01 October 2019

31 July 2019

Pots and kettles

Mr Unreliable [?] from his glass house, throws stones at Mr Untrustworthy.  The Times reports:
Nigel Farage launched an outspoken attack on Boris Johnson’s Brexit chief at No 10 yesterday, accusing him of being untrustworthy.
The Brexit Party leader said that Dominic Cummings, a former head of Vote Leave who is now arguably the most important Downing Street official, was not a “true believer” in Brexit and suggested that he secretly wanted Britain “bound to the EU”.
Mr Farage told the prime minister that he could not enter into an electoral pact with the Conservatives while Mr Cummings was masterminding the government’s no-deal Brexit strategy.

“He thinks we’re all cretins and members of the lower order,” Mr Farage said. “He has never liked me. He can’t stand the ERG [European Research Group of Brexiteer MPs]. I can’t see him coming to any accommodation with anyone. He has huge personal enmity with the true believers in Brexit.”
"When thieves fall out, honest men come by their own."

   

30 July 2019

Regarding the bottom


The advent of Boris has placed Scottish Tories up a certain creek without a paddle.  The Times explains:
Once upon a time — though not all that long ago, in fact — the Scottish Conservatives launched what was ungallantly dubbed “Operation Arse”; they would do whatever it took to sink Mr Johnson’s chances of becoming prime minister. And for good reason, for they could see the trouble that he would cause them.
He is a politician who believes in little other than his own ambition fuelled by his own estimation of his charm. Proven reserves of one of these commodities are rather greater than of the other.
In Scotland, then, it is not so much that Mr Johnson is considered an arse but that he is a very particular type of backside. Minds were made up about him long ago and I doubt that many will be changed by this or any other charm offensive. He is some distance from being one of us.
And when the general election comes along, the Scottish Tory MPs face wipeout ...

29 July 2019

Thugs or snowflakes?

Compare and contrast these Times reports

Here:
More than 17,500 boys aged 14 have carried or used a knife or other weapon, according to research for the Home Office.
A judge who jailed two boys after the death of another 17-year-old boy has condemned a “warped culture” in which possessing a knife is seen as “cool and aesthetically pleasing”.
A report looking at people born in 2000 and 2001 said that about a third of those who said they had carried a knife had also been attacked.
Patrick Green, chief executive of the Ben Kinsella Trust which campaigns against knife crime, said: “This report signals that unless we act quickly we risk losing a generation to knife crime. Our focus must shift to prevention and more support for children.”
 And here:
As police forces prepare for the government’s ambitious recruitment drive, they have identified a formidable new challenge: hiring millennials.
The Home Office has been told that rookies have been “wrapped in cotton wool”, are routinely shocked that police are expected to work nights and weekends and “do not like confrontation”.
Police officers and staff told the Front Line Review that such expectations “may be a generational phenomenon related to people who have recently reached adulthood — a ‘millennial thing’ — and not unique to policing”.
The report added: “Participants gave examples of recruitment interviews where candidates had stated they do not like confrontation or were shocked by the need to work different shift patterns and possibilities of cancelled rest days.” One senior officer said that many recruits had “no idea what they’re coming into; they’ve lived in a society where they are wrapped up in cotton wool an awful lot . . . their mental health or their ability to cope with certain situations is just not evident from day one”.

24 July 2019

Boris pantomime

The Guardian reports -
In his acceptance speech, Johnson said his task “at this pivotal moment in our history” would be to “reconcile two noble sets of instincts – between the deep desire for friendship and free trade and mutual support and security and defence between Britain and our European partners; and the simultaneous desire, equally heartfelt, for democratic self-government in this country.”
His attempt to strike a moderate tone was dealt a blow by Donald Trump, however, as the US president labelled the former mayor of London, “Britain Trump”. “He’s tough and he’s smart …They’re calling him Britain Trump. And people are saying that’s a good thing. They like me over there,” he said.
All together now, Oh No We Don't! 

 

20 July 2019

Quote of the day


From The Guardian - here
Fire up the campaign montage, then, and let’s have a look at Boris Johnson’s best bits. Over the past four weeks alone – three-and-three-quarters of which he was kept in a padded black site by his carers in case he accidentally said piccaninnies or bumboys or fucked the help or something – Johnson has: failed to defend the UK’s most senior ambassador against an absurd attack by the US president, to a degree that contributed to that diplomat’s decision to resign; had the police called to a late-night screaming argument at his girlfriend’s flat; been exposed as incapable of understanding basic elements of his own supposed trade plans; claimed like the maddest of all mad bastards to have some wine-crate-based model-bus-building hobby; lied unnecessarily and repeatedly about everything from the total inviability of his flagship policy to how long he’d owned a bike before it was stolen; refused 26 – twenty-six – times in a row to even say when a faux paparazzi picture of him and his girlfriend was staged and taken; declined to say how many kids he has; shamelessly suggested he might prorogue parliament, taking him one step closer to his childhood ambition of being some sort of nightmare king; waved a kipper around to illustrate a claim that 30 seconds of Googling would have revealed as more complete bollocks, as has been his stock in trade for more than 30 years; and more. Much more, though for space reasons I have to draw a line here.

09 July 2019

Foot-shooting

The Times analyses the Boris Brexit strategy:
Mr Johnson says he possesses not just “an understanding of government” but also “a very clear picture of how to get it done”. This amounts to preparing for a no-deal Brexit while saying you don’t want a no-deal Brexit. It is akin to arguing that, gosh, shooting myself in the foot is a bad idea but even so it is very important to keep the option of shooting myself in the foot on the table. This being so, the best way of not shooting myself in the foot is to prepare to shoot myself in the foot. Both feet, if it comes to that.
As strategies go, this one certainly goes. There is a whiff of Blackadder about it, however, and it seems a cunning plan in the Baldrickian sense. Moreover, it also rests upon the assumption that other EU leaders have no awareness of what is said and written in Britain. Newsflash: they can hear us and many of them can read us too.
It will end in tears ...

 

03 July 2019

Geriatric triumph?

The EU appears to be in the hands of the wrinklies.

Christine Lagarde 63
Ursula von der Leyen 60
Josep Borrell 72

Are they fit enough for all those late nights of Brussels haggling?

Although the putative President of the Council, Charles Michel, is a mere stripling at 43.

It remains to be seen if the Parliament will agree to these appointments.

 

28 June 2019

An exercise in futility

The Indepemdent reports -
There’s been another round of Tory leadership hustings. Boris Johnson’s position on Brexit is still meaningless garbage. He still wants to “disaggregate bits of the withdrawal agreement”. He still wants to deal with the Irish border question “during the implementation period”, all the while continuing to have “frictionless trade” with the European Union.
It’s still the case the European Union say they will not countenance this. It is still the case that there is no implementation period unless an agreement is signed. It is still the case that his own deputy prime minister, David Lidington, has had to put out a statement saying exactly this – that the almost certain next prime minister’s plan for Brexit is a complete non-starter.
It’s still the case that the trade secretary Liam Fox, ardent eurosceptic of several decades standing, has also had to write an article saying Boris Johnson’s Brexit position is legally impossible.
But still Boris Johnson continues to say it, and so we must continue to say it is garbage, though it makes no difference to anyone. 

   

26 June 2019

Boris is a fantasist ...



... promising the impossible.  The Guardian reports
Johnson first doubled down on his commitment to leaving on 31 October in an interview with Talkradio, saying he was in no way reneging on his firm pledge.
“We are getting ready to come out on 31 October. Come what may,” he said. Asked to confirm this, he added: “Do or die. Come what may.”
He then said he would scrap Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement and seek a completely new deal before then, as minor changes would not satisfy him.
“I mean more than a change,” he said. “It’s got to be, we need a new withdrawal agreement – if we’re going to go out on the basis of a withdrawal agreement.”
Not only has the EU said it will not reopen the withdrawal agreement, but the timetable would be extremely tight as parliament is in recess over the summer and then sitting for about 10 days before party conference season begins. MPs return midway through October, just a few weeks before the deadline.
Furthermore, Boris will not become PM before the end of July.  Brussels closes down for the whole of August and there will be nobody to negotiate with.  In addition, the EU Council, Parliament and Commission will be paralysed until they have sorted out who will be the new president of each of those bodies, a process which they will do well to have completed by November.



PS  Incidentally, the phrase "do or die" harks back to Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade -
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
And we know how that turned out ...

01 June 2019

Oh yeah?

Image result for trump images

 A fine example of wishful thinking.  The Times reports
Donald Trump has rejected claims he is unpopular in the UK, saying he believes he is “loved” by the British people as he prepares to start a three-day visit....“I don’t imagine any US president was ever closer to your great land,” he said. “Now I think I am really — I hope — I am really loved in the UK. I certainly love the UK.”
Silly man.

 

24 May 2019

Quote of the day

President Trump ...
"I'm an extremely stable genius. OK?”
... perhaps not so accomplished when it comes to modesty.

22 May 2019

Some journalists have a twisted mind



The Times reports:
Paddy Power’s never done political correctness. So no big shock to see the bookie price up the next politician to get “milkshaked”. It has Nigel Farage 2-1 favourite to make it a double, followed at 3-1 by Tommy Robinson — now on a hat-trick after two strawberry affairs earlier this month. Boris looks a rather generous 10-1.
And maybe this sort of thing shouldn’t really be encouraged. But it is only milkshake.
And doesn’t the bookie risk something similar to the Sutton United FC pie-eating coup? Mr Farage could always stage manage another milk attack — after placing a big bet with Arron Banks’ money.

 

15 May 2019

The Minister with four ovens

The communities secretaryĆ¢€™s multiple ovens prompted an angry reaction

James Brokenshire, communities secretary, displays his kitchen (and wife), presumably as part of a leadership bid.

But who needs four ovens?

   

13 May 2019

Quote of the day

From The Guardian (here):
There is something truly grotesque about the unrestrained political beauty contest into which May’s most senior colleagues have now flung themselves. Fashion shoots, posed photographs with spouses, “My vision for Britain” articles: you would never think that the UK had been granted a second extension by the EU, or that May’s withdrawal agreement had failed three times, or that the cross-party talks must deliver soon or collapse.
Extraordinarily, most Tories see no contradiction or impropriety in this. So great is their faith in the power of leadership that they do believe that, say, Boris Johnson or Dominic Raab could do a better job in Brussels than May, and – by sheer force of charisma and personality – whip the EU into line.
This is the deep, collective delusion of a tribe that depends unhealthily upon the magical powers of its chieftain. It is no way to run a party, let alone a country.