The Politics Pantry #3: Magic May

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Well, it’s certainly been a jam-packed political calendar over the last couple of months and now, after my summer break, it’s time to unravel the events.

Magic May!

Prime Minister Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May

Not to be mistaken with Magic Mike, Magic May is back with vengeance. Osbourne’s been banished to the far depths of the back benches and can now be glanced only during Prime Minister’s Questions. On the topic of Prime Minister’s questions, Theresa May appears to have waved her magic wand and become remarkably funny. Tony Blair once likened PMQs to Theatre and it’s certainly an entertaining affair since May has taken the helm. Many major newspapers likened her style to that of Thatcher in the 1980s and I can see their thread. She has certainly tried to lower her voice and she often glares over the dispatch box with a look of real contempt for Corbyn. May has excited the political community with her snide comments at PMQs much more than  David Cameron did.  Although Cameron likening Ed Balls to a Christmas turkey was highly entertaining, May has pipped him to the post by calling Jermey Corbyn “unscrupulous”!

I suspect there are many members on the Opposition benches who might be familiar with an unscrupulous boss; a boss who doesn’t listen to his workers; a boss who requires some of his workers to double their workload; and maybe even a boss who exploits the rules to further his own career.

Theresa May

May appears to have commanded the Commons and set the impression that ‘She is not for turning’ – or was that another politician? I can’t remember!

May also has emerged as stating “Brexit means Brexit,” but does anyone have any idea what on earth Brexit means? Are we retaining the single market? How will immigration be reduced to the tens of thousands? How will we survive? Will the NHS get £350 million extra a week? Well, I think some of these questions are answerable. Firstly, I’d propose that the likelihood of the UK leaving the single market is slim (and if we do – Leave Campaigners can pick up the pieces)! The NHS will not gain £350 million extra a week, this was a shallow lie to entice voters – not happening! Well, the UK will not have a points-based system like Australia – another shallow attempt to gain voters from the leave campaign. Well, I’ll have to listen to a bit of Gloria Gayner to deduce how to survive!

Smith and Corbyn lock horns

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party

Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn locked horns at last week’s Question Time and it was clear who the crowd preferred. Corbyn triumphed! Surrounded at his podium as the final credits rolled up, it seemed that everyone wanted a selfie with Mr Corbyn whilst Owen Smith skulked off-screen with little attention. Jeremy Corbyn, beyond all reasonable doubt, will be Labour’s next leader and I am sure that he will continue to divide the party. Corbyn has been strong throughout his campaign, visiting many locations in order to rally support. He has attracted much media support whereas Smith has blended into the background. If media theory in politics is to be proved Jeremy Corbyn must win the Labour leadership with a convincing margin.

Although my heart goes out to Owen Smith I doubt whether he is the right man for the job. Corbyn has a connection with Labour voters and stays in touch with the younger age group. I relish looking at my Snapchat Story and finding that Corbyn has posted a picture with a baby or made a speech on Trident. He may not appeal to my politics but he’s certainly a fascinating man to watch as he effortlessly dances his way once again to the top spot within Labour. The worst thing is that Smith is knowledgable and knows he’s fighting an already lost battle. Corbyn’s fraudulent actions over a Virgin train to Newcastle appears to be in the past and forgotten – somehow Mr Corbyn has captured the attention of every political brain in the country and we are all enjoying watching him divide the Labour Party, unwittingly.

Although Owen Smith is the candidate for change, he doesn’t have enough support from grassroots Labour. Now the Labour Party finds itself in crisis. The PLP detest their leader but the members love him.

Sturgeon cod do batter!

Nicola Sturgeon has faced a mixed response from the European Union. She has been strong in her views that the Scottish people need a second independence referendum as Scotland didn’t vote for ‘Brexit’. Indeed 62% of the Scottish turnout voted to remain in the European Union and Sturgeon makes the point that Scotland should have the opportunity to stand up to the rest of the UK in the face of leaving. However it all looks very bleak for Scotland.

What are the options?

Option 1 – Scotland calls an independence referendum and they vote to remain as part of the UK. That’s it! The SNP will lose a lot of ground and there won’t be a referendum in over 50 years.

Option 2 – Scotland calls an independence referendum and they vote to leave the UK. What then? Well they would have to apply to join the European Union, as when exiting the UK they lose their existing membership. For a start Scotland would have to adopt the Euro – not a good idea! Secondly, they would have to meet all of the criteria set out when joining the EU, which would take years to fulfil.

So, even if Scotland did vote to leave in an independence vote they would also be leaving the European Union with the likelihood of not being able to join for many years to come – where’s the attraction in that? Sturgeon cod do batter! Potentially she could use the SNP to promote a second UK-wide referendum in alliance with other political parties? That’s the only way of Scotland remaining in the EU, I’m confident of that!

The Greens announce a leader

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas

Green Party leader Caroline Lucas

So, the Green members have decided that Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley should be the co-leaders of the Green Party. This is hardly exciting or breaking news. From the outset Caroline Lucas has a track record within the Green Party and was in my opinion, destined for the role once more. Jonathan joined the Green Party in 2010, when Caroline Lucas joined the Commons.

Caroline joined the Green Party in 1986 and has held many positions including National Press Officer (1987-89) and Co-Chair (1989-90). She won the party’s second County Council seat in 1993 and served on Oxfordshire County Council until 1997. She served two terms as the Party’s elected Principal Speaker and in 2008 was elected Party Leader. From 1999-2010 she was a Member of the European Parliament, standing down when she was elected as the Green’s first MP, representing Brighton Pavilion.

Green Party Website, Background of Caroline Lucas

I did sit and wonder whether coverage of the Green Party was worth it. The Green Party have so little media attention and Caroline Lucas, despite being extraordinarily talented with words, decides to stick with a party where no real progression can be made. It is rather ironic that the Green Party now have more leaders than members of Parliament. In order for the Green Party to make a difference they need to start winning seats at general elections because otherwise they will cease to be credible opposition (if they are at current).

I look forward to the direction of Caroline and Jonathan, although I doubt the impact they will have on British politics. I’m always happy to be proven wrong but… I’m not – sorry!

UKIP lose Farage and elect someone else… anyone remember their name?

Douglas Carswell, UKIP's only Member of Parliament

Douglas Carswell, UKIP’s only Member of Parliament

Stop the press… Diane James becomes the new UKIP leader! Now that Nigel Farage is gone, UKIP will fall into disrepair. Farage was the centrepiece of UKIP’s success during the referendum in 2016. An obnoxious brash man, pulling funny faces and drinking pints somehow charmed a nation into voting for the unknown. It’s laughable that Douglas Carswell cannot be the leader of UKIP, despite being the only Member of Parliament, but even now will Carswell’s seat of Clacton be safe in 2020? I’d be very surprised. UKIP has done what it set out to achieve for the UK to gain independence.

“Yes to a 100% European Union exit. Can I be any clearer? Yes to a sovereign independent UK. Yes to a UK free to make trade deals with whoever and whenever we want and yes to an immigration policy that allows entry regardless of origin to those with the skills and the expertise and the social values that this country wants.”

Diane James addresses UKIP supporters to applause

Diane James appears to be so out of touch; referring to UKIP as ‘The Opposition Party in waiting.’ I have never heard something so hilarious! By the time of the next general election it is likely that the UK will have left the European Union, at which point there will be no purpose of UKIP. So it turns out that UKIP are more like the ‘The spoilt whining kids in waiting’ than an opposition in waiting!