I write this shortly after after the General Election has been called and it may be that by the time it is read events will have turned out very differently, but all I can do is say how things seem to me at his moment.
I believe that there are four main questions to be considered. Why has Mrs May reneged on her promise not to go to the country before Brexit has been achieved? What is the likely outcome of the vote? What would be the effects for British independence? What can we in UKIP do about it?
As far as the first is concerned there are a number of suggestions as to the Prime Minister's motives but all we can do is speculate. It is quite possible that she means what she says, to gain a substantial majority in the Commons in order to pursue the aim of a clean Brexit, backed by a supportive party, which shares that desire. Alternatively it has been pointed out that the result might be to dilute the apparently pro Brexit majority, with many Conservatives elected who are less committed to leaving, which will enable Mrs May to revert to her original instincts of opposing Brexit, and to proceed on the basis of a nominal exit from the European Union, which has no real effect on the chains binding us to Brussels. A much less likely idea is that Mrs May is so wedded to the Remain camp that she would be happy to see the pro Brexit majority lost, in order that the result of the referendum may be overturned. I think the latter unlikely as modern politicians are not noted for sacrificing their position because of a deeply held belief. although I am suspicious of the pronouncements made by Hammond, which have already succeeded in significantly cutting the Conservative lead in the polls. The probability is that Mrs May does want a larger majority to strengthen her hand vi-a-vis the EU, but whether she would then use it to water down her demands is open to question.
Turning to the likely result there are factors which complacent Conservative voters should consider, quite apart for a reliance on opinion polls, which have been discredited by continual failures. While it is true that the majority of the working class, particularly in the North, rightly supported the Leave campaign, there are historical and tribal reasons which will ensure that this will not translate into a massive swing to the Conservatives. At the same time voters in the normally Conservative regions affected by the Southern rail debacle will not feel very supportive of the government, and there is a general impression that the NHS is crumbling under the watch of the latter. When one adds to this the recent uncertainty about tax policies, the decision Mrs May has taken could prove to be very unwise.
It may be that the optimism expressed by many Conservatives proves to be unfounded, and we might witness how a Prime Minister threw away her premiership, and destroyed the hopes of the British people that they would escape from the grip of the bureaucrats of Brussels. Almost every media commentator disagrees, but then they were wrong about the last general election, the referendum and the American presidential contest.
For the sake of the country it is essential that UKIP does well on the 8th June. Conservative party strategists are trying to convince UKIP supporters to abandon the party by claiming that it has no function, as it has achieved its aim of withdrawal from the EU. In fact, as we all know, Brexit is not an accomplished fact, and already the Conservatives are reneging on significant undertakings. The future of the British fishing industry is of vital interest to our coastal communities, yet there is talk of sacrificing them to achieve a final settlement, while every person who relies on the protections afforded by British Common Law should be alarmed at talk of allowing the iniquitous European Arrest Warrant to remain valid in this country.
If the pressure exerted by UKIP on the Conservatives were removed, the latter would rush to accept a deal with Europe that would be a betrayal of all those who voted to leave last June. In addition UKIP offers sensible policies on all the major issues of the day, including a reorientation of education policy, greater concern for the infrastructure, particularly in relation to the railways, and the restoration of NHS, which is currently suffering the death of a thousand cuts. The electorate should be in no doubt that UKIP is a real alternative to the tired old parties, which have let the people of this country down so badly over so many years.
Obviously the future of Brexit will be determined by the state of the parties on June 9th. If Mrs May wins a substantial majority, then it will go ahead, but how clean a break it will be depends on what she really intends, something no one but her knows. If she lost by enough of a margin to allow a coalition of Remainers to take power then Brexit will be stopped in its tracks. A hung parliament would be a nightmare, with Brexit in grave danger and the country facing yet another election in short order.
What UKIP can do about the result clearly depends on what it is. Should we win enough seats to keep Mrs May in power within a hung parliament then we could demand that our support required that the decision taken in the referendum be implemented in full, while if Mrs May won outright we could nevertheless take a leading part in pressurising the government to achieve a clean Brexit. In the event of a victory for the Remainers there would be little we could do in parliament but oppose the government while clearly we would continue the campaign in the country.
I am sure that most of us would regard the reversal of Brexit as probably the most disastrous political event in our history, as it would mean the end of democracy in this country. It is well known that Churchill described the latter as the worst form of government, except all the others. We have spent centuries trying to create the social and political system which best serves the interests of the people. The Roman republic tried a very limited form of democracy, which was totally compromised by their excluding women, and of course by their slave culture. Since we have tried many forms of government, from the fascist, nationalist right to the authoritarian, collective left and it is my opinion that we in the country have come the closest to devising a system that, albeit not perfect, is the best yet tried.
A constitutional monarchy, where the monarch holds the symbolic, but not the executive power, a legislature elected by universal franchise to represent the wishes of the people, an executive drawn from that legislature, so that those in charge are accountable through the ballot box, and an independent judiciary provides checks and balances which prevent tyranny. Add to this British Common Law, derived from judicial decisions and parliamentary action, and one has hope that individual freedoms are much more protected than in other, less fortunate nations. Continued membership of the EU would see all this thrown away, as Remainers cannot offer a valid answer to the questions posed by Tony Benn to the rulers of the EU "To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?”.
This election is a terrible gamble, which did not have to be taken. If it all turns out alright then I will be quite happy to accept the criticism that my fears are no more than the sort of nightmares that come just before waking. Should it go wrong then we will all come to regret the decision taken by Mrs May.