Sunday, 26 February 2017

"Finish them!"

"Brexit campaign architect urges May to CALL ELECTION to finish off desperate Remainers", screamed an article by Oli Smith, for the benefit of any Express readers who managed to get past the vids about bonking, sexual insecurity and fantasy superheroes. The shouty urgings came from professional lobbyist Matthew Elliott, formerly of Vote Leave.

I don't know what Elliott's talking about here. For a start, the Remainers and the opposition are two different things, as Jeremy Corbyn proved by doing nothing effective to delay the mad rush to trigger Article 50. An early election might finish off Jeremy Corbyn, but Remain wouldn't be an option on the ballot paper and therefore Remainers couldn't be "finished off" in a general election.

In any case, we Remainers have probably been "finished off" already, now there seems to be no realistic prospect of stopping, or delaying, the Article 50 notification (unless Article 50 turns out to be reversible - a slim possibility, but we need another Gina Miller to put that one to the test in court).

And, as David Cameron said the last time there was a clamour for an early election (after the petition that followed the revelation that the Camerons had been stashing a big wodge of their huge family fortune in an offshore tax haven), "...the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act means no Government can call an early general election any more anyway." Unless the May government loses a confidence vote, or talks two thirds of the House into voting for an early election, (which would delay its number one priority, a speedy Brexit), it ain't happening.

Talk of an early election seems to be meaningless noise, but I suppose there must be some Public Relations rationale behind making that noise. Whether that rationale is simply to crowd out a particular piece of actual news, to demoralise the opposition, give a morale boost to die-hard Brexiteers, or intimidate Remainers, or simply to create a sense of inevitability by generating yet another headline about Brexit, I don't know.

All I do know is that you can't take any public statement from a Brexiteer at face value.