Westminstenders: Zombies don't have friends. Is Johnson the de facto PM now?(971 Posts)
And so the Zombie PM lives on.
Some might say that the Tory Party conference has been the thing that has really killed her, with one more blow needed to the head.
But had she already lost the battle within the party?
What is curious is how its now the hard liners who have got behind May. Why is this? They did so BEFORE the conference, not after May's speech. They are not known for suffering those they see as weak. They are there for target practice. Why have leopards seemingly changed their spots?
The truth is that just before and after her Florence speech Boris Johnson repeatedly undermined her and showed his authority was superior to May's. He may have backed down publically, but May backed down with policy, doing u-turns on her 'concessions' to the EU. Johnson was leading May and the Tory Party and not the other way around. That's what the conference was about and May's bad luck just played to their agenda.
May could be likened to the elderly Hindenburg, desperately trying to cling to power, and trying to appease the far right on the advise of von Papen who thought it could be controlled and contained. Whilst the right push it further and further, after each concession to them which they take as weakness, for their own political gain and shot at power. What would a successful far right leader in this country have to look like? A cut price Churchill pushing the values of fake patriotism? The historical parallel isn't hard to find and to fit to the political reality of today.
The irony emerging is that the EU Commission is starting to look like its more on our side than the EU27, tired of our nonsense and insults.
In this situation there can be no deal. Unless something drastic happens we are headed directly for a state of emergency.
The much forgotten and equally important dealing over the WTO is going as badly as the EU one. What do we expect with Liam Fox in charge and next to no accountability from the press or from parliament?
The hard right, obviously are making the calculated gamble that they have seized the hostage May away from the Liberals who had started to get her to see the reality. They will now do what they can to protect her, and support her. Afterall, why would you challenge her, if you felt you could control her? They have the perfect scapegoat and can protect their own political hides for the time being.
The most obvious sign of this, is Gove leaping to her defence in a way that is so ridiculously over the top.
The hard right have nothing to fear from a chaotic exit. Indeed they have much to profit from it. And they always have the means to leave if it gets too bad. They fear staying in the EU. Why IS that? Its almost as if many of them have something to hide...
Grants Shapp's intervention, is beginning to look like he was set up, with it being leaked that he was leading calls for a leadership election privately and had no intention of doing so publically until outted. The effect has been it has shored up her position, making it harder for May to even to resign either for personal or political reasons. It also casts any dissenters as 'traitors' whilst the hard right casts the image of the 'loyalists'.
Of course the hard right's gamble also rests on three other things; they know they are starting to lose the argument, they have done the maths and don't think they will have the numbers to ensure a hard right candidate makes the final two in a leadership battle and they think they can control the rest of the party because they fear Corbyn more.
Perhaps the best chance we have for a deal now does lie in a collapse of the government in the near future. This seems to be the position that the EU are taking by stepping up talks with Labour.
Just how much will Tory Liberals act in the best interests of the country and stand up to the hard right of the party. They have the numbers to get things through with Labour. But Labour want the government to collapse, so the balance of power ultimately relies on the hard right's support. Its hard to envisage Labour stepping up in the national interest any more than the Tory Right compromising.
I suspect the Hard Right ultimately fear the EU more than Corbyn. If a collapse happens it will be because the hard right will not compromise and they are prepared to push their luck on that, and this is the weapon they have over May. I suspect they figure they have little to lose by pursuing this direction. Its do or die for them anyway.
Of course what happens at home and what happens in the EU talks are also different things. The UK could well be promising more than they say at home, and this seems to be the case. But the infighting at home, jeopardises a deal even if one is reached by the EU commission as our diplomatic appearance through our antics and rhetoric at home, will convince the EU27 to reject it, and any compromise. Another gamble the Tory Right might be keen on to win over the domestic audience with their faux patriotism.
Of course, May could simply resign... She won't. She's a politician who lacks self awareness and arrogant in her own political ambition. A bit of a pep talk about how great she is and how she is doing things right and she believes it, as she is totally disconnected from the reality of things as the election proved in all its glory. She only listens to voices she agrees with...
So the Zombie PM lead by the De Facto PM will limp on. Its a game of chicken over who will lead to a collapse of government now between the liberals and the hard right.
At least for now. A leadership election is what is wanted by the press but not the party. The media want the drama more than the Tories.
If it hasn't changed within a month or so, the moment may have passed and it might be too late to salvage anything, such is the damage being done to our diplomatic relations. Start prepping in serious by Christmas, if we are still headed this way.
Please tell me, my reading of the situation is wrong...
I agree with many of your points. Schapps (who reminds me of a posh Jeremy from Peep Show...) is quite dim and unliked within the party. He is definitely being used to put the feelers out in the press without it being obvious there is a wider coup brewing.
The thing is, I don't think anyone wants the leadership at this point. Not only does the PM have the unwinnable task of managing a "successful Brexit" which doesn't harm the economy while also pleasing the hardliners in her party, a new leader would be under enormous pressure (in an unstable minority government) to call an election which they may well lose.
TBH, I think BoJo wants to get sacked, so he can make trouble from the backbenches and ride in like a knight in shining armour after everything turns to shite.
Thanks as ever red.
I'd love it if you were wrong. But you're not. This has ripples far far beyond our tiny little country.
Marking place. Thank you, Red. Couldn't agree more with your para May.
I've just seen on the news that extra tariffs are proposed on Bombardier - another 80%.
The local unions are saying the EU has to help us in the argument . It's also of course bang in the middle of DUP country.
I thought the article in Prospect was s but unfair. I didn't disagree, but think the UK is no worse in the respects he identified than many other countries in the EU, save in its self delusion which will be shattered soon.
While there is no universally popular alternative May will remain in place. Any leadership election would raise questions about another GE. My view is that the general aim of all the Tories right now is to avoid a GE and cling onto power as long as possible. They will bite their tongues for the most part and quietly squabble, but no rebellion of any significance will happen because if they rock the boat and end up having to call another election they may well lose.
Should they fuck up so much we do end up having another GE (perhaps if the DUP jumped ship?) then I would quite like to see a Labour/lib dem/green coalition. I think the lib Dems and green would push labour out of their tiresome prevarication around brexit, but would probably still support much of the policy being put forward around welfare and the NHS. It would also not need that much of a shift in votes to achieve.
Interesting OP. I don't think you're wrong and you've definitely got that bafoon described to a T.
It depends on which Tories are confident Labour can be blamed for any Brexit disaster, but also on those who are desperate for their one chance at being PM
The hard right opportunists like Bojo, IDS, maybe DD are too old to wait - they either become PM for a couple of years now, or never
They would fear Labour being in power for 10+ years, after Brexit
The doctrinaire / disaster capitalist Tory right would want Brexit to happen, but also be able to blame Labour for any consequences that voters then see
So, they want May to stagger on until March 2019, unable to reach any deal, so the UK automatically crashes out.
Then they would be quite happy to lose the next GE, because they expect a Labour govt to be pretty powerless to hurt their backers, coping with the economic meltdown after a no-deal Brexit
So, cake and eat it again.
They'd then hope to win the following GE with a landslide.
But there would still be three years of this Parliament to go after 2019. The Fixed Term Parliament act still applies, so if Labour are sensible they could oppose a dissolution and make the Tories own the shambles.
We saw last time that Labour immediately agreed to a general election despite being 20-something points behind in the polls and vast swathes of the country - and the party - convinced it was an act of suicide. It's doubtful they would oppose an election this time - they've been banging their shields and screaming "Bring it on!" since June 9th.
I can't see how the Tory party can cut the Gordian knot of having virtually no majority, a PM who is on her last legs by any objective measure, but no credible heir apparent who can step up and do a better job.
Meanwhile, I wasn't a great fan of the letter from Labour posted on the other thread: I wasn't sure what it actually said other than lots of words which sound reassuring but don't necessarily mean much. What does being prepared to go down the "no deal" route actually mean in practical terms? That we don't leave the EU? Have the EU agreed to this?
Anyone read this? BoJo is such an idiot. He whips up a load of dissent against the PM and then tells everyone to calm down. I would dearly love it if TM resigned and left them all to it.
Thanks Red I've lurked on the past couple of threads for info as I can usually never keep up with all the politricks for dinner discussions.
but this thread is my secret weapon.
Also, is there any credibility to the idea that any of the three 'mishaps' were politically orchestrated?
Thanks Red, barely able to keep up these days.
Any leadership election would raise questions about another GE
Personally, I think the UK should create an informal tradition that in the event of a party leader change leading to a change of Prime Minister, there should be a general election "sometime" soon after.
I know we have this
bullshit principle that individuals used to vote for candidates, not parties. But the last few Prime Ministers we have had have made it clear that there is a strong personal element involved. Look how changes of Prime Minister have led to significant changes in policy. The most recent example being the attempt in March to sneak a massive tax policy change through in the budget.
slightly OT, but did anyone catch "Reformation" with David Starkey ...
inevitable comparisons with Brexit, but also religious fanaticism and mass media.
(Not a massive fan of Starkey the Tory fanbois though. I can see Boris being a fan too).
Until watching, to my shame, I had no idea the Lutheran bible was such a linguistic landmark for German. Curious parallel with the King James edition (another of Melvyn Braggs world-chaing books) in English a century later.
The local unions are saying the EU has to help us in the argument
Be curious to hear what Jeremy Corbyn thinks of that
I thought we didn't need the EU - we could go it alone?
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