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Theresa May’s election gamble conundrum?


By Dickson Igwe, Contributor

From a twenty point lead over the Opposition Labour Party, Mrs. Theresa May’s Conservative Party’s lead has shrunk precipitously according to the latest You Gov opinion poll.

Theresa May’s Conservatives are just 3 points ahead of the British Labour Party in that poll.

In the Capital City of London, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party has surged to a significant lead in most opinion polls. This cannot be good news for Mrs. Theresa May.

Britain’s Conservatives may be worse off after the General Election than they were, before it was called, with a reduced majority. Britain faces a hung Parliament after June 8, 2017. A hung parliament will be tantamount to a loss for the British Conservative Party.

Brexit will be placed on hold if Theresa May loses the next British General Election. In any event, Britain’s under 50s were always skeptical about Brexit. They are even more skeptical about the UKs supposed closeness to the US Populist President Donald Trump. The young are gathering behind Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. The British Labour Party has gotten back its mojo.

Now this Old Boy praised the hubris and courage, in British Prime Minister Theresa May, calling a General Election to buttress her governing credentials pre the Brexit Negotiations that begin in late June. He however asserted that it was an “amazing risk”.

A successful exit from Europe is crucial to a Britain that exports more to Ireland than it does to China; twice as much to Belgium, as it does to India; and three times as much to Sweden as it does to Brazil.

Outside of Europe, Britain will have no access to the European Arrest Warrant that has enabled the UK extradite 5000 people from Britain to Europe in the past 5 years. Over the same period, EAW has further allowed 675 suspects and criminals be taken from Europe to face justice in Britain.

It is unlikely Britain obtains access to the Single Market without making concessions, and accepting European Union regulations, over which the UK will have zero say. The Europeans are unlikely to allow Britain unfettered access without making financial contributions, and accepting Free Movement Rules.

Member states will not give the UK a better deal than they themselves enjoy.

British Prime Minister Theresa May. Photo Credit: BBC

The British Prime Minister says she prefers no deal to a bad deal. One writer stated that no deal meant airplanes not being able to fly into the EU, and the risk of deep recession. The EU has stated in comment and nuance that it will take a tough line with Britain.

This story teller stated in a preceding story that the EU was a massive iceberg that the Charming Frigate, The HMS Brexit, would be wise to avoid.

However, it appears the iceberg is impacting the UK even from far off. Pieces of the iceberg have broken off, floated some distance, and presently lie in the pathway of the vessel. One clear piece of evidence of the preceding, is how the matter of Brexit is making the British Prime Minister’s statements during her election campaign, appear, apocalyptic and fatalistic.

In a recent speech, Mrs. May stated that the Labour Opposition Leader Mr. Jeremy Corbyn would, “be alone and naked in the negotiation chamber, without a plan for withdrawal”.

Mrs. May went on to assert that Corbyn as Prime Minister would mean, “our economic prosperity will suffer, jobs and livelihoods put at risk, and with them the security, and peace of mind of working families”.

These statements “smacked of desperation”. Why is Europe suddenly terrible? Has Britain not prospered as a member of the European Union? Corbyn may appear ineffective.

However, he is an intelligent man with a left wing vision for Britain that includes free university and college tuition, infrastructure investment that helps the poor and working man and woman, and renationalizing socially vital industries such as the railways. A significant section of Britain has bought into that vision.

Then there is the Atlantic Dimension. Brexit is part of a pivot of the UK towards a USA led by the Unpredictable Donald Trump. Many think that pivot “awfully unwise”.

In the past few days Trump behaved like a Bull in a China Shop at the Group of 7 Nations meeting in Sicily, an island off the southern tip of Italy. The US Leader shoved the Montenegro Prime Minister. He issued warnings and threats to fellow leaders. He showed his displeasure at being at the meeting. He was impolite and manner less. This was statesmanship at its worst. Trump appears to love murderous dictators while hating democratic leaders.

In response to Trump’s ‘less than diplomatic braggadocio’, a much more graceful German leader, Angela Merkel, declared that, “the era in which we could fully rely on others is over to some extent. We Europeans truly have to take our fate in our own hands; we Europeans must fight for our own future and destiny”. These were fortuitous words.

But what they spelled was this: Europe, led by Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron was building greater cohesion and unity, in response to Trump and Brexit.

Merkel has emerged as de-facto Leader of the Free World through her “canny knack’’ for great governance, and “sheer political savvy”.

Merkel is stable, strong, deliberative, frugal, and deeply respected. It will take a US President with great diplomatic savvy to recover the mantle of world leader. Trump is certainly not that man.

Europe feels let down by the US and UK. Many Brexiter Britons may gloat at this. However, there are ramifications to a breakdown in a Western Alliance that has kept the world peaceful for 70 years, Post World War 2.

And British voters are watching. There are second thoughts about Brexit. This is especially so among young voters. Many see Brexit as “sheer recklessness”.

And paradoxically, despite all the talk of nationalist populism in Britain, the country is actually moving in a leftward direction. The rise in the polls for The Labour Party show increasing confidence in labour’s Leftist stance by the British Voter.

Labour Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn. PHOTO CREDIT:

Labour suddenly has the momentum. Theresa May has stated that her governing priority is towards the welfare of the working class. This is unorthodox for a Conservative Party that historically, is composed of Britain’s upper middle, and upper class.

Before the change in the Labour Party’s fortunes, Labour suffered. Corbyn was seen as a member of the “LOONY LEFT”.

He was a disastrous choice for Leader. The Party was polling twenty points behind the Governing Conservatives. It lost the critical Copeland Bye Election, and local council elections. These were antecedents that pointed to a colossal defeat in the upcoming General Election of June 8.

Instead, the election campaign, and forthcoming General Election, will have strengthened both the Labour Party and Mr. Corbyn. The election campaign has exposed Conservative incompetence. It has also given labour a boost. Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party have thrived. Corbyn has become likable, even lovable.

One insider described the state of the British Conservatives this way: “They are in a state of panic!’’

The decision to hold a General Election appears to have back fired on the British Prime Minister. Theresa May is looking increasingly awkward while Jeremy Corbyn appears comfortable in his own skin.

A second paradox: May called the General Election to go into the Brexit Negotiations looking strong with greater national authority. Instead the Election has revealed May’s soft underbelly. Jeremy Paxman, a British Journalist and Commentator described May as a “blowhard who collapses at the first sound of gunfire”.

UK Guardian Journalist, Owen Jones, wrote recently, how the General Election, “showed May’s authority dissipating, her u turns, her declining personal ratings, ominous poll numbers, and Labour’s growing insurgency”.
Jones is realistic: “the odds are still stacked against Labour, but after May’s shaky performance on the hustings, a historic defeat may not be inevitable”.

If May pulls off a victory with a reduced majority it would remain disastrous for the Prime Minister. In a Conservative Party that does not forgive defeat- in whatever form- she would have to in all probability resign.
None of this is good news for Theresa May, or the British Conservative Party.

One of this writer’s favorite sayings is this one: “if a day is a long time in politics, then a week can be an eternity.’’

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