10 Apr

Interesting Times

Cameron’s poor judgment throughout the Maria Miller fiasco is only the latest episode in a whole series which has underscored the prime minister’s reputation for weakness. The fact that (it appears) Miller’s sacking was orchestrated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer – and from Brazil, at that! – makes Cameron’s dithering look even worse. It looks as if Cameron’s ambitions have become irrecoverable and there are multiple causes of his unpopularity. First, as the leader of a government which has been in office for the last four years, he is the politician most associated with the recession. Secondly, despite appearances, there is still a sizeable rump of traditional Tories who will never again vote for the party after the introduction of homosexual marriage. And then there is the rise of UKIP and its burgeoning popularity among the white working class. This class must be differentiated from the underclass. And workers’ annoyance at receiving less through their wages than many denizens of the underclass receive in benefits is palpable.

We do deserve the underclass – after all we are paying for it.

I think that the near future – next month’s European elections and the general election next year – will see the biggest political upheaval in Britain since Maggie. The crucial question is of who will benefit more from Cameron’s discomfiture: Ed Miliband or Nigel Farage. Just now it looks as if the likely outcome will be that UKIP will split support for the so called “right” and let Labour in. If that happens then the consequences will be worse even than they would have been in 1992 had Kinnock won. For the sort of government we should expect from Miliband, we must look to the European politician he most admires: the doctrinaire socialist Francois Hollande who has been busy these last few years ruining France.

The future looks very interesting – and very painful.