On reflection, no, you wouldn’t…
Before and during the campaign leading to the referendum on withdrawal from the EU, it is rumoured (and widely accepted) that David Cameron refused to allow anyone in government or the civil service to contemplate, even for a second, the possibility that his (remain) side would lose.
Indeed when Nicola Sturgeon said “You could lose this, David”, he replied, “Don’t be silly”.
As a result, when the admittedly unexpected result came in not one single plan was in place.
The EU had a set of rules and regulations by which it had to act. It only had to appoint a few people to make up the negotiating team which would work within these rules and regulations.
The British side had nothing. No plan, no staff, no negotiators, no trade people, no ideas, no knowledge. No nothing.
During our referendum, I remember Alistair Darling (his nobleness) rant on and on about the YES campaign not having a Plan B if the UK government refused to allow an independent Scotland to use the pound. Of course, it would have been impossible and illegal for them to do this. But without cooperation from the British Treasury and Bank of England, it might have been awkward for Scotland. But of course, the YES campaign did have an alternative plan. It’s just that a Scottish pound, tied to the British pound made more sense both for Scotland and the UK, something which the Bank of England an anonymous government minister admitted. Having a Plan B then seemed to be incredibly important for the Brits.
Having a Plan B at that time seemed to be incredibly important for the Brits. What changed?
Now, I’m not convinced that the self-same Brits have much of a Plan A, but we now have it from the near top of the government that they haven’t prepared for anything to go wrong?
What arrogance. Can they be saying that Mrs May’s plan is so perfect there is no need for an alternative? Her history hardly suggests that that is a starter.
Can you believe this lot?
So, it’s all kicking off this morning.
There’s a vacancy for UKIP leader if anyone wants the job. Yes, I know…again!!!
Apparently he’s going to spend more time on winning the world cup and leading a manned mission to Mars in his spare time while living in some of the houses he owns but never had time to visit.
The SNP is licking its wounds having lost some truly good people. Alex Salmond, Angus Robertson are the two most high profile casualties, but there are many others who have served us well who now find themselves seatless.
It’s comforting to know that they still have more than half the seats in the London parliament. That is to say, more than the Liberals, Tories and Labour put together. And supporters need to remind themselves that there was no way ever, that they could replicate the 2015 result.
And no matter that Dugdale, Davidson and Wee Willie Rennie together with the Press and the BBC made this election about the SNP record in government in Scotland, it was not. And the SNP remains the government in our country, albeit not the one that holds the purse strings. However, no one could call it a good night for the SNP and they will need to look very carefully at how they go forward.
Jeremy Corbyn surprised everyone on the campaign trail. He drew massive crowds and seems to be the person who persuaded vast numbers of young people to go out and vote (although I heard Munguin trying to take the credit for that this morning).
In a strange election, with no clear-cut result, Corbyn is the undoubted “winner”. Dugdale may try to take some credit in Scotland, but we know that she opposed her leader every step of the way and her lieutenant, Murray, actively put him down at every opportunity.
It will be interesting to see how the right wing of the Labour party deals with a strong left-of-centre leader with electoral gains on his side. Will Dugdale and her crew take note of Corbyn and cease their endless attempts to undermine him, or will they continue with their “destroy” mission?
As for the Tories. Well, they are happy with themselves in Scotland, of course. They took some long-standing SNP seats in the North East and Mundel increased his majority, presumably because he’s done such a great job of standing up for Scots and getting us the very best possible deal from his London bosses. Or not.
Theresa May is clinging on for grim life having made a massive (but doubtless strong and stable) decision to sacrifice her slim majority to look even more strong and stable in front of all those Presidents, Chancellors and Prime Ministers, who must be chuckling a bit at how stupid she looks.
She “shook the magic money tree” that Tories can always find when they want to but the people “were clear” and said: “enough is enough”.
She has been humiliated. And more, her precious ‘united’ kingdom has been humiliated, because the EU has had to say that it is prepared to stall the beginning of the Brexit talks, scheduled to start in less than a fortnight, until Britain sorts itself out. (Note to Europe: Now is your opportunity to start reading War and Peace, like you’ve always promised yourselves.)
Will there be a coalition with the right-wing Protestant party of Northern Ireland and what price would the religious zealots demand? How will EVEL affect the arithmetic? Disgraced DUP leader Arlene Foster, whose actions caused the breakdown of the administration in Belfast, has said that she is waiting for a call.
The fact that May has said that she will not stand down means very little. It is almost certain that some of the Tories will wish to depose her. Boris Johnson was rumoured last night to be putting out feelers. She may be gone within days. (“We fight on and we fight to win”)
Unstable government at a time of crisis… and withdrawal from the EU is a time of crisis as anyone who has read anything about it knows… is unlikely to survive for a long time. So there may have to be another election within a year.
Lots of thoughts about yesterday and last night are still running around in my head and I don’t want to make this post into a second volume of War and Peace, so I’ll finish up with the thought that won’t leave me:
What an incredibly stupid, vain and incompetent woman Theresa May is, and I think I’ve realised that when she talks about being “Strong and Stable”, what she really means is “Stubborn and Awkward”.
As a kind of follow-on from the last post, I thought this was an interesting infographic from the SNP youth wing.
Not all the things mentioned will be important to you, but it’s not hard to see the contrast in the policies and to come down on one side or the other.
What kind of future do you see for yourselves? (Of course, you should remember, that Hard Brexit is only two words here, but it will affect many young people disproportionately. Forget travelling, studying abroad, Erasmus, European funding, settling down with a European partner. Think, isolated.)