The results of the European election polls give us a picture of the voting public’s current respect for the people who govern us.
Around 75% of the votes cost were for parties who have minimal representation in Westminster, less than one in four votes cast were for our two major political parties.
If there is one word that can characterise this voting behaviour it is “disrespect”.
Why do we disrespect conservative and labour politicians. I suspect it is because we have lost confidence that they are acting in the public interest and concluded that they are more motivated by promoting the interests of their parties and themselves than delivering on the wishes of the people they voted for.
I don’t think this is a vote for Farage and Cable but a transfer of disaffection. If the Brexit party is assumed to have fully cannibalised UKIP then the amount of disaffected Tory and Labour voters it’s picked up is relatively small. I suspect the majority of disaffection has been from old school Tories to the Liberals and traditional Labour to the greens.
As a nation we are not impressed by the people who we have elected to govern us in Westminster who have proved they put party before people and themselves before party.
Will we leave the EU this year or ever?
The clever politicians with global stature – Clegg, Osborne and the Millibands are out of politics right now and for good reason. They know that reputations are easy to lose and hard to regain.
George Osborne in a conversation with Black Rock last week was asked whether he missed Westminster. His response was that “his voice would not be heard there”.
Osborne went on to look at the Brexit issue from a European perspective, pointing to the different positions of the French and the rest of Europe. His view was that Europe would adopt infinite appeasement and allow us to push out our departure date from the EU to a point where our weariness with the process of leaving meant we stayed. The French (or at least Macron) would take the opposite view and force the moment to its crisis in October.
Osborne’s view that Britain will not leave the EU is now the bookies favourite
Some bookies favour the UK finally exiting in the EU between now and December 2019 but Betfair Exchange says odds are shortening on no Brexit before 2022 at 11/4, as the campaign to revoke Article 50 continues to gain momentum.
I cannot see any politically acceptable BREXIT solution
The reason I haven’t written about Brexit on my blog is that I can’t see any Brexit solution that makes sense- I still can’t and I’ve been waiting three years.
If any of the new Tory leadership candidates comes up with a coherent plan that commands a majority of votes in the House of Commons, then I will eat my words but I do not see any of the politicians throwing their hat in the ring commanding the respect of the House (least of all Johnson).
This being the case, the big fish – Osborne, Milliband and co , will sit and wait till the blood-letting is over and they can resume control in calmer times (when they will get a hearing),
Holding our nerve
What is going on is not a constitutional crisis (we do not have a constitution), What is going on is a crisis of respect that has building for two decades through the various scandals that have hit politicians and through to the utter shambles we find ourselves in now.
While this chaos prevails, the things that matter to me in Westminster, the presentation of the Pensions Bill and a solution to the net pay anomaly – must be pursued.
We cannot allow the breakdown in respect for politicians in the House of Commons to get in the way of the proper governance of our country.
Increasingly I am turning to the House of Lords for sense and political sobriety. Ros Altmann, Jeannie Drake and David Willets have experience and good a common interest in getting good things done. I hope that Guy Opperman and Jack Dromey will use the Lords for guidance.
It is time for business people in pensions , to preserve the dignity of Government and not shout a plague on all their houses. While I will never seek a career in politics and have no expectation of being asked to, I will not go the other road and call for non-Governmental anarchy.
We have to be patient, hold our nerve and wait for the storm to blow over. Right now it feels that that cannot happen – but storms do pass.