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  • Writer's pictureJohn Woodman

Turkeys Voting For Christmas

At long last it would seem that the long suffering electorate are being granted their wish to see the back of this interminable Parliament now long past its sell-by date.

Hopefully many (if not most) of the talking heads dominating our news night after night with self-righteous utterings over the past three torturous years will be swept away by a tide of indignation and pent up frustration by voters of all denominations and persuasions.

The country has been bereft of effective government since the abrupt departure of Mr Cameron washing his hands on the doorstep of Ten Downing Street after two fingers in the air result of the nation's Referendum on Britain's Membership of the EU. A Referendum - Cameron called in a (vain) effort to lance the boil of his Party's increasing discord over that very issue.

Cameron's successor, ill-suited to political leadership at almost any level, annointed by a bevy of Tory Parliamentarians and Conservative Associations around the country, managed to frustrate both sides of her Party almost effortlessly. Whilst the Labour Party wrung its hands at taking a stand, any stand, on the Referendum result. Desirous of retaining the support of mainly Remaining Labour constituencies to the south, and at the same time tugging a forelock in the direction of the Brexit constituency majorities elsewhere (mostly in the Midlands and the North of England) - Labour satisfied neither of these elements.

Northern Ireland's power sharing Democratic Unionists hugged the resulting Conservative and Unionist leadership understandably concerned at strategic implications of changes to the ever delicate balance of political and social acceptance in the island of Ireland (as it is quaintly termed these days). Scotland's rampant nationalists sensing opportunities from volatility in Westminster's politics - reinforced their incessant mantra of a second independence referendum for Scotland notwithstanding recorded dilution of public support north of Carlisle. The pompous blow hard SNP leader in Parliament managed to diminish both goodwill and support for his Party, whenever he caught the Speaker's eye.

The Welsh Assembly adopted a me-too approach but more muted and less strident than that of their Scottish counterparts. And then there are the Liberal Democrats, again with a new Party Leader all too eager to demonstrate her views and approach to Brexit - No No No : with disdain for any consultative and collegiate discourse. Aided and abetted by a mix of carpet baggers exiled from the Tory benches; plus a smattering of independent minded MPs of mixed pedigree, the LibDems hoisted their yellow banner on to the Brussels flagstaff and made ready to yet again mismanage a possible junior partnership in the next UK coalition. With its shrill denunciations, threats and bluster, this Party represents little more than the 'None of the Above' vote at the Polls. A sort of political cooperative ever eager to talk the talk, but wholly out of its depth beyond a conference table.

We come now to the Brexit Party - the party the establishment loves to hate. Having almost single handedly pushed the UK into questioning this country's future relationship with the European Union into a full on political fistfight - Mr Farage will be taking to the hustings shortly with a political machine in place - pursuing the case for 'Brexit No Strings Attached'. Untested at national level in a General Election - but undoubtedly with seeming ability to connect with the 52% of voters spurred on by the thought of this country getting away from the grip of Brussels - this politician manages to espouse the case for millions with simple rationale and adroit critique. The new Brexit Party could very well play an influencing role in December frustrating both Labour, Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats in constituencies where the sentiment for leaving the EU is explicit; as is widespread public anger at the machinations of oversmart legal professionals playing wordgame tactics in Westminster to frustrate policy.

Most recently we have seen these antics close up with Court Hearings in London and Edinburgh brought by 'appellants'? dissatisfied with how Parliament and a handicapped UK Government (in name only) is pursuing the mandated objective of leaving the EU. The Dominic Grieve school of parliamentary engagement attracts other MPs with legal backgrounds - prepared to ignore the voting majority of their constituents and pursue a contrary course to deter or block Brexit by any means. Then there are those who opt to play parliamentary chairs by changing Party affiliation more or less at the drop of their hat without allowing their constituency voters to first approve (or disapprove) such decisions. The voters be damned. This is how low our political system has sunk. And of course there are postal ballots and widespread evidence of outright fraud and illegality to assure a particular Candidate is assured of his or her nomination.

Much to ponder (and act on) when a new and invigorated Parliament emerges from this broken political set up we have tolerated for far too long - where foxes have been allowed to manage the hen roost over decades going back in time.

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