Reflections on recent events, plus the occasional fact
free rant unfiltered by rational argument.
In a stunning reversal of her stated position, British Prime Minister Teresa May has called a snap election for 8th June 2017. But why? The answer is simple and complex at the same time. The simple answer is she seeks a mandate to pursue Brexit. She was not Prime Minister at the last election, thus her legitimacy is questioned. A victory in this election would secure her that mandate.
The complex reason is that she senses that her main opponent, the Labour Party, is struggling. Under the leadership (or lack of it) of Jeremy Corbyn, a split party, unpopular with voters, is in a state of disarray. May is taking a gamble that she can deal a knock-out blow that will see Labour over the ropes. Out of the ring. Such a victory would provide her government with a solid majority. It could put Labour in the wilderness for a decade. It’s a gamble, yet the omens are good for her.
With only seven weeks to the election, she wrong-footed Labour, who will now struggle too get their election machine up to speed. As a tactical move, May’s timing is faultless, especially after her pretense of no election until 2020. Sun Tzu (孫子) would be proud. She has exploited her advantage. Chosen the best battleground, whilst leaving her opponent little time to prepare his defences.
To be fair, Labour lost this election when they elected Corbyn. They reinforced that loss when they failed to replace him last year. A decent man of principle, he lacks all the qualities of a leader. Corbyn does not connect with voters. His wishy-washy style is not a vote winner. Its probable that he's too nice, too caring and too principled to be a Prime Minister. François Mitterrand, the former French President when asked what’s the most important quality in a political leader. He replied, “I perhaps should say integrity but on reflection it's indifference”. Corbyn has integrity, too much and it's a distraction.
Corbyn has discredited the left of the Labour Party, turning people off the whole movement. He and his cohort see racism and xenophobia in everyone who disagreed with them. A party infected with 'kill all white men' feminism is not going to carry the working class. The laughable 'Rhodes must fall' movement, alienated the intellectuals.
So, the Labour can scream and rant all they like, but they only have themselves to blame. They care too much about dogma and are not ruthless enough. The same can’t be said of Mrs May. Unless something dramatic happens, Labour is about to trashed.
Walter De Havilland is one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Hong Kong Police.