Jeremy Corbyn should dust down A Very British Coup and Spy Catcher. And hire a food taster

8 Aug 2015 at 15:00

Now here’s a little thought for conspiracy theorists. Way back in the early eighties long before Michael Foot’s famous electoral suicide note was even a twinkle in his eye, Chris Mullins was writing a novel, A Very British Coup. If Corbyn becomes leader of the Labour Party it might be a good idea to pick up a copy. Anyone under forty won’t remember it, but it was troubling and profound. The main character, Harry Perkins, was a Labour leader who won an election but never had the chance to exercise power. He wanted to unilaterally disarm, to leave NATO and introduce true Socialism. This terrified the armed forces and the security services. Poor Harry suffered a fatal accident. I am not for one moment suggesting that the British establishment would put out a contract on Corbyn if he was within a whiff of the Premiership, but it is worth making a list of whom he will seriously piss off. The rich, whose pips would be made to squeak. The middle earners who would see their taxes rise. The armed forces, who would be be cut to shreds. Israel, because of his links with with Hamas and Hezbollah. And America who could be terrified that sharing secrets with the British would undermine their security forces. Lastly, our own security services. They would be cut, their powers curtailed and rather than being at war with ISL they would be encouraged to invite them over for tea. It is a pretty impressive list of very dangerous enemies.

Yet the establishment isn’t the problem. Rogue elements within the security services, Mossad, American NSA veterans and a whole host of the weird and the not so wonderful could be very tempted to remove Corbyn and his chums from the scene.

The security services have always been suspicious of Labour and infiltrated the Parliamentary Party years ago. The obnoxious George Wigg was an MI6 man, as was that serial corrupter of young boys, Tom Driberg. Although Driberg was long suspected of being a double agent. MI5 had always fretted that there were Soviet sleepers on the Labour back benches. And they were right to be alarmed. Most people have forgotten about Peter Wright’s Spycatcher book. The Cabinet Secretary was sent to Australia to suppress it and became a footnote in history with his infamous ‘economical with the truth’ evidence. Spycatcher captured our fetid imaginations in those days. It is another book worth dusting down. There were many suspected Soviet spies, not just like Will Owen a backbencher taking £500 a month from Czech intelligence, but former Cabinet Minister John Stonehouse who was working for Czech military intelligence. And there was a very long list of suspects in and out of government.

In 1963 Labour Leader Hugh Gaitskell died of a very rare and strange disease, Lupus Disseminator, which attack the main organs. His doctor was so concerned that he visited Porton Down and MI5 to discover that the only way to catch the disease was to visit climates that Gaitskell could not possibly have been to. He was succeeded by Harold Wilson who was wrongly suspected to be working for the Soviets. Most have forgotten that rogue intelligence officers, right wing nutters and that massive ego that was Cecil King hatched a totally bonkers plan to remove Wilson and have him replaced by Lord Louis Mountbatten who ran a mile as soon as he got wind of it.

I only quote this as history, not as anything remotely that would happen. But if I was Jeremy Corbyn I would re read A Very British Coup and Spycatcher. I would also employ a food taster. Andy Burnham might be offered a job after all.



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David Miliband is a gutless little political prick teaser. His day has gone. Time for him to shut up

3 Aug 2015 at 14:49

God, David Miliband is an annoying little political prick teaser. Totally gutless, incapable of risk taking, and is desperate be be asked by the Blairites to come and save the Labour Party when Corbyn is defenestrated in 2018. Well, not even the International Rescue Committee can save Labour from itself. Oh David, if you hadn’t been so up your own privileged arse, treated your backbenchers like under keepers and stood up for what you believed in you might have just scraped a Labour victory. But what did you and what do you believe in? But the the Miliband era has gone. Firstly, you haven’t the courage to fight a by election and even if you did there is no guarantee that you would be selected. Which bed blocker is going to give up his seat on the distant prospect of a Miliband peerage? So either put up or shut up. All this coded nonsense will get you nowhere. At least Chris Leslie has had the cojones to reveal that Voodoo Corbynomics will actually harm the poor and vulnerable. Mmmm. Now Leslie is a name to conjure with for the future. None of the leadership contenders put their heads above that parapet with the exception of plucky Liz Kendall. But because she oozes common sense and electability, for now she is a humiliated. So who will lead the resistance? Burnham will probably want to be Shadow Chancellor in the hope that a number 11 bus or a seriously infectious disease is just round the corner. It doesn’t matter that his arithmetic is not very good. Neither was Ken Clarke’s. But if Burnham accepts the Miliband shilling he will be regarded as a Quisling. Of course, he will.

But the Corbyn backstory is something that could win him Miss World, Britain’s got talent and I’m a celebrity. His parents met as peace campaigners in the Spanish Civil War. He never went to Oxbridge, nor was he a SPAD. Yes, he did work for the unions, but as an organiser. He claims the lowest expenses of any MP, rides a bike and is a tee total vegetarian. Now listen to the next bit. In 2013 he was awarded the Gandhi International Peace Award for ‘upholding the Gandhian values of social justice’. Blimey, the man seems to have no redeeming defects.

If Ed Miliband had a bit of a grope and a no tongues snog with the SNP, a Corbyn Labour Party will be swinging from the chandeliers with them. And not a condom in sight. Yet as the Tories have only a majority of twelve and at the mercy of death, trouser fallings and General twattery, it could be that Great Britain would be the one who is unprotected. Do not right off Corbyn as someone who is destined to fail. In the normal laws of politics he would be an unmitigated disaster. But the laws are being rewritten. Quite honestly, you might as well sacrifice a chicken and examine its entrails for the answer.

Being deputy Labour Leader is not usually worth a bucket of warm spit. It’s just a ridiculous title with no power and little influence. Come September it may be worth having. If, as looks increasingly possible, Caroline Flint is elected, she will be the true voice of the PLP. Power and responsibility. And for once, she would not be there as mere window dressing, but as a front passenger on a white knuckled ride on the Corbyn roller coaster. But to where?



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Corbyn showed honesty and class on Marr. He is no longer a joke candidate

26 Jul 2015 at 10:06

The scales have been lifted from my eyes, my Damascene route to enlightenment has begun. I have become a Corbynite. Of course, his analysis is hopelessly wrong. Of course I could never vote for him. But what shone through on Marr this morning was his total belief in what he says. That he has policies and ideas that come from the heart and not a gaggle of smart arsed advisors and horribly inclusive focus groups. There will be a lot of talk about entryism some of which is true. There will be a lot of talk about abandoning the election. It won’t happen. It’s game on.

What was so shocking about Marr’s interview was that Corbyn answered direct questions directly. It is terrible for a seasoned Westminster man like me to admit that over the years I have been lobotomised by stealth. The passion has been replaced by triangulation, equivocation and eventual sanitisation. Could you imagine Andy Burnham being asked if he was a Marxist and replying, ‘now that’s an interesting question, I haven’t thought about that for years’? Burnham who has become more of a faux chuckles merchant than even that old fraud Farage, would have laughed it off. Yvette would have put on her anguished face. The trouble with Yvette (discuss) is that she doesn’t have a personality just a series of emoticons that some advisor employs to pass off for serious thought.

I can understand why Corbyn has got so much support from the young. He remembers why he joined the Labour Party. Because it was rooted in working people, community and Socialism. A health service that works and is free at the point of use, a job with decent working conditions, a roof over one’s head and a net to catch the poor. Really it was pure Macmillan, but that’s an argument for another day. Over the years the People’s Flag has become beige. Under Corbyn it will be deepest red.

Many commentators compare him to Michael Foot. In his day Michael was a passionate and moving speaker. When his name flashed up on the announciater we all crowded in. He had beliefs, he had principle, but by the time of the 1983 election he was a shadow of himself and his manifesto rooted in the forties. At the moment Corbyn is full of passion, humour and a twinkle in his eye. He has converted Footian beliefs into something accessible to the young and the dispossessed. He has given them hope. I happen to believe that it is a false hope, but that’s not the point. His views on nationalisation struck a populist cord. They wouldn’t stand up to an Andrew Neill battery clip interrogation, but they are superficially attractive. ‘We spend billions of pounds a year on investing in railway infrastructure then we give it to private companies……every house has one electric wire one telephone wire yet there are a number of companies pretending that they are competing for our business in a false market’. It is a flawed but attractive argument which will resonate with some.

Years ago I represented a man for being part of a horrific gangland execution. His defence was that he was not there. It was rubbish and in the witness box he was appalling because he was clearly lying and equivocating. After his dreadful performance he said that he wanted to change his story and tell the truth. I applied to the the judge (now deputy President of the Supreme Court) and he agreed. My client went back into the box and was brilliant. He was acquitted because he was a man who was clearly telling the truth.

It’s the same with politicians. People are sick of carefully drafted slick answers which are meaningless pap. They can smell when someone is telling the truth and they have sniffed the authenticity of Corbyn. He may be an old fashioned tax and spend Socialist, but at least he believes in it. What on earth do Burnham and Cooper really believe? Probably not even in themselves.

Marr was a watershed for Corbyn. And it’s not necessarily down hill all the way. Oh, and what was the one phrase that didn’t quiver from Corbyn’s lips? ‘Let me be clear’. How refreshing.



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The end of Bercow. And the new blood sport of Boris baiting

22 Jul 2015 at 11:59

I am getting rather bored with this ‘will he or won’t he’ Corbyn chatter. Jon Rentoul’s analysis is spot on. He hasn’t a clue what the result will be except that it will be bad for Labour. The Tories only became electable when they exorcised the ghost of Margaret Thatcher and Labour will only win when it comes to terms that Tony Blair isn’t the devil incarnate. This will take a while. But the indelibility of the Corbynisation of Labour is bad for Britain. Governments need to be held to account or else they wallow in complacency or even worse, arrogance. At least Blair stopped the dangerous swings of left to right at election time. Concensus politics should not be dirty words. What is so worrying about the left, and I must include the SNP in this, is the sheer venom and bile that is reserved for the middle classes. And the personal nastiness against anyone who dares put forward a contrary view. The ugly, angry contortions of hatred and rage that was a hallmark of the Scottish elections are a reminder that the left can be a humourless, dour, driven rag tag army of unpleasantness.

But enough of Labour’s arsehole searching. I am more interested in the two big beast Bs of politics; Bercow and Boris, who seem to have the gift of making the wrong enemies, in particular Osborne. It might be said that they are their own worst enemies. Not while George is still living and breathing. Whether it is because of his own personal demons or because he is bored with the job, putting down the Chancellor in such offensive terms means that the days of his Speakership are numbered. He will leave not at his own convenience. This is a shame because he has been rather a good Speaker in many ways. Perhaps he blames Osborne for that clumsy and politically inept coup attempt by Hague in the dying embers of the last Parliament. Who knows, who cares? But if I were Lyndsey Hoyle I’d be measuring the curtains at Speaker’s House. Poor old Bercow has lost his Labour human shield.

And now for Boris. Oh dear. Paranoia seems to have set into the Johnson camp. Except that they really are all out to get him. Making an enemy of Osborne is a lethal error, but making an enemy of May is mortal. And buying a few second hand water cannons from the Germans that have sixty seven faults shows an amazing arrogance and lack of judgement. They will be his own watery Edstone. Will it the the SUN or the MAIL who gets the first photos of their graveyard? But these are not his worst unforced errors. Rolling up to political cabinet unprepared is a gift to his enemies. And not smoozing the new intake of Tory MPs again points to arrogance and lack of judgment. The way to the leadership is preparing the ground, building alliances and making people think that you think that their views are of monumental consequence. This is the Boris problem. Despite the bonhomie and humour he has never been a clubbable fellow. He should be working the bars and the tea rooms. He should be sending little congratulatory notes to the newbies after their maiden speeches. You don’t become leader because throughout the shires ladies of a certain age swoon in damp gussetted admiration. But his worst error of judgement is to moan about his humiliations. ‘He has been so loyal’ squeal his team. Really? I must have blinked. His people have been briefing against Osborne and Cameron for years. Boris baiting appears to be so much more fun thatn Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja. And the more he moans about it the more pleasure his taunters will enjoy. The real point of it all is to plant the simply question in the public mind. Is Boris good enough? We shall see.


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Welcome to Fuckeroo territory

17 Jul 2015 at 16:07

I suppose it should not be forgotten that on the same day Jeremy Corbyn confounded his critics and propelled the Labour Party into a death spiral and Tim Farron was elected as Lib Dem leader Disneyland was opened in 1955. All three are interconnected and best summed up by a member of the shadow cabinet as ‘we are now in fuckeroo territory’. Some fuck and some roo as Churchill might not have said.

But it marks the end of an electable Labour Party, which is rather sad. They cannot survive this. The party has already swerved to the left. Poor Hattie came out with some remarkably sensible views about benefits on Marr last week. They have been strangled at birth. The party could be led by Burnham, but they can’t win with those sort of policies. They can’t be led by Cooper either. And poor sensible Liz is the devil incarnate. It is the end.

But what a wonderful opportunity for Tim Farron the highly energetic and slightly left wing Lib Dem leader. He is savvy enough to spend the summer love bombing not so much the Blairites, but those who would rather like to keep their seats and perhaps get back into government on some distant day.

For those of you who think this is all a little far fetched ask yourself what would have happened if the Tories had elected Bill Cash as leader or he had come a respectable second. There would have been mass defections. Tim is new, young, charismatic and is perfectly capable of showing a bit of ankle to what can only be described as Fucked Labour. This really is his chance to break the mould. Labour failed in Scotland because they were perceived as not being Socialist enough and failed in the south for appearing to be too Socialist. The trouble is that Socialism is about as fashionable in England as flaired trousers and vaginal deodorant. So what do the likes of Umuna and Hunt do? Sit it out for three years and then pray for a new leader? This seems to be the current wisdom but it’s not very wise. In Labour La La land the turkeys not only vote for Christmas but they preach how wonderful it is. The trouble is that the anti austerity argument has a bit of traction now, but unless Osborne totally screws up it won’t be relevant in 2020. Ah,the joy of 2020 vision. So what will the man on the Clapham Omnishambles do? Run for the hills.



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Now is the time to negotiate with Gove rather than wreck the system

11 Jul 2015 at 11:01

The the independent criminal bar has reached a turning point. We have to make critical choices. We can wave it goodbye with a teary handkerchief and cry into our gins as much as genteel poverty will allow. We can strike, withdraw, our Labour, refuse returns and wreck the system. Or we can negotiate our future.

That was never an option with Grayling. He delighted in bringing a wrecking ball to what he regarded as vested interests, which were in reality committed and highly skills professionals doing their best against the odds of keeping the court system operational. The horror and misery inflicted by this truly dreadful man is a painful memory.

Understandably feelings are still running high. There are sets who are refusing to accept legal aid returns dated after 1 July. If there is a groundswell of support for this Crown Courts would cease to function, trials delayed, and those on remand left to rot. The CBA are balloting us on this now. I supported last year’s industrial action because it was not just the last resort, it was the only resort. The MOJ refused to consult, negotiate or take a blind bit of notice of the dire warnings of the judiciary, the bar, solicitors and even their own consultants. Worse, egged on by Grayling, they took a sick delight in hearing our cries of pain. But Grayling has gone, so has the last Permanent Secretary, and also the chief architect of all this dangerous lunacy, Dr. Gribby. We are in a new place. There is a constructive atmosphere. Negotiations are genuine. Reforms and efficiencies can be made. For the first time in many, many years the mood music has changed because of the conductor.

This is not to say that all those in the MOJ who want to destroy us have disappeared. They are still there. But they are more muted simply because Gove has a reputation for summary executions of officials who do not follow the line. His line. It is of significance that in pride of place in his office are two pictures. One Thatcher, the other Lenin. Both were lawyers.

For colleagues who have only read extracts of Gove’s speeches I entreat you to read them in full. You will be shocked. He has taken a genuine interest in supporting a flourishing independent bar. He does not sneer at us like Grayling, nor treat us cockroaches to be crunched under foot. We are dealing with a committed intellectual who not only understands the rule of law but cares about it.

Of course, words are cheap. But now is the time to negotiate our destiny. To have the rational argument which which have been denied us for so long. It will be rigourous. But it has to be worth it.

That is why I will not be withdrawing my labour; yet. To try and persuade a government of any colour to reverse a pay cut is suicidal. It lumps us in with UNITE. No government could afford to let us succeed as the floodgates would be open. And don’t expect any support from the press. But I would have withdrawn my labour if we could speak in unity against the two tier system which will destroy so many decent firms of solicitors and undermine the independent bar. The Law Society should have balloted their members on this. They can’t because the profession is deeply divided. The fat cats want to devour the mice. The simple solution would be for firms who have put in tenders to withdraw them. That would have made the system unworkable. But they won’t. It is a thoroughly dishonest and disgraceful state of affairs.
So this is where we are and not where we would like to be. We must look reality firmly in the eye and not blink. Now is the time for negotiation not industrial action. But if this fails then let loose the dogs of war.



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Osbornite is the new Kryptonite, it saps the strength of its enemies before killing them

10 Jul 2015 at 10:48

Did anyone notice a tiny puff of white smoke briefly lingering over Number 10 Downing Street on Wednesday night? George Osborne’s shamelessly political budget has put him in pole position to succeed David Cameron. It always mystifies me why Chancellors are abused for acting politically. They are politicians, it is therefore in their nature to milk every budget for advantage.

Whatever side of the political divide you are on you have to admire this budget’s radicalism, dash and delightfully kleptocratic shaming of Labour. The tax credit system is a national disgrace. It encourages employers to pay sweat shop wages and demands that the taxpayer makes up the difference to the tune of £30 billion. It borders on the immoral. To steal Labour’s living wage plans and then increase it blindsided everyone and has thrown a mortally divided party into a blind panic. Do they support their own policy or do they vote it down? Clobbering the non doms and hedge funds was totally unexpected and at a stroke explodes the myth that the Tories are for the rich at the expense of the poor. It really was a masterclass in trashing your opponents and weening the country off its addiction to welfare. This will go down as one of the great budgets. And if you look carefully it had the fingerprints of Steve Hilton all over it.

So who were the real losers? Whoever wins the Labour leadership will not have the luxury of steering the party to electability. The Corbyn bandwagon is gaining momentum. I like Jeremy. We were elected together in 1983. He is thoroughly decent, utterly sincere, has never been a political shape shifter. He makes Tony Benn look like Mussolini. But he does represent the core beliefs of many hardworking Labour grass roots. The sort of well intentioned beliefs which terrify voters. Jeremy is not going to win. But he will scoop up the votes. The dilemma for the new leader will be what to do with him. They would be obliged to put him in the Shadow Cabinet. Whether he wants it or not is another matter. My instincts are that he will not want to be constrained by collective responsibility and feel happier with the freedoms of the backbenches. He will be Labour’s Enoch Powell. Listened to with respect rather than ridicule. Feted by party members and the unions. And a bogeyman for the Tories to scare the voters with.

But pity the Tory leadership hopefuls. Such is Osborne’s newly found confidence that he even took the piss out of Boris in his speech. I predict there will be more of this. It will be portrayed as affectionate banter, but the subtext will be, ‘I offer you solutions, Boris gives you problems’. So what will become of him? Even his Uxbridge seat is under threat in the culling of MPs in 2020. He must be given a grand sounding, time consuming job of monumental irrelevance which will bore him political extinction.
After years of frustration, set backs and the odd omnishambles, we are now seeing the real Osborne and it is a classy act. A sort of reverse Gordon Brown.

Osbornite is the new Kryptonite. It weakens and destroys anything that gets in his way. It is rather refreshing to witness the birth of a big beast.



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Javid's moment of madness and a Rake's progress

1 Jul 2015 at 06:39

What on earth is the matter with our new BIS Secretary that a lie down in a darkened room with a damp towel and a bottle of Valium can’t remedy? Oh, I know, try not to have any contact with serial head banger Dominic Cummings, the Carpet Biter In Chief for the EU separatists. Forgive me for being dim but I was under the clearly mistaken impression that Javid was there to promote British business. Silly me.

I read a piece in yesterday’s TIMES that he has urged the CBI to halt its campaign for Britain to stay in the EU. How dare they upset the Amish wing of the party by releasing a poll that eight out ten businesses of 400 questioned want to remain in. And when that ghastly commie Sir Mike Rake, the CBI president, what does this cheese eating surrender monkey know about business? His words are nothing but lick spittle from a well known Juncker running dog. I will quote his leftie pap. ‘Business must be crystal clear that membership is in our national interest. The EU is key to our national prosperity. Letting us set the trade agenda, be part of the biggest free trade deal ever negotiated, TTIP, and be able to properly compete with global giants like China and India.’ According to Javid any hint of wanting to remain in somehow undermines our negotiating position. ‘We must speak with one voice’ says our hero. But whose? Farage, Cash and the usual EU carpet biters? Is the government so terrified of this tiny minority of obsessives that those of us who believe that reformed EU is in the national interest have to bite our tongues? Does every view on Brussels have to be subject to the blue pencil of Commissioner Cash?

Sajid, old chum, if you think by appeasing the right you will further your leadership ambitions, pause; they will eat you alive. However, you might be offered a place in Adam Afriye’s cabinet. Although spaces are limited, that’s really something to look forward to. I sincerely hope that by Sunday a ‘clarification’ will be issued. I doubt that Number 10 will be over the moon about this. It certainly seriously got on my tits.
Everyone is entitled their moment of madness. But it it would be reassuring if members of the cabinet tried to avoid them.



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Is this the beginning of the end of party politics as we know it?

14 Jun 2015 at 10:31

I am beginning to wonder whether by the time of the next election British politics will be fundamentally realigned. The laws of political gravity are very clear. Elections are won by parties who offer choices from the centre ground. Tony Blair, John Major and David Cameron understand this. The Labour left, the Tory right and Lib Dem radicals do not. Events over the next three years could smash the present party system.

Let’s deal with Labour first. Despite faux unity with whoever becomes the next Labour leader a significant minority will be disaffected. If it’s Burnham or Cooper, the moderates will realise that any chance of winning elections are dead in the water. What will they do? Where will they go? Will they agitate for change or will they find another berth? And if Liz Kendall wins, the same questions apply to the left. All this talk about the return of David Miliband is piss and wind. He failed in his leadership bid because of lack of courage and judgement coupled with more than a whiff of arrogance. His chance has gone. Prescott is right. He should stop being such a political prick tease and shut up. And now there is the talk of a leadership challenge being available after three years. More piss and wind. It just gives the enemies of the incumbent hope and plenty of opportunity for mischief. It would lead to any message to the electorate to be diluted by continual civil war.

Now for the Tories who are more divided than I can ever remember. The sacked, unappointable, Euro loons and Cameron haters were bitterly disappointed that he won a majority. They hoped that this would be a speedy means to his departure and that ‘true’ Conservative values were on the menu again. Not surprisingly the lead up to the EU referendum is the catalyst for serious mischief. The right are preparing the ground for defeat with accusations of an unfair election. And the appearance of O’Patz (sacked, Euroloon and Cameron hater) on Marr today confirmed the obvious that whatever Cameron comes back from Brussels will be unacceptable. The new party grouping, Conservatives for Britain, is intriguing. It claims to have 110 members including some of the cabinet. But it will not divulge the names of its members. So we don’t know how large or small it is. But I can give you a clue. It is headed by Steve Baker (unappointable, Euroloon, general loon and Cameron hater) the most rebellious backbencher in the last Parliament. So anyone pining their coat tails to his black hole of a star can forget any chance of a job. Oh, and don’t think that the whips don’t know who they are. They would have embedded a few informers into their ranks. My guess it will be the usual suspects starting with anyone with a Bone in their name, Mad Nad, Philip Davies, Graham Brady, Bill Cash and a few trainee loons from the latest intake. In reality probably about thirty. Maybe a little more. If the whips play clever they can argue, with a very large tongue in their cheek, that as this is a perfectly respectable group they won’t object to a whip in attendance at every meeting.

So if we remain in the EU what do these guys do? The game is up. What do they do or where do they go? And if we leave the EU the game is up for the moderates. Cameron would have invested his credibility on it. He would have to go. So what do moderates like me do or go?

And now for the Lib Dems they know it is going to take years to detoxify their brand. If Farron wins its back to the politics of protest. Once again they will become the spittoon of public angst. They will become the wild and wooly party again. So what do the Orangebookers do or where do they go? And the same question if Norman Lamb wins.

Let’s not forget the Kippers are also horribly divided. Do they go down the road of the rather nasty brand of tea party politics or do they try to be a credible party with workable ideas? Whatever happens there will be a split.

So British party politics is in a state of flux. Could the Lederhosen wing of the Tories join with the less extreme wing of UKIP, perhaps calling themselves the True Conservative Party? Could labour, Tory and Lib Dem moderates breakaway and form a middle of the road Social, Democratic and Conservative party? None of us know what will happen and I am certainly not advocating the break up of the Conservative Party.

All parties have to be broad churches to survive. But when members stretch from the nave and into the grave yard that’s where they tend to remain. We could see the beginning of the end of party politics as we know it before 2020.



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Some of us moderate pro Europeans are feeling marginalised and out shouted by a mad cult of Tory seperatists

9 Jun 2015 at 12:15

Sometimes I despair at the hopelessness of the Number 10 operation. Will someone please explain what on earth the policy is in relation to whether ministers are allowed to campaign for a British exit from the EU. How on earth can anyone of sound mind believe that a vote on Europe is a matter of conscience? Abortion is, so is the death penalty and also euthanasia and same sex marriage. I have no doubt that David Cameron will secure a saleable renegotiation to put to the people. Membership is not some wishy washy philosophical wet dream, it is central to economic policy. So when Cameron returns with what he believes is a good deal for the country it becomes government policy supported by the Treasury and the Department of business and innovation. He will be asking the country to back his judgement and his policy. If ministers cannot feel able to back him and government policy it clearly indicates that they have no confidence in him or government policy. They have two options. Hold their noses and stick it out or resign and campaign against their Prime Minister and their government. As a matter of logic it would be insane, politically inept and generally incompetent to let them remain as ministers. The precedent to be set is quite breathtaking. Say a minister has a serious problem with the July budget. He has a choice to remain and support it or resign and speak and vote against it. He can’t remain as a minister and vote against it. I would have thought it was pretty bloody obvious. But what do I know?

It is a total waste of time giving ground to the EU haters, who also tend to be Cameron haters. John Major learnt the very hard way that they don’t believe in compromise only complete and utter ruthless victory.

Those of us who are moderates and believe that a reformed EU is crucial to jobs and prosperity are beginning to feel marginalised. To we have to ape the Amish wing by shouting and threatening before we are heard? Who is actually going to speak up for Europe. The opinion polls are very clear at the moment that the overwhelming majority and are not seduced by our exit. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to listen to the people and not a cult of manic backbenchers? Have we learned absolutely nothing since 1997?

And now Boris backs a free vote. What a surprise. No passing bandwagon is safe from his size elevens. For God’s sake isn’t there a very clear message here? This is one of the few occasions when rebels should be faced down. Dealing with Eurosceptics is like throwing babies to crocodiles. Their hunger is insatiable. They will always want another. Time for some cojones.



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