LONDON LETTER: Living in interesting times

FIRST, my predictions are always wrong. Just as I never guessed Trump would triumph, let alone Brexit, I didn’t for a moment think the Tory Prime Minister Theresa May would idiotically fritter away her parliamentary majority.

The second observation is that throughout the First World, the middle ground is hollowing out.

People’s attitudes and antipathies – particularly on the left – are hardening quicker than fast-drying cement.

This was pretty obvious on 8 June when May got the highest percentage of the popular vote for the

Tories since Maggie Thatcher, yet still squandered a majority-seat win.

May is a milquetoast Tory. She once famously called the Conservatives ‘The Nasty Party’, and although she meant it as perception rather than reality, she provided a golden bullet that her opponents could – and did – fire at will.

She is also, by right-of-centre standards, soft on terrorism. She was in charge of security before becoming Prime Minister, and under her watch there are now 23 000 hardcore ISIS followers in Britain.

Deportation orders are rarely enforced and no Brit-passport ISIS fighter returning from Syria has been charged with treason, despite taking up arms against their country.

In fact, they are meekly allowed back, where many continue to scrounge State benefits while plotting more murder of host-nation citizens.

That’s the most puzzling aspect of this election. In the weeks beforehand, England suffered the worst terror attacks since the 2005 7 July tube bombings.

In the first, the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, 22 people – mainly teenager girls – were shredded by a nail bomb and 59 injured.

In the second, eight people were killed and 48 injured around London Bridge.

So you would’ve thought that with 30 innocents still warm in their coffins, security and terrorism would have topped the election agenda.

Especially as the topic is an open goal for May as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has supported every one of Britain’s enemies since 1960 – from Argentine’s General Galtieri in the Falklands War, to the IRA and Hamas.

He believes ISIS fighters are just friends we haven’t hugged.

Yet instead of choosing that as a battleground, Ms May brought out a bizarre manifesto pledging an open vote on fox hunting that few care about, a lock on pensions, which the lefties disingenuously dubbed ‘dementia tax’, and re-introducing quality grammar schools, which is a red rag for those who consider any tampering with education to be elitist.


Robbing the rich

She blathered on about ‘equal outcomes’ which is meat and drink to hardcore socialists who believe equality means robbing the rich.

So instead of fighting on Tory strengths – strong economy, tough on terror, and a bulldog on Brexit – she blew massive political capital trying to be cuddlier than deranged socialists.

You can look at this election in two ways.

For Tory optimists, they won with the second highest percentage of the popular poll in their history and gained 2.4-million extra votes since David Cameron was in charge.

For Labour self-deluders, they ‘won’ despite being 56 seats shy. Their logic is that victory means forcing the Tories to do a deal with Irish Protestant nationalists.

Or you can look at it like this. The combined left-of centre vote tallied 16 727 854. Right of centre got 14 577 088.

So however you spin it, more than two million more people voted for the left, varying from eccentric socialists to hardcore Marxists. In a proportional representative system, the Tories would’ve been hammered.

That, for me, is the reality. The flabby centre is collapsing. Brexit was a vote against the elitist establishment. So was Trump.

Corbyn’s increase is the flip side.

So why Theresa May chose tired milquetoast policies as a fight for new ideas beggars belief.

Okay, she won the most seats, but if she had campaigned on real issues – European Union, hate spewing terrorists and unassimilated immigration – I think she could have got the majority she desperately craved.

As far as public perception goes, she lost.

The shadows are lengthening. If Labour under Corbyn win next time, the UK will never be the same again. Demographically, economically and culturally, the country will be irreversibly changed.

We live in interesting times.

Graham Spence

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