Tuesday, 25 July 2017

LN: May's campaign is example of political failure

ČTK |
14 June 2017

Prague, June 13 (CTK) - The election campaign of the British Conservatives is a textbook example of a bad political struggle, Jiri Priban writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) on Tuesday, adding that Prime Minister Theresa May failed to show prudence and respect for her rivals and her own performance was poor.

May's campaign was bland, unconvincing and based on the assumption that nobody can take Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn seriously, Priban writes.

He says the Conservatives had a 20-percent lead at the start of the election campaign, but they beat the Labour Party only narrowly in the parliamentary election, which shows their extraordinary incapability.

The British parliamentary election showed that political power and public support can never be taken for granted in democracy and even the apparently biggest outsider can succeed, while the favourite may fail and lose. However, this is an advantage of democracy rather than its weakness, Priban writes.

He says Corbyn and his voters glorify their "incredible victory," yet the Labour Party did not win and it is far from having a majority in parliament.

The Labour is a successful loser, if anything: the disunited party weakened by Brexit succeeded not only in stopping its free fall but also in scoring a decent result. Though Corbyn, with his admiration for authoritarian regimes and extremist movements, is the most radical leader in the party's history, his election team managed to well express the main social and economic problems of the current Britain, with a quickly lowering quality of public services and rising costs of living for common people, Priban writes.

On the contrary, the Conservatives only kept repeating that the country needs "strong and stable leadership," by which the government of Theresa May meant, rather arrogantly, itself, Priban writes.

He says Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), was similarly self-confident and she promised another referendum on independence to the pro-European Scots.

Both May and Sturgeon can be considered failed winners because they maintained their power even after the elections but their parties got weaker, Priban writes.

The SNP admitted that a new referendum is unlikely to be held, while May's position of prime minister is very fragile and she kept it only because of a threat of another election and of general political chaos, he adds.

Priban says Northern Ireland's radical conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is the successful winner of the election since it will have a chance to influence British politics.

On the other hand, the Liberal Democrats - who were along with the Greens the only parties that clearly opposed Brexit - are the unsuccessful losers of the elections, Priban writes.

It may seem that the British elections brought the definitive defeat of the European Union and of all who wanted to reverse or at least soften the result of the 2016 referendum on Brexit. The DUP demands that the border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the United Kingdom remain open even after Brexit is an exception, Priban writes.

However, the weak position of the next government opens a path to various parliamentary negotiations and concessions, including a softening of the Brexit, which will also be supported by the Conservatives elected in the pro-European Scotland, he writes.

The current British politics offers uncertainties rather than certainties. After the Brexit referendum and the last two parliamentary elections, only a fool would dare to predict the political developments in Britain, Priban writes.

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