Thursday, 12 November 2020

Other Acts That Endanger

A primarily Anglo-American hard liberalism is a considerable world power in its own right, regardless of whether or not anyone voted for it under its own name. Although it is once again about to assume the office of President of the United States. And it is.

In anticipation of the Biden Administration, it is with this power that the dissident legislators in Hong Kong have been conspiring, just as that power itself routinely conspires with foreign entities, notably Saudi Arabia and Israel. Hong Kong was no bastion of freedom and democracy when we ran it, but the reaction of the British Government has been the funniest thing in a very long time. "I've got a receipt! I've got a receipt!" Have you really, sweetie? Have you really?

In any case, the British Government is at the top of the hit list. A more acceptable Leader of the Opposition is one thing, but the real prize is a more acceptable Prime Minister. This week, following the American Presidential Election, that process has begun. John Major and David Cameron have reemerged as Zadok the Priest and Nathan the Prophet, while Vote Leave is being purged from Downing Street.

Like Richard Burgon, Ian Lavery and Jon Trickett are universally assumed to have voted Leave. They are of course quite right that Jeremy Corbyn's capitulation to Keir Starmer on Brexit was the reason why Labour's vote collapsed between 2017 and 2019.

They are also right in principle that Labour owes an apology to Remainers, since full Remain was never a realistic option. What we are going to get, as would also be the case under Starmer, is vassal statehood, than which it would be better even to re-join the EU on whatever terms it chose to set. Undoubtedly, that is the intention. 

Indeed, everything that Lavery and Trickett rightly bemoan is intentional. Once those who were recapturing the Conservative Party had done their work, then Britain would have three hard liberal parties out of two. All of them would be convinced that General Elections were won and lost in a very particular version of the South East, or at least they would be determined to pretend that that were the case. The Red Wall could like it or lump it. As could the Black Wall.

Imagine that, early next year, a new Prime Minister had been installed without anything so vulgar as a Leadership Election, and not without acrimony among a certain number of Conservative MPs. A confidence motion would be tabled. One billion pounds, or possibly two billion the second time, would buy the DUP. Compare the cost of track and trace. 

The vaunted existence of a post-pandemic and post-Brexit national emergency would be the excuse to offer attendance at Cabinet and so forth to Labour and the Liberal Democrats, thereby securing their three-line whips to abstain, to which the SDLP and the Alliance Party would also adhere. Any rebels would be those Labour MPs who were already suspended from the party or who fancied joining them. 

A comparable number of Conservatives would lose the whip, if they had not already done so, for voting with the SNP, Plaid Cymru, and the Greens, or at least for not voting against them. In spite of their votes, the SNP would then take their places in the new order because, "We have to be grownup and responsible." And that would be that. 

In Scotland, most of Wales, and almost all of England, only governing parties would contest the next General Election in any realistic way, while in Northern Ireland the only notable alternative would be Sinn Féin. But I am a declared and active candidate for the parliamentary seat of North West Durham. Please give generously.

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