“First, the Prime Minister personally and Conservative Party via its election manifesto have both undertaken to limit the Transition Period to December 2020 (now to be enacted into law) and not to honour those aspects of the Political Declaration which would allow the ECJ supremacy over the UK, bind the UK into a level playing field and assure fishing quotas to the EU. If the Government honours these undertakings and subject to the UK not entering into military interoperability with the EU, I would consider that Brexit has been delivered.
“Second, the Conservative Party has won a thumping election victory on the strength of its manifesto and executing the Withdrawal Agreement. It has a clear democratic mandate to fulfil its version of Brexit (including the manifesto pledges). Given the above, when the Withdrawal Agreement is presented to the European Parliament to be approved later this month, I shall vote in favour of it being ratified.”
– Ben Habib, Brexit Party MEP
“(the)Conservative Party has won a thumping election victory on the strength of its manifesto”
As I recall, the conservatives promised a referendum on the EU to gain power, reneged on that promise, promised again to hold a referendum and did, only for Cameron to renege on his promise to see it through. Then Theresa May held an election to consolidate her position and did everything to delay, dilute and prevent Brexit in any meaningful sense. Now Boris is promising to exit …
You will forgive me if I am less than 100% convinced that the original “LEAVE” decision will be fully implemented and the worthless promise of “Brexit means Brexit” (what? Brexit means honey for tea? Who’d a thunk it, eh?) will be carried out and all ties to the EU discarded.
You can tell when a politician is lying – their lips move.
No Phil, that tells you nothing about whether they are lying in the sense that matters – whether their future acts will bear a discernible relationship to their present words,
Whey Tony Blair promised to “rub the British people’s noses in diversity”, he was not lying. When he spoke of the wonderful and unmitigated advantages that would accrue from doing so, he was partly lying (both directly and by omission) but in large part was merely deluded – or, if you prefer, lying to himself as well as us.
As regards the fishing quota bit, the Scottish Tory MPs on the Moray Firth will be telling (shouting) at Boris to keep to the strict letter of his word at the slightest sign of wobbling.
“the Scottish Tory MPs on the Moray Firth will be telling (shouting) at Boris to keep to the strict letter of his word at the slightest sign of wobbling.”
Since when did any metropolitan Tory leader give a proverbial Tinker’s Damn about what a remote Scottish MP said? And with a healthy parliamentary majority, Boris can quite happily ignore complaints from more than a few of his own MPs. If history is any guide, those Scottish Tory MPs will soon be identifying with the interests of the metropolitan elite rather than with their far-away constituents.
The one thing we know for sure is that the Tory Party has taken a major swing to the Left, at least in their pronouncements. Time will indeed tell if that was mere electioneering, or if they really meant it.
Why would you call him a metropolitan Tory leader when he won by running against the London bubble. The one real fly in the ointment of his electoral victory was that the Tories lost some seats in Scotland. He has obvious reasons to want to portray himself as standing up for Scotland where the natz would sell us out to the EU, and the fishing quota issue is tailor-made for that.
Not if judged by whom they’ve got rid of (there are of course others still there one would gladly lose too). Economically, they don’t talk about austerity any more, but as they mostly only ever talked about it, the loss is less than it might appear. We’ll see what the reality is.
Has this blog died in the wake of Boris’s triumph? I would have thought there’s a lot to discuss – will the Tories revert to their customary do nothing complacency, how reforms of the Lords, the Civil Service and Government Departments should play out, how to win and keep winning the arguments against the ‘woke’ nonsense, etc.
As a starter for 10, here’s the list of Government Departments. Slash, burn, merge?
Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street
There are 25 Ministerial departments
Attorney General’s Office
Works with 4 agencies and public bodies
Works with 22 agencies and public bodies
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Works with 41 agencies and public bodies
Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
Works with 45 agencies and public bodies
Department for Education
Works with 18 agencies and public bodies
Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs
Works with 33 agencies and public bodies
Department for Exiting the European Union
Department for International Development
Works with 2 agencies and public bodies
Department for International Trade
Department for Transport
Works with 24 agencies and public bodies
Department for Work & Pensions
Works with 15 agencies and public bodies
Department of Health & Social Care
Works with 29 agencies and public bodies
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Works with 10 agencies and public bodies
Works with 14 agencies and public bodies
Works with 30 agencies and public bodies
Ministry of Defence
Works with 27 agencies and public bodies
Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
Works with 13 agencies and public bodies
Ministry of Justice
Works with 33 agencies and public bodies
Northern Ireland Office
Works with 3 agencies and public bodies
Office of the Advocate General for Scotland
Office of the Leader of the House of Commons
Office of the Leader of the House of Lords
Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland
Works with 1 public body
Office of the Secretary of State for Wales Swyddfa Ysgrifennydd Gwladol Cymru
UK Export Finance
Works with 1 public body view all
I think folk are waiting to see what happens after we actually leave the EU
If the Trump model is anything to go by, dealing all this is a decade of work.
Andrew D: “I would have thought there’s a lot to discuss …”
Indeed! But the Great British Public has already spoken. For the next 5 years, the Tory Party is comfortably ensconced in parliament with a large majority, and the people of the UK have effectively been relegated to the sidelines. Unless there is a massive campaign of civil disobedience (eg, refusal to pay the BBC tax), Boris’s insiders have little incentive to pay much attention to the voters for the next few years. Even individual Tory MPs will have little influence, since Boris’s team has a big enough majority to ignore dissenters. And non-Tory MPs will have even less influence.
Itellyounothing makes an excellent point. Even when US Republicans controlled all the elected branches of the Federal government in 2017-18, they could barely move the unelected bureaucracy. And what happened to Margaret Thatcher’s Bonfire of the Quangos? It is unfortunately likely that the only impact the sainted Cummings will have on UK governance is the creation of an additional layer of unelected bureaucrats.
“Boris’s insiders have little incentive to pay much attention to the voters for the next few years”
Not precisely. Political parties are *always* interested in the next election. The difference is that they can put up with short-term unpopularity *so long as it pays off before the next election*.
Their plan is to make bigger structural reforms to try to revive the economy, especially outside London, and thereby hang on to some of those electoral gains come the next election.
Also, Cummings has made it clear that they are data-driven in their priorities. They’re not going to try to fight the war on a hundred fronts. They’re not going to stick to their own personal Conservative Party pet policies. They’ve picked a much smaller list to concentrate on, that the voters will support, and will keep their heads down on all the rest.
They are *not* libertarians, and it’s daft to expect them to be. They are not in favour of austerity or small government. They are not interested in free speech, or fighting the environmentalists, or cutting taxes. They’re funded by Protectionist big businesses to look after those interests. They have followed the herd on world affairs. I don’t think they’re even particularly bothered about immigration. Their priorities are solely concentrated on Brexit, free trade with the world as a whole, including the EU, and developing the wider British economy outside the London metropolitan bubble through reforms to policies on planning regulations, education, innovation, infrastructure, and investment. And they’re going to fix the NHS, because that’s what voters are currently most concerned about.
If they can get that done, and thereby get another stonking majority, then they might move on to other items on the Conservative (or even classic liberal) agenda. But there’s no use moaning that they’re not doing things the way a libertarian would want it, because they’re *not* the libertarian party, and the voters wouldn’t vote for them if they were. They’re simply more free market libertarian than any other UK government (whether Labour or Conservative) we’ve had since Maggie, which is an entirely different thing.
Don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good.
On a separate topic, there’s this: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-51133846 I thought it might be of interest.
I agree with NiV.
Better than the alternatives, and as long as there is Cummings yeast in the Tory dough, we will see some progress in the right direction for the first time since the blessed Margaret.
I also think that Boris’s lack of ideology probably helps. If all he wants is to leave a better legacy than Cameron (not hard) then he will continue to move pragmatically in directions where things work better. That helps us, because, of course, in freer markets they do work better.
Nullius in Verba (17th January 2020 at 3:52 pm), in no small part I agree but as regards
I think that personally they are, and politically they are interested in reducing their political opponents’ ability to control the narrative, both directly and via ‘politics is downstream of culture’. The self-correcting ability that they value in the UK and despise the EU for lacking does need a culture that tolerates feedback, which has important elements of overlap with free speech.
As you say, they will pick their fights, but there is low-hanging fruit here as regards their voters (though not as regards PC institutions’ ability to resist unless some smart outflanking is done). For example, Cummings’ experience with the education establishment may have consequences. If they do nothing to increase UK freedom of speech before the next election, I will be unimpressed with their political skills as well as disappointed in my hopes.
Comments are closed.