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At its most basic, this election pits a Prime Minister and her party committed to taking Britain out of the European Union and establishing our country as an independent nation against an informal alliance of forces regretful or resentful about that new course.

A Burkean with a vision of global Britain: Theresa May hits the campaign trail on Tyneside last month (©Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Within the ranks of those who were the Parliamentary Labour Party there is scarcely any enthusiasm for the restoration of British independence; indeed, there is a powerful faction allied to former leaders such as Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson which wishes actively to dilute or frustrate the referendum result. Occupying a similar space, the Liberal Democrats have pitched themselves as an unambiguously pro-EU force, seeking a mandate to get the country to think, and vote, again on exit. The various secessionist parties who were represented in the UK Parliament — the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the SDLP and Sinn Fein — are all enthusiasts for the EU, even though EU membership requires a greater surrender of sovereignty than membership of the United Kingdom.

For any voter who wants the result of the referendum respected, voting for Theresa May is the only safe choice. Whether a passionate supporter of Brexit from the beginning, or a pragmatic democrat who believes, as Paddy Ashdown put it, that “once the British people have spoken you do what they command”, the Conservatives are the obvious party to support. And it seems as I write that many of those who have never voted Conservative before at a a general election, but who voted Leave in the Referendum, and indeed some who voted Remain but now want to move on, will vote for Mrs May as the only leader committed to honouring the democratic instruction the country delivered last June.

But the question of Britain and Europe does not, of course, end there. There are important questions to settle for Britain as we take back control, over everything from how we manage migration to how we pass our laws, how we make power accountable and how we manage nature sensitively, what we teach the next generation and how we shall give them work which confers independence and dignity.

For almost 40 years, important questions that define a nation have been subcontracted to politicians and officials whom we never elected and could never throw out. Our countryside was managed according to the dictates of the Common Agricultural Policy in a way which was neither right for the environment nor the rural economy. Our marine environment was ravaged by a Common Fisheries Policy over which we had no control. The EU controlled whom we could welcome and whom we could deport through its migration policy and its court. It dictated where houses could be built and who we could ask to build our schools and hospitals. It insisted we maintain a punitive tariff wall to keep out goods from developing nations. And it insisted that laws agreed at the EU level be implemented in the UK without the possibility of democratic rejection or even amendment.

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June 3rd, 2017
3:06 PM
Don`t look back in anger, just forward in blind, bovine hope. We do need to change our response to the Islamic State`s evil thickos and sickos. Douglas Murray at the Spectator locates the media and political evasiveness and lack of expressiveness. Ethnographers and object-oriented ontologists (who voted Leave)are not exactly flavour of the week in tv studios. Although Radio 4 did broadcast a programme on the subject. When Will Self asked Zizek for one practical thing people in this country could do Zizek`s answer was to vote for Corbyn. This wasn`t good enough for Self who started poncing and tartling again.

Neil Smith
May 28th, 2017
11:05 AM
"Our growing naval strength, superb special forces and modernised military, alongside superlative intelligence capabilities, makes us an indispensable part of the West’s security architecture" Sounds good! Remember five days ago when those children were blown away at the Manchester Arena? Who are they protecting exactly?

May 24th, 2017
3:05 PM
The Labour manifesto is from Santa Clause and the Tory manifesto is from Scrooge. This is the general caricature. The `distinctive traditions` of Michael Gove sound Victorian. Brexit now also means what`s in the Labour manifesto. It means specific, modern,scientific materialist solutions. The 17.4 million Brexiteers forced the Labour Party to fully express itself. The Tory manifesto expresses little. There`s more pro-Brexit sense and appreciation in Julie Burchill`s Spectator articles. Brexit means a cornucopia of progressive scientific modernism materialising. It also means the 16.1 million Ponces will never forgive us Non-Ponces for destroying their illusion that they are the progressives. The entire world will be watching the UK election on June 8. 17.4 million Vote Leave Non-Ponces have created this amazing political situation.

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