Smooth Operator

Here’s my theory on why the UK General Election to be held in June might actually be good news for Labour. They would never have won a 2020 election and they certainly won’t win this one so in a way we may only have another five years of Conservative government instead of the further eight years we’d have had if Theresa PM had allowed this Parliament to run its full course. `In a way` means that if Labour really, really want to win the 2022 election (and there are some in Labour who’d rather be an opposition than a government) then they need to come up with something with which to win it. 
Theresa May...or she may not...

Sounds simple but opposition policies can only remain threadbare for the next couple of years while we wend out way Brexitwards. As I have said and like a politician will boringly repeat many times till 2018 nobody really knows what the result of leaving the EU will be so any popular policies you might dream up could quickly become irrelevant. However once it’s over and done with and we’ve left we should start to see some indication of which way the wind is blowing. Is it a fantastic opportunity for the UK? Or a complete disaster? Probably it’ll be something in between. Whatever it is that will be the time for bold policies and talk of new beginnings.

Labour does have a lot of problems fitting into this new political landscape. Realistically to triumph in any election they need to win back millions of Scots voters and also those who deserted them back in 2010. Otherwise even the most charismatic next leader in the world won’t do it for them. Of course if Scotland does leave the UK Labour are finished as a potential government.  For Labour people hoping this year’s snap election will put an end to Jeremy Corbyn which it potentially will, they should also be wary that their next leader may not even be the one who takes them through the 2022 election.

Smooth operator that she is, Theresa May is turning into our most inscrutable Prime Minister in some time. Nobody’s even quite sure exactly how she ended up as PM, she just suddenly seemed to be there as if beaming in from some alien world and wiping out the other contenders. Or perhaps nobody else wanted the job of Brexiting. You can read most Prime Ministers after a while. Some like David Cameron or Tony Blair become very predictable. Yet Mrs May has remained low profile. Cameron was more visible in his first month in office than she’s been since emerging as the only candidate left standing last July. Its old school politics far removed from the social media and soundbites favoured by people like Cameron and now Mr Trump who seems to conduct his Presidency via Tweets.

For me this sudden election does turn up a dilemma. I’ve always been fairly sure who I’d vote for at General Elections but this will be the first one when at this moment I have absolutely no idea. I am certainly less idealistic than I was twenty years ago and more generally I think the idea of always voting for one party regardless of what is going on has diminished.
I had hoped that a 2020 election would allow the Liberal Democrats to re-emerge but have been cringing at their recent policies which are either unrealistic (imagining we can stay in the single market) or unjustifiably expensive (free school meals for all primary kids). Plus there’s something rather off putting about their leader. So I have 7 weeks to decide.  I await the parties pitches with interest but do you know what? If I don’t like any of them I might just sit this one out. Roll on the 2022 election!

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