My message to Conservative moderates? Take back control.

29 Jan 2018 at 06:37

Does Bozo want to be Prime Minister or leader of the Opposition? His slash and burn policy is suicidal for both him and the Conservative Party. The hysterical screechings from Brexiteers, terrified of their own shadows, seeing apparitions of betrayal in every corner is meat and drink to Corbyn and his goons. Do Mogg, Bozo, Dorries and the rest of this rag tag bag of obsessionists really think that by replacing Madame all our problems will disappear? The depressing thing is that they probably do.

A leadership election (there will be no coronation) will make Game of Thrones look like gentle stroll in the woods. It will be a war that never ends. Betrayals, smears and body parts rotting in the crimson stained corridors of Westminster will be the back drop to the War of the Poses. Beware. Splinter is coming.

The Tory party is being tested to destruction and nobody on the carpet biting right seem to care. Everyone must kow tow to their project. Anyone who dares warn that our rate of growth lags behind the EU, America and most of the developed world is talking our country down. Saboteurs, particularly wiley civil servants, hell bent on betraying the will of the people must be purged. My once broad church of a party, a sort of gentle C of E not at prayer, has been taken over by serpent wrestlers, snake oil salesmen and wild eyed evangelical fanatics. George McCarthy would be so proud. Now we are as wide open to entryism as Labour. As the bad ship UKIP descends to the depths of the ocean the flotsam and jetsam of the wreck is floating over to the Tories. God help us.

But I am not entirely correct in my analysis. Labour is not open to entryism, it has been. It is possessed by the diabolical entity that is Momentum and its host is Jeremy Corbyn. Most of you will not remember when moderate Andrew Macintosh won the Greater London Council for Labour. Within days there was a coup and the mad left under Ken Livingstone took control. It won’t escape your attention that John MacDonnell was in charge of the purse strings. But he was too left for even Livingtone’s mob, who sacked him for trying to push through an unlawful budget.

If the Tories give Labour the chance to win Corbyn will be replaced by MacDonnell within months if not weeks. The city will panic. A state of emergency will be declared and institutions and property will be requisitioned. And there will not be time for democratic elections. They would be a distraction. After all the People have spoken. Their will and their revolution must not be betrayed. Saboteurs will be punished. Do those last two sentences sound familiar?

Our two great parties are been taken over by extremists. There is no hope for Labour as moderation is as filthy a word as Blair.

But there is still a flicker of hope for my party. My message to Conservative moderates? Take back control.


Britain has more in Common with Hawaii than you might think

14 Jan 2018 at 08:15

The United Kingdom has more in common with Hawaii than you might think. Yesterday the fiftieth State was thrown into panic when an incompetent pressed the wrong button sending terrified Hawaiins to the nuclear shelters in fear of Armageddon. Yet barely a week beforehand the good people of Britain began running for the hills, stocking tins of canned goods and bottled water awaiting the prerecorded ‘don’t panic’ message from John Humphreys who had already boarded a private jet to take him to a secret location in Antarctica. And as the Queen was ushered into her bunker in Buckingham Palace with a rattling biscuit tin under her arm, another message crackled across the air waves.

The the sound of klaxons, flashing lights, closing blast proof doors and senior civil servants running baths and reaching for razor blades echoed through COBBLERS, the briefing room where Theresa May runs the country. Strapped to a chair and surrounded by beefy men in white coats, her wild eyes dart across the room in a mixture of anger and bewilderment. A croaky voice screeches above the mayhem, which momentarily halts a mandarin in his search for a cyanide capsule in a tooth cavity. ‘And WHAT is WRONG with Chris Grayling becoming party chairman?’ Nick Timothy told me he would be an asset. Provide us with intellectual rigour, policies to unite the party and galvanise the country into voting for ME’. Just as she launches into her ‘ the country needs me! Only I can deliver us into a Brexit of milk and honey, and I will go ON and ON,’ speech, a Gavin enters the room and administers the liquid cosh, moves over to a flashing computer terminal, deletes GRAYLING and inputs Brandon Lewis. Almost immediately the riots in the streets and the looting subsides, whilst people plant roses in the barrels of the guns of the police. Crisis averted. The Humphreys plane diverts back to Heathrow and the Queen gets back to watching Jeremy Kyle.

A few months ago a friend of mine told me how after a good lunch at the Garrick he popped into the Kingsley Amis’s house for a digestif. He was shocked at the scene. The great man was surrounded by empty bottles. The room was strewn with paper thrown in every corner. In the middle sat Kingsley with a knitting needle stabbing randomly at the paper. My friend was aghast.
‘What on earth are you doing?’ He spluttered.
‘Oh, just choosing the shortlist for the Daily Mail poem of the year. Help yourself to a drink’.

One gets the sinking feeling that the thought process of this last reshuffle fiasco was not a great deal different.

As just about everything possible has been written about it, let me keep this simple. It was a bloody disaster. It’s no use briefing that the dead wood is going to be put on the fire unless you do it. It would have been far better to under play it all and emerge with strength and some degree of dignity. It has made her look weak. It has strengthened the power of the madmen. It has kept the incompetents in place to alienate the public still more. And it has brought morale on the back benches to an all time low. The usual whispers of a palace coup have started again, much earlier than they should have. Nothing will happen until a front runner has emerged. And the Gover has put his think tanks on the Number 10 lawn. Wisely, he has hinted that the race could be between Spider Boy and someone called Hinds. I must say that I have never heard of Hinds. But he seems to be bright and personable. I am just not sure that country is screaming for a former President of the Oxford Union to lead us into the modern world.

The whole purpose of the exercise was to show that Madame was in control. That the party had direction. Rejuvenation. Rebranding. At least with Anusol you know what it is meant to do.

I suspect that the role of Nick Timothy is overblown. He is not the Rasputin that some would like him to be. After all Rasputin was charismatic and had a thirteen inch penis. But like Timothy he was notoriously difficult to kill off. Writing pieces in the newspapers slagging off ministers is not a good idea. Nor putting forward policy options. It gives the impression that he is still running things from the political grave. It’s not a wise idea to have government by seance. Will someone have a word? Get him running a bank? Make him Governor of Bermuda?

But thanks to Trump and Henry Bolton with his latest squeeze, it is all yesterday’s news. For now. Please can someone get a grip? The local elections are a few weeks away. Momentum is slowly ethnically cleansing anyone with an ounce of decency from Labour and some very, very scary people are running the sweet shop. And the kids think it’s cool. God help us all.


The season of goodwill is over. Time to bayonet the wounded in a reshuffle

6 Jan 2018 at 09:56

Now that the season of goodwill is over there is not a better time to start bayoneting the wounded. It’s reshuffle time. Whoop!! As an old hack, let me tell you the terrible truth about the process. None of the press have a clue about whose crawling up the ladder or sliding down the snake. It’s all guess work, rumour, misdirection and a bit of luck. As Number 10 was leaking last week that a reshuffle was likely to happen it will probably be starting today. Very few people will be in the loop. Jeremy Heywood, Gavin Barwell, probably Damien Green (yes, I know, but there is nothing to stop him privately advising May) and perhaps Spider Boy. I haven’t mentioned the chief whip because he might be for the chop or a move. Poor Julian hasn’t been a success. Losing a vote is not the end of the world, but the way he treated Charlie Elphicke, who still doesn’t know what he is accused of, was incompetence tinged with the despicable. McVey would be much more effective.

So let’s go down the road of who is seriously crap and ought to go. Let’s start with Bozo. Psychotically ambitious, lazy as a toad, as trustworthy as an Algerian brothel keeper and as much use to further British interests abroad as a cat flap in a submarine. Which means he will probably stay. There is much talk of giving him a big role in Brexit but it would be like making Harold Shipman minister for patient care.

Andrea Loathesome. So terminally dim that it’s hard to imagine her being able to walk and talk simultaneously. But clearly not as dim as the sixty odd (very odd) MPs who voted for her as leader. She has no power base, so give her a DBE and tell her to fuck off.

Chris Grayling. The Turner Prize of Ministers in that everyone wonders what he is there for. He has that rare gift of being able to wreak havoc and mayhem in every department he has, ahem, ‘run’. A man with ideas above his station, if only he could find one whiched was manned. Easy to get rid of. Time to give him a one way ticket to Epsom. Except you can’t as he has totally screwed up the railways.

Philip Hammond. Despised by everyone except, perhaps, Mrs Hammond. Hopeless at the Foreign Office and dangerous at Defence. Spider Boy watches with horror as the sky blackens with Hammond chickens coming home to roost. To be honest, I had high hopes for him at the Treasury, but he has Van Gogh’s ear for political intelligence, has seriously angered the Brexiteers and lost the confidence of May a long time ago. A mortal alignment. He really should be shown the door as there is a lingering fear, since his suicidal plan to raise national insurance for the self employed, that he will seriously fuck up. And his replacement? You are now going to think that I have gone mad. Michael Gove. Yes, I know that he is slightly bonkers about the EU and the Middle East, but nobody can deny that he is probably the most effective minister in a generation. Every department that he has run has been a success. It would be a bold move, but it would send the right signals and show that May really is back in the driving seat. To her credit she has been remarkably resilient. Very few people would have the courage and inner strength to soldier on as she has done. And much credit to Barwell for keeping the circus on the road with the minimum interference from the clowns.

The rest I don’t really care about. However, there are two names who should be in the frame for cabinet. Matt Hancock, cerebral, charming, and as good on the box as at the box. And Dominic Raab. Yes, I know he has some barking views on Brexit, but nobody can deny his ability, mastery of a brief and effectiveness with the media.

Jeremy Hunt really needs to be relieved of his heroic stint at Health. He is much underestimated. A genuinely nice guy who really does care. His response the the Crisis at Christmas, which has happened every year since the dinosaurs roamed the earth, was appropriate and masterful. He could be first minister (if she bothers to keep the title, which I doubt) in a coordination role or chairman of the party. He has appeased the Brexiteers and has a safe pair of hands. In every respect. He is one of the few people who could unite a bitterly divided party. And if you want a really good deputy chairman look no further than Kemi Badenoch the new member for Saffron Walden. Not because she is a woman and black, but because she has both charm and ability. Rare qualities nowadays.

Now for a wild card. Why not make Moggy leader of the House? Well, ok, there is a musty old library of reasons not to, but…….the splendid Patrick Kidd of the Times, who can produce the most brilliant and amusing copy out of thin air (or the space between Loathesome’s ears) would be as happy as a pig in shit. The sheer joy of business questions. The Latin. The long words. This boy has earned his pin stripes. And it will really piss off Bozo. But this has as much chance of happening as Toby Young being made Party Chairman. Oh, God don’t give them ideas


Spider boy is running rings round Hammond. Such dark arts are a joy to behold

7 Dec 2017 at 11:45

When Gavin Williamson was made defence secretary to squeals of derision, envy and bile I warned that he would be a force to be reckoned with if he picked a fight with Hammond. I am delighted to say that spider boy is playing a blinder. Hammond’s hounds were arrogantly mad to brief that the top brass regarded their new boss as a private Pike tribute act. They calculated that because of the outcry at his appointment the Dad’s Army taunt would be greeted with a snigger, a wink and would turn the boy into a national joke. And it would stick. What fools. Hammond has some real enemies from all wings of the party, not just because he’s a boring old fart but because he suffers from a severe case of foot and mouth. The unemployment blunder was pretty bad, but yesterday’s comments on the disabled was crass, insensitive and wrong.

There is no love lost between Madame and her Chancellor. The whips are fed up with hauling him out of the shit, the Brexiteers despise him and all wings of the Tory party are horrified at his emasculation of our defence capability. Then today he dismisses Williamson in a patronising manner about his lack of understanding of defence budgeting. He understands it only too well matey. But he is not going to come over for a friendly chat until all his ducks are lined up. When Hammond is belittled, beleaguered and politically buggered. And to have the nerve to say that when at Defence he championed our armed forces is nothing more than a sick joke. Hammond crawled his way so far up the Treasury’s arse that they needed a team of sniffer dogs to remove him.

Spidy’s Black ops have been a joy to behold. The grounding of the Queen’s flight. “Technical issues” which made him late for a meeting. And expect a lot more japes. Perhaps the odd spill of scalding soup on the Chancellor’s crotch, “sorry sir, it was turbulence.” Perhaps on the way to an important meeting the pilot would crackle over the PA, “we regret to announce that traffic control have diverted us to Shetland. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

The joy about being Chief whip is that you have a spy in every department. The whip is told that they are representing the whips office not the department and they are regularly rotated so that they don’t go native. It means that the whips office know all the little ruses, nasty secrets and the areas where backbenchers are likely to rebel. And they will rebel if the treasury screws defence. Mutterings are reaching a crescendo. We may have some unholy alliances. Soames and the Moggmeister could be fun. And lethal. This could be the one issue that would unite the Tories.

Expect more diary stories from the brass. Expect damaging leaks from the Treasury too. Hammond is in a far far weaker position than May. He could be gone in the New Year. No party splits over that. Just a sigh of relief. She will stay.

So if the number 11 bus knocks down Hammond expect a lad in a red suit to be at the wheel. Watch out for Michael Gove too. He has many faults, but competence is not one of them.

But Spidy old boy, you need some voice coaching. Better to be William Hague then Alan Bennett. Being master of the dark arts is not enough for the top job. And don’t worry about being unpopular. Its no bad thing to be feared as long as you are competent. Something which is as rare a Corbyn victim to Israel.


My shameful past. When I watched porn with a minister, MPS and his private secretary

2 Dec 2017 at 12:31

I suppose it has always been a golden rule in politics that you never kick a politician when he is down unless there are about a dozen of you. So why not put the boot in to Damian Green then as all’s fair in war and politics? A fair point, if you want to abandon the rule of law and the right to a fair trial. But just a moment Green doesn’t need to have a fair trial because he hasn’t been charged or for that matter even been accused of a criminal offence. So anybody can say what they like about him with impunity. Well, not quite. We do have a robust law of libel. But as Andrew Mitchell will attest, no politician should ever sue. It’s far too risky and expensive even if some legal eagle with eyes lit up like cash registers advises that you have a water tight case.

So Green just has to try and weather the shit storm. It is quite disgraceful, sinister and against everything we stand for in this country that former police officers can suddenly appear out of obscurity and make accusations. Particularly when they have an axe to grind. But what is the crime he has meant to have committed? Basically, having a wank in the office. The original Bob Quick Line was that the porn found was extreme and would have been illegal if it had been found a couple of years later. This has now proved to be wrong or put less politely, a damnable lie. Now this fellow Lewis is in no doubt that it must have been Green using the laptop at the time porn was being accessed. How can we trust a word of what these people say? And how on earth can Green defend himself apart from saying this is a fit up?

Provided there is nothing of substance that we don’t know about but Sue Gray does, Green must not be hung out to dry. To sack him would be a stain on this government, a disgrace and an act of supine, lily livered cowardice from Number 10. May is better than that I hope.

So far only David Davis has the courage and decency to say he would resign if Green was sacked. Good for him. As soon as the Sue Gray report hits the desk May must make a decision. If it’s just a bit of porn on a computer in his office, who cares?

But the idea that MPs can do a quick bit of bishop bashing in between votes is rather fanciful. Offices are now shared with researchers, general staff and secretaries nowadays. At any moment someone can walk in. But Lewis goes even further. Evidently Green was watching porn whilst tapping out emails. The worst kind of one handed typing. What dexterity the man has! It would be a Whitehall Theatre farce if it wasn’t taken so seriously by people who should know better.

But I have a confession. I have watched extreme videos, with a Minister, his private secretary and a whole group of MPs. In the Department. Paid for by the taxpayer. What filthy little beasts we were in those days. Couldn’t we have just popped down to a grubby little cinema in Soho?. Now before Paul Dacre becomes tumescent, I should put this in context. We were doing research for Graham Bright’s Video Recordings Bill. And we had to watch a hell of a lot of filth to protect the public. At one stage there was some very worrying heavy breathing from Bright. We thought he was going to snuff it. It was his turn to have a nurse talk dirty to him on a chat line. This induced rather a severe asthma attack. Like they say at the Premature Ejaculation clinic, we thought that it was going to be touch and go.


The Amazing Spiderman. The Tories will have a new super hero at Defence questions on Monday

25 Nov 2017 at 14:10

Why is it always the Tories who get into a terrible mess over defence spending? Back in 1981 the splendid Keith Speed was sacked as Navy Minister because of his stalwart opposition to some swingeing cuts imposed by the Treasury and and accepted by the Defence Secretary, John Nott. Thatcher sacked Speed because he refused to resign. There was a popular saying in the Navy at that time ‘less Knotts and more Speed.’ In those days there was a minister for each branch of the services. Thatcher was of the view that they all went native and were merely mouthpieces for their service. She therefore abolished them and replaced them with just one Minister of State for the armed forces. But Speed was proved to be right. Within a few weeks the Falklands war kicked off and the cuts were put off for another day. For those of you who believe all the guff about Thatcher the slasher may I remind you that the only two departments she cut in real terms were Defence and Transport.

Hopefully, we won’t have a ground war none too soon as we wouldn’t have the resources to fight one let alone win it. And the cuts that that have been bubbling along for months look as if they are about to be set in stone. But watch the rear guard action of Gavin Williamson. I warned that he would pick a fight with Hammond the day after he was appointed. And I predicted that he will win. And he will.

It may not have escaped your attention that it is Defence questions next Monday. Williamson’s debut. Quite a lot of jealous colleagues want him to fail. They seem to think that ministerial promotion should be based on Buggin’s turn and a pathological hatred of the EU. The news today that Williamson was ‘shocked’ at the size of the cuts his department faces, sets up the Sunday newspapers for a good old Tory rebellion. I wonder who leaked that little gem? Couple this with that other little leak that Tobias Ellwood, who is universally regarded as a hero, as well as a good egg, might resign over the cuts, sets the scene for the perfect storm. Firstly, it embarrasses Labour, who are no friends of the military and it gives the right an opportunity to be patriotic and give Hammond a damn good kicking. Plus…..oh, I can also here the carpet biters creaming in their wyfronts over this, Brussels has resurrected the barmy notion of a European defence force. I can see the red mist rising, and the languid drawl of Moggy, despairing, ‘ and how are these foreigners going to put the fear of God into Mr Putin? Breathe on the Russian hordes?’

So back to Monday. Question two on the order paper is from a chap called Bambos Charalambous, not the favourite of headline writers.‘What recent discussions has he had with the chancellor on the adequacy of funding for his department?’ A plant if ever there was except that he is Labour. Just good fortune.The beauty of it all is that by the time that question is put Hammond is going to have to dig himself out of the shit. Or maybe this this is all a delightful piece of sleight of hand to make Williamson look good. Whatever it is, this a slick and professional operation. What was the name of that block buster movie? The Amazing Spiderman. The headline writers will have some fun. And I predict that Tory backbenchers will have a new superhero on Monday


Expectations are so low of Hammond that provided he doesn’t fall over, the ceiling doesn’t collapse and a Juncker impersonator doesn’t storm the chamber with a £60bn bill, it will be a triumph

21 Nov 2017 at 08:35

Philip Hammond is an odd chap. Despised by his civil servants at defence and the foreign office, the charisma of a bag of pork scratchings and the bonus of being blessed with the emotional intelligence of a tub of pot noodle. Worse, his Budget speech will be delivered with all the warmth and excitement of a speak your weight machine. So don’t expect Johnsonian virtuosity. Thank heavens for small mercies.

At least Hammond would have read and understood his brief. At least he knows where he is going, even if he is not entirely sure how he will get there let alone when. His problem will not be those in front of him, but a lot of those who sit behind. The carpet biters hate him. They want to see him gone. Yesterday. They have a venomous, bile soaked, psychotic hatred of anyone who doesn’t deeply believe, not just say, that Brexit will lead to an Utopian miracle of economic success and prosperity. They desperately want him to fail and want him replaced by a member of their cult. Leadsom, Gove. Anyone who is a true believer. That is why it is so important that he succeeds on Wednesday.

I suspect that unless he has a Greggs moment he will more likely do a Corbyn. Expectations are so low that as long he doesn’t fall over, the ceiling cave in or a Juncker impersonator storm the chamber and hand him a bill for £60 billion, he will survive. His trick will be to play the swivelled eyed game and muse at the wonders and opportunities of a post Brexit Britain. Nobody will believe a word of it, but needs must. He must then give a nod to the city and business that he will be responsible and not steer the government towards the cliff edge. And for heaven’s sake take more than a brief interest in enterprise which has has been lamentably ignored by the government. Housing is rightly top of the agenda. Who can afford a flat even in a dodgy part of London apart from bankers and hedge fund managers? But don’t kid yourself that we are going to win the youth vote with a £300 bribe. If Hammond takes away concessions that people my age have paid a lot of hard earned tax for, there will be serious trouble. We all pray that any eye catching initiatives will not fall apart after a week because they haven’t been properly costed or sold. And if the rumours are true, the whips have been doing an operation to put the kibosh on some of the madder ideas coming from the Treasury. But the fact that this has been ‘leaked’ suggests that this is probably a black ops bit of disinformation.

Sadly, Grieve is right. Some of the Brexiteers have become unhinged. For Cash to say that flotillas of slaughtered British youth died in two World Wars because they wanted Brexit is not just unhinged but damn insulting. And I still can’t quite work out why the government wants to set in stone that we must leave the EU at 11pm on the 29th March 2019 precisely. Madness. It can’t possible be passed and they know it. Was it designed to fail to keep the Brexiteers happy? I really don’t know. I am not a psychiatrist.
So this budget is meant to give the government a boost in the opinion polls. To show confidence, competence and imagination. Oh dear, I fear I must retire to my bed for all of tomorrow. The excitement of a Hammond budget is just too much. But if he pisses too many people off he will be gone by Christmas.


I suppose we should be grateful that Priti Patel didn’t holiday in North Korea. But the Ratcliffe affair shows Boris as a lazy, careless, incompetent oaf. Madame must be bold and sack him

9 Nov 2017 at 11:25

Well, I suppose we can all sigh with relief that Priti Patel didn’t holiday in North Korea. But my mind is in turmoil. I just can’t make up my mind who is more ghastly, her or Boris. Both are hopelessly over promoted, over rated and over exposed. Both are headline chasers. And both don’t give a damn about anything other than a delusional sense of entitlement to the keys of Downing Street. They really are quite awful people. Never mind nearly throwing a spanner in the works of Middle Eastern diplomacy. Never mind not bothering to read your brief about a woman languishing in an Iranian hell hole jail and doubling her sentence with a few lazy, ill chosen remarks. But probably their worst crime is that they probably don’t think that they have done anything particularly wrong. Worse, that they don’t even care. She returns to the backbenches with the Disneyland belief that the troops will rally behind her. They won’t. And remarkably he is still there. Not a blush of humility, a whiff off remorse nor even a snigger of apology.

Poor Mrs Ratcliffe, as if she hadn’t got enough trouble without the assistance of Bozo. He has given the largest exporters of terror a wonderful propaganda tool. They now say that this is an ‘unintended confession’ by Britain. And what does the little creep do? Pull out all the stops to get her released? Of course not. He just rings up the Iranians and asked for an assurance that his slack mouthed incompetence wasn’t responsible for adding to her troubles. And then he tells us that he received that assurance. We now know that that is a lie. As if we couldn’t guess.

This really is a turning point for Boris. The public can put up with his capers, his disloyalty, his Janus faced promises, but will not stand for his cavalier treatment of an innocent. He has morphed from a rather bad joke wearing thin, to a menace. A clear and present danger. Madame can really show strength by sacking him. He is no longer the useful human shield against the carpet biters. He has become a serious liability to foreign policy at a time when the well oiled Rolls Royce of the Foreign Office is in despair. And she could get away with it. The longer she leaves him in post the worse it will become. Sadly, the Ratcliffe saga will run and run. This is the beginning of the Christmas season. The country turns their thoughts to family. Mrs.Ratcliffe will be alone and afraid. Her family will in bits. It will not escape the attention of the media.

May can risk sacking Boris. The party have no desire to be led by an ageing Lothario anymore. They can sniff young blood. His following is diminishing. The joke has worn off. This is a rare window of opportunity to show she can be strong and in control if she really puts her mind to it.

I am not convinced that there is any merit in the current fantasy that the government will fall by Christmas or that Madame will soon be ushered out of the door. It may be Christmas, but Tory turkeys won’t vote for it. Madame should be known as Tina, as Thatcher was at the height of her pomp. Tina? There Is No Alternative. Oh, and don’t give me all that Moggmentum moonshine. One day Guido will reveal that Mogg doesn’t really exist and that he’s really Sasha Baron Cohen making a movie. Surely, it cannot be possible that he is real.

So now is the time to be bold. While Boris is taking a wrecking ball to diplomacy Brussels is in total confusion. We don’t seem to have a coherent Foreign policy just a series of back drops for a few Bozo one liners. We are in a very bad place. He has to go. Soon. The government needs to be reborn. The hopeless and clueless have to be culled. There are plenty of able youngsters who could rejuvenate the government. Who knows, we might see Tom Tugendhat in the Cabinet before long. Now he is classy.


This is not a good start for the new chief whip.he is meant to be calm under fire & sound in judgment, not behave like a panicky little shit. The treatment of Charlie Elphicke is a disgrace. Such treachery will destroy whatever morale is left

4 Nov 2017 at 09:35

The hysteria, blind panic and the whiff of McCarthyism that has gripped all political parties in Westminster is unedifying and deeply damaging to all politicians. Two news items this morning that sent shivers down my spine and put anger in my belly was the way the Whips Office have treated Charlie Elphike and Anna Soubrey’s interview in the Times.

Let’s deal with Charlie first. A serious accusation has been made and rightly referred to the police. It is now entirely a matter for them. At some stage the usual, ‘a forty five year old man is assisting us with our enquiries’, statement will appear. The press get a tip off and the horror of photographers camping out side his house begins. The accused at least knows what he has been accused of and can take advice, preferably from a solicitor rather than some dodgy ‘ reputation damage limitation expert’, on how to deal with it. My simple advice would be make a denial and say nothing more. Never give a story legs. But the Tory whips office took it upon themselves to brief the press. They didn’t warn Elphicke. They didn’t even tell him what had happened. He didn’t even know that he had been suspended until he saw it on the news. He has been publicly accused, and until the police interview the complainant and then knock on Elphicke’s door in the early hours, he won’t have a clue what his crime is meant to have been or even who his accuser is. That not rough justice. It’s no justice at all. He has been tainted. He has been tried, convicted and sentenced in the highest court of the land. The most unpredictable and unfair. The court of public opinion.

This is not a good start for our new chief whip. He is meant to be calm under fire and sound in judgment. Not to behave like a panicky little shit.

So before the police bang on his door in the full glare of the cameras, Elphicke will be asked by his wife, his kids, his friends, his constituency association and his local newspapers, what the hell this is all about. He won’t be able to answer. And that in the court of public opinion is a clear sign of guilt. But if he hasn’t been told how can he know? Utterly disgraceful and a terrible stain on the whips office.

What are colleagues going to think? The whips are going to expect them to jump through hoops, vote on ludicrous party lines, be encouraged to support a policy one day and denounce it the next and be general lobby fodder for a government who couldn’t arrange a piss up in the Sports and Social. If backbenchers think that they will be shafted by them at the drop of a hand on knee accusation which could destroy their careers and everything they hold dear, why should they bother? This McCarthyite treachery is terrible for what ever morale is left.

Whilst mentioning the Sports and Social, I do wish John Mann would shut up. He’s a decent and well meaning old cove, but the idea of safe places, banning MPs from this bar and suggesting that no employee to be in Parliament after six pm is a naivety to the point of drivelling.

And now for Anna Soubry. I know it’s terribly flattering to be feted and interviewed by two of Fleet Street’s finest, but the reason they are so good is because they always get a story, and poor boobies like her and Loathesome don’t realise How good it is until they see it in cold print.

Anna, your heart is in the right place, but as I have been told by senior civil servants that used to work for you, you don’t all ways engage mouth and brain in an orderly fashion. A throwaway remark in a tea shop about a sexual assault by Fallon, a criminal offence, would normally be libellous. But as a lawyer you know that once a man has had his reputation destroyed he will never sue. So you took advantage for a cheap headline that Fallon hasn’t got a clue how to defend because he doesn’t know what the accusation is. Kicking a man when he is down is appalling, reprehensible, unforgivable, beyond shitty, behaviour. And your comments that Green should be suspended on the flimsiest of evidence from the flakiest of sources was incomprehensible, deeply damaging and unnecessary. Your defence of Loathesome? Bordering on the deranged.

Who on earth would want to be an MP? People think that you are corrupt, lying, sex pests. And today is going to be hell. Awaiting for that dreaded five PM call from Simon Walters or Nigel Nelson. But at least they will tell you what you are accused of unlike a treacherous whips office and slack mouthed MPs on the make. Thanks God I am no longer part of this vile pantomime.


A clever move to promote Williamson. She has effectively named her skip a generation successor. There will be more blood but it will be manageable

2 Nov 2017 at 11:36

Only time will tell if it was a misjudgment of biblical proportions to allow Michael Fallon to resign. There may be further allegations against him of a similar nature. There may not be. Most of us haven’t got a clue. But for allegations that go well short of sexual abuse, misuse of power, bullying or degrading women, ministers should remain in office. And he was a damn good minister

Sometimes Madame just doesn’t think things through. I would imagine in most matters sexual outside marriage she is a bit of an innocent. When she first heard about Fallon and Green she is meant to have remarked, ‘why don’t they just get on with the job?’ I suspect that in the Prime Minister’s study there is a big red button under a smashable glass lid emblazoned with the legend ‘only press when something needs to be done’. So when a crisis happens the glass is broken, the button is pressed. But magic solution there is none. Just klaxons, sirens, flashing red lights and a robotic voice warning, ‘crisis! Crisis! Something must be done!’ In rush the advisors. ‘Well Gavins how do we handle this?’
‘Easy Prime Minister’, they shout in unison. ‘Something must be done’. And so the Tories do what they are so good at. They panic.

It is a dangerous and contagious disease in politics to chase headlines. They all say they’ll never do it, but by and large they can’t help themselves. They should have read the runes. The Tory press are not too exercised about low level pass making. In the Mail Jane Moir had a crack at Kate Maltby. And even the saintly Michael White poured cold water over it all. But Michael old chum, best you don’t do interviews after lunch. Saying that female political journalists are predictors is a terrible travesty of the truth and has just lost you a hell of a lot of street cred. Such as it was. Which was not a lot.

I suppose the great irony of this whole sorry tale is that old goat Boris, who appears to have a nineteenth century squirearchy attitude to women, walks unscathed through this sewer of suspicion. You’d picture him pimp rolling his was across the chequered flagstones of his bijou baronial hall in full riding gear with whip in hand shouting to his butler, ‘Grayling, get me our finest bottle of breakfast claret and some cold grouse. Just horse whipped the game keeper, shagged his wife and the tweeny maid. Now need to build up strength to bugger the stable boy’.

The appointment of Gavin Williamson as Defence Secretary is actually a stroke of genius. It means that Green is dispensable. It means that any ministerial departures will be finessed by him. And there will be few scandalous surprises. He knows all their little ways. It will restore stability. And she knows she can trust him as an ally and a formidable operator. He has been appointed Secretary of State for the Defence of the Government. That is his prime directive. To keep the ship of state afloat and ensure a frictionless transition to a new leader when the time arises. And it could well be him. She has effectively named her successor.
Without blowing my own trumpet too much……well sod it🎶🎶🎶🎶. I was the first commentator to say that he could be the future. And I may be right.

Much about politics is about luck as well as ability. Gavin has been a lucky guy. Chief whip at a time of turmoil. Brokering the DUP deal. And realising that the only way to stop government defeat is a mass abstention. Not a stroke of genius, but just a way for them all to survive for a little longer. So he will have appointed Julian Smith as Chief whip. Another May Trusty. He helped Williamson run her leadership campaign. And then Esther McVey as his deputy is a clever move. A permanent visual reminder to that horrible old Trot McDonnell, who still hasn’t apologised for calling her a bastard who should be lynched.

So Williamson is a close confidante not just of Madame but Gavin Barwell, a popular and slick operator. All that he needs to do now is appoint a charismatic party chairman who can modernise and enthuse the party. It won’t be long.

This is straight from the ‘skip a generation’ play book.

So Williamson has now to prove himself at defence at a difficult time with budget cuts and an insane proposal to cut the £29 per diem active service pay. This is a gift for him if played right. He can wrap himself in Kkaki. Do a deal with the Chancellor and be lauded by the Tory press as a fighter for our brave boys and girls. A good showcase for the next move.

Interesting that his pet Tarantula is called Cronus. The Greek myth might be instructive. There was a prophecy that Cronus was going to be overthrown by his sons, so he sired sons with the Gods. To prevent the prophecy from coming true he devoured them all at birth.

There will be some more blood sacrifices. But we can rest assured that normal service has been restored. This is good news for the party and the end of the road for Boris. Expect a resignation in a fit of pique sooner rather than later.

For the first time in a long while I am beginning to feel a glimmer of optimism.