||[Dec. 2nd, 2016|11:45 am]
I can't say I studied form for the Richmond Park by-election but then I didn't think I needed to. Zac Goldsmith- popular figure (though less so after running a racist campaign for Mayor of London), campaigning as an independent on the third runway at Heathrow (which is a big local issue)- was clearly a shoo-in. He was such a shoo-in that the Tories and the Greens decided not to stand against him. And he lost. He lost to the Lib Dem and lost big.|
They're saying it's all about Brexit. And maybe it is, but who knows? Who knows anything any more?
If the LD's push as the party of 'in' and 'ignore the vote' it will be.
It's a risky strategy, but they've nothing to lose.
No, they've nothing to lose. So they might as well make a bold choice and declare themselves the party of Remain.
I'm hoping that not only will it give the Remain voters a way of pushing back against the constant bleat of, "The people have spoken, we must obey the will of the people," but that it will give the Tories pause for thought. At the moment they seem to be running pell-mell after the racist UKIP voters, but if they realise they're going to lose all their more liberal minded, pro-Europe supporters to the Lib Dems, they might want to think again.
I don't think the Tories have a clue what they're doing. They're a government of Remainers committed to Brexit. All the signs are that they're dragging their feet and doing as little as they can get away with in the hope that "something will turn up".
It's the problem with being a democrat of course- I loathe this result, but if people try to pretend that it was just the working class not knowing what they were doing, it could end with blood on the streets.
The Tories didn't stand a candidate because they were quite happy to see Zac back in.
UKIP didn't stand a candidate and explicitly backed Zac (pretty much in "one of us" terms).
The Greens didn't stand a candidate, after some soul-searching, because they could see that the Lib Dems were the only realistic "Stop Zac" option.
And, against the wishes of the local party, Jezza chose to stand a decent candidate for Labour, who promptly lost his deposit.
None of the candidates was in favour of the third runway. From a self-interest point of view, Goldsmith's action was plain stupid, though it did have the unconventional feature of a politician honouring a promise he'd made to his constituents.
It probably is about Brexit. It certainly wasn't about Heathrow. The Lib Dems campaigned hard, in a Remain-leaning area, on Goldsmith's Brexiteer credentials and his failed racist Mayoral campaign. If you have the inclination and the opportunity to wave two fingers at the government, this is how to do it. The speculation on May calling an early election doesn't go away; I doubt she wants one, but natural wastage (plus self-inflicted wounds like this) could easily destroy her majority before 2020. I think she'll find it hard to hang on. She doesn't have a plan (unless Wrecking Everything and Keeping Jeremy counts as a plan) and the honeymoon is well and truly over. The scary thing is, she still looks the best of the bunch that threw their hats into the ring to replace that Etonian Twat who kicked the whole thing off.
I like the suggestion that the result was actually about kicking the establishment in the teeth because that would bring it into line with Brexit and Trump. I wonder if the establishment is taking note.
When she first became PM it did rather look as if May was going to make some changes, but she's slipped very quickly into business as usual. I'm not impressed.