It’s perhaps worth bearing in mind that under normal circumstances we would be heading headlong to another General Election at a rate of knots.
That many, perhaps most, commentators do not assume so is largely down to the Fixed Term Parliament Act. This was a price the Tories paid to get back into Downing St on the back of the Libdems. But does it really matter?
We currently have perhaps the most xenophobic and imperialist Government ever seen in the UK. Theresa May’s collective of zealots will be willing to make people pay any price just to prove that “Brexit means Brexit”. Collapse in sterling? Renault/Nissan threaten to pull future investment in Sunderland? the loss of London’s “passport” to the European financial markets? Just a bit of “turbulence” according to the Chancellor.
As I write the value of the FTSE 100 is in a very healthy position, not because of good management or industrial innovation. No. It’s simply because the main footsie players earn their living in the export markets and the current collapse in sterling makes their products very cheap in international markets. As a result they will make larger profits in the short-term.
Sterling was trading at $1.48 and is now at $1.24. At the turn of this year we could get over $2.05 Canadian now at $1.64 or €1.38 now at €1.12. If you are buying UK goods from anywhere in the world, they are at bargain basement prices. But, if you happen to be heading from these shores on holiday, or trying to buy the raw materials for your factory then you are struggling because prices are 10 – 15% higher just because of the change in exchange rates.
The exchange rates are the closest thing there is to a share price in UK PLC and right now they are plummeting as the world loses confidence as a direct result of the insanity that is Brexit.
So what does that have to do with the prospect of another General Election?
Look at some basics.
The Tories have a veneer of unity under a new PM who does not have a mandate, and face the prospect of having to tear up the Cameron/ Osborne manifest on which they were elected and simultaneously trying to puzzle out what Brexit means and deliver it within 2 years of March 2017.
They face a weak and internally riven Labour Party which seems intent on putting self-immolation for idiots into practice. Rarely can a Tory leader have had a greater chance to reduce Labour to the status of the Lib Dems. Simultaneously UKIP are putting a whole new meaning to leadership battles. Their irrelevance is upon them. The brexiters seem happy to trust the Tory right wing zealots for the moment and Theresa May indulges them.
Only in Scotland is there a coherent opposition and with one single seat at stake, that’s not going to register with the Tories.
So I would not be at all surprised if the Great Repeal Act which we are promised had a wee clause stuck in to repeal the Fixed Term Parliament Act, all in the name of “parliamentary sovereignty” and “taking back control”. Nothing to do with narrow Tory self-interest you understand.
We see a governing party which displays all the narrow, nasty sides of nationalism. All the facets of isolating “foreigners” of “British jobs for British workers” of listing foreign employees and having to prove that you could not get a British worker before you are allowed to employ a “foreigner”. When I see how this Tory government and party are behaving I can understand why so many on the left have been fearful of the concept of nationalism. Strangely enough those folk are now being forced into a choice.
On one hand we have the nasty, divisive forces of the tory right and their little Englander nationalism. On the other we see an open, welcoming nationalism being practiced here under the SNP. Many on the left are now re-evaluating their criticisms of the SNP when they see the real face of “nasty nationalism” crawling along the tory benches desperate for a spine to crawl up. As Winnie might have said.
So we see the perfect storm of time, motive and need for the Tories to go to the country. I hope and pray that I am wrong but it is looking like a General Election is looming and England cannot wait to go swinging right. They are fed up of these damn foreigners coming here and stealing their jobs, the jobs which should be theirs by right of birth.
After all, as we know work makes you free. Or “ Arbeit macht frei” as it said on the gates of Auschwitz.