Today Teresa May, the ‘unelected’ PM sent to rescue us all from the situation we were never supposed to be in anyway, finally ripped off the plaster and called a general election. We’ll be going to the polls on 8 June.
I can think of plenty of reasons why a general election is a bad decision. Not least that, just like the question ‘should I call a referendum about this?’ has been answered for a generation by the EU referendum, the last two years should have taught our political elite that asking the public things because you’re confident of the answer is a foolish thing to do.
But I can also think of plenty of reasons why it’s a good one; a general election will help to sort out our problems which, whether you agree with the government or not, you must agree need fixing.
We’ve a government operating with a slender majority, a leader it didn’t plan on having and on a manifesto which never considered that we’d actually be leaving the EU; an opposition which doesn’t; and a Scottish government with a (claimed) mandate to break up the Union.
A new Parliament will even allow the chancellor to raise whatever taxes he likes – whether to cope with more self-employment or to deal with the impact of Brexit, because the law Cameron put in place only lasts until the next election.
No doubt all of the parties will be fighting on simplified, hastily-composed manifestos but what will be most interesting to watch, despite the pointlessness of it all, is how Jezza decides to play it. Twitter videos to cultish followers, or a genuine hard-fought and valiant defeat with actual policies which ‘shift the debate’?
Regardless of the time to prepare and the nature of the fight, what’s clear is that as well as potentially giving May the opportunity to get on with Brexit, this is an opportunity for her to add some subtle meat of compromise to the hardened bones she’s spent the last few months building.
The EU referendum settled that we wanted control of immigration, but now’s the chance to define that it means keeping things pretty much the same; we said we wanted to set our own laws and regulation, but hey – we might just want to harmonise them with the EU.
The journalist in me loves an election, the communicator in me loves a campaign and the Remain-er in me loves the chance for the Lib Dems to lead the fightback against the hard brexit so beloved by ‘them’.
But my gosh, I’m glad it’s only a few weeks away.