Come what May

Rather sooner than expected we have a new Prime Minister; Theresa May has ascended to the top job in a fashion that, even for this country, seems astonishingly undemocratic. The chaotic state of the opposition may incline her towards seeking a personal mandate by way of an early election, but, given that her predecessor exited after an ill-judged consultation of the population, I suspect that is a temptation she will resist.

One of May’s first actions has been to appoint her erstwhile opponent Boris Johnson to the post of Foreign Secretary, presumably working on the principal that one should keep one’s friends close, and one’s enemies closer. Still, it seems like a risky choice; Johnson’s decidedly undiplomatic style will probably have us at war with half of Europe before the month is out.

Obscure future

Well, for about 109 minutes there it looked like I might have finally produced an accurate football tournament prediction, but no luck, for me nor France.

My political forecasting skills are not much better; despite my confident assertion that Boris Johnson would be the next Prime Minister he didn’t even make it on to the ballot. Instead we are to have a female premier, which sounds like it should be progressive, but neither Theresa May nor Andrea Leadsom are exactly hard-core feminists, so perhaps not.

There had been talk of an early election, but that possibility seems to be receding, and with it hopes that Brexit could be averted by some sort of democratic means. There are a couple of legal cases pending that seek to overturn the referendum result, but, aghast as I was at the leave vote, I would hesitate to change the outcome by such a method, since it would only drive already alienated sections of the population into the arms of the far-right.

I guess we just have to play the long game; as the Chilcot Report has shown, progressive positions are usually vindicated with the passage of time, even if it is years too late to make any difference.