It is my view that the UK media including the BBC, have totally lost the plot when it comes to seeing what is going on around them and as a consequence are reporting total gibberish. Nobody has seemed to grasp just what a strange period in British politics we are going through and have been for the past year since the EU Referendum.
No one has made any efforts to tap into the mood of the electorate, having “decided what their (the media’s) themes and prejudices are”, every editor and dumb arsed reporter is proceeding robotically down that path without even a sideways glance at the electorate which is very odd state of affairs indeed.
Stand Back and Draw Breath
According to the Media, Jeremy Corbyn “Won”, Theresa May “Lost” and all this means that her government is likely to fall any minute despite the fact that whoever bought her government down and if that led to another general election in the immediate, is likely to get heavily punished by the electorate in the next poll.
The electorate has had enough and broadly feels that the Palace of Westminster has sufficient powers to get on with the job without calling another election so “Don’t bother us, get on with it !” is certainly one clear message.
Of course the main problem is the symbiotic nature of all relationships within the ‘Westminster Bubble’, it tends to leave both the politicians and the media deaf to what is really happening outside of it. In addition it is always the case that good news in NO news and therefore every word overheard or muttered, needs to be elevated into a drama of some kind that sees mythical political enmities about to explode in glorious Technicolour, breathtaking Cinemascope and stereophonic sound…Ta Dah !
Back in the real world, things are rather different.
Reading the Runes
Whilst the Country was very polarized by the EU Referendum last year and its outcome, there was no sign of ‘buyers remorse’ with regard to us leaving the EU and there was plenty of opportunity to express that if that is what the public wanted to do. This was quite stark particularly in Scotland who had voted overwhelmingly for ‘Remain’ and even if you factor in that they didn’t want Indyref2, staying within the Union counted more for a significant number of Scottish voters than Brexit. It is a lesson that Sturgeon and the SNP need to learn, a victory for them when they lost a significant number of Westminster seats it was not.
Normally the public like to see the government of the day and the main opposition as interchangeable, a government and a government in waiting so that if one fails, they can kick them out and replace them with the alternative and this clearly did not happen. That Corbyn didn’t tank totally and did far better than expected hardly amounts to a ringing endorsement of what he represents because he and his version of the Labour Party, wasn’t seen as a viable alternative by the majority of voters.
The LibDems recovered “a bit” but this most pro EU Party needs to learn a lesson from this too because it certainly didn’t get back to being even close to 2010 in terms of seats which, if there was a strong pro EU vote to be harvested, one would imagine they might have done. What both the Party and especially those who sit in the Lords need to take onboard is that the Country has moved on, it accepts that we are leaving the EU and is mainly focused on the terms.
The only way that this could be reversed would be in the unlikely event of the EU wanting the UK to remain a member state and offering the UK what Cameron wanted in the first place, the ability to close our borders on our Parliament’s say so not Brussels. This is not likely as the Germans are rather unimaginative when it comes to “rules” and freedom of movement is a key element of the EU Treaties even though this will be abandoned sooner rather than later one suspects across the EU. But if this did happen, only then would a ‘second referendum’ to reverse the original decision make any sense, otherwise and whilst any terms are not very clear right now, the public have grown into the idea that life outside the EU may have many advantages for the UK.
Theresa May lost her majority and given just how ham fisted her election campaign was, that the Conservatives still ended up as the largest party, is a miracle. However and whilst she has personally been pretty humbled by it all, that is where the public want her, a bit contrite, hemmed in so there can be no flights of fancy on other policies and pretty much 100% focused on getting the UK the best Brexit deal possible. Oddly and as I’ve written elsewhere, as part of her motives for calling the election was to free herself from the headbangers in her own party, her weakness is most likely a strength now within her party because no one would want her job this side of Brexit and no one with a brain would want to be seen as the clown that triggered another election by their actions.
So Where We Are
As far as negotiating Brexit, the public probably still trust Theresa May to do the best job rather than any other politician so providing nothing goes disastrously wrong over the vote on the Queens Speech or the opening rounds of the Brussels negotiations, she will have bought herself time, how much we shall see. However, the longer she goes over these next few months, the more secure her position will be. As to the question of whether she will lead the Conservatives into the next election, it is highly unlikely but stranger things have happened.
Corbyn may have got his self confidence back as a result of the election but he still sounds inept even in trying to attack Theresa May, the longer the Conservatives keep it together and remain the government, the worse it will be for him and the more likely that his less savoury supporters will undo him with the broader public.
The public has spoken and the message is loud and clear: “Get on with it !”