The 2017 general election is the most important election of a generation. Its call was not really a surprise because Tory Eurosceptics are holding Theresa May to ransom. And more than 24 Tory MPs are being investigated for fraud. So, calling an election is a win-win for May. Success would consolidate her position as Prime Minister and avoids the immediacy of yet another Tory scandal. It doesn’t hurt that Labour is trailing in the polls. But it may not be good for Britain. If the Tories win by a landslide, there will be no active opposition, and Britain will become a one-party state. That would undermine democracy which is frightening. It also means that a Tory government would have free reign which is a terrifying prospect for social care and civil rights. So, although May is promoting the election as a second Brexit referendum, it is much, much more.
A Landslide Buries Democracy
Theresa May has Brexit as the central theme of the election. She prefaced the election announcement saying that Westminster is not unifying behind Brexit. That is misleading. MPs of all persuasions voted in support of May’s bill to start the process of leaving the EU.
The real danger is to May’s Premiership. The Tories are notorious for ruthlessly dispatching their leaders. From beloved Thatcher to beleaguered Cameron. May is vulnerable with only a small Parliamentary majority. There are at least 50 Eurosceptics ready to revolt and remove her. They want a ‘hard’ Brexit, irrespective of the consequences.
However, Tory machinations are not our problem, but May’s authoritarian approach to politics is. For her to insist on a united Westminster for Brexit is to stifle debate and undermine the democratic process. It’s the job of MPs to scrutinise any Brexit deal and reject terms, not in the public interest. It’s dangerous for May to imply, doing so is treasonous.
If May wins by a landslide, then any deal she makes with Europe will have to be accepted. Her government would be able to argue that they have the mandate because they had a landslide victory. And if it all goes sour, the government just claims it is the will of the people.
A Landslide Equals Elected Dictatorship
The remaining 27 EU nations have to decide what they going to charge Britain, a non-member, for access to the largest trading market? The answer does not depend on how many votes May wins, although the Tories would have us believing that.
So, a Tory landslide would not make a jot of difference to Brexit talks. However, it would mean that Britons would have voted for a dangerous dictatorship. Theresa May has recognised that the Tory party is the ‘nasty party‘ and nothing has changed.
The Tories have a poor record on social care. Just this April, they made child benefit for a third child subject to a rape clause. Mothers must prove that the third child was conceived by rape or abuse. The child must be named and the eight-page form co-signed by a specialist in sexual assaults. The human rights and privacy violations are astounding. Meanwhile, the money earmarked for domestic abuse shelters has evaporated, and shelters continue to close.
There are so many issues besides Brexit that need consideration before voters give the Tory party a landslide victory. For with it comes total control over the NHS, health, housing, education, the economy and social care. A landslide empowers MPs like Tory George Freeman who suggested that anxiety is not debilitating. Perhaps that is why the government does not adequately fund mental health programmes.
Landslide Freedom Charter
With a landslide, I fear more privatisation, a widening of inequality and the loss of democracy. It’s ironic that Brexiteers argue that the EU is undermining democracy and here we are facing the real threat to it; a one-party state.
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