I don’t normally blog about English politics, but the political turmoil south of the border is creating havoc up here, too, so here are a few modest observations and a possible solution.
My observations are these:
- The Liberal Democrats seem to have found their mojo again, but many people will never vote for them again because of the way they sold out of their principles to enter into government with the Tories. This means that they cannot become a large party in the foreseeable future.
- The Labour rebels who are planning to vote against Brexit are afraid to break away from Labour because of the failure of the SDP in the 1980s.
- The few Tory rebels clearly don’t feel tempted to join either the Lib Dems or Rebel Labour.
- And yet, there is a huge need for a party to represent the 48% who voted Remain in England – in the other nations of the UK, we have plenty of parties that will stand up for us.
Surely the solution is to create a new party, based on the Liberal Democrats but with enough changes to ensure that voters won’t hold them responsible for the Coalition Government. As for the name of this new party, it would be natural to resurrect the Whigs – they were known to emphasise the supremacy of Parliament (which Theresa May and her merry Brexiteers clearly aren’t too keen on), and they were of course the Tories’ old foes.
Pro-Brexit Labour can then merge with UKIP, but I expect the Conservative embrace of Brexit means they’ll struggle electorally.
The Whigs can then become England’s natural progressive party, and hopefully it could adopt a constructive attitude towards the SNP and perhaps even start supporting the right to self-determination for all the nations of the UK.