Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I tend to take almost all politician's talk with a large grain of salt, but what they do can be a lot more instructive. So far De Pfeffle has sacked 17 ministers, many of whom didn't even bother to wait to be sacked, they couldn't stomach working for him. And then he has the gall to announce that he has selected a cabinet of all talents and that his prime goal is to unify the country...

But perhaps his most significant appointment - along with Raab as his deputy - is that of Dominic Cummings as his "senior adviser". As you say it means that he is in permanent campaign mode and that policies and EU negotiations don't matter. Expect to see an outraged De Pfeffle go to the country when the EU refuses to lie down and die, and Parliament fails to support his latest wheeze.

That is when the UK will face the greatest test of its somewhat crude democracy. De Pfeffle will try to crush the Brexit Party but can Labour and the Lib Dems agree an electoral pact where the party in third place in the 2017 election withdraws its candidate in a particular constituency in favour of the party in second place?

An electoral pact doesn't imply complete policy alignment or an attempt at coalition building, but simply an attempt to get over the vagaries of a FPTP system where a party with 25% of the vote can win the seat if the other main parties in a multi-party system share the vote evenly enough to ensure no one reaches 25%.

At the moment based on current opinion polls and discounting the current Tory and Lib Dem new leader bounces, it would not be unreasonable to surmise that the party vote shares in the Next General elections would be something like: Tories, 25%, Labour 25%, Lib Dems 20%, Brexit 15%, Greens 8% and others 7%.

Crazy as it may seem, that could be sufficient for a Labour party overall majority if Labour and Lib Dems didn't run candidates against each other in winnable constituencies and agreed to campaign locally on behalf of the candidate whose party was in second place last time around. The Liberals would also stand a reasonable chance of becoming the largest opposition party. Both would therefore have a powerful incentive to form a pact in order to defeat a no-deal Brexit.

But would they have the vision and organisational cohesion to do so? Would narrow party self-interest and the actions of disgruntled deselected but no hope candidates in particular constituencies be sufficient to hand victory to the default no-deal Brexit option? Is disgust with De Pfeffle and fear of no deal sufficient to unite the opposition? A real test of British politics and democracy awaits...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 26th, 2019 at 10:23:26 AM EST

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