Ivan Horrocks (who will be familiar to some as a long term contributor to this blog) had a post on the Progressive Pulse blog yesterday in which he argues that right wing hegemony in the UK means that it is very unlikely that a right wing coup will happen post-Brexit to enable the establishment to maintain law and order.
As I read it, Ivan’s thesis is that any post Brexit scenario threatens unrest because of the disruption it will give rise to, whatever is said now. He then challenges the suggestion from some commentaors - including his fellow Progressive Pulse contributor, Sean Danaher - that this might be expected to result in a right wing coup to suppress that disorder, Howver, that, he thinks is unlikely in the UK, even in the event of turmoil arising as an election is in the offing because, as he puts it:
I suspect that if we have economic upheaval combined with emerging social unrest – or even the obvious sniff of both – politics may take a nasty turn. [But] personally I doubt there’ll be a right wing coup. My reason for saying that is that the degree of hegemony enjoyed by the Tory party and its associated entities (e.g. so called ‘think tanks’), supporting media and other institutions (i.e. the ‘Right’ in general) in the UK is such that a call for a ‘national government’ and the suspension of the 2020 elections will be sufficient.
I think it highly likely the majority of the public will go along with that and they will be aided in coming to this conclusion – and then maintaining it – by the Brexit supporting/right wing media – including I have to say (sadly) the BBC.
I think this an interesting idea. I know there are many who think that civil unrest post Brexit is possible, and even probable. I have long said I do. I am also aware that some think that this could lead to the suspension of normal politics. But Ivan’s thesis adds an interesting twist. What he suggests is that a minority government might seek to create a National Government and suspend elections as if we were in a wartime environment where the normal processes of democracy have to be put on hold for ‘the duration of the crisis’.
Is this possible? With the current government I think anything possible. And whilst I can see no reason for the SNP and, by then, the DUP to support such a call, what of Labour, and even the LibDems who could help hold the balance of power in such a situation? I really can’t call that. Given how frightened most English politicians are of the right wing media Ivan might be right.
If so we are really heading for dark times. The ‘duration of the crisis’ could be very protracted on this basis.