This was first posted on Facebook on 17th September 2020, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
Just as a squib to start with:
Chris Grayling has been quietly replaced on the Security Committee, chaired by formerly-Tory MP Julian Lewis, and has taken on a part-time job, 7 hours a week “advising” Hutchison Ports Europe, for which he is to be paid £100,000 a year. Given Grayling’s track record it is just as well it’s only 7 hours a week, or it could cost Hutchison Ports Europe a lot more than a hundred grand.
And Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, has chosen to inform the nation of a regional lockdown via the Peston show on ITV, not via the House of Commons or even the daily coronacvirus briefing. (And Chris Whitty says it needs to be a national full lockdown for at least two weeks, but that of course that wouldn’t suit Johnson’s donors.) Lindsay Hoyle scolded the government for that breach last time it’s happened: now it’s happened again.
But this is politics as usual: it’s deadly, during a global pandemic, but it’s normal Tory stuff.
The Internal Market Bill passed Second Reading last night by 77 votes.
I couldn’t listen to all of the debate – I was working yesterday, having decided to take off Wednesday and Thursday as usual – for PMQs (Keir Starmer will be absent: he is self-isolating as one of his household has shown symptoms of coronavirus) and because Wednesday is the second day of the committee of the whole House examining the bill.
But I listened to enough of the debate, including Boris Johnson’s opening statement presenting the bill (and Ed Miliband’s strong rebuttal – Starmer picked him to sub in, and I have to say, he was terrific) to see very definitely two things.
This was first posted on Facebook on 19th July 2020, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
I’ve seen several people sharing an article by Nick Cohen on Boris Johnson. Nick Cohen is someone whose politics I pretty much entirely disagree with, except on Brexit.
Let me pull out this paragraph:
“Conservative politicians talk about Johnson with a venom few socialists can match. It’s not that he’s a criminal like Putin, they say. He doesn’t have the balls to be truly evil. Rather, he is a pathetically insecure narcissist who turns on you if you don’t feed his craving for applause. “He’s an abject, hectoring, incompetent show-off,” said one. “If you don’t love him or can’t fake a love for him, he will go for you.””
This was first posted on Facebook on 17th July 2020, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
I am on the Conservative Party’s mailing list to supporters. I’ve been on this list for years, as I find it occasionally useful to know what the Tories are telling their supporters.
Today, the news is that the party is asking its supporters to donate to support the re-election of a Conservative MP who was elected in December 2019 to a previously always-Labour constitutency, because “As a Party we are committed to ensuring every one of our new MPs can successfully defend their seats. That work must start now.”
This was first posted on Facebook on 15th September 2020, with support from my Ko-Fi network.
As of about 8 this evening, Boris Johnson has a 79-seat majority in the House of Commons.
This is not because a Tory MP has died or voted against the government.
This is, ultimately, because of the Russia Report.
To recap: the Intelligence and Security Committee of the UK Parliament was responsible for researching and publishing a report on Russian interference into the UK’s EU referendum in 2016. The report took years. It was completed – all security checks and clearances done, ready for the Prime Minister’s sign-off – in October 2019.