How Mrs May’s ‘apathy’ plan has stirred an involuntary fire

WORRY not –  a week today it will all be over!

A General Election campaign that has seemingly gone on for months will all be done and dusted.

Lost the will to live yet after listening to minute after minute, hour after hour political discussions?

Then the Government’s job has been done!

You see, this ‘snap election’, apparently decided upon by the Prime Minister Theresa May after going on a quiet walk with her husband, wasn’t called for democratic reasons – the very opposite.

Many of us were already sick and tired of thinking about political subjects – the European Union and the United Kingdom’s future, in particular – before Mrs May made her dramatic announcement.

Less than a year ago, after a campaign almost universally complex and depressing, we drifted off to the polls to decide whether we wanted to stay in the EU.

The consequences of that have been playing out in political life ever since – Prime Minister David Cameron fell upon his sword, after explicitly promising he would never do so, and was replaced by Theresa May after a short, bitter jostling for position. On the other side of the chamber, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn survived a thoroughly pointless challenge to his fledgling leadership.

Then, just when we’d got all that out of our systems, Mrs May, despite promising on at least six separate occasions she would not do so, called an election.

The reason she gave for her U-turn was pathetic. It was nothing to do with opposition to Brexit from the other parties in the House of Commons and the House of Lords. We desperately needed as much scrutiny as possible over the terms of our departure. After all, the future of our citizens is very much at stake.

Instead it was a cold-hearted cynical political decision.

When you are in power, all you need is to maintain the status quo and you best achieve that when the people are passive.

Mrs May knew she would be a sitting duck when the election was due to take place in 2020. By then, her brave words on Brexit would have been put to the acid test. Her honeymoon period in charge of this country would be well and truly over.

And she knew another poignant thing too.

She realised the country was suffering from election and Brexit fatigue. The very last thing most of us wanted was to hear those two words in the same sentence again.

People I speak with – whether Remain or Leave for that matter – are now ‘Brexited out’.  Fed up with hearing the incredibly complex issues, they just want the Government to get on with it – and that means giving Mrs May the green light she craves.

Her stance during this campaign was to say as little as possible, certainly as little change as she could afford to give away.

It was never in her interests to have a full and frank debate on the state of life in Britain today. She’s the one in the box seat, the one in front in the polls, so live debates with her main rivals didn’t provide her with a lot to gain. It was just us, the public, who missed out.

This was, in many ways, the anti-democracy election.

Called against the will of the people with the hope the Government could retain its power to impose a Brexit, ultimately, with few if any democratic checks.

But something has inadvertently happened to defy her cunning plan.

Jeremy Corbyn, maligned for so long by the media as shuffling, bumbling and downright useless, has let the political cat out of the bag.

He has presented to the public a vision of a fairer, more democratic Britain that is raising people out of their apathy – young people, first time voters, in particular.

They are listening to him in droves and thinking that perhaps we don’t have to continue like this – austerity led and fed, accepting we can’t do anything about a system that appears to tie us in knots.

Good very often springs from bad beginnings.

Whether enough people wake up sufficiently to put this Government out of its misery on Thursday isn’t the issue.

A marker has been put in the sand by Corbyn during this rollercoaster campaign.

From now on, postage stamp politics is dead in the water. We will no longer accept both main political parties mirroring each other and presenting us with no choice but to go with the status quo.

Corbyn has awakened the interest of young people who hold the future of this country in their hands.

A cynical plan to bury debate has turned into a fire that will burn for many years to come……..

 

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