This Can't End Well

From a distance of 6,000 miles it is hard to know just how febrile the atmosphere in the UK is right now. It seems hard to credit that May is trying to fight on after the humiliation of losing her majority, even more so after Grenfell House. There isn't even government yet and we are starting Brexit talks on Monday. One wonders how this is even possible. Has parliamentary democracy simply been suspended? When May does conclude her sordid little deal with the DUP (such, of course, is politics), it could collapse at any moment. Where I a Tory MP I'd be worried about an election being caused by the government losing a Vote of No Confidence. It would only require the Scottish Tories to abstain and a handful of by-elections losses for the government to be vulnerable. And clearly the Tories cannot go to the country again with May at the helm. She has to go soon. Johnson has no internal constituency in the party, but would obviously be a more formidable campaigner than May. The Tories won't won a campaign as inept as the one they did again. It was certainly the most inept campaign run by a major British political party in modern history, possibly the most inept by a major party in any large democracy. How do you countenance a campaign predicated on the notion that the party's leader is strong and stable when she is clearly neither? She's the manager at work who can't look you in the eye. Yet 43% of voters still voted for her.

It's not all bad news for Corbyn. More people might well have voted for him if they had thought he was going to do so well. Turnout was only about 68%, so compared to 1970s election, there still potentially is some capacity for attracting non-voters. Corbyn's various unsavoury connections didn't seem to do him any obvious harm in the end (then again...), so it is not likely they would any more in a second election. The problem for Corbyn is, of course, Brexit. I don't know if Corbyn is a "the EU is an evil capitalist club" man (see ordoliberalism) or more of an accelerationist, but there are a lot of Remainers who voted for Labour and need to be offered something. But then again giving May the blank cheque lanced the boil of UKIP. Corbyn is not going to go back on Hard Brexit and it he's going to be replaced by Yvette Cooper now. But some leftwing, but without Corbyn's taints, is going to be needed in the medium term. Who might that be?

Problem is though that Brexit is going to be ongoing national catastrophe. There will be plenty of blame to go round. And I have no idea how we are going to get out of this mess. (OK, I do. A Swiss/Norway-type model, but is that even on the table if we wanted it?)