we need to extend Article 50 and essentially turn up in Europe and say the grown-ups have turned up now, let’s sit down and talk’.” Labour is speaking like a group of grown-ups with the Tories like a bunch of noisy eight year-olds.

It’s time we gave a chance to the grown-ups to run the country before it’s too late, to avert the damage inflicted by May’s mishandling of the EU negotiations. And no more need for talk about unicorns.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twitterrss

Hopeless

Donald Tusk says today that Theresa May’s plan for the UK to leave the EU “won’t work”. So do many others:

Laura Kuessberg tweet

This is May in her Little Miss I-Know-Best mode, at its worst. A few weeks from the key November EU summit, we still don’t have a solution to the Irish border problem – about which I warned 31 months ago! May’s mishandling from the start has got us into this hopeless mess.

So her ten-minute talk to the EU27 leaders at the end of dinner last night went well – not!

Even More Hopeless

There’s no Commons majority for Chequers or any other conceivable plan for leaving the EU. Tusk and Macron both said May’s plans risk undermining the EU single market. So it’s even more hopeless.

So far, May has obsessed about immigration to an unreasonable degree. This March 2017 post gives examples of the harm done long before anyone started talking about the Windrush generation. May’s proposals for immigration policy after leaving the EU have satisfied no one (apart from those similarly obsessed) – especially business leaders. She’s still acting more like a Home Secretary than Prime Minister (as I said back in January 2017).

No Tory MP Fit to be PM

Conservative alternatives to May are even worse: any credible candidate to replace her from within the Tory party simply sends shivers of horror down my spine. You know who I mean: there’s no need to name names. Cameron’s crazy plan for a referendum has divided the country and his own party. Civilised discourse has been squeezed out by extremist shouting and abuse.

A whole generation of Tory MPs fall under the long, toxic shadow of Margaret Thatcher, leading to a total lack of anyone statesman-like enough to govern in the national interest. Yesterday’s yes-men and women are today’s squabbling, hopeless idiots. No one would have predicted that the Tories, the self-styled “natural party” of government, would fall so low. “Fuck business” attitudes have infected great tracts of the party – unprecedented in my lifetime. Hopeless, hopeless.

Conference Season

So what next? Well, it’s Party Conference season. The Lib Dems seem to have vanished without trace this week. Most coverage centred on Vince Cable’s possible resignation as leader. Labour next week, then the Tories. Labour seems to be edging ever closer to endorsing a People’s Vote – so a bit of hope there. And the Tories? Last year we had May’s coughing and letters falling off the display board. And this year? Watch this space.

Some more schadenfreude might cheer us up for a short time, but it’s no substitute for running the country properly. Do any of this shower truly understand just how hopeless they are?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
twitterrss