Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Yes, politics is broken


IN the febrile atmosphere of the self-destruction of the Tory Party, masquerading as a leadership election, yesterday yielded some classics. The increasingly original Rory Stewart contacted Nigel Farage on his LBC show to ask for a coalition to get Brexit done. He also stated that in the event of Parliament being prorogued to enable a WTO Brexit on 31 October he would immediately convene a new Parliament across the road from the House of Commons. I’m not a constitutional lawyer, but I struggle to understand how that could be achieved lawfully. Would it not be treason? I fear that the opium he consumed a while ago remains in his system.

Meanwhile Daniel Hannan, one of the few politicians I genuinely admire, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, extrapolated from the Peterborough by-election result to envisage Corbyn as prime minister – to which his solution is either an (in his words) unlikely Tory-Brexit Party pact or for whoever becomes the next PM to immediately call a general election.

Assuming for a moment that the Peterborough result stands (there is currently a police investigation into allegations of electoral fraud) Mr Hannan has missed the point. The results were:

Labour 10,484 votes

Brexit Party 9,801 votes

Tory Party 7,243 votes

Labour’s majority was 684. If just 10 per cent of the Tory voters could have been persuaded to vote Brexit Party, the latter would have won. Now in a by-election the government (not, in Mrs May’s case, what passes for it) won’t change. In a general election it is entirely possible that Tories would vote tactically to keep Corbyn and McDonnell out. Even more so now that the Marxist morons have decided on attacking the ability of parents to support their children.

Meanwhile the kitten-heeled zombie has suddenly gone all green and invented a lunatic target to be in place in 31 years’ time, presumably as an attempt to create a fluffy legacy, no doubt on the advice of her coterie of idiots who screwed up the Brexit negotiations and who think the Tories can take votes from the Greens. Her ever disloyal Chancellor Philip Hammond had a look at his spreadsheets and came up with a cost of £1trillion (that’s a pound a second since the Neanderthals were wiped out) which he – rightly for once – reckons is unaffordable. Presumably the magic money tree has died. Risibly, Hammond also said that he would not serve under a PM who wanted to deliver Brexit on 31 October. As if they were going to invite him – one of the many mysteries of the Maybot is why she never sacked him.

One really could not make this up. How on earth the world’s fifth largest economy and (hitherto) most stable political system could have got itself into a position that makes Kafka’s The Trial look like a better option is beyond belief. But it does rather make the Brexit Party’s argument that politics is broken look compelling.

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Patrick Benham-Crosswell
Patrick Benham-Crosswell
Patrick Benham-Crosswell is a former Army officer who has spent the last 30 years in commerce. He is the author of Net Zero: The Challenges, Costs and Consequences of the UK's Zero Emission Ambition. He has a substack here.

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