Tuesday, 18 April 2017

A turkey hears that Christmas has been rescheduled...

Considering that the Tories have so far deliberately...

...restrained themselves when it comes to attacking Corbyn (why further weaken the man who is doing such a splendid job of destroying your main opposition?), I suspect the sheer hateful, unbridled viciousness of their forthcoming assault on this dimwit's dismal, horrible past - especially his support for terrorists - will have even their most ardent supporters begging, "Leave him! He can't take any more!" Needless to say, I will be rubbing my hands in glee and cheering as every punch, kick, smear and awkward truth hits home. He deserves it.

I'll admit the tea almost went down my nose when I heard the news on the radio this morning. As it was, I just contented myself with a coughing fit. I was really hoping the boundary changes would be in place before Theresa May called time on Steptoe's tenure - but she has once more wrongfooted us all by being bolder than her past record would have suggested she was capable of. Good for her!

As someone said this morning, the Tories will fight the election on a May v. Corbyn platform, the Lib-Dems will fight it on Brexit, the SNP will fight it on a second Scottish Independence referendum, while Labour will fight it on -----------------??? Does anyone have a clue? I almost feel sorry for "moderate" Labour MPs who have to spend the next six weeks tramping from door to door while desperately avoiding using the word "Corbyn". (Then again, not that sorry.)

Here are some instant, disparate thoughts on today's announcement:

The Tories won't do as well as recent polls suggest - but they'll win with an increased majority.

UKIP will not win any seats (obviously) and will lose ground everywhere. As Douglas Carswell said in an interview this weekend, voting for them now is a bit like voting for the Anti-Corn Laws League. The interesting thing will be to see what sort of role Nigel Farage chooses to play - but not that interesting.

The Lib Dems will do better than expected, mopping up lots of hand-wringing Remainer votes in the South who will respond to Tim Farron's dog-whistle Project Fear nonsense.

I hope the Tories promise to scrap Cameron's farcical pension triple-lock policy, which is both ruinously expensive and generationally unfair: the Tories are delivering Brexit, so they don't need to keep on bribing oldsters. And grammar schools - lots of them, please. A massive cut to foreign aid by scrapping the 0.7% of GDP policy, obviously (we send money top North Korea, for God;s sake!).

They should promise a root-and-branch reform of the NHS and the BBC - but they won't. A massive boost for the armed forces and a promise to scrap PC policing wouldn't go amiss (including a promise to reintroduce stop-and-search in London, where knife and gun crime are once more spiralling out of control) - but we won't get that either. A pledge to allow the rest of Britain a referendum on whether to expel Scotland from the Union would be fun - but that obviously isn't going to happen: but a promise to stop English taxpayers subsidising free university education and prescriptions for ungrateful Scots is long overdue. Just...why? And, of course, something meaty on border controls and repeated assurances that, while the country will agree to pay the EU what it genuinely owes, it won't pay a penny towards some spurious, punitive "early exit" charge.  Oh, and a guarantee that the first politician to employ the phrase "XX weeks/days/hours to Save Our NHS/Our BBC/Our EU/Our Planet" will be summarily executed for being a dreary, clueless knob.

I suppose it would be too much to hope that their local constituency associations will immediately de-select blisters such as Nicky Morgan and Anna Soubry - but you can't have everything.

And there was I thinking this would be a dull year in politics compared to the glory that was 2016.

There will be numerous incredibly silly headlines/pronouncements/tweets between now and 8th June - but Andy Burnham (who I seem to remember reading somewhere hails from the North) has got in reet early, 'appen:

i.e. "Rats! She's called a general election before I've got my ducks in a row for the next Labour leadership contest." Either that, or someone should take him for a coffee and explain how politics works in this country.

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