The current post-Brexit turmoil means the UK is now a rudderless ship. Cameron is essentially a lame duck, probably sending most of his time remaining in office re-arranging his stationery. Electing a new leader is likely to be one of the most bruising leadership contests in years. It could easily split the Tory party or lead to large scale defections to UKIP.
And even once there is a leader they will be embroiled in the process of Brexit (which may not be straightforward), negotiating with the EU and putting down petty rebellions in their spare time. In effect the UK is likely to be in a state of governing anarchy unseen in years.
This of course begs the question, what if there’s some sort of crisis? All of the assumptions assume business as usual for the next year or two, but $hit happens, that’s sort of the point of having a government! If a major disease pandemic breaks out (we’ve had a number of recent close calls which quick action by various governments has prevented becoming a global pandemic), that huge volcano in Iceland goes off (Katla, many times larger than the volcano that erupted in 2010 that is overdue an eruption, the Icelandic government have been very vocal about the consequences if and when it does go off) or how about a terrorist attack, a severe storm or of course a war.
Its situations like this where you hope the government is on the ball and you’ve got a good competent leader in charge. But with the UK right now its questionable if the government would be up to the challenge. I mean none of those in the Tory leadership contest inspire much in the way of confidence. Many are the very same people whose bungling incompetence screwed up the remain campaign or led the milk and honey lies of the leave camp. And anything that delays negotiations with Brussels could have disastrous consequences. A market panic is a very real possibility in such a crisis.
Now normally, we’d have nothing to worry about, we have as it were a “backup” government in the form of the shadow cabinet. In theory they can take over at any time if invited to do so by the Queen. Unfortunately, they are even more paralysed by a party leadership battle than the Tories.
It was for this reason that the SNP rather cheekily applied to become the country’s designated opposition party. They argued that as labour clearly are not in a position to take over or provide effective opposition to the Tories, they should step aside and let the SNP take over. And the upcoming Brexit vote on article 50 means someone needs to represent the votes of the 48% who voted remain, or indeed the 64% who did not vote to leave.
Actually, the SNP proposal is not that bad an idea. In Ireland a lot of the smaller parties have clubbed together in the past to form a “technical group”, a sort of defacto party for the purposes of providing more effective opposition and to give them more speaking time in parliament.
And regardless of your views on Alex Salmond, he is reasonably smart and certainly would make a more competent leader in a crisis that the rest of the clowns in Westminster right now. And I reckon he could handle Putin no problem. Alex and Putin go into a room together Salmond will chib him, then smother him with his beer belly.
Of course the irony would be that if the SNP did take over the opposition that it would have been Tory incompetence that got them there. And this after all of that anti-Scottish BS from the Tories last election. We live in strange times.