The 2017 General Election was Tess’s to lose and she tried her best. Endlessly repeating the ‘trust strong and stable ME’ mantras whilst avoiding anything of real substance such as exactly what ‘Brexit Means Brexit’ or ‘Enough is Enough’ actually means in terms of objectives, strategy, policies, actions. Be presidential, soulless and lacking in any warmth, enthusiasm or humour. Condescendingly take the Electorate (and conservative core vote) for granted and upset them by calling the election in the first place and some silly manifesto money grabs needing desperate U-turns. Then there was the failure to aggressively take-down the ridiculous ‘promises’ from Red Labour. All the weak and wobbly electioneering was immensely irritating.
The day was only really (partially) saved by the Marxist, terrorist-loving incompetence of Red-Labour’s ‘Gang of Three’. Even a modicum of putting Tess on the spot by showing up her previous poor (security) performance as Home Secretary and vacuous claims (by actually knowing more about the detail required in Brexit) could potentially have sent her to the opposition benches. Fortunately the nation despite its protest vote and the numerous costly ‘promised’ bribes did not elect the Politburo of Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott, Farron, Sturgeon and Lucas. But where do we actually go from here?
For UKIP it was a disastrous election strategy of fighting seats when the outcome was always going to be a loss of support. Even if possible, it is a long way back, which requires root and branch change to professionalise, re-position on the vacant and expanding patriotic, security worried, libertarian leaning conservative right (social conservative, fiscally prudent, small government) and re-brand. Could try copying Donald Trump (what he did actually worked despite his foibles).
For the TINOs (Tories in name only) it means shifting away from the left to the growing vacant space on the right; patriotic, socially conservative, free enterprise, small government and low tax. Will they do this, instead of drifting further left, is debatable unless the DUP can twist their arms. They also need an improvement in popular image with more photogenic, enthusiastic, natural faces and real (non-toffee nosed) honesty.
For Labour it is the apparent success of UK-hating, terrorist-friendly Marxism which can only strengthen the hand of the Momentum Trots and make them even more removed from reality, practicality and civilised behaviour. The ‘magic money tree’ of ‘taxing the rich’ will always deliver freebies galore to buy the envious and unscrupulous. And violent, ugly militancy against opponents will always succeed; likely to try to destabilise the country using strikes and demonstrations.
Lib Dems are struggling to find a place having abandoned both liberalism and democratic principles. And their strong REMAIN tactics didn’t work. The country has largely moved on, but in love with all things European Union (EU), they can’t.
North of the border the Scottish National Party (SNP) are on the run and with their record in power in Skintland, things can only get worse. Revolt against them means supporting the Scottish TINOs (not to quite the same as the Westminster Bubble ones) or even Comrade Corbyn.
For the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) this is an opportunity to save the UK from itself with real social conservatism, patriotism, security and practicality; the United Kingdom-makers.
BREXIT is still notionally ‘on’ since triggering Article 50 (of the Lisbon Treaty) was generally supported by Comrade Corbyn. However it is unlikely to be a ‘hard Brexit’ or ‘walk away without a deal’ Brexit since the TINOs will need Red-Labour or DUP support to get on with it. It may involve joining the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and using this as a route (even temporarily) for staying in the European Economic Area (EEA) whilst controlling immigration – but it does need actually understanding the detail. Whoever claims the credit for a soft Brexit (and avoiding ‘economic catastrophe’) will likely gain some electoral advantage, especially if there is another General Election soon (on the cards given the small overall majority of the TINO and DUP ‘alliance’ although Brenda from Bristol and most people wouldn’t want one).
Theresa May tried channelling Edward Heath instead of Margaret Thatcher: bad idea. Comrade Corbyn tried channelling Michael Foot (or Tony Benn) with a bit more charisma and it worked against May/Heath.
When do we start channelling the Winter of Discontent (1979) and the return of the Iron Lady (or Man, real Tory or reformed UKIP)?