Showing strong and stable leadership….

Now where have we heard that before? Can’t quite place who has just recently uttered those immortal words….the name escapes me.

Morning. Well I do have to show strong and stable leadership this morning…but only in the interests of the Peer Support group that I’m supposed to be facilitating. Can Allen Brooks manage it? We’ll see…..but one thing is for certain, I won’t be sounding like an android. 

How do I feel today? Ok, nothing special really. It is another fab day weather wise as that bright orange orb does it’s work and tries to make people happy. Got a touch of hay fever though. Like most others, my eyes are streaming, my nose is running and the amount of sneezing has increased. The joys of living in a polluted city….summer can be joyous, but it can bring it’s down side. 

We’ll see what happens at the group today. Not overly enthusiastic, but once it starts I should be ok. It’s not been the best of weeks, I’m a little bit all over the show. Strong and stable? More like weak and wobbly. And that’s the closest I’ll get to an alliterative phrase at this time of the day.

Catch you later…

Allen Brooks xx

Waddling along like a lame duck….

  

  
Five days on from the UK General Election, and the corridors of power have been redolent with the question “What happens next?”. The UK voted to have…..er….no one in charge to be honest. The country is deeply divided between Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. 

The machinations going on by Mrs May have seen Northern Ireland party the DUP (Democratic Unionists Party) prop up a weakened and minority Conservative administration. Mrs May has spent the weekend apologising to those Conservative MP’s who lost their seats, while also seeing her two campaign managers leave their posts. It’s like seeing Laurel and Hardy walk out of a film. Coalition of chaos? Indeed….

And that’s all we’ve heard from the Conservatives during this campaign. “Strong and stable leadership….coalition of chaos under Jeremy Corbyn….” Those words are being rammed mercilessly back down Theresa May’s throat.

Another Tory MP, who shall remain clueless, sorry nameless, blamed the voters for the result. Oh those pesky voters! Goodness, just so we didn’t get the result we want, let’s blame the voters, along with the youngsters who voted for Corbyn. Let’s look for spurious reasons we didn’t get an overall majority rather than blaming the real reason, Mrs May. 

The body language of both leaders at the weekend was noticeable. Mrs May was looking rather weary of the whole business, while Mr. Corbyn was relaxed and assured. But he didn’t win the election either, though he was pleased the Labour Party performed above expectations. 

I was doing some predictions of where the voters might go from here. Conservative MPs in marginal seats have a slender majority that could be wiped out if the momentum Jeremy Corbyn has engendered, continues. Labour could be the largest party, but before the champagne corks start to pop, I predict yet another hung parliament. There won’t be enough seats won by Labour for an overall majority. Again, Mr. Corbyn, like Mrs May, would have to rely on the Nationalist parties to form a weak government. Not a good situation.

I was looking at the highlights of Prime Minister’s Questions last night. After one such colourful exchange between the two party leaders, Mrs May arrogantly and cheekily derided Mr. Corbyn for “being propped up by the Scottish National Party if he came to power”. Oh, how those words are being turned back on Mrs May. Propped up by a minority Northern Ireland party. Laugh? I would do if it wasn’t so serious. 

The serious part about all this is that the country doesn’t know what to do. 42 per cent trust Mrs May to lead the country on, 40 per cent Mr. Corbyn. Meanwhile, the country’s problems continue. Nero fiddling while Rome burned. It’s a divided electorate. Town to town, county to county, region to region, people don’t know what the hell is going on, so they go straight down the middle. Can’t say I blame them to be honest. One thing I will say in conclusion is that Theresa May’s gamble of arrogantly disregarding the voters and wanting to increase the Commons majority has imploded. Big style. And also, Theresa May has a charisma bypass. That’s why the voters were put off. No personality, no substance, just repeating the same old rubbish about “strong and stable leadership” like an android.

And also, no rallying call to the voters. At least Jeremy Corbyn went round the country, trying to get people on his side. That worked, up to a point. It wasn’t that successful that Labour came to power. They didn’t. But the tide is turning. Next election, unless Corbyn does something very crass, could end up in a Labour hands. That is something Theresa May and the Conservative Party ought to be very worried about. But while Mrs May’s stubbornness continues, the momentum continues for Mr. Corbyn. There well may be the most spectacular political comeback. Who knows? Looking forward to the fun of another General Election.

Allen Brooks xx

The British support for the underdog..

  
Jeremy Corbyn’s performance at the UK General Election 2017 confounded pretty nearly everyone. A man that has always been on the fringes of his party, he has had the kitchen sink of jibes and scorn poured upon him from all sides, including those in his own party, since he became leader. 

The British love an underdog, the Davids to the Goliaths of this world. The British don’t take kindly to winners. They like to see a virtual unknown come from nowhere to take the spoils. It’s the same in sport, in fact any competition in these islands where the unfancied largely get forgotten about.

It was the same up until 10 pm last night. I didn’t think that Mr. Corbyn would even register a mild tremor on the landscape of British politics. Not for one minute did I think that the groundswell of support would grow and grow and seat after seat went a shade of red, as did those heaping scorn on Mr. Corbyn. Their faces must be as red as the Labour rose. Never write people off. It is the most obvious British trait to do, but to watch somebody overcome the odds to improve out of all recognition is an amazing achievement. 

I love that spirit he showed, the same with all underdogs, to battle all adversity and come through with integrity and dignity enhanced. That takes some doing. Mr. Corbyn’s speech at his count in Islington showed a man with a jaunty spring in his step, and with a slight hint of embarrassment and humility in his demeanour to boot.

It’s true that Jeremy Corbyn didn’t win. Another election could see some more seismic happenings. But is it beginner’s luck? Or something more planned and calculated. Something happened last night that propagated one of the most remarkable General Elections I’ve ever seen. I’d love to know what. I think we all do. Only Mr. Corbyn knows the answer. He’ll tell us in time. 

There’s a phrase “Every dog has it’s day”. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not very enthused by the Corbyn factor. But I am enthused how he has got the public talking about politics again after several years of ennui and dreariness. That takes some doing. To turn around a 20 point deficit to narrow it down to a 2 point deficit shows that new found enthusiasm. Will it wear off? Only time will tell.

Allen Brooks xx

Another fine mess…the 2017 UK General Election

  

I stayed up all night to watch the Election coverage, and what a night it was. The UK is still in political turmoil, with the nation undecided between Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Let’s look at the flesh on the bones of last night. Mrs May called the election in the hope of substantially increasing her Commons majority and to firmly put Jeremy Corbyn in his place. Seven weeks ago, the Conservatives had a lead of 20 points over Labour. In the bag, you would think.

Wrong. Never underestimate the power of the UK electorate. Over the last seven weeks, the 20 point lead has been whittled away. Reason? In my opinion, Mrs May’s campaign was frankly appalling, praying on division and fear and offering very little to hardcore Conservative voters and floating ones. The Dementia Tax, a dreadfully ill conceived idea where a person suffering from dementia would have to pay for their care, irrespective of how bad the illness has taken over, caused gasps of horror from elderly Conservative voters up and down the UK. As quickly as the weather turns, Theresa May performed a u-turn that would have done a taxi driver proud. Damage was done though. 

Mrs May was absent in the key political debates and her crushing blandness turned off the electorate in their droves. Jeremy Corbyn, much vilified and scorned in the press and on all forms of media, went out and took his message to the people, especially the scrapping of tuition fees to university students. A simple idea that captured the imagination of the youth vote. The youngsters fell in behind Mr. Corbyn. Corbyn’s integrity, dignity and straightforwardness compared favourably with Mrs May’s unwillingness to come up with anything credible. Arrogance and contempt for the voters on a grand scale.

Even so, I was less than enthused by Mr. Corbyn. He is a little too far to the left of centre for me, but all credit to the man, he has energised a very bored public to come out in his favour. The results last night were absolutely staggering, especially in very safe Conservative seats. The swing to the Labour Party was better than in Tony Blair’s inauguration in 1997. It was fantastic to watch these great islands wielding their voting power. Democracy in action.

But a note of caution. The Conservatives didn’t win, they were the largest overall party. Labour didn’t win either. Where does this leave us? Up a gumtree it seems. Now Theresa May will have to strike a deal with one of the minority parties from Northern Ireland to form a lame duck administration. Mrs May rolled the dice, hoping she would strike lucky. The gamble backfired in the most spectacular fashion imaginable. 

The new administration will limp on. But there may well be a second election later this year. A lot of sitting MP’s have very wafer thin majorities, on both sides of the fence. Could Mr. Corbyn push on, carry on getting the big swings to Labour to pull off a stunning triumph? I’m still not sure to be honest. But I will tell you, it will be enormous fun watching it all unravel. 

Just the best fun watching the results come in and enjoying the power of one of the best democracies in the world. Never, never underestimate the people. Theresa May did, and lost. The UK is divided and the mess created by last night’s result will continue. 

Allen Brooks xx