Monday 22 October 2018


A hashtag? Not merely in support, but as the thing itself? That is student politics, and not even very good student politics. By, apparently, 40 Conservative MPs, meaning that the figure will be lower when the chips are down. Forty. Out of 316. About one in eight. 

276 Conservative MPs, seven out of eight of them, will therefore vote in favour of whatever Theresa May had brought back. And that is on the best estimates of the fantasists who believe that the Conservatives are the party of Leave.

Meanwhile, the entire Parliamentary Labour Party will vote against any Chequers-based deal. But then, of the five people who have contested Labour Leadership Elections since 2015, by far the most Eurosceptical has won both of them, including the 2016 one that was held after the referendum and which was very much fought on this issue.

Also after the referendum, the Conservative Party gave its Leadership to Theresa May without a contest. All five people who have contested Labour Leadership Elections since 2015 have been more Eurosceptical than Theresa May, and all four of them who are still in the House of Commons will vote against her deal. Whereas no more than 40 Conservative MPs, and probably not even that many, will do so. 

After all, why would the rest? Not only will they agree with it, but they are justifiably scared out of their wits of losing their seats to the Liberal Democrats in the Remain heartlands for which they sit. Ask them. They will tell you. They will tell you in no uncertain terms. 

There are those who insist, increasingly hysterically, that the referendum was a Southern and right-wing victory. But even if they are right, then no one believes them, and they never will. Except perhaps for a few academics writing for each other, but possibly not even then, everyone already remembers it as the revenge of the areas that had been punished by Thatcherism, and everyone is always going to remember it like that.

Whether or not the North and the Left won the referendum strictly in itself (and we undeniably cast the decisive votes), then we have won everything to do with it hands down. The new Britain will have to suit us, "because we voted for Brexit." Jolly good. So long as we hold our nerve.

Everyone thinks that the South voted Remain. And by electing the seven eighths pro-Chequers Conservative Party, it did. That party's only fear is that the South will vote even more Remain next time, by voting for the Lib Dems, if what it had been given by then had not been Remain enough for it. 

Meanwhile, all Labour MPs are going to vote against anything that had come out of Chequers, "because we voted for Brexit." And because Jeremy Corbyn is more Eurosceptical then anyone whom he has ever beaten for Labour Leader, while all of those are more Eurosceptical than Theresa May. 

Theresa May, whom the seven eighths pro-Chequers Conservative Party, the party of the places that would go Lib Dem if there were ever anything like a real Brexit, made its Leader by acclaim, and retains as its Leader, unchallenged.

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