Over the past few weeks British politics have descended into chaos, not only in the Conservative Party, but right across the political sphere. Even today Labour MPs are resigning left, right and centre (excuse me) in an attempt to see Corbyn off, following what many believe to be a game-changing lacklustre ‘Remain’ campaign performance. Sometimes absence is stronger than presence – something George Osborne has demonstrated that he knows only too well. It’s like a game of Where’s Wally but without the clues.
The most interesting aspect of the post-referendum atmosphere is that the decisive vote has led to more indecision and lack of control. Why? David Cameron has not, as he said he would, immediately invoked article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
Having lost the battle, he has left the scene; he has taken the country’s vote as a vote of no confidence and resigned. I can’t blame him, and on Friday his subdued and emotional speech with a visibly uncomfortable wife stood alongside him, Cameron looked a defeated man. Yet, his departure, and decision not to begin the proceedings necessary for the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU, are beginning to seem a little more astute and reasoned that once thought.
By delaying the process Cameron is giving MPs thinking time. They are lost and leaderless, and the reaction across the board has bordered on comical. Boris’s post-win speech lacked the tone of triumph expected as he realised that if Cameron wasn’t going to do it, it could well be in his name (if he manages to succeed to leadership) that we break away from the EU and, with Nicola Sturgeon calling for a second vote on Scottish Independence, potentially fracture Britain as we know it. His Conservative ally Michael Gove seemed to immediately back track from his strong position throughout his ‘Leave’ campaigning, referencing ‘informal negotiations’ with the EU; not the kind of rhetoric you would expect in victory.
Cameron has not allowed himself to be the pawn of the ‘Leave’ campaign. In leaving, he has done a final turn for the ‘Remain’ camp and taken a step back. Now we are left with a disintegrating Labour Party who have lost confidence in their leader, and an eerily quiet government where no one seems to know what’s going on, so that many such as Osborne and Teresa May have vanished. It’s a game of wait and see for everyone involved – who will step up?
In a classic ‘The Thick Of It’-esque moment Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson, with the Labour Party imploding in London, was stuck at Glastonbury after a night of partying and Silent Disco (with a beautifully timed snapchat at 3.29am). I’m glad someone’s having fun.