Dear Partners in thought,
Reading about the economic programme of a potential Labour Government, it is clear that Boris Johnson cannot believe his good fortune – at first glance. A Labor Government following a Labour win in a snap general election would confiscate GBP 300bn of shares in 7,000 large companies and give them to workers, while it would provide a “right to buy” scheme for private tenants and tax landlords more highly – all while creating the most leftwing economic approach (management would not apply) in modern Western history. When contemplating the two main parties and thinking about the demise of traditional Western parties (a previous Interlude) one might wonder what is happening to Britain between her rock and her hard place. On one hand splendid isolation, economic decline and reduced clout at all levels. On the other, probably the same (if Brexit, especially of the hard kind, goes ahead) and return to quasi-Marxist times led by the great leadership we know (covered in a previous Book Note). One may also wonder if Labour’s economic policy grandstanding does not hide a desire to stay in opposition so unlikely they would actually win any election on that extreme platform. Theirs is certainly not the best way to win a general election, even facing a Conservative Party led by zealots that lost its soul and moorings.
Such a dismal choice for British voters makes us think about what happened in France in 2017. The two leading “government” parties that had commanded 80%+ of all votes for decades did not make it to the last round of the presidential elections and the unknown Macron was elected against all odds. Those two main centre-left and centre-right parties continued their journey to oblivion, gathering together 15% of the votes in the European parliamentary elections last May. Clearly there may not be an Emmanuel Macron in Britain yet. However the Lib-Dems, pro-EU (even if it might be too late), led by a woman (not only reflecting our times but going back to some good times for Britain), could become a Macron-like movement, seizing the opportunity presented by two abysmal parties that no longer represent the British people (“Extremist” BoJo “elected” PM by 90,000 party members and two-thirds of Labour voters being center left). Even if Brexit were to happen through the autocratic decision of a PM who played with core values that were Britain, a LibDem victory (with Green support) that would be backed by a moderate cross-old party drive could make a great difference on the future of Britain. And even if they would not win with an outright majority due to the tight schedule involved to get their message across, they could be a senior partner in a LibDem-Labor coalition with the junior partner having had to put some water in their Leninist vodka.
The LibDems (with Green support), if given a chance and the great opportunity presented to them, could be the French Macron.