The biggest losers in last week’s momentous British election were the pollsters. In the day leading up to the vote, they all repeatedly insisted it was too close to call, thus, given its multi-party complexity, a hung parliament was the probable outcome. In the event it was a Tory landslide. I for one am elated. I think it’s a fantastic result for Britain on several counts.
First I’m a huge Brexit fan. When the Brits voted to enter the European Union they were voting for two things; first a free-trade zone and second free movement.
As Enoch Powell, the most prominent British market and free trade advocate, warned at the time when urging the public not to vote for it, the Continental mentality is different than the British. They love regimentation just as fiercely as Brits hate it and invariably, as indeed occurred with Brussels, it will move to a dictatorial regime of rules covering every sphere of life. He was right which is what has led to Brexit.
There will be initial untidiness and problems but I have no doubt that within a couple of years Britain will achieve what it thought it was initially voting for, namely a free trade arrangement. Why? Because the major Continental nations, Germany and France, have not only massive trade with Britain but trade surpluses and it will be in their interest to co-operate.
As for the free movement of people, I suspect Brits were happy with that. What changed things was first the influx of Moslem refugees from the Middle East and now the army of African economic refugees. These events were understandably never foreseen and all European Union nations have now had enough and are doing their utmost to resist.
The utter demolition of the Labour Party is a direct result of a phenomenon, also present in New Zealand. That is the decline in traditional public participation through Party membership. This left the established two main Parties vulnerable to take-over by zealots, which is what happened to Labour.
Corbyn was utterly unsuited to the role, but more particularly, the voters showed they wanted no truck with tired and failed 1970s socialism. The British Labour Party, now a wreckage, will tear itself apart over the next couple of years but doubtless will ultimately find a centrist who acknowledges contemporary realities in lieu of a redundant ideology. But to rebuild will first require an inspiring leader to attract the all-important floating voters who normally decide elections.
In particular, to ever govern again they must persuade the Scots. No Labour Government in the past could have won without the overwhelming Scots dominant Labour Party, now, almost non-existent as its voters opted for the Scottish Nationalists.
If after a couple of years of initial untidiness, Britain ends up with a free-trade agreement with the European Union, one suspects the Scottish Nationalists support will wane. Fervent Tories will probably hope not.
We live in exciting times of immense uncertainty on all fronts.