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Bloody Well Hung.

June 9, 2017


In consequence of the events of yesterday and overnight, I’m going to try saying Britain instead of Britain for a while.  Probably, I’ll revert to saying Britain again in due course but I’m in a celebratory mood, so I’ll be saying Britain.

I love being wrong sometimes.

Theresa May called this election (so she declared and so her supporters echoed) to strengthen her hand during Brexit negotiations – to demonstrate that Hard Brexit had a proper electoral mandate.

With this election result, there is no mandate for Hard Brexit.  There never has been a mandate for Hard Brexit of course.  In that absurd referendum last year which failed to put any practical model of Brexit implementation in front of the voters.  Theresa May, a half-hearted remainer – suddenly became an extreme leaver because she actually has no policy agenda whatsoever beyond achieving political hegemony for herself and a few of her friends for the short to medium term.  An extreme version of Brexit seemed the best way of rallying the party behind her, so that’s what she ran with.

Ever since she became Prime Minister, she has fostered a fostered a suicidally “us and them” attitude to Europe, and sponsored petty and blinkered Little Englandism in all its forms.  The economic cost of such isolationism never falls on the sort of people who can zap their money around the world by pressing a few buttons, so this economically ruinous campaign could be indulged with impunity.

During the campaign she relied on the tedious mantra of “strong and stable” and claimed that people are coming together to accept the inevitability of Hard Brexit.  As it happens, my friends in Britain (and it’s like a little holiday for me not having to reach for the strikethrough function everytime I type this word), can’t stand this talk of “coming together”.  Who wants to live in such a drab consensual society?  The notorious Mail headline of “Crush the Saboteurs” accurately reflected the sense that May has always been impatient of the very notion of political dissent.  Her reluctance to engage in public debates never looked like “cowardice” so much as profound irritation.  And the shambolic and uncosted Tory manifesto was indicative of a belief that the electorate was being required to abandon any critical or informed political intervention and merely “trust” Theresa May to negotiate and govern as she saw fit.

The Tories sort to infantilise the British people, and it was above all the youngest of voters who refused to be infantilised.

Britain has not rallied around Hard Brexit.  Britain has not “come together”.  Britain is a profoundly divided country which profoundly disagrees about a great many profound things.

And this hung parliament, which will not confer sovereign authority on any political leader, is an honest and truthful reflection of the mood of the British people.  The confusion that will follow this result will be truthful confusion.

An honestly divided and sincerely confused Britain is, paradoxically, a far more viable polity than the “strong and stable” Britain that Theresa May was championing.


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One Comment
  1. NMac permalink

    Like you Conrad when I heard the news this morning I was filled with a sense of great relief. There is at least a glimmer of hope that the whole nonsense of Brexit (how I hate that word) stands a chance of being consigned to the dustbin.

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