Wednesday 19 April 2017

Serving whose interests?

The complexities of Brexit negotiations are enormous, and the available time tightly limited.  As plenty have already noted, the theoretical 24 months reduces to 18 when we take out the necessary time for all the relevant governments and bodies to debate and approve any package.  What better way could there be to start that narrow 18 month window by taking 2 months out to fight a general election?  The logic is impeccable to all residents of planet Zog, who obviously understand these things better than I.
The claim is that this election is necessary because all of those horrid non-Tory MPs are failing to vote in accordance with the Tory whip, and some of them are even daring to pretend to oppose the government.  I know that it’s dangerous to take anything said by any politician at face value, but just suppose for a moment that she actually believes it to be true that the people of the UK are uniting behind her vision of Brexit whilst opposition MPs are trying to undermine her (what a novel thing for an opposition to try and do, eh?).
Clearly, if every single one of those opposition MPs lines up against her Tories, they can defeat her government and maybe even influence the nature of Brexit.  Oh, wait a minute – no they can’t.  Mathematics is clearly not her strongest suit, but to the mathematically less-challenged she does actually have an absolute majority over every one else combined.  Unless of course, some of her own side decide to vote with the opposition on a particular issue, and – dare I say it – try and stick to the manifesto on which they were elected.  With, I think, one solitary exception, they haven’t actually done that yet, but some of them have muttered a bit about maybe possibly doing it as the details become clearer.
Her only fear of losing a vote in the House of Commons is if she fails to carry her own party; and that in turn means that defeating and marginalising any waverers in her own party is the only interpretation of her stated reasoning which makes any sense.  I can see why she’d want to do that; she is currently faced with two minority groupings in her own party: the Brexit-at-any-cost head-bangers and the this-is-an-act-of-self-harm remainers.  It means, however, that the election, like the referendum before it, is really all about the internal problems of one party rather than about the interests of the UK.  I can certainly understand why she would want to marginalise those groups.  And I can even agree that marginalising them might make it easier for her to negotiate (although she’s already conceded the most important points anyway).  But it’s more than a little dishonest to try and blame a largely dysfunctional opposition for problems which are a lot closer to home.

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