I PEN these few utterances some 48 hours after one of the (if not ‘the’) most seismic general election results in my lifetime. If I may bastardise words from one of our great wordsmiths: ‘Bliss it was to be alive in that brave new morning.’
Regular readers will know that I am not a member of any political party; indeed, over the years I have voted for both Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, with a smattering of Liberals and the SDP in there as well. So my sheer joy on ‘the morning after’ was not of a triumphalist nature, not tribal nor borne of historical allegiance. Indeed, there is a fair dollop of sheer relief in my emotions.
No, reflecting on the election by the people of the United Kingdom of a Conservative government with the largest majority for more than 30 years and the fact that there are now fewer Labour MPs than at any time since 1935, my reaction was one of both gratitude that my country had been saved and pride in the common sense of the Great British people who made it happen.
Business is my constituency and always has been – the creation of tax-generating, job-creating wealth, hopefully on a socially-inclusive basis. A Labour outright or SNP-supported victory would have thrust an ideologically-armed dagger into its very heart.
Confiscation by the state of 10% of every business employing more than 250 people, forced disposal at below market value to the state of shareholdings (listed and private) in utilities, the continued fostering of hatred of business and capitalism by society. The risk of all that as government policy has disappeared.
Those members of the Jewish faith living in the UK walk and worship this morning with at least one worry eased off their shoulders. Anti-semitism has sadly not disappeared from our country just because of Thursday night’s result but at least today we don’t have a party of government riven through by anti-Jewish vitriol and action, the likes of which we have never seen in post-war Britain and which Jeremy Corbyn and his acolytes were, out of either incompetence or conviction, unwilling to eradicate.
Our country is in safer hands today than it might otherwise have been. The threat has disappeared of an anti-Nato, anti-security services, anti-USA, anti-nuclear unilateral deterrent prime minister. We must of course remain eternally vigilant, but we can all sleep just a little more easy in our beds tonight.
Our economy has been saved from becoming a basket case in very short order. From an immediate staggeringly inflationary five per cent pay rise for the public sector not paid for out of productivity enhancement to tax rises and state borrowing of eye-watering proportions, the UK would have become Venezuela before you could say ‘Lenin’. Add to that the stasis and uncertainty of a delayed or avoided Brexit and ruination would have been complete.
The tyranny of the people by parliament is over.
The strategy of sabotage by the establishment elite of the declared will of the people three-and-a-half years ago is finished. UK business can face up to the challenges of a new decade knowing where it stands and where we are heading, in relation to trade and investment with the EU and beyond.
Interestingly, the Brexit delayers, the saboteurs and the deceivers, the alarmists and the anti-democrats all wanted either a second referendum or a general election. Well, last Thursday they got both at once – and then some. No one can say this result was close. Presumably Messrs Blair and Major will be saying there ought to be another one ... and another one ...until the electorate ‘get it right’.
And gratitude? Yes, gratitude to the ordinary woman and man in the street. Not the occupiers of the Westminster political bubble, not the businesses of the country and certainly not the metropolitan media (as an aside, did you see the BBC’s Andrew Marr’s face on Friday morning? He looked like he was sucking lemons and his distaste for the outcome in general and the Prime Minister in particular was palpable. Unbiased? Typically not, sadly). No, our gratitude is reserved wholly for the country’s ordinary people, many never ever having voted for anyone but Labour before, many probably holding their noses as they did so.
They voted for something more than three years ago and it had constantly been denied them, so they damn well told ’em again by voting for the only visible offer to ‘get it done’. That situation transcended generations of voting just one way but for waverers in the polling booth (with ‘pencils hovering’, as the Prime Minister put it) there was a clincher. If Labour do not understand this and merely blame Brexit for their humiliation, they can look forward to decades in opposition and probable usurpation by some new, emerging, moderate party.
The average voter who returned Conservative MPs to Westminster from constituencies that had voted Labour without interruption for decades, and sometimes for over 100 years, did so because of their innate common sense, their innate sense of decency and their deep-rooted patriotism. And for Labour to somehow think these millions somehow made a mistake and should be felt sorry for is patronising ignorance of staggering proportions.
Don’t you get it, Messrs Corbyn, McDonnell and McCluskey? Haven’t you taken this on board, Seamus Milne, Dianne Abbott, Barry Gardiner and Richard Burgon? Those you have taken for granted for decades humiliated you at the 2019 General Election. The ordinary, decent, sensible historical Labour voter in the Midlands and the North was not having Jeremy Corbyn as their Prime Minister, period. Oh, and don’t think of coming back in five years’ time with Corbyn 2.0, because you’ll get more of the same. Why?
Because firstly, I’ll be amazed if the Conservatives don’t spend the next five years thanking in terms of money, time and influence those constituencies who have lent them their votes and showing them how much they are not taken for granted.
And secondly, because actually the Great British public might be stubborn, grumpy and sometimes globally myopic, but anti-business, anti-Semitic, unpatriotic Marxists they most certainly are not – and for that I humbly thank them from the bottom of my heart.
NB. Digby called the UK General Election result correctly although was a tad erroneous on his prediction of the size of the Tory majority – 12 playing 80. He and Pat are still very much looking forward to becoming resident in Guernsey (jointly with the UK) in just a few days’ time.