9 June 2017
What can I say?
For months, if not years, I have been calling on our government to stop distracting Britain. How can we be expected to grow our economy and ‘Make Britain Great’ if we are constantly bombarded by politics?
The shambolic coalition, David Cameron’s Brexit debacle, the referendum result, the Tory power battle and subsequent denied rumours of an election, the snap election and now a hung parliament!
It would be fair to say that Theresa May’s tenure is hanging by a thread. Whilst it is clear that the majority voted for her – on a vote by vote basis it seems she took a broad majority – you cannot deny that she has made quite the mess for the Tory party.
Labour has mobilised young voters – reportedly a 72% turnout for 18-24 year olds and it looks to have paid off: Labour gained 29 seats while the Tories lost 12. That being said the SNP saw an extraordinary loss of 21 seats and UKIP fell off the map. We’re now effectively back to two-horse-race politics.
Overall, the shambolic results reflect the shambolic campaign! With the PM refusing to debate, the shadow leadership team mixing up numbers and getting facts wrong, and the absolute disastrous decision to suggest banning encryption.
When the election was called, I said that social media would win the race. Labour used social media to its advantage – despite having a leader that no one believed in and a potential Home Secretary who can’t do basic maths. Meanwhile the Tories seem to have stuck with tradition, relying on tabloids to garner votes. Young people don’t read tabloids anymore.
In calling the election, Theresa showed overconfidence in her tenure and personally I think she overestimated her position – she was never tried or tested and had never had to convince the electorate. At a time when the leader of our country should have been doing her level best to reduce the chaos caused by the Brexit referendum, committing to strengthening the party and building confidence in the leadership team, instead she has left the party with even less power and authority than before. Just as we head into Brexit negotiations.
It is interesting that two weeks before she called the election, I was at dinner with May and around the table we were planning a strategy for an election campaign in two years – there was no reference to a looming election. I think it literally was a snap decision. It’s a real lesson in leadership, planning and careful preparation. It’s also a lesson never to underestimate the underdog – especially in Britain where we have a track record of backing them.
However, this is the situation that we find ourselves in and, once again, it is up to us – the business leaders, the parents, the community – to do our best to ensure that Britain continues to grow and thrive. We’ve almost become used to the distractions of political events now, how nice will it be to just get on with it?
As it stands, May will continue as our PM, from a much weaker position – trying to form a government with guarantees from the DUP. Tories have a track record of not tolerating failure. This is undoubtedly a failure for the party and I would not be surprised to hear that meetings are happening already for succession planning.
It’s ironic when you think about it; May’s whole campaign was built around ‘strong and stable’ and the result is a minority government that is anything but.
What do you make of it all? Will we see another election in a few weeks?