In a galaxy far far away… There lies a crippled establishment, overthrown by a new order. An order which stands upon the pillars of patriotism, populism and ultimately change. But will it bring about change? Will the leaders of this fresh form of world governance; the likes of Trump, Farage or Le Pen; be able to deliver on their promises? Or will those who hold the principles of equality, liberty and fairness, unite all those which see through populist lies. Creating a rebellion capable of consolidating, strengthening and expanding opposition to those that use divisive means to obtain the social disorder in which they flourish.
Who is to lead such a charge?
The Labour Party failed to capitalise on an unpopular Tory government back in 2015, and is now struggling to pop its head above the 30% line in the opinion polls. Jeremy Corbyn has the lowest approval ratings of any Labour leader, and even if the party’s position improves, his broken public image, and vastly different policy positions will make many voters out of the party’s reach. We therefore find ourselves naturally turning to the Conservatives; but end up finding our confidence fall flat once again. Two thirds of Tory voters voted for Brexit in the referendum and a fair number of Tory MP’s helped lead the Brexit charge. Some of which are currently in the cabinet. It would therefore be foolish to expect figures such as Anna Soubry to actually be able to dent the Conservative Party enough, whilst also holding a centrist image to appeal to disillusioned Labour supporters, who would have previously felt at home in Blair’s Britain. We must therefore seek a different remedy. Perhaps one from the not too distant past.
The Liberal Democrats.
Now at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if you are having to recover from a sudden burst of laughter, perhaps even having to clean up the tea which has just flown out of your mouth onto the desk in front of you, out of pure shock for the suggestion that Dim – I mean Tim – Farron would really stand any such chance of a come back. But as hilarious as this prospect may be at first, it is the only viable solution we have to put the brakes on the Brexit bandwagon.
As I am sure everyone is aware by now the Libby’s had an appalling showing in 2015. They lost about 15.2% of their vote share and 49 MP’s. Equating to 4.4 million voters no longer having confidence in the Lib Dems and their well-known leader Nick Clegg.
Yet things have changed.
Parliamentary By-elections (since 2015)
(December 2015) Oldham West & Royton = 0%
(May 2016) Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough = +1.6%
(May 2016) Ogmore = 0%
(June 2016) Tooting = -1.4%
(October 2016) Witney = +23.4%
(December 2016) Richmond Park = +30.4%
(December 2016) Sleaford & North Hykeham = +5.3%
Progressive Lib Dem candidates have since October 2016 been thriving in Parliamentary By-elections, whilst it is also the only party to also make gains in Local Elections, gaining 26 local councillors compared to a Tory decline of 16, and a Labour decline of 12, since May 2016. All of this in spite of a fairly unknown leader, who has faced opposition to his promotion of a so-called second referendum.
Does Chief Remoaner Farron have what it takes?
The short answer is no.
Too many people up and down the country have grown disheartened with the whole topic of Brexit. Any mention of anything remotely sceptical is immediately shot down as irrelevant and unhelpful. We therefore need a strong and unifying message….which Farron cannot supply. It seems a man who has proven himself capable of turning around his own party has attached himself to an idea that even Paddy Ashdown is unsure of. He just doesn’t get that people don’t want referendums anymore. We are frankly fed up of them. Instead we would rather a situation where the mandate given to the government on Article 50 applies only to that, and that from that point it is the role of parliament to determine what kind of deal we strike with the EU, as the representative body of the British public.
We must therefore conclude with a reality check. The old liberal establishment is dead. Instead it has found itself evolve into a bunch of the radical and out of touch, and the quietly traumatized who sit crying in their beds at night, hoping not to be found by the Brexit Gestapo. The Labour Party doesn’t want to make itself any more unpopular and has become an inefficient nodding dog, whilst the Conservative Party feels it has to chase after the hardest Brexit deal to stifle the UKIP threat. The Liberal Democrats are the liberal British equivalent of ISIS, and the vast majority of progressives just want to be able to blurt a sentence without being heckled. From this we must assume a rebellion is a long way off, though if it were to happen, it would need to accept that we are going to leave the European Union, but instead offer alternatives to reactionary wet dreams such as the ripping up of workers rights and the leaving of the Customs Union.
Tim Farron though, is not the Tony Blair of 2017.