My first response was “f*ck!”
Just after 11 am today, the Prime Minister called for a General Election on the 8th of June after having a Cabinet meeting. My mum and I have a theory that it’s because she’s scared sh*tless about what will come out of next month’s council elections (Lib Dems have been doing really well recently) and so is trying to claw back her power in elections which can actually determine the direction of a country. Of course, as she acknowledged, she can’t actually call for an election. Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act, she requires a 2/3 majority in the House of Commons, which she will seek tomorrow as she puts the motion forward to the Commons. Whilst Andy Burnham says that this is the Tories putting party interests before the “national interests”, both Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron have responded with a much wordier ‘bring it on’.
Theresa May has backed herself so far into a corner over ‘hard Brexit’, she sees no way out. Her only option is to “reluctantly” drag Farron and Corbyn into the tight space, too, with her child-like ‘put up or shut up’ command aimed at the two, in her speech. The speech in which she repeated her dictator-esque mantra of “the country are united” over ‘Brexit’ (no we’re not!), but now, apparently, the “divisions in Westminster” make it impossible for her to “get the job done”.
Here are some quotes from today’s speech, with my view on her nonsense.
The UK needs “certainty, stability and strong leadership”. According to May, this is something she has given us since she came into office; the power has clearly gone to her head #DelusionalMay
“No turning back” on Brexit – unless of course there is a Lib Dem government and those of us who did not vote for this disaster keep up the pressure and remind the UK that this is a democracy and that with such a narrow margin, we cannot be ignored.
“As we look to the future of our new relationship with Europe” is her new favourite phrase. Why do we need a “new relationship” when we already had the best possible deal?
May wants a “strong and successful EU and and a UK which is free” to have its own control over borders and trade – we already had that! And if we are admitting the EU is successful, then why shouldn’t we be a part of it?
‘Brexit’ is “in the national interest” – really? I remember when Theresa May was campaigning for Remain. And I don’t think losing access to life saving medical research teams from across Europe is in our best interest.
Then comes her stream of blame on Labour, the Lib Dems, SNP and anyone but the the Tories for the shambles of ‘Brexit’:
- “Unelected members of House of Lords” have “vowed” to stop ‘Brexit’. They have a legal right and duty to hold government and parliament to account, and MPs choose who is to become a Lord.
- Everyone is “jeopardising” the people’s will! No, they’re upholding democracy by challenging your ‘Brexit’ stance given that we only voted to leave the EU, not Erasmus, the Single Market, Freedom of Movement etc.
- “Weakens the government’s negotiating position in Europe” – I’m sorry but if MPs and opposition parties reminding you that not everyone voted for this mess is a cause for concern in negotiations, then you didn’t have a very strong position in the first place.
- It’s their “political game playing” – so like the Tories did to the Lib Dems during the coalition? Like the Tories did in calling the referendum in the first place? Or this snap general election?
- “Risk the ability to make a success of Brexit” – so ‘Brexit’ is clearly a difficult task that the government find impossible to achieve with all the false promises of the Leave campaign, further to point 3.
Brits “need a General Election and need one now” – I don’t think we need one. May, you’re perfectly capable of cocking up the UK without a mandate from the people to do so.
“One off chance whilst EU agrees its negotiating position” – you mean, time for you to get a mandate to turn down any future relationship with the EU?
“Reluctantly came to this decision” – see point 4.
“Move a motion in the House of Commons” under the Fixed Term Parliament Act – oh so the government does know what democracy is and understand the laws of the UK!
Then she blames Labour and the Lib Dems, goading them to a battle for Britain:
- “Let the people decide” – As one of “the people”, I choose Lib Dem
- The Lib Dems “want to reopen the divisions of the referendum” – the divisions in society the referendum displayed come from years of Tory oppression of hard working and poorer families. They have not closed since the ‘Brexit’ vote; in fact, I feel these divisions have got deeper and more severe since.
- It’s all about “me” and the opposition parties wanting to stop “me” from “my” plans, there isn’t even a ‘royal we’ to mask her ego.
A vote for Tories is a vote for a “more secure future” – not from what I’ve seen over the last 7 years. But of course, voting for May will “secure the strong and stable leadership this government needs”, a phrase she not only repeats but also has yet to prove.
Now is the time for students to unite. Students, I have already told you that you must get protesting, now is our chance. This election, when it comes down to it, will be about ‘Brexit’. We are unhappy about ‘Brexit’ and so we must show this to the government. Student and young people turnout for the referendum was appalling, now is our chance to have another vote on the issue. Make sure you are registered to vote wherever you will be living on the 8th June (as many students will have returned home from uni for the summer). It is our future which is at risk; we must be the ones to take back control of our lives and show the government that they cannot ignore younger voters.
It is clear, and May herself has said, that this election will be fought over ‘Brexit’; we must remember that it will continue Tory rule for a further 5 years if they win. That means:
- More austerity, which sends hard-working families to food banks
- Further cuts to the NHS (despite the Leave Campaign’s empty promises)
- Higher and higher levels of poverty, leading to, for example, young British girls missing school because they can’t afford sanitary wear
- More housing benefit cuts, especially for those most vulnerable, such as 16 year olds who may need an escape from abusive homes
- Continued PIP testing and the dehumanisation of disabled people in the UK
- Treating asylum seekers like vermin
Even if ‘Brexit’ means nothing to you and you don’t care whether we remain or leave the EU, please look at other Tory policies and think twice about letting them continue their elitist government.
May is seeking a mandate for her ‘hard Brexit’ stance, one which she can only truly claim if she is to win a majority. It is likely that the Tories will win the election, however, I don’t believe it will be an overwhelming majority. I feel that so many in this country resent the Tories for their cruel and unnecessary policies even without taking into consideration ‘Brexit’. It is more likely that she will have a hung parliament.
Whilst May might be hoping that she will be able to gain a majority in the election, giving her a much needed mandate for ‘Brexit’, she may have just shot herself in the foot. Mrs May, you may have a 20-point lead in the polls but I sincerely believe that you drastically underestimate how much you are despised and unwanted in this country. If your options for a GE outcome are your self-proclaimed (but not very evidence-based) “strong leadership” over a “weak and unstable coalition government” of Labour and Lib Dems, then I will take the coalition any day. Having said that, you are assuming that us liberal snowflakes won’t create an avalanche and the Lib Dems won’t win a well deserved majority. After all, the Lib Dems gained 500 new members today, in just 20 minutes. Watch out! A storm may well be on its way!