Unless Cameron is replaced by Boris Diane Abbott has a better chance of growing a penis than Labour ever winning an election
30 Dec 2015 at 10:39
One of the many joys of commenting on British politics is to wallow in its inherent contradictions. Jeremy Corbyn has been accused of being weak and lacking leadership for allowing his shadow cabinet a free vote over military action in Syria, yet David Cameron is being urged to show strong leadership by allowing his cabinet a free vote in an EU referendum. The truth is that both leaders would love to be in a position to assert their authority and crack the whip but have to perform a very delicate balancing act.
Cameron has to treat the Brexits with ersatz respect as they are a very chippy bunch, crying foul at every opportunity. Even if he came back from Brussels with the annexation of the the whole of Europe under British rule and Juncker to be put in charge of car parks (Belgium), O’Patz, Cash and Redwood will be squealing, “too little too late”. So Cameron will have to make a calculation. He will come back with a deal which will be better than most expected (they always dampen expectations to the press in advance) which will probably be enough to keep most of his backbenchers onside and almost certainly lead to a change resistant electorate to vote Remain. The calculation will be who will support him the Chancellor and the Foreign Secretary in selling the deal to the public and who will resign? Despite the fact that her excellent SPAD, Stephen Parkinson has moved over to advise the Brexiteers I would be surprised if May resigns. She is far to canny. And unless there is to be massive Cabinet resignations (nobody really cares about the rest) she will remain and await her reward. Perhaps the first woman Chancellor? If she stays she can write the political cheque. Gove will also stay. He is a loyal Cameroon and is trusted. He is also thoroughly enjoying being Lord Chancellor and is beginning to make a difference. On the other hand I would be amazed if IDS, who has more EU baggage than a Heathrow carousel could remain. There is talk of Theresa Villiers doing a runner. But honestly, delightful as she is nobody gives a fuck. The interesting one is Javid. He is playing a very dangerous game. But you can’t be Business Secretary and argue Leave. Oh, and how can I forget Chris Grayling? Well, everyone else has and he knows that he is already past his sack by date. He might try and be a hero and walk before he is ventilated. But when you have the charisma and brain of a peanut, not even a salted one, it won’t be a troops rallying moment. So the reality is that if the Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Foreign Secretary are of the firm view that this is a good deal for Britain it has to become government policy. And if it is government policy you either support it or resign. And the message will be clear. Nobody will be keeping your seat warm for you and rather than being lauded as a man of conscience you will be regarded as a disloyal, boat rocking ambitious little prick who will hand the next election over to the Corbynitas. Which brings me onto Boris. I suspect that the penny dropped years ago that he will do anything and say anything to be Prime Minister, but would hate the hard, grinding, thankless slog of being leader of the Opposition. Downing Street will continue to love bomb him. Here there is another calculation. If you put him in the Cabinet, unless it is as Leader of the House, Cameron makes a mortal enemy of the displaced. And if the moment is deemed right would a dramatic exit by Boris be more harmful than not having him there at all? The helpful line that he can’t be in Cabinet whilst Mayor expires in May next year. So an early referendum, an early reshuffle or both? Tricky one. Although because of French and German elections in 2017 I would expect a referendum sometime in 2016. The Brexiteers will shout, ‘foul, we need more time’, but we have heard all that so many times before.
Now back to Labour. It is fashionable to blame the hate filled, angry, obsessive, delusional Corbynistas for the mess that the party is in. Some blame Ed Miliband. Personally, I blame his brother and the moderates. The sheer complacency and arrogance of the DM campaign was breathtaking. He assumed a coronation and so did his supporters. This was spectacularly unattractive to Labour supporters. Ed was merely the inevitable John the Baptist to Corbyn, aided and abetted by the the two Krankies, Burnham and Cooper.
Now for some political reality. There will be a purge of moderates in the Shadow Cabinet. The river Thames will foam with blood. Benn will be offered an humiliating alternative to the Foreign Office which will lead to his resignation. It could be offered to Milband, who won’t take it or even Diane Abbott who has let it be known she would prefer the Home Office. Rosie Winterton is dead in the water. The moderates will go berserk, Corbyn will have constructive debate in the Shadow Cabinet and the party will have an orgy of orgasmic joy. Even better if the moderates left Parliament in 2020. By then they would have either been deselected by Momentum or evicted by the electorate. It is time that they faced the awful truth. Unless Osborne seriously screws up the economy or after a defeat at the referendum Cameron resigns and is replaced by Boris, Diane Abbott has a better chance of growing a penis than Labour taking office ever again. It is finished as the party of power.
So what will the moderates do? I suspect nothing but moan. If they had any guts they would leave Labour and set up a new centre left party. Or join the Tories.
So 2016 will be the year of collective irresponsibility.