British Prime Minister Theresa May is more secure at No. 10 this week. The Tory Party has rallied to support her and steady the ship. A leadership challenge would lead to another general election and the risk of Jeremy Corbyn being Prime Minister is too high, or the result could be another hung Parliament. The contenders are said to be preparing their strike around spring 2018. New analysis reveals that every year around 250,000 young people enter the democratic system (likely to vote Labour) and about 250,000 people drop out of the ballot box (likely to vote Tory). Doing the maths it is unlikely that the Tory Party will wait five years for a general election.
Meanwhile, Labour’s activist arm Momentum is already training its canvassers in persuasive techniques ready for the next election. They are sharpening their technological communication skills to create viral video content, recruit volunteers and crowdfund their campaign.
An expensive deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has settled the question of passing important bills in the House of Commons, but enraged Wales and Scotland who are demanding similar sums to Northern Ireland. As it stands, Northern Ireland receives £14,263 per head—Scotland gets less at £13,054 and Wales £12,531— the least goes to England with just £11,297. In a letter to the Times, “His Honour John Samuels QC” questioned “Will the attorney-general explain in what way the provisions of the Bribery Act 2010 do not apply to the deal with the DUP? The Act defines bribery as seeking to influence a decision maker (namely a voting MP) by giving that person some kind of extra benefit.”
Sinn Féin and the DUP have failed to reach a power sharing agreement for the Northern Ireland Executive. DUP will not agree to Sinn Féin’s demands for a standalone “Irish Language Act”, making Irish equal to English. A new deadline to restore devolution has been set for Monday. With no deal, the governing power reverts to Westminster.
A group of Remainers would like to see May retire, thinking a new leader might give them a chance for a weaker Brexit; conversely, some Brexiteers want to keep May, as her campaign promises gave them confidence that Brexit means Brexit. The reality is it will be a proper Brexit; it will just take longer than forecast to get there. May has appointed the impeccably experienced New Zealander, Crawford Falconer as UK’s Chief Trade Negotiation Advisor. He is forward thinking and practical. He sees Brexit as a “strategic opportunity” and hopes to establish win-win agreements with UK trading partners around the globe.
Sir Mick Davis and David Brownlow have been respectively appointed Treasurer/CEO of the Conservative Party and Vice Chairman for Campaigning. Both are expected to significantly improve campaigning techniques and support for the party after the mismanaged election process. Already things are chaotic. Candidates were invited to re-apply for their positions, but due to an inconsiderate email circulated from Campaign HQ, their applications were suffocated with doubt; an apology was issued but despondent candidates will not know if they are on the new list until 11 July.
To the disgust of many, the politicisation of the catastrophic Grenfell fire continues; the fact is all authorities have levels of culpability and accountability. This culpability stretches back over various Parliaments and councils controlled by both parties. With all today’s myriad of building regulations, citizens take for granted that they are safe in their homes, when the fact is in many tower blocks they are not. Many British bureaucrats do not feel the responsibility that goes with their position, there is no comprehension of the accountability in their decision making. Today’s bureaucrats obsess about meaningless important titles, but they have no regard for what it means to live up to their responsibilities.
Sir Martin Moore-Bick is to head the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, with the power to compel the production of documents and summon witnesses to give evidence on oath. May is in a hurry for facts and justice. Survivors and victims’ families and all with an interest will be consulted. The final terms of reference will go to Parliament before the inquiry can begin; an interim report is expected as soon as possible.
At the Glastonbury Music Festival, John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, claimed that victims of the fire were murdered by political decisions. Some Labour front benchers were distressed at his use of language. Jeremy Corbyn chose to turn the festival into a hustings. He charmed the young crowd—most of whom have not yet paid a tax in all their lives—with promises of abolishing tuition fees. The irony is, most students usually grow up into Conservatives. 50% of the UK population is perplexed as to why a dishevelled socialist, who supports the IRA, Hamas and is prepared to relinquish UK’s seat in the UN Security Council by abandoning Trident, is such a phenomenon. If the Tories want to win the next election, a leader, with mass youth appeal and a magic optimistic message, has to reveal himself/herself.