Interesting Times

Harold Wilson famously said that a week is a long time in politics. The events of the last seven days have proved him right as the political landscape of the UK seems to be changing. That the UK is poised to leave the European Union has almost become lost among everything else that has happened.

The fact that Scotland voted to remain has led to the SNP calling for Scotland to have a its own arrangement with the EU as well as raising the prospect of a second referendum on Scottish Independence. Northern Ireland also seems to be rethinking its relationship with the rest of the UK. There have even been some suggestions that London, which also voted to remain, might seek greater autonomy from the rest of England.

Of course, David Cameron has resigned as PM, triggering a Tory leadership election. Meanwhile the majority of Labour MPs have declared that they are unwilling to accept Jeremy Corbyn as their Leader.

Some of the leading Brexiters now seem to be having second thoughts and have hinted that they may favour a second referendum if a new deal with Europe can be negotiated.

The media have, not surprisingly, found it difficult to keep up with events. The good news for them is that print sales have increased by 20 per cent in the last week. In the confused political landscape, the traditional political loyalties of the national press have become blurred.

Even England’s Euro 2016 defeat at the hands of Iceland and the subsequent resignation of the team manager didn’t result in the pun laden headlines that we might have expected. However, social media did rise to the challenge, with Poundland 1 – Iceland 2 being my particular favourite.

To summarise, in the near future we might have another referendum on EU membership, we might have another referendum on Scottish Independence, we might have an early General Election, we might have a new Leader of the Opposition, we will have a new England manager and we will have a new Prime Minister. As the old Chinese curse put it, may you live in interesting times.




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