CABINET SPLITS ON EU.
What an appalling start to the New Year it has been for British politics.
David Cameron’s decision to allow Cabinet members to split on the E.U Referendum is a flat contradiction of what he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr a year ago. The Prime Minister is a brazen pragmatist. What he said yesterday does not matter. He can busk it with his effortless Etonian charm. Now we must wait and see how many Cabinet Ministers take the opportunity to rubbish the deal Cameron gets from his negotiations. If Home Secretary Theresa May, and careerist Boris Johnson join the perennial anti EU Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling then the Prime Minister has a serious problem and so do those of us who want to stay in. Cameron will deserve it if the campaign becomes acrimonious and the Tory Party is split for a generation.
That is what happened to Labour soon after Harold Wilson allowed his Cabinet to split on the 1975 referendum. Within six years Cabinet members who had campaigned to stay in formed the Social Democrat Party whilst the Labour Party descended into faction fighting. It vowed never to return to those days when it won power sixteen long years later but this week we have seen in the longest reshuffle in history that Labour is going to be unfit for office until 2025 or 2030. What a betrayal of working class people! From the Blair-Brown feud to the current shambles, both left and right in the party have let ordinary people down big time.
THE YEAR AHEAD.
Apart from the EU Referendum which is likely in June, what else have we to look forward to this year?
THE AMERICAN DYNASTIES TO CONTINUE.
Kennedy, Bush, Clinton; it is amazing that in a country of 320 million people that it is quite possible that between 1989 and 2024 either a Clinton or a Bush will have been President of the United States apart from Barack Obama.
It looks almost certain that Hilary Clinton will win in November because the Republicans have narrowed their support base at a time when America is becoming more multicultural. It is possible the Republicans will choose Donald Trump but even if it is Florida senator Marco Rubio, they are still likely to be handicapped by their reluctance to accept the USA as it is.
CARRY ON CORBYN.
Labour are likely to be heavily beaten in the Scottish government elections but if they can win the London Mayor race and hold their very strong position in local government in the North, there will be no immediate pressure on Jeremy Corbyn.
Locally interest will focus on Liverpool where Joe Anderson is due to stand again for mayor of the city. As he has recently taken over as chair of the Liverpool City Region which is due to elect a mayor for the wider area next year, he may stand down. It is difficult to see how elected mayors in Liverpool and Salford will sit happily under mayors for the larger combined authorities.
Meanwhile Leeds, Lancashire, Cheshire and Cumbria will be looking to conclude devolution deals.