Friday open thread—Turmoil in Blighty
Since right now I can’t deal with the news in the US, let’s turn our attention to Vladimir Putin’s first electoral target, Britain.
Prime Minister Theresa May finally faced reality and resigned the post, effective June 7. She caterwauled about not being able to deliver Brexit as her greatest disappointment.
So, Brexit, which was nothing just a few short years ago, has claimed the political lives of two prime ministers, and promises to do even more damage.
The Tories will now have a bruising leadership challenge. It will probably come down to a Remain v. Leave run-off. If a Brexiteer like Boris Johnson wins, the chances of Britain crashing out of the European Union increase exponentially. This will upend Europe and the UK like nothing else, giving Putin much glee.
Remember, Brexit only came about because a feckless prime minister named David Cameron, otherwise known by the sobriquet “pig-face fucker”, didn’t have the testicular fortitude to tell his noisome backbenchers to shut it about leaving the EU. To buy a temporary peace heading into a general election, he promised them a referendum on membership in the EU. He put a major geopolitical moment in the hands of fickle voters who were already fed up with “the establishment”. Putin didn’t even have to do much work to stoke xenophobia among those who voted Leave.
We have the very real possibility about a member of the UN Security Council deciding to relinquish its power as a result of a rash promise to backbenchers. Britain’s time as a major power may well end with a whimper, not a bang. Britain might not even survive as Britain; Scotland has no desire to tie itself to a corpse.
As an Anglophile, this situation stings me. Brexit has created an artificial division which didn’t exist before. It crystalized various fissures in the British body politic and focused them. Remainers look down on Leavers as Little Englanders. Leavers resent Remainers and look at them as not really British. This is not a good situation for domestic peace.
Putin may soon have one scalp. We cannot let him have another in the United States.
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