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Election 2017: In hindsight, 'Let's stop blaming May'

SHAMED: The Prime Minister's former joint chiefs of staff, Nick Timothy (left) and Fiona Hill resigned after widespread criticism of the Conservative election campaign

AS THE dust settles on the 2017 UK election chickens are coming home to roost.

A respected friend of mine who will remain nameless (thanks, Olu) posted the following words:

hubris, hjuːbrɪs/ noun, excessive pride or self-confidence:

"the self-assured hubris among economists was shaken in the late 1980s"

synonyms: arrogance, conceit, conceitedness, haughtiness, pride, vanity, self-importance, self-conceit, pomposity, superciliousness, feeling of superiority,

(in Greek tragedy) excessive pride towards or defiance of the gods, leading to nemesis.

will soon be a picture of Theresa May right next to this definition as no explanation will be necessary.” (Olu Alake)

Theresa May and the Conservative Party miscalculated. Sure, people are blaming May for calling the election, but don’t be fooled, the calling of an election at a time of such uncertainty is something no one person can do. So let’s stop blaming just Theresa May.


LOFTY AMBITION: Prime Minister Theresa May

Hubris runs deep in the Conservative camp. Just think about the events leading-up to Friday.

In 2010 David Cameron Fails to win an outright majority and forms a government with the hapless Lib Dems. Dazzled by the reins of power the Lib Dems roll over and allow themselves to be blamed for every Tory decision. Result? In 2015 The Tories win a small but working majority at the next election.

Like all PMs, David Cameron wanted a majority. So in order to win that election, the Conservatives point their party to the right, the far right, and successfully attempt to win back supporters lost to UKIP. Central to this is the promise to hold a referendum on leaving the EU.

Well, we know what happened next. To the shock of the entire political elite the UK votes leave and from these ashes Theresa May, a remainer, became PM.

May knows she is only PM via the back door, so must assert herself before representing the UK in the most important negotiations in decades. She does a u-turn and calls a snap election. It’s a miscalculation. She does not win a majority and loses the Tories many seats. Hubris.

But what of Labour? Least we forget, they did not win, which I predicted. Well, Labour is celebrating coming second like a UK relay team. Only the Brits can celebrate second like it’s a gold medal.


LOYALTY: From left - Labour MP for Hackney Diane Abbott and party leader Jeremy Corbyn

But to be fair, Labour have produced a miracle. Many, myself included did not believe Jeremy Corbyn had the leadership qualities required for victory. I still don’t, but there are other factors at work here.

For me, one of the main things at work in this election is the backlash from the young people of the UK. All indications suggest that young people have ‘won’ this for Labour. Remember Brexit? It was the old xenophobic masses who voted to leave. Now the young people of the UK appear to have awoken and made their voices heard.

However - Labour has only Labour to blame for losing, or should I say not winning. It is a well-known fact in politics that divided parties never win. This is why the Conservatives have been as successful in recent years as they have been. They fight behind closed doors. Labour, on the other hand, went public with every disagreement. Front-benchers publicly denounced their leader and refused to serve with him even after he won two leadership elections. They refused to mention JC in their election campaign. They were absent from the campaign and left it to Diane Abbott and a handful of loyalists. One can only imagine what the Labour majority would be this morning if they had stood “strong and stable” behind their leader.


DISSATISFACTION: Central London protests against the Prime Minister's decision to court the Irish Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) took place yesterday

So here we are. Typical British unjustifiable hubris. The second place underdog is celebrated as the victor. Was it the negative media assault on Corbyn? Was it the youth slapping the old for taking us out of the EU? Was it the divisions in the Labour party? Was is the car crash manifesto from the conservatives? Was it the stone cold face of Theresa May? Was it simply the burden of years of Tory cuts and favouring the rich? Was it the widening gap between the rich and the poor? The decimation of public services? More than likely it’s a combination of these. The fact is, the Conservatives miscalculated.

Just as they miscalculated and took us out of the EU into the mess of uncertainty, with a few short days to the start of those Brexit talks they have delivered uncertainty again.

'Strong and stable' or 'weak and wobbly'? Your call. All I know is as it stands, a lame duck Prime Minister must shake off this election and get the best deal possible from a mess created by her predecessor.

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