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The Milton Measure

Ned Sheehan’s Thoughts and Predictions of the UK Election

by on Friday, April 28th, 2017

On May 4th, 2015, days before that year’s UK general election, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted the following: “Britain faces an inescapable choice – stability and strong government with me, or chaos with [Labour Party leader] Ed Miliband.” Cameron won handily. Since then, the Labour Party chose a Marxist to be its leader, Britain voted to leave the European Union, Cameron turned over power to Home Secretary Theresa May, a woman he had planned on canning in the next parliament reshuffle, and Scotland decided to have a second independence referendum. And now they’re having another election.

So, here are the contenders. Incumbent is the Conservative and Unionist Party, known to all in the UK as the Tories, which has ruled since 2010. You can thank them for Brexit which, for those of you who haven’t been following it, is an absolute catastrophe right now. They’re led by Theresa May, who wants a strong mandate for Brexit unobstructed by a bunch of pro-Europe Tory backbenchers. As of right now, it seems like she is running a front porch campaign – that is, she is trying to keep relatively quiet and avoid controversy until election day. Some of you may be wondering why she would do such a thing in these uncertain political times. Well, it is about time I introduced you to her opposition.

The leader of the opposition is one Jeremy Corbyn, of the Labour Party. Now, for a bit of history. After a string of catastrophic losses in the 80’s, the Labour Party tacked right under the leadership of Tony Blair. A small subset of Labour Members of Parliament were annoyed about this and protested it for decades. One of these was Jeremy Corbyn, a hardcore Marxist who has praised Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. In 2015, after Ed Miliband was crushingly defeated, Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in a shock victory over three particularly uninspired Blairites. He then got busy burning bridges with the MPs of his party and alienating all voters but hardcore socialist ones with a string of bizarre PR disasters, the most infamous one being where longtime friend and political ally of Corbyn’s and former London Mayor Ken Livingstone decided to publicly expound on how Adolph Hitler was a Zionist. Labour is incoherent on Brexit, mostly because Corbyn hates the EU but his base loves it. Corbyn’s polling, needless to say, is pretty weak as of right now.

The third party on the scene is the Liberal Democrats. They are the descendents of the Liberal Party, the architects of the Victorian Era. After a spectacular collapse in the 20’s and 30’s and several moribund decades spent focused on local issues, the Lib Dems found a surefire strategy – opportunistically take up progressive-y causes that the major parties don’t. In the 2000’s it was opposing Iraq, and now, it is opposing Brexit. They are led by Tim Farron, who is akin to a British Tim Kaine – a bland, white-bread, vaguely progressive but also vaguely Jesus-y politician who everyone seems to think is a bit of a joke. They may gain some, due to their unapologetically pro-Europe stance, and but don’t expect them to do much, due to the fact that they only have 9 seats. UKIP, the party of Farage, is falling apart due to the fact that they passed their only policy, leaving the EU.

The most effective opposition party is the Scottish National Party, led by Nicola Sturgeon, who is so popular that many British commentators have joked that the SNP would win seats if they ran candidates south of Hadrian’s Wall. Also on the scene is Plaid Cymru, lefty-ish Welsh Nationalists, who generally win 3-4 seats. In Northern Ireland, where politics are still dominated by religious sectarianism, most seats will go either to Sinn Fein, Catholic lefties who want to join the Republic of Ireland, or the DUP, Protestant righties with a nasty homophobic streak (they insist, in the year of our lord 2017, that they are only refusing to legalize gay marriage in Northern Ireland because the gays there don’t want to get married) who want it to stay in Britain.

My prediction is that May and the Tories will win this election. As for Labour, either it is going to turn out they hit rock bottom last election and they won’t gain or lose a significant number of seats, or it will turn out they have no rock bottom and end up with a catastrophically low number (less than 100 seats isn’t out of the question). The Lib Dems will probably end up somewhere in the 10-30 seat margin. May will continue to push a hard Brexit and generally turn the UK into an economic and cultural backwater. God save the Brits.

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Posted by on Apr 28 2017. Filed under More Opinion, Opinion, Recent Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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