End Game?

The absurdity of the “let’s just get this done” call is easy to see.  Slogans though have a life of their own, often far detached from reality.  Over the last 3-years, Brexit has been full of examples of political phrases that are more to do with tone than substance.

All the evidence indicates that UK Prime Minister (PM) Johnson is making little attempt to negotiate a deal with the European Union (EU).  It’s a simple question of judging someone by their actions rather than their words.  Yes, the PM is in Dublin on Monday to meet the Irish premier Leo Varadkar to talk about the “backstop”.  However, expectations for this meeting are said to be low.

The panicked rush towards 31st October 2019 will go down as one of the most turbulent periods of political change in modern British history.  Speculation has reached new heights as tabloid newspapers goad Mr Johnson into breaking the law.  One event is now certain.  Soon, there will be a UK General Election (GE).  It’s just we don’t know the timing.

Do the pubic just want it to stop?  That does some up the feelings that some people have even if, in their heart of hearts, they know that the Westminster’s shenanigans will not stop.  Afterall a walk away from the table Brexit, called a No Deal Brexit, will just be the start of argument and debate over possible future agreements.  All the basic questions of who, what, where, when, why and how will remain open.

Putting aside the day-to-day volatility, the overall arc of the story is that a long overdue political realignment is happening.  In the past this realignment has been stifled by the electoral system in Britain.  It takes a lot to over come the quicksand that is the First Past The Post (FPTP) way of electing Westminster MPs.

What will be the results?  Ever the optimist I think that Brexit will be terminated.  Using Brexit as a proxy to change the landscape of British politics is proving to be idiotic, messy and damaging.

Despite its history this is the end game for the Conservative Party.  The impossibility of holding together a big tent of fanatical right-wing activists and traditional one nation Tories has come to a head.  A strange brew of the Brexit Party and the Conservative Brexit fanatics will ferment to produce shabby populist group.

Labour too is wrestling with the ghosts of its past.  In 1975, the referendum was all about their divisions.  Much of what is said on the left harks back to the same unreconciled differences.  Ultimately a left-wing socialist rump of the Labour Party will persist.  This will always be the ground upon which about a tenth of the population will stand.

The real future is the rediscovery of the centre ground of British politics.  Progressive Liberalism represents the widest spectrum of the population.  It can be concern about climate change, it can be disquiet about social mobility, it can be the scourge of poverty, there are causes that need attention and for which Liberal Democrats have workable policies.

Let’s just get this done and change Britain for good.  Revoke Article 50 and get back to fixing the real problems we have in this Country.

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