Forgive me in advance, but the cynic in me thinks that Theresa May calling for a debate to acquire the two thirds majority needed under the terms of the Fixed Term Parliament Act (FTPA), which will allow her to call a General Election, is not only cynical but desperate. This morning, I heard rumours that the Crown Prosecution Service is to make an announcement that 22 Conservative MPs are to face prosecution for failing to correctly declare their election expenses in 2015. Naturally, the BBC’s political geniuses and self-styled gurus failed to mention this as a possible factor in May’s decision. Indeed, in March, the Prime Minister ruled out calling a snap General Election. Here she is being interviewed by Andrew Neil on The Sunday Politics. At round 28.00 she appears to quash rumours that she will call a snap election.
When the ‘Downing Street’ announcement was made at a few minutes past eleven this morning, the Blairites, Blue Labourites, assorted anti-Corbynites and their ever-diminishing band of supporters were gleefully claiming that the end is nigh for Jeremy Corbyn’s time as party leader. In what other country would you have people, who are supposedly members of a particular political party, wishing for their own party’s demise? What kind of false consciousness bullshit is that?
If May is successful in securing a two thirds majority to trigger the election, the usual voices will claim that Corbyn should have voted against it. But then, these people are utterly clueless about Parliamentary procedure and party politics generally. Parliament, if anything, is all about procedure, which involves the kind of dull and often repetitive stuff that turns many people off politics.. well, party politics at any rate. Real politics concerns the decisions and choices you make in your everyday lives. Parliamentary politics, as currently configured, is entertainment, public relations and a lot of bullshit. The FTPA demands that either a vote of no confidence is tabled or the PM seeks the approval of the Commons to call an election.
One last thing: members are important and a party that has hundreds of thousands of members is likely to do better than a party with a fraction of those members. No political party with a handful of members has ever made an electoral impact, formed a government nor formed the official opposition. I’ll be watching the Blairites to see how they behave. My instincts tell me that they will actively try to sabotage their party’s chances of winning. Let’s hope my instincts are wrong.
UPDATE 18/4/17 @ 1742
According to Michael Crick, the CPS deadline for the decision on whether to prosecute 22 Tory MPs is late May or early June.
UPDATE 18/4/17 @ 2011
Channel 4 News has reported that there are over 30 Tory MPs and election agents that are facing prosecution.