One man is responsible for today’s fiasco, and that is the Prime Minister. Or, thankfully, the soon-to-be-ex-Prime Minister. Dave joins Neville Chamberlain and Anthony Eden – coincidentally Tories too – in the hall of notorious failures. For his political vanity, for narrow party advantage over a hard right insurgency that began petering out before he conceded them the EU referendum, Dave has inflicted incalculable damage on the British economy, on the politics of this country, and goes into retirement trailing a bitter legacy of division and hopelessness. Well done that man. Well fucking done. Continue reading
British politics has taken a turn for the worse of late, but let’s not forget its settled, normal status is weird. Last week’s Queen’s speech – the outline of “her” government’s legislative programme for the coming year – is a case in point. In the thinnest of gruel, which we will come to sift through for juicy morsels shortly, we had the bizarre spectacle of a 15th century relic promising spaceports, autonomous cars, and more drones. I’m not sure this is what old Trotters had in mind when he wrote about combined and uneven development. Weird.
The mainstream have had all afternoon to pore over the speech and the jolly Commons back-and-forth about it. Everyone knows it’s a slim document so Dave can concentrate on the EU referendum, so push a few eye-catching, future-facing, and largely uncontroversial policies to the front and spend the rest of them time thinking of ways of scaring people to vote remain. Continue reading
As readers may know, I’m not a politician and when I worked in politics, it wasn’t at the spaddy level where you’re actually listened to. Yet me, a lowly ex-bag carrier responsible for caseloads in an obscure constituency, knows the first rule on resolving a political crisis is to wrap it up as quickly as possible. The longer a story is attracting headlines, the more it becomes a talking point in the broadcast media, and the greater the likelihood you and/or your party will suffer reputation damage.
These basics have proven foreign to our beleaguered PM and his coterie of expensively clueless advisors. The self-inflicted difficulties Dave has faced over Daddy’s offshore doings was excruciating, and has proven to be his most painful week in office. Yes, worse and more damaging than budgetgeddon and their disingenuous hand-wringing about the steel industry. Dave knew his offshore offloading was going to look bad, so he should have dumped it all at the start of the week rather than let political enemies take chunks out of him. Some PR professional he’s turned out to be. Continue reading
History remembers the last time a Tory prime minister went to Europe and came back waving a piece of paper, but the hungry beast to be appeased now is a coterie of backbench MP’s, a hapless and hopeless crew blinded by stupidity and consumed by petty-minded hobby horses.
Yes, it’s the obligatory EU-renegotiation blog post, seeing as Dave has unveiled a draft deal looking to be the climax of his 2015-16 European tour. And, as absolutely nobody foresaw, the thin gruel he’s come home with is getting talked up as an overgenerous banquet. So the headline grabbers are the minor changes for in-work social security for EU workers, a reduction in the level of child benefit, an exemption of the UK from ever-closer political integration (which no one was forcing on us anyway), and a recognition that Parliaments can club together to change EU rules. The way Dave and his cheerleaders carry on, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the whole show isn’t already run by the Council of Ministers, but I digress. Continue reading
While the contributions ring out in the House last night, Dave’s scheme for Syria has finally taken on some flesh. Well, that assertion is perhaps too generous. Vapours would be more accurate. But a plan of sorts exists, which is more than bombing for appearance’s sake, or bombing and hoping for the best.
Dave’s grand strategy got a full airing on Channel 4 News via his Philip Hammond appendage. Those 70,000 figments of his imagination have now assumed form. They comprise some 20,000 Kurds and 50,000 assorted moderates, apparently. The RAF’s unique capability to smash IS forces and installations accurately and without civilian casualties in the complete absence of reliable, on-the-ground intelligence is something this army needs if they’re to smash their way into Raqqa and liberate the town of the blight that befell them. Continue reading