Well, folks, here we go. Today, we will find out whether our new Prime Minister will be Boris Johnson (it will) or Jeremy Hunt (it won’t).
While it is almost certain that the blonde, bumbling BoJo will take office, the question is by how much? Will he romp to victory, giving his no-deal credentials a shot in the arm? Will he flatten Hunt, giving him a mandate from the Tory membership to press on, at full steam, to leave the EU on October 31st, come hell or high water?
Or will it be closer than we thought? If he only narrowly wins, might the first seeds of doubt start to creep in to his mind? Maybe no-deal isn’t such a good idea after all, if even the Tory faithful don’t believe in it…
But let’s save the speculation and discuss it when we know the answer.
For today’s new leader isn’t the only new face this week…
I’m Sorry What? The Lib Dems Have Been Having a Leadership Contest?
Yep. Despite next to no coverage by the media whatsoever, the Liberal Democrats have also been holding hustings up and down the country over the last few weeks. The two candidates, Jo Swinson and Sir Ed Davey, were competing to take over from Sir Vince Cable.
…Who is around 400 years old.
And, yesterday, it was announced that Jo Swinson had won the contest by a whopping 47,000 votes to Sir Ed’s 28,000, making her the first female leader of the Liberal Democrats.
This leaves only the Labour Party as a major political party to have never been led by a woman.
Anyway, her maiden speech was surprisingly good.
She was optimistic, magnanimous, consensus-building and open to cross-party collaboration.
She was also openly, politely, and fiercely critical of Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, the Tories, Labour, Brexit, Leave.EU and just about anyone that has taken centre stage since the 2016 Referendum was announced. She championed liberalism, and spoke passionately about her desire to see a society where those who worked hard got what they deserved – a societal contract that she believes is currently broken.
She also announced that she would do everything in her power to stop Brexit.
Seeing as the country is so utterly divided at the moment, a future coalition with the Lib-Dems might be the only way for a party to gain a majority to form a government – if she is really serious about stopping Brexit, she might insist on a second referendum being a part of the deal.
Which could make things tasty.
So, a Bright, Engaging, Young(ish) Leader – What’s Not to Love?
Plenty, according to both the hard-left and the far-right. Which, to her, is probably exactly how she wants it.
Of course, the far-right will have absolutely none of not only Jo, but the Liberal Democrats and their catchy slogan, “Bollocks to Brexit” in general. Being hard Brexiteers, she is the complete antithesis of their deep-seated desire to leave the EU.
This makes sense.
The hard-left immediately started attacking her voting record while she was in the coalition government with the Tories. And I mean immediately – within minutes of her victory, before any kind of congratulations were issued, the Labour Party posted this:
Here’s what new Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson doesn’t want you to know… pic.twitter.com/DrP2crVu0d
— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) July 22, 2019
The Twitter equivalent of a 6 year-old doing slam-poetry.
And while they do make good points in there, you also have to remember that this was a coalition government – she would have been whipped to ensure loyalty.
Back in the days when our politics wasn’t a festering long-drop toilet at Glastonbury after three days in the sun, if you defied the whip, you destroyed your career. The Lib Dems famously hated a lot of the policies they had to vote in favour with – but they had made their bed, and had to lie in it.
Jo Swinson did not create these policies. She was forced to vote for them.
But she will likely pose a huge threat to Labour by attracting voters who are in favour of Remaining, especially if the European Parliamentary elections are anything to go by.
So, obviously Labour would attack her to try to keep as many voters as possible.
This also makes sense.
What doesn’t make sense, at all, is the Scottish Nationalist Party doing exactly the same thing.
— The SNP (@theSNP) July 22, 2019
Again, posted just minutes after her election result was announced.
The SNP, unlike Labour, are a party that is vehemently opposed to Brexit, just like the Lib-Dems. Why would they attack someone who is about to be one of their strongest allies, and possibly even a coalition partner, in this way?
She is an MP for a Scottish constituency, which makes her a political rival, but the SNP were recently polled at being around 40% in Scotland, which is excellent. So they’re in a strong position – so strong, in fact, that Swinson might even lose her seat to the SNP, which would be embarrassing.
So why attack her? Surely one seat is far less important than defeating Brexit, for a party who openly campaign against it?
Ah yes. Scottish Independence. If Brexit doesn’t happen, then the Union remains strong. If it does, Scotland will do everything in their power to leave.
So Scottish independence is more important than Brexit. So they slag off an ally.
Good to know where the SNP stands.
ISN’T POLITICS FUN?!
All of this, however, is just the prelude of guff that comes before the symphony of crap that’s about to splatter over us – not because of Boris, but because of what he has to face. He may find that his campaign promises might be broken very quickly.
It’s all going to get very, very messy.
But, in a few months time, when the dust settles, Jo Swinson might just be the one who gets to decide how it gets cleaned up…
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