The “Maverick” Austin Mitchell’s Election Diary 2019 Musings Continued
“Once you let an election out of the cage it goes anywhere, eats and pisses on all parties. It can’t be kept on a lead and taken for a nice quiet walk towards whatever destiny the Prime Minster who called it intends.
“Boris hoped it would be a rally of Brexiteers to stop Brexit and that the people would reward him for standng up to the EU and getting a marginally better deal than Theresa had managed. The Tory Party was to emerge as a patriotic British populist party rallying the nation against immigration, subservience to Brussels and a lot of European busybodies telling a great nation what to do.
“Labour pretended to want an election but didn’t really for various reasons like common sense, because it was split on Brexit, Jeremy wasn’t popular, it wasn’t ready and the Blair legacy still divided the party between Blairite moderates and Corbynite radicals. Corbyn only came round to an election in the hope that he could consolidate his position by striking the winning note of 2017. The Blairites accepted it to get rid of him.
“As for the minor parties, their hopes sprang external. The SNP wanted to regain the ground lost in 2017 before the Salmond trial begins to divide their party. The Liberals thought they had shed the sense of betrayal created, even in their own ranks by supporting an austerity dealing coalition, by capitalising on the surge of support for Remain.
“So into battle they all went only to find that the battlefield of Brexit which they’d hope to book, was so muddy no one wanted to play on it. So the fight spilled over everywhere. Hardly surprising because elections are a decision on every issue available and since most people had made up their minds about Brexit they weren’t prepared to devote four weeks of intensive yammering about it. Instead tribal loyalties and and the whole range of issues which had been neglected before Brexit came into play.
“The biggest one is spending. Even the Tories agree a big spending increase is necessary to repair the damage done by their obsession with austerity. Yet having announced their own pawky increase which come nowhere near the cost of the damage done they now have to revert to Scrooges and proclaim themselves shocked and horrified by the scale of Labour’s boost.
“Which takes them into the realms of myth. The Tories have invented a frightening total by adding what they say are the costs of the 2017 manifesto to their guesses at the cost of everything Labour’s conference or spokespeople suggested to create an enormous bill. This fascinates the media but not the nation which sees the need to boost spending and thinks the rich should pay for it.
“The Tories have cried “fire” so many times and so loudly and used it so often as an excuse to cut spending that no one believes them any longer. So the old trick of forecasting horrendous consequences, rocketing interest rate and a new Weimar Republic if debt is allowed to rise doesn’t work any longer when the Tories themselves are turning the spending spigot. It may have worked in 2010 when Gordon Brown and his mistress Prudence
were singing the same song but it won’t now when the Tories have become squanderbugs and the nation is desperate to repair the damage done by austerity”.