Seldom in the world of Westminster has the slate been wiped clean so authoritatively.
We’re on the cusp of leaving the European Union, the cabinet is full of new faces, and we now have our second female Prime Minister. This has proven disconcerting for a number of naysayers, but in my view these events augur well.
To turn around now would be undemocratic. The people have spoken, and we must listen.
As the Prime Minister has stated, Brexit means Brexit, so we are now all duty bound to ensure that the road ahead is as prosperous as possible. I fought hard to remain, but accept the result. To turn around now would be undemocratic. The people have spoken, and we must listen.
The country’s brightest and best are working tirelessly to ensure that the political machinery runs smoothly. However, it is also up to the rest of us, the British people, to throw our support behind it. Now is not the time for partisanship. Now is not the time for division between ‘Remainers’ and ‘Brexiters’. Now is the time for unity. Such unity has already been exhibited by our new Prime Minister.
Having worked with Theresa May at the Home Office, I can attest to her tireless efforts and political acumen. Theresa is a serious politician for serious times. Already, her visits to Scotland, Germany, France and Northern Ireland have exhibited her willingness to represent the British people across Europe, and highlighted our importance on an international stage. Although Parliament is now in recess, it is clear that Theresa will continue to be a vocal advocate for our country.
Her performance in her maiden PMQs was exemplary, and I’m sure she will continue to grow. After the departure of David Cameron, a man who dealt with this weekly grilling with ease, some feared a less polished spectacle. This was not the case. In fact, the PM’s confidence at the despatch box allowed her to do exactly that — despatch Jeremy Corbyn and the rudderless Labour Party at every turn.
As a Conservative, the turmoil which the Labour Party finds itself in is perhaps beneficial. But as a strong believer in the central tenets of government, it is the opposite of what we need. Government only works if it is kept accountable. It only thrives when a strong opposition is able to harness the views of a large proportion of the electorate ensure that we create legislation which works for everyone. At the moment, the Labour Party is not providing this.
Jeremy Corbyn is popular amongst Labour’s grass roots support. However, you cannot lead a party if the vast majority of the team doesn’t believe in you. Eighty per cent of the Labour ministerial positions are unfulfilled. Any situation where an MP must undertake two or more shadow ministry positions is unacceptable. This stalemate is threatening to undermine our ability to govern effectively.
A footballing metaphor can help to illustrate my point. A manager may be adored by the fans, but if the players perform poorly, or refuse to play, then it is a damning indictment. Even if the coach has the backing of some members of ‘the board’, it is not enough.
The months ahead will be difficult for Labour. Already, the cracks between the party’s ultra-left, moderates and Blairites are being made plain. Labour’s voice is fractured. It is a party going through an identity crisis; one which will not be solved any time soon.
It is heartening to see that the Conservatives have taken huge steps in resolving inter-party differences. Many ‘Remainers’ were disappointed with the referendum result, but we concur that we must leave those frustrations behind. I was not on the side of popular opinion, and will now try to ensure that you are all represented vehemently in the debates to come.
British summers have sometimes been viewed with cynicism. We fear that the weather will be terrible. However, I think we should look upon the months to come with optimism.
With events here and in the United States, politics is going through an unpredictable period. There is uncertainty, but with change comes opportunity, and with opportunity comes hope — hope for a prosperous future. This is more than achievable and we must try our hardest to make it a reality.