Sunday, 5 November 2017

Cui bono, and what happens now to Brexit?

From my Daily Record column on Friday

Who benefits? Always the key question when a crime or a political crisis takes place.

Well, obviously Gavin Williamson is the winner of the “Pestminster” sexual harassment scandal.

In a moment of catastrophe the ambitious Tory chief whip, who has risen from nowhere in seven years, recommended himself for the more powerful job of UK Defence Secretary.

Theresa May is such a weak Prime Minister that she could only accept his support. Older ambitious men in cabinet, appalled at his audacity, cannot contain their jealousy. That’s the men. 

Women may have won,  that's a qualified result because cleaning out the political stable, as Ruth Davidson put it, of dirty old men who feel entitled to take advantage of younger women does not end sexual harassment. 

When the spin out from the grotesque Harvey Weinstein allegations collided with the world of British politics a serious problem was in danger of being reduced to gossipy tittle-tattle about knee-touching.

It took the grave claims by Labour activist Bex Bailey of a covered-up rape to underscore what is at stake. We might be at a turning point in public life, but the fight for equality and against sexual harassment will be a constant battleground.

The opposition are surely winners, if they have the strength of will to seize the prize. 

Yes, the PM is weakened, but Brexit, the issue that defines our political destiny steams on, dented but not derailed - yet. 

The big news of Michael Fallon’s resignation overshadowed two important developments in the Brexit debate on Wednesday.

Firstly, the opposition managed to force a vote that ought to bind the government into revealing the impact assessment of Brexit on 58 sectors of the economy.

The statistics, if they are redacted they will be leaked, will spell out the devastating effect of this act of national self-sabotage. Some minds may be changed.

The same day the Electoral Commission announced it was opening an investigation into Aaron Banks, the millionaire funder of UKIP and the Leave.EU campaign. 

Russia clearly attempted to manipulate the results of the US and French presidential elections. Why on earth would it not seek to diminish one of the world’s leading nuclear powers and undermine the 
European trading bloc by interfering with the Brexit referendum?

Following the Leaver loot might lead all the way to Moscow, but whether Russian propagandists slewed the Brexit result is now almost academic.

There is a sense of resignation across the UK that Brexit will now happen, when the time is opportune to stop it. 

Theresa May’s government is beginning to resemble John Major’s, but that government limped on for five year stabbing itself into incompetence.

May’s is unravelling quicker, but  there is no sign of Labour derailing the Brexit process.

Keir Starmer shows signs of being able to do it, the SNP would willingly join in the act, Corbyn is the drag anchor. 

The Tories are in a bloody mess but that is no guarantee that Corbyn's Labour party can win.

But to recall Tony Blair, if they can’t take this lot apart in the next few years they shouldn’t be in the business of politics at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment