Thoughts on the British election

Well… that was a bit of a culsterfuck, wasn’t it?

I love the fact that May in her arrogance called for an election to grant her a solid mandate to negotiate Brexit with the EU, and the population clearly demonstrated their unwillingness to do so, reducing the Conservatives enough to deny them the absolute majority that they held before May’s ill-fated decision.

I also love the fact that Labour seems to be winning votes among the young people – indicating that Labour stand a fair chance of winning the next election, either by themselves, or (quite likely) together with the Lib-Dems and the Greens.

The fact that there is no party that can form a government by themselves is, generally speaking, a good thing, as it means that whoever get the Premiership has to be able and willing to listen and negotiate – something which I think would be a useful trait in someone who is going to negotiate Brexit with the EU. Unfortunately, in this specific case, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Instead May seems to be leaning on the support of the D.U.P. – a far-right, bigoted party from North Ireland, with firm roots in terrorism. Hopefully the more progressive back-benchers of the Conservatives won’t put up with that, and will force her to either work across the middle or call for a new election.

All in all, I find it hard to imagine that May is able to negotiate a good deal with the EU, or that she will be the PM for a full election cycle.


  1. KG says

    The anti-Tory parties of the centre and centre-left i.e. Labour, Liberal Democrats, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Green Party of England and Wales (only the Greens are arguably left rather than centre left, and they only have 1 MP) together got 52.8% of the vote. However, all except Labour lost vote share – Labour (genuinely) won a great political victory, triumphing over all other parties (except in Scotland and northern Irleand, see below) while coming second! Of course actually winning more seats and votes than the Tories would have been even better, as some establishement-Labour sourpusses, as well as sore Tory loserswinners have been pointing out, but Corbyn has established himself as leader of the Labour Party and the Opposition in fact as well as name – while Theresa May, while she is still “in power”, has been politically vanquished by him, and is thus marked for sacrifial slaughter (speaking metaphorically, I hope) whenever will best appease the Ghosts of Tory Grandees Past, and that fickle deity, the Many-Headed. So there’s absolutely no doubt who benefited.

    In Scotland, Labour did well, but the Tories did better – both at the expense of the SNP. (Even the LIberal Democrats gained at the expense of the SNP, Scotland provided them with their net gain of 4 seats despite slightly losing vote share overall.) Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservative, is asserting her independence over the proposed deal with the DUP (fundy Ulster Protestant bigots, basically – Davidson is engaged to a woman), and the single market.

    In northern Ireland, parliamentary politics is more polarised than ever between the DUP (10 seats) and Sinn Fein (7 seats, which it leaves empty – you’d think they might change strategy at this point, when they could have a voice in how Brexit happens, but no…). One independent Unionist, the “moderate” parties on each side of the sectarian divide lost their seats. Now the UK government will be dependent on one side of that divide for its daily survival. An alarming prospect. A return to violence still looks unlikely, but so it did before the last set of “Troubles”.

  2. KG says

    Hopefully the more progressive back-benchers of the Conservatives won’t put up with that, and will force her to either work across the middle or call for a new election.

    Working across the middle – not on the cards in my view, although since I was wrong about the election, my view might just turn out to be erroneous! But Corbyn is playing the “Stand aside and let me take the helm of the Ship of State” role for all it’s worth at present, saying May has lost her mandate (true), but implying that he has one (false – unless he can make some sort of agreement with other parties). Another election? Corbyn and Labour would welcome one (they say, and it’s probably true unless they are skint – they have the political initiaitve). But for that very reason, the Tories wouldn’t dare trigger one. It would happen if neither party is able to get a motion of confidence through the Commons.