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Wed Oct 30, 2019, 08:09 AM

The United Kingdom General Election is on the way. And it matters. It matters like 2020 matters...

The United Kingdom General Election is on the way. And it matters. It matters like 2020 matters in the States. How the UK is framed for the next 50 years is on the line, the liberal progressive post WW2 construct is at risk because of a right wing dream of low tax, low regulation ‘global’ Britain, which basically means the rich win the game and the poor subsidises them through a low wage economy and suffering through a lack of investment in Public Services.

The UK’s receiving a further extension until the 31st January 2020 from the leaving the EU, and now the calling for a General Election on the 12th December 2019, means that this is assuredly a Brexit Election and voters will be deciding not just based on left and right, but on leave and remain. The Remainers have been thrown a final lifeline with this election and how we vote may well offer a mandate to revoke article 50 in its entirety, or more likely, create momentum for a second referendum… there are of course some hurdles to this…SURPRISE!

On the bright side, the Prime Minister – being his charming far right self - has managed to alienate a significant number of centre right voters who would normally vote Tory. Particularly in London and the South East this could potentially really hurt the Tory Party as voters choose the Liberal Democrat Party as a more moderate option. He has literally handed Scottish Conservative seats to the Scottish National Party because of his disdain for the Scottish position on Brexit.

BUT, and there is always a but, in these unprecedented times the Prime Minister is a master of deflection and distraction, lies and distortion, much like his pal Donald Trump, and this will work well for him, particularly with the same demographics that work well for Trump, low information voters who are all in for single issue mantras – in the case of the United Kingdom right now – Brexit.

Add to this that the leader of the Labour Party is the most unpopular Labour Leader since, ever, is mired in a never-ending anti-Semitic scandal and has moved the party far left, therefore alienating centre left voters who would have a natural home in Labour. This may well split the vote in Labour constituencies with votes going to the Liberal Democrats, allowing the Tories or the Brexit party, particularly in Leave constituencies in the Industrial heartlands, to sneak in and snatch electoral victory.

Progressives in the United Kingdom are going to have to be clear-sighted and pragmatic in how we vote to try and ensure that there is a big enough block in the House of Parliament to stop the far right-wing takeover that is currently underway. Tactical voting is key, and we may have to hold our noses and vote in a way that blocks the Tory and Brexit party, irrespective of whether the candidate we vote for would naturally be our first choice. It is not at all clear that this will happen but one thing is for sure, if the election gives the Prime Minister a mandate to do what he wants with Brexit the constitutional settlement for the United Kingdom will be changed forever, and in a way that will be truly damaging.

This general election really matters.

(I hope this article has offered some context to our very dear friends across the pond. Within the context of the United States current political climate, a move back to the Centre in the UK may have a moderating effect on UK/US relations at the most senior level... as much as that may be possible with the current Idiot in Chief... rather than the Prime Ministers current strategy of egging him on because he thinks this is an advantage in his sunny upland post Brexit fantasy utopia.)

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