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Parliament Squared in KCW Today May edition

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Written 28/04/16 for Kensington/Chelsea/Westminster Today

 Parliament Squared by Derek Wyatt

The hot topics have continued to be the London Mayoral election, the EU referendum, David Cameron's pending reshuffle of his Cabinet and the US Presidential elections . Of the four only London has been resolved with Sadiq Khan easing out Zac Goldsmith in what was an increasingly bitter and below the belt campaign. 

Neither candidate offered a vision of London as a major international city in the world. Neither took a really serious view of the implications of Brexit on the Financial services industries in the City. Neither really understood the need to modernise our fragile "narrow" (broad) band and 4G (and 5G) networks which lag way behind most international cities in the world. 

Sadiq was though easily the best candidate. Zac was uncomfortable answering questions for which he had no clear view or simply could not remember the details. Whilst that may have been fine for Boris, Londoners have tired off that approach to politics. Besides he made some quite offensive remarks about Khan which was deeply disappointing for a man whose political career may now be over.

Whither Boris? He has had by some way had the worst campaign of all. He is unsure whether he is fighting for the hearts and minds of the Tory party or whether he is applying for the soon-to-be vacant Prime Minister's position (2019 is my guess). 

If he is seeking latter and by doing so hoping to inspire a "new" Churchill legacy he has to seriously up his game. Churchill may be writ large in his heart and soul but that will not be enough to win the long game. He made some unacceptable  comments about the President of the United States which cannot just be shrugged off. A Prime Minister is for all of us and has to have a smidgeon of statesmanship in his or her armory. Boris is not yet the finished goods and at this rate may not inspire his own MPs to nominate him when the opportunity arises.  

As for Cameron, he now knows that Jeremy Hunt will be stepping down sometime soon whilst John Whittingdale might want to spend a little more time checking his dating book. Their retirements might bring others with them. If we vote Remain the future of Gove and Johnson in the Cabinet might yet be in the balance. As it is some Secretaries of State have had 100 hour working weeks for six years and might think it is either time to move office or move out. 

The Prime Minister will have a final reshuffle to pave the way for his replacement which might still be George Osborne or possibly Theresa May. The Boris chances are harder to read this far out. 

Over the pond, it still looks as if Trump and Clinton will be the candidates. In 2008 and 2012 when the GOP was routed by the Democrats the aftermath "noise" was that the party was going out of fashion. White, older aged men and women were its core supporters and these were drawn largely from Middle America not from the west and east coasts where the votes count for more. 

Eight years on the Trump "following" has largely been white, even older aged men and white dispossessed men and women who feel left out of the political fray. The Hispanic and black voters still essentially do not trust the Republican Party. 

To be honest Trump will end up with the Republican nomination though there will much anger internally. This will not help his cause against Hillary Clinton who could become the first female President (at last) and extend the Democrats reign in the White House for a least four more years. Not since Franklin Delano Roosevelt - who was President from 1932-45 - will the Democrats have held sway for so long. 


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