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Short term gain for long term pain?

By Frank McKenna

By Frank McKenna

Frank McKenna reflects on a historic week in British politics. He concedes that Boris has won the battle – but will he win the war?

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]There was only one thing more depressing than the government’s abuse of power this week. And that was the oppositions response to it.

From Barry Gardiner to Diane Abbott, Jo Swinson to Paul Mason, Boris Johnson’s critics looked like rabbits caught in the head lights having been wrong footed and out maneuvered by the Prime Minister and his cabal of ERG advisors.

There will now be the mother of all arguments in the mother of parliaments as Johnson’s opponents  try to cobble together something to stop the Brexiter juggernaut, but if they fail they should take a look in the mirror and accept that they have been co-conspirators in a sorry journey that has led the country to the precipice of an unnecessary disaster.

Labour shadow cabinet member Gardiner, not for the first time, spluttered his way through an interview on Newsnight trying to explain why Labour’s position on Brexit had been consistent. The game is up Barry. It has been as plain as the fact that you have been over-promoted that the official opposition have been playing politics with the nation’s future for party gain – and you might just be about to lose big.

On the same news programme the Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson spoke for ten minutes without saying anything. It was clear what she was against – Brexit – but she has no clue as to how she and the no-deal opposition collective can stop it.

The Liberal Democrats must also begin to own their principle role in the mess that has unraveled. Not only did they support austerity, the key factor for the Leave campaigns success, but it was they who thought they were being clever dicks by supporting the introduction of a Fixed Term Parliament Act, which makes ridding the country of any sitting government executive extremely challenging.

Swinson’s instant dismissal of Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal to make him a ‘caretaker’ Prime Minister to stop No-Deal may be the only realistic game in town now. Would One Nation Tories support this move? Probably not – but they may abstain in such a vote. The Liberal Democrat leader would do well to listen to her more experienced peers Caroline Lucas and Nicola Sturgeon who have had a ‘good Brexit’ and have been far more pragmatic in their response to the Labour leaders offer.

Overall though, and it pains me to say this, but the odds of our crashing out of the EU have very much shortened this week.

However, before the Bullingdon Boys and their mates start to crack open the Chablis and the pork scratching’s they need to consider if the prize is worth the price.

Johnson wants a deal and he thinks the tactics he is using will help him in that objective. What if he is wrong and the EU doesn’t blink?

Johnson thinks, deal or no-deal, he will win an election, likely to take place now in the Autumn. I’m not so sure and he has just sacrificed the Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson and with her a dozen Conservative seats. Once Brexit is done, traditional Labour voters will return home, or switch their vote to an alternative progressive party. Boris’ overall majority looks as far away to me as the Remain campaigns panacea People’s Vote.

And, should a future Prime Minister, not for short-term political gain, but for more sinister reasons, pirogue parliament, what will all those who are arrogantly crowing ‘it serves Remainers right’ do then? Johnson’s actions may not be illegal or unconstitutional. But they do set a very dangerous precedent.

That our political leaders have been so abject in dealing with Britain’s biggest crisis since the war is an understatement. But, if you think that by the 31st October 2019 Brexit will be over, have a serious word with yourself. This isn’t the beginning of the end. It’s the end of the beginning.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGhyZWYlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGRG93bnRvd25GcmFuayUzRnJlZl9zcmMlM0R0d3NyYyUyNTVFdGZ3JTIyJTIwY2xhc3MlM0QlMjJ0d2l0dGVyLWZvbGxvdy1idXR0b24lMjIlMjBkYXRhLXNob3ctY291bnQlM0QlMjJmYWxzZSUyMiUzRUZvbGxvdyUyMCU0MERvd250b3duRnJhbmslM0MlMkZhJTNFJTNDc2NyaXB0JTIwYXN5bmMlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnBsYXRmb3JtLnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGd2lkZ2V0cy5qcyUyMiUyMGNoYXJzZXQlM0QlMjJ1dGYtOCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRnNjcmlwdCUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGNsYXNzJTNEJTIydHdpdHRlci10aW1lbGluZSUyMiUyMGRhdGEtaGVpZ2h0JTNEJTIyMTAwMCUyMiUyMGhyZWYlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGRG93bnRvd25GcmFuayUzRnJlZl9zcmMlM0R0d3NyYyUyNTVFdGZ3JTIyJTNFVHdlZXRzJTIwYnklMjBEb3dudG93bkZyYW5rJTNDJTJGYSUzRSUyMCUzQ3NjcmlwdCUyMGFzeW5jJTIwc3JjJTNEJTIyaHR0cHMlM0ElMkYlMkZwbGF0Zm9ybS50d2l0dGVyLmNvbSUyRndpZGdldHMuanMlMjIlMjBjaGFyc2V0JTNEJTIydXRmLTglMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZzY3JpcHQlM0UlMjA=[/vc_raw_html][vc_raw_html]JTNDYSUyMGhyZWYlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGRG93bnRvd25GcmFuayUzRnJlZl9zcmMlM0R0d3NyYyUyNTVFdGZ3JTIyJTIwY2xhc3MlM0QlMjJ0d2l0dGVyLWZvbGxvdy1idXR0b24lMjIlMjBkYXRhLXNob3ctY291bnQlM0QlMjJmYWxzZSUyMiUzRUZvbGxvdyUyMCU0MERvd250b3duRnJhbmslM0MlMkZhJTNFJTNDc2NyaXB0JTIwYXN5bmMlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnBsYXRmb3JtLnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGd2lkZ2V0cy5qcyUyMiUyMGNoYXJzZXQlM0QlMjJ1dGYtOCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRnNjcmlwdCUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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