Theresa May called for unity, unity behind a project she defined. It was not a project defined either by the referendum or by Parliament. According to some it was not even defined by the government.
She was determined only to allow consideration of options that appeased the UKIP-wing of her party and the right-wing press, rather than to pursue the outcome that is in the best interests of the UK and its people.
In order to support this unity and backing of her views she called a “snap” election, despite having said on many occasions she wouldn’t.
She pushed the legislation for a General Election through the Commons with virtually no opposition. She thought she had not only the Commons but the country eating out of her hand.
The polls backed this up, not only were the Tories ahead in the polls but Theresa May’s own popularity ratings seemed to put her in an unassailable position.
It is a fact of life that arrogance often breeds contempt and the arrogance of the Theresa May junta quickly turned into contempt.
Personal attacks on opposition politicians, arrogantly adding in unpopular measures to the manifesto aimed at some of her most loyal supporters, trying to deny that she had made u-turns in her position.
The people of the UK have delivered their response, given Theresa May her comeuppance.
Instead of a landslide majority rivalling that of Tony Blair in 1997 or Margaret Thatcher in 1983 she has managed to turn an adequate parliamentary majority into something less.
This has not been achieved solely by her own efforts.
The Labour party produced a manifesto that had considerable appeal on the traditional General Election issues, health, education, care of the elderly and less able. Jeremy Corbyn engaged with and inspired voters.
At the same time the “strong and stable” campaign led by Theresa May collapsed into a “weak and wooden” campaign.
All the while there were thousands of people working, largely unpaid and unacknowledged, to bring about a change in the political scene in the UK. Some did so with great fanfare, almost all went about it quietly and seriously without seeking acknowledgment or praise.
We know that Theresa May’s arrogant gambit has not succeeded, not only not succeeded but has actually failed in a quite unprecedented manner. Theresa May has literally snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
However, whatever government is formed in the next few days we need to be aware of one indisputable fact: both the Labour party and the Tories are committed to taking the UK out of the EU based on the populist mantra the “the people have spoken”.
The only difference between them is that one says “No Deal is better than a Bad Deal” and the other says “Any Deal is better than No Deal”.
Neither has committed to pursuing a course of action solely based on “What is in the best interest of the UK”. Regardless of what either party says the Brexit “elephant in the room” has to be addressed.
In all things we should not be looking for the least worst option for the UK, we should, we must be looking for and demanding the best of all possible options for the UK.
Not doing so betrays our heritage, those things that people have struggled, fought and died for.
We clipped the wings of an authoritarian government in the courts, the electorate has now reigned in the government with this election result.
We must build on these successes and ensure that the views of all are taken into account and all the options are explored when Parliament decides the future course for the UK.
That is our legacy and our obligation – to seek “What is in the best interest of the UK”.
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