2016 has been a tumultuous year indeed in British party politics. The completely unexpected decision by the British public to vote to leave the European Union has hit Westminster like a warhead, causing absolute disarray in every major British political party.
The hard-line socialist, populist Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, found himself the target of an ultimately unsuccessful leadership challenge, which has further widened the seemingly irreparable rift between him and his own parliamentary party and left the Opposition completely hamstrung.
The Conservative government itself was culled, with long-time Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne both resigning from their posts in disgrace, after failing in their bid to keep Britain in the EU. This was followed by a confused and frantic leadership election within the Conservative party, which turned ugly very quickly, and eventually saw former Home Secretary Theresa May running unopposed to become the new Prime Minister.
The centrist Liberal Democrats, who had been part of the government until last year, have continued down their steep decline into irrelevance, with a mere eight seats remaining in the House of Commons.
Despite being on the winning side of the Brexit referendum, UKIP has since seen perhaps the most violent and chaotic implosion of all, with new leader Diane James resigning after a mere 18 days in the job, and the man hoping to replace her, Steven Woolfe, having recently been left in a ‘serious condition’, suffering from ‘bleeding of the brain’ after being punched by a colleague from his own party. UKIP has since descended into a state of virtual civil war, after recent allegations of a conspiracy against the ‘toxic’ leadership of Nigel Farage in the run-up to the referendum, supposedly orchestrated by UKIP’s only MP Douglas Carswell and Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, both libertarians and long-time eurosceptics.
This post was published at Lew Rockwell on October 10, 2016.