Theresa May has announced that she will be putting a motion to parliament to call a general election on the 8th June, just 50 days away. Here's my simpleton take on the reasons why she has made the choice but also why I think it is the best thing to happen to our politically toxic environment.
The announcement today was a fantastically welcome surprise. In my house I was having a quiet day in preparation for a busy Westminster schedule tomorrow as there are a few brilliant debates happening on various issues. I subsequently then found myself in an apoplectically shocked state after Theresa May made her brilliantly attuned speech which led to me dancing round the house to Steps new single on full volume, such was my joy!
I personally wanted a general election last year when Cameron slithered off his perch and wondered into the mire of political irrelevancy. It seemed to me, even then, the best thing for the country and its polarised EU perspectives was for the people to decide how we moved forward with a mandate derived from manifesto's. This is now happening and I couldn't be happier.
The election is perfectly timed, with the French elections running between now and Mid May, then there will be the subsequent change of power 'En France' which means no negotiations with the European Union can start until that government and their new President have settled in. That means although it is a quick election there will be no other time it could be as we will be engrossed in negotiations from this summer onward.
The call for the election doesn't mean we are somehow ignoring the negotiations either. The EU hasn't got its plan together, they are having meetings and summits on what the strategy should be right through until the end of May and that means they won't be ready to sit down proper until the middle of June at the earliest.
The feisty vicars' daughter made the probably calculated decision to throw down the gauntlet to, well, basically everyone. She turgidly ripped into the political parties calling them out on their Brexit stances, ridiculing their statements about holding the government back and u-turning the EU referendum by proxy of political dissonance. She went on incongruously smashing into the 'unelected house of lords' and their rebellious stance. Last but by no means least she unashamedly called out Nicola Sturgeon for her divisive nationalism and laid down a heavily intimated directive to her, come on then Sturgeon prove your mandate here is your chance.
She showered the viewers with calling cries that a vote for the Conservatives is a vote for Brexit and will empower her to make the choices necessary to get the right deal for Britain in the upcoming negotiations. She made no bones that what she needed was a clear directive to strengthen her hand both in Brussels and here at home.
The ingeniousness of it was staggering, in one fail swoop she has shut down the likes of Diane Abbott who have been saying since August that she is unelected. She has shut down the SNP and made it clear the election will resolve the issue of Indyref2. She has shut down Tim Farron and Jeremy Corbyn who continually say that the country didn't vote for this Brexit or that Brexit. In one swoop of daring, combative and confident gauntlet throwing she has cast all their aspersions aside letting them know, that once this is done that will be the end to it.
The question now is how she will play the next few weeks. In my opinion she would be wise to continue with her thread. The play that the Conservatives are the only party that will get the best deal for Britain in the Brexit negotiations even if that means walking away will resonate with many. Counter that with Labour's stance that they will remain in the single market 'AT ANY COST' no matter the damage to the UK or its territories. Given that you would be wondering how can she lose, well the Lib Dems will have the remain camp voters, in particular the ones that want to hard line reverse the referendum decision. To them she needs to express that no matter what they think, to reverse the decision would cost business billions in investment and infrastructure that they are laying out in post brexit plans. Which in turn would cause untold damage to the economic future of the UK.
The next few weeks will be fantastically exciting. The turns, twists and downright character assassinations will be multitude. The drama, suspense and focus on election night will be palpable. The rhetoric, tears and career ending stances will be omnipresent. This is more exciting than any vote I have witnessed and could herald a new dawn in British politics. Finally shaking off the Tony Blair hangover of egomaniacal leaders who made UK politics a presidential run rather than a party position.
My top tip for everyone - get planning your election night party now. It will be bigger, camper and more dramatic than Eurovision!