Efforts to divert attention don’t come more polluted than ashamed Boris Johnson’s election ploy and this is an incompetent Prime Minister who by his own words should be rotting in a ditch after declaring his pledge to leave the EU on Halloween is a Tory fright show.
Of course, his demands are a smokescreen to conceal his latest defeat and he’s so inept he can’t get an election or should that be an erection! And Jeremy Corbyn ordering his troops to abstain again means Boris Johnson will crash a third time to get his necessary two-thirds majority in Parliament.
Yes, Jeremy Corbyn might look like a chicken, but better that than being a turkey gambling a vote for Christmas and we should question whether the Tory Grinch wants an immediate election campaign.
The privileged Old Etonian entitled rich boy Boris Johnson wanted to have his cake and eat it, demanding Labour give him an easy timetable to deliver Brexit and that election and Jeremy Corbyn was right to hold fire and as the clocks went back on Sunday so Labour’s extensive army of foot soldiers would be neutralised as it’s dark by 5 pm and it would have been the first December clash since 1923.
And now the bold strategy is to challenge Boris Johnson’s defective Brexit and prepare for decision day next March and seen from a distance, Brexit Britain has resembled a bluebottle heaving itself at a pane of glass next to an unlocked window.
It’s been almost a year since Theresa May negotiated a way out of the European Union but the window wasn’t good enough for Leavers who thought they should smash the glass instead and on it went, buzzing and thudding, a country going nowhere in a frenzy.
Then Boris Johnson took over, promising deliverance by 31 October, do or die – Buzz, buzz, thud with exhaustion, defeat, frustration and lack of imagination which has ultimately brought Parliament to the verge of destruction.
It’s an erratic motive and MPs on all sides are trepidatious about a December vote and Christmas isn’t a traditional election period and it isn’t clear how kindly the voters will take to the concept.
Brexit has previously corroded traditional party allegiances and incentivised tactical polling and there’s no one pendulum rotating between blue and red and in 2017, polls at the start of the contest demonstrated a hopeless guide to the outcome.
Boris Johnson has no intention of repelling voters as efficiently as Theresa May did. He’s exceptionally better on the stump and the campaign he wants to run has been sitting in a Downing Street drawer for months anticipating activation, a presidential-style race against Jeremy Corbyn.
And No 10 tacticians surmise that Labour’s prospects would be magnified under any other leader but Boris Johnson also fancies his luck as the holder of a Brexit deal and safe exit out of the quagmire, when everyone else in the game offers more swamp.
But many Tories are worried about this plan and a promise to deliver Brexit isn’t the same as Brexit delivered and even Boris Johnson’s promises aren’t a high-value coin.
Even his most familiar allies hesitate to list integrity and consistency amongst his qualities and there’s also scepticism around his supposed electoral attraction and it’s never been tested in Labour heartland seats where, in speculation, Leave votes are up for grabs.
There’s also a cultural inoculation against Tories in those parts that pre-dates Brexit and in Scotland, the blustering Etonian shtick is a hindrance on a paltry Tory Brand.
Factor in a departure of pro-Europeans to the Liberal Democrats and it gets pretty hard to map Boris Johnson’s route to a majority and Jeremy Corbyn’s path is even harder, which is why many Labour MPs resisted the election and some of them further believe he’s unfit for Downing Street and dread having to pretend he should be Prime Minister, regardless of whether they believe it can happen.
The maestro himself enjoys a campaign because that’s the kind of politics he can do but Jeremy Corbyn would sooner be in a town hall, firing up the faithful with desperate warnings about Tories and the NHS than cooped up in Parliament with a convoluted Brexit position.
Labour misanthropes hypothesise that their leader would sooner fight and fail than delay, better martyrdom in the electoral campaign than suffocation in the Commons because the Corbynite faithful expect their champion’s willingness to come alive in the exhilarating air of an election.
Even Tories who believe Boris Johnson’s gamble will work acknowledge that it’s precarious because no one has a clue how a December vote will play out, which would be something to rejoice if there was also a way to believe the air would be clearer following the aftermath.
There ought to be something exciting about a roll of the democratic dice, yet there’s a depressing gloom over the whole enterprise.
Activists would sooner be pounding the streets in the spring sunlight, but winter weather isn’t going to hinder the hardcore. Furthermore, a lot of the message delivery these days is done by algorithms that don’t feel the chill and the sense of dark foreboding in Westminster isn’t meteorological.
Boris Johnson’s Britain and Jeremy Corbyn’s Britain are hugely diverse countries, on starkly diverging paths. Each one contains millions of contestants who will feel more like protesters under an antagonistic ideological regime than citizens under a government they happened not to want.
Also feasible is a Parliament in which forces are as finely tuned as they are now and few MPs expect a vote to determine the economic or political difficulties caused by the decision to leave the EU.
None thinks it will accelerate cultural agreement between those who necessitate Brexit at any price and those who want it abandoned, and the tenor of British politics in recent years hardly spurs belief that a campaign will illuminate the issues or promote a sense of understanding.
And even if headline campaign messages were positive and election law forced a vulgar perspective on broadcast communications, the uncontrolled digital platform would host a grim gladiatorial free-for-all.
The turbines of radicalisation and polarisation that inspire hyper-partisan politics on and offline are revving strong already and it’s a more haunting sound than the needling buzz of the continual Brexit stay.
And the dread of an indecisive result isn’t a reason to avoid an election and it would be unreasonable if we were only called to vote when a landslide outcome was guaranteed.
Parliament is stuck and dissolution is what the constitution prescribes to restart it but electoral uncertainty shouldn’t be cause for alarm in a mature democracy and true democrats don’t shy away from a polling booth.
However, it’s difficult to shake the fear that British politics will be even more hostile and more divided following an election campaign than it is now and no one imagines there’s a result to please everyone.
There must be winners and losers.
Democracy doesn’t require consensus, but it does require losers to accept the authority of winners and winners to recognise the legitimate concerns of losers.
That’s the quality that’s been destroyed by the past few years. The problem is not our failure to reach agreement over Brexit but the gloomy obscuration over an election is cast by the breakdown of our politics to perform in a state of civil disagreement.
So, now there’s going to be a Christmas election and Boris Johnson, Cummings and Rees Mogg are going to be the three wise men bringing cold, frank intent and murk.
Sadly, we’re shuffling the pack of cards on the off chance that we’ll get a better hand next time around and that’s the fundamental principle of democracy, living in the belief that the next batch of shysters will be slightly less rubbish than before and a vote for Boris Johnson is like buying a lottery ticket to lose your job.
And it’s easy for Boris Johnson to win, all he needs to do is drive around the country in a big red bus, with a great big lie printed on the side of it, it’s worked once already and Pandora’s Box has been opened.
And Boris Johnson should stop opportunistically trashing for political gain, he should stop cheapening with his dishonesty, hollow assurances and belligerent repetition and stop using every dishonest trick in the book to evade democratic inspection.
Nevertheless, Boris Johnson is quite fortunate in the same way that Theresa May was, by having Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the opposition.
Boris Johnson would have a rather different ride if Tony Blair was challenging him at the dispatch box but of course, we shouldn’t be knocking Jeremy Corbyn, there are some aspects of his character that we should admire.
However, Jeremy Corbyn isn’t charismatic, he’s not dynamic, he’s humourless, he’s terrible at handling the media and the press and he’s not a player and this matters a lot during an election campaign.
Boris Johnson will probably do well at the General Election and he’ll clean up all of the Brexit Party votes and he’ll mop up the Labour Leave votes.
He’ll also have the full strength of the Conservative party behind him and most of the British press, certainly the zealous right-wing press who will be pitiless against Jeremy Corbyn.
That’s a sizeable advantage and Jo Swinson and the LibDems could become the next opposition which suggests that Boris Johnson could still be remaining as Prime Minister.