After continually denying that she would do so, Theresa May “surprised” the World by announcing a snap general election on the 8th June. The announcement was, however, anything but a “surprise”. Given the recent polls showing the Conservative party leading with a huge majority, it was inevitable that they would be unable to resist the temptation of positioning themselves for even greater power in government. After repeated U-Turns and back-tracking on her word, it is also now expected that Theresa May will do the exact opposite of anything she says she is going to do.
We currently have a government with majority of power, led by a woman who has no discernible moral compass or convictions in her beliefs. Initially a Remain campaigner, Theresa May is now the chief driver of an unnecessarily devastating hard Brexit that will drive our country off a cliff edge, with apparently no consideration for her previous stance. In her first speech as prime minister she claimed she would “fight against the burning injustice that if you’re poor you will die on average 9 years earlier” and to stand up for the people in society who are “just managing”. She has subsequently brought in some of the most divisive policies, such as Grammar Schools, whilst also seemingly ignoring the crisis in the NHS and cutting funding for the already underfunded mental health services. It seems apparent that she either doesn’t understand, or doesn’t care that the people who are “just managing” are those who can’t afford extra tuition to get their children through the Grammar School entrance exams and they are also the people who are struggling to support family members who are suffering from mental health problems because of inadequate treatment on the NHS. Theresa May is acting against expert advice and creating more division and greater inequality in society, making pathetic excuses to reduce tax rates on high earners, in order to protect the interests of the privileged few who already have more than most people could ever dream of achieving. A Prime Minister for the People, she most certainly is not.
The supposed reasons for calling the General Election are questionable at best. She claims she wants to “strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations”, when she already has a clear mandate from the EU Referendum to plough ahead with her damaging proposals. She has made the outrageous and dumbfounding statement that “the country is coming together, but Westminster is not.” To which the only appropriate response is to cry “Bullshit” and throw your remote at the TV, smash your computer screen or burn whichever newspaper you have read this ludicrously absurd statement in. The country is categorically NOT “coming together”, we are more divided than ever and it is her stubborn minded arrogant approach to Brexit and total inability to compromise that is causing this situation.
There are several more likely reasons for calling the election 2 years early; First of all is the Labour party’s chronic ratings in the polls, as the Tory’s can’t resist the temptation of monopolising their power in government. Jeremy Corbyn is an absolute car crash of a political leader and it is having devastating impacts on the labour party’s PR. We can only hope that the polls are entirely inaccurate, as they have proven in recent votes, and the conservatives won’t win with a huge majority. The second reason is because the extent of the devastating impact of Brexit has not yet been realised. The economy has faired well over the last year, as we haven’t actually left the European Union yet, so the impact of the vote is yet to be felt by British businesses and workers. Moreover, it will become increasingly apparent that the European Union aren’t going to let Theresa May negotiate anything other than a bad Brexit deal, so best to get the General Election out of the way before everyone realises the Tory party are going to leave us with WTO regulations and a trashed economy. A third reason, similar to last year’s referendum, is that students and young people, living away from home will be far less likely to register and vote during their most stressful exam period. Young people are the generation that will be most damaged by the Conservative party policies and can see through Theresa May’s charade, however most are so disaffected by politics that they won’t bother making the effort to vote only to be snubbed yet again by rich, privileged Tory pensioners.
The Snap General Election has been called by the Tories in order that they may abuse a system that already gives them an unfair advantage over other political parties. Rather than focussing on the real issues of the NHS and education, we are wasting millions and millions of pounds on another unnecessary election. I think it is fundamentally wrong that the party in power can decide to call an early election at an opportune moment to position themselves for even greater power. Until governments last for fixed term and are elected using a PR voting system, then we will not have experience a true democracy in this country. The future of politics has got to be about coalition and compromise, not dictatorship, bloody-mindedness and abuse of the system.