I’ve been in London, visiting family and friends, since Monday. When I first got here, it seemed like there was a feeling of doom over the entire city. My family was worried that, despite polls showing a slim (if tightening) Conservative lead, Corbyn would somehow end up as PM. Meanwhile, the Corbynistas, of which there are many in London, seemed to be increasingly convinced that, even if Corbyn didn’t score an outright victory, a hung parliament would force Johnson out of power.
Well, it turns out that, as usual, the rumors of Boris Johnson’s demise were greatly exaggerated. Last night, the Tories not only won the election but they did so in such decisive fashion that the election results can only be interpreted as a rejection of Jeremy Cobyn and the anti-Semites that he has allowed to surround him. The Conservaties now have 364 seats. Labour has only 203, which is actually an improvement on the exit poll were predicted that Labour would end up with only 191. The SNP wiped Labour out in Scotland.
I was up until five in the morning, watching the results. I didn’t go to sleep until the Tories had their majority. When I went to sleep, I was feeling very good. This afternoon, walking around London and seeing dejected and miserable Corbyn supporters bemoaning the loss of the election, I felt great. Boris Johnson may or may not be a good PM. I have my doubts about him but he’s not Jeremy Corbyn and for that reason, I am thankful for his victory.
I’ll be returning home to America tomorrow. I wonder if the Democrats will learn any lessons from Corbyn’s collapse. I doubt it.
I’m going to be in the UK for a few days next week, visiting family. I will be there on the 12th when the general election is held and, while it looks like the Tories will remain in control of the government, there’s still a part of me that’s nervous that the polls will be wrong or that the Tories will underperform and we will somehow end up with Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn.
(When you have someone like Corbyn in a position to potentially take power, there’s no way that you can’t be nervous, regardless of what the polls may say.)
If you’re wondering why so many people, including members of my own family, have declared that they will leave the UK if Corbyn ever moves into 10 Downing Street, I would suggest reading the Jewish Labour Movement EHRC report, which details not only the antisemitism that is currently infecting the Labour Party but also Corbyn’s weak response to battling it. When Corbyn was first became leader, I think a lot of us assumed that he was just an old Marxist who lacked the backbone to stand up to the fringes of his party. Now, after four years of his leadership, it’s become apparent that Corbyn is as much a part of the fringe as the crazies who post memes about the Rothschilds on Facebook.
I’m looking forward to being in the UK next week. Hopefully, it won’t be for that last time.
Perhaps I should be, considering how much I go on about politics on this site. But I just can’t summon up any enthusiasm for spending two hours watching those ten clowns answer softball questions from MSNBC. Anything important that’s said will be available on either YouTube or Twitter, mere seconds after it’s said. Despite the best efforts of the media to convince us otherwise, it’s been a while since a debate has really been a must-see event.
Unless, of course, it’s last Tuesday’s debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. I’ve both watched and rewatched that, quite a few times. Each time I do, I’m struck by two things. Number one, Boris Johnson has his weaknesses. Number two, Jeremy Corbyn is uniquely incapable of taking advantage of them. Despite his weaknesses, I have no doubt that Johnson will still be PM after December’s election. Boris Johnson may be an erratic blowhard but at least he’s not Jeremy Corbyn.
As for the Democrats, the expectation tonight seems to be that Pete Buttigieg will be everyone’s number one target because Mayor Pete has surged in recent polls. I don’t think Mayor Pete is going to be the Democratic nominee but I do think his success is going to keep Biden, Warren, and Sanders from sealing the deal. To be honest, I don’t think any of the current front runners is going to win the nomination. Despite the fact that she’s not getting much attention right now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Amy Klobuchar accepting the Democratic nomination next July.
Tl;dr version: Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party will not be running candidates for any of the seats that were previously won by the Tories in 2017. Instead, the party will focus on contesting seats held by Labour and the Lib Dems. Now, if Johnson is smart, he will have the Conservative candidates stand down in any seat where it appears that the Brexit Party has the better chance to win.
This is good news for everyone who has been worried that the Tories and the Brexit Party would split their votes and the end result would be Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn.
Corbyn, who is nothing if not predictable, has labeled this the “Trump Coalition.”
Is it possible that all of this Brexit chaos was a part of an elaborate plot to put John Bercow in Number 10?
I don’t really believe that, of course. Still, old Francis Urquhart immediately came to mind as soon as I heard that some MPs were talking about forcing Boris out and replacing him with the Speaker.
It’s interesting to watch. It’s obvious that many MPs are not confident in Boris Johnson or his ability to steer the UK through Brexit. Probably the only thing keeping Johnson in power is the threat of Jeremy Corbyn becoming PM. Meanwhile, Labour is trying everything to make Corbyn PM, short of winning an election. At a time when the Tories are in disarray, Labour is being led by the one man that most voters never want to see become Prime Minister.
And, all the while, the October 31st deadline grows closer and closer.
While this is being portrayed by many as being an embarrassing moment for Boris Johnson, it’s actually probably just what he wants. Despite only having a one-seat majority, Boris previously threatened to purge any Conservative MPs who failed to support his plans to leave the EU in October. That may have been bluster on Boris’s part but it might also indicate that he wasn’t that worried about losing his fragile working majority. (Though I doubt he necessarily wanted it to happen during his first speech as PM.)
Boris Johnson will probably get his general election now. A general election can always be a risky proposition (just ask Theresa May) but Tories do currently have one big advantage: the opposition is being led by Jeremy Corbyn.
Lisa and I are planning on taking a vacation in November. Up until a few weeks ago, our plan was to travel to the UK so that I could visit with family and so we could cross the channel and spend at least a day or two in Paris. When we were in the UK last year, our plans to see France were canceled as a result of the Yellow Vest Riots so we were hoping to make up for that this year.
However, the problem with making vacation plans right now is that I’m not sure what type of state the UK’s going to be in, come November. Boris Johnson has said that the UK will be leaving the EU on October 31st, regardless of whether a deal is in place or not. No one seems to be sure what a No Deal Brexit would be like. Depending on who you read and where you read it, it could either be no big deal or it could be the end of the UK as we know it.
That’s assuming, of course, that Boris Johnson is even prime minister in November. Jeremy Corbyn has been pushing the idea of Parliament to make him a “caretaker prime minister,” in order to ensure that there won’t be a No Deal Brexit. The day that Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, I swore that, if Corbyn ever did become PM, I would not step foot in the UK until he was out of office. Considering that most of the family that I have in the UK is also planning on leaving the country in the event that he ever becomes PM, there wouldn’t be much reason for me to visit.
Fortunately, I doubt that Corbyn could ever get the backing necessary to become even a caretaker PM. If Corbyn’s ever going to move into 10 Downing Street, Labour’s going to have to actually win a general election.
Still, in this time of increasing uncertainty, we have to ask ourselves if not Europe, then where?
Greenland, perhaps? If it’s going to be the 51st State, now seems like a good time to visit.