On Tuesday, April 18th the British Prime Minister, Mrs. Theresa May, sprang a surprise on an unsuspecting and election weary British public. Despite repeatedly saying after becoming UK Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party that there would be no snap election, Mrs. May did another massive U-turn and said she had changed her mind. Unlike Mrs. Thatcher, this Lady is for Turning. Mrs. May is making a habit of this. During the EU Referendum campaign last year she was for the UK remaining in the EU though she had no courage of her convictions, went to ground like the coward she is and was no where to be seen. As soon as the result came in with the slimmest of majorities she did an about face and easily embraced the near split decision with her vacuous slogan in the Library of the Royal United Services Institute "Brexit means Brexit" even though the British people really did not have a clue what they were voting for given the horrendous lies and propaganda that the sordid Leave campaign told during the Referendum.
Remember the big, fat lie that the Leave campaign told the British public regarding the nonsense that the UK taxpayer sends the EU 350 million pounds a week? Absolute rubbish. Or the fact that it is non-EU immigration which accounts for over 50% of immigration into the UK which can already be controlled at the national level and has nothing to do with Brussels? Or the absurd notion that somehow the UK could vote to Leave the European Union and still retain Single Market membership without accepting the four fundamental principles of the Single Market: Free Movement of People, Services, Goods and Capital?
Mrs. May was nowhere to be found on the Remain battle field and did little to counter these lies due to her own personal political calculation that if David Cameron lost he would be gone within seconds and she would be best placed to take over. Now, Mrs. May is once again showing that she simply cannot be trusted by once again going back on her word and positions regarding the need for a General Election. As I wrote last year, it was bad enough with all the massive national and international challenges that the UK was facing to plunge it into the most insular, naval gazing and time wasting exercise with a dangerous and unnecessary Referendum on its vital membership of the European Union. Now, for purely selfish political power purposes, Mrs. May has decided to plunge the UK into another divisive, time consuming General Election when one was not legally scheduled until 2020.
Mrs. May was a pathetic Home Secretary. Under her leadership and that of her ridiculous lightweight aides Nick Timothy and the former football journalist Fiona Hill, the Home Office, which is one of the most rotten, incompetent and corrupt of UK Government Departments pumped out on a daily basis the most disgusting xenophobic, quasi racist rhetoric on immigrants whipping up a national frenzy which helped fuel the Brexit result. Mrs. May failed during her five years as Home Secretary to meet the Conservative Party's 2010 manifesto pledge to lower immigration, even though all the relevant national policy instruments were at her disposal to get this done. As I wrote above, over half of immigration into the UK comes from outside the EU, thus this can be dealt with without recourse to leaving the EU. However, this simple fact proved to complex for Mrs. May, Mr. Timothy and Ms. Hill to grasp. As Home Secretary, Mrs. May also abused her powers by using the Security Services to spy on political opponents of the Conservative Party who were not threats to national security but rather digging up dirt on the Conservative Party and its cosy relationship with certain dubious foreign benefactors.
Mrs. May on the steps of Downing Street on April 18th stated that the negotiations with the EU in the forthcoming Brexit talks would be difficult and that was why she was calling a General Election in order to provide the country with strong and stable leadership. But this is, again, the hallmark of Mrs. May's thinking and rhetoric, absolute rubbish. This line of Mrs. May's that votes for her will give her a stronger mandate during Brexit negotiations is hogwash. Whether Mrs. May comes back with a majority of 600 or a majority of 1, it is irrelevant to the Brexit negotiations. The shots are now being called in Brussels and whether the EU is confronted with a strong Tory majority in the House of Commons or no majority, it won't change a jot what so ever what the final deal will be because that will be largely determined by the European Commission EU27
No, as per usual with Mrs. May and her gang, what they present to the public is very different from reality. There are two reasons why Mrs. May went back on her word and position with regards to an early General Election. Number one: the Tories stole the last election through their illegal, corrupt overspend in 20 marginal seats. Over a dozen police forces have passed files to the UK "Crown" Prosecution Service in relation to this and if charges were brought it could have triggered by-elections which may have robbed the Tories of their 12-seat majority. I couldn't believe they got a majority at the last General Election. And thanks to Channel 4 News and Michael Crick we now know why they defied all the odds to secure a majority. Utterly Shameful.
Even though this was under her predecessor as Leader of the Conservative Party, the equally odious David Cameron, Mrs. May's co-Chief of Staff, Nick Timothy, could very well be implicated in the scandal with his involvement in the corrupt over spend in the South Thanet constituency where the Tories saw off UKIP Leader Nigel Farage. Downing Street has steadfastly refused to comment on the development, but senior Conservative Party figures were concerned that any successful prosecutions of sitting Conservative MPs could lead to election results being declared void, causing a string of new elections during Brexit negotiations. The Conservative Government only has a majority of 12 MPs over all other parties in the House of Commons. At least 20 Conservative MPs are under investigation. If these Conservative MPs were forced to resign the Government of Theresa May may have fallen from power during the Brexit negotiations.
Number Two: since Mrs. May came to power on the back of the result of the June 2016 Referendum result to leave the European Union, the Conservative Party ratings in the UK opinion polls have soared as she has ditched her previous support for Remain and embraced a Hard Brexit and her triggering of Article 50 with the formal notification to leave the European Union in March. Some opinion polls put the Conservatives as far ahead of the main Opposition Party, the Labour Party, by 20%. The decision to trigger Article 50 has proved wildly popular in areas of the UK such as Wales and the North of England; poor, uneducated provincial areas which were previously electoral strongholds of the Labour Party.
Meanwhile the Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn is seen as being badly divided. The UK media is very hostile to Mr. Corbyn with nearly all the major national newspapers such as Rupert Murdoch’s The Times and The Sun and the Barclay brothers’ The Daily Telegraph, and Viscount Rothermere’s The Daily Mail and Richard Desmond’s The Daily Express constantly running negative stories about Mr. Corbyn. Mr. Corbyn has been constantly attacked and criticised by members of his own Parliamentary Party even though he commands a strong following in the national party at the grassroots membership level. Average British voters in the working/middle classes view Mr. Corbyn as being a Marxist, i.e. too far left within the British political spectrum. By going to the country now for a General Election, Mrs. May and her advisors have calculated that there may never be a better time to destroy the Labour Party for a generation and secure a huge majority in the House of Commons, possibly well over 100 MPs more than any over the other parties. This would be the largest majority the Conservative Party has had in the House of Commons since Margaret Thatcher secured a landslide majority of 144 in the 1983 General Election thanks to her successful prosecution of the Falklands War against Argentina or her 1987 General Election majority of 101 thanks to a booming economy and weak Labour opposition under the then Labour Party leader of Neil Kinnock.
If Mrs. May had waited until 2020 the «Brexit Factor» which has boosted the Conservative Party could very well have worn off by then; Jeremy Corbyn may have resigned and a more acceptable Labour Leader come into place; the Conservatives may have lost their majority due to the police investigations mentioned above or the economy could have nosedived due to onset off the reality hitting home of the full enormity of Brexit. With a larger majority in the House of Commons, Mrs. May’s political authority will be greatly enhanced. She will not need to be so deferential with her internal party critics and opponents; she will be able to move ahead with more radical Conservative policies on domestic matters such as the National Health Service, taxes, welfare spending etc. With a bigger majority in the House of Commons, she will probably never lose a vote on her legislative agenda.
However, opinion polls in Western democracies are increasingly flawed and inaccurate. The polls were wrong over Brexit and wrong over Trump. Mrs. May has already displayed an incredibly thin skin when it comes to dealing with criticism and dissent in a so-called free and open liberal democracy. Those who are always the least talented and the least impressive tend towards control freakery and dictatorial behaviour because they know how inadequate they really are and thus feel so insecure they do not possess inner self-confidence. This explains why Mrs. May and her advisors such as Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill are so overly combative, because fundamentally they are not really all that good at what they do, apart from engaging in petty, immature, playground politics. They have little life experience outside of the Westminster bubble and Conservative Party and their academic credentials are not terribly impressive. It must be remembered that in 1970 Harold Wilson cashed in on favourable opinion polls and went to the country a little earlier than he needed to. And what was the result? He lost to Edward Heath's Conservative Party. The next few weeks will be very interesting in British politics.