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Michael Gove almost managed to keep a straight face, as he became the latest person forced to lie for Boris Johnson. ‘The buck stops here,’ said Boris Johnson two weeks ago. No one should be surprised that the buck is already being shipped at high speed to Brussels
Here...... The curse of the Downing Street steps has struck again. With the possible exception of the door-opening jingle sung by David Cameron, it is now a firmly established rule of contemporary British politics that whatever a prime minister says, outside that black door, the opposite will happen. Theresa May promised to tackle Britain’s various “burning injustices” which are too many to list here, other than to point out that she left office three years later with them all burning far brighter than they did when she started.
It is not three years, but a mere fortnight, since Boris Johnson announced he would take “personal responsibility” for whatever happens with Brexit. “Never mind the backstop, the buck stops here,” he said. And lo, what do you know? Through some mad science, the buck appears to be making its way, entirely of its own volition of course, to Brussels.
Boris Johnson had been prime minister for barely 24 hours before he told Angela Merkel and anyone else who would listen that the only way to a Brexit deal is via “the abolition of the backstop.”
Sure as night follows day, the EU has been forced to repeat, as it has done for more than a year, that it will not be abolishing the Irish backstop. And it is this that has summoned Michael Gove in front of the TV news cameras to announce the following. “'The EU is saying they’'re not interested. They are saying, ‘No we don’t want to talk.’ I think that is wrong and sad. It’s not in Europe’s interests.”'
Vaguely to Gove’s credit, he almost managed to keep a straight face while he came out with what he knows is execrable garbage.
No one should be surprised, at all, by the Johnson strategy. To make impossible demands that he knows cannot be met, then blame the other side for refusing to concede to them, is to be both a liar and a spoilt little child all at the same time, which of course is precisely what he is.
And we should be even less surprised by Gove’s willingness to stifle his chuckles and do the lying for him.
Three years ago, Michael Gove was happy to launch a Vote Leave video showing fighting in the Turkish parliament, combined with lies about how much the UK government was paying to ensure Turkey joined the EU.
A few months later, he would be desperately citing studies that claimed the EU referendum, which he had personally helped to win by personally scaremongering about Turkish immigration, had in fact made the UK “more welcoming to migrants”.
Which, to a certain extent, it had, in the sense that the tale of the Good Samaritan is about being more welcoming to Jews who'’ve been beaten up. It'’s just that Michael Gove is not so well placed to tell it, given he’'s the one who’'d been doing the beating.
Still, this is the Gove way. Who cares about the simple, blindingly obvious truth, when there'’s a clever counterfactual debate-winning argument to be found?
You don'’t get to be as big a legend down at the Oxford Union as Michael Gove once was, and then find yourself having to do anything so belittling as take any personal responsibility for the stunningly inevitable consequences of your own actions.
The buck stops here? Not a chance. The buck can sing the Cameron refrain of “do-do-do-do-do... right” for as long as it wants, nobody is going to be opening that Downing Street door to it for a second.
A man like Kane, Welles said, believes that “politics as the means of communication, and indeed the nation itself, is all there for his personal pleasuring.” The audience he craves he also hates. “Such men as Kane always tend toward the newspaper and entertainment world,” Welles said. “They combine a morbid preoccupation with the public with a devastatingly low opinion of the public mentality and moral character.”
HereBe not afraid. There’s hope that the constitutional atrocities planned by the prime minister and Downing Street’s ‘dark lord’, Dominic Cummings, can and will be prevented by good MPs who will put saving the country ahead of their party.
Most of these will be Labour, Scottish National party, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru, Green, Change UK and stray independents. But noblest of all will be Conservative MPs who, like the burghers of Calais (whose memorial they pass every day), will sacrifice their careers for the good of all. No “golden age” awaits Johnson: he will be hoist on his own outrageous hubris.
“The majority in parliament against no deal is bigger and more resolute than ever,” says the shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer. The Tory rebels agree. They are aghast at the arrogant strutting of Cummings who is, says one, the best recruiting sergeant for rebellion on the Tory backbenches. The No 10 supremo’s careless contempt affronts many Tory MPs – and he is defiantly in contempt of parliament.
The cabinet of sycophants, signed up to no deal in blood to get their jobs, are told to say nothing without permission from No 10 – that is, Cummings.
The fight is on. MPs will struggle to stop a no-deal Brexit by seizing control of the parliamentary timetable, but Johnson has refused to rule out proroguing parliament to prevent them. Returning on 3 September, Labour will call a vote of no confidence in the Johnson government, and this will be the moment of truth: are there enough burghers of Calais on the Tory benches? Rebels reckon there could be 30 or 40.
Assuming only a Kate Hoey or two on Labour’s side fails to back it, there are 14 days in which Johnson, still prime minister, tries and fails to form a government. He is legally obliged to call an election, but Cummings said over the weekend the date would be set for after 31 October, Brexit day. The country will crash out without a vote, legal but outrageous. The only way that can be prevented is by a manoeuvre itself so outrageous it makes you gasp to contemplate it. Anti-no-dealers would set up a temporary government of national unity to outvote Johnson.
The only purpose of this “government” would be to ask the EU for a delay, to conduct a referendum and a general election. Let the people decide, that would be its sole purpose.
Who would be the interim prime minister? It would need someone from Labour, since the plan relies on Labour to make it happen. Let it not be an active player in future leadership or government, but a statesperson respected on all sides who would be no future threat to anyone. Rebel Tories suggest several names, but one stands out: Margaret Beckett, a previous interim Labour leader, who would be trusted to do only what the crisis demands – call an election and a referendum.
This is no centrist party stalking horse, but purely a mechanism to ensure the country does not crash out of the EU without a deal unless the people actively vote for it. No deal was not even mentioned as an option in the referendum, where staying in the single market and customs union were regularly promised by Brexiteers.
What seems likely is that Johnson and Cummings are planning to frame a future election as a fight between themselves as “the people”, with MPs usurpers of the people’s will. The opposite is the case. As no deal doesn’t have majority support, they would struggle throughout a long campaign to explain why they were denying both the people and MPs a vote.
Reasons might have been complex but general picture is blindingly obvious: spoiled brats who have forgotten the real source of prosperity for them and their parents that has been free, peaceful, democratic and united Europe and were short-sighted and irresponsible enough to deny the same future for their children (if they had any). Their grandparents shed blood in WW2 for that vision of Europe.Is there or has there been any study into the reasons why people who voted for Brexit did so? I imagine it was for a whole lot of complex and multiple reasons that are not reflected in the simplicity of the question asked at the referendum.
It surprised me but then again it really didn't."Overall, our findings indicate that Labour voters with observables that put them in the Leave camp – male, older, less educated, less likely to be in employment, etc. – are significantly more likely to express a preference for the status quo of remaining in the EU. Voters with similar socio-economic profiles who identify with the Conservative Party are more likely to vote Leave. This suggests the potential importance of other characteristics not in the data set, for instance psychological traits such as openness as well as attitudes towards national identity. "
Thanks for your thoughts. It's quite a lonely position I find myself in. Two comment on your points above:...The two things to do in the short run are first to invest quite seriously in a large stock of imported components and make a list of component alternatives (and forget absolutely nothing, because every component may be mission critical in this). Second, you will have to plan meticulously with your importers and transport handling companies to ensure that there are no hiccups that jeopardize the export business.
Here.Remainers will do anything to stop Brexit, except install Corbyn as PM. Why? Many believe a Corbyn-led government is as toxic as Brexit itself. But MPs’ options are running out ...
‘This is hardest of all for Labour pro-Europeans, for the obvious reason that Corbyn is technically their leader. Many of them fervently wish he wasn’t.’
Brexiters stop at nothing to get what they want and remainers stop at everything. The laws of political motion then dictate which direction things move.
Jeremy Corbyn has written to MPs inviting them to install him in Downing Street, having deposed Boris Johnson with a vote of no confidence. His tenure would, he promises, be “strictly time-limited” – long enough to call a general election and seek the necessary article 50 extension to conduct a ballot.
For Corbyn this is the simplest route out of the current mess. There is a government hell-bent on doing something that a majority of MPs oppose and believe to be ruinous – hurtling off a Brexit cliff-edge. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act gives the Commons 14 days to organise a replacement when an incumbent government is defeated in a no-confidence vote. Who else is going to lead that administration if not the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition? In constitutional terms he is the obvious candidate; probably the only candidate.For some MPs, the objection to a single day of Corbyn rule, even for a tactical purpose, is visceral and moral
After the Tsar Nicholas 2 was deposed in early 1917 there were three provisional governments seeking to install a populist democracy for the good of the people. An election was called and before results were known the Bolsheviks decided to take over (for the record, they are believed to have come second) led by Mr Lenin pursuing a purely ideological brand of Marxism. He was utterly ruthless and transformed the country in 3 months. The rest is history, except they also decided on the official version of history as well.