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The Conservatives are at an almighty crossroads. They have several choices who to select as leader and, therefore, Prime Minister.
Of course, the decision will ultimately be made by the grass roots membership of the party so, just because Boris wiped the floor with the other contenders in the first vote, it does not necessarily follow he will actually win the race.
There are many conservatives who are a little alarmed about the prospect of Boris Johnson, aka BoJo, getting the top job and, there are indeed reasons for concern.
However, it is more a question of survival for the Conservative party.
Any candidate emerging as the ‘winner’ who does not openly accept that leaving the European Union on October 31st irrespective of whether there is a deal or not, will virtually be signing the Conservative death warrant.
Few people on the ‘remain’ side of the argument will vote Conservative anyway. The majority of ‘remainers’ will vote either Liberal Democrat or even Labour, despite Labour perpetually ‘ducking and diving’ around the Brexit issue.
As a result of this, electing a more ‘hard line’ Brexiteer is undoubtedly the Conservative parties best chance of winning another term in office.
If they select somebody who is a ‘remainer’ or, at least, refuses to accept a so called ‘no deal’ scenario, then, almost certainly, Nigel Farages ‘Brexit Party’ will cause the Conservatives huge damage in a general election.
Talk about a rock and a hard place eh?
It’s all about this clear polarization of political views. There doesn’t seem to be any genuine center ground anymore.
The Liberal Democrats will claim they hold the center ground but, of course, they openly admit they would prevent Brexit happening at all. That would obviously anger the ‘Brexiteers’ so claiming they would unite the country on their supposed ‘center ground’ is clearly pie in the sky.
The same applies to a second referendum, or as ‘remainers’ prefer to call it, a ‘peoples vote’. They tell us that a ‘peoples vote’ would unite the country. More pie in the sky.
Let’s say that ‘remain’ won a ‘peoples vote’. Well? The Brexiteers won the last ‘peoples vote’ and, up to now, have not seen their wishes acted upon. Given that fact, it is perfectly obvious that, should there be a ‘peoples vote’ and ‘remain’ win, the Brexiteers will simply refuse to accept the result.
In fairness to them, that is what ‘remain’ have done to them so you could hardly blame them.
All this time, bobbing around over the shoulders of the ‘mainstream’ parties, are The Brexit Party. Waiting, not unlike vultures really, to pick off the carcass of democracy that all the current crop of politicians are, I hope inadvertently, destroying.
So, is this the Conservative Party’s last chance saloon?
I suspect it may well be.
You can’t, as the saying goes, make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.
The ‘eggs’ that need to be broken, in this case, I would suggest, are the EU and the ‘remain’ side.
If the Conservatives decide to survive and do select BoJo as their new leader and Prime Minister, he will deliver Brexit regardless of deals. That will make the Brexiteers happy and, almost completely, spike Nigel Farages guns.
Of course, the ‘remainers’ will be unhappy but so what? They lost the referendum so will just have to suck it up.
Then, maybe three or four years down the line the country will indeed be united.
It will be united that Brexit was awful, or it will be united that Brexit actually worked. Either way the ‘remainers’ or the ‘Brexiteers’ will have no option but to accept, and even agree, that they were right or wrong, depending on which way it went.
The Conservative party will select Boris ‘BoJo’ Johnson, or they will spiral into insignificance as a sufficient number of the country unite around either The Liberal Democrats for ‘remain’ or ‘The Brexit Party’ for ‘leave’.
Labour? Oh, they’ll just keep warbling on about how marvelous their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is. Well, they will until it dawns on them that he has about as much chance of ever being Prime Minister as the late Margaret Thatcher has – unless, of course, she rises again in some kind of zombie apocalypse.
It’s the last chance saloon Conservatives.
Only BoJo can save you now. If that isn’t a worry, I don’t know what is.