Dear God will somebody please explain to me what Liz Truss is actually for?

23 Mar 2019 at 14:16

Dear God will someone please explain to me what Liz Truss is actually for? Like salad cream, radishes Lettuce and Andrea Leadsom’s intellect, I have always regarded her as one of those cosmic practical jokes put on earth to make us smile in a cringeworthy sort of way. But for someone who makes Diane Abbott look marginally more intelligent than a tub of pot noodle, it is quite remarkable the amount of newsprint she is devouring of late. I suppose it could be because she is blonde. The press have a thing about that sort of thing. The Daily Telegraph (trigger warning alert you may have to head for a safe place after reading what comes next) used to refer to me as the ‘golden golly’. But it was in the eighties at a time when flares and vaginal deodorants were the sole preserve of liberal intellectuals and the Telegraph was in the hands of the benign Max Hastings.

Now back to our Liz. It may not have escaped your attention that she is very keen to become Prime Minister, which is a bit like wanting to go on holiday. But to Blackpool. It goes without saying that her ambition is charmingly deluded, but gives me hours of harmless entertainment. Not a day goes by without an instagram (Jacob it’s like an electric Daguerreotype) of her doing something human. My favourite is of her sitting in that funny old chair in the hallway of Number 10 stroking the Downing Street cat. Weird and slightly unnerving. Then she gave us her ‘vision’ of the future in a lengthy interview in the TIMES. We learn that she likes chaos because she is a thrill seeker and wants ‘shake things up’.Jolly good. Politics has been so dull of late. Perhaps putting Chris Grayling in charge of the health service might be an interesting start. Chaos, thrill seeking and shaking up all in one man. A miracle. And why not put Priti Patel in charge of the Home Office? After all she is a great fan of the death penalty. And while she is at it why not make Raab, provided he doesn’t give us one of his heartwarming death-head grins, Foreign Secretary. After all, he now knows where Calais is, even if not what it’s for.

But there is a serious point to this stream of nonsense. In the not too distant future the Tories will be indulging in a bloody thirsty act of political cannibalism and emerge with a new leader. They will all be ‘healing…..willing to listen…..be tough with the EU…..start with a clean sheet of paper’. And will preside over a government of ‘all the talents’. Yawn.

It may not of escaped your attention that all but four of the candidates are quite mad. Rudd, Hunt, Sajid, and Gove easily pass the sanity and competence test. Poor Amber hasn’t a prayer as she is a sinner. She doesn’t BELIEVE. The swivel eyes would regard her election as akin to Dr Shipman chairing the BMA or King Herod running Mumsnet. So two of the others will be put before the party faithful. Therein lies another problem. The party has been infiltrated by Kippers, who are also quite mad. So as a matter of common sense it would be wise to not to allow mad people to have the choice of selecting other mad people. Representative, yes but quite bonkers.
It appears that from the detailed leakings (actually it’s more of a transcript) of the whips confrontation with Madame that it’s all over. If the price of getting the deal over the line is a timetable for her own personal withdrawal deal then she really ought to bite the bullet. It would be in the interests of her country and her party. And there would be no shame. It would be rightly seen as an heroic act of self sacrifice. David Lidington would be the interim leader until the blood starts flowing in the summer. By then we would have Brexited, there would be a new Commission and European Parliament. Perhaps even a fresh start. And by the end of the two years we will have moved no further.

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If the Tories prefer a nightmare like Mcvey over pragmatists like Bole they are finished

17 Mar 2019 at 18:25

That boiling cauldron of hatred, bile and intolerance that marinades and broils Brexit was embodied in the Dementor phantasm that possesses the human form of Esther McVey on Sophie Ridge this morning. When the Ergonaut Death Eaters join hands and attempt to make contact with the living sometimes, by accident, usually after a blood sacrifice, the apparition of McVey is conjured. Dear God she scares the shit out of me. She also rather makes me ashamed to be a Conservative. I am a progressive One Nation sort who abhors the screeching intolerance that has taken over our normally bumbling good natured British politics. But I will stay and fight.

Well, this week the blood sacrifice was the decent and cerebral Nick Boles. My kind of Tory. Pragmatic, caring and like Margaret Thatcher, believes in compromise. But under the new politics he is full of sin. He is a heretic. He has consistently voted for Madame’s deal and he wants to hold his party together. Like the Chief Whip I wish him well. We need people like Nick in Parliament. And in the party.

Please do not ask me to explain what happened last week as I am not entirely sure that I fully understand the alchemy of the anarchy. I suppose it was a little like the last hours of the Titanic where everyone was trying to jump into lifeboats. The difference was that nobody was quite sure which lifeboat to jump into.

So what will happen this week? Hah. I wish I knew. But I will hazard a guess. Every pressure will be put on the Death Eaters. McVey and her peculiars will vote in favour of something they think is ‘rancid’ and a ‘betrayal’ to save Brexit. How principled. Though Baker won’t. All his life he has waited for his spat chewing gum to be on the pavement of history. And this is his moment. Mogg is less of a fool. He still needs to maintain a fig leaf of credibility. He will reluctantly vote for it. With a sigh and the sort of veiled threat that only years of interbreeding can muster. The pork barrel will be out for the DUP and they will be bought. Corbyn will pretend that he has brought all sides together in the spirit of compromise and demand the politically impossible. But, and this is a very big but, the Death Eaters will demand a price. Heads on spikes. The Remainer traitors In cabinet, the evil Hammond, the wicked civil servants. The latest line appears to be ‘we need proper negotiators’. Which when you think of it is quite bizarre as the political negotiators have all been True Believers.

May must stay firm on this. If she sacks the Remainers in government the Party is dead. Government will really be in the hands of the Dementors. Even that won’t be enough. Nothing ever is.

So next week is probably the biggest decision time in post Suez politics. Common sense and pragmatism are now seen as a weakness rather than a strength. The only Danegeld that should be paid is Brexit. And nothing else. Otherwise a lot of
People like me will sail off into the sunset. And never return. McVey and her kind will cheer. God help us all.

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The Tories need a Tom Watson

13 Mar 2019 at 11:54

Poor old Brexit. She appears to be waiting for Diane Abbott to sing. And then it will be all over. The air will be thick with recriminations, the howls of protest, the pointing of fingers, the sly threats of civil disobedience, the hysteria of a failure of politics and the trope of an establishment stitch up will begin. The sad irony and terrible truth is that if Brexit withers on the vine it will because of the selfishness, the stupidity and sheer bloody mindedness of the Ergonauts. They have betrayed Brexit voters and they have become the enemies of the people. Their people. They will not be forgiven.

So politics is broken and Parliament has taken back control. In theory this is good news. In reality what will it achieve apart from the welcome assassination of a no deal Brexit? A delay? To do what? A referendum? To achieve what, other than further division? A general election? To settle what? A leadership election? Oh, for God’s sake.

Brexit may have broken Britain, Parliament and government, but it will never go away. It can’t be brushed under the carpet, nor ignored, nor abandoned. So where do we go from here? To be honest I haven’t a clue. And nor does anyone else. All I do know is that leaving the EU is now a pipe dream and that pipe is filled with a particular noxious substance.

Poor old Geoffrey Cox. I bet he is wishing he spent more time in Parliament than in court as he might have learned a thing or two about politics. Being Attorney General is not just about giving legal advice. You could train a chimp to do that. And we have had a few of those in the past. After all, he has the finest legal minds at his disposal. His job is to finesse it. Well, there’s another knighthood that has bitten the dust. OK, its not fair, but politics rarely is. I’ve never knowingly met him, but he seems a decent fellow who is trying to do his best. But his brief required great political skill and the old boy just hasn’t had the experience. I suspect that he will soon be spending more time with his briefs.

More amazing than the collapse of executive government are the antics of of Tom Watson. He has played a blinder. The Corbynistas are incandescent with rage. But there is nothing much they can do except gripe. He has his own mandate. He is certainly not a Blairite and was a key player in his defenestration. And nobody can accuse him of disloyalty to his party as he is trying to hold it together. This must be worrying for the Tiggers and, if they have time to consider it, discombobulating for the Tories.

It may well be that the May deal will have to be scrapped and we start all over again. Nobody could have been more steadfast, more hardworking, more resilient than Madame. She has served her country and her party diligently. But she is knackered. She can’t go through all of this again. And she shouldn’t be expected to. When no deal bites the dust and when article 50 is extended for more than three months, then I have no doubt that she will throw in the towel. If the party has any sense they should elect Michael Gove. Sadly, good sense and the Tories are not natural bed fellows at the moment. If they plump for an Ergonaut then the party will be destroyed. We need a Tom Watson.

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The Magnificent Seven have saddled up. But can they break the party system? Perhaps. All party leaders should start thinking about their mortality.

18 Feb 2019 at 15:15

Well, it has finally happened. The Magnificent Seven have finally saddled up and set off to redeem themselves by protecting a little town taken over by bandits. And one line from the 1960 movie couldn’t have put the problem of Corbyn any more succinctly, “this man needs to be buried soon. He’s not turning into any nosegay”. But that’s about as far as analogies go, save that Chuka Umuna does bear an uncanny resemblance to Yul Brennar, whose job before acting was a trapeze artist in a circus.

Bravery, in politics, is a very over rated word. But these guys really are amazingly courageous. They will be spat at, vilified and put under terrible pressure. Corbyn will sing from the Momentum playbook. He will shake his head more in sorrow than in anger and ask his party to behave in a civilised way and then he will unleash his dogs of war. Social Media will turn into an abattoir of such primal hatred that it will disgust the nation. Corbyn will pretend that he was neither their nor involved. I really do hope that they and their families are given police protection.

I suppose that it wasn’t by accident that TIG was launched the day after a poll indicated that 59% would consider voting for a centre party. Whether they will or not depends on the message. President Jeb Bartlett of the West Wing was of the view that every campaign had to be defined in ten words. Perhaps, “we’ll tell you what you may not want to hear”, might be a start. But just being “we are none of the above” won’t cut the mustard. The Tories would be wise not to mock them and welcome them to join the party of One Nation. Under Cameron or Major this wouldn’t have worked, but could at least have sounded plausible. But from a party which has been hijacked by a group whose antics resemble drinking up time at the Star Wars bar it is nothing more than a sick joke. And there will be a nervousness that unless the ERGS are sent back up to the attic behind lock and key the party will suffer the same fate as Labour.

Will TIG break the mould of British politics? It’s too early to say. But they could. Everyone forgets that in the 1983 election the SDP came within two points and just under 500,000 votes from Labour. But our electoral system screwed them down to 23 seats. Where they messed with old two party loyalties is that they split the vote destroying Labour heartlands and giving Thatcher a massive, but not quite Blairian majority.

Some say that the old party system is redundant. Maybe it is. Or maybe it will mutate into something a little more attractive and relevant. But at the moment I haven’t got a clue how it could happen or work. Much depends on what happens to Brexit. I suspect that the majority want Parliament to agree to an arrangement that keeps us in some sort of alignment with the EU that doesn’t wreck the economy. Yet there is a minority to whom Brexit is the most important issue in their life, overshadowing the economy and the NHS. They see politicians patronising them and betraying their vote. Then there is the minority who see Brexit as won on the basis of lies and deceit. They want another referendum. These three positions are irreconcilable although I would be surprised if there wasn’t a great sigh of relief if May or her successor was able to achieve the first option.

So why do people vote for parties? I wish I knew the answer. Habit? How the family traditionally votes? To a limited extent class. But more probably ‘what’s in it for me and my family’?

Many years ago when Macmillan was at the height of his popularity he sent a memo to his chief policy advisor. “The middle classes seem to be asking me for something. Could you jot down on some notepaper what it is?”

So what do people want? I know what they expect. That they will be ignored. There lies the challenge. And the clear and present danger.

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There is a solution to the backstop deadlock. If Cox and Grieve can put subpoenas envy behind them and find a form of words that will time limit it with force of law the deal is done

5 Feb 2019 at 08:28

There is not a lot of humour in Brexit, but perhaps I could be forgiven a little chuckle when I read that Martin Selmayr, whom carpet biters regard as the the sperm of the devil, asked the opinion of Andrea Jenkyns about a matter of national importance. It was quite clever really because our Andrea, not perhaps blessed with the judgement of Solomon nor the wisdom of Confucius, is the Brexiteer’s Brexiteer. She has never been Brexit vegan. More the full blood spattered, throat slitting, goat bleating Halal. And without wishing to be too unkind, her answer to the tricky question of whether she would support Madame’s deal if backstop assurances were given legal force, her answer was a cross between a Sunderland Nissan car worker and Mark Francois on not being beastly to the Germans. Talking about Frank, where was our Canvey Island Cicero when you need him? Surely he had a relative who fought the Japs in the war? “I ain’t going to be bullied by no Nip”, he might have said.

But back to our Andrea, “Er, eighty percent”, she squealed. How strange. Selmayr had given the hint of an assurance that a few days ago would have been a slam dunk for the deal. The fact is that our Andrea had been cornered. She knew what the Ergonaut policy was a few days ago, but not sure what it is today. I blame Owen Paterson Spode and his badgers. So we await the Papal Bull in a china shop from his holiness Mogg.

There is a solution to all of this. There is an ancient club whose members stick together like shit to a blanket. The Attorney General’s Club. They are delightful old cynics who have seen it all. And they share the camaraderie of knowing that their advice will be lauded as sage and magnificent if it fits in with their political masters and derided as delusional if not. So Cox and Grieve, get your heads together and work out the ultimate face saver. Find a form of words that the EU can agree that sets a legally binding time lock on the backstop. This has to be a joint effort and a joint statement. Boys, put subpoenas envy behind you and earn the nations’s gratitude

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After lying in front of a JCB for £10k Boris is setting the trend for sponsored MPs. Grayling for Anusol and Mogg for Domestos, ‘clean round the bend’.

27 Jan 2019 at 08:38

Well, for once in this sorry Brexit psycho drama there is light at the end of the tunnel. And it may not be the train. It looks as if Madame might just squeak home with her deal if she puts the kibosh on the backstop. It shouldn’t be too much of a hurdle as the EU were not in favour of it the first place. And if the price is some form of customs arrangement provided that we can, after full negotiations, strike our own trade deals, why not?

To be fair the government shouldn’t claim too much credit for it. If it hadn’t been for the Supreme Court (and Gina Miller) the executive would have steam rollered article 50 without consulting Parliament at all. If it hadn’t been for Dominic Grieve there wouldn’t have been a meaningful vote. If it hadn’t been for Yvette Cooper we would be sleep walking into a no deal catastrophe. And now it looks like Graham Brady may save the day. He is probably the most powerful and influential Chairman of the 1922 in living memory. But have no fear, there will be plenty of other opportunities for the government to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Although I have tremendous sympathy for those Remainers who want a second referendum it was always going to be doomed unless they had the support of Corbyn, which was never going to be forthcoming. Nowadays, unless a policy involves Venezuela or Palestine, his concentration span is that of a gnat. He is truly Caracas.

A second referendum is only going to be on the table again if Parliament can’t make up its mind what it wants. So please Anna, Chuka and Dominic support Madame’s deal. Follow the lead of Ken Clarke. Trying to stop Brexit is a fool’s errand and plays into the hands of the carpet biters.

But do not under estimate Jacob and the Ergonauts who will sail the seven seas in search of the impossible. They will never give up. Like a stale fart in a lift they will linger indefinitely and continue to get up everyone’s nose. To them the May deal is a skirmish that they can afford to lose. The big prize is part two. The future relationship between the U.K. and the EU is where the real heavy lifting begins.

Mogg has been on an amazing journey. Once admired as a great Parliamentarian and tipped as a future Speaker. Then a wannabe king maker utterly convinced that his coup would topple Madame. But it was just a charge of the Light Headed Brigade. Then after his defeat he demanded that she resign. Then he said that he now supported her. After that it all became a bit mucky. The great Parliamentarian was rather saddened to see that Parliament might just do something he didn’t want therefore the the Queen should shut it down. Finally, although it won’t really be finally, he drawls that the government were responsible for her realistic comments to the Sandringham women’s institute. You couldn’t make it up. We leave that to him.

Which brings me on to Bozo. The JCB leadership entertainment was a theatre of the absurd. Denying to professional political Rottweiler, Michael Crick, that he had said anything about Turkey in the campaign is serious suicide jacket stuff. And then, joy of joys, he was paid £10k for the speech with David Davis trousering about £60k for twenty hours of ‘advice’.

It must all be in the spirit of free enterprise. In future, let business sponsor our MPs, who in return for a few bob will wear the company logo in the chamber. Grayling could sponsor Anusol, although he would be probably be sacked after an unfortunate poster of him orally administering one with a glass of water. But sponsorship should only be the sole preserve of backbenchers as most of the cabinet are unemployable. Oh, if only the splendid Paddy Ashdown was still with us. He would obviously be sponsored by Rentakill. But I understand that Mogg is very much in demand. The word is that he will be wearing the Domestos logo, “Clean Round The Bend”.

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Most front benchers address the House. Gove and Watson command it. They could be the future

17 Jan 2019 at 11:04

Don’t be too mystified about that stream of silver that is trickling down the corridors of Westminster. It is the blood a dozen slain unicorns. Brexit is not dead, but it is not going to be of the brutal Mad Max Moggian variety. These fools have blown it through their piety and are nothing more than a sad joke. Threatening to vote their own government down? Pleeeease.Compromise is the new purity.

It is fashionable to say that politics is broken. It’s not. It’s evolving. That wise Old sage and constitutional expert, Peter Hennessy, remarked the other day that the true definition of the British Constitution is, ‘what happens’. Well, there’s a lot happening. Parliament is beginning to take back control. It is inevitable that article 50 will be extended and that No Deal will be shot at dawn. Yes, I know, these are matters only in the gift of the executive. At the moment. But if the beginnings of a compromise across the aisle can be thrashed out more time will be needed. That’s not a betrayal, it’s just common sense. And it will hopefully avoid another referendum which would be further evidence that Parliament is weak and clueless.

This is a time for politicians to shine. And none shone more brightly than Michael Gove and Tom Watson in the last few days. Articulate, thoughtful and had the House in the palms of their hands. Both front benches looked at them in envious awe. I used to think that Gove would be the kingmaker, but I have become more convinced over the months that he could be the king. It will be more difficult for Watson because of the cult of Corbyn. Nevertheless, both men have emerged as very big beasts and heavy weight leadership alternatives.

The Mayan era is drawing to a close. Tom Watson was right to say that nobody can doubt her perseverance, decency and sense of duty. But now is the time for big tent politics and Madame is just not equipped to work a room let alone be the ring master. She just can’t do it. So it is right that Liddington and Gove do the charm offensive and heavy lifting. Her deal has to be the beginnings of plan B. It was interesting to see that even Barry Gardiner agrees. And it would be wise not to slam Barnier for not setting aside a few hours this weekend for talks. They’ll talk when we have a united front on a policy.

So day by day power is draining from Number 10. There is no shame in that. She will be delighted when she heads off, job done. With the gratitude of her party and the country.

Corbyn and Sturgeon have taken the coward’s way out in not coming in to the tent. Yet they condemn Madame for being inflexible with their own inflexibility. This will go down very badly with the voters. The negotiations will continue with backbenchers who will eventually call the shots. How ironic that all the main party leaders have lost control.

But we have all seen a glimpse of the future. An executive that can really be held to account. We have also seen two throughly professional men at the very top of their game. Most frontbenchers address the House. Gove and Watson command it.

Both of them make the other leadership contenders look like pygmies. The Tory line up pales into irrelevance compared to the Gover. Hunt blew it at conference and his Singapore speech. Boris is dead in the water, Williamson has been a disappointment by chasing headlines. Only Javid is still in the race as a serious player. If he has any sense he will be part of a dream ticket. Gove for PM with Javid as his deputy and Chancellor. This could work. Whether it will is entirely another matter. But don’t forget that Gove and Watson have had their fair share of disastrous judgement failures. I hope that have learned from this. And who in politics dares to throw the first stone? But Gove as PM is worth a tenner at William Hill.

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I watched with horror as Esther McVey launched her leadership campaign today a terrifying confection of Farah Fawcett Major meets Hannibal Lector. Hair today but sadly not gone tomorrow

14 Jan 2019 at 12:30

Well, there appears to be only only two grown ups in the Commons. Madame and Bercow. To the delusionists the Speaker is a class traitor. He is leading the Westminster elite bubble that is hand in glove with those who want Juncker’s tanks on College Green. He is part of a conspiracy to mock, undermine and destroy democracy. What is particularly interesting is that you won’t hear the likes of IDS, Jenkin, Cash, Redwood, Chope or Leigh agreeing with this analysis. It is left to the likes of young pups like the never knowingly undernourished Adam Holloway, who has the manner of a schoolboy who has nicked the last of the pork pies from the tuck shop and always keeps a spare one under his pillow. The reason the long marchers supportive is that they realise that Bercow, despite being mind bogglingly irritating, has done more for defending backbenchers against an over mighty executive than any Speaker in living memory. He allowed the long marchers every opportunity to be heard. And they remember in the good old days of Betty Boothroyd when they tried every procedural trick in the book to makes their points and wreck their own government. So deep down how can they blame Grieve and co for doing the same?

This morning I had the misfortune to watch Ether McVey on GMB. A terrifying confection of Farah Fawcett Major meets Hannibal Lector. Hair today but sadly not gone tomorrow. But boy can that woman blow. This was the launch of her leadership campaign. Dear God what sort of reptiles will a leadership election disgorge? Priti Patel? Penny Mordaunt?Liz Truss? I have never seen the point of these people except to make me feel decidedly unwell. I have never seen the political attraction of Truss. She strikes me as very odd. Unsure of herself on the media. Caught like a rabbit in the headlights. Terrified of being interviewed by the likes of Andrew Neil, which is fair enough, but bloody useless when she tries. And then she makes profoundly unfunny jokes about her cabinet colleagues. It’s the Adams family without their sense of normality. They won’t get anywhere but it will be fun to watch them crash and burn.

But back to McVey. She was in full unicorn mode this morning. ‘WTO rules are nothing to worry about. It’s what people voted for. The Irish border problem is just all made up. We have the technology. Anyhow, computers tell us in advance which lorries are carrying drugs and weapons’. It just borders on the psychotic. I wonder if she really beliefs this guff.

So tomorrow is a big day. There will no doubt be a competition for who will: pick up the mace. Shout abuse. Behave disgracefully enough to be thrown out.
Corbyn will demand a general election which he won’t get. There will be points of order which will just be a primal scream. Francois will say something stupid. Brigden will say something even more stupid. Boles will want Norway. Boris, if he has come up for air from his latest squeeze, will ape statecraft. And Skinner will be a grumpy old shit. Same old, same old.

The key to the puzzle is the Speaker. If the government is defeated in such a way that the deal is dead and cannot be revived. If it is clear that the Commons cannot reach a conclusion on any deal is he entitled to allow an all party Bill to extend article 50 and allow a referendum? The answer is he can. If the Commons votes against this ruling on a motion, then he can’t and would have to go. But if the executive has lost control a sovereign Parliament is the only way to save itself and the country.

My personal preference would be to vote for the deal. Another referendum has to be the very last resort. And it may not be conclusive. But that is where we may have to go.

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It’s not just the hard right that have brought out the inner gammon in the dregs of society the hard left have been at it for years

9 Jan 2019 at 09:36

I don’t want to make light of the vile behaviour meted out to Anna Soubry, Owen Jones or anyone else running the gauntlet from Parliament to College Green. Or anywhere else. Brexit has unleashed the inner gammon in the the dregs of British society. But this sort of behaviour is not the property of the far right. Momentum has sporned an army of foul mouthed, vitriol spewing mobsters who are more concerned with attacking Labour moderates than the Tories. In many ways Twitter and social media are far more intimidating than the College Green mobs. It’s armchair violence, where the perpetrators are wired, aggressive and know no fear. Because they have little to be afraid of. The threats, the intimidation, the casual wickedness of the language and imagery is deeply troubling. It is not uncommon for women MPs to be regularly threatened with rape. And why? Because they can be.

The sight of extreme Brexiteers, burning flags, puffing their chests like overweight silver backs is encouraged by more mainstream enthusiasts warning of civil disobedience if their pure type of Brexit is not implemented. And the similar antics of the hard left are tolerated by those who should know better. Political debate has descended into shouting matches between the believers and the infidels.

Last night I watched the Uncivil War. Of course, it is a docudrama, but it is based on a horrible and cynical truth which will reshape political campaigning for a generation. Everyone has a room 101 which contains something that they are deeply afraid of. Find out what they are, who they are and where they are and feed their horrors. Exploit them. In real time. It was unnerving to watch the character of Cummings jump on a table chanting two terrible lies, ‘£350m and Turkey.’w It is now accepted that they were lies. But who cares? They won. That’s the end of it. Suck it up. To do anything else is treason. And a tweet that sent a shiver down my spine in relation to the 200 MPs who put down an amendment to stop a no deal Brexit? ‘Traitors it’s time that Parliament was cleansed’.

Actually, stopping a no deal Brexit is in line with Mayspeak. Her oft quoted line, ‘it’s better to have no deal than a bad deal,’ still works as she claims that her deal is a good one so the government is hardly supporting a no deal. Although the vote last night was symbolic it clearly shows that there is not a majority for no deal. Not surprisingly the twitter response from supposedly educated people is horrific.

This is the problem with finding a solution to Brexit. There isn’t one because nobody is entirely sure what exactly people voted for. After all, Bozo warned us in 2016 that a no deal would be ‘insane’. But we know some of the things that they voted against: immigration, Muslims, the political elite, foreigners taking their jobs, foreigners driving down wage levels, foreigners taking over their communities, a Federal Europe, our laws being made by foreigners. The vote was a Christmas tree upon which to hang any grievance. Yet I still have a gut feeling that Madame’s deal will eventually come through. Although perhaps not on the first vote. Whether this is wishful thinking or evidence based is still a mystery to me.

But back to bad behaviour on College Green. Firstly, have any criminal offences been committed? Calling someone a Nazi? No. Making a threat to safety? Possibly, if it had put someone of reasonable firmness in fear. These are all minor public order act offences which the police could have dealt with using a little common sense.

The trouble is someone has pressed that dangerous red button marked, ‘Something Must Be Done.’ Remember that the police have a statutory duty to stop people from impeding MPs from going to Parliament. Just ensure that there is a presence and a menace.People have the right to protest. To shout and scream. To let off steam. Politicians are regarded as lower than vermin. If they are seen to go into hiding, to be even more remote and out of touch than people already think they are then we are in for more disillusionment and disconnect. However, College Green and Parliament Square have become a magnet for the weirdos and the just plain nasty. The police must be vigilant or else there will be a fatality.

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Corbyn’s sin was not the comment but the cover up. Lying to the House is usually a resignation matter. But he will be tarnished but safe. He is the government’s greatest asset

20 Dec 2018 at 13:40

It’s rarely the offence that sucks the life out of a politician. It’s the cover up. Whether it was Watergate, Profumo, Huhme or that ghastly MP from Peterborough. And now it is the turn of Corbyn, the leader who in the eyes of his acolytes can be forgiven anything from rampant anti semitism to consorting with the enemies of the United Kingdom. He has glided through the shit storms with relative ease. Although not smelling so much of roses as Domestos. Yesterday’s little outing was far, far more serious then anything he has ever faced. Some of you will say, ‘don’t be daft he only muttered under his breath that Madame was a stupid woman. Get perspective.’ And I can agree with that argument. What he should have done is come back the the House and said, ‘Mr. Speaker, this afternoon I was accused by the party opposite of using unparliamentary and sexist language. As you know, Prime Minister’s Question Time is the most fast moving, high pressure arena that any politician has to endure. Feelings run high and sometimes things are said that are immediately regretted. To be honest I have no recollection of saying that the Prime Minister was a stupid woman. It is against everything I have fought all my life. However, I have since looked at the playback and can see that to my horror I have muttered those offending words. I unreservedly apologise to this House and in particular the Prime Minister. What I meant to say was stupid people.’

If he had done that, it would have been the end of the matter. But he didn’t. His hounds spun that he said ‘people’ not ‘woman’ and that they had a well known lip reader who would attest to this. Well, the lip reader has vanished like a Will O’ the Wisp if he/she or Zi had ever existed, which I doubt. Corbyn then came back to the chamber and lied. A lie, so big, so venal and so obvious that it made Boris’s battle bus promise look like a bit of fib.

In the Commons if you apologise with good grace and humility you can just about get away with most things. But if you lie to them it is the most serious Parliamentary offence on the charge sheet. Which is pretty long. Profumo didn’t resign because of shagging Christine Keeler, he resigned because of lying to the House about it. If he hadn’t done that and bluffed it out he might well have survived.

So what will happen to Corbyn? Difficult to say. It’s not long to go before Christmas. But anything that unites Anna Soubry and Loathesome borders on the miraculous. And Madame yet again bestrides the moral high ground. Corbyn won’t resign. Good God it would be a disaster for the Tories if he did. But the fluffiness, wide eyed innocence and the lovely old grandad veneer is wearing thin. We have the ocular proof.

And poor old Bercow’s reputation took a serious beating. One of the favourite sayings of Speakers who wanted to avoid making a tricky decision was, ‘I am unable to make a ruling on this as my wig slipped over my eyes.’ His antics yesterday were simply embarrassing. To say that the images were ‘ambiguous’, is a serious porky. And stupid. I have never never known a Speaker who has lost the confidence of the House. If he tries to cling on it will be the death of him.

But isn’t it wonderful not to write about Brexit? It’s like the story of the Brighton lavatory attendant who was getting rather fed up with the hedonistic activities of his clientele. ‘Do you know I had a guy come in here the other day for a shit? It was like a breath of fresh air.’

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