I’m feeling quite proud this morning. Yes, I’m an expat and hope to remain so, but with Hong Kong heading south and fast, the likelihood of being forced out looms ever larger. And, yes, I suppose I have a bigger emotional attachment to the land of my birth than I realised. And that land, with the mother of parliaments, has set aside party allegiances and individual gain to protect its democracy.
It’s not that I have any great animus towards Bojo. But any prime minister who, on his very first day on the job in parliament, blows his own majority and then loses a historical vote, cannot be judged competent. Yes, he was dealt a weak hand – May left a mess and both the country and parliament are divided – but he played it badly. Who the hell is Dominic Cheney-oops-Cummings? And why the hell didn’t Bojo learn from May’s high-handed arrogance and try to build a cross-party consensus? If not in the house, at least within his own party?
So, what next? Wednesday’s vote mandating an extension is a foregone conclusion and so, thus, is a snap election in October. It’s hard to imagine that any single party will win. The Tories have lots of money – and the hard Brexit businessmen will no doubt throw even more at them – but the Tories are responsible for the mess of the past three years, and everyone’s sick of that mess. Labour have the grassroots organization they deployed to such great effect in 2017 – but promptly betrayed many of the young people they mobilized and, in opposition, have been a disgrace. The LibDems seem to be making a comeback, but don’t have the money or grassroots support, or, frankly, the time to build either. As to the DUP, UKIP, and others, who cares? The SNP will no doubt sweep Scotland, but won’t make a difference south of the border.
So, another hung parliament? Would that be such a bad thing?
Brexit, like it or hate it, is momentus. Had May formed a cross-party coalition before negotiating with the EU, she could have delivered a deal that would have garnered acceptance. A hung parliament can also become – under anyone but Bojo or Corbyn – a government of national unity. I’m a reluctant no-dealer – I’d rather rescind but that won’t solve anything – but a no-deal is to play politics with people’s lives. If this shambles gets to a Brexit that has the active support of parliament and the country, democracy will have won.
Of course, if Labour becomes the party of rescind, that changes everything…