Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tories Could Fall Apart, but Labour Still May Not Win

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Tories Could Fall Apart, but Labour Still May Not Win

Article excerpt

Byline: David Taylor-Gooby

WHAT I want to think about here is the future of UK politics. Like it or not, Brexit is the issue which is dominating all others at the moment, and the outcome will influence what happens to our politics. Sooner or later the Brexit issue will be resolved. Probably later rather than sooner the way things are going at the moment. What state will it leave our political system in? I see Theresa May as essentially an honest person but a very ambitious one. Having got the top job she wants to hang on to it, and seems to be pushed into making some decisions against her better judgement. Many prime ministers are haunted by what happened to their predecessors, and she does not want Europe to tear her party to pieces like it did with John Major. The result was they were out of office for 13 years. Keeping her party together is not an ignoble aim, and it is one which most Prime Ministers have pursued. Harold Wilson was good at it. If you cannot do it, nothing gets done.

Theresa May does not seem to be given to political philosophy, and many, including me, would criticise her for not having much of a "vision".

But in a rare interview to lobby correspondents, which was not widely reported, she gave an insight into her thinking which went as follows. People all over the world are losing faith in democracy and voting for "strong men". Liberal democracy is under threat. She feels if she does not deliver on the referendum result then the same could happen here. The trouble is she does not really seem to believe in Brexit, regarding it simply as a job she has to do - and that shows. She seems to be pursuing a solution where the UK leaves but retains the advantages of membership. To be fair, Labour seems to want the same thing.

Being old I can remember the referendum of 1975, and attending a packed meeting in the City Hall when that genial but very effective TUC Secretary Vic Feather made the comment that "Many of you are members of working mens' clubs. …

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