Conservatives are making Leave look like the bonkers option

PUBLISHED: 09:17 16 June 2017 | UPDATED: 09:17 16 June 2017

Gary Barker

Gary Barker

Archant

None of us want this great nation to be laughed at ... But that is what is happening

Let’s be clear: The Conservative and Unionist Party lost the 2017 snap General Election.

You’d have to be a corpse – and a certified one – not to win for the Conservatives in the constituency where I live. And this election? The Labour Party came within 3,000 votes. Think that’s a lot? Imagine the City of London voting Labour. Well, they almost did.

They certainly did in True Blue Kensington, seat of Kensington Palace, the Daily Mail, and homes averaging £1.4 million. William, Kate, and Harry have a Labour MP. Paul Dacre – whose paper is the Daily Mail – and George Osborne, who edits the London local the Evening Standard have their headquarters now in a Labour constituency. A Corbynite Labour constituency. For these two newspaper honchos, that’s called losing.

Oh, one more thing: Brexit – so-called Hard Brexit – has maybe lost, too. Forget all of the spinners; the gaslighters; zealots; and Brexit head-bangers roaming the print and airwaves trying to say something different. Yes, I know the Conservatives have won the most seats; the most votes; the highest share of the vote since Thatcher.

But this election was called because Theresa May and “My Team” were meant to increase her majority in Parliament; then ride into Europe; put a big Anglo Saxon gun down on the table; and say to the mincing Eurobabble of Brussels: “We’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.”

Now: This. Will. Not. Happen.

Theresa May not only lost her majority, she has to eat humble pie and cut a deal with some partners in order to command the Commons. Who’s willing? Step forward the DUP. The arrangement is called “confidence and supply”: the Tories hand out the “supply” – ie cash – and the DUP provide the “confidence” – votes.

The election wasn’t supposed to end this way. But the Tory La La Land we’re inhabiting now doesn’t seem to want to face the following facts:

- That aligning with the DUP endangers the UK government’s “honest broker” status in any talks involving the Northern Ireland peace process.

- That Brussels warned straight away that NI was on the table. No Northern Ireland. No Deal.

- That many in Ireland (even the Taoiseach) have as much as said that a hard border was not on; and that the Republic was not interested in its citizens having to have their passports checked in the middle of the Irish Sea.

The upshot of all this: Conservatives are starting to make Leave look like the bonkers option. Now none of us – Remain or Leave – want this great nation to be laughed at. But they’re laughing in Europe. Right now.

Guy Verhofstadt, MEP and lead Brexit negotiator for the EU27 (plus top Tory troll) has said in relation to the aftermath of our election: “I thought surrealism was a Belgian invention.” He’s Belgian.

The Hubris Brothers – David Cameron and his mate, George Osborne – set out from the beginning to reinforce a ‘Them and Us’ style. They loved both Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher and sought to emulate what they thought their idols had done. Their only problem: Blair and Thatcher were politicians – as in polites, ‘the citizens’. They actually interacted with people.

Osborne and Cameron did lots of stuff within their various inner circles – guided by the analytics of Sir Lynton Crosby of Australia (the Lizard Of Oz). They seldom strayed outside their bubble. Kind of a Tory Beavis and Butthead.

Theresa May knew this. She said to Osborne (according to him himself) when she fired him: “Go back and learn something about the party”. Because They Didn’t Know.

Both Cameron and Osborne were for Remain. And if you weren’t, to them, well, you were stupid. Osborne even hinted at a punishment Budget if the nation dared to disobey them.

He must have thought: “That’ll bring the plebs in line!!”

Above all, he and Cameron, along with the rest of us, were hostages to the continuing Tory proxy war over Europe. This is led by the people John Major once called “the bastards” – MPs and others who he still rails against.

Cameron and Osborne – his campaign honcho – put an in/out referendum promise into the 2015 manifesto. They didn’t bother to take on board the fact that a one-vote majority could change the destiny of the entire nation.

They just wanted to win. And there was another thing: Cameron and Osborne’s aim: destroy the left and its main agent, the Labour Party. Obliterate it. Finish the work that their Guiding Spirit ‘the Blessed Margaret’ set out to do. But Cameron, in particular (ex PR guy, after all) was going to do it 21st century style.

For example: he refused to debate the Leader of the Opposition; did not refer to Ed Miliband by his name, but as “the other guy” or “him”. He turned PMQs into cheap music-hall complete with a boom! boom! finish to the last question Miliband was allowed.

This was all part of relegating his opponent to non-human status. Maybe that’s what they do on the playing fields of 
Eton; or nights carousing with the Bullingdon.

The earnest Miliband couldn’t best him. On election night 2015, Cameron was filmed in a meeting with Tory activists, grinning and blushing and gushing that he couldn’t believe that it had happened. They’d won...even had a small overall majority!

And thus Nemesis began to flap her wings. Because the EU referendum now had to go forward. Next Act: step forward that Box Office Blond: Boris Johnson, a man who could make Niccolo Machiavelli gasp in shock.

Boris, anyone’s idea of a natural Europhile (even his own sister thought so) set out with the highly effective, simple slogans harvested by Vote Leave from their FB campaign. He alluded, also, to the fact that the NHS would profit from all of the cash repatriated from the evil, dastardly Brussels. And that somehow, jobs will return.

The referendum happened; Remain lost and Cameron resigned, like a good soldier. This was followed by a ludicrous leadership contest with the possibility that not only Boris Johnson, but Michael Gove or Andrea Leadsom might emerge as Prime Minister. This chaos matched (without the glitz) what was going on in the Labour Party.

Labour, the official opposition – paid to do this task by us, the taxpayers, with what’s called Short money – looked, for a time, like some kind of student union madness.

Actually, it looked like it was being led by a guy straight out of the Student Union. Of 40 years ago. Jeremy Corbyn had an allotment, a cat named El Gato, an overgrown garden, a house in Islington (that hated Borough), was awful at PMQs, got upset at journalists, did rallies with young people who everyone knows don’t vote, and said what was on his mind. A 100% loser, in other words.

How could we be sure of that? And by the way, why did Theresa May think that she’d win big; maybe even get a landslide? Because the polls and the pundits said 
so.

I started a tweet about three weeks ago: “Forget the pollspunditspaperspredictions. Take two 18-34 year olds to #RegisterToVote and #gamechange.#GE2017”.

The polls, the papers, and the pundits – those of us paid to talk on air – said that Labour would be wiped out; the kingdom was to get ready for a bloodbath the day after the election. I’ve heard that the PM took pundit opinion into account.

Nate Silver, the big time American pollster – who incidentally called the US election wrong like everyone else – calls British pollsters the worst on earth. I don’t know about that, but if true, one reason might be because, like the rest of British society, they tend to herd.

John Curtice, head of the British Polling Council which creates the Exit Poll used by all the networks, warned Theresa May after she called the snap election that her move was dangerous. He knew that something was afoot.

He said that the UK was becoming more like America – that there were rock-solid heartlands. Plus there seemed to be an incredible upsurge in youth voter registration – never a great sign for the Conservatives, whose demographic tends to be older.

But May listened to those of us who read the papers on air, and have radio shows. She messed up. Because most of us pundits did. My polling sample are London taxi drivers. They’re always right. I asked a bunch of them how they were voting. They said to a man (they’re all guys): “The wife and kids are voting Labour. I’ll either do the same or abstain.”

Neither the Tories nor UKIP were in the frame. Now there is a real possibility, talked of even in right wing / Hard Brexit / Eurosceptic circles that Brexit may not even happen. At least not the way they want it to. Even Nigel Farage has said that Brexit is in trouble, and that he might have to return to politics to save it. Who knows?

Who was to know that the coalition of chaos, that the Conservatives warned us about, would be led by THEM? Who was to know that it would be Corbyn who would get the standing ovation from his party as he walked into the House Of Commons on its first day after the election?

And who knows if it will be Corbyn, not in love with the EU himself, who might be the one who turns this all around? Who knows?

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest articles

video Should Labour stand in Northern Ireland?

Labour has traditionally not stood candidates in Northern Ireland. But on the back of the Tory-DUP deal that might be about to change

Little comfort in Davis’ muddled Brexit papers

The Government’s transitional customs proposals are a start – but it will be far from plain sailing for business

How your view on Brexit reflects the charities you support

A new study explores how and why the favoured charitable causes of Leave and Remain voters differ.

The untold stories of women and girls in deadly Detroit

A new film, Detroit, depicts the deadly five days in the combustible city over the summer of 1967 when disorder saw the National Guard sent in and dozens left dead.

Hungary: Eclipse of democracy in the heart of Europe

The decline of democracy in Hungary is an ominous sign for Europe.

video Ancient Rome was more modern than our alt-right

Social media went into overdrive when a BBC kids’ programme included a black centurion.

Support and opposition of a Hard Brexit aren’t just philosophical positions, they are ACTIONS

It’s not who you are underneath it’s what you do that defines you

video The great myth of British pluck (and why it’s a symbol of decline)

Brexiteers have deluded themselves with a belief in the native pluck of the British which will eventually win the day.

video Stirring up hatred is a means to an end for Trump’s mafia

On the ground in a divided United States of America past battle lines are being redrawn.

video The direct line between Trump campaign and Charlottesville horror

Donald Trump’s silence over the neo-Nazi’s in Charlottesville was deafening. But did he fail to speak out sooner because the only friends he has left are on the far right?

Brexit must not mean we slide back in time on gay rights

When Brexit-backing millionaire Arron Banks described homosexuality as a “lifestyle choice” Twitter reacted with horror. Here’s why Britain must not return to the dark days of Section 28

video Al Gore: No lie can live forever

Former US vice president talks Trump, Brexit and climate change denial.

This was neither up-to-date nor a poll. And not a single participant voiced their support for Hard Brexit

A recent poll by well-regarded academics suggested the vast majority of the British public now backed an extreme form of Brexit. Here‘s why that is not the case.

Parliament is filled with “spineless lemmings”

Brexit may not happen at all – when what we need are leaders, not followers, to win this battle

Leave.EU launch deselection bid in hope of dumping soft Brexit ministers out of their jobs

Leave.EU have launched a broadside on cabinet Remainers Chancellor Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd in a bid to get the pair deselected.

Edward Enninful brings a new way of fashion thinking to Vogue

Fashion can be considered frivolous and in some ways it is.

My sense of humour failure over Brexit has helped clear Scotch mist

I don’t blame the Scots if Brexit leads them to want another shot at independence

The extraordinary story of how the humble spud created the modern world

The rise of capitalism and individualism in the West, and even the current reforms in China, can all be explained by the rise of the potato

Putin is just waiting for the right moment to spear Trump

Vlad the Lad is the supreme master of the macho man holiday snap...

The lesson of Singapore is not one Brexiteers want to hear

Long considered a lodestar of go-it-alone globalisation, Singapore now needs its neighbours more than ever

Podcast

Watch us on YouTube

6 excellent reasons to go out and buy The New European this week

Views: 179

The rollercoaster ride of Theresa May's plummeting approval ratings

Views: 605

A year of failure and fiasco in May’s Number 10

Views: 419

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter