I will be honest: I thought May had bottled out of a general election this year. And so, right now I will admit I got the first thing about the forthcoming general election ,which is the fact that it is happening, wrong.
Second, let me be clear from the outset that I will not be supporting a party line in this election on this blog. I am already pretty sure who I will vote given the profile of the constituency in which I live, but that will be a personal decision and it will be for others to make their own choices.
Third, that said I will offer praise and criticism where I think it is due.
And I will say at the outset that this election troubles me.
It troubles me because it shows contempt for a decision of parliament to hold elections every five years.
And it troubles me because it is intended to reinforce a decision to Brexit that parliament did not take and which a majority of parliamentarians, we know, do not want.
It also troubles me because it is quite clearly designed to reinforce the UK’s hopelessly unfair democracy that leaves three of our four nations largely unrepresented in the government at Westminster and great swathes of the population alienated from the whole political process.
It’s also of concern because the timing is so cynical: I have been suggesting over the last week or so why many of the economic indicators for the UK are now looking decidedly unfavourable, and May is clearly running to the country before the coming recession really hits.
Finally, it troubles me because, like Erdogan’s ‘success’ in Turkey, this election is designed to reinforce the imposition of the view of a minority in this country on the majority. That’s of massive concern for the stability of the whole of society.
I have no doubt that this election will be significant. Like Prof John Curtice I suspect May might believe her support much stronger than it actually is. In some parts of the country the idea of a Tory majority may be enough to restore old voting patterns. And for the left? Who knows, expect for the fact that Corbyn may have the chance to really emulate Foot after all.