Thursday, 20 April 2017

A Liferaft In Shark Infested Waters

The latest poll, and we know how we can trust those, suggests the Tories will get 48% of the vote in the general election. An unnatural symmetry at least since 48% of us voted to remain in Europe. If memory serves the Tories got their current majority with about 37%. I doubt they'll get 48%, but if recent months prove anything they prove that any kind of madness is possible.

If the 48% remainers and those European workers who live here, and pay tax here, and who can vote in general elections here, although they were denied a vote in the stupid referendum, all vote LibDem, we'd actually get a liberal minded, centre party in power instead of an extreme left wing party, or an extreme right wing party.

How refreshing would that be! And that's without the hope that a few people who voted Brexit realise they were conned and also vote LibDem. There may also be a few Brits living abroad with a postal vote who were also denied a referendum vote, who see a LibDem vote now as the only way to turn things around.

In her speech announcing the general election Mrs May stated that 'the country is coming together', it's only parliament that isn't according to her. Hopefully we can disabuse her of that gross assumption. She has done less than nothing for the 48%, add in the people with a moral right to vote in the referendum, but no actual vote and Mrs May is failing a full 50% of the population - utterly.

Whether it's worth trying to pull our bacon out of the fire depends a lot on whether the madness and chaos virus has infected the French. The Dutch bless them held on to sanity in their recent elections, but if, encouraged by Brexit and Trump the French vote for the extreme right and Le Pen then a united Europe could be a thing of the past anyway.

If a Le Pen France pulls out of the EU chances are there will be no single European market and there could be a world wide recession, centred on Europe, inspired by Farage, Johnson, Gove and Brexit. Then it almost doesn't matter if we have a right wing dictator in power as our goose will be cooked for years to come anyway. We could be sleepwalking towards an economic catastrophe and even war.

Tribalism has always been just below the surface in Europe and it runs especially strong in Britain, France and Germany. Remainers pointed out that the EU had been a force for peace, but Brexiteers never mentioned the subject, safe in the knowledge that after seventy plus years of peace in Western Europe voters all took peace for granted. Do we never learn?

Of course war between European nations is highly unlikely, even in the event of an economic disaster, but what of Trump and NATO? If Mrs May wins the election she will have more personal power than any British politician in living memory, and her version of Brexit, doing away with European courts and European checks and balances means the Tories can do what they like with our human rights, workers rights, our pensions, privatisations, you name it.

It won't stop her following whatever America tells her to do though, just what hold the USA has on UK governments I've no idea but Thatcher, Blair, Cameron and now May all smile and bend the knee. So war could come again. Funny isn't it that the USA was late to World War One and late to World War Two, in fact Germany declared war on them, not the other way around, and yet when they want us to sacrifice lives for causes they believe in we simply ask how many.

Europe discussed a European Defence Force, but we British scuppered that, looks increasingly sensible to me now. Trump's commitment to NATO is a worry, he might support the UK, but the idea he really cares about Poland or the Baltic states is doubtful at best. Then there's Erdogan and Turkey as NATO members they share our secrets and May has just sold them British military fighter jet technology for a paltry one hundred million pounds.

Erdogan has taken huge new powers, not dissimilar, although his methods are more extreme, from those Mrs May might end up with if she gets her way. Erdogan has accused the west of behaving like crusaders, he is not our best friend NATO or not. Anyway you cut it a European Defence Force looks smart. We of course would be on the outside.

It's interesting to speculate how Germany might react if France did a Frexit. On the face of it a huge problem, but Germany is the biggest and most successful economy in Europe, if it formed a new kind of federation with The Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy and some of the eastern European countries, it could become a real superpower.

Lets hope the madness hasn't infected the French as it appears to have and for goodness sake vote LibDem here. The Labour party have ruled out inviting the people to vote on a European deal, so the only hope is a LibDem government. They themselves aren't aiming that high, their aspiration is to become the main opposition, that would be too little too late. The LibDems are a fragile, inflatable liferaft in a huge, shark infested storm, but they are at least a liferaft, there is no other.

Malcolm Snook

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