Take Me To Your Leader Writer

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...has written more leaders (newspaper editorials) than anyone alive or dead, an honour still to be recognised by the Guiness Book of Records or the Nobel judges. I have produced them for the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Today, the Sunday People, the Evening Post (Hemel Hempstead), the Caithness Courier and the Student (Edinburgh). My creed is: Have opinions, Will travel.

Friday 5 May 2017

The pits and the pendulum

After the all-night dramas of the European referendum and the US presidential, there was nothing surprising listening through the night to the results of the local elections come in. Depressing, but not surprising. Turning the fortunes of a political party is a slow business, even in this age of rapid swings. The electorate tends to fall out of love with a party over the course of several elections while taking a similar time to consummate its flirtation with an alternative. The huge success of Labour under Blair in 1997 and 2001 has taken 20 years to evaporate and reduce the party to its present parlous state. Jeremy Corbyn's leadership is just the icing on the cake - or should that be the shit on the sandwich? The change in the Tories' fortunes has taken even longer. From the heights of Thatcher's triumph in 1983 in the wake of the Falklands War, the decline was remorseless. We must never forget what a state the party was in under William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard. David Cameron began the task of turning around the tanker but he still couldn't win the 2010 election, which is why he had to go into a shotgun coalition with Nick Clegg. Even though he got an overall majority in 2015, that wasn't so much because he was trusted and accepted but due to the near-absolute collapse in support for the Liberal Democrats. It has taken the result of the referendum, which led to Cameron going to be replaced by a tunnel-visioned, hysterical Theresa May completely swallowing the Ukip agenda and the consequent collapse of that party, to once again put the Conservatives into an overwhelming position. Helped, of course, by Jeremy Corbyn. That is what the results of the local elections confirm with next month's national poll sure to do the same. The pendulum will swing once again, though how long that will take and, more importantly, in what direction, are the big questions. In any case, by the time that happens, there won't be much to save of this country - or what is left of it.

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