When Theresa May said that she did not want a General Election before 2020, I believed her. When she said two days ago that she had only “recently and reluctantly” changed her mind, I still believed her.
She had sufficient working majority to get the Bill to trigger Article 50 through Parliament, unamended. She had enough political prowess to stick to her timetable and get her way.
I also believed her because I wanted to, and because an early election does not help a straight Brexit.
This Parliament passed the Referendum Act and this Parliament should have seen it through.
A new Parliament may be under a continuing obligation to respect the Referendum result, but it can make of the proposed negotiations for Brexit just what it will.
The Prime Minister argued that the country needs to come together and that we need a reinforced Conservative government in the face of the negotiations to come.
Yes and No.
I firmly believe that the Conservative Party hierarchy pressed hard to take advantage of current political conditions: an ineffective and divided Opposition combined with a 20 point lead in the polls.
It just could not get any better for the Conservatives. A substantial majority in prospect would make her job all the easier.
Will it ?
Margaret Thatcher discovered that a significant majority can make rebellious backbenchers too complacent and too daring …
And with a significant Remain minded set of Conservative MPs, that threat does not disappear just because you have humiliated opposition Parties – speaking of which the rowdy wreckers from the SNP abstained from the 522-13 vote to dissolve Parliament yesterday.
They know full well that the only way their exaggerated numbers at Westminster can now go is down …
The winners are going to be the illiberal and anti-democratic Liberal Democrats. They have openly rebelled against the decision of the people on June 23rd last year. They have stopped at nothing and they brazenly declare themselves as hostile. They were on the verge of demise but this General Election gives them the miraculous opportunity to restore their lost place as the 3rd party in UK politics.
UKIP, however, will see its extinction accelerate; UKIP presence in contests where there are other Brexit candidates can only serve to divide the Brexit vote.
Dangerous when dealing with a political class still suffering the delusion that the EU spells harmony and prosperity when all the evidence indicates serious structural failings likely to lead to its collapse.
And that is what the General Election on 8th June is going to be about.
The Referendum option was clear: Remain or Leave [the psychology of the question and the order of the answers were not lost on some of us].
Remainiacs and Remoaners will say loudly that they have accepted Brexit; it’s now just about the form of Brexit.
Well, I refer the reader to Mr Tim Farron’s understanding of that. The people did not vote to leave the Single Market … Well, the last time I looked, the single market was an integral and fundamental aspect of the EU project on which so much centralisation and regulation is predicated…
But then who am I ? Just a poor deluded voter who wants to think for himself.
Remainiacs and Remoaners will plead other issues, and will want to talk up austerity and wicked hedge fund Tories etc etc etc.
All the while lulling the electorate into a false sense of security: it’s alright to vote for us because we accept what you told us last June; we just want to make the best of it, for you…
Their ‘understanding’ of what is best. We only have to look to the Lib Dems to know what that understanding is.
They will also tell us that Theresa May cannot be trusted. She broke her promise about the timing of the next General Election.
Never mind that it took at least 434 MPs to agree to a dissolution – it was their decision; it was merely her proposition [so perhaps we can put paid to all that nonsense about what is the point of the 2011 Fixed Term Parliaments Act].
In any case I do believe that when the lady said that she only “recently and reluctantly” decided, she was telling the truth. I believe she was persuaded into it.
Where this confirmed and fundamentalist Brexiteer does doubt her is the extent to which she is prepared to implement Brexit.
The White paper setting out the Government position on Brexit negotiations gave no undertaking to take back full control of our territorial limits and fishing rights.
And the government appears to be keen to keep the European Arrest Warrant.
Both strike at fundamental concerns for our Sovereignty, and for our British – as opposed to the continental – way of thinking and acting.
Such principles were fundamental to this writer’s vote to Leave. And they remain fundamental when it comes to whom we vote for in the coming General Election.
Brexit needs to be Brexit. Pure and simple. The fundamental issue at stake here is the vote to LEAVE last June. That vote and the principle of democracy it represents must not be talked away for expedients on trade, or security, or whatever.
Those we elect on June 8th need to grasp this, and act on it.