Boris and the Cult of ERG must be sidelined. Ignore the whips and vote to remain in the EEA. Sovereignty means sovereignty. It’s time for Parliament to take back control.

10 Jun 2018 at 15:01

The most depressing, humiliating and confusing truth that Labour grapples with is that they are a staggering nine points behind the Conservatives. Yet they have convinced themselves that they were the real victors at the last election. That Britain is yearning for a Labour government, that Jeremy is their saviour. But despite the most formidable grass roots membership in Europe, they have learned that troops on the ground don’t win hearts and minds or votes. There has to be something more. Elections are won by reaching out to the middle ground.

Hardly a week passes without a real and present danger for the government. Dear Old David Davis, with the regularity of a cuckoo clock, presents an ultimatum, reads his latest resignation letter to anyone who will listen, caves in on a meaningless fudge of words and claims some sort of victory. The ghastly Mogg, high priest of the Cult of ERG, swears allegiance to Mrs May, whilst plotting her downfall. And that abomination that is Bozo, becomes outraged when his speech to a rag bag bunch of donor low life is leaked. Poor Boris has had his privacy ravished. He is feeling naked and unloved. Good.

But the most worrying thing about the Foreign Secretary’s stream of consciousness was not so much his well heralded economic illiteracy, but rather his amorality about the catastrophe that will soon engulf the United Kingdom. He nonchalantly speaks of bumps in the road, which is code for those poor devils who will be thrown onto the scrap heap of the dole queue when we Brexit. And then he casually warns of a meltdown, which is a metaphor for those bankers, car makers and investors who will flee the country when the balloon goes up.

Isn’t it depressing, but par for the course, that those who speak of these horrors as a ‘price worth paying’ are never the poor devils who have worked their guts out to create successful businesses and will lose everything? They tend to be the well upholstered and insulated against the shock waves that will put the economy into anaphylactic shock. Mogg will move his money around and Johnson will make a fortune writing articles and books about how the naysayers, traitors, civil servants and the wicked EU strangled the great project at birth. ‘If only they had done it my way all would be very different. Unicorns would have roamed our green and verdant pastures and fluffy bunnies would be hopping joyfully through beautiful rainbows!’he would thunder at a pound a word.

If these people weren’t so cynical the best thing that could be said of them is that they were deranged fantasists.

And now they want to get rid of May. The only person showing any grit, guts and determination to try and reach a solution that is more painful than mortal. Is there no end to this dangerous coup d’twat gibberish? Apparently not.

It is as if the cult of ERG want us to stick rigidly to the Moonies play book. We give up our worldly possessions, live in a restricted community, deprived of facts until we are finally encouraged to drink hemlock on the promise of a better future. Faith through death.

But it’s not going to happen. The Tories have a primal sense of self preservation. A leadership election with no obvious leader as we are about to Brexit is electoral suicide. And most backbenchers are savvy enough to realise. The public will never forgive a party which takes a wrecking ball to the economy out of spite and political opportunism.

But the tectonic plates of our withdrawal have changed. There is no stomach nor a Parliamentary majority for a no deal crash out. We are nudging towards pragmatism. The Daily Mail will be taking a softer line since the ventilating of Paul Dacre and the appointment of moderate Remainer Geordie Greig as its editor.

Much will depend how the Commons votes on the Lords amendments next Tuesday and Wednesday. The trustys will warn that a vote to remain in the EEA will lead to a Labour government. Bollocks.

My message to backbenchers? Ignore the whips. Sovereignty means Sovereignty. It’s time for Parliament to take back control.



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The road to hell in Northern Ireland is paved with good intentions. It must be for the people of the Provence to decide on abortion not Westminster

27 May 2018 at 15:41

That the Republic of Ireland voting by a majority of nearly two thirds to allow abortion is of enormous significance, but is not as remarkable as it might seem.

For years the Republic has been drifting away from the iron fist of the Catholic Church, who for an unconscionably long time had a symbiotic relationship with the government.

They worked hand in glove with each other to the detriment of the human rights and freedoms of the Irish people.

And then the horror stories became horror truths about the abuse of children and unmarried mothers which began to seep out after years of cover up and deception. Faith in the church and the trust worthiness of the bishops and priests were shaken to the core.

First, there was the sensible victory of people voting to allow same sex couples to marry. After this it was inevitable that a vote to overthrow article eight would be carried.

This was not a result of weeks of clever campaigning. It was more a radical shift in mind set that had been happening over a very long time.

This referendum was merely a formal acceptance of what people had been thinking for many years.

The sad and uncomfortable truth is that Ireland has tolerated abortion for years. Just not in Ireland.

There was a stinking hypocrisy that failed women in their very own homeland, sometimes forcing them to give birth to babies that would die in their arms within minutes of them entering the world.

And the hypocrisy? If you had the cash, a short flight to the U.K. could sort out your problems. And the church would turn a blind eye

Yesterday’s vote ended years of misery, hurt and guilt and dragged Ireland into the 20th century.

But across the invisible border alarm bells are beginning to ring in the north.

It should not be forgotten that Donegal, which is almost indivisible with Northern Ireland, was the only constituency to vote NO.

I spent three happy and instructive years at the Northern Ireland office in the nineties. And if there is any lesson any politician should learn about the Provence is that the moment you think you understand what the hell is going on it is a sign that you understand very little.

So a word of warning to those women with good intentions, like Penny Mourdant, who want a free vote in the Commons that abortion should be legalised in the North. Be careful what you wish for.

Her proposal seems eminently sensible at first glance.

After all it is a disgrace that a part of the United have laws that are rooted in Leviticus and Calvinism. Abortion is forbidden as is same sex marriage.

If there is going to be change, and there will be, it must be made by the people of Northern Ireland and not the British Parliament. These matters are rightly devolved to Stormont.

The trouble is that government in the North is in suspended animation. Officials are just about keeping the show on the road. But all of the serious decisions have been put on hold until they appoint ministers.

And at the moment there is not much hope of that in the near future.

In normal times this would be a disaster. But with all the uncertainty over Brexit and what could happen if the there is a hard border, this is a potential catastrophe.

And there is the added problem of the faint possibility of a United Ireland. Recent border polls have rocked the government. And the DUP and Sinn Fein are dangerously close in the polls.

Now Sinn Fein are campaigning for abortion.

There is a perfect storm brewing which could bring back the bloodshed both in the Provence and on the mainland. This is making the government feel very jittery indeed.

Do we really want to pick the scabs on the old wounds of gay marriage and abortion? And that’s just in the Tory party.

Do we really want to light the fuse of sectarianism?

Of course, both laws need to be changed. But now is not the time for a debate no matter how just and well intentioned.

The road to hell in Northern Ireland is paved with good intentions.

It’s time for those with the finest and most honourable intentions to keep calm, carry on and look at the big picture.

And it doesn’t look very rosy.



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The hot gospeller, the Speaker and a blushing radio host

21 May 2018 at 07:17

My Royal wedding days always start in exactly the same way.

Wife, ‘are you going to watch it?’

Me, ‘oh, I might just dip in from time to time’.

Then I catch a glimpse. Sit down, and finally become addicted.

Yesterday was no exception. The sun shone. And with the exception of the splendid Sir John Major, who was an official guardian of William and Harry, this was a politician free zone.


It really was a joyous day. Charity workers seated next to entertainment royalty. Brits in dopey outfits swigging bonhomie and prosecco in equally generous measures, joined, it seemed, by the rest of the world just having a really good time.

In an age of the worst political polarisation world wide that I can ever remember, the genuine and unstaged love of two young people united us all in one great woohoo of genuine joy.

There are so many memories and messages from yesterday. The magical grins from the two little page boys as soon as the state trumpeters blew the roof off St George’s chapel with their imperial and majestic blasts.

And that American preacher, Bishop Curry.

All I can say is, wow.

Moving. Relevant, healing. Urbe et Orbe. And the sub text being up yours Trump, Putin and the venal sowers of division.

Wonderful. Wonderful. Wonderful.

I am not a particularly religious man, but it felt as if an Old Testament prophet had descended in a flaming chariot to be amongst us, preaching not fire and brimstone, but the power of love.

It was as if the nation, if not the world was being touched by the heart of God.

Love each other and you might get to love yourselves.

We will hear a lot more from Bishop Curry in years to come. That speech will join the all time greats, along side Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream.’

Not just because of its power, eloquence and relevance, but because of it’s powerful message of hope.

For us all.

Everyone will have a special moment.

Mine was of Doria Ragland, mother of the bride.

Flown over from LA last Wednesday under a cloud of confusion and hurt over the foolishness and naivety of her former husband for doing deals with the paps and putting up with the bile and barbs of his press hungry vulture daughter Samantha, this seemed the perfect storm for the makings of PR disaster.

How wrong we were. Seated closest to the bride and groom, Doria presented a tableau of demure and dignified elegance.

And this is what her daughter wrote about her a while back.

‘Dreadlocks, nose ring, yoga, interactor, social worker. Free spirit. Lover of potato chips and lemon tarts. And if the DJ cues Al Green’s soul classic Call Me, just forget it. She will swivel her hips into the sweetest little dance you’ve ever seen swaying her head and snapping her fingers to a beat she’s been dancing since the womb. And you will smile. You won’t be able to help it. You will look at her and feel joy.’

So for a few sunny and joyous hours the United Kingdom was united and at ease with itself.

It was a bad day for Republicans.

Talking of which, never mind Trump’s visit in July. A new permanent and very special relationship with the United States of America has been forged.

Not in political necessity, nor trade.

But love.

Well, dump those empty bottles, put the bunting away and let’s get back reality. Damn.

Oh, the irony that is politics. Speaker John Bercow is spared an investigation into allegations of bullying his staff, but may have to retire to Dunrobin sooner than he intended.

Last week he was alleged to have whispered that Andrea Leadsom, the ocean going dimwit who is Leader of the Commons, was ‘stupid and F… useless. And this will be his downfall, although anyone with E in GCSE media studies the intellect of a pot noodle knows that it’s true.

There are the usual howls of Tory outrage, particularly from the sixty six clearly deranged MPs who voted for Leadsom to become party leader. As they have only just been released from a place of safety and given their up to date certificates of sanity, their howls are most likely to be when the moon is full.

It would be very foolish to hound the Speaker out of Office.

The trick is to let him leave with as much dignity that he can muster. Expect a statement in the next couple of weeks whereby he relies on his manifesto pledge to serve no more than nine years.

He will be gone by the summer recess.

And the headline?

‘Shock horror. Politician resigns for telling the truth’.

You couldn’t make it up.

Oh, a footnote. On my Lovesport show yesterday we had a great singer songwriter, a talented lad by the name of Valerio Lysander. I asked him what he was going to sing. His reply was that it was all about the frustration of musicians expected to work for nothing. A fair but embarrassing point. There is no appearance fee on the Jerry Hayes show. Well, apart from me.



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Boris’s passionate love affair that the public have a right to know about

15 May 2018 at 07:15

While the country prepares itself for that warm fuzzy feeling of joy, indifference, patriotism and the obligatory drunkenness which is our collective experience of a Royal wedding, we can at least say that the happy couple are genuinely in love.

So unlike the politicians.

Although there does appear to be a Kormance between Trump and Kim Yung Un who will be getting a room together in July. From fat little rocket man to an honourable one. A remarkable change in mood music.

For now.

But there is no love between Iran and Trump. Nor likely to be.

Everyone knew that the moment Boris Johnson landed on American soil with a mission to persuade the President to back the Obama Iranian nuclear deal and side with the Europeans all was lost. This venally hopeless and criminally lazy Foreign Secretary is the dementor’s kiss to diplomacy. And his suggestion that Trump could win the Nobel peace prize was cheesily cringeworthy. And bordering on the Disneyland. And a failure.

Now I know I may need counselling for saying this, but the President may have a point in crashing out of this agreement.

Most swashbuckling politicians are more buckle than swash. But not this guy.

The original deal gave us some sort of tolerable working relationship with Iran. For an unfreezing of $130 bn worth of assets they would slow down their military nuclear programme which they claimed didn’t exist. But they are the largest exporters of terrorism in the Middle East. The agreement did nothing to curb their financing of Hesbollah and Hamas.

Now hands over your ears Mr.Corbyn, Israel has provided strong evidence that Iran is pursuing a military nuclear programme.

Who’d have thought it?

Their enrichment of uranium is not just for heating up the water for bath time.

Anyhow, back home Boris is still conducting the deepest and most meaningful love affair of his life. It is deep, passionate and unconditional. It is with himself.

Harry and Megan eat your hearts out.

I can’t work out whether Boris is in true self destruct mode and desperately wants to be sacked or is just playing chicken with May by calling her plan for a Customs Partnership with the EU Crazy. And doing so in public. This has infuriated what once was his power base and spring board to the leadership.

But when Boris plays chicken you can always expect foul play.

I really don’t understand this Customs row. Friends of David Davis, which is usually the code for David himself, say that unless May abandons the plan he will quit. And there are dark mutterings of a leadership election.
It won’t happen. It’s bluster.

And when arch Brexiteer Dan Hannan, the snot of the devil to some Remainers, warns that all is not going to plan, you know that the purists are in trouble.

Then there is the funereal figure of Rees Mogg, the man with a smile like the brass plate on a coffin. He is causing trouble too.

Well, what’s new?

But the perfumed manners seem to have fallen away to reveal the country squire’s tactic of thrashing the servants when they show any signs of disobedience. And this is beginning to irritate Tory backbenchers as well. The overwhelming majority want a deal. Yesterday, he was publicly slapped down by Madame. The fight back has started.

They accept we will leave the EU, the single market and THE Customs Union. But they also appreciate that that if we want frictionless trade there has to be some sort of Customs arrangement otherwise trade will grind to a halt.

All negotiations have to be about compromise. About give and take.

Now is the time for a dose of reality. Time is running out. A deal has to be thrashed out soon, as the European political classes float off tho their villas and mistresses at the end of June.

May is preparing the ground for a compromise and will face down the purists. She will succeed because she has to.

And then there was the extraordinary and unprecedented apology by the PM for the extraordinary rendition of an opponent of Ghaddaffi when Blair was seeking to curry favour with the dictator. In 2004 MI6 assisted the CIA in transporting this guy to a Bangkok prison where he was tortured.

Well, it’s easy to apologise when it didn’t happen on your watch.

The then Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, denies any knowledge of wrongdoing and his successor, David Miliband, denies any knowledge of a coverup.

This has not been a good week for Foreign secretaries past and present.

But it has been a mixed week for the Lords who have been repeatedly over turning the government over Brexit and then started demanding curbs on the freedom of the press. I really don’t get this at all. Labour wants to introduce laws which will mean that if somebody makes a complaint about an article the publisher would have to pay costs even if they overturn the complaint. And they of course support IMPRESS, the child of Max Moseley and Hacked Off. After all, Max has been a big donor to the party.

This is the political morality of the sewer.

Or maybe it has been a terrible week for the Lords as the Daily Mail, in full carpet biting mode, are demanding that they should be abolished, these traitors these, saboteurs, the mutinous enemies of the people.

Now that would really please Mr.Corbyn.

But Jeremy, I don’t wasn’t to ruin your specially ground, fair trade Venezuelan pre lunch coffee, but I have some very bad news for you. Which proves beyond doubt that that is an international conspiracy against Russia and the Socialist Internationale.

And you.

The winners of the Eurovision Song Contest was Israel.

Best not call them Gammon though.



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May now has the confidence to put her shit kicking boots on and Brandon Lewis as emerged as a big beast

4 May 2018 at 15:40

The tears of anger, frustration, incomprehension and horror of the hyped up Corbynistas will soon turn into an anti media snarl of, ‘we was robbed’, by Murdoch, hedge fund managers and of course, ‘friends of the state of Israel’.

To the Momentum hordes, Labour’s disastrous local election showing is proof that there is a conspiracy of bankers and the press to thwart the will of the people. A very good reason that there should be more controls over them. Freedom of speech is precious and therefore must be rationed.

But the truth is pretty obvious. In London Labour did fantastically well at the last local elections. It was delusional to think they could do significantly better this week. And UKIP is now not just not fit for purpose, it has no purpose at all, apart from being airbrushed out of political history. It is just about possible that Farage could crawl back if he can gain traction with the fantasy that May is betraying the people’s Brexit. But Brexit is going to happen, just not in a the way that the purists want it.

The trouble with Labour is that they inhabit an echo chamber of chanting crowds screaming offensive and futile slogans. All Tories are scum, but moderate Labour are far worse. Red scum and class traitors. Blairites. And what a monster he was.

They feed off each other’s belief systems and have as a reedy cheer leader Corbyn re ratter, Owen Jones, running after the mob which he hAs convinced himself is leadership. It’s rather sad to see an intelligent left winger who I always thought was a decent enough guy spouting the most appalling and dangerous nonsense. His credentials are in tatters. What a shame.

It’s easy for commentators like me to say that it is all down to poorly managing expectations. Actually it’s not. Brandon Lewis, the Tory party chairman, has shown himself to be a man to watch, a big beast off the leash. Fluent on the telly, rarely a foot wrong and was so convincing that the Tories were going to have a terrible night that most of the cabinet believed it. And he has a Wilsonian air of man of the people. Another serious leadership contender is in the incubator. He’ll be the next in line for a big job.

The tectonic plates of politics have begun to move. Momentum seems to be infested by a middle class who know best. And their kids, Harry, Freddy and Ros no longer spend their gap year building African schools, they go on marches. They dwell in the cities. In the rest of the country those who aspire are moving back to the Tories. A lesson for Corbyn which I doubt he will learn is that voters will be reluctant to vote for a party that they are scared of. And Labour has become a gothic horror story.

I am not going to bother with the problems of anti semitism, intolerance, bullying and the councils that Labour should have won as it’s all so painfully obvious. But what may trouble him is that he commands the largest political army in Europe who outnumber the Tories to a massive scale. To what avail? Madame has lost four cabinet ministers, Brexit is a fiasco and the scandal that is Windrush has nor even begun to fade away. Labour should be twenty points ahead in the polls.

Well, Madame should treat herself to a few large craft gins this weekend. This decent and rather awkward woman appears to be winning the grudging respect of the public for her dogged determination and sheer courage in putting up with some of the ghastly creatures that inhabit her party.

I suspect there will be a rather different and more confident approach from now on. This is her time to tell her Brexit mobsters to put up or shut up. Of course they won’t shut up. But they won’t put up either.

If you can feel a slight breeze, it is a wind of change that will be gently be wafting though Number 10.

But on the political stock market I’d buy shares in Brandon.



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Javid’s appointment is inspired. But he must be allowed to be his own man even if it means tearing down structures created by May. They both need each other

30 Apr 2018 at 10:14

Don’t be too mystified about that very large belch you may have heard last night. It was merely the quicksands of the Home Office devouring yet another minister. I can only think of one Home Secretary who escaped with his reputation intact. Ken Clarke. But to say that in these poisonous and rancid times in the Tory party, is tantamount to telling the Shadow Cabinet that Tony Blair wasn’t a bad fellow after all.

One of the reasons I haven’t been blogging for a while is that I have been concentrating on putting together a three hour live news and current affairs show every Sunday between twelve and three pm. But now all the bumps in the road have been ironed out I can relax a little more. What finally convinced me that Rudd’s position was untenable was when my producer handed me, mid programme, the brief about who had said what on the political shows. As soon as I read that Brandon Lewis was less than orgasmic in his support, I knew she was flat lining and that the plug was about to be pulled. Brandon is a former minister for immigration and is probably still trying to understand how it was possible that Rudd was not aware of removal targets. Sadly, her leaked memo about targets undermines everything she told the House.

One of the few golden rules in politics is that the Seven Horsemen of the Apocalypse barely break into a trot when there is a scandal, but are in full gallop when there is a cover up. And up until yesterday there were no horsemen to be be seen. It was just Corbyn and Abbott on an ass. And it was a very silly one too.

It wasn’t the burglary that destroyed Nixon in Watergate, it was the cover up. It wasn’t shagging Christine Keeler that destroyed John Profumo, it was his lie to the House. And if Rudd had stuck to her guns in a statement today her position of just looking ridiculous could come perilously close to a contempt of Parliament.

All departments have to aspire to hit targets to keep them on their toes. When they become too difficult politicians, with a wave of a magic wand, turn them into ‘aspirations’, which in reality are just a bunch of dead rabbits being pulled out of the hat.

I really don’t object to realistic targets being set unless it involves due process. Each immigration case has to be dealt with on its merits before Home Office adjudicators or a tribunal. To say that there must be X number of deportations a month spits in the face of the rule of law. It would be like the CPS saying that they had a target to obtain X convictions for murder every month.

But the worst thing about targets is that the only way you can even aspire to achieving them is to go for low hanging fruit, which are very often the vulnerable targets. That’s how the Windrush generation were ensnared in this cruel bureaucratic nightmare, which seems straight out of Catch 22. ‘You are not illegal immigrants. But you must prove it. Oh, and to make it easier for us pointy heads and so we can meet our targets, we have destroyed any documentation that could make it easier for you. And you will be removed form your family home of the last forty years and placed in a deportation centre pending you repatriation to…..oh, just a minute, we have no documentation as to where you came from. But anywhere other than the U.K.’

Grayling would have been the logical choice for Home Secretary. Totally incompetent, viciously partisan and with the emotional intelligence of pre hydrated tub of pot noodle. He has that rare gift of wreaking havoc in every department he has adorned. Perfect. A minister not fit for any purpose in a department not fit for purpose. And when he has finished there, send him over to the department of health. His humane policy of selective culling of of the elderly will ease bed blocking and solve the problem of community care at a stroke. GMB’s Andy Peters will be replaced by Rees Mogg in full undertakers kit in the Trip to the Great Unknown Lottery. He will start on the council estates first then move onto the Remainers. You’ve got to be in it to win it.

We now know that Sajid Javid has been handed to poisoned chalice by Madame. It is clever and inspired choice. A reluctant Remainer with a heart. But he must be his own man. He must have the independence of mind to bring major structural reform to the Home Office. That’s his job. Not to preserve in aspic everything that May put in place. She must have the confidence to give him a free run.

He is now back in the leadership game. Him getting it right is vital to her staying in Number 10. For them both to succeed the Home Office culture of complacency, bureaucratic callousness and being dependant on dodgy data has to be razed to the ground.

Times have changed. Targets don’t work. But people need to be reassured that those that are here illegally, will, after due and fair process, be deported. His priority must be that those poor Windrush souls must have their status quickly restored and that a fair and speedy compensation system be implemented. There must be no dragging of feet and no road blocks from the treasury.

His real dilemma will be how to handle EU movement of people. As a former business secretary he knows how important foreign labour is to business. He can turn the whole immigration debate on its head. Humane, fair, business friendly and tough on those who are taking the piss. Oh, and for heaven’s sake put an end to the daft rules on capping professional labour from the Commonwealth. We have a shortage of doctors and some who are training here aren’t allowed to take jobs in the NHS. Quite insane.

Poor Diane Abbott. She has a dilemma. Javid’s back story means that she can never accuse him of racism nor understanding the plight of immigrants. If you didn’t see her being asked the impertinent, unfair and unexpected question of what is her immigration policy by Piers Morgan this morning on GMB, I implore you too. She hadn’t a clue. It was a good audition for being Home Secretary. And she was not fit for purpose.



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The ERG are like a bunch of chippy saddos who had a rough time at school and come back with a political assault weapon in revenge. The Boringdom versus the Bulllingdon.

3 Mar 2018 at 14:50

If your television screens are suffering serious interruptions, it’s not the weather. It’s Margaret Thatcher spinning in her grave. She would be horrified at how the Conservative Party has degenerated from a party that really cares about ordinary folk and is dedicated to equality and opportunity, to a one issue dictatorship.

Harsh words? Not at all. Just a depressing hard truth.

Poor Theresa May. My God that woman has guts and determination, perhaps as much as Thatcher had. But Thatcher was there to slay the dragons of the left. They were a clear and necessary target. They were destroying Britain and had been for years. On this her party was totally behind her and any criticisms on other matters, were in coded language. In other words, we behaved like decent people towards each other and her.

But Madame has been kidnapped. And ransom notes with dark threats of death and torture come with the regularity of the flash of the assassin’s stiletto. Gavin Barwell doesn’t have to whisper in her ear every day, ‘thou art only mortal’. She bloody well knows it. And the IDS of March are fast approaching.

And her kidnappers? That awful, demented, chippy and repellant organisation called the European Research Group. One thing I can assure you of is that Madame will never suffer from Stockholm syndrome. They are far to odious to form any sort of attachment with. This group effectively controls all utterances from Number 10. Mogg sits on his throne with the triple crown of ERG and with his gift of infallibility gives blessings or condemns with bell, book and candle a heresy worthy of excommunication. In over thirty years I have never seen the Conservative party lose its way in such sinister circumstances.

I used to regard Mogg as a rather harmless eccentric who would entertain the House with whimsy and the occasional barmy idea. And perhaps one day be elevated to the chair of a committee in a bad year. But Mogg is very dangerous. He is a hyena in meerkat fur. Not only does he believe in the delusion of Brexit, he helped create it. Unlike Boris, who is a bumbling opportunist with a Rolls Royce brain which he drives like a Skoda, who believes in nothing other than himself. In other words a self made man who worships his creator.

And what would Thatcher have thought of the personalised abuse of John Major as a traitor and worse? She would be incandescent with rage. Horrified. John is as honourable and decent a man that has ever lead the Conservative Party and the country. He must have agonised about whether to speak out. But he knew that it was his duty. I would imagine that most MPs of all parties would agree with every word he uttered. The game is up. He knows it. Everyone knows it, except for the minority in the cult of belief. Even with the most optimistic of economic models post Brexit, the future isn’t good. And it might not even be Orange.

So who is going to stand up to the ERG? What on earth are Parliamentarians afraid of? Their shadows? Colonel and Mrs mad who run their associations? For God’s sake grow some balls. Do what you were elected to do. And what might that be? The right thing.

The ERG give a good impression of nothing more than a group of bitter people who suffered a rotten time at school and have come back years later with a political assault weapon in revenge. The Boringdom Club as a hellish antidote to the Bullingdon.

I really don’t think that the Tories can hold together for much longer. And neither can Labour who have had their long march to the wrong end of the ice pick. So who can I vote for? Who represents the middle ground? Who can lead the fight for decency and moderation. Nobody. Yet. But they have under a year to come forward. As Tony Blair once said, ‘it’s time for a change’. Courage mon braves



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How to survive in the shark infested waters of Westminster and remain reasonably sane

24 Feb 2018 at 11:26

A few days after the last general election I bumped into an old friend who had just been elected. He looked rather shell shocked. Pleadingly he turned his ashen face to me and wailed, ‘I haven’t a clue how to do this job. What should I do?’. So I sat him down, administered large doses of claret and gave him a few home truths which are as relevant today as they were then. So here they are.

Unless you are a Machiavellian, sociopathic little shit who would betray his colleagues eat their children and sell what was left of his soul for a red box and a share of a medium sized family saloon, there are three priorities. Your family and those you love. Your constituents. Your party.

Your family really does have to come first. It’s difficult. Sometimes very difficult. But at least try. Because in the dark tea time of your soul they are the only people who really care about you and will sustain you through the many crises that will dominate your life. Remember the overwhelming majority of your Parliamentary friends or colleagues don’t really give a shit about you when the going gets really tough. Try and find at least one politician who you can confide in, trust and befriend. This is not easy and will take time. Sometimes you will be surprised that they are from another party.

The whole point of being in Parliament is to look after your constituents. I am afraid the majority don’t give a flying fuck about your views on foreign affairs or even the EU unless they directly affect them. Make your constituency a party political free zone until each election. People hate party politics. And politicians. But they might give you the benefit of the doubt if they know that you are watching their backs. Anyhow, the people who run your association love doing all that political stuff themselves. Rise above it all. Personal attacks are just undignified. And don’t get involved with every fight on the constituency association playground. You can’t win. Don’t try. They do love House of Commons notepaper though. Send them lots of personal notes. But one golden rule. Give you support and loyalty unconditionally to your chairman. He or she has far more power and ability to end your career than the whips. And they will firefight flare up for you that you never knew existed.

You will be shocked at how hopelessly inadequate many your local councillors are. Best not let them know. But to the large part they are good hearted and want to do the best for their wards and the various odd ball ideas that have been buzzing between their ears for years. Just let them get on with it and they will be as happy as pigs in shit. Oh, and they love the notepaper too.

Now for the klaxons, bells and red lights. This is important. To many, being a councillor is the pinnacle of everything. When the national opinion polls turn nasty many panic and become independent. Act in sorrow more than anger. They tend to come back when things improve.

Now for your party. Mmm, a tricky one. Remember that you were elected on their coat tails and they can still pull the plug on you. But keeping up with party policy is a nightmare. Pity dear old Alan Mak. I’ve never met him. I’m sure that he is very nice man. But you can smell ambition on him like a cheap aftershave. Imagine his dilemma every morning. He has spent days bobbing up and down in the chamber and destroying Amazonian rain forests with press releases salivating the wonders of a policy. And then suddenly it is reversed and you can smell the burning rubber of a forced U turn. Except that it won’t be forced for young Mak as he will be rejoicing the wonders of this new and wonderful crock of crap.

Years ago the legendary producer Ed Boyle and I collaborated on a game show for politicians called a Kick in the Ballots which aired on ITV. He developed a game called U Turn. A politician was given a subject to speak in favour of, then the Chairman, Charlie Kennedy, would press a buzzer and the politician would argue against. God they were brilliant. Not even a pause for thought.

I really can’t advise on how to handle this. Perhaps do a half Mak. Probably best not to believe a word that comes out of Number 10.

Now for the press. NEVER trust the news desk. They will probably never speak to you again and don’t care about burning their sources. Always say off the record first, then it is. If you say it later this magical incarnation won’t work. Find someone you can trust in the lobby. Believe me they do exist. Their rule is everything you say is off the record unless you wish otherwise. But never ever lie to them. It is not clever. It is lethal because most of the lobby gossip with each other. If you get a reputation for being a shit they will destroy you. And pamper your local press. Don’t issue releases from on high. Chat to them. Take them for a drink. Remember that Fleet Street is for your ego the local press is for your life support.

Oh, and if you receive a phone call from Simon Walters on a Saturday afternoon and you notice Michael Crick strolling down your street, it’s not going to be pleasant. Run for the hills as you are just about to be right royally fucked.

And one final word of wisdom. If a tall pin striped man with the smile like the brass plate on a coffin asks you to sign a letter supporting the Prime Minister. Don’t. For two reasons. Firstly because he is cunt. Secondly, if you sign it you will resemble one too.



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Boris, Mogg Al Capone and the St Valentine’s Day massacre. Gangsters the lot of them

14 Feb 2018 at 11:30

I have been trying to work out the logic of Bozo making his keynote grab for power/speech on Brexit (delete where applicable) on St Valentine’s day. But it’s a monumental waste of time. A bit like Bozo. Perhaps he thought, ‘romance is in the air’. Not for the first time. After all, his officials have been trying to tell him that monogamy is not what his desk is made out of for months. Perhaps it is because the whole tone of his speech is holding out the hand of friendship and reconciliation to Remainers and Brexiteers alike. A great human rights extravaganza, perhaps reminiscent of Dr.King’s I Have a Dream speech. But a British version. Soft, cuddly, roses, soft toys and a few sips of English sparkling wine, laced with cyinide. Yet not so much of a dream as a nightmare. Let us build a bonfire of all those regulations that Brussels inflicts on our businesses. In future it will be British regulations. We will set the standards. We will not be a vassal state. Oh dear, empty vassals do make the most noise.

These people are delusional. And dangerous. If you are going to trade internationally it won’t work unless you have basic standards, by agreement. Which is how we operate now with the EU. As much as we would love to believe it, we haven’t ruled the waves for years. And our navy is only marginally bigger than the Swiss.

The truth about this speech is that it’s just another Bozo tantrum. Another grab for the headlines. Another selfish, cynical move intended to propel him into Number 10 with likes off that ghastly Mogg abomination. If that terrible day comes I will elope with Anna Soubry.

But just a moment. I have suddenly realised why he has chosen St Valentine’s day. To celebrate an attempt to end another trade cartel. It was 1929 and Al Capone was rather fed up with Bugs Moran muscling in on his bootlegging business. He was helped by another gang, Egan’s Rats. They massacred Bugs Moran and his crew. One man, Frank Gusenberg was taken to hospital with fourteen bullets lodged inside him. When the police asked him who was responsible Gusenberg simply replied, ‘nobody shot me’.

Not unlike the denial that it was said that the Turks were joining the EU or the NHS was to receive £350m a week.

Gangsters the lot of them



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Mogg you are disgrace. Don’t be an ocean going dolchytosser

5 Feb 2018 at 14:06

It has been my privilege to have known three Cabinet Secretaries, or heads of the civil service. Andrew Turnbull, Robin Butler and Gus O’Donnell ( who used to initial all his memos GOD). These men have served governments of all parties. They are incorruptible. They are fair and they treat their job with an almost sacred belief that their duty is to give impartial advice, no matter how unpalatable it might be to their democratically elected masters. It is for civil servants to advise and ministers to decide. And here lies the problem with Brexit. It is their job to give ministers options and give realistic advice based on the evidence.

Let’s be honest. Not all Treasury forecasts are set in stone. Economics can sometimes be as reliable as meteorology. So don’t look too carefully at the figures, but look at the overall trends. And the overall trend is that a hard Brexit will damage jobs and business. To what degree nobody knows. After all it hasn’t happened yet. We are akin to 1939. A phoney war. But soon the war will be a reality. It will hit home. It will affect all of us in some way, which will not be pleasant.

To attack the hard working and impartial men and women who advise ministers is an attack on our democracy. Steve Baker, who has all the charm, but not the accuracy, of a speak your weight machine, quite properly apologised on the floor of the house for repeating and giving credence to the lie that civil servants are biased. Rees Mogg hasn’t. He accused treasury officials of fiddling the figures. Fiddling whilst the Treaty of Rome burns.

It has been said that he is the sort of man whom barmaids consider to be a gentleman. This is an insult to barmaids. It is not the act of a gentleman to accuse officials, who can’t answer back, with the protection of Parliamentary privilege, of being liars. And it is not the act of a gentleman too keep peddling these blatant untruths which he knows full well don’t have even the flimsiest acquaintance with the truth.

For Andrew Turnbull, one of the mildest mannered and discreet men that I have ever met, to suggest that there are echoes of Dolchytoss (stabbing in the back scapegoats in 1930’s Germany) speaks volumes. For Gus O’Donnell to compare Brexit zealots to snake oil salesmen who don’t want their dodgy products tested, is a sign that those who guard our democracy are deeply, deeply troubled. And so should we be.

This is terrible news for democracy. The zealots are demanding the sacking of another distinguished public servant Ollie Robins. The hysteria that is gripping the carpet biting wing of the Tory party is nothing sort of a disgrace. And a very dangerous one. It is meat a drink for Corbyn and his dangerous rabble. If we start a precedent for trashing and sacking our public servants he will take it to its logical conclusion. Give him the fools and he will finish the job.

But back to Mogg. He has camouflaged himself as a great Parliamentarian. But this is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. He believes in Parliamentary sovereignty so long as it does not affect the ‘will of the people’ on an advisory referendum.

It is time for Madame to assert authority. To show leadership. To show direction, otherwise Barnier will have us for a continental breakfast. But that is exactly what the likes of Mogg want. Sod Johnny Foreigner. Two fingers to Brussels. Let plucky Blighty go it alone. Remember the war.

So a message to Mogg. Don’t be such an ocean going dolchytosser because you are piloting this country onto the rocks.

And my message to Parliament? Be Parliamentarians. Give May a chance. But if all is lost, vote with your conscience. The people will never forgive you if you don’t.



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