2nd July 2021
This is not a party partisan blog and there are good and bad in all mainstream parties (though some parties have more good than others).
But it is a liberal constitutionalist blog, and so the two recent defeats for the governing party are a good thing: the politics of inclusion and solidarity seem (just about) to have defeated the politics of exclusion and division.
The fragile coalition that bought the current government to power in December 2019 – in effect, to ‘get Brexit done’ and to ensure that the then leader of the opposition did not become prime minister – may turn out to be unsustainable.
This is of interest to those with strong feelings about party politics – but are there any implications for law and policy, from a non-partisan perspective?
One of the features of the illiberalism of the current government seems to be a belief that constitutional and cultural conflict ‘play well’.
So you have the sight of infantile government ministers picking fights and attempting to provoke ‘culture wars’.
And you have the loud trumpeting of attempts to further dislocate constitutional arrangements – with the executive seeking to undermine the checks and balances provided by the courts, the legislature, the impartial civil service and diplomatic corps, and so.
Each attack intended to impress and mobilise the minority electoral base that is believed to be sufficient to keep this illiberal government in power.
But it seems not to be working any more.
The lever may have come loose.
If this is the case – if – then there are two possible things that may happen: bad and good.
The bad thing would be that government ministers and their supporters want more illiberalism!
More division and exclusion!
More constitutional conflict and culture war!
Or, a good thing: government ministers and their supporters may come to their senses as they realise the diminishing political returns for their illiberal (and vile) confrontational politics.
Any sensible person would hope for the latter.
But nobody who has followed politics since 2016 could be confident that such a welcome development will occur.
So it all could get worse.
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