I have voted Conservative just once, in the June 1970 General Election that brought Ted Heath to power. It was the first election in which I was eligible to vote, aged 21 (although the voting age had been lowered to 18 in January of that year).
I can’t remember a more chaotic situation in British politics than we are currently experiencing. Politics is broken. Indeed, it’s hard to remember when politics was held in such low esteem nationwide; respect for politicians has evaporated.
And the cause? Brexit, of course, which has thrown politics into disarray. And while the same tribal party loyalties affect most parliamentary decisions, perspectives on Brexit or No Brexit, Leave or Remain, cut right across party lines and policies.
No wonder then that eight MPs resigned from the Labour Party last week and formed The Independent Group (TIG), joined by three Conservative MPs. Another Labour MP has resigned from the party, but not joined TIG.
Prime Minister Theresa May is the Death Star of British politics and Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn is a politician of low intellectual calibre which, alloyed with rigid and obstinately held ideological beliefs, renders him stupefied, or stupid, or both.
Not my descriptions, I should add, although they are ones that resonate with me. No, they come from the pen of long-time Conservative supporter, former Conservative Member of Parliament for West Derbyshire, and newspaper columnist, Matthew Parris.
Writing in The Times last Friday, 22 February, he wrote what is probably one of the most damning indictments of two party leaders that I have ever read. But particularly damning of Theresa May. Click on the image below to read the article in full.
With just 32 days before the UK is due to leave the European Union (EU), potentially crashing out without a deal if the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated over many months with the EU is once again rejected by Parliament, Theresa May has again kicked the ‘Brexit can’ down the road. Parliament will not hold a ‘meaningful vote‘ to decide the future of that agreement until 12 March. FFS! Pardon my language.
You can imagine some of the reactions. Mike Galsworthy is a leading Remain campaigner.
And this, despite the EU and European Commission consistently stating that negotiations over the Withdrawal Agreement will not be re-opened to rework the wording over the Irish backstop.
Now listen to former Conservative MP (and TIG member) Anna Soubry commenting on Theresa May’s leadership and her obsession with immigration that seems to be driving her Brexit ‘strategy’.
Anna Soubry is not the only person concerned about Theresa May’s approach to Brexit. Philosopher and author AC Grayling tweeted this message a couple of days ago.
Here’s another view from Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley Jess Phillips.
Corbyn has led a totally ineffective Opposition throughout the whole Brexit process. Labour should be points ahead in the polls. Instead they are lagging behind the Conservatives. Extraordinary! Corbyn appears more concerned about winning a General Election, and implementing a ‘real’ Socialist agenda than he is about Brexit and its impact on the nation. Post-Brexit, the country won’t be able to afford his vision.
Because of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, Parliament will have to vote to hold a General Election, if Theresa May decides to call one. Corbyn will find himself on a very sticky wicket. Because of his consistent calls for an election, Labour can hardly vote against such a motion even though recent polls don’t give them much hope of success.
Unless . . . ?
Unless Labour openly support a second referendum or People’s Vote (that seems to be the favored option among the electorate). Clearly, there is a groundswell of support for such a vote, even within Labour.
So, with the nation staring down the barrel of a Brexit gun, who knows what the outcome will be, after 29 March. Brexit has opened fissures in both main political parties that are unlikely to heal very quickly. Is this the beginning of a realignment in British politics? Only time will tell. Brexit has caused the perfect storm.