Theresa May has called a snap General Election to get a clear Brexit mandate, she says. To take advantage of an opinion poll lead, others say. To pre-empt the possible prosecution of a number of her MPs and officials for electoral fraud, yet others would say.
Surely, she would have a stronger Brexit mandate if she went to the country once we know what the details of the Brexit deal are. That would be better than a second referendum because voters could then reward or punish the deal-makers, rather than just say yes, or no.
It does seem more likely that this so far unelected butcher of public services is running scared of the electoral fraud allegations.
Theresa may just get a nasty surprise. Snap elections have a way of blowing up in the faces of their instigators. Harold Wilson and Edward Heath learned that, to their cost, in the 1970s. Having called the election, talking tough about crushing the saboteurs, how pathetic that Mrs May is now running scared of TV debates as well as court cases.
When Roy Hattersley ducked out of a TV quiz show, he was replaced by a tub of lard. Perhaps the TV debate organisers could do better than just leave an empty chair and think of some kind of suitable symbol.
Maybe readers would like to make suggestions. Let us start the ball rolling. Monty Python got away with a non-existent stuffed Norwegian blue, so how about a stuffed yellow-bellied shrike (i.e. butcher bird)?
and DAVID ELLIS
Hawks Road, Hailsham