UK politics in the last few years has been busy, since 2015 there has been a #General Election, the EU referendum and Labour have had two leadership elections. The Prime Minister has changed from David Cameron to ##theresa May after the EU referendum, following a non-contest Conservative leadership election that saw all her opponents withdraw. Article 50 has since been triggered but despite the busy schedule, Theresa May announced yesterday she would call for a general election on June 8th.
Even UKIP has changed leader twice since Nigel Farage resigned (with Farage returning as interim leader), the Green Party has brought about the UK’s first joint leadership and the Liberal Democrats gained a seat..
A snap general election
The day started subdued and after a relatively quiet week in UK politics last week, the only upheaval was America’s impending war with North Korea, Russia etc. However, after Boris Johnson’s failed attempts at the G7 summit to get sanctions on Russia, there wasn’t any other major announcements within the UK political sphere. The only announcements were a series of policies from Labour of policies from Labour over the course of the Easter weekend. But after no prior information, Downing Street announced that Theresa May would be making an announcement at 11.15am.
This caused a stir on social media and a state of confusion by every media outlet in the country. Downing Street hadn’t informed the media of any announcements or information, which they normally do. Speculation was rife with several satirical outlets capitalising on the confusion by publishing such articles as ‘Theresa May to be revealed as Margaret Thatcher’s final Horcrux’ from NewsThump.
But the BBC eventually learned from an unconfirmed source, 15 minutes prior the announcement, that May was to call a general election.
This lady is for U-turning
Their information was true and has now plunged the country into a general election on the 8th June, which is just 8 weeks to plan and campaign for a general election. Previously, Theresa May had ruled out calling for an early election and was categorically against the idea. What changed her mind? The election should have been called before Article 50 was triggered, that way each party could have set up their vision and it would have acted like a second referendum except there would have been a plan and a mandate for the next 5 years.
However, she waited until now and there is speculation over her thought processes and one of them might be the impending prosecution from the Electoral Commission but it would rely on local forces acting. The move to avoid the prosecutions could backfire on May as the MPs in question could be standing in the upcoming general election and if the prosecutions were to happen nearer June 8th then there would be no time to change who is standing and the individual will have a large black cloud over their head..
May’s already weak tenure
May is trying to capitalise on the polls showing that Labour is weak and that she could get a strong mandate for her version of Brexit. Except, the public need to be reminded that May herself campaigned for remain and even said that leaving the single market would damage the UK economy significantly. She also claimed that the UK needs strong leadership, however, she has ruled out TV debates, sparking rumours that media coverage of Labour policy will damage her chances of victory.
These underlines how weak her short tenure has already been and the damage her policies has done to UK nationally and globally, the general election is a way for May to continue to exhaust the term ‘will of the people’ to exert her ideological policy over sustainable policies for the UK. Brexit is another way of creating a memorable legacy for herself at whatever the cost, her ideology is on par with extreme Christian fundamentalists and has no care for the most vulnerable within society.