Well, what in heaven’s name did anyone expect?
Theresa May’s refinements to her Brexit deal, crafted in order to force it through the Commons on her fourth attempt, have caused consternation and horror in the Tory party. With the political cliff edge towards which she has been steadily driving the party clearly in sight, she is now proposing a lethal shove to push the Conservative lemmings over the drop altogether.
For her new Brexit deal is even worse than the old one – which was itself beyond terrible. This new one, unveiled in her speech today, dangles the hitherto red-line issues of a customs union and a second referendum, both unequivocal betrayals of the people’s vote in 2016 to leave the EU.
Such a repudiation of democracy would likely mean many would never vote again, not just for the Tories but for anything at all. Why should they, when democracy has been negated by their elected representatives who have torn up the compact between government and the governed, broken their promises to the people and treated their voters with such contempt?
But why should anyone be surprised? Mrs May has demonstrated repeatedly that she is singularly unable to change course at all. We can all speculate why this should be so. Who knows; maybe history will eventually show that she deserves sympathy for her personal situation. But after the surreal groundhog-day process she has inflicted upon the country, no-one can claim to be unaware that she believes it is her mission to repeat her own failure again and again without limit of time.
And so the real blame for this lies with the people who put her into power and have kept her there until this very day. In an unholy alliance of Remainer MPs determined to stop Brexit in its tracks, purported Brexiteers too muddled to grasp that there can be no compromise between leaving the EU and staying under its control, and those on both sides wholly consumed by personal ambition which they have so sickeningly put before the national interest, these MPs have left Mrs May in No 10 to wreck both her party and the country.
This evening we are being told that Mrs May’s latest throw of the withdrawal deal dice has left the Cabinet beyond despair, with previously loyal Brexiteer ministers being pushed to the brink. Oh really? Why were they being loyal in the first place to a deluded prime minister who was busily betraying the nation?
They kept her in power to do so. Heck, some of these Brexiteers even voted for her terrible deal! They are the people responsible for this mess. At every stage in this debacle they have wrung their hands, declared it’s the last straw and an intolerable betrayal and that Britain has become an international laughing stock and that Mrs May must go, and then done precisely nothing except plot and scheme and brief against each other while Mrs May remains in office. They are pathetic and risible.
I wrote here that the party needed to change the rules immediately to get rid of her; it must then elect as leader a principled Brexiteer who has never voted for Mrs May’s betrayal deal and who will instead take the country out of the EU with no deal – the only way Brexit will be honoured, if necessary after a general election fought on the issue of democracy itself.
Does anyone trust Boris Johnson to do that? Quite so.
The Tories deserve never to be in power again. And if Nigel Farage is shrewd and turns out to be more than a one-trick pony, they won’t be.