AS any biblical scholar will tell you many of the crucial events recorded in Holy Scripture tended to occur in twos. The animals went in to the ark two by two; the commandments were written on two tablets of stone and the bible was split into the Old Testament and the New Testament. Last week Theresa May revealed that God had told her He was a Brexit man which meant that Heaven isn’t just a place on earth as the great Belinda Carlisle insisted; it was also a place outside of the EU.
So, we should have been bracing ourselves for a twin announcement from the UK Prime Minister. Thus, on next Sunday’s Andrew Marr Show she will doubtless reveal part two of God’s message to her: “To hell with a General Election in 2020, Theresa; let’s just go for it now. Let thine enemies all comest and havest a go if they dost think that they are hard enough.”
Who knows what is engaging the mindset of The Almighty on this one. Perhaps, having seen into the future (as He does) He’s a bit gloomy about the prospects for humanity when you have a mentally unstable and trigger-happy madman in charge of a nuclear arsenal on one side of the world and Kim Jong-un on the other. And perhaps this is why He’s decided to make Theresa His handmaiden and the instrument of His messages to the world.
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Meanwhile the rest of us whose faith in God is either entirely lacking or is not as profound as the Prime Minister’s will have to divine something a little more earthly and a little less dramatic for Theresa May’s decision to go to the polls on June 8.
When it comes to a choice between what’s good for the majority of UK citizens and what’s good for the hard-right cabal who have always pulled the strings in the British Conservative Party there is no messing about it: the primary concerns of the country never stand a chance. Thus, the genealogy of the 2017 General Election sprang purely from the narcissistic ambitions of a reactionary Tory cabal who, if they ever had any loyalty to a cause outside of their own narrow agendas, it was to the principles of the Bullingdon Club. In forcing an EU referendum they manipulated an extreme-right demagogue to whip up an anti-immigration frenzy throughout England. This in turn fed on the resentment of working class communities throughout the Midlands and the North of England to bring about Brexit.
The UK Government is in something of a pickle. It had no strategy whatsoever for Brexit going into the EU referendum and still hasn’t managed to acquire one in the 10 months since. No amount of barnstorming and sabre-rattling and sending in gun-boats to patrol the Straits of Gibraltar has been able to disguise a sobering truth: that Britain’s chances of getting favourable trade deals with the remaining 27 EU states are somewhere between little chance and no chance … and little chance is already looking for the fire exits.
Did anyone ever seriously believe that the remaining EU states would simply roll over and agree trade deals on terms favourable to the UK? In such an event citizens in those countries would ask themselves what is the point of membership of the EU when you can simply leave, end free movement of people and still get a good trade deal.
This has begun to dawn on Theresa May too and she does not want to be facing the wrath of the shires at a General Election in 2020 when it also dawns on them that they have been led by donkeys out of the EU. Nor will it escape many of them that the donkeys will all be insulated from the disastrous effects of hard Brexit by their family fortunes and overseas tax havens. Those lacking the financial wherewithal to engage with a UK chartered accountants firm with detailed knowledge of the Panama tax system will be left to suffer the consequences. So let’s just have a General Election now so that we can have another five years of squeezing every last drop out of the loyal schmucks who vote for us and who will be made to fund the austerity programme: the poor; the sick; the vulnerable.
In Scotland nothing less than a super-election will occur on June 8: it is three elections rolled into one. As well as being a vote for representation at Westminster it will be a re-run of the EU referendum and an opportunity to re-affirm Holyrood’s sovereign right to hold a second referendum on independence. It will be of historic importance.
No election in Scotland since 1997 has offered a stark choice between two competing value systems in the way this one will. Since devolution Scotland’s three main parties of social democracy have fought to exercise power. On this occasion though, the Labour Party in Scotland will be left merely to hold the jackets; the consequences of betraying its own people by campaigning shoulder to shoulder with their social and cultural enemies in the Conservative and Unionist Party on Scotland’s constitutional future.
Ruth Davidson will have only one aim in this election: to eat into the SNP’s 56-3 winning margin as much as she can. She will deploy the tactics of a bygone age in Scotland. She will attempt to split the working class vote not by offering policies that will help them to aspire for better things in a prosperous future but by using the Union Jack to take them backwards. Her manifesto will be an unedifying aggregation of fear, suspicion and resentment at the loss of cultural supremacy. It will be ugly and unsophisticated and manipulate ancient divisions. Those who take to the streets to stoke these fears have of course always been insulated from their effects by their cosseted and privileged lifestyles.
Already it is being suggested by the usual suspects that if the SNP fails to repeat its annexation of 56 seats at this election its mandate to hold a second independence referendum will diminish. This is a simplistic view that fails to acknowledge the once-in-a-lifetime nature of a party gaining 56 out of 59 available seats in 2015. Another comfortable victory is all that’s required for the SNP to retain its moral imperative for another referendum, for that would make it three such triumphs in less than two years. That is what a clear mandate looks like.