Britain’s Conservative government has devised a brilliant new strategy to distract from its disastrous handling of Brexit: faux outrage that Jeremy Corbyn has been caught by the cameras in Parliament muttering that Theresa May is a “stupid woman”.
This strategy isn’t going to work for a number of reasons.
Theresa May really is a stupid woman, so Corbyn doesn’t look like a bad man here but an honest speaker of home truths.
May’s inner circle — of which Brandon Lewis, as Party Chairman, is one — are so widely discredited, despised and distrusted that to be criticised by them is a backhanded compliment.
It’s not really a new strategy. In fact, you could argue that the entire basis of the Conservative Party’s policy in the last few years has been: “Yes. OK. We know we’re really shit, without a Conservative principle in our spineless body. But you’ve got to keep voting for us because the alternative is Jeremy Corbyn.”
Personally I’m beginning to wonder whether Jeremy Corbyn would be worse. It seems to me that so long as the Conservative Party remains in thrall to a claque which believes in bigger government, higher taxes and political correctness — a claque which, furthermore, clearly has no interest in pursuing a regulation-lite, free market future outside the European Union — then we are doomed to be trapped in limbo for all eternity.
Maybe a bracing taste of hell-fire under Jeremy Corbyn would do us all good. It would certainly concentrate the minds of the Conservatives. If Labour does get into power it will be largely the fault of the Conservatives’ parliamentary party: through complacency and arrogance, it has become so far removed from the grassroots members that they really have little reason to keep them in power. Far better to let the party destroy itself and then hope that a phoenix rises from the ashes.
Being an optimist, I’m still hoping that something will turn up and we’ll still get the No Deal Brexit — which is by far the best deal we can hope for at this stage. The problem is — and this goes back to the David Cameron era — the parliamentary party has largely been purged of Thatcherite types and replaced by Blairite Europhiles.
Here — to give you a brief moment of cheer — is one of those Blairite Europhiles being put back in his box by Douglas Carswell, the former Conservative MP who defected to UKIP and who fought — and won — a by-election.
Nick is threatening to side with Corbyn in the coming confidence vote. I wonder what they’ll make of that in Grantham? https://t.co/siiqMJOVVp
Best friends: Michael and Sarah Gove. Many harsh words have been said about Michael and Sarah — many of them, at least in Michael’s case, by me. But the point about good friends — even when they betray every-thing you hold dear and sell your country down the river like some back-stabbing traitor — is that you love them, warts and all, and stick by them. Sarah is the most brilliant and generous host in Christendom. The Gove, despite having a quite important day job, is always there for me at a moment’s notice when, say, I’ve got a speech to give at the Durham Union and I need it dictated to me on the train up, pronto. Gove is a mensch.
Against all reason, Theresa May – the worst Prime Minister in British history – has yet again survived an attempt to boot her out of office.
This has nothing to do with her merits: she has none.
It is entirely due to the short-termism, cowardice and depressing lack of soundness among all those Conservative MPs who voted to keep her in office – despite being perfectly aware (as who can not be?) that she is a lame duck Prime Minister causing little but harm and embarrassment to her party, her electorate and her country.
All day in the run up to the vote, May’s MPs have been dressing up their pusillanimity and self-serving weaselry as a mix of pragmatism, patriotism and high principle.
Brexit is a dog’s breakfast of a cock-up of a disaster of a fiasco.
I’ve been looking for guidance from some wise columnist who can explain what is happening and then reassure me that it’s all going to be OK in the end. But such a person does not exist for the simple reason that no one knows anything: everything is up in the air, everybody is lying, cheating or on manoeuvres, everyone is partisan and betraying their own biases and wishful thinking. That’s why I feel free to offer my own hot takes on the issue, confident that no one can gainsay me because my guesses are as good as anyone else’s.
Here is where I think we are:
Her decision to postpone her inevitable defenestration by delaying yesterday’s “meaningful vote” in Parliament because she knew she was bound to lose was entirely in character. May’s sole interest now is staying in power by whatever means. It’s not as though she didn’t warn us.
“I am a bloody difficult woman”, she once famously claimed. What she should have added is: “I am also a bloody annoying woman.”
The Brexit deal being pushed by Theresa May is an “S & M approach to Government” — one of those mystifying perversions like wanting to be “locked up in chains.”
So says Boris Johnson in a trenchant interview with Conservative Home. All right, so it’s just what you’d expect him to say, but I’m glad at least one of our Brexiteer politicians is out there making this important point.
Truly and honestly, the people in Theresa May’s Conservatives still sticking up for her suicidal plan — Hamsterface Barwell, Jellyspine Gove, Coffinlid Hammond, Greg ‘Boring’ Clark, and so on — are a bunch of autoflagellators quite beyond redemption. Sure it may be their personal, passionate belief that we’d all be better locked up forever in a basement with a hoist and sundry whips and a range of chains and manacles and hoods and gimp suits — but with no safe word ever to put an end to our suffering. But that’s certainly no reason for the rest of us to go along with their weird urges.Where, though, should we go instead?
Tough guy walks into a bar. It has been a hard day and all he wants is a drink. But the moronic, low-life gimps who think they make the rules don’t want to let him. They swagger towards our hero, tower over him menacingly, and hiss that he just ain’t welcome in this town.
Our hero surveys them coolly. “Do you want to do this the easy way or the hard way?” he says.
For moronic, low life gimps who think they make the rules, see: Remainers.
For our hero, see: Brexiteers.
This, essentially is the thesis advanced by the excellent Allister Heath in the Telegraph today, and it’s both a true and an encouraging one.
A No Deal Brexit will cause UK house prices to crash 30 per cent, the pound will be worth less than the dollar, and unemployment will rise by more than one million.
Or so says the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney.
But no one believes him, any more than they believe the claim – attributed to DEFRA Secretary Michael Gove — that Britain could run out of clean drinking water; nor the one from the government, claiming that it would cause a 9.3 per cent reduction in GDP; nor the most risible claim of the lot — that the surrender document on the table represents a “good deal that fulfils the vote.”
That last claim, by the way, comes courtesy of Prime Minister Theresa May. May was once asked what the naughtiest thing she’d done as a child and replied that it was “running through fields of wheat.” If that’s really the case, then she has been making up for lost time since. Certainly, I’d say that telling such blatant lies to the electorate when you’re prime minister comes rather higher up the sin list than disturbing a few sheaves of corn. If she were a company CEO and tried selling a deal on such a blatantly false prospectus she’d be out of her job in no time and facing heavy fines and a possible prison sentence.
Lord North is often held to be Britain’s worst ever prime minister because he was the one that lost America.
But I really think this claim does the current incumbent a terrible disservice. Lord North, after all, has been vindicated by history: Britain and America have thrived since their divorce. No one, though, is ever going to be able to view Theresa May kindly with hindsight, no matter how many aeons pass.
Theresa May is without question the worst prime minister in British history.
Every day looks more and more like an Establishment conspiracy to destroy Brexit. Now Kenneth Clarke has confirmed it: he has announced that he is going to vote in support of Theresa May’s Brexit In Name Only deal.
Tiresomely faux-genial jazz bore Kenneth Clarke — one of the last relics of the Thatcher era who still hangs about like a stale fart in a lift — is about as fanatically Europhile as it’s possible to be without actually getting your skin dyed blue and tattooed with gold stars and the legend “I heart Michel Barnier” across your chest.
Clarke is so pro-EU that in 2001 he described his party’s campaign to save the pound as a “disaster.” (Imagine the trouble we would be in now if Clarke had had his way and Britain had adopted the Euro!)
He is so pro-EU that during his last election campaign, he wrote to his constituents assuring them that the Referendum result was “not binding”.
The Conservatives are completely ****ing up Brexit.
They may not mean to, but they are. Here is a perfect example of the kind of stupidity, incompetence, pusillanimity, virtue-signalling cant, dishonesty, complacency, and arrogance which make Britain’s useless government so inadequate to the task of fulfilling the mandate given to them by 17.4 million people in June 2016.
It’s a tweet from a Conservative MP called Nick Boles:
Do my colleagues not understand how normal people react when they see a group of middle aged men, led by two plummy-toned Old Etonians, trying to bully a conscientious and determined woman out of her job?