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Angoose
06 Sep 19 04:54
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Date Joined: 18 Jul 02
| Topic/replies: 24,312 | Blogger: Angoose's blog
By Martin Kettle

When a football team loses its first four games of the season, the manager’s job is on the line. Could the same thing happen with Boris Johnson’s prime ministership? It seems unlikely, so soon after the ousting of Theresa May. And yet politics, like football, is a results-driven game.

This week, Johnson lost four big votes in the Commons. Last week he lost Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson too. On Tuesday he threw 21 MPs out of his party. On Thursday he even drove his own brother out as well. The damage that Johnson is willing to inflict on politics appears limitless. But it may also extend to Tory prospects in the general election he is so keen to hold.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Most Tories backed Johnson because they think he is a winner. This was always a foolish triumph of hope over reality. They wanted the Johnson style to magically allow the party to spring the trap in which Theresa May had got caught over Brexit. But the reality – as true under Johnson as it was under May – is that the Conservative party is still divided, still lacks a parliamentary majority, and is still pursuing policies that are opposed by too many voters.

The referendum struck at the heart of the parliamentary system in multiple ways. But it did nothing to change Lyndon Johnson’s iron law of politics: that successful politicians must learn how to count. For the first few weeks, the numbers did not matter. Now parliament is back, the numbers matter all the time. There is nothing that Johnson can do about this unless, like his brother Jo on Thursday, he just walks away. Maybe that is in fact what this prime minister will do too. It has begun to seem possible.

Johnson has thrown the playbook aside. He acts as if he has a majority, even though he does not. He has tried to pursue a radical Brexit agenda in a parliament that has never supported it. He has put his fingers in his ears rather than listen to a nation that is deeply divided. And in doing so he seems absolutely content, as does Dominic Cummings, to destroy the Conservative party as a broad-based party of government.

Nothing illustrates this better than the removal of the whip from the 21 Tories who backed the effort to block a no-deal Brexit. In a different Tory party, these 21 could plausibly have filled most cabinet seats. It is not just the loss of talent that is destructive. It is also the contrast with the actual cabinet of overpromoted fanatics, snobs and halfwits that Johnson has assembled.

The real message of this week’s purge is that the liberal, middling, pragmatic Tory party with which Johnson once identified is now regarded as dispensable. Such is the pressure of the Brexit deadline and the Brexit party, that nothing can be allowed to stand in the way of the project to remodel the Tories and win an election from the English nationalist right against divided opposition. The rage against Johnson from centrist Tories at the 1922 committee this week was the rage of MPs who have realised too late that they could soon be thrown overboard too.

This centrally directed radicalisation of the Tory party lies behind everything. It is invoked to justify the prioritisation of no deal, the refusal to negotiate seriously about economic links with the EU, the utter indifference to Scotland and Ireland and the growing election drumbeat. In this view of the party’s priorities, the pushing out of Ken Clarke, Dominic Grieve and Davidson might be a powerful, purifying message that the fainthearts have been defeated.

All of this is predicated on the belief that around 35% of the electorate crave this approach and that, with the opposition divided, they will reward Johnson with a working majority. Yet the evidence for this theory – on which everything else Johnson is doing ultimately rests – is very thin. The 318 Tory MPs elected under May in 2017 are down to 289 now. Not all of those 29 lost Tory seats will be reclaimed at the election. Further Tory losses are likely in Scotland and to the resurgent Liberal Democrats. The Brexit party, although diminished, has not gone away and its votes could still cost the Tories some marginals. And Labour cannot be written off in a campaign, in spite of Jeremy Corbyn’s poor current ratings.

The issue of timing adds volatility. Although he desperately wants to frame the contest as a populist battle of people versus parliament, any outcome is likely to be politically suboptimal for Johnson. An election before 31 October helps Nigel Farage because the Brexit outcome remains uncertain. An election afterwards depends on whether Johnson can say he has delivered Brexit. But any deadline extension like the one written into this week’s anti-no-deal bill is a double whammy for Johnson, since he will have failed to deliver and the future would also remain uncertain. Logically, therefore, he has a huge motive to secure a deal of the kind that Labour MP Stephen Kinnock succeeded in writing into the new bill. But logic went out of the window long ago.

Whenever someone mentions Johnson’s absurd self-identification with Winston Churchill, recall what Stanley Baldwin, himself also a pretty successful Tory leader, said about Churchill in the 1930s. “One of these days I’ll make a few casual remarks about Winston,” Baldwin told Thomas Jones. “I’ve got it all ready. I’m going to say that when Winston was born lots of fairies swooped down on his cradle [with] gifts – imagination, eloquence, industry, ability. And then came a fairy who said ‘No one person has a right to so many gifts’ picked him up and gave him such a shake and twist that, with all these gifts, he was denied judgment and wisdom. And that is why while we delight to listen to him in this House we do not take his advice.”

Judgment and wisdom are precisely the qualities that Johnson lacks too. This week, most MPs decided they do not trust his advice either. They were absolutely right. If and when an election finally comes, there is no good reason to suppose that the voters will react as differently as Johnson hopes.
Pause Switch to Standard View Johnson Is Acting Like A Winner. But...
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Report flushgordon1 September 6, 2019 7:31 AM BST
Here's a bit of advice , the guardian is wrong on everything.
It's not over till Emily Fivebellys sings.
Report geordie1956 September 6, 2019 8:29 AM BST
A good article ... Bojo the busted flush ... playing with a loaded deck and still picks the wrong cards
Wonder what his next trick will be ...
The actions of the Bonker have made the departed Robert Mugabe seem like a radical democrat Crazy
Report salmon spray September 6, 2019 8:58 AM BST
The problem he has now is that "no deal" apparently being off the table affects what he can do in the Commons rather than what he can do with the EU. Even Johnson has known all along that he isn't going to get anything substantial out of the EU,which is why there have been no serious negotiations going on. I have thought for weeks now that the plan was to bring back May's deal,slightly tarted up so he could pretend it was a new deal though everybody would know it wasn't. The idea would be that whilst he would lose a few ERG votes and presumably the DUP he would get enough Labour MPS,like Caroline Flint,who would shy away from no deal and support him. That threat is no longer there,one presumes though I'm not sure how you get Johnson to ask for an extension against his will,but I still think he will try it.
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 9:53 AM BST
Good morning SS. I have to disagree with your observations. Of course I could be wrong and Boris is only what he appears. Personally I think there is more to this.
You say he has no power with the EU and that may be what it looks but I think when there is a General Election and if the Brexit party are still in play then I do believe a no-deal is hugely more likely. Maybe not today but soon. That is a huge negotiating point that will be more apparent now we have had the EU elections, the Brexit Party are the biggest party in the EU parliament, and Corbyn is un-votable. If that is a word.
Boris's negotiator has given a long list of amendments to the back stop (go in hard first) and I think the EU will tweek something that Boris will be able to bring back in October.
I do not believe he would say he will not be asking the EU for an extension and he would rather be 'dead in a ditch'. He has a strong plan I do believe and it is acting out as he expected.
Report enpassant September 6, 2019 9:57 AM BST
Lol
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 9:58 AM BST
**I do not believe he would say he will not be asking the EU for and extension and he 'would rather be 'dead in a ditch' if he didn't have a plan.
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 10:00 AM BST
Don't 'lol' just yet enpassant, save it for when we leave. It won't be long now. Wink
Report ----you-have-to-laugh--- September 6, 2019 10:01 AM BST
the Brexit Party are the biggest party in the EU parliament



29 out of 751 , a working majority Laugh
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 10:08 AM BST
^^ I never said a working majority but they can be problematic and the EU know that.
Report ----you-have-to-laugh--- September 6, 2019 10:11 AM BST
they can make some noise but are easily outvoted with their 4%
Report enpassant September 6, 2019 10:15 AM BST

Sep 6, 2019 -- 4:00AM, brigust1 wrote:


Don't 'lol' just yet enpassant, save it for when we leave. It won't be long now.


Leave or not, soon or down the line: I 'lol ' at the suggestion this is all in the plan. It cracked me up tbh.

Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 10:16 AM BST
There are a lot of like minded people from other countries with seats in the EU parliament who have sympathy with the Brexit party and may eventually become enough to make things become more increasingly difficult. A bit like a poison (wrong analogy I know) if you leave it unchecked it can become dangerous.
Report enpassant September 6, 2019 10:16 AM BST
poison is fine.
Report ----you-have-to-laugh--- September 6, 2019 10:16 AM BST
poison is perfect analogy

well done
Report enpassant September 6, 2019 10:17 AM BST
and pretty accurate.
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 10:21 AM BST
You really don't think all of these actions could not have been predicted? I'm sure Cummings and Co predicted everything down to the letter. Boris will be presenting May's re tweeked bill in October and it will sail through. Supported by numbers of Labour party MP's in fear of losing their seats to the Brexit Party. Leaving soon.
Report ----you-have-to-laugh--- September 6, 2019 10:22 AM BST
hes had more than a tweaked nose
Report enpassant September 6, 2019 10:30 AM BST
'One MP told the Telegraph: “There is a theory that the real plan is to crash Boris and create chaos, only for Gove to emerge as the elder statesman ready to take over.”

However, another Westminster insider told Express.co.uk: “I don’t put any weight on rumours of a Gove Cummings plot. At least, not this one.” '
Report enpassant September 6, 2019 10:32 AM BST
I have a cunning plan...................
Report anxious September 6, 2019 10:36 AM BST
Cummings worked with gove at education didnt he
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 10:40 AM BST
How is it a cunning plan? Boris is just clearing up May's mess. There is a plan on the table already that just needs a couple of minor tweeks. The problem is that the parliament is a Remain parliament and the new bill needs a majority but the incentive to vote for it must be there.
The remainers in the Conservative Party can see Brexit disappearing if they let this go. A number of Labour MP's will be ousted by the Brexit Party if they don't vote for the new deal.  The number are there but this path has to be taken to clear the dead would and to focus minds.
Boris knew the Speaker would allow the no-deal to be stopped. Boris knew he would have to ask for a General Election and the Labour party would decline it. Boris kew a number of his back benchers would vote against him. This is not rocket science. Why do you think he making the statements he is? Why do you think his negotiator is in Brussels with a long list of changes to the backstop when you consider what is going on.
I do believe this is all pat of the plan. It would be my plan.
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 10:40 AM BST
* dead wood
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 10:42 AM BST
sorry about the typo's my computer keyboard is a remainer.
Report anxious September 6, 2019 10:44 AM BST
So then we end up with a deal that keeps us in the customs union , in the single market but also with no vote and no infleuence  , surely again that is worse than no deal and remain
Report anxious September 6, 2019 10:45 AM BST
Im not sure that Bullingdon , gove and Cummings are that clever to be honest
Report anxious September 6, 2019 10:47 AM BST
Gove is a very dangerous schemer if i were Bullingdon i would be looking over my shoulder
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 10:49 AM BST
I think the part of the backstop covering the customs union and single market will be time limited and that will be enough for the ERG.
Report enpassant September 6, 2019 10:51 AM BST

Sep 6, 2019 -- 4:42AM, brigust1 wrote:


sorry about the typo's my computer keyboard is a remainer.


Wouldn't your keyboard be better educated than a leave keyboard though ?

Report Angoose September 6, 2019 10:51 AM BST
Aren't they all failing badly to clean up David Cameron's mess ?
Report anxious September 6, 2019 10:52 AM BST
maybe yes but when your dealing with fanatics like baker , rees fogg  etc you cannot be sure of anything
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 10:53 AM BST
The keyboard is going to leave, without a deal!
Report anxious September 6, 2019 10:56 AM BST
LaughLaugh
Report ----you-have-to-laugh--- September 6, 2019 10:56 AM BST
Gove is a very dangerous schemer if i were Bullingdon i would be looking over my shoulder

bj might yet get his ditch
Report enpassant September 6, 2019 10:57 AM BST
Well he's certainly digging it wide and deep.
Report politicspunter September 6, 2019 11:00 AM BST

Sep 6, 2019 -- 4:53AM, brigust1 wrote:


The keyboard is going to leave, without a deal!


lol

Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 11:03 AM BST
Don't forget the mantra you are now hearing and will continue to hear from the Conservative Party is that Boris's chief negotiator David Frost is negotiating a deal with the EU and Boris will be putting to the Commons for a vote in mid October. Watch this space.
Report ----you-have-to-laugh--- September 6, 2019 11:21 AM BST
get rid of your keyboard before you get a replacement

lol, typical brexit tactic

you can still post without one, easiest thing to do in the history
of easy things to do
Report Angoose September 6, 2019 11:23 AM BST

Sep 6, 2019 -- 5:03AM, brigust1 wrote:


Don't forget the mantra you are now hearing and will continue to hear from the Conservative Party is that Boris's chief negotiator David Frost is negotiating a deal with the EU and Boris will be putting to the Commons for a vote in mid October. Watch this space.


That's precisely what the Benn bill compels him to do. Also includes a backstop of requesting an extension if he either fails to do so or the deal is not acceptable to the hosue.

Report n88uk September 6, 2019 11:30 AM BST
Heard the master plan that chief negotiator Frost proposed was the same WA as May with a few bits simply deleted Happy.
Report n88uk September 6, 2019 11:31 AM BST
Needless to say it wasn't taken as a serious proposal.
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 11:33 AM BST
Boris on BBC just now and he said, and I quote verbatim,
'clearly there is a contest going on in Parliament about getting out of the EU and there are of course people want to stop that like Jeremy Corbyn, the SNP I think they are wrong I think the people in the country want us to get on and do it. Now I said to them OK you want to have these endless pointless delays lets try an election they said no to that, curious, you know trust the people, they don't want an election, OK, they don't think they will win, fine. I'll go to Brussels, I'll get a deal and we'll make sure we'll come out on 31st October. That's what we are going to do'. 

Go Boris.
Report Angoose September 6, 2019 11:41 AM BST
A-ha, after painting Corbyn as the chlorinated chicken, it's time to turn attention to the nasty Europeans who will not remove the undemocratic backstop
Report n88uk September 6, 2019 11:44 AM BST
He won't get a new deal, the problem is Johnson doesn't realise the EU council meeting on 17-18th October won't be for negotiating a deal, you negotiate with the commission not the other EU leaders, that's how their position stays unified, our side doesn't seem to have realise that yet.

Though the whole thing is a lie anyway as "I'll get a deal and make sure we're out on 31st October" is an incompatible statement, it is impossible to get a deal and be out on 31st October, Johnson knows this, he's just conning people.
Report enpassant September 6, 2019 11:46 AM BST
'Go Boris ' hahaha oh dear- I'm worried for you brig.
Report anxious September 6, 2019 11:47 AM BST
calling people chickens and saying things like dying in a ditch , what kind of nonsense and drivel is that from a Prime Minister Plain
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 11:52 AM BST
Don't worry for me En. I have confidence in this country and I think we will do very well. It is a global stage out there not an incestuous group of non elected officials. I think we will lead the way for many other European countries not bound by a Good Friday Agreement.
Report n88uk September 6, 2019 12:01 PM BST
Can't imagine any European country is looking at the mess we're in and thinking we want that. There's a reason even the Eurosceptics in likes of Italy don't want to leave the EU.
Report Angoose September 6, 2019 12:06 PM BST
The chief constable of West Yorkshire police, John Robins, has said he was “disappointed” to see his officers used as a backdrop to a party political event staged by Boris Johnson yesterday when that had not been agreed in advance.

Meanwhile, after the sight of a light headed police offer standing behind Boris the Bold yesterday, he has allowed a bull to barge in to a plain clothes police officer on a farm in Banchory this morning. Happy
Report enpassant September 6, 2019 12:11 PM BST
^It's all part of the plan
Report enpassant September 6, 2019 12:12 PM BST
Labour and other UK opposition parties agree not to back PM’s demand for general election before October EU summit
Report enpassant September 6, 2019 12:13 PM BST
It's all coming together eh brig.
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 12:20 PM BST
What a load of tosh Angoose. If he had told the press not to ask questions about his brother that would have been wrong. The Police are public servants and Boris is their boss just a little Napoleon getting peeved, move on.
Yes it is all as expected. I cannot see and have not seen anything yet that could not have been predicted weeks ago.
Report Angoose September 6, 2019 12:21 PM BST
What's a load of tosh, the views of the chief constable of West Yorkshire police which have just been made public ?
Report Angoose September 6, 2019 12:23 PM BST
By the way, 20 20 hindsight is a wonderful gift
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 12:26 PM BST
That is right. This was planned long ago and the Police misjudged the time their officers would be standing resulting in one feeling faint. That was not organised by Boris it was organise by the Police. And if the Chief Constable thinks that these organised public presentations do not deal with current affairs of the day as well he is clearly out of touch with the world.
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 12:27 PM BST
In fact had he not mentioned current affairs and not allowed questions you would shouting he was ducking the issue.
Report enpassant September 6, 2019 12:28 PM BST
^Oh brig- that all sounds a little daft geez, sorry.
Report Angoose September 6, 2019 12:28 PM BST

Sep 6, 2019 -- 6:27AM, brigust1 wrote:


In fact had he not mentioned current affairs and not allowed questions you would shouting he was ducking the issue.


You really do need to read the full statement by the chief constable of West Yorkshire police before jumping to incorrect conclusions.

Report enpassant September 6, 2019 12:29 PM BST
I'll leave you to it.
Report Angoose September 6, 2019 12:29 PM BST
"I am pleased that we were chosen as the focal point of the national recruitment campaign launch, but the good news of extra officers was overshadowed by the media coverage of other events.

It was the understanding of West Yorkshire Police that any involvement of our officers was solely about police officer recruitment. We had no prior knowledge that the speech would be broadened to other issues until it was delivered.

Minutes before the speech, we were told that [a planned visit to the National Police Air Service] and subsequent brief to a small media pool had been cancelled. I was therefore disappointed to see my police officers as a backdrop to the part of the speech that was not related to recruitment."
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 12:32 PM BST
What absolute tosh. What world has this idiot been living in?
Report Angoose September 6, 2019 12:33 PM BST
Oh dear, why don't you give him a call and ask him.Confused
Report n88uk September 6, 2019 3:23 PM BST
Johnson knew full well what he was doing with the police backdrop. It was a play right out of the Trump playbook.
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 4:18 PM BST
You cannot all be led by the nose ffs. I remember watching Cameron at the JCB factory taking questions. This Chief Constable would be getting short shrift if it wasn't Brexit. Nothing to be seen here.
Report Angoose September 6, 2019 4:19 PM BST
Are you sure that wasn't Boris when he was on their payroll ?
Report Angoose September 6, 2019 4:19 PM BST
And by the way, the laddie doth protest too much Shocked
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 4:33 PM BST
It is typical though. The copper got his force out standing on parade in the hot sun far too soon without checking how long it would be before Boris arrived. Then he blames Boris for talking about Brexit and answering questions. If it wasn't for Brexit everyone would be calling him, the Chief Constable, clueless.
Report Angoose September 6, 2019 4:36 PM BST
Boris was an hour late, in his typical entitled manner. FACT
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 4:50 PM BST
Wouldn't you think the Police could contact the car to find out when it would arrive? Absolutely clueless. Lets blame Boris.
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 4:53 PM BST
When my children come to dinner, or whatever, I telephone them to find out when they are going to arrive.
Report flushgordon1 September 6, 2019 5:04 PM BST
Chief Constable is under pressure from Labour police commissioner who complained it's all a load of old f@nny.
Report Wallflower September 6, 2019 5:09 PM BST
Johnson was MORE than 1 hour late.  It the scheme of things this doesn't matter one iota.  What does matter is the idea that facts can be contradicted in a offhand matter.

Being an hour late ( as is his style) - he couldn't have foreseen it having that effect on the police cadet - however the police are told what time to prepare for arrival and did so accordingly.  They cant operate on the basis of "ok guys, we'll give you all a shout whenever he arrives" for FFSShocked.

Blaming the police is just ridiculous.
Report Wallflower September 6, 2019 5:12 PM BST
Anyway - quite symbolic of the complete and utter shambles of the whole nonsense. Even the simplest thing is botched.
Report Wallflower September 6, 2019 5:13 PM BST
..... your children coming to dinner and a major PM speech addressing the nation is not quite the same thingGrin. No offence to your children needless to say.
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 5:15 PM BST
If that is what the Chief Constable thinks of his workforce he is in the wrong job. No offence taken but if the Police in the area where the Prime Minister is hasn't got a clue where he is or what he is doing then that beggars belief.
Report brigust1 September 6, 2019 5:17 PM BST
In fact they would have had a Police escort who would have been in touch with their base constantly. And if not, why not?
Report anxious September 6, 2019 5:29 PM BST
Did Bulingdon think he was in Nuremberg or something ?
Report deepblue September 6, 2019 7:08 PM BST
wanxious
wind your neck in all you do is an insult people you don't know, your a guesser at best.
Report anxious September 6, 2019 7:13 PM BST
Laugh your back long tome no hear
Report anxious September 6, 2019 7:14 PM BST
time
Report deepblue September 6, 2019 7:21 PM BST
I had to go into therapy after reading your bollox.but im back now.
Report anxious September 6, 2019 7:24 PM BST
Really its only an opinion you know , if everybody agreed on issues it would be very boring
Report Angoose September 6, 2019 7:26 PM BST
On Wednesday, Boris lost a vote to hold a general election.
Yet, the very next day he declared that it was the first day of the election campaign.

How very Trump.
If you don't like reality, not a problem, simply create an alternative one.
Report deepblue September 6, 2019 7:31 PM BST
opinions are like ****s everyones got one.
try less insulting to get your view across.
Report anxious September 6, 2019 7:34 PM BST
Im not insulting anybody
Report geordie1956 September 6, 2019 9:57 PM BST
opinions are like ****s everyones got one.
try less insulting to get your view across


Your therapist obviously still hs work to do
I wish him good luck with that Devil
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