We’ve been quiet on these pages since just after the Scottish elections.
Since 2014, we’ve went from a long referendum campaign on Scottish independence, into a general election campaign followed up by a Scottish election and rounded off with a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU.
It’s this latter subject that has rendered us mute this past month. And where to begin now?
Across the UK, we voted to leave the EU by a decisive margin. It’s has caused a butterfly effect of events: David Cameron has announced his intention to resign as Prime Minister leading to a Conservative leadership election; Labour have inexplicably (but inevitably) have gone into meltdown over Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and the SNP are trying to become become the official opposition at Westminster.
Let’s have a quick think about these things in sequence…
- Leaving the EU – we’ve voted to leave and that’s what we shall do. Never mind that Scotland voted differently to England. Just because our neighbour disagrees with our view doesn’t make it any less valid. We are one United Kingdom on this issue despite a difference of opinion. To us it doesn’t make sense to make things more difficult with your largest trading partner but many people have legitimate concerns about how the EU is run and chose to articulate this at the ballot box. Correct information be dammed, we all must respect the result and move on.
- Tory leadership contest – Cameron might have been on the wrong side of the EU vote but the Tories are throwing away their biggest electoral asset in the same way Labour did with Tony Blair. The contest seems likely to be Boris plus A.N.Other. Boris himself does appeal in an oddball kind of way and as someone recently said to us it was difficult not to like someone who entered politics and tried to build, and name, an island after himself. But can he win the country? Will he appeal to the more working class pockets of Tory support in the same way that council estate raised, Welshman, Stephen Crabb might? Or will Theresa May be seen as a least worst option? Stern, serious and aware of her party’s flaws she might be seen as a compromise candidate.
- Labour in meltdown – it’s rather impressive to see how spectacularly the party are imploding. Too many resignations to count and a leadership challenge which amounts to ‘Anyone but Jeremy’. Granted, this is a good starting point but to gain any credibility a candidate needs to step forward otherwise the party’s membership are more likely to rally round Jezza. Without an alternative plan and person to put this across, Labour will be unable to effectively hold the government to account and be failing in their duty as the Her Majesty’s Opposition.
- The SNP seeking political advantage – Labour are collapsing in parliament and the SNP see a chance to become the official opposition. All 32 local authorities vote to Remain and Nicola Sturgeon announces that a second independence referendum is imminent. Worried about Scotland losing out from the UK leaving the EU, the Scottish Government launch their own foreign policy to try to maintain a strong bond with it’s EU brethren. The political maxim that you should never let a good crisis go to waste is never more alive than now in the SNP’s actions.
We’re going to get back into writing but for now, after reading over this summary of the last six weeks, it’s difficult not to bastardise Sir Alex Ferguson’s description of football after winning the Champtions League: Politics? Bloody hell.