Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Now is the time to vote against the Tories

The Tory justification for introducing the 2010 Fixed Term Parliament Act was that it would prevent politicians from throwing the country into instability by calling General Elections to suit their own party political purposes, but that's exactly what Theresa May has decided to do.

It's only a few weeks since she told Scotland that "now is not the time" for them to decide their political future because the Brexit deal hasn't been finalised and a referendum would cause too much uncertainty, and yet here she is causing uncertainly by calling a General Election within three weeks of triggering Article 50!

The recklessness of this move is absolutely astounding. The UK is going into the most complex and risky set of diplomatic negotiations in its history, and Theresa May has decided to create a massive distraction for the next two months, just when her and her Brexit ministers should be concentrating all of their efforts on trying to secure the best possible exit deal for the UK.

Brexit only came about because David Cameron decided to gamble the entire economic future of the UK in order to win a bit of short-term party political advantage at the 2015 General Election, and now Theresa May has decided to put the interest of the Tory party above the interests of the nation again by attempting to increase her parliamentary majority instead of focusing on the vitally important Brexit negotiations.

The General Election does however present an opportunity for progressives to try to prevent the socially and economically ruinous "no deal" cliff-edge Brexit that Theresa May has been steering us towards.

Her appalling threat-based "negotiating strategy" and her decision to use the lives of EU citizens in the UK as Brexit bargaining chips have only succeeded in unifying the other 27 member states against her demands, making a catastrophic "no deal" Tory strop ever more likely.

Only the most extreme hardline Brexiter wants to see the UK flounce away from the Brexit negotiating table with nothing, because such a move would cause devastation across the UK economy, but especially in areas like manufacturing, the NHS and social care, agriculture and the services industry.

The Tories have also made it clear that their "no deal" strop scenario would involve turning the UK into a tax-haven and stripping back the welfare system (the NHS, social care, education, in-work benefits, disability benefits, pensions ...) in order to pay for these corporate bribes.

A General Election on June 8th will offer the public the opportunity to reject Theresa May's self-serving and hypocritical gambling with the nation's future, and avert the threat of a extremist Tory "no deal" cliff edge Brexit.

Now is the time to elect politicians who would take a more pragmatic approach to the Brexit negotiations and a more democratic approach to the implementation of Brexit in the UK.

Now is the time to vote in favour of politicians who strongly oppose the appalling Tory threat of turning the UK into a hard-right, low wage, low welfare corporate tax haven, and tearing down what remains of the social welfare system to pay for it.

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