The Gormenghastlyness of politics has reached new depths of despair. It’s time for sentient Tories to stop their descent into Bochian hell

20 Apr 2019 at 09:31

The Gormenghastlyness of British politics has reached new depths of despair. I am not going to try and argue that the terrible reenactment of Ulster’s bloody past in Derry is a direct result of a Brexit border crisis, but there are connections. The peace process has always been fragile, with tensions, suspicions and mistrust always bubbling below the surface. If nature abhors a vacuum then the men of violence thrive on it. Many people have forgotten that the Province hasn’t had a government for over two years. And no prospect of one in the foreseeable future. It means that political decisions have been put on hold. The place is grinding to a halt. Civil servants are doing their best but their job is to advise elected ministers who take decisions, not to govern. There is a failure of democracy in a part of the United Kingdom which needs it most.

And then there is the carelessness of language. That the backstop is a manufactured trap by Ireland and Brussels to imprison us in the EU. Forever. Talk of direct rule. Spitting venom about treason, traitors, mutiny. Why not just arm the madmen and let them get on with it?

Of course none of the One Notion Tories want to see violence in Ulster or anywhere else. But they are so tuned into their own rhetoric, so devoid of historical cadences, so bloody minded in their pursuit of perfection that they are reckless to the reality that the United Kingdom is spinning out of control. You would have thought that the sound warnings of Nancy Polosi just might have made them pause for thought. Not a bit of it. They are even more united in their psychotic delusions.

And now they have spawned their own Hydra of Brexit. Cut off one of its heads and a grinning, gurning Farage will always grow back on. These useful fools thought that their purity would protect their seats. Dear God. Does their ignorance and swept brow philosophy know no bounds?

I hope that these terrifying opinion polls are a wake up call for all sentient Tories. Rather than have a motion by the ruling body calling for the resignation of May they should meet and call for MPs to support her deal. It is the only way to avoid the destruction of the Conservative party at any EU Parliamentary elections and beyond. The Tories will lose control of a number of well run local authorities and trash hard working decent councillors because of the intransigence of a minority. The 2 May elections and the carnage is inevitable. The EU election must be and can be stopped. The thought of giving a platform to a brand new one issue party, who could not have had time to do even a cursory vetting of their candidates defies all sense and decency. It would not just be a lurch to the right but a descent into Hieronymous Bosch hell. And there will be only one victor. Captain Corbyn aboard HMS Shadenfreude. Are the ERGS so stupid, so blind, so blinkered, so possessed as to allow a part of the United Kingdom to descend into lawlessness, destroy their party and hand their country over to a genuinely Marxist government?

The answer sadly is yes. If the Tories fail to wake up to reality all of this will happen. They haven’t got long.

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I worry for Lammy’s mental health, have a horror that Parliament can’t break out of its tragic Ground Hog day and predict that Rory Stewart could be a very dark horse.

15 Apr 2019 at 06:48

I haven’t blogged for a while simply because I have absolutely nothing original to say about the British body politic. We are trapped in a weird and tragic version of Parliamentary Ground Hog Day. And they will not break out of it until atonement has been reached. MPs have only just reached the stage where the penny has dropped that despite driving off of cliffs, jumping out of buildings and attempting every other form of political suicide, they will not be allowed to die until they see the error of their ways and become better people. And we are nowhere near that point.

But I do worry about the mental health of MPs. They are under terrible conflicting pressures from the people who select them and those who elect them. There is no simple answer to any of this. It’s easy for the purists as they have no doubts. They think that anyone who says that crashing out will be an economic disaster is either deranged, lying or in the pay of Brussels. Or maybe all three. The most popular line is is that Parliament is stuffed with Remainers. Well, it’s not all that surprising really as all the main stream parties have been in favour of the EU and it’s derivatives for fifty years. It is reminiscent of the burnings of Catholics and Protestants where everyone took the side of whoever was the monarch. Rory Stewart, a man whom I would dearly love to be leader of the Conservatives, is refreshingly honest. His line is that British politics is all about fudge. After Cromwell we developed a constitutional monarchy. After the split with Rome we invented the Church of England. And for a man who used to negotiate with Afghan warlords, he is of the view that the Brexit Rubick’s Cube will only be solved when, “both sides are equally unhappy”. Stewart is an delightful anomaly with an amazing backstory. How many people, let alone politicians, have had the rights to their life story bought up by Hollywood? How many ministers have vowed to resign if they didn’t improve their department within a year? And his Lawrence of Arabia image would capture the imagination of the media. And the electorate. A Prime Minister who honestly tells the public that he doesn’t have a vision but just wants to make things work? If the party decides to break with the past and skip a generation, he is your man. This could be a very dark horse indeed.

But back to mental health. Those of us who saw David Lammy’s meltdown on Marr started off being bemused, vaguely outraged and then rather saddened. If that wasn’t some form of psychotic episode I really don’t what is. Mogg, Johnson and the rest Ergonauts are a ghastly bunch. But comparing them to Nazis borders on the ridiculous. But if you look how the far right is shaping up and he had made the same analogy he might just have a point.

I am probably totally wrong but the thought of fighting the European Elections might just get the May deal over the line. It would destroy what is left of the Tories and it would give the ranting, raging, Gaministas a dangerous platform. And there are a lot of squeaky bottomed councillors who dreading the local elections. So perhaps commonsense could prevail. But that is just too bloody ridiculous for words.

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Malevolent forces are at work on our tiny island. It is time that voice of the silent majority be heard above the rabble. It is time that we do politics in a different way

30 Mar 2019 at 09:12

On the 29th March 1912 captain Scott storm bound in a tent near the South Pole made the last entry in his diary. “The end cannot be far”.

If only Theresa May had that luxury. She has given everything from her health to her sanity to push her deal over the line and has now has taken the honourable course and has sacrificed herself for the good of her country and her party. It was the right thing to do. And when she finally staggers away from the limelight towards a good night’s sleep the airwaves will be awash with the hypocritical eulogies from those treacherous bastards who have spent the last three years doing their level best to destroy her. Now they have succeeded. But at what a terrible cost to the country and whatever is left of the Conservative party.

The only question that the Sunday newspapers will obsess over is the timetable for her departure. Just pray that Chris Grayling isn’t in charge of it. I would imagine that there would be some sort of announcement today or tomorrow in the prayer that it might galvanise Parliament into agreeing something or anything. But she cannot just up sticks next week and fire the leadership election gun. The poor thing has to suffer even more humiliation by agreeing a some sort of plan to give Parliament more time to…..what? I really don’t know. But Brexit will not be put on hold. It has died. We will all pretend that somehow it can be delivered in in a way that won’t wreck the economy and satisfy all sides of the argument. But it can’t. The best that anyone can hope for is to welcome it into the land of the living dead in the hope that The People will tire of the fantasy that they have bought into. Brexit fatigue has already begun to set in.

I have finally reached the stage where I can longer play lip service to the lie that I respect the will of the people. I don’t. And now I am going to say something which most politicians think but dare not say. Vast swathes of the electorate are terminally stupid and cannot be trusted with determining the future of our country. They vote on a whim. Let them choose a government, a local authority or even a dog catcher, but never ever let them near a referendum again. Yet their capriciousness is not entirely of their own making. They were taken in by the lies, the simplistically false arguments, computer algorithms and a whole raft of dangerously deluded charlatans. It makes the stinking mess that inhabits most of the green benches the perfect representatives of the people.

British democracy isn’t yet dead, but is having the life sucked out of it. When I find myself nodding in agreement with Nadine Dorries as I was on Friday morning, it is time for the men in white coats to take me away.

The Ergonauts have self detonated and only chief petty officer Baker will be going down with the ship. He and a few others will do their best to blow up the government. And will fail. Mogg has jumped into a leaky lifeboat leaving behind any grain of integrity on the tilting deck. But what of Boris? Now this really is a tricky one for Borisologists. Is he going to re re re rat or reverse ferret? Or maybe both. But whatever he does he is still acknowledged as the uncrowned king of rodentia. Over the next few weeks MPs will never be more than six feet away from a Boris. The trouble with him (where does one begin?) is that he is all tip and no iceberg.

So back to the leadership. Firstly, pity the poor sod that wins. Will someone tell me what is left of the Tory party to lead?

Lets’s get the tired cliches of the commentariat out of the way first. ‘Skip a generation’. It’s not going to happen. Good people like Rory Stewart and Tom Tugenhat should be put in the cabinet, but are just not ready for the top job. Yet.

‘The most sophisticated electorate in the world’. Oh, do fuck off. They are just a bunch of greasers and chancers on the make. They will support whoever is likely to give them a job.

‘They will be looking for someone who will unite the party’. Hah. Some bloody chance of that. They are looking for someone who is less objectionable than any of the others. And someone who will win them the next election. If that is still a viable option.

‘They will be under pressure from their constituency associations to back Boris’. Perhaps. But MPs know the candidates better than anyone. By all means take soundings and consult members. But if they have any sense they will play their cards close to their chests. It is, after all, a secret ballot. Whoever you come out for you are going to piss off some dreadful little local in pot dictator. And don’t let’s pretend that Conservative Associations have not been infiltrated by UKIP. Just look at Beaconsfield. Grieve has effectively been ousted by a pantomime producer who stood against him as a UKIP candidate at the last election. These vile people are just political parasites seeking a new host. And they have found one.

But it’s Christmas and New Year for that little shit Farage. He now has a new self serving cause and the European elections will provide him with yet another hate filled platform to spread his poison.

As I have argued before, the next Tory leader cannot be a Remainer, nor a born again Brexiteer. Stage two of the negotiations, assuming we get there, is the really tough one. But whatever there is, and it won’t be much, which is worth salvaging from the wreckage it is going to have to be managed with someone who can reach out. Someone who can forge alliances. Someone who understands the DUP. But most of all, someone who will not ignore the 48 percent. I am fed up with saying it but unless there is a spirit of compromise from everybody we will let in an extremist either of the left or the right.

Looking at the rout in Parliament square yesterday, the faces of angry old men and women twisted in anger, Farage screaming that ‘they were in enemy territory’, and Tommy Robinson screeching vitriol and bile on a big screen, how could one forget the words that united Margaret Thatcher and Clement Attlee? “Referendums are the device of dictators and demagogues”.

Malevolent forces are at work on our tiny island. It is time that the silent majority was heard above the rabble. It may be time for a new way of doing politics.

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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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