A Week in Parliament

So parliament has started back after recess not with a bang, but a limp whimper. With Theresa May announcing her planned resignation, then this confirms the ongoing Brexit paralysis of Westminster. With the Tory party now solely focussed on the appointment of their new leader, then Parliament will continue in this state until July 22nd. It means the business is filled with general debates, backbench business and opposition day debates. These do offer opportunities for debates on important subjects. However, it means no binding Government votes, and all legislation on hold.

Worse, with the Zombie Parliament to continue into July, there will likely still be a summer recess at the end of July/beginning of August. September/October will still have the 3 week recess for the Party Conference season, so suddenly we could arrive at the next Brexit cut-off date of October 31st without much happening in Parliament. It also means all those Tory candidates talking about renegotiating with the EU or just leaving without a deal in October haven’t given a moment’s notice to the practicalities from a parliamentary perspective. Which puts into question their suitability to be Prime Minister.

Trump Visit

So President Trump visits and not surprisingly he claims that for any trade deal with the US, the “NHS is on the table”. This was to be fair, denied by Theresa May and then some other Government figures. However, it shows the reality of thinking a trade deal can be negotiated with the US, which is somehow loaded in the favour of the UK. With other senior Tories often supporting part privatisation (or the requirement for health insurance) then we should be worried about the future implications of post Brexit trade deals. With Nigel Farage coming to prominence again, we should also note he is in favour of a private healthcare system. Farage may pretend he is anti-establishment but he is a compete capitalist and actually wants to operate under as few rules as possible so the rich can get as rich as possible at the expense of the rest of society. Many leavers claim Brexit will allow opportunities for growth and for the UK to become “Great “ again. The reality is many of the opportunities they foresee are for themselves and associated companies. We should never lose sight of these matters.

Peterborough By-Election

The Brexit Party won the European elections in England and Wales, and came close to electing their first MP in the Peterborough by-election. Not bad for a new party with no manifesto, and no policies other than demanding the UK leaves the EU! In all seriousness this is alarming. Politics is very volatile just now, and opinion polls are a mere snapshot in time. However, some opinion polls show that if a snap general election was held, then the Brexit Party could in theory be the biggest party at Westminster and therefore Nigel Farage Prime Minister. A party and a Prime Minister with no social policies, no costed proposals to run the UK? It does not seem credible but this is the where the failed UK political system is.