Parliament in Recess
Parliament rose for its summer recess on 20th July 2017 and is not due to sit again until 5th September 2017. Just a few days after Parliament returns, it rises again on 14th September 2017 for the Party Conferences. The Conservative Party Conference is to take place in Manchester from 1st to 4th October 2017. Most MP’s, including the Wicked Witch of Westminster (aka Teresa May), are taking their summer holidays now.
The Wicked Witch has been seen walking around Desenzano del Garda in Northern Italy with her husband and wearing a dreadful pink shirt dress (said to be on sale in Next shops for £26) and roundly slated by the Daily Mail’s Fashion Editor in an article still to be found on Press Reader: “Oh Dear, Teresa!“.
But the Wicked Witch might have her mind on other things – such as whether she will still be in office for the Conservative Party Conference and, if so, how the hell she is going to get us all out of the mess the Referendum has created.
Do the Tories have confidence in the Wicked Witch ?
On 23rd July 2017, the Independent had this: “Fifteen Tory MPs ‘to sign Theresa May no confidence letter‘”. But, as the article pointed out, 40 signatures are required to trigger a leadership contest.
The problem for the Conservative Party is that Party members (as opposed to MP’s) have been brainwashed for so long by advocates of Brexit that 80% of them say they voted leave in the Brexit Referendum. The Wicked Witch’s predecessor, David Cameron thought he could win the Referendum vote. He failed and left it to May to try and sort out the mess.
The public at large do not have blind support for Brexit at all costs. Fanatic Brexiteers such as David Davis, Liam Fox or Clown Boris would be unlikely to win an election.
On 25th July 2017, the Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, had this in the
Torygraph Telegraph “Sir Michael Fallon: Theresa May has the support of the Cabinet ‘at the moment'(£)“.
“At the moment”! – a polite way of saying that the knives are being sharpened.
Current Brexit Issues
Also on 25th July 2017 The New Statesman had this piece by Stephen Bush: “The promises of Brexit can’t be kept. You can only decide which bits to betray – Vote Leave’s great success was in presenting a menu of contradictory options as if they could all be secured“.
This is a perceptive analysis and it comes to the right conclusion:-
“You cannot have a Brexit that unlocks trade deals with India and the rest of the BRICS (five major emerging national economies) and reduce the uncontrolled flow of people from elsewhere around the world to the UK.
You can’t have a more generously-funded public realm and pursue a Brexit that makes everyone poorer. You have to choose“.
On the same day, the New Statesman also had this by its perceptive Political Editor George Eaton: “What price would the UK pay to stop Brexit?“. Now that Article 50 has been invoked, stopping the process is not so easy.
On 22nd July 2017 the
Torygraph Telegraph had this: “Lib Dem and Labour plot to delay Great Repeal Bill ‘could be the thing that does it for Theresa May'(£)”
Also on 25th July 2017, the
Torygraph Telegraph, once (but regrettably no longer) a firm supporter of the Conservative Party also had this moan from the odious Nigel Farage: “The great Brexit betrayal has begun. The Tories have sold out the British people – now even Jeremy Corbyn has a tougher stance (£)“.
Actually, as this Times article makes clear, that is not yet quite true: “Fight to keep Britain in single market, unions urge Corbyn“.
One is forced to wonder whether the change of ownership of the Telegraph (it is now controlled by the Barclay Brothers) impacts on the newspaper’s stance on Brexit.
Writing in the Guardian on April 4th this year, George Monbiot wrote this: “Freeing up the rich to exploit the poor – that’s what Trump and Brexit are about – A bonfire of public protections is being lit in Britain and in the United States – and the beneficiaries of it will be the very rich“.
Today, 30th July 2017, the Independent has this: “Brexit: Cabinet splits emerge over Philip Hammond’s plan for transitional deal – It comes after Mr Hammond claimed there was a ‘broad acceptance’ at Cabinet level for many of the current arrangements with the EU remaining ‘very similar’ for a period lasting three years“.
May’s Away and The Brexit Clowns Play
Today the Guardian’s Sunday sister, the Observer, has this: “While May’s away: Hammond leads cabinet reshuffle on Brexit policy – Announcements by Amber Rudd and the chancellor, notably that of a three-year transition deal, mark a significant development in EU policy“. It is, however, yet to be seen how that that might work.
Meanwhile, Clown Boris has gone off to the Antipodes where he has been pontificating in the Sydney Morning Herald: “Boris Johnson: Britain to seek stronger ties with Australia after Brexit“. That has not stopped his surrogates – today the
Torygraph Telegraph has this: “Boris Johnson’s ally attacks Philip Hammond’s plan which could see thousands of EU citizens move to Britain after Brexit(£)“.
Meanwhile, Clown Liam Fox has been in the USA talking about a possible post Brexit trade deal. Obviously this can only be a talk about talks since EU law prohibits the negotiation of trade deals until after the UK has left the EU. The Express has this : “‘What armageddon?’ Liam Fox tears into Brexit scaremongers and hails future of US-UK trade – LIAM Fox has hailed the start of a “new and exciting chapter” in UK-US trade and hit out at Brexit scaremongers during a speech in Washington this lunchtime“.
This event was held at the American Enterprise Institute (“the AEI”) which has a video of Fox’s address on line: “The future of UK trade policy: Remarks from the Right Honorable Liam Fox MP, UK Secretary of State for International Trade“.
But see this assessment of the AEI on Source Watch: “The American Enterprise Institute”
“The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) is an influential right-wing think tank that advocates for lower taxes, fewer protections for consumers and the environment, and cuts to the social safety net. AEI describes itself as “committed to expanding liberty, increasing individual opportunity, and strengthening free enterprise.”
In other words the AIE (funded by the extreme right) is committed to soaking the poor for the benefit of the rich. Precisely the sort of philosophy which appeals to Trump and to the Brexit Clowns. Just the right sort of place for Clown Fox.
But, of course, no-one can say whether the Trump administration will still be in office at the time of Brexit. The New Yorker has this by Andrew Sullivan: “A Week of Reckoning” which makes this point about Mr Trump (aka Mr Toad): “We have become, at this point, inured to having an irrational president in an increasingly post-rational America. We’ve also come to tell ourselves that somehow (a) this isn’t really happening, (b) by some miracle, it will be over soon, or (c) at some point the Republican Party will have to acknowledge what they are abetting, and cut their losses. And yet with each particular breach of decency, stability, and constitutionality, no breaking point seems to have arrived, even as the tribalism has deepened, the president’s madness has metastasized, and the norms of liberal democracy are hanging on by a thread. But surely this week must mark some kind of moment in this vertiginous descent, some point at which the manifest unfitness of this president to continue in office becomes impossible to deny.”
In other words, Clown Fox may be wasting his time – some other Administration may be in charge by the time the UK leaves the EU, if, indeed, it does.
There may be few further posts between now and September. An August holiday in Europe beckons.
30th July 2017