In a time where next to no-one is satisfied with the way that our politics is being carried out, last night’s debate carried the extra burden of being practically irrelevant.
The vast majority of the Tory membership, who, lest we forget, are solely responsible for choosing either Jeremy Hunt or Boris Johnson to become the next Prime Minister, have already received their ballot cards.
Indeed, there have been scores of joyous tweets from MPs and prominent Tories with a picture of their ballot with a big cross next to their preferred candidate’s name.
It’s usually next to Johnson’s. In truth, he’s almost certainly won already.
Yet last night’s debate was still interesting, not least because Hunt, given the chance, landed some heavy blows on old Bozza – hardly surprising, therefore, that the Johnson campaign refused to let him out in public too often.
Set against a backdrop of diplomatic turmoil, the debate proved to be tasty viewing.
Over the course of the Tory leadership contest, perhaps the most remarkable thing is how little the candidates appear to have changed over the last few weeks.
While Hunt was certainly more aggressive last night, he still remains the steady Eddie – a safe pair of hands compared to Johnson’s hands, which are gloved by giant foam fingers that are also on fire.
Look, it was another unedifying evening for the two candidates, with cheap point-scoring and attempts to drown each other out making the whole thing quite sordid. But the major talking points were as follows:
- Johnson pledged his commitment to leaving the EU on October 31st again. Hunt was less committal, but…
- Hunt’s rhetoric focussed again on being the candidate that speaks the truth, not just what you want to hear.
- And Boris, as per, gave some pretty spurious statements:
- He said a solution for the Irish border could be found during the implementation period if it wasn’t resolved by October 31st. There is no implementation period in the case of a no-deal Brexit.
- He blamed the Iranian government for the detention of Nazanin Zughari-Ratcliffe, despite his words being used as evidence to extend her prison sentence;
- And, perhaps most strikingly, he refused to defend the British ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch…
Which leads neatly onto the other major news story. Let’s be honest, the debate needs no further coverage.
Donald Trump, probably sat on the loo, used his fat little fingers to take aim at the United Kingdom over the last couple of days because one of our ambassadors called him thick.
What a glorious sentence that was to write.
Sir Kim Darroch, the UK’s ambassador to the US, has found himself thrust into the spotlight this week, after private memos written to staff were leaked to Isabel Oakeshott, a journalist with close ties to Aaron Banks, Nigel Farage and UK’s hard-right factions.
In these memos, Darroch essentially described Trump as something of a moron, and not in many more words than that either. There is a legitimate argument to say that these memos were advisory, explaining to other diplomatic officials that in order to communicate effectively with the President, you had to “dumb it down a little.”
This kind of stuff is important in maintaining the fine balancing act of diplomacy – making sure your colleagues are armed and ready is paramount to continuing strong relationships.
Plus, basically all of the US media bar Fox News thinks Trump is a colossal moron too, so it’s hardly a huge secret.
However, Trump has taken some umbrage with this, as the colossal moron is prone to do. He has also used it as a springboard to launch into a scathing attack on Theresa May’s handling of the Brexit negotiations.
I know that I have written extensively about how terrible those negotiations were, but still, I’m a British citizen. Donald Trump is an American block of lard that’s been left in the sun and sat on by a mangy dog.
Quit attacking Theresa, Donald, that’s my job. And I hear you don’t like foreigners coming over and doing your job for you.
To summarise the major takeaways from Trump’s tirade:
- He has said he will refuse to ‘deal with’ the ambassador (take with a pinch of salt);
- He called the ambassador a ‘wacky… very stupid guy‘ (which has now overtaken “spunk trumpet” as my favourite insult ever);
- He called Brexit a mess (fair enough tbh lol);
- He said it was a good thing we’ll soon have a new Prime Minister (have you watched any of the debates, Donald?);
- “It was the Queen who [he] was most impressed with!”
If I was the Queen, I’d be training the corgis to go for the balls in preparation for his next visit.
The whole situation is beyond parody, made worse by Johnson’s refusal to back Darroch despite the leaks being of private memos. Additionally, Darroch retires at Christmas – it’s only 6 months, Boris!
What happens next is anyone’s guess. But those who believe that we’ll be best friends with the US post-Brexit might be starting to second-guess themselves…
Finally, Good News For Labour!
LOL, just kidding. In brief, yesterday:
- Corbyn received backlash for saying that Labour’s stance on Brexit is to back Remain in the face of a Tory Brexit, but would fight for an orderly Brexit if they were in power. Which clarifies absolutely nothing. Again.
- Three Labour peers (members of the House of Lords) have resigned from the party due to the antisemitism scandal. This comes the day before tonight’s Panorama report about antisemitism in the party, and the party being under formal investigation by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Our politics is broken. I hope we kept the warranty.
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