In the link above Isaac Chotiner of the New Yorker interviews Professor David Runciman of Cambridge. I must confess that I only have to see the New Yorker‘s distinctive Irvin typeface to see the famous “View of the World from 9th Avenue” cover. I need to get over myself. It is a good and wide ranging interview, with a focus of the parallels or lack of them between the UK and the US. Stick with it, the best parts are at the end.
Category: Boris Johnson
Fraser Nelson in today’s Telegraph:
Let’s not pretend that the Corbyn agenda is dismissed nationwide as a socialist calamity-in-waiting. His plans to nationalise water, railways, electricity and gas are supported by about half of all voters; his idea for British Broadband Corporation is backed by a margin of three to one.
Meanwhile, Boris Johnson is interviewed by the Spectator.
I remember having conversations with colleagues in the government that came in in 2010 saying I thought austerity was just not the right way forward for the UK.
Anyone wanting to reduce the size of the state has a lot of work in front of them.
When people tell me “you must vote for Boris’ party or we will never get Brexit” I usually respond with “Because you trust & believe a Tory leader to actually do what he says & are willing to just hand-wave the last 3 years away?”
Well the Tories may be the only game in town in some areas, but decades of voting for the lesser evil is how we ended up with a ‘Conservative’ Party that isn’t conservative. If I thought Boris was actually serious about meaningful Brexit, I might hold my nose and vote Tory one last time. But if ‘No Deal’ really isn’t an option even now, I just don’t believe anything Boris says about truly wanting out of the EU.
Do I want to risk Corbyn getting in? I would rather he doesn’t but I am done voting Tory on the basis they are a slower acting poison than the alternative.
My past self rebukes my present self for saying this, but there is one thing that Labour let slip over the last few days that the Tories would do well to seize upon.
On October 28th Labour submitted “wrecking amendments” to the bill that authorised the election that would have extended the franchise to sixteen and seventeen year olds, and also to EU citizens.
Nothing came of it. The two amendments were not selected for debate by the Deputy Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, on the grounds that they were not relevant to the motion. In normal times one would have assumed that of course amendments proposing major constitutional changes would not be permitted to be tacked on to another bill as an afterthought, but in the last days of the era of John Bercow there is no “of course” about it. He might well have seen votes for sixteen year olds and foreigners as his last gift to the nation. Fortunately his deputy was in the Speaker’s chair on this occasion.
The proposal to give the vote to 16-17 year olds was an obvious ploy to gather the votes of da yoof while they still know little of the world beyond what their teachers have told them. I would imagine that the sight of Labour advocating this arouses more weariness than outrage. Votes for foreigners is a different matter. Although the mainstream media lost interest as soon as it was clear that the Deputy Speaker would not allow the amendments, my subjective impression is that to many ordinary people the news that Labour apparently wants to add around three million non-citizens to the electoral roll almost eclipsed the news about the date of the election.
I may be wrong about this. I was abroad for the last week and did not spend much time on the internet. Thus what I did see might have been too small a sample from which to draw conclusions. On the other hand, perhaps the fact that I was only skim-reading allowed me to see the spike in anger more clearly. I was not in a position to collect hyperlinks, but, trust me, a lot of people saw this in terms of Labour wanting to replace its former voters.
It’s probably quite nice to be Prime Minister, going to all the best dos, having people listen to your bloviations, having the second best address in London and having the power to vaporise France but if you don’t have the ability to do anything useful – other the aformentioned services to French air quality – it’s pointless.
And you don’t have that ability. You don’t have a majority. The deal will be voted down again. If Parliament can make you send that grovelling extension letter – you know, the one you said dying a ditch was preferable to – what else is it going to make you do? Even if Brexit did get through you wouldn’t be allowed to get any of that Brexity goodness done like reducing tariffs, re-introducing traditional units and sorting out the railways. You are being turned into a cipher.
You must not allow yourself to be treated like this. You must resign.
Let the Queen find someone to be Prime Minister. Convention – for what it is worth these days – requires her to first of all call upon the Leader of the Opposition. Corbyn. That will be a laugh. Oh, he might just about be able to cobble together a coalition around stopping Brexit. They might even be able to hold their rigged referendum. But it doesn’t matter. Because, every day, every hour, every minute Corbyn and the federalist fossils stay in undeserved power the more hated they will become.
Remember, it can’t last long. Eventualy they will have to do some real politics at which point that Frankenstein coalition will collapse. And then we really will have to have a general election. Which you will win – not least because the interregnum will have given Cummings the chance to have that operation that he’s been putting off. And then you really will be able to get Brexit done. On your terms.
As our French friends might say: reculer pour mieux sauter.
Yours in the struggle,
Boris Johnson is about to go into a tunnel, apparently. I think that means something like: the EU has agreed to properly sit down and have a talk about that deal they said was the final possible deal.
What will Boris come out of the tunnel with?
- A deal that gets us properly out of the EU but without any unpleasant trade restrictions?
- A deal that is Brexit in name only?
- No deal.
There is a faint possibility that Boris is so good at politics he will get a deal that is just Brexit-y enough and just un-Brexit-y enough to stay in power and get back to business as usual politics with no realignment.
When leaders represent the will of the people – and the laws they are breaking are illegitimate or undemocratic – violating them is nearly always justified in retrospect. As it would be in this case. The Benn Act became law earlier this month because of the connivance of the unconstitutionally partial Speaker, John Bercow. When he allowed the Opposition to pass legislation in Government time against the will of the PM and his Cabinet, 300 years of constitutional precedent was overturned.
The Benn Act was a very English form of coup d’etat, orchestrated by an anti-Brexit faction in Parliament to subvert the clearly expressed will of the people. It is, therefore, necessary for Boris to break it to restore the proper constitutional relationship between Government, Parliament and people.
Brian Micklethwait argues that no (overt) pact is needed between the Brexit Party and the Conservatives in order to get a Parliament of leavers. The Brexit Party can make the pact unilaterally:
all Brexit voters need to know who to vote for in their particular constituency, come the day, to ensure Brexit. So, the Brexit Party just needs to tell them. If the Brexit Party campaigns for Conservative Brexiters who’ll win, but for its own candidates when they are more likely to win, the Brexit Party will get its deal.
Meanwhile Boris might do well to avoid a pact:
in the event of such public collaboration, there was and is a crucial slice of Conservative but only Leave-ish voters in the affluent south who would have been put off voting Leave, and would who would now be put off voting Conservative and would switch to the LibDems
It might just work.
I read everywhere that Boris Johnson’s government is flailing and failing. They have been soundly defeated in the Commons. It looks like Boris will be forced to ask the EU for another extension, and according to the Times it has been pre-approved:
Rebel Tory MPs and opposition leaders received private assurances from European leaders that a request by parliament for a three-month Brexit extension would be granted in one last attempt to break the deadlock.
The Times understands that senior figures behind the bill to force an extension on Boris Johnson cleared their plan with EU capitals before it was published this week. They received reassurances that the European Council, which is made up of EU leaders, would not stand in the way of one final extension if it was approved by parliament.
“If Parliament is unable to decide on Brexit it would be better to have a snap General Election”
Average of 3 polls this weekend (Survation, Opinium, YouGov)
Lib Dem 18%