Strong and Stable? May Be Not.
In a defiant act of self-sabotage, the British election has resulted in the second hung parliament in seven years. With so much at stake in these uncertain years ahead, the electorate has tied its hands around its waist and walked into the Brexit battleground with nothing to gain and everything to lose. If we were mocked by Europe before, surely, we have now become the village idiot.
We had one immediate issue which needed facing, and that was the delicate and successful exit from the European Union. Our clock has started ticking as we stretch before the sprint ahead. But boy, are we a fan of political turmoil.
Theresa May called an election in April much to her own horror. She had, seven times, rejected the idea of an election since she claimed we needed to ‘get on with it’. It is said by sources close to her that she was adamantly opposed to calling one. But it all seemed so perfect: with a 20 point lead she would earn more seats and swiftly implement her plans for Brexit. A little dictatorial, but a woman with a plan nonetheless. It was a gamble that would surely end well.
The cooking pot of ingredients that created this stew contained a poison by the name of Jeremy Corbyn. Hated by his own party and with a questionable history behind him, he seemed to be the Conservatives’ secret weapon. They could do no wrong and he could do no right.
Of course, if you are but the age of just 18 months old, you would have now lived through three major political upsets in the western world. These shock results shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who can appreciate political dissonance, and May has no one to blame but herself.
She ran a bad campaign. She didn’t turn up to debate, she U-turned on policy set out in a weak manifesto. She couldn’t frame her narrative beyond two words that have since come to haunt her: strong and stable. Her track record as Home Secretary was challenged and her answers lacked enough depth to pass as acceptable.
Corbyn, it seemed, was batting back fiercely. He had proven to survive two leadership challenges, written a sturdy (if not economically weak) manifesto with a super slogan that managed to engage the youth. And it seems to work. Much to the horror of the brexiters or those in favour of stability and credibility, the Conservatives ended up the losers.
It is true that May received more votes than all the other parties, with the highest numbers since 1979, but what good is a leader if she cannot hold the fort? We have lost our place as a credible nation ready to fight for what we need.
It seems bizarre to me that more people thought just about any issue was more pressing than Brexit. In voting to tax the rich more, we may have risked our place in the single market. That is bigger than any single issue in any given manifesto.
What now will be made more clear as the days go on. May has just sought to govern a minority government with the help of the right-leaning DUP, reducing her power and destroying her mandate. She will never rid of the weak and laughable position she has put herself in. If Corbyn succeeds her, Britain may never recover.
What a mess we are in. But it wouldn’t be British politics if we weren’t.
This is a breaking story and this post will be updated with more information.