Sunday, 18 December 2016
The Custom Maid
As Liam Fox ought henceforth to be known.
Like David "A Tariff for Tariff-Free Access" Davis, Fox has given up.
The Government is now engaged in a combination of waiting for it all to blow over and waiting for everyone except hardcore Brexiteers to become so bored with the whole thing that they can no longer stand the mention of it.
Those hardcore Brexiteers are not the 17 million of us who voted Leave, nor even those of us of that number who would do so again.
Rather, they are, at most, the four million who voted UKIP at the General Election.
That is why UKIP, in the person of Paul Nuttall, is not going to win the Leigh by-election.
The fact that votes in parliamentary elections had little or nothing to do with the position on the EU of anyone apart from UKIP voters was precisely the reason for the referendum in the first place.
Although that is no longer true. The Lib Dems are now the party for the people who voted Remain and who are determined to get what they voted for.
So far, that has delivered a massive swing to capture an extremely safe Conservative seat. The Lib Dems are also on the march again in local elections.
Whereas, in the week that the Conservatives' poll lead over Labour narrowed significantly, they lost all four of the local council seats that they were contesting.
Labour's victory over UKIP and Nuttall at Leigh will be as significant as the Lib Dems' victory at Richmond Park, which has scared the life out of the Conservatives as they consider the very serious possibility that scores of seats could turn from blue to yellow across the Remain heartland that is the South of England.
UKIP has never won a seat either in the South or from the Conservatives except with the incumbent MP as its candidate.
And after Leigh, even under Nuttall and even with him as its candidate, UKIP will still never have won a seat either in the North or from Labour.
It will all be over.