When I woke up today (not this morning), I wasn’t sure exactly where I was.
It seems likely that most of the population of the UK was in the same situation, after yesterday’s general election.
I should explain that Thursday ran away from This Writer – or possibly with me – in a big way. I had to take Mrs Mike out to vote quite early in the day, and then take her to Telford, where her mother had an operation during the day and needed a family member to look after her in the aftermath.
Leaving them at the hospital (they would have transport back to Mrs Mike’s Mum’s home), I came back to Vox Political Towers, wrote a few pieces exhorting people to vote for different reasons, and then went out for my daily trip to meet a friend of mine for coffee and conversation at a local hotel…
… where I met another friend who suggested we move on to another venue after he voted, which we did. There…
… I met two more friends with whom I moved on to two more drinking establishments, after convincing one of them to go and vote at the last minute. I got home around 1am.
But the evening didn’t end there!
I sat down in front of the TV and spent a happy couple of hours watching coverage of the election results on various TV channels and tweeting about it. Then around 3am I had a response from a friend who lives five minutes down the road, and was also watching the coverage. He and his flatmate invited me over for an impromptu election party.
So I had to go, didn’t I?
And that is why I woke up uncertain about my location. It turned out I was in my own house, but in an unfamiliar position in a different part of it, with the cat sprawling across my head. A precarious moment!
I suppose one could say that Mrs Mike had expected me to continue in the same domesticated way I behave when I’m acting as her carer. Instead, it seems, at the first opportunity I escaped and went back to the wild.
Isn’t that what the UK electorate did? Have we escaped from the yoke of neoliberalism and gone “back to the wild” of politics?
Just as I woke up in a precarious situation, so has the country – although not with a cat on its collective head (I hope).
It is now certain that Theresa May made a fatal mistake when she called her ‘snap’ election. I think Tim Farron had it right in his speech today, when he said she acted from arrogance and vanity.
She said she wanted an increased mandate in order to push through her vision of Brexit – a ‘hard’ Brexit that most people in the country don’t want.
Instead, she is left at the head of the largest party – but in a ‘hung’ Parliament, having lost her majority. She needs support from another party, and is hanging all her hopes on the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland.
There’s just one problem – the DUP absolutely does not want a ‘hard’ Brexit. Any kind of alliance with such an organisation would utterly defeat the stated point of the general election.
If the Conservatives do enter such an arrangement, for the sake of hanging on to power, surely it must mean that Mrs May must resign?
Again, as Tim Farron said in his speech, if she has any self-respect at all, this seems the only course of action.
He has made it clear that the Liberal Democrats will not entertain any notions of supporting the Tories.
The Scottish Nationalists, bitten hard by Tories in last night’s results, certainly won’t.
Labour obviously won’t. Jeremy Corbyn is a prime minister in waiting.
It seems most of the parties have calculated that the majority of the British public don’t want Conservative neoliberalism any more.
As I type this, Mrs May is delivering a speech, claiming that she will give us the Brexit that we demanded last year (a lie), combat Islamist terrorism (a lie), and that only the Tories are entitled to continue in government – supported by the DUP (a lie, it seems – she doesn’t seem to have spoken to them and the DUP’s leaders have said she cannot take them for granted).
She’s trying to pretend that nothing has gone wrong.
What a mistake.
This is a dead woman walking – and she either doesn’t know it or won’t accept it. She’ll have a rude awakening soon.
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