Well, as dear old Emily Thornberry has sung for her supper on BBC election night I suppose it must be all over. Poor woman. Shadow Foreign Secretary and pitted against political Titans such as Suzanne Evans and some girl who is apparently deputy Chairman of the Conservative party who had her moment of martyrdom. There were no surprises. It was all so predictable. A low turnout. Labour clobbered, the Tories slaughtered. The spitoon of universal angst parties did well and the Tiggers bombed. Poor old Tigger. So enthusiastic. So courageous.Decent people doing the right thing but a bit all over the shop at the moment. Don’t write them off.
Thornberry is rather impressive. I can picture her as a grand Victorian wife, all bustle and powdered décolletage, running the British Empire by standing loyally by her aristocratic but dim husband and gently shooing him off for a night cap while she plots who to invade and conquer. And then make him think that it’s his idea. I suspect that this is how she deals with Corbyn whose real problem is that he has the imagination of a gerbil and makes Richard Burgon look like a genius. She is lethal at the despatch box, has a sense of humour and has a knack of plausibly spouting the Corbynista bollocks as required. Yet deep down you know that she has her fingers crossed. If she led Labour the Tories would be even more squeaky bottomed than they are now. But unless someone is nifty with the ice pick this is as likely to happen as Diane Abbot reading a book.
On Sunday night Thornberry was delightfully off the politbureau message. She gets it. Labour voters are confused. Is the party for Brexit or against? If she says they are Remainers most of their southern supporters will come home whilst those in the former industrial heartlands of the Midlands and the North will migrate to Farage’s mob. If she says they are for Brexit, then they will lose support to the Lib Dems with the added dilemma that the Brexiteers probably won’t trust them and still stay with Farage.
The Tories still haven’t got it. The hardliners have become the mainstream and are hell bent on just crashing out with a ‘phew, we’ve delivered’. And then spending the next ten years blaming everyone but themselves for the terrible mess. Wouldn’t it be an irony that it was the Tories who crashed the economy and not Labour?
So we now have a situation where reason and perspective has deserted both main parties and they are being punished for it. To make it even worse they are settling old scores. Heseltine has had the whip withdrawn and Alastair Campbell has been expelled. If only Ali had just been a run of the mill anti Semite or a Blair hater he would have just been suspended for a short while. But no. The wicked man has devoted his life making his party electable and succeeding. I have known him for years. A good and decent man. This will hurt. And Hezza, the darling of the Tory conference for generations. He too has devoted his life to making his party electable. If only he had become a copper bottomed hypocrite and lied that he now supported Brexit like the other pygmies. This must be hurtful to him too. Great public servants who have been tossed aside by the parties that they made great. And how the extremists, cheer and dance and jeer. What a ghastly bunch. No wonder the voters hate them.
So what is to be done? I really can’t see that the Tories have became so deranged as to vote for a general election. The real danger is that if we have a Raab, a Johnson or a McVey as PM who rides rough shod over the will of parliament and sits back to allow No Deal. There is a solution to this. May can have her last hurrah, she on behalf of the executive can instigate legislation to prevent a No Deal. An one clause un-amendable bill. A large part of the Cabinet would resign which would normally be a constitutional crisis. But would it be now? She has given us her timetable. She would have resigned but still be PM. Mogg will scream constitutional outrage. She would have to go now, he would scream. But that would be wrong. The Queen would have to decide whether May commanded a majority in the Commons to remain as Prime Minister. And on this issue she does. This could be her legacy. It needs courage. But she is not short of that.