As May prepares for yet another ‘meaningful’ vote we explore the origin ‘third time lucky’

A ‘deal’ that hasn’t changed one iota since July is about to be put back to the Commons on Tuesday for a third vote. Bercow could block this as it’s already been voted down twice and a third attempt might be seen as going against the ‘will of the House’ but scenes of political carnage would ensue. Not that Bercow would be bothered.

An alternative for May is to make some small amendments to the Agreement to nullify Bercow’s position but the EU have been clear that there are to be NO MORE CHANGES. However, May seems to have a processing disorder that means things just don’t sink into her brain.

The likeliest outcome is that third vote so today we’re looking at the meaning of what ‘third time lucky’ is.

The most common thought is that it alludes to the belief that, under English law, anyone who survived three attempts at hanging would be set free. This is probably from the story of John ‘Babbacombe’ Lee. Lee was a West Country sailor who was convicted of the murder of Emma Keyse at Babbacombe Bay in 1885. He was sentenced to hang at Exeter prison and three attempts to execute him all failed. He might have avoided the noose again but he was still a convicted murderer and that legacy stayed with him for the rest of his life.

If May is betting the house based on the luck of a man who slaughtered an innocent woman then we are entirely doomed. But at this stage nothing would be surprising. Saying that no one could have predicted that the government would have lost a whipped vote against it’s own motion meaning that this week we hit peak insanity in Westminster.

A murderer who survived a hanging might be seen as an apt metaphor for the current situation as May (supporter and champion of Austerity) clings on to power by the barest shred of something unknown. However, anyone who has rejected May’s ‘deal’ twice already but then supports it on the third time of asking should resign immediately and spend time reflecting on their personal moral code.

Can May get her ‘best turd we’ve got’, as one Tory MP described it on Thursday, past the post? Hopefully not but, even if she somehow does, her legacy of failure will cling to her like the conviction of murder was always with Babbacombe.

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