Between Johnson and Corbyn - it's not a difficult choice, writes PATRICK O'FLYNN

As brilliant notions go, this one will perhaps bring to mind Ardal O’Hanlon’s masterful depiction of an idiot in the sit-com Father Ted. Or maybe Brenda from Bristol wearily declaring: “Not another one.” But really, yes, the country does need an election to haul its politicians out of the mud into which they have sunk. That much has been obvious for weeks. A deadlocked parliament has proved unequal to the challenges of Brexit and now serves only to ratchet up the level of demoralisation being in icted on the populace.

So maybe think of it like root canal work at the dentist – nasty, brutish and hopefully short.

And with a dull but ever- worsening ache removed once we reach the other side. That happy prospect depends, of course, on there being a de nite outcome and a majority government coming in on an undeniable mandate to implement its programme and with the means to do so.

Of the two real contenders to be prime minister – Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn - the choice does not seem to me to be terribly difficult.

The guy who has set about trying to complete Brexit with gusto despite a Remainer establishment making his life a misery versus the guy who has presided over the hideous rise of anti-semitism and the unprincipled shifting of positions on Brexit within his own party. 

And it hasn’t just been on Brexit that Labour has yo-yoed. It spent the whole summer campaigning for an immediate election and yet when Johnson surged in the polls and offered it one, it set about coming up with a ludicrous list of reasons why it wasn’t such a good idea.

Yesterday Corbyn’s Labour changed its mind because it was backed into a corner. with the Lib Dems and the sNP ready to back a December poll, Labour judged it was powerless to stop one.

So rather than be seen to run scared just as everyone else red a starting pistol, it chose to go gung-ho and seek to channel the spirit of Corbyn’s improbably energetic 2017 campaign. On the face of it, with its poll ratings mired in the low 20s and Corbyn widely regarded as a busted flush, Labour doesn’t have much prospect of winning.

But much of its hopes will rest on Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party being able to lure away from the Tories those many pro-Leave voters who are understandably irked by Mr Johnson’s failure to keep his promise to get us out of the EU by tomorrow night.

In fact, I expect Leave supporters to vote strategically to achieve their goal by giving Mr Johnson the tools to nish the job. But this election will not just be about Brexit. No general election is ever purely about a single issue – no matter how dominant that issue appears at the outset.

As the Tories learned to their cost when they included the deeply iniquitous “demen- tia tax” in their 2017 manifesto, the voters are the ones who decide what elections will actually be about.

And while polling shows most do rate Brexit the top con- cern, they are also worried about several other big issues such as the NHs, crime being on a seriously upward trend and a chronic shortage of affordable housing blighting the lives of millions of families.

Since moving into Downing street, Mr Johnson has talked up Tory solutions to all of these issues – much more money for the NHS, a massive police recruitment drive, tougher sentencing and an as yet undefined plan to give “millions of young people the chance to own their own home”.

The electorate will also want to hear from all the parties what they plan to do to help rebuild our over-stretched armed forces, tackle aggressive tax avoidance by some multinational corporations and ensure a living wage for those who work hard but are stuck at the bottom end of the jobs market.

A keen national debate about all these issues is well worth having for in truth none has had much daylight since Remainer MPs decided to turn Brexit into an endless tug-of-war rather than getting behind the verdict of the British people.

Most of us have been around long enough to know that politics never actually ends.

There are always new dragons to be slain and old ones raising their ugly heads again.

But so long as the country gives clear instructions this time about what it desires – and I think that it will – then the page can finally be turned on the years of stasis and deadlock that have so demoralised and so angered so many. what a joyful Christmas present that would be.

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