BY FRANK HAVILAND
Gaining 66 seats, and securing the Conservative Party’s largest majority since Margaret Thatcher, Boris Johnson has reclaimed the keys to Number 10 while dispelling any remaining questions on the legitimacy of his tenancy. As the smoke clears from election night celebrations, it’s time to take stock of where we are.
Britain has emphatically rejected Corbynism, but it’s more than just the naked antisemitism and terrorist sympathy that did it. The Labour Manifesto itself was unlikely to resonate with leavers. Why would Brexit voters want a second referendum? Why would they trust Labour with renationalisation? Why would they back the lunatic free bus travel for under 25s? And why on earth would they believe Labour’s promise of 100k new council houses per year, when the previous Labour government built fewer in 13 years than Thatcher’s government did in 1?
No matter how proudly Corbyn claims to have ‘won the argument’, it was Labour’s worst performance since 1935: he lost the argument.
Boris will do well to realise that such an overwhelming mandate is not merely an indication of what the public do not want, but also what they demand.
First and foremost, Brexit is happening – it’s over. Prominent remainers who have made a career conspiring with the EU will need to find a new job. Judging by the grimaces on election night, it’s clear that everyone but the Gina Millers of this world know the game is up. Even Michael Heseltine has admitted defeat.
The strongest possible Brexit negotiating team needs to be assembled immediately. Failure to offer Nigel Farage a key role will be not only ungentlemanly, it will be criminally stupid.
A newly-elected PM with a firm Leave mandate is worlds apart from an enfeebled Remain-backing Theresa May. Brussels is well aware it will no longer be able to dictate terms without its own people in situ – just look at the change of tune from Guy Verhofstadt:
And Monsieur Macron:
There are also encouraging rumours that No Deal is back on the table. If indeed he is turning up the heat, Johnson would be well-advised to schedule the next meeting in London, rather than rushing off at Brussels’ beck and call.
If the Brexit debacle has taught us one thing, it’s that our elected representatives have forgotten their obligations to the people. In sneering at Leave voters for the best part of four years, Labour have attempted the impossible: telling the electorate to try asexual reproduction, while expecting their vote. And while Lady Nugee doth protest a little too much at suggestions she considers leave voters thick, white van men from Rochester will find it doesn’t stretch the imagination.
For any MPs who cannot draw the obvious conclusions, we now know the following: Twitter hashtags, celebrity endorsements, and calling people racist does not win elections.
The beating heart of Britain is still to be found in the working men’s clubs north of the M25, not the gold-rimmed Chardonnay goblets of W11. The working class is not interested in identity politics, or being told what they are allowed to say or think. They want a safe, independent nation to raise their children, with minimal State interference.
In its rejection of Corbyn, the nation is clearly wary of a reckless spending spree. Fiscal responsibility therefore, would indicate a re-examination of long-term erroneous practices. The Foreign Aid Budget should be severely slashed to accommodate genuine emergencies only.
Domestically, the benefits safety net should always be there in cases of real need, but not as a lifestyle choice. Complaining that the State does not provide adequate remittance for your seven children is ridiculous: you are not entitled to other people’s money, no matter how much Labour politicians try to convince you.
Similarly, HS2 at over £100 Billion ought also to be scrapped. Johnson would do well to listen to opposition amongst his own MPs.
The public want immigration reduced, and have done for years. Labour, keen as ever to draw from the well of unlimited votes (not to mention having someone to serve coffee in Pret), have ignored this at their cost. Embarking on yet another suicidal PR mission however, shadow Home Secretary, Diane Abbott, decided that what the public really needed was unlimited immigration to purge them of their racism.
Instead of open borders, a sensible points-based immigration policy needs to be implemented. Rather than arriving with a checklist of demands, immigrants to Britain need to consider how they may serve their new homeland.
Routine vote fraud needs to be stamped out once and for all. Postal votes ought to be restricted to their original purpose: the infirm, and those overseas. Voter ID is only an issue if you intend to deceive.
Meanwhile, the House of Lords ought at the very least to be an elected upper chamber. The news this week that Jo Swinson may be smuggled in, despite her election defeat and defiance of the nation, highlights that the place is not fit for purpose.
Perhaps the toughest challenge facing Boris is spiralling crime. Specifically, that’s London’s knife crime epidemic, Muslim rape gangs, and Islamic terrorism. However many police it takes, however many stop and searches, and however many lengthy custodial sentences – zero tolerance is required: get the job done.
Of course, policing and sentencing can only do so much, as London Bridge tragically emphasised. Our politicians must no longer be allowed to appease radical Islam in exchange for votes. Corbyn’s terrorist sympathies were (fortunately) his Achilles heel. That defence of Britain needs to be played out on a national level.
Britain is about to break free of its shackles, and set sail for the horizon – a beautiful and daunting prospect. No Rule Britannia perhaps, but certainly rule freedom. Britain never never shall be slaves – not to the EU, nor to our elected representatives. It’s time the few remembered their obligations to the many.