Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. The Johnson administration is a catastrophe. Rudderless, clueless, unprincipled and weak. The worst Prime Minister in living memory. Anyone who can turn Phillip Hammond into a hero and leave backbenchers misty eyed for the days of May is a genius. And with the great guiding intellect of Cummings running the show who hasn’t yet grasped the difference between Royal Consent and Royal Assent, what could go wrong? Well, just about everything. Unless the unelected Lords scupper it (oh, the irony) the no no deal bill is going to be on the statute book before prorogation. But an accommodation appears to have been made and the Bill comes back to the Commons on Monday. Beware, it’s a trick.
And yesterday at PMQs Corbyn looked worryingly Prime Ministerial. Labour’s de facto leader, Keir Starmer, is playing a blinder not to fall into Johnson’s elephant trap of an early election. There should be no hurry for an election simply because it doesn’t solve anything. Let him stew. The House makes life a misery for those it regards as a shit. And you can’t get much more copper bottomed in shittery than our Prime Minister. I would make him suffer. Floundering at every despatch box appearance, bumbling to political oblivion. Trying to wing it without wings.
Backbenchers are just beginning to realise that they have bought into a lie. The winner is a loser. The public will despise the sackings of decent people who have sacrificed their jobs and careers to stop an ideology which will damage the lives of their constituents. There will have to be a grudging U turn on this. But rebellion can be infectious and might just encourage Labour backbenchers to walk away from Corbyn. It is not impossible for there to be two new leaders by the time the election is called.
I imagine that Amber Rudd and Nicky Morgan are beginning to regret what they have done. They may jump ship as Jo Johnson has. The Saj looks as sick as a dog and was met without enthusiasm for his spaffing money against the wall spending Review. He can’t be filled with confidence when the pounds rallies after a government defeat in the House. Whoever Johnson is shagging at the moment she is not called Prudence.
So what will he do? Firstly, save his own skin even if it means chucking Cummings out with the bath water. Dom will be stilettoed by his own arrogance and strangled by the self delusion ihis own cleverness. MPs hate clever people and despise arrogance. But it won’t be enough. I will not forget the cold contempt that the house had for Mogg’s behaviour this week. Patronising, entitled, arrogant and condescending. And his languid drapery over the front bench was a disgrace. That photo will come back to haunt him and the Conservative Party. It sums up what many people think being Tory means. It is devastating. If he doesn’t learn a little humility he will have to go too.
And all these bright eyed people newly ensconced in their medium sized family saloons have stopped the ‘no ifs nor buts line’ it’s all about the chicken Corbyn not calling an election. They don’t believe it. Interviewers don’t believe it. And eventually the public won’t either.
So now the party line is clear. The Bill is a Corbyn surrender document, a sell out to Brussels. The man is a coward. This is so untrue as to be laughable. But sanity has finally left this administration. So has humanity, decency, compromise and tolerance. Johnson would be a bloody fool to call an election. And that’s our problem. He is.
So Labour must hold its nerve and not to be taunted into an Elephant trap election. And the Tory rebels (there will be more) stick to their guns. So prorogation won’t solve the problem. Nor will an election. But the splendid Iain Martin drew to my attention the last clause of the bill requires the Prime Minister to sign off the request for an extension of article. At the moment he intends to refuse. But does he need to there is no mention of this in article 50? This could bring him in contempt of Parliament. Like Dominic Cummings.
The Conservative Party Conference is going to be a bizarre affair. A freak show filled with hate venom and revenge. Ministers will say their set pieces and nobody will believe a word. The ghosts of the twenty one will hang in the air. There may be more by then. Yet those who have destroyed everything Conservatives hold dear strut around not just with impunity but revered. It is a revolting experience.
So what happens on the 1st November if we are still in the EU? As a matter of honour Johnson can’t possibly remain as Prime Minister. But he has no honour. But he is just beginning to realise that eventually lies catch you out. Or is he?
To see the way that good and decent men like Gauke, Clarke, and Soames have been treated is not humane, nor civilised nor Conservative. This is no longer my party. I cannot support it while this appalling man leads it. And I am not alone.