Austin Mitchell, The Maverick, Writes
“Less than a week to go before the election and the know all pundits, pollsters and political papers seem to have decided the result for us. Their prophesy? Boris wins wIth a majority big enough to govern, Labour loses the gains it made in the flush of “Oh, oh, oh Jeremy Corbyn” enthusiasm and Jeremy is accused of the most horrendous crimes such as not listening to the Queen’s Christmas message.
Meanwhile Boris remains remorselessly cheerful as he tells impossible untruths about the paradise to come
The Liberals, still under the curse of the coalition, stay where they were. Down. And in a desperate attempt to get the attention of a bored electorate all parties shower out money and promises to a nation which doesn’t believe any of them.
“The parties are behaving as the prophets prescribe. Labour falls into to a pointless argument over whether and when Jeremy Corbyn should resign after the defeat
Boris talks of handing out tax cuts on day one and getting a quick deal from an adoring European Union. Head Girl Jo announces that she’ll stay on for another shot at becoming Prime Minister by 2035.
“It’s all balls. Disasters can still happen, trends can change, as they did in the last election when everyone predicted a big win for “strong and stable” Theresa. Another mistress could denounce Boris, Hamas could give Jeremy its medal of honour or the whole lot can go mad in debates still to come.
“Unlikely but the real imponderable is the old industrial areas, particularly the North. Will they stay loyal to a Labour Party too trendy for them? Having been a party representing the workers and folk at the bottom of the social pyramid but led by their social superiors,
public school chaps and university graduates. Now it’s become middle class, metropolitan, more liberal and more out of touch with its Brexit voting roots.
“The result is an increasing strain between traditional Labour and metropolitan Labour as Labour’s heartlands were left behind by globalisation, austerity, Euro-enthusiasm and neglect by both major parties obsessed with winning the South.
“Rebellion of the heartlands was the inevitable result. First Scotland, where Labour’s majority was wiped out by the SNP. Then the North, which voted Brexit to the horror of Labour’s MPs EU loving trendies nearly all.
“So after years of neglect the North suddenly has power. The big question is whether it will use it to extort a better deal and whether Labour can hold it. Will the Tories take enough Labour seats there to get a majority, or can Brexit unhappiness overcome Labour loyalty? The Tories have a long way to go. They’ve always boosted the South and damaged the North until now when Boris is trying to love it.
“He promises a new start. He’s trying too hard to love the hairy handed sons and daughters of toil who live there. He’s promising them all sorts of goodies. But can we believe a man who’ll say anything to get elected? The election, and the future of the Labour Party, depend on it”.