From top: Independent TD Micheal Lowry (third from right) with his political team John ‘Rocky’ McGrath, his son Micheál Lowry, Michael O’Meara, Shane Lee and Eddie Moran who all won seats in the local elections in Tipperary; a supposed fan of Lowry in Jamaica
“You loved me as a loser, but now you’re worried that I just might win” – Leonard Cohen
On Your Unsuitability for High Office
for Jeremy Corbyn
The minute they realise
you might succeed in changing
more than the occasional
light bulb in the new
old community centre,
where the anti-apartheid
meetings used to happen;
the late Lord Lambton
climbs out from between
two prostitutes and into
the next available issue
of the Daily Express
to urge votes for anyone
but you; Earl Haig
gets up from his grave
to bang the table and tell us
you’ve not successfully
organised enough death
to properly understand
Britain’s defence needs
in the twenty first century.
The Telegraph mutters
into its whiskers about your lack
of experience – how you never once
so much as successfully destroyed a bank;
as former comedians gather
in darkest Norwich and Lincolnshire
to speak of your beige zip-up jackets.
LBC Radio exclusively reveals your plan
to give each failed asylum seeker,
and anyone who’s ever
taken an axe to a child,
their own seat in
the House of Lords;
the same day, The Spectator
gives retired General
Franco space to expose your
long term associations
with known vegetarians
and Mexican importers
of fair trade coffee.
While on Radio Four’s Women’s Hour
the former editor of the News of The World
and Dame Myra Hindley agree:
the last thing this country needs
right now is you.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May (left) and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn
So, what now?
Bernard Purcell writes:
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, who, with her party, is currently more than 20 points ahead of her nearest rival in the opinion polls, called for a General Election on 8 June.
Because of the Fixed Term Parliament Act that was agreed as the price of Liberal Democrats going into coalition with David Cameron’s Tories in 2010 Mrs May cannot – as so many of her predecessors could – call a snap election.
She needs a two-thirds majority of Commons MPs so needs the support of Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition Labour Party.
If the Mrs May’s poll lead translates into General Election votes it means that many Labour MPs will find themselves on Wednesday in the position of turkeys being asked to vote for Christmas.
Early calculations suggest that if the election goes Mrs May’s way could come back with a far greater majority than her current 17 seats, perhaps as many as a hundred seats.
Given that at the moment her only mandate to be in Number 10 came from Tory MPs in post-Referendum party leadership contest – after David Cameron abdicated all responsibility for the mess he left behind – that would be very welcome to her and her supporters.
It should be noted that this forthcoming election will be contested on existing electoral boundaries, which will favour Labour – or at least ameliorate an otherwise unappettising prospect for the party.
The Prime Minister justified her call for a fresh electoral mandate by saying the opposition parties – Labour, the Liberal Democrats and Scottish Nationalist Party – had all pledged to thwart her government over Brexit.
As such she is looking for a fresh Brexit mandate. The Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron was quick to accept the challenge and embrace the mantle of the official Brexit opposition – a move that should help his party recover its disastrous losses in the last election.
Labour, typically, was slow to react but still faster than it has been. In a statement issued in Jeremy Corbyn’s behalf the Labour leader accepted the electoral challenge – but conspicuously avoided any reference to Brexit.
Irish citizens living in the UK do have the right to vote in UK General Elections, as UK citizens in Ireland likewise can elect TDs to Dail Eireann.
Bernard Purcell is editor of the London-based Irish World.