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It's all Nicola's fault!!

 
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Yorkshire Tyke
Standing in a Council Ward


Joined: 29 Nov 2013
Posts: 434


Location: Perth

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:40 pm    Post subject: It's all Nicola's fault!!  Reply with quote

Following the General Election of 8th May 2015 the Conservatives, with a majority of 12 seats, emerged as the winners over all other parties in the House of Commons at Westminster. In June 2016, following the results of the EU Referendum in the UK, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, stood down and was replaced by Theresa May.

On 30th June, 2016, within days of becoming the new Prime Minister, she declared that, despite having a small majority, she would not be calling for a General Election. She repeated that declaration again in speeches she gave on 4th September 2016, 1st October 2016 and 7th March 2017.

On Monday 13th March 2017, Nicola Sturgeon ambushed the Prime Minister with her demand for a second independence vote between Autumn 2018 and Spring 2019 - that is just before Britain is expected to quit the EU. Nicola Sturgeon launched a withering attack on Theresa May, telling the Prime Minister she was “not yet elected by anyone”. On 16th March 2017, Nicola Sturgeon further challenged the Conservatives to set out their stance on a second Scottish independence referendum as she demanded to know if the Tories were “running scared”. The Prime Minister’s response on 20th March 2017, was to declare that the time was not right and, strangely, she again said that she would not be calling for a General Election.

Around the beginning of April 2017, the polls were showing that the Conservatives had a 20+ points lead over Labour and that Theresa May was way ahead of Jeremy Corbyn in the public’s assessment of the two party leaders.The Liberal Democrats were almost out of sight with their policy of a second EU referendum. The Prime Minister and her party were secure in their position and there was no indication of a realistic threat from any other source. What there was, however, was the ever-present irritation of Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP and their taunts and tactics over a second independence referendum and their demands for a place at the Brexit negotiation table. It is my belief that the Prime Minister, stung by the suggestion that her party was “running scared”, decided to take on the SNP and diminish their influence both in Scotland and in Westminster prior to the start of Brexit negotiations.

The polls in Scotland were showing that there was little appetite for a second independence referendum and, perhaps more importantly, the First Minister’s popularity was waning as a consequence of her commitment to independence. Added to that was the approval rating of Ruth Davidson which indicated that there was every chance the Scottish Conservatives could take some of the Westminster seats from the SNP. I believe that between 16th and 20th March 2017, Theresa May decided to throw caution to the wind and to deal with the SNP by way of a snap election. I can think of no other reason for her to declare, on 20th March and for the fifth time, that she would not call a General Election if it wasn’t to out-manoeuvre Nicola Sturgeon.

On 18th April 2017, to almost everyone’s astonishment, the Prime Minister announced there would be a General Election on 8th June 2017. On the same day a shaken Nicola Sturgeon claimed that:“ Theresa May’s surprise general election announcement is a huge political miscalculation because Scots will reject the Prime Minister’s “divisive” agenda.”  It has to be said that Nicola’s reaction was spot-on in regard to the political miscalculation but she torpedoes any claim she might make to be regarded as a far-seeing politician when one reads the sentence as a whole; in fact, she got it badly wrong as the SNP lost 21 MP’s in the General Election, which is more than any other party. On STV on 9th May, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon conceded plans for a second independence referendum were "undoubtedly" a factor in the SNP losing those 21 seats at Westminster.

In conclusion: I contend that Theresa May succeeded in her aim to diminish the influence of the SNP but her abject performance in the hustings, an unbelievably poor manifesto and her overall mismanagement of the Tory election campaign, has led to a situation where the cost to her, to her party and to the country far outweighs the intended benefits of that achievement.
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magister ludi
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Joined: 13 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:42 pm    Post subject: Re: It's all Nicola's fault!! Reply with quote

Yorkshire Tyke wrote:
The Prime Minister and her party were secure in their position and there was no indication of a realistic threat from any other source.


As you say, the PM had a majority and there was no threat from any or even all of the opposition parties.  The threat, I believe was from within her own party...the hard brexiteers/right wing on the one hand and a residual rump of remainers on the other.   By far the most difficult group for Mrs May to deal with were the 50 or so right wing/hard brexiteers. This group threatened Mrs May's position, her Brexit strategy and actively undermined the authority and credibility of her supporters in government, in parliament and in other institutions of influence ( eg the Bank of England).   I believe, she felt she needed an election win not to see off the SNP, but to strengthen herself against internal party pressure from this, for her, troublesome faction.


http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/...el-Gove-Government-policy-EU-exit
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Yorkshire Tyke
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Joined: 29 Nov 2013
Posts: 434


Location: Perth

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:30 am    Post subject: Re: It's all Nicola's fault!! Reply with quote

magister ludi wrote:
Yorkshire Tyke wrote:
The Prime Minister and her party were secure in their position and there was no indication of a realistic threat from any other source.


As you say, the PM had a majority and there was no threat from any or even all of the opposition parties.  The threat, I believe was from within her own party...the hard brexiteers/right wing on the one hand and a residual rump of remainers on the other.   By far the most difficult group for Mrs May to deal with were the 50 or so right wing/hard brexiteers. This group threatened Mrs May's position, her Brexit strategy and actively undermined the authority and credibility of her supporters in government, in parliament and in other institutions of influence ( eg the Bank of England).   I believe, she felt she needed an election win not to see off the SNP, but to strengthen herself against internal party pressure from this, for her, troublesome faction.


http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/...el-Gove-Government-policy-EU-exit


Whether you are right or I am right it seems to me that we both acknowledge that Theresa May's fatal solution to her problems was to call a General Election.

I had considered the situation described by you as a "troublesome faction " but I concluded that there could be no guarantee these individuals would be unseated and would, therefore, remain a problem for the Prime Minister. Additionally, if the Conservatives increased their majority, there was a very real possibility that there would also be an increase in the ranks of the right wing/hard Brexiteers and the PM would not be much better off.  On this consideration alone, Theresa May should have abandoned any idea of holding a General Election.

Conversely, if a General Election was called, the very best the SNP could hope for would be to increase their number of seats by three, only one of which was held by the Scottish Conservatives; this was a most unlikely scenario on any view of Scottish politics immediately prior to 8th June 2017. There was a much greater likelihood that the SNP would lose seats rather than gain the three non-SNP seats and so Theresa May convinced herself it was worth the risk.

We must hope she seeks wiser council in whatever time she has left as Prime Minister and leader of the Tory Party.
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magister ludi
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Joined: 13 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casting my mind back, I recall that Mrs May was originally talking about a Brexit that took account of the views of all parts of the UK and in particular that of the devolved nations.  Very quickly after she became PM she came to Edinburgh to talk with the FM and that was then very much the noises that were being made.
Either Mrs May was being entirely insincere, or something happened to change her opinion.  It's quite possible that Mrs Mays instincts and inclinations to be consultative were undermined by the European Research Group (ERG) the hard line awkward squad within her own party.
I don't really rate Mrs May but I don't think she's dishonest or insincere.
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Yorkshire Tyke
Standing in a Council Ward


Joined: 29 Nov 2013
Posts: 434


Location: Perth

PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

magister ludi wrote:
I don't really rate Mrs May but I don't think she's dishonest or insincere.


I agree. I would go further and say that the same assessment applies to Jeremy Corbyn. He, at least, fought two leadership elections and won a clear majority in both. This is more than can be said of either Theresa May or Nicola Sturgeon who both became unopposed leaders of their respective parties.

I rate Nicola Sturgeon as an effective politician and communicator but, remembering how she and Alex Salmond performed in the run-up to the Scottish Independence Referendum of 2014, I reserve judgement on her other qualities.

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