Tended to firstly, in order of current importance, the Irish border issue is one of utmost urgency to the current government. Liam Fox, serial liar and renowned buffoon, has in recent days indicated that the UK government won’t discuss the Irish border until Brexit talks move towards trade.
There’s quite a few problems with that, though, as the Irish Prime Minister has indicated that unless the UK government guarantee there will be no hard border in Ireland they will veto any progress in Brexit negotiations as a member of the EU with the power to halt talks.
Interesting, I’m sure you’ll agree. We can’t be seen to be making any progress on Brexit until we get into trade negotiations. Before we can get on to trade, all 27 members of the EU must agree that significant progress has been made in other area. Ireland, as one of those members, refuses to agree to this until their own interests have been protected.
This puts a minority government, propped up by the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland, in a somewhat tricky predicament. If a hard border cannot be implemented between Ireland and Northern Ireland, as they indicate, then the only other option for a border between the UK, not a member of the customs union or single market, and the Republic of Ireland, a member of the EU, would be to put the border between the UK and Northern Ireland, effectively on the Northern Irish coast.
What’s the problem with this? I hear you ask. As my good friend Adam McNeil pointed out, the DUP would need to decide whether they accept a border between the two countries (as ardent unionists), or whether they bring down Theresa May. Northern Ireland’s trade, you may note, is done in the majority with the UK, and a border would be very problematic indeed.
Should, as I expect, the government be forced to guarantee no hard border in Ireland, then they will need to provide an alternative on the Northern Irish border. Downing Street appears to mirror Fox’s sentiments, saying that Britain will not be members of the customs union or the single market, but in order to achieve that the border will have to go somewhere. The DUP could well bring down the government almost instantly.
With the DUP’s 10 MP’s the government has a working majority of just 13. That means that should the government lose any more than 3 by-elections across this parliament, usually 5 years, then they would collapse.
All that would be required to trigger such a collapse? Perhaps some kind of widespread scandal that could force the resignation of 4 or more MP’s. Perhaps some kind of sex scandal?
With the recent horrific emergence of details about the actions of Harvey Weinstein, came a slew of allegations against high profile public figures and politicians. It emerged recently that Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon made a string of lewd comments and lunged at a reporter, forcing his resignation from the cabinet.
Further to this, there have been endless rumours circulating that a large number of Conservative MP’s are fearing for their careers after endless accusations of sexual misconduct.
This isn’t restricted purely to the Conservatives, I might add, with Labour also firefighting a number of accusations, including the troubling claim that leader Jeremy Corbyn was aware of the sexual harassment of MP Kelvin Hopkins before promoting him to the front bench last year.
The issue for the current government is, of course, should the scandal continue to grow and force by-elections (it has been suggested in the media up to 16 could be triggered) it would only take a very minor swing to bring them down.
This is a bit more difficult to explain but stick with me. As social conservatives of the large and little C variety, the Tories are tied in many ways to the policies they can and can’t introduce.
Thanks largely to David Cameron and his liberal approach to Tory leadership, they were somewhat dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century when the coalition government legalised gay marriage and looked at ways to promote ‘big society’ between the years of 2010 and 2015. Thatcher, rather famously, said that ‘you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families.’
Here the problem lies; ultimately the Tories are tied down to conservative policies. In a minority government they’re being ruled by bigots who idolise the likes of Nigel Farage, who pine for a once great British past that never existed. They’re hell-bent on taking us back to the days of empire, when men were men and killed themselves rather than spoke about their emotions, when women were beaten and were grateful for it, and when those pesky brown people did as they were told.
Free market economics has failed us. Look around, we’ve just been told that in nearly 20 years since the financial crash, nobody will realistically be earning any more money. The budget confirmed that it will be 2025 before we earn even as much as we did pre-2008.
Social attitudes have progressed. People now understand that we are all equal despite our differences and that human rights should be extended to the entire human race, not just those who own land or have white skin and a penis.
Their ideology holds them back, what their voters want they can’t provide - it just doesn’t match up to what they believe in and no matter what they try people can see through it.
Without delving endlessly into technical terms and jargon, it’s fucked. Every single projection they’ve made and every single promise they’ve made has been broken.
The government agency employed to make forecasts about their economic performance have had to cut their own projections once again, with economic growth being downgraded all the way through to 2021.
In days gone by economic growth below 2% would have been seen as a catastrophe for a G8 economy, yet here we sit celebrating predicted growth of less than 1.7% for another 5 years.
People can’t earn enough to buy a house or even rent the one they’re in. Rental payments far exceed half of their monthly income for a majority of under 35’s. 10 years ago you could earn £1000 per month and have change after paying your bills, these days £2,000 barely covers the costs.
It’s not a coincidence. When you’ve got a kleptocracy running public transport, energy and water then it’s not difficult to see why spiralling costs mean that people’s earnings aren’t keeping pace with inflation.
Even an idiot can tell that bananas cost 20% more than they did 18 months ago, whether that banana is curved or not. It’s not a coincidence that a government that thinks completely unregulated markets (apart from when their mates are involved) are the solution to economic growth have mismanaged the economy so badly that they’ve missed all of their own targets and people are poorer.
At the end of the day you can try and appeal to young people by abolishing stamp duty but young people aren’t stupid; when the majority realise that the average stamp duty on a £125,000 house is £11 and that house prices have increased by 5% overnight they’ll quickly realise they’ve been conned.
For want of a less crude turn of phrase, she’s just so fucking dull.
A Prime Minister with a working majority was in such a compellingly assured position that, frankly, she’d have been an idiot not to call an election. All the polls were indicating that she’d win a landslide.
Jeremy Corbyn and the opposition were in complete disarray, nobody trusted him and half of his party seemed to despise him. He was being propped up by a bunch of crusty hippy millennials and didn’t seem like he could win a raffle.
Meanwhile, May was polling as one of the most popular leaders since Thatcher, why wouldn’t she take her chances to build the biggest majority possibly in history?
Then something magically hilarious happened; Labour got itself together and started to act as a competent opposition. Jeremy Corbyn came out swinging like nobody expected and gimmicks like appearing at Glastonbury saw the public warm to his human side. He started to talk about inequality, rigged systems and greedy rich people (something everybody could get on board with).
In response? May told us that the naughtiest thing she’d ever done was run through a wheat field, spawning a series of absolutely superb memes. She told us that her and her husband had boy and girl jobs, as the rest of the population under 50 looked on in horror at how backwards that sounded.
It turns out that May has the personality of a brick, and not even a cool brick like that Supreme brick that was selling for a grand.
Having been found out as possibly the dullest person to every occupy Downing Street (bearing in mind Gordon Brown was in there for a few years) she is now being held hostage by a government that daren’t rock the boat. She keeps the balance between remain supporting MP’s who can see impending doom and the Brexit cabinet members who are desperately hoping we grow wings after jumping off the edge of a cliff.
Imagine being Theresa May right now; you’ve been revealed as the dullest person in the UK, you’re being held hostage by a bunch of bigoted nutters and you know for a fact you won’t face another election before being handed a glass of whiskey and a loaded revolver. She must be knackered.
Here’s the issue though – they haven’t got anybody to replace her. Should any of the aforementioned four things happen, who on earth will lead them through another election?
Contrast that to a resurgent Labour brimming with ideas and *ahem* momentum, and I’d be happy to take your £100 off you should you fancy betting against Jeremy Corbyn walking into 10 Downing Street as the new Prime Minister by next Christmas.
About the Creator
Journalist and writer based in Manchester. Studied English Literature with English Language at The University of Salford. Interested in politics, economics and Manchester United. Labour member since Millibae