Friday, December 21, 2018

All roads lead to ruin...

This government faces what has to be one of the least effective oppositions in the history of British parliamentary democracy.

Yet its present lead in the polls is surely deceptive, as the Tories have maneuvered themselves into a position where almost every path they can take from here leads not only to electoral defeat, but almost certainly to longer-term damage to the party's prospects.

Take the deal that Brussels has left on the table. It's unloved. And so will be any government that forces it through Parliament, however unlikely that eventuality currently appears.

Suppose there's another way to deliver Brexit; almost certainly a hard and painful way. This might please a handful of deranged toffs and thier unlikely new allies amongst the northern working classes, but the Conservative Party's reputation as a safe pair of hands for the nation's commercial interests will be shot for good. (And one can't rule out that they will end up taking much of the blame for paving the way for a Corbyn-led administration and all the resulting economic mayhem thereof.) 

Theresa May's minority government emanates out of a parliamentary muddle, set up by an indecisive general election. Yet the PM behaves as if she has been given a decisive mandate by another vote taken a year earlier - and which was only decisive because of the dumb way in which it was set up by her predecessor. 

The somewhat novel, politically-engaged constituency this gave her party are fickle friends to say the least. Not only do they tend to sit at the wrong end of the age scale, many are tending Tory for one reason alone. 

May will know that disappointing them in such a way that Brexit turns out not to mean Brexit (or is halted altogether) could be catastrophic for conservatism. 

None of the options look good, but she's hoping for the kind of fudge that keeps some of the committed Leave voters on board whilst placating the business interests where the party's  more secure base lies. 

Alienating swathes of both the so-called 'liberal elites' and 'the people' would surely spell curtains. 

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