Too much clown porn, Andy Burnham, Jesus and a cock

12 Mar 2016 at 11:32

Is it just me or is there too much clown porn infesting the media these days? I suppose it could have only been a coincidence that Bozo was launching himself (sorry the OUT campaign) in Dartford on the same day that a gasman had caught the largest rat in Britain. And for what it’s worth, those those of us who live in Essex affectionately call those who scuttle through the Dartford tunnel ‘tunnel rats’. But that’s enough rodentry for now.

The Bozo experience is becoming more bizarre by the day. Yesterday’s wheeze was to drive a red lorry to symbolise moving away. But hang on, Boris hasn’t got an HGV, (which is not a a sexually transmitted disease) so he would have to be in the passenger seat. Ho, ho, still not ready for the driver’s seat. What larks. There is always a ripple of excitement at a Bozo event. Is he going to fired, dressed as a bulldog in a blue tutu, from a cannon into the back garden of Number 10? Are the wheels going to come off the lorry? Will it leap through a burning hoop into a lake of Old English Marmalade? In other words, is this going to be a truck up? As it happens it wasn’t too much of a disaster except that the lorry was a Renault.

Then comes the speech. Advisers are now telling him to be a sort of up beat Willy Wonka. Once we are free of the Johnny Foreigner jackboot our green and pleasant land will be brimming with milk and honey, businesses will boom, the girls will get prettier and men’s penises will be allowed to grow by an extra three inches. Free, walking tall, standing proud. And this was the build up to the shuddering climax which would put the cream (full fat and English) into his ├ęclat. And then it came. ‘I want Britain…..to be…..(oh, God the thrill of it)…..Europe’s……..(oh, this is too much)….Canada’. Mmm. Doesn’t quite have that thrill factor. But the choice wasn’t all that encouraging. Iceland? Sounds a bit to much like a frozen food chain. Norway? Barrels of oil rather than laughs. Switzerland? Cuckoo clocks, Nazi gold and a sense of humour that would make Chris Grayling sound like a funster. What about Liechtenstein then? Stamps, goats and sounds too foreign. So Canada it is then. Well, at least they share our Queen. Only one or two minor details. It took seven years to negotiate a trade deal, they have no say on the regulations that govern them in the single market and they pay for that privilege. Oh, and the deal doesn’t include services. Sounds very attractive. But of course little England will have a bigger, better, wonderfully fantastic trade deal, far, far better than Canada. And we will do it in a few minutes on the back of a fag packet. A bloody great gold crested British one with the severed head of Juncker on the front. That will learn ‘em. So in others words we won’t be like Canada at all. It’s all so confusing. But like the Mounties Bozo will always get his van.

On Thursday I had a splendid evening debating with Andy Burnham and Chris Smith at the Cambridge Union. The place was packed and much more fun than the Oxford lot. I’d forgotten just how good Andy is when he speaks with passion. Half way through my speech I remembered that a Cambridge college was having a bit of bother with a Nigerian cockerel. ‘Anyone here from Jesus?’ A few hands went up and I prayed that one of them wasn’t a Jehovah’s Witness. ‘I read in the TIMES that you are negotiating the removal of a cock. When you’re done could you turn your attention to a fellow called Boris?’ Well, I thought it was quite funny.

So thank you Cambridge Union for a wonderful night, your warm welcome and far too much wine.

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Tory BSDM porn and the Boris Marr car crash

6 Mar 2016 at 10:05

There is something vaguely hypnotic about Tory BSDM porn as one is drawn deeper and deeper into a fantasy world of exploitation, pain and short term gratification. Ah, how the clunky nineties background music accompanies the same old themes. ‘We haaaate the prime minister’ spits a rubber clad, masked man clasping a threatening whip. ‘He must be punished’.
‘And the Commission must submit to our perverted demands’ hisses a leather and buckled woman clutching a dildo the size of a large thermos. At that the dubbed heaving, breathing and groaning reaches a crescendo, whilst the bloodied man on a sling screams his control word to stop the pain. ‘Corbynnnnnn’, echoes round the dungeon. But it is ignored. The mindless torture continues. The possibility of irreparable mutilation and death hangs by a thread. Oh, what the hell, they have been waiting for years to have this much pleasure. And if a few die? What a way to go!

I am beginning to wonder how much more Tory porn any of us can take. Occasionally the old stars are brought out before the cameras. Pin ups like, ‘I will bore the pants off you’ Bill Cash and John Redwood,(stage name Brent Crude) aren’t quite up to the action anymore and tend to produce and direct. But they don’t care. Their latest stud, Blojo, is really, really, great box office. And with clever camera angles he can make a small argument look soooo big. But they know that all this depraved violence has got to come to an end. The viewing public likes happy endings. I gave up on Game of Thrones because the body count was so high I had forgotten who was dead or alive. And after a while I didn’t care. If the Tories carry on like this after 23June they might suffer the same fate.

I feel very sorry for Michael Gove. He is a good man. I always have a suspicion those who are passionate and relentless about a particular issue have been driven by a personal tragedy. His adoptive family who gave him love security, a good education and encouraged him to flourish owned a fishmongers which was destroyed by the Common Fisheries Policy. Because of that I can see where he is coming from. But for an intelligent and sensitive man to be in daily communion with those that really hate and want to destroy his close friend Cameron, it must be a nightmare. When they are plotting is there an embarrassed hush when he enters the room? Gove has done his best to calm things down this weekend by warning that this is nothing to do with leadership ambitions of some of his rather unfortunate new chums. They won’t listen and the debate will become more hysterical and personal as we drift towards the referendum.

But what happens afterwards? If, as I sincerely hope and believe that IN wins there will have to be a healing process. But that will be in front of a backdrop of anger and frustration of the Breziteers who will say it is all rigged. How on earth can Boris be given any cabinet job after his appalling behaviour which will get worse? This morning’s attack on No 10 about the the ‘scandalous’ pressure BCC is both irresponsible and plain wrong. On Marr this morning he proved himself an ill informed unprepared bullshitter. It was a total car crash. And how can Priti Patel, with risible delusions of grandeur for a barely adequate minister possibly expect to survive after her personal attacks? Why should people who have behaved disgracefully have a sense of entitlement of high office?

The rules of engagement seem to be these. The OUTS can attack Cameron, but he mustn’t respond. They can scaremonger about the horrors if we remain,‘Paris style terrorist attack on London, etc etc. But he mustn’t warn them of the security consequences if we leave. They are free to rubbish world leaders for supporting IN yet we mustn’t pray them in aid. And when we warn about the dangers of leaving the Single Market, ‘it is just talking down Britain’. So far nobody, not even St Boris, can tell us the shape of this shining city on a hill that they are promising

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The Cameron revivalist experience and why the EU agreement is binding in law

25 Feb 2016 at 09:30

I suspect that you can’t get much more politically cynical or jaundiced then me. I’ve been around rather a long time and seen some appalling stage managed events. I remember being at a Tory party conference when Tim Bell of Saachi fame had organised a load of us youngsters at a prearranged time to unfurl We Love Maggie Banners from the balconies which would lead to multiple orgasms, mass hysteria and entranced spotty youths in bow ties speaking in tongues. As most of us tolerated rather than loved her we did the business. God it was embarrassing. So I turned to the guy next to me and wearily commented that it would have been preferable to chuck that twat Bell over the balcony. He grinned and held out his hand. ‘Nice to meet you Jerry, I’m Tim Bell’. Oh, dear.

But cunning stunts are the stuff of everyday politics. So it was only out of loyalty to Cameron and wanting to remain in the EU that after a couple of sharpeners on the terrace I toddled off to the ICA on the Mall to hear the PM launch the IN campaign. I was not prepared for the shock. We were crammed into a tiny space with no seats. Cabinets past and present just mingled with everyone else, there was no real plan apart from a few trustys lined up to catch the eyeline of the cameras. The atmosphere was electric, there was a really tingle of expectation that something exciting was going to happen. But what struck me was the warmth. Young and old we’re giving each other hugs. It was like a party of old friends without the booze. It was something so rare in politics; everyone liked each other. I have never experienced anything like it. And then Cameron, sleeves rolled up with an open neck shirt, bounded in. ‘For once I am disobeying my mother’s advice’ he grinned. It was a reference to his upbraiding of Corbyn at PMQs earlier. And then something men of my age haven’t had in years; thirty minutes of unbridled passion. This wasn’t a written speech. It was from the heart. There were a few scrawled notes on a table with a glass of water. He didn’t look at either. It was the most effective piece of stump oratory that I have ever heard. It was a force of nature. I looked around the room. They were mesmerised. It was like a revivalist meeting. And then I looked at the faces of the cabinet. There was only one expression. Awe. With the subtext, ‘I wish I could do that’. And then ten feet away I caught the eye of Phillip Hammond. He was grinning from ear to ear. Hammond smiling. Hammond happy. Hammond at ease. Well, I have seen it all.

Now most of you will say that all this is totally over the top. It is. Because it was. Politicians don’t need gimmicks they need belief. And passion.

The striking thing about the REMAINERS is that we like each other. There is no jostling for position, no bitching, no sly press briefings. I feel sorrow for Michael Gove. I respect his principles but not his judgment. To come out with the bald and totally wrong statement that the heads of government agreement is not legally binding is dangerously wrong. Donald Tusk says it is. More important, Alan Dashwood the former director of EU legal services puts it rather succinctly. “The ‘decision’ is binding by legal agreement reached by consensus and could only be amended or rescinded by consensus, or in other words, with the agreement of the UK”. This is the view of Dominic Grieve and Jeremy Wright. For Gove to get something like this so totally wrong is rather surprising. For him to pronounce it ex cathedra as Lord Chancellor is rather shocking. This is a shame. I like Michael and he is a superb minister.

Perhaps someone could enlighten me but why is Priti Patel portrayed as a poster girl for the right? I recall that she was rather a good press officer, but that’s about it. Her newspaper articles attacking Cameron are a disgrace. In normal circumstances she would have been sacked.

Oh, and there is a rumour floating round Westminster that Boris might re rat and reluctantly support the REMAINERS. Too late matey. Your political grave has been dug and you’ve zip wired in. If you hear a weird spluttering noise, rest assured it is not a Boris speech, just some of us cranking up the cement mixer. Six foot of reinforced concrete should do it. Well, for starters.

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Boris is a copper bottomed, double dealing hypocritical little shit. The press will destroy him

21 Feb 2016 at 18:35

I have been knocking around politics for so long that I didn’t think it was possible for me to become utterly shocked at the venality, ambition and horror of one man’s ego. But this evening I have been proved totally wrong. Boris Johnson has proved beyond all reasonable doubt that he is a copper bottomed, double dealing, hypocritical little shit. For a man thirteen days ago who wrote eloquently of all the reasons we should stay in the EU and who weeks previously had made it fairly clear that he wanted to remain, the reek of u turned burnt rubber and the aftershave of political greed infects the air.

The really awful thing was how contrived it all was. I suspect that he wanted to storm out of cabinet yesterday and bathe in the political glory. Cameron sniffed the wind and didn’t let it happen. But there is no glory here. Just betrayal and a level of morality which would make an Algerian brothel owner blush. If the Corbyn and Trump phenomenon is anything to go by Boris is the embodiment of everything that the public despise about politicians. The effortless, wealthy ooze of entitlement, the laziness of mind and the incontinence of mouth, coupled with a psychotic drive to be Prime Minister.

Some of you will accuse me as a REMAINER of being terrified of the Boris pull. Quite the opposite. The public will repulsed with his cynical opportunism along with his new bed fellows Farage and Galloway. I can’t wait for his first serious media grilling when he will have to answer for all that he has written, all that he has said and why he pretends not to understand that Cameron has protected the City of London against unfair EU competition. If the OUTERS win the day the city of London will be fucked.

This is the biggest mistake of his political life. And it will be mortal. When the party faithful see the havoc he will wreak he will never be forgiven. Well I hope so because if this dreadful little man ever becomes leader of my party then I and so many moderates will move on. Many will say that Boris is his own worst enemy. Not while I’m about.

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Cameron has invited us to a country house shooting party. His beaters are desperately trying to get the Boris Bird to break cover

20 Feb 2016 at 16:30

So brush down your tweeds, adjust your plus fours, prepare the loaders and get the beaters to work. Today is the Glorious Twentieth. The Prime Minister has invited us to a country house Conservative shooting party. And a rather dangerous one. It will be like giving a troop of chimps semi automatic weapons. Some will die, a few winged and others so hidden in the undergrowth that nobody will remember where or who they are.

Well, Cameron’s syndicate have sent out the beaters to try and get the elusive Boris bird to break cover. Boris birds are notoriously difficult to hit. They are possessed of beautiful plumage which helps them to catch the eye of the party faithful in the mating ritual known as the Leadership Contest. The trouble is once you have him in your sights and you aim your gun at his predicted flight path, the Boris Bird is known for his fits of unpredictability and can swerve in a completely different direction at the drop of a policy.

So why is the tousled haired Tory being so coy? This could be his big moment. It might also be his last. The grass roots love him and his back benchers loathe him. He is of course getting the usual dozy advice from Louise Mensch holed up in a well padded Murdoch column in New York. Her advice is quite simply anyone who breaks cover and supports Brexit will be papabile and beloved of the grass roots. She has a point. But it is not a very good one. Firstly, although the bookies have the REMAINS as clear favourites there is always the chance that they could screw it up. If the OUTS win Cameron will be mortally damaged, but will hang on to give Osborne the best chance of succeeding him. What what if the Cameron haters force an election? Seeing the Tories really tear themselves apart might just breathe a bit of life into a dying Labour Party. And anyhow, if the grassroots choose a maverick or a post Thatcher nutter they will be no better than the Corbynistas with a wonderful warm fuzzy feeling of smug self righteousness. And just as politically doomed. There might even be a Lib Dem revival.

Then there is the conundrum of being the assassin. Does Boris really want to end up like Heseltine? I may be hopelessly wrong on this but Boris’s best chance of becoming leader is to show a bit of ankle, make a few gutter so noises about Brussels and then support REMAIN. He will then be rewarded with a big job and take his chances. Boris is desperate to be Prime Minister, but surely not that desperate to preside over the economic whirlwind and security nightmare of pulling us out of the EU. It would be enormously complicated and involve an awful lot of fine print. Not something he would savour. And his footnote in history? The PM who fucked it up.

I expect the pressure will now be intense for him to reveal his hand, not least from Number 10. But I imagine that his editor would ask that he bides his time until Monday when Telegraph readers eagerly await his column. My guts tell me that he will REMAIN, but the Boris Bird is a pesky little creature, who will pop up when you least expect him

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Although Monty and I disagree he is a man of good heart and integrity. After the dust settles I hope he can rejoin the Tory family

18 Feb 2016 at 16:45

Some of you will be expecting me to be jumping for joy at Tim Montgomerie’s exit from the Tory party. To be honest, I am rather sad. One of the great strengths of my party is that it is a very broad church. Some might think that since the defenestration of Thatcher some of the pews have been filled with snake wranglers, evangelicals and those with the gift of tongues; some forked.

The trouble is that many MPs of the post Thatcher era believe the myths. Labour and the Lib Dems view her as a monster. And Tories see her as a saint. In truth she was neither. She shook the patrician complacency to near destruction both in Cabinet and in Whitehall. She saved the economy and democratised rather than smashed the unions. But her impatience, hectoring style and humiliation of close colleagues and spitting in the eye of common sense were the seeds of her downfall. The operation fell apart when independent voices like Stephen Sherbourne and Ferdy Mount headed for the hills. They had the courage to restrain her. For any of us to view policy though the prism of what ‘she would have done’ is a mistake. There are different dragons to be slain.

The reason I support Cameron is because he epitomises why I joined the Conservatives so many years ago. Pragmatic politics, a sense of social justice and tolerance of alternative views. In many ways these are the bedrock of Tim Montgomerie’s Conservatism. The Good Right was a brave attempt to put these principles into a sensible context. But it incensed the libertarian Tories and they shrieked ’ betrayal’. That was unfair. But hey, welcome to politics.

The Tories have always had three primal fissures. Africa, Ireland and Europe. The opposite views are irreconcilable. Where I take issue with Tim is that he seems to buy into the popular myth that the EU is an undemocratic, incompetent, soul destroying, black hole of our potential. A cyst that has to be removed to give us back our sovereignty and place in the world. I admit that the EU bureaucracy can be mind numbingly ghastly and is founded on the bedrock of compromise. But before the Treaty of Rome the continent of Europe was slaughtering their young men for hundreds of years. Despots and dictators were starving and torturing their cowed peoples. I am old enough to remember the atrocities of Cyprus, dictators like Franco, Salazar and the Greek colonels. When as a child I visited Marbella in the late fifties there was just one hotel and the villagers were in rags and bare feet sharing their homes with the livestock. I remember as a teenager hopping on the ferry to France to stock up on the sugar and butter that the Commonwealth were unable to provide. And how can I forget British gunboats at war with Iceland over fishing rights?
There is toxic myth about EU migration. Today the MAIL screamed of the horror of 3 million workers. Note the word ‘workers’, not scroungers. They pay their taxes to support our schools and our NHS.

In his TIMES column today Tim made a remarkable statement, ‘nothing registers more strongly on the social injustice front than than recommending staying in the EU. It remains the greatest source of social misery on the continent……requiring intense austerity such as Greece’. Well, let’s have think about that. Successive Greek government’s for generations have failed to pay their debts. There has been a massive imbalance between rich and poor and who avoids paying taxes. They are finding it difficult to sell of their assets because the books have been cooked. What on earth are the rest of us meant to do? And I would have thought that the greatest cause of misery is the tide of sad displaced refugees fleeing from death, torture and persecution. We cannot and must not wash our hands of this humanitarian disaster. There has to be an EU solution.

Love it or hate it, irritating as it is and bollock crunching and sphincter clenching as they are the EU institutions at least are a force for stopping the wholesale slaughter of our young, feeding the continent and slowly bringing the Eastern European countries into democracy and prosperity. There is still a long way to go and there has to be massive reforms. But the alternative is chaos. And real misery.

Tim and I disagree on many things. But he is a man of integrity and good heart. I hope that when the dust has settled he feels that he can come back to the Conservative fold. I for one would welcome him.

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The disgraceful BMA. Mogadon mayoral candidates. And after the referendum a government of all the talons

13 Feb 2016 at 10:10

The irresponsible, shroud waving, downright lies that have been spewing from the BMA over the junior doctors dispute makes Brexiteer professional mentalists Arron Banks and Dominic Cummings seem like paragons of truth and gentlemanly behaviour. At last the mask has finally slipped. This has absolutely nothing to do with patient safety or tired doctors, but cash. The sticking point has now become how much they should be paid on a Saturday; at what time should unsociable hours pay begin. And let me remind you of what is on offer. An increase in basic pay of 13.5%. That the new contract permits doctors to work 71 hours a week rather than the 91now. That they can only be required to work 48 hours a week. In other words doctors are more likely to be tired and patients at risk under the present contract than the new.

Last night on the NOLAN show on 5 Live we asked for junior doctors to ring in. One did. He told us that the reason patient safety was at risk is because doctors are paid more in Australia and Scotland and will leave. Well son, get over it. A large percentage of doctors leave after their first two years. It has always been thus. Who else in the public services gets paid extra for weekend work? Certainly not the police, nurses, paramedics and firefighters. Oh, and dare I mention legal aid barristers? Like most of my colleagues I will be preparing my Monday trial. Shall I tell you how much per hour we will be paid for this unsocial work? Not a bloody penny. We have to do it for free. And we don’t complain about it. It is part of the job.

It appears that NHS negotiators where within a whisker of a deal until some doctor tweeted that he was looking after 100 cancer patients on his own and couldn’t cope. The internet went into a frenzy of indignation with 45,000 hits. Negotiations collapsed. Later it transpired that the claim was untrue as there were two senior doctors on call.

The BMA are a national disgrace. And they always have been. They have vilified every health minister from Nye Bevan onwards if their mouths are not filled with gold. Decent junior doctors have been seriously mislead and patients are suffering quite needlessly. Jeremy Hunt must stand firm. If these guys once again refuse to come to the negotiating table then the contract must be imposed. Giving in to the BMA would be a disaster.

And talking of disasters, not for the first time am I delighted that I don’ t live in London. It saves me the anguish of having to choose whom to vote for as Mayor. Clearly, I hope Zac wins simply because Khan is so bloody low grade cynical and has the public speaking ability of a dyspeptic Dalek. And Zac, tall, handsome but…..sorry I am dropping off even writing about him. I wish there could have been more of a choice between dull and hopeless. Tessa Jowell would have been rather good news. Sensible, able and with a great track record on the Olympics. Sadly, like murdered members of the politburo, she has been air brushed out of political history. London needs a leader with charisma, style and daring rather than Mogadon men. Oh, for the days of Steve Norris. He ran twice and would have been brilliant if the elections had not been during the Conservative Dark Ages when we were as fashionable as flairs and vaginal deodorant. Why on earth he was never rewarded with a place in the Lords is a total mystery to me.

Which reminds me that the 19th of February is the official start of the Conservative shooting season. It always amuses me how the Brexiteers spend most of their time screaming how awful the EU is and that unless we leave our shores will be teeming with migrants taking our jobs, Health Service and women. Yet as soon as Cameron repeats the warning from the mayor of Calais that the borders deal is not set in stone and reminds us of the Polish Prime Minister’s astute observation that, ‘if you are not at the table you are on the menu’, he is accused of disgraceful scaremongering.

So, soon after the Glorious Nineteenth IDS (Bon voyage), Villiers (the name rings a vague bell) Grayling (just fuck off) and a few no hopers whom the public have never heard of and will never again, will be finally allowed to let out the primal scream they have been withholding for so long. It will make them feel so much better. Like a damn good shit after a dodgy curry. Watch out for Priti Patel, the cover girl of the of the hard right who still believes in the death penalty. Can she be bribed? Mmm, we will see. But to honest, in the grand scheme of things what she does counts for diddly squat.

But a bit of ministerial bloodletting will free up opportunities for the ambitious and the loyal. And for the shits who did not behave too shitily. It is wonderful to see the Number 10 operation in full bribe mode. Nothing promised of course. Just little whispers in journalist’s ears about the big job that Boris might get. How Foxy could be back at the big table. How after the dust has settled, the sawdust scattered and the body parts given a dignified burial we will have a reconciliation reshuffle. Or perhaps a government of all the talons.

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Even the Samaritans would hang up on Grayling but the Brexiteers are heading for Fuckmarggeddon

4 Feb 2016 at 14:29

Poor Chris Grayling. Regularly humiliated by Michael Gove (blessed be his name) and more recently in Cabinet by Cameron. Even Liam Fox didn’t bother to respond to his desperate pleas to lead the Brexiteers. I suspect even the Samaritans would hang up on him. Yet each week, those of us who are normally are revolted by blood sports, enjoy his torture by Shadow Leader of the House, cheeky chappie, Chris Bryant. Today’s torture was naming him The Prince of Darkness and the Honourable member for Mordor. Ok, he’s mixing Harry Potter with Lord of the Rings (no euphemism Chris, honest), but if Grayling quivers in unopiated agony, that’s fine by me.

I suspect that it is pretty clear that he and IDS are going to walk the plank as they are so angry with Cameron having the effrontery to tell the House the basis of his negotiations before deal. Tensions are so high I would be surprised if it is not before18th February. I would imagine IDS would then lead the OUTERs, after all, the referendum is the juddering climax of his career.

On Tuesday I attended a briefing by Pauline Neville Jones and Dominic Grieve about the security aspects of leaving the EU. The Boothroyd Room (like a dreadful unfinished Spanish Hotel foyer circa 1972) was packed with the likes of me, Nick Soames, Alan Haselhurst, Damien Green and David Curry. The audience was so refreshingly wet that you could have shot snipe off of us. But the briefing was fascinating. The 5 eyes (the main world wide intelligence services) and NATO have warned that we would be less safe if we left the EU. The European Arrest Warrant would bite the dust and we would go back to the bad old days of waiting years for criminals to be extradited. And as far as border controls we would have to abandon the controls of British officials in Calais. It would be a nightmare and the Sangette jungle would be transferred to Dover and most of the South Coast. So much for control of our own borders.

The trouble is that every rational argument about the thousands of bilateral agreements that would have to be renegotiated is met with the response from the Amish wing that ‘they need us more than we need them, so there won’t be a problem’. In other words, the Brexiteers are asking the British people to take a giant leap into the dark, when what all of us want, particularly business and security, is certainty.

There is also a lot of nonsense being talked about MEPs blocking any agreement for a ‘brake’. I say nonsense as only this morning the leader of the European Parliament’s largest grouping the EPP said that it could be put in place within two or three months after the referendum. This rather scuppers the smear put about that it would never happen or take at least eighteen months.

And then there is the benefits scare. I have been arguing for years that the best way to deal with this in a non discriminatory way is for benefits to be paid at the rate of the country where you are domiciled. It requires an easy bit of software which even the DWP could deal with.

Sovereignty still seems to be the buzzword and rightly so. But we have a head of agreement that deals with this. We will no longer be bound to work towards closer integration. Finally, the European court. As we are signed up the the EHCR in Strasbourg the EU Court in Luxembourg cannot enforce its decisions on Human Rights on us. Sensibly, Gove (blessed be his holy name) has ruled out our leaving EHCR because it only asks our Parliament to take into account their decisions. And if we keep the carpet biters on side by a British, Big Cocked, Act of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act, that’s fine by me, as it won’t be jot different from the one we have. A bit like a cigarette after a wank.

The constitutional court idea floated to deal with the supremacy of our law is not a bad one. The President of the Supreme Court is right to argue that a separate constitutional court on the German model is not wrong in principle, just impractical. We could achieve the same results by giving the same powers to our Supreme Court. Let’s do it. Oh, and let Boris take the credit or whichever SPAD clocked it in the Readers Digest.

I know that the starting gun has not officially fired but the REMAINERs are missing a trick. Nobody is talking about agricultural subsidies. Before the EEC the government paid our farmers to farm. ‘Disgrace’, scream the Brexiteers. ‘They should be in free market’. The trouble is that producing our food is seasonal and subject to the delights of the British weather. Leaving the EU would hand a British Chancellor either a blank cheque to give to our farmers (not in your dreams) or a cut in their incomes. And it is billions of pounds. So It’s about time we heard from the horny handed sons and daughters of the NFU.

Oh, and before I go back to my jury, there is some interesting stuff going on at the MAIL group. Dacre, when he is not on a baby seal clubbing holiday in Nova Scotia,, is a bit of a carpet muncher as an OUTER. His oppo on the MOS has a more sensible view. Lady Rothermere rather prefers the sensible view of Geordi at the MOS and despises Dacre. There could be a bit of a power struggle over an issue that is so important. But when push comes to shove Dacre might be spending more time with his poison ivy.

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Poor Grayling is quite delusional in his bid to lead the Brexiteers. It would be tragic if its wasn't so hilarious

14 Jan 2016 at 16:09

A simple question for you. Which has been more disastrous for Britain, the EU or Chris Grayling? Well it’s a bit of a no brainer. Dear old Grayling is not blessed with the little grey cells and has caused endless headaches for Michael Gove who is throwing overboard all Grayling’s hopeless and vindictive policies at the MOJ. This has won Gove brownie points and breathing space. The judiciary and most of the legal profession regard him as rather good news.

When you are as dim and ambitious as the Leader of the House who knows that his head will be on a spike at the next reshuffle, the bronze age brain clanks into over drive to try and dredge for a bit of honour. Boris is now wisely out of the running to lead the Breziteers, Villiers is as charismatic as a peanut and May is far too savvy to rock the boat. So swirling around the emptiness of the Grayling cranium a couple of neurones joined together and produced a plan so cunning that if you put a tail on it you could call it a fox. ’The Brexiteers need a leader and I offer myself, in all humility, to wear the mantle to save our green and pleasant land from Johnny Foreigner and all his garlic infested works. I will write a piece in the telegraph, which will piss off Cameron but not enough for him to sack me. Who could resist my leadership, my charisma, my safe pair of hands. Hear I am". Well, there he is. My advice is to not sit by the telephone.

It may well be that the Outers are so desperate for someone, anyone, to knock the stuffing out of Fromage and that appalling little yob Arron Banks, that they will call for our hero. Lawson is too old and Lamont too loyal to his former SPAD David Cameron. After that who on earth is there? Javid? Highly unlikely. Despite showing a bit of ankle he is very ambitious and would like to be Chancellor in an Osborne government. So we might have the delightful entertainment of Grayling up against Cameron. He might stage a principled resignation. The tabloids will destroy him. I can almost hear the champagne corks popping at Number 10. It would be a tragedy if it wasn’t so hilarious.

But all this is a sideshow compared to the shenanigans of the tussle for the Tory leadership. It is becoming a tad dirty. Osborne has realised that this is going to be a tough fight. He is the darling of the back benches, whilst Boris damp gussets the party faithful. His dilemma is how he can keep Boris off the two candidate ballot. This is not easy and there are manoeuvres from Graham Brady to make it a threesome ballot. This will seriously annoy May who will take her chances as the Iron Maiden candidate.

The problem is that if Boris is not on the ballot the party faithful will go into melt down. But this is all a long way off.

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Do Labour MPs have the courage to join a mass walk out and smash the left?

9 Jan 2016 at 13:27

Some interesting Wilson memorabilia has hit the news today. Mary, his widow, is a hundred years old and Joe Haines, his legendary press secretary, has written for a call to arms in the New Statesman. I’ve always rather liked Joe as an interesting teller of tales, but I am in the minority. Gerald Kaufman, who was in Wilson’s kitchen cabinet, once told me that introducing Joe to Wilson was one of the biggest mistakes of his life. The lobby hated him as a former lobby hack turned traitor, particularly as his view was that his job was to support the Prime Minister and not them. Relations were very chilly.

But like him or loath him Joe has a wealth of experience which today’s politicians would be foolish to ignore. In 1974 Wilson had a majority of three, a party horribly divided on two fronts, Europe and the left, and there was also an economic crisis to put the cherry on the top of the cake. We all are aware that in 1975 he called a referendum in which ministers were allowed to depart from collective responsibility. It all sounds a bit familiar.

So what lessons can both parties learn from these troubled times? Firstly, as we have seen in Scotland, referendums do not end with the result. If the Remains win, which I suspect that they will, it is unlikely that hardcore Brexiteers will crawl back under their stones. They will claim that the whole process was unfair, and that Brussels with the Whitehall machine loaded the dice. So if you think that whatever the result there will not be a Tory bloodbath dream on. The campaign is going to be short and brutish. Who Scares Wins. And as for Labour’s EU split, it is nothing compared the the chasm between the leadership and his MPs.

The lesson of the sixties and beyond it that you can’t compromise with the left, you have to smash them. And the longer you wait the more difficult it becomes. The Haines solution is for a mass walk out MPs taking shelter under another umbrella. This would leave Bercow with a bit of a dilemma. Who becomes the official opposition? Well it’s a no brainer; the party with the second largest majority in the House. And so, the theory goes, the wheels of Livingstone/Corbyn charabanc fall off. But it would require a lot of courage and money. I don’t think that the money will be too much of a problem as it is the only chance Labour donors have of not having a party that is totally destroyed in 2020.

So who would lead them? I see that Dan Jarvis is given quite a puff in the Guardian today. As a former soldier with a great back story, courage does not appear be too much of a problem. But timing is. It has to be after the May elections. Any fool knows that Labour will face carnage then. Any hint of a walk out will allow the Corbynista rubbish machine to place the blame on the walkers. But it would not be wise to have a major distraction just before the referendum.

The party conference in September is astrologically the best bet. Momentum would have packed the hall with its members, so Livingstone will be the back street driver of a lethal pile up. Do it the day before the conference and cause the maximum damage and give Bercow time to think as Parliament is not sitting.

Jarvis needs some big beasts in the Shadow Cabinet. Watson is dangerously quiet. There have been no speeches or interviews praising the re kerfuffle. Worse, Milne has made a terrible tactical blunder by leaking to the press that Watson was never consulted on it. It is unwise to poke a big beast with sharp sticks, particularly if it has its own mandate.

But I am not optimistic. Despite the blather, MPs can be quite timid creatures and hope that something will turn up. Well, it won’t. This is the Last Chance Saloon and its drinking up time.

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