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By Jason Michael
BRITAIN’S PINK SOCIALIST guru Jeremy Corbyn has done nothing in the past few months but bang on about a general election, but, now that Johnson’s conservative revolution is in full swing, he has changed his tune. Regardless of the noise his supporters and other Remainers are making outside Downing Street and Westminster, the polls are not in his favour. Since becoming Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has seen a recovery of his party’s support, bringing it back up to 34 per cent – support the Conservatives have not had since the start of April. Talking hard on Brexit – with or without a deal – has done Johnson no harm. In fact, the harder he talks, the more support he gains. Support for Labour, since its rapid decline from April has flatlined at a dismal 24 per cent. Even with support from the Liberal Democrats in a Brexit-derailing October general election, he hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. So, he’s put the coolers on that idea.
But this isn’t the most interesting thing about the polls. From the time Johnson became Prime Minister Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has been declining at about the same rate the Tories have been increasing – a sign that Johnson is winning in his strategy of soaking up votes from the hard-right. This is a trend we have discussed on this site before. It suggests that the majority in England – the dominant nation of the union – want Brexit. It will support the Tories if it thinks they can deliver, but will just as quickly transfer support to the Brexit Party if they fail.
Voting tactically in an October election, Leavers – as Farage has suggested – will not challenge strong Conservative constituencies, but may well target Tory candidates in seats where those candidates are not in favour of Johnson’s no-deal Brexit. Given the astronomical results of the Brexit Party in the last European elections – a vote very much on Brexit, the likely result of an October election will be the return of a massive majority in the Commons in favour of an uncompromising no-deal exit from the European Union. Jeremy Corbyn would be foolish to risk such a humiliation, but there is every reason to believe that this is precisely what Johnson is banking on. In a single stroke he would rid himself of the ‘Remoaners’ on his own benches, bring into his fold the far-right that brought him to power, and guarantee the Brexit he has promised and on the day he promised it.
This is of course something we should all fear. There’s nothing good on offer in English politics right now. Looking over the options – the so-called alternatives, is like surveying a mediaeval torturer’s work bench; while some of the implements are qualitatively better or worse than others, none of them are exactly what you’d call ‘health promoting.’ There are the pincers, there to rip the flesh from the victim – used to inflict maximum suffering while not endangering the life of the condemned. This would be the Liberal Democrats, the party that leapt into bed with the Tories to assault Britain’s poorest with a crippling austerity agenda. Not a great option, but still better than the tools representative of what Corbyn’s Labour offers. But even these are not the wheel or the rack – used to break the body to the point of expiration; exactly what the Conservatives bring to the table. Still, at least this isn’t the axe – and there is an axe.
Whatever we might think of Boris Johnson, Gove, and that the miserable failure of a human being Jacob Rees-Mogg – Og of Bashan, the real hazard is the opportunity this crisis presents to the fascists; the unintelligent sociopaths of the Brexit Party. In recoiling from a general election, Corbyn is acknowledging the harsh reality that a hard, no-deal Brexit is not in itself the ‘worst case scenario.’ Waiting just off stage there is an apocalypse scenario. Far worse than a catastrophic no-deal crash out under a buffoon like Boris Johnson is a catastrophic no-deal Brexit after a general election that has brought Nigel Farage into a coalition with the Tories, or, worse still, to power.
Corbyn’s change of heart on an October general election is a reassurance. It shows that he has done his sums, and after weighing up his odds he knows they’re not great. More – and we can only hope this to be the case, by stalling the ponies, it is possible he is sacrificing his queen for the sake of the longer game; the protection of what little democracy we have left. It’s true, I am no fan of Jeremy Corbyn and his outdated vision of socialism, but in a world of aseptic career politicians he is an ideologue and a democrat. Knowing he can live to fight another day, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that he is coming round to the idea that it is better to have a broken democracy under ‘Britain Trump’ than a former democracy ruled by Farage.
In Scotland, a general election promises some beautiful low hanging fruit for Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. With the rise in support for independence and the departure of Ruth Davidson, a general election in Scotland would return a greater number of SNP MPs to the Commons. But this is a short-term gain for the independence cause. Sturgeon is too cautious/timid to campaign on an independence platform. We won’t see a renewed and enlarged SNP majority on the pointless Scottish benches used as the launch pad for a referendum or a declaration. Rather, we’ll be back to square one – having the most Scottish seats and still utterly powerless in the state parliament. In any outcome of this election, Scotland will find itself stuck to the will of the English parliament – and in a Johnson-Farage coalition this will be a nightmare. The Scottish National Party does not appear to share Corbyn’s fear of a general election, but maybe it should. These are not ordinary times, and an October election will be no ordinary election. It might be our last – and not in a good way.
Rees-Mogg returns to the dispatch box to defend govt. Brexit plan