BY JAMIE FOSTER
The expression “falling between two stools” is an old proverbial phrase. The full version is ‘between two stools one falls to the ground’. It is first cited in John Gower’s Confessio Amantis, 1390:
“Thou farst [farest] as he betwen tuo stoles That wolde sitte and goth to grounde.”
The first recorded use in modern English is in Matthew Prior’s comic poem Alma; or, The Progress of the Mind, 1717:
Now which were wise, and which were fools?
Poor Alma sits between two stools;
The more she reads the more perplex’d,
The comment ruining the text:
Now fears, now hopes her doubtful fate.
The Brecon and Radnorshire by election has shown the real danger of the Brexit Party splitting the Leave vote and creating a defeat for Brexiteers. The Liberal Democrats won that by election with 43.5% of the vote. The Tories lost on 39% with the Brexit Party taking 10.5%. What a useful lesson that was. The only effect of the Brexit Party running was to ensure a Remain party won the seat.
Peterborough before that showed us what Labour can do with illegal block votes, comprised of “voters” who were either dead or did not speak English. We should be in a desperate rush to clean up that mess too, or we’ll end up with Dent Coads running rife.
The Remain parties have become involved in an electoral pact cleverly targeting Leave seats. This will continue into any general election. The Remain parties will be aiming at Leave MPs who they think they can unseat. With the Remain parties organised in this way it is imperative the Leave parties put some thought into electoral cooperation. There is no point in the Brexit Party simply ensuring that the Remain parties win in all of their target seats.
The Conservative Party famously hasn’t done election pacts since Unionist tie-ups almost a century ago, however the time may have come to revisit that principle. Brexit is a game changer – as Boris says, do or die for the party (and the country, considering the possibility a Leninist may get in to Number Ten).
The Remainers are well organised and have serious money behind them. Julian Dunkerton of Superdry donated £1 million to the People’s Vote campaign and George Soros is a contributor to Remain causes, while Gina Miller’s exploits in court do not come cheap. So it is not that Remain forces are short of cash. When No Deal comes they will gather and form blocs of alliance to establish a political force to reverse Brexit.
The Leave parties desperately need to organise in order to face the challenge of the Remain parties.
It makes no sense for the Leave parties to go up against each other without any coordination. If Farage’s vision is anything more than causing trouble he should get together with the Conservatives to form an electoral strategy. It is time for both parties to come together to formulate a plan for dealing with the Remain threat. To fail to do so will see Britain and Brexit falling between two stools and for this we will never forgive ourselves.