Friday, 29 March 2019

Sticking with the most obvious

Whether or not we believe that there is some deep and clever underlying strategy behind the Prime Minister’s latest attempt to get the House of Commons to agree to her deal probably depends on whether we subscribe to the conspiracy theory of history or the cock-up theory.  I instinctively lean towards the latter; Occam’s Razor has always seemed sensible to me.  There are others, though, who do detect some hint of a strategy, and they are alighting on the possibility that she knows she will lose but is setting out her stall for a snap election in which she can present herself and her party as the supporters of the ‘will of the people’ in trying to implement Brexit, whilst everyone else is merely obstructing her. 
There are a number of obstacles in her way, to say the least.  Firstly, courtesy of her predecessor, calling a general election is no longer in the gift of the PM, and there is absolutely no guarantee that her party will support her in calling such an election while she remains leader.  And even if they did, there is no guarantee that they would win it, particularly if fought by a leader who’s already half pledged to be gone within months (although we know by now that a Theresa-pledge doesn’t necessarily have any strong relationship with the actualité).  No matter how hard Labour try to lose such an election (and to date, they have been making herculean efforts in that direction), there is no guarantee that their own cunning plan would succeed.  And finally, even if the Tories under the leadership of a lame duck PM were to win, with a clear commitment to passing her deal included in the manifesto, there is no guarantee that Conservative MPs elected on such a manifesto would actually vote for it once elected.  They do, as it were, have form on that.  An election would be an interesting diversion but would probably end up changing nothing.
On balance, believing that the PM has a strategy is flying in the face of all the available evidence.  I think I’ll stick with Occam and incompetence as the best explanation.

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