In the run up to last Thursday’s UK election there were some anxious moments when the possibility of a Corbyn-led government loomed as the polls shifted in Labour’s favour.
Bearing in mind the inaccuracy of the polls over the past few elections, anything was possible, so I woke early on Friday morning to tune into the coverage on Sky News and was hugely relieved to see Boris and the Tories heading for victory.
By the time the final results came out it was quite clear that the Corbynistas had been well and truly trounced, that Boris had an unpredicted clear majority in the House and that the wishy washy Lib Dems would be looking around for a new leader since Jo Swinson didn’t even retain her seat.
For years, the Lib Dem vote has been a sort of protest vote for people who couldn’t decide who else to vote for or who wanted to express disgust with the current political system. Nobody ever expects them to come to power and Jo Swinson’s pre-election comment about becoming prime minister belongs in the fantasy cupboard along with Cyril’s dreams of bullet trains and new skyscraper cities.
Lord Peter Hain (a Labour peer) was interviewed on one of our radio stations and grumpily commented that the Tory victory was simply a case of the electorate being forced to choose between two awful candidates and plumping for the least bad. Since this Labour performance is the most disastrous since 1935 and the Tory landslide is on a par with Maggie Thatcher’s 1980s victories, I’m not sure that holds true.
This election clearly demonstrated two things. One, that the Brits want to get Brexit done and dusted, and, two, that Corbyn’s barmy socialist proposals scared the hell out of even the most traditional Labour voter. Not even the promise of free broadband for all could woo them. John McDonnell, the rabid Marxist shadow chancellor, was clearly shocked by the result but not half as shocked as his countrymen would have been if Labour had come to power. Now all that remains is for Corbyn and McDonnell to slink off into the shadows as Labour attempts to reform and shake off the debilitating control of the unions once again.
The best thing about this election result is that it makes any discussion of a second Brexit referendum irrelevant. The people have clearly accepted that they need to leave the EU and that Boris is the man to see that through. Since 2017, negotiations with the EU have been frustratingly difficult because the unelected poobahs in Brussels have known that they were dealing from a position of strength with a government without a house majority. That has all changed now and Boris and his team are in a much better position to call the shots, particularly as he doesn’t have to worry about fighting an election for another five years.
Like him or loathe him, one thing you can’t accuse Boris Johnson of is lacking determination and the will to get the job done. Britain can now look forward to a prosperous and more decisive future and about time after languishing for years in the political wilderness.
If only we could say the same in South Africa. As we slid from Stage 4 load-shedding into the even more catastrophic Stage 6, somebody obviously told Cyril that it might be a good idea if he curtailed his trip down the Nile and came back to sort things out. Apparently he was in Egypt to attend a forum on peace in that country, which seems a bit odd given the violent nature of our own society.
Many years ago I heard the term ‘substitute activities’ to describe the sort of things corporate types get up to to look busy while avoiding the job they were actually employed to do. Cyril seems a master of the art and is frequently off addressing this or that conference and swanning all over the world when what we really need is strong leadership here at home. And boy, do we need it.
Anyway, on his return from Egypt he performed a miracle worthy of the Old Testament, so perhaps the trip wasn’t in vain. Suddenly the coal was no longer wet and the power stations were no longer flooded (the two reasons we were told for the scarce supply of electricity) and we were almost back to normal. Furthermore, we were promised that there would be no more load-shedding over the festive season and well into January. Admittedly, industrial demand would tend to fall at this time of year, which would help the supply side, but only a few days ago we were assured that the entire grid would be at risk if we didn’t load-shed and now it’s all hunky dory.
Which makes one wonder if the whole thing wasn’t stage-managed by the spin doctors to make Cyril look good. After all, it’s not been an easy year, with SAA going onto life support and most SOEs in ailing financial health not to mention the daily reports of yet more millions stolen by ANC gangsters.
So why not spook the entire nation with load-shedding (which is a democratic way to spook the rich and poor of all colours) and then let our hero ride home to wave a wand and make the nasty darkness go away. Just a thought.
Best to have a back-up plan too, though, and the Alec Erwin book of wisdom offered the time honoured explanation of ‘sabotage’ which is a variant on the ‘third force’ excuse which is always trotted out when the ANC is under pressure. Since no evidence of sabotage has been offered as yet we must assume that it is so subtle as to be difficult to pinpoint. However, this being the season of goodwill and all that I suppose we must accept that if the Pres says it was sabotage then sabotage it was.
Let’s hope they catch the culprits soon.
The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of the IRR.
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