Thursday, 20 April 2017

Labour's collective madness continues - what else explains supporting May's call for the General Election in June 2017?

Nick Palmer's latest blog (20 April 2017) begins: 'I have been asked by Labour whether I’d like to be considered as our candidate for Broxtowe. I need to decide by this weekend, so I thought I’d consult you. 10% of the homes in Broxtowe get my emails, so it's a good sample'.

I have posted a comment as follows:

'Strikes me that you are between a rock and a hard place. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. This is a situation Labour has made for itself and I applaud the MPs who had the courage to vote against May and oppose having this unnecessary general election.
In the circumstances it has to better to go into the election with Broxtowe having a recognisable face and name like yourself. I agree with your analysis. If you have the energy go for it, it will be tough, but if you say ‘no thanks’ I, for one, will understand why. I will help as best I can, but I am presently recovering from open heart surgery seven weeks ago. I wish you well whatever your decision'.

Just like in 2015, important local elections are being shoved into the background in the sense that they will now be seen as a dress rehearsal for the main event in June. Last time it was the borough council election, this time it's the county council election. By the way, we are less than two weeks away from the county council election and still no Labour Party posters for Bramcote and Beeston North ward. Will I have to make my own again as I did for the Borough Council election in 2015?

The Brexit negotiations, assuming they take the full two years, will end in March 2019, leaving the Conservatives just 14 months to recover before the 2020 general election. Well, that would have been the case. Now they will have three years to recover. Corbyn's attitude, and that of many Labour MPs who otherwise oppose him, is a continuation of the collective madness which has possessed them for the past twelve months and I have blogged about before (click here for link).

Theresa May has done no less than I expected. She supported fixed-term parliaments when it was to the advantage of Conservatives and dumped them, despite saying she wouldn't, with the support of Labour MPs who, to be repeat myself, must be suffering from collective madness or hysteria of some sort.

The general election on 8 June 2017 is in danger of being one big national by-election, with low voter turnouts across the country. The lady in Bristol who went viral with her 'Oh no, not another one!' has caught the national mood wonderfully. When it comes to the news and the general election a good few of us are already reaching for the 'off' button or changing channels to watch yet another endless repeat.

As a Labour voter since my first general election in 1966, when I was aged 22, I say none of this lightly. In my lifetime this is the second most important general election ever. I was only 1 in 1945, but the working and middle classes had endured six years of war together and were ready for change. The media was more diverse and voters actually had to talk with one another, now they text and twitter. Westminster has become a cocoon for a political elite who have quickly forgotten the Brexit vote. As I heard someone say in Beeston High Road yesterday, 'Fuck the lot of them'.

This feels like 1983 all over again. Susan and I were there big time, with Martin Sloman, the Nottingham East Labour Party candidate staying with us in Lenton for six weeks, his wife in charge of BBC's radio election coverage and his dad deputy leader of Cardiff City Council. I was a full-time county councillor, an agent and Chair of East Midlands Airport. We acted as 'minders' for national politicians visiting Nottingham and were told more than once that Labour was doing well across the country. Nottingham, where we reported how bad things were, 'was different'.  I am in no doubt that this will be the case again. It has already started. I want to believe in a miracle, I really do!

If Nick Palmer does decide to take on Anna Soubry he will have my support, but he has earned the right to say 'Thanks for the opportunity, but no thank you'. She will be difficult to beat and I would not be surprised to see her back as a minister if Theresa May wins the general election. 

The working and lower middle classees are divided and that is never good for Labour. I will do what I can, but I tell you now I would encourage every voter who does not want to see a Conservative victory on 8 June to vote for the candidate with the best chance of defeating the Conservative candidate. In Broxtowe and other parts of the conurbation that will be Labour, but in Brighton I hope Labour voters support Caroline Lucas and in Scotland for SNP candidates, except where there is a Labour MP. Liberals even!

Labour has returned to the old politics at the first opportunity and runs a real risk of paying a heavy price. 

Only a seismic event during the next six weeks and six days will provide Labour with an opportunity to avoid the disaster which awaits. I will not vote for Corbyn again or any Labour Party leadership candidate who supported this madness. I have never wanted to be so wrong in my life. 9 June 2017 will come soon enough and we will all know if our next prime minister is to be Jeremy Corbyn or Theresa May.

I will leave you with one final request: Read Clive Lewis in The Guardian yesterday.

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