Westministenders: The Tory Civil War – The Knives Are Out Again. A Big Battle Looms.(1000 Posts)
Today has seen the publication of a story about how Johnson and Gove are holding May hostage in a ‘soft coup’ and have made various demands over what they want for a hard Brexit. The letter which was for May’s and Barwell’s eyes only has some how leaked. Don’t forget how Gove has just joined the Brexit Cabinet.
It comes at a time, when the Observer is also leading with an editorial demanding Johnson goes over his handling of the Nazarin Zagheri-Ratcliffe case as well as his long list of poorly judged comments which have had diplomatic consequences and another newspaper is leading with a story about how 40 Tories are ready to no-confidence May.
It all smacks of a personal battle between May and Johnson to govern the party, which has been playing out publicly for some time, most noticeable in the parallel Tory party conference leadership speeches and Johnson’s freelancing.
Johnson also seems to be potentially caught up, with what happens in the Mueller investigation due to a photo and lying about having met Misfud which could be politically damaging.
Priti Patel’s –sacking-- resignation also fits in neatly with the story. The Foreign Office were not informed and there is the curious side story that May DID know various details but told Patel to keep quiet, so not to embarrass the FCO. Or more to the point, be seen to be undermining Johnson.
Whether this is true or not we don’t know. It does have implications if its true, but it also says something if its not too. Why leak the story at all? Once again its about the Johnson v May dynamic.
As it stands, if Gove and Johnson have been leading May then why would they decide to ditch her and go for power without her?
Notably Gove has the best satisfaction scores of the Cabinet amongst Tories on Conservative Home too. He has had a lot of favourable comments over his statements over pesticides. The pair seem to have put differences aside and are working together. And May has become more and more of a liability. Johnson, also came second favourite to be Tory leader amongst Tories (if you discount don’t knows and none of the aboves). Maybe they fancy their chances…
Or it’s a last ditch attempt to cling on to that power as threats that Johnson might finally get the boot – if Zagheri-Ratcliffe does have her sentence extended and Johnson’s position is no longer tenable for even May’s self-preservation. Whilst much has been framed about it being about May’s political survival, its definitely not just her whose future is in doubt. Who was the ‘dead wood’, that young Tories demanded be ditched in a reshuffle to bring in young blood? Either way, Gove has firmly hitched his wagon to Johnson's effectively repeating Johnson's dismissal of Zagheri-Ratcliffe's case.
Anyway another week and another set of high political drama is a foregone conclusion.
A round up of other developments this week:
Tory Party / Government
1)May announces intention to enshrine Brexit leaving date in law to force rebels to tow the line. This has many implications, not least tax related and putting more pressure on the UK government. It’s generally regarded as a desperate move by anyone sane.
2)The Impact Assessments were a dogs dinner that was done at the last minute, and were not worth the paper they were written on. There was no detail to them.
3)Priti Patel’s –sacking—resignation after having undocumented and unauthorised meetings with a series of Israel ministers. And then lying about it.
4)Penny Mordaunt, who lied about the UK not having a veto to stop Turkey joining the EU, replaced Patel.
5)Damien Green Porn. Another ex-policeman is backing the story that it was found on his computer despite Green’s denials.
6)The ongoing Zagheri-Ratcliffe story with Iran and Johnson’s gaff and none apology
7)Photograph of Johnson with ‘The Professor’ Misfud has been found. This links Johnson to how events in the US might pan out. If there are lots more revelations in the Mueller inquiry about him, then that might reflect on Johnson and make him subject to some difficult questions. Politically this might be problematic for Johnson.
8)Claims that the whips office leaked the name of someone who reported allegations against Nigel Evans which occurred 6 months after Evans had been cleared of rape and the sexual assault of six men
9)Suspended Tory MP Charlie Elphicke has complained that he is yet to be informed of what he has been accused of.
10)Young Tory MPs issue threat to May that she brings in young blood and gets rid of ‘dead wood, who do nothing but screw up’. Give her until the New Year to do so.
11)40 Tories apparently ready to no confidence May.
12)Lord Ashcroft’s latest poll reveals a very small percentage of people want a no deal situation despite all the noise of it being a good idea.
13)Lord Ashcroft mentioned in the Paradise papers. Reported as domiciled in Belize despite assurances given to parliament that he would give up his non-dom status and pay tax in the UK as a Lord.
Parliament / Opposition both inside and outside parliament
14)May facing a possible revolt over Universal Credit. MPs due to vote on reducing wait times.
15)Talk that there are enough Tory Rebels prepared to back a Dominic Grieve amendment to force a meaningful vote on the Brexit Deal.
16)May under increasing pressure from business leaders to make a deal after a meeting with them at no. 10.
17)Lots of distraction in the Paradise Papers generally which raises the question over the power and influence of the super rich versus the poor. This plays well to Labour’s narrative and against the idea of a low tax post Brexit Britain.
18)Lord Kerr, author of the a50 clause states that May has misled the public and insists that it is reversible.
19)New Money Laundering and Sanctions Bill in the Lords. Government looking to omit 4th EU directive on tax avoidance. Naturally raises questions about whether UK would adopt new rules due to come into force the week after Brexit Day.
20)Money Laundering Bill also has lots of overlap with immigration and home office operations, raising some rather sinister questions over who could be affected and why. Potential for abuse seems to be huge.
21)Leave leaning Cornwall and Grimsby seeking special status in the face of Brexit – in line with remaining to preserve business / economic interests
22)Suicide of Welsh Assembly Labour member who was under investigation for sexual harassment
23)A Labour MP accuses the already suspended fellow Labour MP Kelvin Hopkins of inappropriate behaviour.
24)Ireland demands the UK stays in the customs union.
25)Brexit talks have not progressed at all despite apparently being speeded up. Barnier saying that progress in December only possible if UK makes moves on the settlement deal. Prospect of stage two being delayed until March being raised. This leaves just 7 months to come to a deal, which plays to the No Deal Crowd’s interests.
26)EU believe the UK are not working in the best interests of the UK and there is a failure by May and Davis to understand the process or what No Deal will mean.
27)EU signalling that there is no bespoke transition. Only available options ae EEA or EFTA fudges.
28)Increasing view in Brussels that No Deal likely. EU think May hasn’t got the authority to come to a deal and its easier for her to drag UK off the cliff. Though they have doubts she will survive much longer.
29)Trump sides with Putin above the US Intelligence Community over the Russian election interference. On Veterans Day.
30)US’s Wilbur Ross said UK will have to dump European food safety standards and that losing our passporting rights to the EU would harm our interests with the US.
31)Developments in Lebanon, with it being said that Saudi Arabia said to have declared war. Many would consider this to be a proxy war against Iran. Crown Prince has purged political opponents including several with significant Wall Street interests. Eight died in a helicopter crash.
32)Large scale far right march in Poland as part of their Independence Day.
"Free the Downing Street One" ?
No, May deserves all the hammering she gets
She won't be the one who suffers most from Brexit - that'll be the UK public, especially the most vulnerable.
Also important to note that US Trade Sec Ross wasn't just laying down the law about US standards:
*he also indicated any US trade deal could take10 years to negotiate*
The UK post-Brexit would be desperate to negotiate with many countries, but
+ the Uk has too few negotiators to handle more than 1-2 countries at a time
+ other countries don't have a UK trade deal as a priority - their negotiators may be busy with bigger markets .... like the E27
All Lexiters who are temporarily supporting - even voting - Tory,
should read the Corbyn article that red linked on previous thread:
For the market fundamentalist throwbacks in the Tory cabinet, “no deal” is in reality a strategy, not a negotiating tactic.
It is the extreme version of the wider Conservative intention to use Brexit as a device to drive down wages and conditions, deregulate consumer and environmental protections and slash corporate taxation in a destructive race to the bottom.
“No deal” would risk a jobs meltdown.
As Boris Johnson made clear in his fantasy Brexit manifesto,
the real aim is not only to reinforce the existing economic system’s ballooning inequalities and growing insecurity, but also to put them on steroids.
I’m reading avidly, not posting as I have nowt intelligent to add but thank you all for the continued information and analysis.
Just wanted to point out, the last thread ‘a week is a long time in politics’ lasted less than a week due to the high drama.
If it wasn’t real this would all be highly entertaining bafta awarding winning TV...
James Dyson wants to leave EU, so he can have "flexibility" in the work place (ie no employment laws" and doesn't see why " business should pay corporation tax on profit" ( make Britain a tax haven for the rich)
everytime for some reason I can only hear his words as we should leave the EU with no deal as it allows rich people like me to make a lot more money by worsening conditions for the plebs.
Red you are a legend. Thank you.
.....and I don’t get how Moggy’s ambitions affect the Johnson/Gove dynamic. My feeling (purely instinct) is that when May does go, it will be a surprise contender.
What an unbelievable mess.I never thought it could never happen here.
Thanks Red. I got caught up at work last week and lost the thread so I’m both pleased and sorry there’s a new one already!
Just to note that when the going got tough for Major, he manned up, resigned as leader, and dared the bastards to have a go if they thought they were tough enough.
They weren't. To use a phrase of the times, all mouth and trousers.
I don't think May can do that now LH. I think if she steps down she can't stand again.
I don't think May can do that now LH. I think if she steps down she can't stand again
I don't really care, to be honest. History has already judged her ... I mean I heard more about Balfour - a PM dead nearly a century - than I did May last week.
But at least Major put his country first. He acknowledged the damage Tory infighting was doing, and put himself on the live to stop it.
I'm beginning to think the only thing that really went wrong for Catesby, Fawkes and the others is they were 4 centuries too early.
Oh dear, there is a Make Trump Tweets Eight Again extension for Chrome...
*Relationship* *Boris / Gove*
Boris = the Tory's anus horribilis.
Gove = what comes out of the anus
Thank you to all who posted on the previous thread about the link I posted about Poland , been at work all day so have just caught up .
Red as ever a complete
'Sickening and appalling act': Police confirm bomb found at Omagh Remembrance Sunday parade
Police have confirmed that a device found at the scene of a Remembrance Sunday parade in Omagh was a viable pipe bomb type device.
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