We really are in worrying times. I suppose I shouldn’t rise to the bait of the Daily Mail who have characterised this opportunistic General Election as an opportunity to “crush the saboteurs”. (That’s all of us who believe that Britain should remain in the EU and those who at least want the Single Market). After all the Mail has form. They recently dubbed judges “enemies of the people” for insisting Parliament have a say on Article 50. But in their dark past they published a headline “Hurrah for the Blackshirts”. That was a reference to Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts.

But if we can regard the Mail as being the mouthpiece of an ugly middle England which we rather didn’t exist, the really worrying development is the attitude of the Prime Minister to dissent. She is going to the country because the opposition parties in the Commons and Lords are doing their job in scrutinising the Brexit process. She says while the country is “increasingly united, Westminster remains divided.” The country is not united, 48% of us voted to remain and Westminster should be divided, it’s a place where parliamentary debate should be taking place for heaven’s sake.

Mrs May says Westminster is holding up her plans for Brexit. The last time I looked MPs gave Article 50 a thumping majority. Since then preparations were underway for the Brexit talks to begin.

All was calm until another set of opinion polls showing Labour in a dire state destroyed May’s claims to be a calm honest woman and showed her as a political opportunist. This election is all about cutting and running ahead of economic shocks ahead and a Brexit negotiation which will leave us with a whacking bill, immigration still high and a worse trade deal with Europe than we have now. Mrs May wants to be able to stay in power till 2022 to try and ride out the storm of unpopularity that will follow Brexit. That is why she has gone to the country now and that is why those who want to stop Brexit in its tracks now have a slim chance of doing so.

It is a slim chance because Labour are hopeless on this issue. Corbynistas secretly hold their 1980’s belief that the EU is a capitalist club. Labour moderates have failed to leave and form a pro-European centre party. Most Labour MPs have voted for Article 50 and the early General Election. There was a case to be made for the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. Do we really want to go back to the time when the final two years of a parliament is dominated by endless speculation about when the General Election is going to be held? Why didn’t Labour say this and speak up for the people who are sick of trekking to the polls?

We are told this is because they would be voting to prolong a Tory government till 2020. Well by voting for May’s cut and run they have probably extended Tory rule till at least 2022.

Only massive support for the Lib Dems can thwart May’s plan. Tim Farron’s party are the brave clear standard bearers for Europe but they have a huge task. Have memories of their time in Coalition faded? If so some Tories are vulnerable to them, not so much in the far South West which voted Leave but in the West country around Bath and South West London. The Lib Dems lost a lot of seats in Scotland but winning them back from the SNP who share their views on Europe is going to be very difficult.


And finally, did you notice that George Osborne has decided not to contest Tatton. I wonder how his local party, which only recently pledged their support for him, feel now? The constituency needs the return of Martin Bell. They voted for him twenty years ago.

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