Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Election fever

Regular readers will notice I've not been following every twist and turn in parliament. In these times where the situation is fluid it's always best to stand back and let reserve judgement until they've finished fannying around. And now it seems we have a general election to contend with.

I can't say I'm remotely enthusiastic about it. I'm sure it will provide some considerable entertainment on the night when we shall likely see a bloodbath of inadequates but with politics in the toilet their replacements are not likely to be an improvement. Moreover we shall not have seen the last of those ejected since the the media so often returns to its vomit.

Then there's the question of whether an election will solve anything. The facts on the ground aren't wildly different. The Tories are still Tories, Labour is a rag bag of communists, antisemites and gormless fishwives and the Lib Dems have travelled further down the path of remain extremism with a smattering of social justice nonsense.

The only new factor influencing the outcome is an overall sense of apathy where the real number to watch will be turnout. As much as the timing carries its own turnout penalty there is a prevailing sense of voter exhaustion. Nobody normal is in a hurry to make this election a re-run of the referendum. Everything has already been said.

And of course we know the game in play. Reamin's strategy seems to be to delay Brexit long enough to hold a kangarendum, at which point the electorate succumbs to the relentless futility of it where remain limps over the line by a whisker. They'll then seek to draw a line under it at which point Brexit fatigue will see the masses switching off in droves, finally concluding that there is no point in voting ever again. I might well be one of them.

That strategy though, is contingent on a remain party winning - which seems unlikely. I have a hunch we are in for another hung parliament or a small but workable Tory majority. There is widespread disaffection with the Tories but nothing that presents itself as an obvious viable alternative.

One supposes one ought to consider what influence the Brexit Party may have, but I rather suspect it will fall far short of its ambitions. The party seems to have taken up a role as a protest pressure group but owing to its lack of an intellectual foundation it doesn't appear to have a coherent strategy at all. It may make a difference in marginal seats, enough to hand a few Labour seats to the Lib Dems, but we won't be seeing any BXP MPs.

Should we see a hung parliament then we're in for a repeat of the last few months with endless dithering and indecision that will likely see us hit the deadline with absolutely no patience for further extensions here or in Brussels. A crunch point will come eventually. The most realistic chance we have of avoiding a no deal Brexit is a working Tory majority.

For now I suspect I am far from alone in my sense of deflation. With the days closing in, energy levels dropping off and thoughts turning toward Christmas, invasive dental treatment seems more welcome than a general election. Parliamentarians are not likely to win our affections in the coming weeks and the sane thing for any reasonable person to do is tune out. This debacle is far from over and there will be much more to say on the flip side  - but this current Westminster mess is currently theirs to sort out. We'll see what's what when/if they get their act together. 

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