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Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The Edge of the Cliff?

There is just a possibility that Labour could be the largest party in the Commons on Friday; which would lead to talk of 'agreements' with the Scots Nationalists and [just possibly] a coalition with any Liberal Democrats who make it past the electoral hurdle that is to come. There is a greater probability that the Tories will be the largest party; perhaps, even, with an overall majority.

Mrs May has shown herself to be anything but 'strong and stable' and she has virtually excluded her colleagues from campaigning on a national scale. Her biggest ally, in my view, is Diane Abbot, whose utterly crass performance has shown the disbenefits of positive discrimination. May's biggest failure is not the vacillation on security that has embarrassed the entire country in the last days of the campaign, but her total failure to understand the crucial economic issues that will overwhelm any incoming government.

The precarious condition of the Health Service will become conspicuous in every community, just at the same time as the substantive cuts to school budgets affect every parent and grandparent in the country. Massive protests will spontaneously appear, and communities will take kinds of 'direct action' that will be entirely new [and alien] to the UK. If the Tories are in power, they will have to abandon the Osborne austerity. If Labour are the apparent winners, they will not be able to implement their manifesto promises quickly enough to prevent tragedies occurring. As the pound sinks in external value, prices will rise and that will massively increase the obvious underfunding of the essential services.

The next government will not rule: it will be subject to events. Neither set of leaders has displayed the capability to cope with the complex of problems that will overwhelm them. The civil service has been demoralised and stretched thinly: any contingency plans that they have been able to elaborate will be inadequate: and there are no real resources to allocate to them.

Hence a government of either party, or a squalidly shaky coalition, or even a 'grand coalition' will have no alternative: they will have to fund more police, more military, at least the existing numbers of doctors and nurses and beds, and the same cohort of teachers and other school staff. This can only be done by raiding the 'money tree': inflating the money supply. This will accelerate the rises in prices that will come from the diminished external exchange rate of the pound. Labour's tax policies would take far too long to implement, if they became the government, before the public finances were overwhelmed.

Whatever sort of government emerges as the 'winner', or is cobbled together over the next few weeks, will be in an incredibly weak position; and certainly not fit to press ahead with the Brexit negotiation.

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