by danielbarker on 4 September, 2019
It’s the first time I can ever recall the pound being affected by someone joining the Liberal Democrats, but that’s clearly what happened yesterday.
Today’s METRO reported that the pound “rallied when Boris Johnson lost his Commons majority…in response to Conservative MP Phillip Lee defecting to the LibDems”. Does this mean that the markets have no confidence in Boris’s government? That the mere suggestion that this Tory administration may be close to ending cheered them up? Apparently so.
Phillip Lee explained his decision to ‘cross the floor’ by saying that “the Tory Party had been infected with the twin diseases of populism and English nationalism. Brexit has transformed it into something more akin to a narrow faction, where conservatism is measured by how recklessly one wishes to leave the EU, he told the PM.”
These comments were echoed by former Chancellor Philip Hammond, who “warned civil war within the Tory party was being driven by ‘entryists’. He accused No.10 of trying to turn the party from a broad church to a narrow faction”.
It was certainly an interesting day, with 21 Tory MPs – including Winston Churchill’s grandson – choosing to put what they believed in above their own careers in voting against their own government.
Will this lead to a general election? I for one hope not. Not because the Liberal Democrats have anything to fear – opinion polls suggest we would do very well – but because Boris is effectively leading a new government, and asking the people to cast their verdict upon it when it hasn’t done anything yet would not be right!
If an election was put off until 2021 or 2022, it would allow the people to judge the government on how it has handled big issues such as education, the NHS, social care, housing and homelessness. An election this year (or even next) would be about one thing only – Brexit – and I think we’ve all heard enough about that! People would be forced to make a decision based upon spin rather than facts…..a little bit like a certain referendum three years ago!
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