Tuesday, 18 April 2017

British Politics: The Soap Opera - Second Season

So it seems that "British Politics: The Soap Opera" has been recommissioned for a second season in 2017. It's nice to see that the financial backers of this farcical 2016 melodrama have faith in, what appears to be a failing franchise.

Image Source: thejournal.ie

I haven't really got my head wrapped around this yet, so this is, against my usual inclination, a bit of a knee-jerk-reaction blog. My initial feeling is that this is a party-political move: May has seen that the Conservative Party has a huge lead in the polls, and, as an un-elected Prime Minister, she sees a chance to solidify her leadership and her mandate as the Brexit negotiations get underway.

Also, I don't really understand why everyone's acting so surprised about this announcement. I mean, the timing of it is quite astonishing I suppose - after refusing Scotland a referendum saying that "Now is not the time", how is it suddenly time for a General Election? And this after having protested for nine months that there will be no snap election? But the other parties have been preparing for one since June, so there must have been a little foreknowledge somewhere.

But, it's not the first time that Theresa May has changed her mind, is it? The lady is, obviously, for turning.
Image Source: huffpost.com

The news channels are saying, rightly, that the main point of the election is going to be Brexit. And yes, it will be. But alongside that we have to take into account the NHS crisis, the school funding crisis, the housing crisis, the social care crisis, and the political situations across Europe and the world, and so on and so forth.

I also wonder whether many of those who voted to Leave the European Union, who are also those who happen to be suffering most from Tory austerity, will upset May's apple cart by voting against the Conservatives.
A lot of people are feeling politically disengaged, suffering from so-called 'voter fatigue', so perhaps the turn-out won't be as expected.
On the other hand, the Referendum saw an upswing in membership of political parties, and young people especially have become more politically engaged after they have seen the direct effect politics has on their lives and their future.

Image Source: bbc.co.uk

As I have written about previously, it's fairly obvious where my political affiliation, and therefore my vote, lies. In elections across Europe, recently, there has been a backlash against the apparent rise of far-right and nationalist sentiment, with liberal candidates faring better than expected. Maybe the same thing will happen here?

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