3.1% of those eligible to vote bothered to go to a polling station and vote Tory in an important UK wide election last week. That’s 1 voter in every 33. Yet the Tory Party is shortly going to choose internally, from within its despised ranks, the next Prime Minister of the UK, even though that Tory Party does not even command a majority at Westminster. That is how dysfunctional the UK constitution has become.
Meantime the SNP were runaway victors in Scotland and Sinn Fein topped the poll on first preferences in Northern Ireland. The UK is disintegrating before our eyes. I pray the SNP leadership finally discovers the courage to seize the moment.
There is a huge amount of wishful thinking in the popular twitter meme that SNP, Libdem, Change plus Green votes just outweigh Brexit plus UKIP votes. This wilfully ignores the fact that a very high percentage of the residual Tory vote are Brexiteers- their Remainers have, like Heseltine, decamped their vote to the LibDems. Any Remainer voting Tory would be certifiable.
The figures are also distorted by adding in Scotland. In Scotland the SNP, Green and Lib Dem vote outweighed the Brexit and Ukip vote by a massive four to one. Scotland being 11% of the total vote in this election, that tilts the overall calculation towards Remain by a full net 5% (duly allowing for the small Tory and Labour votes in Scotland). If you do the figures for England alone, it is absolutely plain that the people of England wish to Brexit. Nobody has the right to stop England from Brexiting as it wishes. What is needed is a mature and friendly acceptance that this means the UK must split.
I stood twice for election in Parliamentary elections in England as an independent anti-war candidate. The first time, in Blackburn in 2005, the BBC broadcast a radio debate between the candidates but excluded me on the basis that I had “no evidence of popular support.” I polled 5.0%.
When I stood later in Norwich, the same thing happened again, and I pointed out that I had obtained 5% in Blackburn. The BBC told me that 5% was not enough public support to be given airtime.
I shall be fascinated to see if they apply that to Change UK and their 3%. Don’t hold your breath. I am rather proud that just on my own, with a few blog readers helping, I am more popular with the electorate than this massively hyped new political party.
I was a Liberal, then a Liberal Democrat, member for over 30 years. I made the stupid mistake of not realising how far the party had moved to the right during my years of working abroad, and anyone who has any understanding of history will know that for the party of Gladstone, Rosebery and Home Rule to brand itself as a Unionist party is an abomination. So there is little remaining affection, but nevertheless I would advise my remaining LibDem friends not to contemplate any kind of merger, alliance or accommodation with ChangeUK.
The LibDems are on the up, whereas ChangeUK are on the way to oblivion. Politically ChangeUK, with its unrepentant Tories and the right of the right wing Blairites, would drag the LibDems still further rightward and make remote the chance of living down the coalition betrayals that almost destroyed the party. Finally, why the LibDems would want to import the most virulent and corrupt pro-Israel lobbying in the UK into the party is beyond me. ChangeUK should simply be ignored on its route to entirely deserved extinction.