The European and local elections in Ireland north and south and Britain sprang some major shocks
There were also some extraordinary trends. An exit poll in the Irish Republic revealed 75 percent of the people want a united Ireland. That number is up by about 20 points in a few years.
Equally, in Scotland and Wales, the independence parties wiped out the Tories and Labour. In Northern Ireland, the pure unionist vote total dropped sharply. Thank you, Brexit.
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Despite the good news on the united Ireland poll, the Sinn Fein vote in the south was dramatically down both in the European and local elections, and major questions have to be asked.
It may be Sinn Fein’s inability to help shape and expose the Brexit agenda by remaining outside the British Parliament at an absolutely critical time is not helping.
Nor is the inability to get back into government in Northern Ireland. Voters want to see their votes translated into political participation. Inaction hurts.
Sinn Fein in the Irish Republic also has to move beyond being a party of protest and become one that people see capable of governing. This election was a wake-up call for the party.
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It was also a reckoning for the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in the North where the Alliance Party, non-denominational, took a traditional unionist seat in the European election. Sinn Fein topped the poll.
The message was clear: the DUP hardline on Brexit was firmly opposed by the majority of voters, nationalist and unionist, who want to see the EU link maintained. It is time the DUP stopped pretending they speak for the North.
Meanwhile in Britain, the bad news cascaded down on both Labour and the Tories who have been conducting a farce worthy of Monty Python on the issue of governing and agreeing on a solution to Brexit.
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn finally got the message when his party secured all of 14 percent and he agreed on a call for a second Brexit referendum as it becomes clear this British Parliament cannot decide how to proceed on Brexit.
The Tories, meanwhile, got a whopping nine percent, a fitting vote given their complete and utter idiocy.
That stupidity continues. Boris Johnson, the favorite to succeed Theresa May who resigned last week, says Britain will be out of the European Union by October 31, deal or no deal. He conveniently forgets Parliament has already voted against a no deal Brexit.
Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party are the big winners again, but so are the Liberal Democrats. They both had clear if opposing messages. The Lib Dems slogan was a wonderful “Bollocks to Brexit.”
Change is coming. Scottish and Irish independence are back on the political agenda thanks to the raw and rabid English nationalism on display. Even the Welsh, given the European vote, may be getting into the act.
The future is more occluded than ever, Britain needs a Churchill but will likely have Johnson, almost sure to be the worst Tory leader in history after two of the worst, David Cameron and Theresa May, who preceded him.
Any attempt to leave Europe with no deal in place will spell disaster for Britain and possibly Ireland too. Last week’s elections revealed an ongoing state of chaos in British politics. Time is running out for wiser heads to prevail.
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