For Brexiteers the last three years have been as annoying as can be. We’ve had Project Fear thrown at us, a Continuity Remain backlash – thrusting all kinds of muppets into the public conversation – and we’ve had a Prime Minister who both thwarted Brexit and lost the plot. Maybe we should have expected blowback from the European Union – they need our money – but to get such resistance from our own people, who are still willing to be treacherous, has been most disappointing. British Democracy used to be a thing.
But now shouldn’t we be more optimistic about our future?
Boris Johnson has promised we shall leave the EU on Halloween this year and it seems difficult to imagine a scenario – without risking the extinction of the Conservative Party – where he will row back on that promise. Even Remainer Jeremy Hunt is singing to that tune, although he may as well be singing to himself as he’s going to be well beaten in the Conservative Leadership race, despite multiple ballots being sent out to party members.
A consequence of Johnson’s election could be a CCHQ that is fit for purpose. An organisation that took many years to repair has sunk to bullying and infighting in recent years and a strong party needs a strong CCHQ. There is a great opportunity for Boris to clean out the office and rebuild the party machine to a point where it can be as efficient as a Momentum on the doorstep, with skills of persuasion and well-targeted interventions on election day.
A clean Brexit break will leave the Brexit Party like UKIP after the EU referendum wondering what’s the point? The pull from America will be great for Farage after Halloween, especially as Trump revs up his campaign for America 2020. The Widdicombes and Rees-Moggs can be convinced to step down – the Tices enticed back into the Tory fold, where they will be valuable.
Meanwhile, Labour under Corbyn is taking a hiding. People have worked out that Corbyn’s Labour Party is not the Labour Party of old. The Corbynites make out that Corbyn is Attlee who led the radical post-war Labour governments of 1945-51. But any such comparison is incorrect. Attlee fought bravely and was wounded in the first world war, he opposed appeasement of Hitler and he was a loyal and effective deputy Prime Minister to Churchill from 1940 until the end of the Second World War. As Churchill himself acknowledged, Attlee was “a great patriot”. Unlike Jeremy Corbyn, who is far more sympathetic to the Chinese and Russian regimes than to America, Attlee understood how crucial the relationship with the United States was to Britain, both during the war with Hitler and beyond into the Cold War with Moscow. Corbyn’s Labour is rife with antisemitism – as we shall see with our own eyes on this week’s Panorama, it is run by Communist millionaires and Momentum’s apparatchiks are not dissimilar to Brownshirts in how they target and smear opponents. The message that the red rose of Labour has been lopped by a sickle is seeping through.
The Liberal Democrats seem like the logical home for Labour voters but none of their leadership candidates inspire awe. None look or sound like leaders. Meanwhile the Lib Dems – some call them the Liberal Undemocrats – have become the go-to Remain party, which does not bode well for a future when, without us, the EU will look increasingly federal and depend increasingly on German decision making under its new German President. Why would one vote for this yellow blancmange when Britain needs strong leadership and to show panache and dynamism around the globe?
Boris can be the lucky Prime Minister. The DUP will adore him, as he protects their union – knowing a Corbyn Government will seek out a united Ireland. The SNP will know that risking another referendum is an all-or-bust strategy they cannot afford. Trump will offer the UK a trade deal which annoys the EU so bigly they will have trouble keeping hold of their remaining member states. Tory Remainers – those unable to shapeshift into Boris’ lieutenants – will be forced into a corner and leave. A General Election after a year or two of Boris competence – marked by resistance shown against Britain-haters – could result in a sizeable majority and a scattering of political foes.
Time to be optimistic, Dear Readers. According to the naysayers we are all in the gutter, but some of us are already looking at the stars.