Tuesday, June 07, 2016

How Politics Can be Fun Again

As I've mentioned before, I've basically given up on hoping that politics can get us any sort of a better world - in light of last year's election results and, especially, the reaction to Jeremy Corbyn in the media, it's apparent that the Tories have won. For the foreseeable future, all we're ever likely to get is a Tory government or, if we're very lucky, a Labour government in the New Labour mold (which isn't the same thing in some areas, but is indistinguishable where it matters).

So I've largely started using it purely for entertainment purposes. Though even there it's been pretty slim pickings, especially this tedious EU 'debate' which has largely convinced me that we'd be better off without a government at all than with the current mob.

But two interesting things might combine for some real fun:

Firstly, it looks increasingly like we might actually have a vote to Leave the EU after all. For a long time, I assumed that we'd see some movement here and there, but in the end there would be a last-minute swing back to the status quo and that would be that. But the polls seem to be shifting in only one way, and the Remain campaign has been disastrously mismanaged (I did say not to re-use Project Fear... oh well). Oh, and there seems little doubt that Scotland will vote to Remain, but that's not even the biggest fun.

Secondly, there are ongoing investigations into alleged election expenses irregularities in some two dozen of the Tories most marginal seats. If found guilty, the MPs responsible could find themselves banned from holding office for three years, triggering bye-elections, and removing the Tory majority (at least temporarily; probably permanently).

If those two conditions are combined, then in order to retain office the Tories would have to do a deal with the (hugely pro-EU) Lib Dems, or alternately we'd likely see them replaced by a three-way coalition between the (pro-EU) Labour, (hugely pro-EU) Lib Dem, and (hugely pro-EU) SNP parties. And either way, we end up with at least one strongly pro-EU party in government when the expressed will of the people is to Leave.

(And that's assuming that the pro-EU Tories don't promptly dump Cameron and refuse to back any anti-EU successor. Potentially, they could force an early General Election, or could even allow Corbyn to form a government and deal with the mess. Either way, Labour then have to deal with the situation where their preference is directly at odds with the expressed will of the people.)

Of course, while all this is going on, a UK vote to Leave paired with a Scottish vote to Remain would almost certainly lead to a second referendum on Independence (though it's much less clear which way that one would go). Indeed, it's not entirely impossible that the SNP could find themselves in government in both Scotland and the UK as a whole, duty bound to take rUK out of the EU, while at the same time campaigning to take Scotland out of the UK to keep it in the EU. And if they achieve all that, those Scottish MPs leave Westminster, and the arithmetic changes again - the Tories regain their majority.

And God forbid that the Queen should die while all this mess is going on - the last thing we would need is a new King thinking that what's really needed right now is an exercising of Executive power to steady the ship...

If it wasn't such a total mess, I'd be buying in the popcorn.

#27: "Curse of Strahd", by Wizards of the Coast

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