This was first posted on Facebook on 31st October 2019, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
On General Election 2019, 12th December – Register to vote: encourage everyone you know who has a right to vote to get registered.
Tactical voting in my view is a matter of personal conscience. If you decide to vote tactically in order to ensure the worst are kicked out or the least-bad get in, that’s as much a right as the right to vote, in a FPTP system: it can be gamed and it’s your right to try to game it in the direction you want – or to refuse to do so and to cast your vote for the candidate/party you actually want to win. I have no criticism or judgement to make either way – I think both are valid choices and you should do what feels right to you.
That said: If you’re going to simply vote for the candidate/party you want to win, you don’t need advice from anyone else in figuring out who that is.
This was first posted on Facebook on 1st October 2019, with support from my Ko-Fi network.Tomorrow is Boris Johnson’s first PMQ since he unlawfully attempted to prorogue Parliament.
However, rather than handle PMQ himself, Boris Johnson has told off Dominic Raab, the former Brexit Secretary, now the Foreign Secretary, to take PMQ for him: Johnson plans to enjoy the last day of the Tory conference and give the closing speech, not be bothered with questions from Jeremy Corbyn and Ian Blackford.
When Boris Johnson was Mayor of London, he appointed multiple deputy Mayors to do his work for him. This looks like more of the same.
This was first posted on Facebook on 25th September 2019, with support from my Ko-Fi network. Geoffrey Cox, the Attorney General, who advised Boris Johnson that proroguing Parliament for 5 weeks was legal, had a momentary fit of wtfitis in the Commons today:
I would agree with him that parliament has to determine the terms on which we leave, but this parliament has declined three times to pass a withdrawal act, with which the opposition – in relation to the withdrawal act – had absolutely no objection.
This was first posted on Facebook on 5th September 2019, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
I stayed up til after 1am last night listening to the House of Lords debate the No-to-No-Deal-Brexit bill.
(The last time I did this it was when the Lords were debating equal marriage.)
There was a group of less than a hundred peers who were trying to prevent the bill passing – effectively, a filibuster. Endless references to “Lord True’s manuscript amendment G-9-c-x-zzzzz.”
Something over two hundred peers stayed from 3pm til after 1am consistently voting down the amendments proposed by the Brexiter peers. I was impressed by their tenacity and endurance.
This was first posted on Facebook on 29th August 2019.
Boris Johnson will prorogue Parliament from the 2nd week in September – week beginning 9th September – to 14th October: Queen’s Speech 14th October. Continue reading
In November 2017, I wrote that the idea of having a second EU referendum was a “superficially-attractive option with very high stakes”.
So it still is, and I stand by everything I wrote a year ago about the risks and dangers of a second referendum: including the risk that Leave might still win.
We do know a lot more now about how the Leave campaign unlawfully gathered data uon UK voters, how they used that data to target adverts on Facebook, and how they illegally overspent the limits set by the Electoral Commission.
Can the UK have a general election before we leave the EU on 29th March 2019?
The UK must have a general election again on Thursday 2nd June 2022.
The only way in which the UK can have a general election before then, is if either two-thirds of the MPs in the House of Commons vote for it (433 MPs, give or take a few Sinn Féin) or if the government loses two votes of confidence, a fortnight apart.
Current state of the parties in the Commons:
May’s deal was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of the Deal’s burial was signed by the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council, by France, Sweden, Spain and Belgium, by the Chairman of the European Research Group, and the chief mourner. Leo Varadkar signed it: and Leo Varadkar’s name was good upon Fine Gael, for anything he chose to put his hand to. May’s deal was as dead as a door-nail.
Theresa May’s deal is the EU’s deal.
Our three choices before 29th March 2019 are
- May’s deal, which is bad
- No-deal Brexit, which is catastrophic
- or Remain in the EU
Theresa May won her vote of confidence 200-117 and is off to meet with the EU Commission, still Prime Minister – though having lost the confidence of nearly one-third of her MPs.
So, where are we now?
The deal the EU negotiated for Theresa May is the only deal they’ll accept. The EU have, jointly and severally, made that clear. Any talk of changes to the deal is uninformed rubbish. At this point in time, the House of Commons has three choices:
- To ratify May’s deal and leave the EU on 29th March 2019
- To refuse May’s deal and leave the EU catastrophically on 29th March 2019
- To revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU
For many MPs, the fact that they have no ability to move the EU to a better deal is too unpalatable to be comprehended.
Last night Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 Committee, counted 48 letters in his cupboard and let Theresa May know she’d have a leadership challenge this week. This morning he let the world know.
The system for Tories who want rid of their leader is primarily in the hands of MPs. If one-sixth of the Conservative backbenchers have written a letter of no-confidence in their leader to the chair of the 1922 Committee, a vote of no-confidence is called: if the leader wins that vote, they can’t be challenged again for another year: if they lose that vote, there is a leadership election in which the current leader cannot stand, voted on by Tory MPs only until only two candidates are left standing: the Tory membership then gets to vote on the last two candidates.
Tonight, 315 Tory MPs will get to have a second vote to see if they’ve changed their minds since 2016. (Most of them have been arguing that we shouldn’t get to have a second vote to see if we have.)