Listen to the word of G'OD while the unholy trinity bicker. Brexit the constitutional position

29 Aug 2016 at 08:47

It is a very good idea if you are a politician to listen to GOD. I don’t mean in the Blair/Bush gift of tongues sense or the Amish Tories snake handling cult. I am talking about former cabinet secretary Gus O’Donnell. He gave a structured and thoughtful interview to the TIMES the other day which is both pragmatic and realistic. It’s about whether May can trigger Article 50 without recourse to Parliament. His answer was probably, but warned that it was politically unwise. Yesterday I warned that there would be a constitutional crisis if May used a prerogative order to steam roller it through. There were screams of outrage and abuse from the usual suspects. Let me explain the constitutional and political options. They are pretty bloody obvious but there are a lot of people who really want shut their eyes, stick their fingers in their ears and sing la la la.

Firstly, May is no fool. She will not make any public utterances on how to trigger article 50 until the courts have ruled. And she will not make a public decision on when it will be triggered until cabinet has agreed a position on how to interpret the referendum. And that cannot be reached until the unholy trinity (Johnson, Davis, Fox) know what they want and if they can get it. At the moment they can’t agree on the basics such as staffing. Or quite how much they dislike each other. Then there is the Treasury. It is a naïvety to the point of drivelling say that they must be aloof from the discussions. Their duty is to protect and grow the economy which has to include financial services. The City is under serious threat from France and Germany.

The truth of the matter is that after decades of preparation the Brexiteers haven’t a clue what to do. The purists say that there is a great big red button which must be pushed NOW and all will be well. But this is blind happy clappy faith and not based on a shred of evidence. They don’t trust May and soon they will accuse Boris of going native, which he has with great aplomb. And anyway it was for GOVERNMENT to have a contingency plan. Really? When they warned that it would be a quagmire of shifting quick sands, impenetrable fog and nigh impossible to get a deal which was not damaging for the UK? In true Trumpian style they smell betrayal and establishment sell out at every word uttered from government. Their hatred of all things Brussels overrides any practical common sense. And compromise is a dirty word.

The constitutional position is easier than most people think. Parliament is sovereign. MPs are not delegates, they are representatives of their constituents. The people are only sovereign at elections. They elect their representatives to make decisions using their judgement and consciences. If the people don’t approve they hook them out. So although Parliament can ignore an advisory referendum which is not binding, but they would be unwise to do so.
So May can trigger the point of no return by prerogative order. In other words using the power of the Queen. She would have to sign it and she would be brought into a deeply unpleasant political row which could threaten the continuation of the monarchy. Of course, it is only convention that the Queen allows the government to use her prerogative powers. Technically she could refuse. But then she is brought into another political row. Best left well alone. I suspect that May will give Parlaiment a simple vote to trigger article 50. It will be government policy and heavily whipped. But will she get it though? It could be argued that this is a vote of confidence in the government. Failure could trigger an election. Tricky one.

It is impossible for Parliament to be bypassed over Brexit. They will have to vote on the abolition of the European Communities Act. They would have to vote on which Brussels regulations to bin or keep. They would have to vote on flotillas of orders, treaties and the very shape of any deal that may or may not be achieved. It is going to devour Parliamentary time for years.

GOD’s question is a good one. What if there is clear evidence that Brexit going to be an economic disaster a couple of years down the line? Should not the people have the right to have some say either in an election or a referendum? Of course. But now is not the time.

And do not underestimate the overweening vanity and ambition of Fromage. He will call the government to account. He will return. He will promise that only he can lead us into the promised land. At the moment UKIP is rudderless and pointless. The only way to breathe back life into it is to play the betrayal card. And then Tory backbenchers will do what they are best at. Panic.

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Abbott lectures May on obesity. Bozo, Fox & Davis in the CBB house and whether Brexit really does mean Brexit

20 Aug 2016 at 09:10

As I have just returned from my beautiful daughter’s and her handsome husband’s fantastic wedding in Kephalonia I have quite a bit of catching up to do. The cheering news is that political satire is not entirely dead and buried. When I read that the well upholstered Diane Abbott is lecturing May over the dangers of obesity I rolled my eyes piewards. And then I saw the Guardian’s attack on the big bellied, wee weinered statue of the hideous Trump in NYC as, ‘ageist and body shaming’, I had to slip into a new pair of Calvin Kleins.

But apart from that bit of light relief and the good news at the Olympics the world is in a more dangerous place than I can ever remember. The intellectual flabbiness of the US elections is sphincter rattlingly depressing. On the one hand we have a sociopath demagogue and on the other somebody who is not always BFF with the truth. And all the while Putin is dividing Europe, undermining NATO (with a lot of help from Trump and Corbyn who don’t understand our Treaty obligations), outgunning and outdisinformationing us. To make matters worse the wonderful country of Turkey is in the grips of a Stalinesque purge by another dangerously sociopathic demagogue who is now close to Putin. Worryingly, the CIA have hard evidence that the ‘coup’ was set up by Erdogan himself. God know what they will do with it. Well, as I know about it I can guess.

One certainty is that Labour as a centre left, election winning, pro Parliamentary democracy party is dead. The Party conference will just be its obituary notice and the coronation of St Jeremy. The Trots have taken over and cannot be moved. A new grouping will emerge under Tom Watson who, if they become the second largest party in the Commons, will be the official opposition with all the cash and trappings that go with it. Corbyn’s mob will just become a little cult paid for by the Unions.If this happens alarm bells should start ringing at No10. Watson is a wily operator, will hire the soon to be purged officials, and would be seen as a brave warrior. Moderation of a sort will return as will the money men. The moderates are in the last chance saloon and its drinking up time.

I think that I am beginning to understand how the No10 operation is working. May gets her team to put out an announcement which we all think is bonkers and then we realise a few days later, after the press have had a feeding frenzy, that there is a cunning logic to it. First there was the appointment of Fox, Johnson and Davis to oversee Brexit. They all despise each other and are indulging in not too subtle character assassinations. May issued a warning that this must stop. This shows her as strong, determined and in charge whilst the Breiteers are just squabbling over status and staff. The Foreign Office is still a Rolls Royce operation and is experienced in seeing off these sort of turf wars.
A couple weeks ago I had lunch with some very senior FO mandarins. I asked them how Bozo was doing and their answer rather shocked me.‘After the initial shock he has gone down rather well. They all hated Hammond and thought Hague a bit of a waste of space. But Boris charms them, speaks languages and is being forced to use his formidable intellect.’ He has also won his spurs by seeing off the first power grabs by Davis and Fox. But don’t underestimate those two. Bozo has very little experience of the Whitehall Byzantium. Those boys know every trick in the book. And the cherry on the cake was putting them all in the CBB house of Chevening. Delicious. Who will crack first.
And then was the announcement that the creation of new grammar schools was being considered. This caused the Amish wing of the party to ejaculate into the air like crazed Jihadists with AK47s. I thought that this was seriously flawed as grammar schools do absolutely nothing for social mobility and have become ghettoes for the middle classes. And then a few days later there was another announcement. That if there were to be more grammar schools there should be no more than twenty and only in working class areas. Now that was good politics. I haven’t quite worked out the logic of the abandonment of our perfectly sensible anti obesity policy when we know that many kids will soon predecease their parents. My first instinct is that this is a costly error of judgement. But if my thesis is correct I expect to see something more sensible emerging in the Sundays.

Lastly, ‘Brexit means Brexit’. Yet does it? I would be amazed if article 50 is triggered before the French and German elections. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we waited until after a new Commission is installed in 2019. This could be to be the only way we can get a deal. But what if we can’t? What if the world just tells us to quietly fuck off. What if Nissan does pull out of Sunderland with 40,000 jobs? What if the economy really does take a nose dive? Nobody could criticise May for lack of commitment, effort and putting the most committed Brexiteers in control of our destiny. The truth is nobody has a clue whether a saleable deal can be done. And there is an outside chance that Brexit will never happen.

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Today something momentous happened in British politics but nobody noticed. Watch out for More United and Paddy Ashdown. This could be a game changer.

24 Jul 2016 at 11:59

Something rather momentous happened this morning which went largely unnoticed. Whisked in at the last moment into the Marr studio Paddy Ashdown launched a new political movement, More United. Well, not so much as a launch as a cry for help. For now.

There have been whispers of a realignment of British politics since Corbyn and his goons hijacked the Labour Party. The sad truth is that Labour has died as a Parliamentary movement and has become an agit prop revolutionary cult. There is almost a Messianic belief that the only way to achieve real socialism is to take to the streets and social media. Well, that may not achieve anything much except to give a sense of purpose to the dispossessed with a visceral hatred for capitalism and Parliamentary democracy. And they are a scary bunch. That MPs and their staff face threats and personal abuse both physical and on social media from Corbynista henchmen is scary. That these people also stoke up anti semitism is terrifying. What I cannot make my mind up over is whether Corbyn is aware what his supporters are doing in his name. It’s all very well condemning threats, violence and anti semitism but it’s a waste of time unless you do something about it. The problem is that he lives within the bubble of the mob where he is feted. And the unofficial line is that this is a clever bit of PR from the Portman Group run by wicked Blairites. It would be laughable were it not so tragic.

It’s pretty damn obvious why the coup will be a miserable failure. MPs have not grasped that Corbynistas regard Parliamentary democracy as a means to an end. They honestly thought that by a mass resignation from the shadow cabinet it would somehow shame Corbyn to do the decent thing and go. Bonkers. He now has spokesmen in his own image. So then Eagle had a crack at the same psychology. Tom Watson went to see the unions to stitch a deal. Disaster. So now they are left with Owen Smith a former PR man for drugs companies who makes Tim Farron sound exiting. He will be lynched with his severed head placed on a spike outside Labour HQ as a warning. Conference will be stuffed with Corbynistas who will pass barmy motions making Labour unelectable. And then one by one moderate MPs will be thrown to the wolves. So what do they do? There is no point in waiting quietly for death and hoping to be spared. They are walking the red mile already as their constituency parties have been infiltrated. A split is inevitable. They have two choices. Set up a moderate party using the infrastructure of the Cooperative movement. Or they could have a close look at More United. And what about the Lib Dems? Don’t give them a second thought as they make Mickey Mouse look like a political colossus.

Then there is May’s Tory party. She strikes just the right note. She has had a good week where she dominated the chamber. But she has a majority of just sixteen. As I predicted it didn’t take long before the purists started making demands. Well, twenty four of them had breakfast (I imagine it was a full English with Wiltshire headbangers) in dining room B. So if you think that the Tory party would suddenly transform into a cuddly loyal bunch of May poodles you really need to get some counselling. The problem that Patrick McLoughlin has is to grapple with the uncomfortable truth that that the Tories only have about 150,000 members with an average age of sixty eight, with two thirds to the right of Genghis Khan. Somehow he (Patrick, as Ghenghis is sadly unavailable) needs to make them look moderate, relevant and in touch. Quite a tall order. So are we going to see any Tory MPs casting a sly glance at Paddy Ashdown’s ankle? Highly unlikely. At the moment. But they could leech Tory voters on the Remain wing.

We live in a age of distrust of professional politicians. And we have a bitterly divided nation. More United should not be written off as a gimmick. In many ways they resemble the old SDP. Pro European moderates with no party allegiances who want to heal the nation with motherhood and apple souffle. Before you scoff, remember that the SDP attracted about 30 Labour MPs to cross the floor when the Bennites took control. And they posed one hell of a threat to the Tories. We don’t know too much about them so far, but we will. Very soon.

Rather worryingly for Tim Farron, Ashdown did not rule putting up More United candidates against the Lib Dems. All this is is a long way off as is the election. But if you can hear a gentle grinding sound in the background it is the tectonic plates of British politics beginning to move. Any politician underestimates Paddy Ashdown at their peril.

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Liz Truss has been given an unfair monstering. Give her a chance.

21 Jul 2016 at 20:12

Now that I have had time to calm down after the reshuffle and reflect, I am far more optimistic. David Davis as a former minister for Europe under John Major is a sensible choice to lead us out of the EU. He will work well with Liam Fox who fought an honourable Brexit war. And Bozo? I still can’t make up my mind whether this was a clever ruse to destroy him or an act of criminal insanity. I doubt whether he will last a year. Leadsom had to be given something and Defra, with farmers terrified about their incomes, is really in the hands of Hammond at the Treasury. She is just the window dressing. A sensible move Hammond. It was always thought that he would do a job swap with Osborne. But things have moved on. In politics dullness coupled with a safe pair of hands is an advantage.

But what does Brexit really mean? We are going to have to be grown up about this. The awkward squad will scream for purity and they won’t get it. May, Davis and Fox will face them down. We are a trading nation and deals have to be done. The Commission may squeal that they can be no pre article 50 negotiations but their power is evaporating. It is the Council of Ministers that call the shots. And there is a very arguable case that the Commission should be relegated to what they should really be, namely not a law commissioning body, but a secretariat. It is in the interests of Europe and stability that the Council of Ministers take over that role.

But back to more parochial thoughts. Liz Truss is rather unfairly getting a hard time. She has a lot of reading in to do. Yet Lord Faulks, a Minister at the MOJ since 2014 resigned because he is worried that she won’t stand up for the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. What rank hypocrisy. This bloody man, whose second name is ‘Lawless’ (honest), served under Chris Grayling, the most dangerous, appalling destroyer of all that that is good in our justice system. Did Faulks resign? Did he stand up for the rule of law? Did he support the beleaguered judiciary? Did he try and stop the destruction of the independent bar and high street solicitors? Did he fuck. Best he spends more time with his very well paid briefs.

My view about Truss is exactly the same as it was with the appointment of Gove. Give her a chance. Speak to the judges, the bar and solicitors. Spend a day a week in courts. See how the system is creaking. Listen. We can tell you how to save money and make the system work. She will be horrified at what she sees. CPS lawyers have 150 cases in their charge. Each. Review hardly exists. Not through incompetence; just lack of time and resources. The real heroes are the case workers. They work unsociable hours just to get the show on the road. But most of the time the scenery either wobbles or just falls apart. The only way the system has even a pretence of working is through the goodwill of the bar and judges. And solicitors? Working on an almost impossibly tight budget. Some firms have just given up. This is not a scream for an increase in fees. That won’t happen. But justice must be served. And done. Legal aid has all but disappeared in family matters. Who has contact with the children and how? Litigants in person, whey faced, distraught with no legal advice. Who could lose their kids. It is bordering on a national disgrace. Truss needs time to get to grips with this. And we should give her a chance.

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Britain is really a Truman Show social experiment for the Chinese. But who is real and who is an actor?

16 Jul 2016 at 08:49

I have finally worked out what is really happening. Britain doesn’t have a real government nor a Parliament at all. We have just become part of a Truman Show televisual social experiment for the Chinese. And it is prime time viewing. Deep in a bunker in Bejing legendary producers think up bizarre plot lines to keep the Chinese viewing public hooked. What makes it so popular is that ordinary people have taken control of the show. There is a very popular nightly spot which roughly translates as What Can Boris Fuck Up Next? So punters get him to do the most bizarre things like write a poem about the president of Turkey shagging a goat or slagging off Obama and both nominees for the presidency. The idea of making him Foreign Secretary was considered as too far fetched by producers. But over 17 million voted for it, so it had to be. It has been a rich source of entertainment, particularly the coup against Erdogan organised by Mark Thatcher. And how they love Andrea Leadsom. Another popular game was What Really Stupid Things Can This Bloody Woman do? It has been a great success. They wanted to make her Prime Minister but that would end the whole show far too quickly. Actually our season ends in 2020 as a new show starts in America. The the latest wheeze is putting her in charge of farming, simply because her only experience is taking her children to a petting zoo in the 1990s. But the real fun will come when our farmers breathe in the fresh air of freedom on the sunny uplands of high tariffs.

But some younger writers have been writing plots which are just too unbelievable. Philip Hammond a long haired, loon panted lothario of the 70s promoting discos from his half office stroke bedroom plying his wild chums with Bacardi and Coke? Oh, come off it. And last night’s announcement by Oliver Letwin that we don’t have any trade negotiators as they all work for the EU was thought be be pushing credibility a tad too much.

The real difficulty is trying to work out who is real and who is a professional actor. People are beginning to suspect that Boris is not the real deal at all with some journalists hinting that he was trained at the Beijing State Circus. The giveaway was when he entered the Foreign Office on a unicycle and sporting that terrible fright wig. It is rumoured that he has an earpiece keeping him in contact with producers. When ratings begin to wobble they scream ‘do something fucking stupid’. And he does. What a pro.

And Leadsom? The talk is that her real name is Leticia Twunt who once auditioned for a part in the Stepford Wives. She fell out with producers over a sporting claim on her CV that she wrote all of Shakespeare’s novels. But her ratings are pretty good.

But even hacks are worried that some of their editors cannot be real either. Paul Dacre is suspected of being a former horror movie actor planted at the MAIL to send a shiver down the nation’s spine. He is really very, very good. And Richard Desmond is beginning to cause concern as it is reported that he bears an uncanny resemblance to a man who escaped from a Beijing asylum for the criminally insane. Nobody can be sure but they always enter his office in twos.

The real mystery is Theresa May. The word on the street is that the real one was kidnapped and replaced by Ann Robinson years ago. Even Gove was unnerved when she sacked him by saying ‘you are the weakest link goodbye’. Now just answer this simple question readers, have you ever seen May and Robinson together? Hah, I thought not.

But I have heard from Heat Magazine that there is talk of Boris being written out by the end of the year. It is going to be spectacular disaster.

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Miss Loathesome's Mars Attack Moment

9 Jul 2016 at 09:37

If I had seriously suggested that Donald Trump would be President, Andrea Leadsom Prime Minister and Jeremy Corbyn leader of the Opposition you would have committed me to a place of safety. But in this Munchian period of world affairs our voters are having great fun in putting the dick into unpredictability. I know, let’s sit down, pour four fingers of finest malt and have a think about this.

So what does Loathesome represent? We don’t know yet, but soon Nick Wood, proprietor of Media Intelligence Partners and former communications chief to IDS, will be telling her. However, we do know whom she represents. The lost tribe of Conservatism. The sort of people who would have been passionate members of the Monday Club. Grizzled old men with more dandruff than a dead badger who would loiter outside party conferences distributing badly printed leaflets screaming for us to get out of the EEC and how immigrants were taking over the country. That would be the ‘steel’. But there would always be the ‘velvet glove of compassion’ in that there would be generous repatriation grants. A land fit for Millwall supporters.

If Bozo was the prisoner of the unacceptable right, Loathesome is its cheer leader. Jean creaming endorsements from Farage and Banks prove that she is the host to their parasite. What decent politician really wants such encouragement? Why bother to elect the KIPPERS? They would effectively be in government. Fromage was quite right when he said that his work was done. His Cuckoo has been just been hatched and chucking the other chicks out of the nest.

When I saw that rag bag of delusionists, no hopers, grudgeesters and those with mild personality disorders marching upon Westminster shouting ‘Leadsom for leader’, thought that it was sad but faintly amusing. And then I had a more sinister thought. These bloody people could be the next government.

It’s a bit like Ufologists who have been mocked all their lives for being slightly weird suddenly discover that a flying saucer really has landed at the bottom of their garden. They are now regarded as the experts. So now the press want answers.
‘So Miss Loathesome all your life you have predicted that there are little green men out there. Tell us, are they hostile and are going to wipe us off the face of the earth or do they come in peace wanting to share their technology with us? Oh, and will you negotiate on behalf of the world? Your great experience as a telephone hygienist and in telesales for your brother in law’s PPI claim firm is invaluable’.
Well, I think we know the answer. In truth she doesn’t have a clue, but egged on by the hopeful dispossessed, desperate for a seat at the table, she will appear before the cameras in her best happy clown makeup (wake up Brookes, Rowson and Bell) and radiate happy bunny, homespun optimism with all the charm of an Essex school dinner lady looking after her rowdy kids.

‘Miss Loathesome why are you so sure that these Martians aren’t armed and will kill, maim and enslave us?’
‘Oh don’t talk our country down. They need us more than we need them. We are heading for the sunny uplands. They will give us their wonderful new technology for free! There may be a few bumps in the road though. Perhaps the elimination of a few major cities like Paris or Berlin. But breath deeply and feel the exhilaration of freedom. Isn’t it wonderful? Of course we can’t let all of the Martians in, but they won’t mind, they respect the fact that although they may have hideous weapons of mass destruction way beyond our comprehension, we are a sovereign nation. Optimism, optimism, optimism, let’s ban pessimism!!!’
At that a young man sporting a Union Jack bow tie, horn rimmed glasses and a face about to explode with acne hands her two feather dusters and presses the guide track for Ken Dodd’s ‘Happiness’. But just as Miss Loathesome is treating an hysterical and damp gussetted crowd to the second verse, nobody notices that a hatch on the spacecraft is slowly opening casting an eerie glow.

To be continued…….

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Overnight Andrea Leadsom has become Andrea Loathsome. Her campaign is based on a lie. We need another referendum.

3 Jul 2016 at 08:57

Well, I was right about one thing. That Simon Walters would get the best Sunday story, but far more devastating than I could ever imagine. Over night Andrea Leadsom has become Andrea Loathesome. And let me remind you why. The Brexiteers are terrified of Theresa May’s honesty, consistency and competence. The Conservative party has morphed into the witch trials of Salem. Bitch finder General Bill Cash and his goons are patrolling the corridors looking for signs of bitch craft. ‘You speak to Remainers don’t you? Confess’. Offices are ransacked for traces of French cheese and German sausage. ‘You have never been a true believer and this bottle of Macon is evidence. Confess and your soul will be purged in the fires of Brexitdom’.
And yesterday their Joan of Arc (yes I know it’s another age and another story but I’m on a roll) appeared in shining armour to lead her armies to defeat the great sorceress May. ‘I am the true believer. I am the way and the light. Only a true believer can be trusted. Now kneel and receive my blessing’. And with Cecil B de Mille drama they fell to their knees. But in the sky there is a bright light and then a familiar voice. ‘The Eu without Britain is like fish without chips….to leave would be an economic disaster’. And the voice? Andrea the pure! No!!!!!! Surely not. It’s a liiiiiiiie. So all this crazy nonsense by Bill Cash about a judicialreview of any coronation of May is total bollocks.

How on earth does Loathesome get out of this? Well, my dear old chum Iain Dale tried a line on Marr. ‘Well, she was a minister at the time….collective responsibility’. And what about her? ‘Things have radically changed since 2013’. Really? And she said this with that fixed Gordon Brown smile and not a blink of an eye. ‘The country needs someone who believes fervently in the sunlit uplands of leaving’. But she didn’t in 2013. If she had any honour she would have not made that speech or resigned as a matter of principle. How can you believe a word she says? She has been a total fraud. But so has the whole Brexit strategy, it was based on a lie. Not finessed exaggerations one gets at general elections but promises which have been abandoned. It was a vote gained by fraud. It is a national scandal. Interesting that the one question that stumped her on Marr was about publishing her tax returns. I am sure that it was nothing to do with her offshore activities.

I have never been so despondent. I never never seen such depression. Already jobs are on the line. Already universities are terrified of the inevitable loss of EU funding. Farmers, the automotive industry and aerospace haven’t got a clue about their future. The young have had their birth right stolen on the basis of a lie.

Over four million have signed a petition for another referendum. I and most of my friends have signed it. This is a matter for Parliament and not party leaders. After all we believe in Parliamentary sovereignty. There will be a debate and there will be a vote. MPs must cast personal interest aside and vote for the greater good.

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British politics has become like Titus Andronicus without the jokes

1 Jul 2016 at 07:58

British politics has become a cross between Titus Andronicus without the jokes and a Chinese edition of the The Prince where Machiavelli’s sound advice has been lost in translation. The lesson for the Tories is don’t run a leadership campaign from the Oxford Union playbook. And for Labour? Well, I am reminded of some very wise advice from Nick Ridley over a large whisky after I had been unmasked as being involved in a disastrous plot to try and humanise Thatcher. ‘Dear boy, in politics you must always shoot to kill never to wound. A wounded animal is both unpredictable and dangerous. Have another drink, you’ll need it’.

There is another more important lesson. Mercurial politicians are beloved of the media because they are good copy. But appearing on the front pages may do wonders for the ego it does little for one’s reputation at Westminster. Parliament tolerates attention seekers but prefers consistency, judgement and getting on with the job. It is known as a safe pair of hands. We may salivate over outbursts, plotting, knifing and martyrdom but it is ugly and unattractive to the electorate. If fulfils their view of politicians as out of touch prima donnas biting and scratching for position. And never has the greasy pole been dripping with such blood and bile.

Neither Boris Johnson nor Michael Gove have done themselves any favours. Boris has trashed the economy, betrayed the life chances of the young, knifed a great Prime Minister and unleashed dark and divisive forces which have ripped his party and his country apart. We are going to hell in his hand cart and the wheels have fallen off. Now we read that he wanted to do a deal with May. He would graciously lend her the Prime Ministership until 2020. She would have the honour of being his home help cleaning up the vomit, broken furniture and smashed crockery after the raucous party that he had hosted. Then he would come home in triumph and show off his beautifully clean home and become master of the estate. Wisely, May wouldn’t even talk him. All the while he was making promises to his deluded supporters of red boxes and influence. Like all of Boris’s life it was dishonest and delusional. Thank God he has been ventilated from the body politic. He will not be offered a job. He has no leverage.

And my eternal thanks go to Michael Gove for facilitating this. Yet he has much blood on his hands. He unforgivably knifed his close friend Cameron. He promised a low key campaign. Although he shuddered at the Farage poster he lied about Turkey and the £350 million, and accused the likes of the OECD, the IFS, the Governor of the Bank of England and the ‘experts’ of being akin to Nazis. Worse, his views of turning the NHS into an insurance based scheme would be fatal at a general election. His other difficulty is that wants us to be rid of ties with the single market which is economic suicide. And he is mercurial and unpredictable too. Worse he is conjoined with Dominic Cummings, a revolting pile of toxic waste who would wreak havoc at Downing Street. But what will kill his prospects is the anger he has engendered amongst back benchers. By knifing Boris he has destroyed their fantasy world. It will be interesting to see how many Boris votes move to May.

The big story that I expect to read on the front page of the Mail on Sunday and written by the splendid Simon Walters will be when Gove first put in the telephone lines. Because, like Boris, he was playing a double game too. This was not an overnight conversion to realising how duplicitous and lacking in leadership he was. He has known this for years.

So what is the other lesson to be learned? Play with a straight bat. Theresa May just got on with the job. None of the viciousness, none of the dangerous subliminal Farage associations. No lies about the Turks and the economy. No hostages to fortune. No jockeying for position. No knifings. The party will like that and so will the country. In times of crisis we need a safe pair of hands. But it is still early days. Leadsom might to reasonably well amongst MPs. Then she will position. But she has all the baggage that Gove has and little ministerial experience. Too much of a risk. She will do a deal. And the others? Crabb has a good back story but hardly any experience and will expect a good job. Fox? A handful of votes. Maybe a job but not a big one. At the moment I am encouraged that May has a commanding lead. But we have the whole weekend for the pork barrel to be rolled. And this will shock you; MPs are not always entirely honest about their voting intentions.Briti

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Indecisive, weak and without a principled bone in his body. It's time to dump the Chump and vote for May

29 Jun 2016 at 19:42

What has been puzzling me for the last day or so is why could a civilised and decent man like Michael Gove possibly support Bozo. Well, there is the question of survival I suppose. And Nick Soames too. As decent an old boy as you will find on a grouse moor. What is this madness that is infecting the Tories and Labour?

But Bozo is a fraud and utterly untrustworthy. Even Gove’s wife understands that. Maybe he thinks that he can control his wilder excesses and perhaps persuade him to read the odd brief now and then. No way. One day Gove will be turned over by him. Why? Because Gove is a gentleman and Johnson is not.

The truth of the matter is that Bozo stole the referendum on two major lies; £350m for the NHS and control of our borders; both of which have been tossed to the wind. Well the poor suckers bought that didn’t they? And then he tells a real whopper in his £5k a pop column that immigration wasn’t such a big deal with the punters. Lot of back peddling there. ‘Wrote it too quickly…….tired’. But it sums the man up. Lazy, slapdash, with no attention to detail, particularly the truth. Make it up and you can get away with it with the shrug of the shoulders and a grin. So if his own supporters don’t trust him why should the electorate? The man has some serious hurdles to jump.

And how would he be in a crisis? I know, it doesn’t bear thinking about does it? But when you are Prime Minster you can’t leave it to the boffins or advisors, you have to make the decision. Having a mind like a supermarket trolley is not reassuring when the cabinet secretary rings you at 3 am to tell you that there is a hijacked airliner with four hundred women and children on board heading for the centre of London. ‘Prime minister we need a decision whether to shoot it down now as soon it will be in striking range of Buckingham Palace’.

A few years ago I was talking to someone who used to work with him when he was editor of the Spectator. He told me what happened when the bombs tore through London and very close indeed to the magazine. Boris thought he go and have a look. By the time he had returned his staff were in turmoil, some were missing and most of the women were in bits. Did he comfort them? No. Did he try and find out what had happened to the absentees? Of course not. That was the night of the Spectator Party. But they were in a war zone. Staff just wanted to go home. He was advised it would be quite wrong to go ahead. All he would do was mope around muttering ‘Dunkirk spirit’. But he wouldn’t or maybe couldn’t make a decision. In the end he sat in his office while others took over. The party was cancelled, although the decision was taken away from him. It had to be.

So this is the guy some want to be the next Prime Minister. It must not be allowed to happen. It must not be given to the 140,000 grass root activists to screw up in the same way they screwed up the referendum. This man is not only untrustworthy and a barefaced liar, he is indecisive, weak and through naked ambition, has allowed this country to unleash dark forces. Race hate crimes have rocketed and casual racism seems to apparently acceptable. It is quite despicable.

I have no doubt whom I will vote for. Theresa May. Perhaps not the nation’s first choice as a dinner date, but is principled, honest and as tough as old boots. I would sleep safely in my bed if she was in charge.

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The Conservative party will become a nasty intolerant right wing clique. Welcome to a land fit for Neroes

25 Jun 2016 at 09:06

What a squalid, contemptible little racket the Conservative Party has become. They have destroyed a good and decent man who was making this country a kinder, gentler and more tolerant place to live. Who had detoxified the brand. Who won elections. Who made us prosperous again. Who made us look and feel like decent human beings. I wonder how long it will be before they realise what a great man they have lost. Oh, I know. Never. The rotting smoking corpse of the disunited kingdom will be picked over by the vultures and hyenas of the dangerous right. I pity any Tory MP who campaigned for Remain. Their life is going to be made a living hell. The likes of Nadine Dorries and Andrew Brigden will be swaggering through the tea room. And the great Augustus will become emperor. What a horrible thought. Will anyone believe a word he says? And how the hell does he get us out of this mess? It won’t be a doddle. Brussels won’t want to give us concessions for fear that the whole project will unravel. They will pretend that we no longer exist. We will be ghostly foot prints of a bygone age.

Yesterday, numbed and shocked I had lunch with a former permanent secretary. What he told me was very troubling. There is no plan. There is no blue print in Whitehall for withdrawal. The Foreign Office was so terrified of preparing for the unthinkable that any thoughts were put in manuscript form. There is no road map. There is no compass. We are flying blind.

So what went wrong? It became an election about fear and envy. Those who have lost out to globalisation. Those dispossessed in the council estates who genuinely believe that foreigners have taken their jobs and depressed their wages. They have punished the political classes, they have smacked the ambitious and have rogered the rich. The sad thing is when business flees across the channel it will these people who will suffer the most. And Scotland is on the March. Thank God for Ruth Davidson. She might just stop the final disintegration of the United Kingdom.

There will be much talk of healing the party. Of course, it’s total bollocks. The only way of holding it together is by electing Theresa May. That would be my choice. I am not optimistic because the Prime Minister is in office but not in power. The leadership process is run by the 1922 committee who are infested with Cameron haters. They are the king makers. Anything can happen.

And Jeremy Corbyn? Now there is a tricky one. Seriously holed below the waterline but will he sink? My instincts tell me he will survive; just. But my instincts told me that we would remain in the EU.

So prepare for the reign of Boris who is pretty well unstoppable. The civil service have another dilemma. Apart from himself what does he really believe in? Well, that’s that one answered.

And what of the EU? Merkel is running the show. Somehow the commission has got to be told to listen to what angry voices in Europe are screaming. They won’t. If the European Parliament had any sense they would sack them and appoint afresh.

The EU has devoured three great Prime Ministers. My heart goes out to David Cameron and his family. He has served this country well. He deserves better than this. But politics was always nasty game and has now become repellant. And the Conservative Party? It will be become a nasty, narrow minded clique. Tolerance and decency will be a thing of the past. Welcome to a land fit for Neroes.

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