LABOUR-IOUS PROCESS : The Leadership Race Candidates


Cheeky Nandy’s or KeirFC?

The final five candidates for the Labour leadership race are now confirmed. Not only that, but the window for registering as a Labour supporter is now open, too! This means that for the paltry fee of £25, you can vote for its next leader.

The window closes at 5pm on Thursday. Yes, it’s just a 48-hour window. Politics is for everyone, and all that.

Anyway. Given my recent affiliations with a certain orangey/goldy party, I’m not allowed to register. But any normal voter, unregistered to other parties, is welcome to get involved with the Labour election process!

And if you can afford to, I would heartily recommend you get involved.

We’ve got Prime Minister Burrs Jernsern for 5 years, barring a colossal cock-up. But forming a strong, competent opposition is still vitally important to democracy – holding governments to account is a cornerstone of our political system.

If Corbyn had been able to put up a front that was half as unified Noel and Liam Gallagher he may well have beaten the Tories.

Instead, his ineptitude led to a Tory landslide. A principled man, but an abysmal leader. Poka-poka, comrade.

Anyway. Should you want to be a part of the process, or are simply just interested, you’ll probably want to know who the candidates are, won’t you?

Well then. Let’s find out.


Sir Keir Starmer

In the last shadow government, Sir Keir was a prominent anti-Brexit campaigner – somewhat ironic, given his position as shadow Brexit secretary under a leader who was hardly pro-Remain.

A measured man, he is far more centre-left than Corbyn. Not quite as centrist as Blair, but there are echos of Big Tony with old Keir. His knighthood was awarded for his services to law and criminal justice – he was a prominent human rights lawyer and former Head of the Crown Prosecution Service.

He also prefers not to be called “Sir.” Understandably.

Starmer is currently the outrunner by a considerable margin in terms of support within the Labour party. He stands an excellent chance of winning, and would be a sensible choice to steady the extremely wobbly, half-sunk ship.

But he might not quite have the charisma to take down Johnson at the dispatch box in PMQs. That might not be a bad thing, however – if the Johnson government is half as chaotic as early signs suggest it might be, a calm opponent might start to look very alluring by 2024.

The most likely winner. Cool, calm, collected, he could be just what the Labour party needs.

OFFICIAL BTL RATING: 4/5


Rebecca Long-Bailey

Rebecca Long-Bailey has been something of a dark-horse, emerging out of nowhere to become the darling of the Corbynistas. A strong proponent of the hard-left policies of the last Labour leadership team, she has been dubbed “Continuity Corbyn.”

This is perhaps a touch unfair – she doesn’t have the CND, 1970s Marxist background of her predecessor, having been a solicitor before becoming an MP.

Long-Bailey’s meteoric rise has come through support of the unions and other traditional left-wing support bases, so despite her relative lack of experience, she’s definitely popular.

But is she popular enough with the Labour mainstream? She recently gave Corbyn’s leadership a slightly surprising (i.e. absolutely mental) 10/10, which is hardly going to endear her to the Labour die-hards who have seen their safe seats turn blue. She’s also not the most engaging of personalities – it’s hard to see where she could beat Bumbag Jumblesale in terms of charisma.

She’s basically the only hard-left candidate, which will stand her in reasonable stead within the party. Whether or not the entire Labour party is prepared to have one last stab at socialism, which has left them decimated, is another thing altogether.

BTL RATING: 3/5


Emily Thornberry

Emily Thornberry came to my attention through this video.

Oof.

And my love affair with Emily started from there. An unashamed critic of Corbyn’s, Thornberry was a prominent campaigner and organiser of the People’s Vote campaign. At every turn, she was more than happy to throw her leader’s Brexit policy under the bus in favour of being staunchly pro-EU.

As Shadow Foreign Secretary, no less.

She’s also bloody hilarious, and would easily sidestep a lot of Johnson’s bluster in the House of Commons. It would be something of a vaudeville act, but fun nonetheless.

She’s also another former lawyer, and married to a Sir herself – she could be Lady Nugee if she wanted to (which itself sounds like a rather endearing euphemism).

But therein lies her problem – Thornberry is unashamedly centrist, and often accused of being too posh for the Labour party. She’s not popular with the unions, the left of the party, or, seemingly, that many MPs – she had a surprisingly low number of nominations.

And so, as fun as it would be, she’s unlikely to win. She’ll almost certainly be a cabinet minister – I, for one, hope she remains Foreign Secretary. Imagine her and Donald Trump meeting.

We can only dream.

BTL RATING: 2/5 (but 5/5 for the bants)

Watch until 0:23

Jess Phillips

I cannot tell you how much I adore Jess Phillips.

Another centrist Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, it’s hard to remember a politician who fights so hard for both her constituents and what she believes in.

She doesn’t look, sound or act like a politician, but that’s why she’s so bloody brilliant.

Take, for instance, this little story. When Jeremy Corbyn appointed his shadow cabinet in 2015, Phillips challenged Diane Abbott to explain why he hadn’t given any of the major offices to women. Abbott accused her of being sanctimonious.

Phillips told her to fuck off.

When asked what Abbott did after that suggestion, Phillips told a reporter, “She fucked off.”

Lovely stuff.

She’s an ardent Remainer, despite being in a Leave seat, and yet still has a huge majority – that’s how much her consituents believe in her. She is a passionate feminist campaigner, and a brilliant orator, too. She takes zero prisoners.

She’s passionate. She’s a true advocate for the people. She’s brilliant.

But she won’t win. She doesn’t have the support of the hard-left, and as wonderful as her passion is, it often doesn’t win her many favours across her party. Her allies are fiercely loyal to her, but I don’t think she can win.

And I don’t think she should yet, either.

If Jess can be in the shadow government for the next five years, keep fighting the good fight and channel her energies ever so slightly into becoming more statesmanlike, she could end up being one for the future.

BTL RATING: 2/5 but with bags of potential


LISA NANDY

Who?

Oh.

…Who?

I’m not going to lie, Lisa “Cheeky” Nandy has come out of nowhere for this leadership race. As MP for Wigan, she struck me as competent, capable, but not really leadership material.

And yet she’s received more nominations than Jess Phillips, and only 2 fewer than Long-Bailey.

Nandy also secured the backing of the National Union of Mineworkers, a persuasive force in the left-wing of the party. Her passion for reigniting town centres has also struck a chord with some members of the electorate, and has sparked some truly excellent memes.

I’m not sure what to say about Nandy, as being a candidate with little previous fame is not a bad thing in this election.

Keep an eye on this one. The Rando Cardrissian of Labour’s Leadership Race (one for you Cards Against Humanity Fans).

BTL RATING: ?/5


LOTO FUN

LOTO being Leader of the Opposition. Politics nerd wordplay banter.

…How am I not single?

Anyway, these are the candidates for leader of the Labour party. One of these five will be tasked with trying to hold a romping Johnson government in check.

No small task. But all of them, in their own ways, are competent, engaging and exciting.

And that, alone, makes any of them better than the mess that Corbyn leaves in his wake.

WABSOLUTE CERTAINTY – Brexit Bill Passed, Here Comes The Fun Part

And, with the smallest of whimpers of protest, that was that. Brexit, it is confirmed, is happening on the 31st of January.

With Johnson’s huge, throbbing electoral majority, Brexit was always going to pass through Parliament. That’s what the General Election was, after all – the Tories seeking a mandate for Brexit. And my goodness me, they got it.

This week, it was set in stone. The Withdrawal Agreement Bill, or WAB, the legislative bellend that proved so impossibly hard for Theresa May to pass, was brought back to Parliament for a final time.

It got a majority of 99. By law, Brexit will now happen.

So, that’s that then. Brexit happens at the end of the month, the people get what they want, Britain becomes opened up to a world of opportunity, and we all march off into the sunset, right?

Sure. And I’m going to live to 120 and headline Glastonbury 2025.


#Dab4DaWAB

Unfortunately for those as fascinated by politics as me, we’re about to return to normality. The last year, especially, has been absolutely bloody bonkers, with every Parliamentary vote on a knife-edge and a real mystery as to who will win.

Our political system isn’t meant to be like that. At all. In the months before the General Election, our politics was like a hippopotamus on LSD – unpredictable, a bit dangerous, but bloody good fun to watch.

Now, though, Parliament is back to normal – an old goat in a field, plodding about, keeping the grass short, predictable yet quirky.

Our system is built for one party to have a majority, like Johnson does now. He and the Tories can do whatever they want, unopposed, for the next five years. Then, at the next election, we can look back at what they’ve achieved (or haven’t achieved) and decide to stick or twist…

Yesterday’s vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill is a perfect example of this – in a hung Parliament, May was unable to get the numbers to pass the Bill. Within her own ranks, there were enough mutineers (e.g. even bigger bellends) that disagreed with her version of Brexit.

No more though. Even if Johnson had suffered any traitors (he didn’t), he would still have passed it comfortably.

The ERG have fallen into line because they have no power anymore (they’re not needed for a majority), the hardline anti-Brexiteers have either changed their tunes or been turfed out and lost their seats, and the Opposition is a shambles.

Johnson’s power is absolute. All hail Johnson, etc.

And yet…


Jozzly Bob Can Still Cock It Up

I know I’ve spoken about this already. In short, my point is that Brexit could be such an absolute shitshow that the whole thing could backfire, massively.

But it’s worth noting that Johnson, so far, has taken absolute control over the story. Was the WAB being passed front-page news?

Was it balls – leave that to the star cross’d lovers, Harry and Meghan, who are bowing out from front-line Royal Duty because our press is sickening.

Anyway, back to my point – the WAB was nowhere to be seen, and nor was politics.

The Tories have quietly removed some of the rights of EU citizens since their getting into power, and, sadly, this is where we’re at now – Johnson controlling the story, very little accountability in the press, and pretty hard-right policies flying under the radar.

All we can do is take note, measure their policies, and hold them to account when it all fails miserably.


Next Week

We’re not quite sure what our quality/quantity output will be here at BTL Towers. A new dawn of politics means a different kind of urgency, and one that also screams “PLEASE GOD, NO MORE POLITICS, WE CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE.”

BTL will still be here, but the frequency might change a touch. We will, of course, keep you abreast of any changes.

Godspeed, readers. Have a lovely weekend and brace yourselves.

Brexit, at long last, is coming. And it is inevitable.

And it’s still a stupid bloody idea.

ALL-OUT WAR : US vs Iran, Centre-Left vs. Socialism

For Christ’s sake.

Week one. Week one of the new decade and Donald Trump has already pissed in the water cooler. Happy New Year to you too, you bastard.

In case you missed it, just two short days after the turn of the year, #WWIII was trending on Twitter. The US executed a drone strike on an Iranian general in Iraq, killing him and other Iranian and Iraqi officials.

And the shit has hit the fan, splattered around the room, and is now festering into a big, shitty nightmare.

We’re in the fun position of having arguably the worst ever start to a decade in terms of world peace. #2020, woo.

But there are interesting developments closer to home, too. The Labour leadership race is now in full swing – it appears to be a straight-up battle between continuity-Corbyn candidates and moderate, centrist-types.

While one conflict is arguably more pressing (and possibly catastrophic), whoever becomes Leader of the Opposition is also the one who will go mano-e-mano with Boro Jojo.

So. What to make of our illustrious start to the decade?


WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE

No, we’re not. Simmer down.

General Qasem Soleimani was killed by a Trump-sanctioned drone strike last Friday. Rather than throwing a match into a tinder-box, this is more like throwing a hand grenade into a Lynx factory: far more combustible, and profoundly whiffy.

Iran has responded furiously, promising vengeance against the US and its allies (gulp). Iraq has also been extremely critical of the move and, to be fair, they know a fair bit about US interventionism.

Retaliating to the retaliation, Trump has regularly tweeted about how big his arsenal is, and how ready he is to use it.

Because, if there’s one thing we know about Trump, he’s definitely compensating for something. And it’s not his tiny hands.

Which ties into the first question: why did this happen?


Answer: Because Trump Has a Tiny Penis

Soleimani was essentially the right-hand man to the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s ruler. If timed correctly, claiming his scalp could have been a profound victory for Trump, much like a bin Laden or Hussein affair. Instead, it reeks of an impeached President trying to look tough ahead of an election this year.

Essentially, he’s trying to improve both his chances in both elections and erections.

US-Iranian diplomacy has recently been about as friendly as an after-work tipple with Philip Schofield and Amanda Holden. But it wasn’t always this way.

One of Obama’s finest legacies was his hard-fought deal with Iran that stopped their nuclear weapon development programme in return for lifted sanctions. It stabilised the region, stopped an unpredictable nation from gaining nuclear power, and was a masterclass in negotiation and diplomacy.

But because Donald Trump has a severe trouser deficiency and is a caricature of insecurity, he tore the whole thing up when he became President. Any success of Obama’s was to be covered in dog dirt, put in a bag, set on fire, then covered in dog dirt again for good measure.

That led to Iran being understandably suspicious of the US again. And, over the following years, Trump’s braggadocio on Twitter only riled the Iranians further.

With the region in flux once again, a protest broke out at the US Embassy in Iraq over New Year. The protestors broke in and caused considerable damage – all of which was not lost on Trump.

As such, when he received the intel that he could take out one of Iran’s top generals, and a man lauded for killing Western troops, he jumped at the chance, without consulting any of his allies.

Because, and I cannot stress this enough, he is a massive jeb-end.


So… Do We Need To Worry?

Well, there’s definite cause for concern for UK troops and citizens in the Middle East. Iran has a lot of clout in the region and operatives across the continent, and service personnel will probably be their first target for retaliation.

But will this lead to #WWIII? No, almost certainly not.

Unlike Trump and his tiny penis, the rest of the international community has moved swiftly to deescalate the situation. Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, and other EU leaders have all phoned their Iranian counterparts to try and ease the tension. Even our very own Boris Johnson has popped up from his sun lounger on his £20k-a-week holibobs to try to calm things down.

Additionally, if Iran were to go full-on bonkers with their revenge and target civilians, they would end up hopelessly outgunned, without the moral high-ground, and open to all manner of sanctions. Iran’s previous acts of subterfuge against the West have been carefully planned to be deniable, using splinter groups or factional tribes to strike.

Any change to that strategy would be catastrophic for them.

So no, you don’t need to start buying baked beans by the pallet and building lead-lined bunkers. It’s all going to be fine (ish).


And What Of Labour?

Aha! Glad you asked.

As per last year’s Tory Leadership Contest, Between the Lines will go through every candidate individually and tell you what you need to know about them. This will happen over the next couple of weeks.

The new leader will be selected on April the 4th. Until then, expect to see the Corbyn diehards try to do everything in their power to keep Labour a far-left party, despite their absolute spanking in the election.

Because, so far, the frontrunner in the race is Sir Keir Starmer, who is essentially Tony Blair for the 2020s.

It should be quite fun, but remember: this leader will be in Opposition for five years (barring a colossal Johnson clusterfunk). For the considerable future, we’re in the hands of Bonky Jong.

Who, despite the crisis with Iran, has still not come back from his holidays.

…Leaving Dominic Raab in charge.

Maybe we are all doomed.

HINDSIGHT IS 2020 – We’re Back, Baby

I was stood four feet away from the Liberal Democrats’ campaign director as the exit poll was announced.

The language used wasn’t what you’d normally associate with the soft, fuzzy, sandal-wearing Lib Dems.

Yes, dear reader, this general election was to politics what the Cats film has been to culture.

And I am truly sorry that I wasn’t here to write about it. I loved my time with the Lib Dems, despite the godawful result, but I missed writing for Between the Lines more than I can say.

And here we are – a thumping Tory majority, five years of Prime Minister Boris Johnson (at least), the opposition in disarray and Brexit done and dusted.

All of the above is pretty bleak.

But. But buttety butt butt butt.

There is cause for optimism. 2020 might not be a stellar year for politics, but the following ones might be. Here are three reasons to go into the new decade (oh my god I was 18 in 2009) with some cause for cheer.


1: It Could Still Go Tits-Up (Short-Term)

Since the General Election, Prime Minister Bonky Jong has decided that any extension to the negotiating period is a major no-no.

So much so that he is going to enshrine, in law, that we leave the EU by December 2020. A negotiation that would take a small country years is going to take us 11 months, supposedly.

Despite the ghosts of EU diplomats past, present and future all telling him he’s a fool for thinking this can be done, the Johnson train chuffs on. We have the ability to extend these negotiations for two years if we want – all we have to do is say we want to before July.

But no. We are Britain, you see. The EU needs us more than we need them, we’re in a far stronger negotiating position, we won two World Wars for them etc, etc, etc.

And what happens if we fail to negotiate a full, workable trade deal with the world’s largest trading bloc in less than a year?

A no-deal Brexit.

I would like to think that most politicians would encourage this not to happen on account of their not being lobotomised. But, unfortunately, the general consensus is that the new Tory MPs who “broke down the Red Wall” tend to lean towards “BREXIT AT ALL COSTS” rather than “pragmatic and forward-thinking fiscal responsibility.”

So a no-deal Brexit is now extremely likely again, with no ability to stop it in Parliament. But this brings me on to point two.


2: It Could Still Go Tits-Up (Long-Term)… and the Tories Have Nowhere to Hide

I hate Brexit. I hate everything it stands for. But the thing I hate about it most is that the people who voted for it are the ones who are most likely going to get shafted by it.

I take no revelry, whatsoever, in the idea that I might be “proved right” over the next few years. I swear on my father’s grave that I hope, with every fibre of my being, that I have been wrong all along.

I wish Brexit is a great success, it gives optimism and money back to local communities, and that the vulnerable are looked after. Our country needs a lift, and if Brexit does that then I will happily concede that I done goofed.

I don’t think it will though. And, when the real effects of Brexit are revealed, who will be blamed, now that Johnson has his majority?

Us Remoaner commentators? We were defeated, indisputably.

The “anti-democratic Parliamentary bloc”? Largely gone.

The “anti-Brexit” Speaker? Gone, confined to the annnuls of history as a funny little man who shouted a lot (but I think will be remembered fondly, eventually).

This is the first Tory majority government since David Cameron’s second term. In that majority government he called, and lost, the referendum.

Now, in this majority government, they have to own it.

The sunlit uplands. The Great Britain, free from the dastardly EU’s regulations on bent bananas. The proud, brilliant Britain (minus Scotland, probably), setting out its stall as an aspirational world power.

It all belongs to Boris Johnson.

No-one else. No-one else to hide behind, no-one else to sack, no-one else to blame. The proverbial buck stops, firmly, with him.

And if Brexit doesn’t fix the economy or provide jobs in the North…

Well, the artist-formally-known-as-the-Red Wall won’t be fooled no more. Nor will the rest of the country.

Brexit, under Johnson, might just destroy the Tories once and for all. You can win an election on lies, but you can only rule so far on them.

Especially when…


3: People Are Starting to Realise That Social Media (and Some Print Media) Is Horse Shit

The Tory social media campaign was an absolute masterclass.

It tapped into what social media is, at its core, when referring to politics: forget ‘information’, win ’emotion’.

I have written before about the fact that I think that Dominic Cummings thinks he is far cleverer than he is. I still believe that, largely because his plans have the longevity of a candle thrown into a volcano.

But my God. You have to doff your cap to his sheer callousness, and his adherence to realpolitik.

Tell them what they want to hear and they’ll believe you.” That concept, and Jeremy Corbyn, won the election.

That CCHQ changed their Twitter handle to “Fact-Check UK” during the televised debate was one of the most abhorrent abuses of political responsibility I have ever seen.

But it bloody worked.

But it was an exception, I think. Can it work again? Can this level of misinformation and deception really continue?

Only if we stop it.

We must ensure that the Tories’ election promises, and Brexit promises, are held to account. Day in, day out.


So What Do I Do?

You challenge every last damn thing you read on Facebook.

You challenge every last damn thing you read in the papers, too.

You look at the policies that this Conservative government enacts, and you judge them on those criteria alone (and I’ll be right here to walk you through them, good and bad).

You accept this majority, you understand that Brexit will happen, and you hope to the sweet Baby Jesus and the Orphans that it is the roaring success we’re told it will be.

I truly hope that it is: I only want what’s best for our country.

But if it isn’t; if everything in the Tory manifesto was a lie; if Brexit is a failure; if more people end up homeless on our streets; if more and more funds are siphoned out of the NHS, our towns, and our culture; if our media refuse to acknowledge the damage done to our northern towns and cities; and Brexit is an unmitigated disaster, then… well…

2024 could be an interesting election.

But until then, I’ll be here to run you through the carnage that Bozzle Konks leaves in his wake.

Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve, and I’ll be back with Parliament.

SUFFER FOR YOUR SUFFRAGE : Why Voting Is Vital, Despite The Misery


Hello everyone. For one night only, I’m back.

Well, that’s not strictly true. As of next Tuesday, I’ll be on hand to analyse, scrutinise and satirise all that comes after this waking nightmare of an election.

But here’s the kicker – we really don’t know what comes next.

Large swathes of the media would have you believe that the Tories have it in the bag. Other corners are saying they don’t.

The most advanced opinion polling ever says the Tories will get a majority. But that majority is shrinking by the day, and opinion polls are famously about as reliable as a bus driver who’s also a dog.

Also, many seats are so tight that they can’t be predicted with a huge degree of accuracy, meaning the forecasts could be totally wrong.

So yes. It’s tight. Tighter than that single, unremovable nut that’s on every piece of IKEA furniture you want to dismantle.

This is why, in this election more than any other, your vote counts.


TAKE ME, O DEATH

I know. This campaign has been absolutely devoid of optimism. The two potential candidates for Prime Minister are appallingly unfit for office.

The first is a misogynistic, albino Furby with daddy issues. Boris Johnson is blowing the dog-whistle of populism so hard he’s deafened the local Battersea dogs home.

The other is a postman who’s got a bit uppity since his union dissolved in 1973. Those closest to Jeremy Corbyn believe that a cabal of Jewish overlords control all of the world’s money. He hasn’t exactly rushed to correct them.

And that’s our choice. It shouldn’t have to be, but it is. The other parties have been swept aside by the media – it’s so much more profitable to have a two-horse race, you see.

Even Farage has largely been shut up. I suppose that’s one positive from this whole sordid mess.

So, faced with all of the above, what are we to do? The temptation is to just throw your hands in the air, swear loudly, and walk off a cliff.

But if that is your plan, then for god’s sake, VOTE FIRST.


What’s the point?

Stopping the Tories. That’s the point.

Look, I’ve tried to be balanced on this blog but I am a centrist to my core. If the Conservative and Unionist party was being led by David Gauke or Rory Stewart, there’s a chance I’d vote for them, as I would for Labour under a Starmer or a Phillips.

But this Tory government, under this shyster? Not a chance. This isn’t a conservative party, it’s a radicalised mad-house.

Make no mistake – if Johnson wins, it will lead to chaos.

Brexit will not be resolved on January 31st. Because he has refused to extend the transition period, we will have around 10 months to carry out the single biggest trade negotiation in our history.

For clarity, small trade negotiations usually take years.

So what does this mean? It means that, at the end of 2020, we will be staring straight down the barrel at a no-deal Brexit again. And with a Tory majority, we would need MPs to rebel against Johnson in their droves to stop him, which is unlikely.

All of those who might have done have already been turfed out.

What else?

  • The Tory manifesto hasn’t been properly costed, so all of Johnson’s campaign promises are likely to be as truthful as this one
  • We face the biggest threat to the already-crippled NHS yet
    • Any future trade deal with the US runs the risk of sections of it being privatised or opened up to “Big Pharma,” which would be catastrophic
  • Increasing child poverty, according to the Resolution Foundation
  • And kicking the climate change can into next week.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Out of Europe, out of ideas, out of our sodding minds.


So How Do We Stop Him?

By voting. For anyone but him.

Tactical voting is something I’m fundamentally uneasy about. I believe democracy to be about voting for the representative that best reflects your opinions and beliefs. Even if your candidate loses, you’ve exercised your right to have your opinion heard.

Asking someone to vote for someone they don’t believe in just so they can stop someone who they believe in less is a sorry state of affairs. But here we are, folks – welcome to democracy 2.0.

So how does it work?

Look at the results of the 2017 election in your constituency. You can do this here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2017/results

Look at who won, and by how much. If it’s the Tories, look at who’s in second place.

In Wakefield, Mary Creagh is a Labour MP who can beat the Tories. If Lib Dem voters vote L-D, she might lose. If they lend their vote to Labour, Creagh will win.

By contrast, in Richmond Park, Lib Dem candidate Sarah Olney can beat Zac Goldsmith if Labour voters support her.

Tactical voting is pretty miserable, but that’s what needs to happen to stop Johnson. Maybe one day we will have a voting system that actually represents people, but here we are for now.

Research your vote, pick the candidate to stop the Tories, and make it count.


But I Don’t Want Corbyn as PM

Me bloody neither. I’d rather eat gravel.

But there’s absolutely no way he can win a majority. His support has shrivelled away faster than a man-hose in a plunge pool.

A vote for Labour is a vote for a hung Parliament. A hung Parliament means alliances with other parties. Other parties will never allow Corbyn’s far-left policies to gain any traction. No far-left policies likely means no Corbyn.

And a hung Parliament will almost certainly result in a second referendum. Will this stop Brexit?

This is taken from 76 polls across the UK.

I’d take that bet.


GO FORTH

Please.

Vote.

Vote clever.

I know it seems hopeless. I know it seems like this has lasted forever. I know that all anyone wants is for it to end.

But if we stop Bonkey Jong from getting a majority, the end is in sight. A referendum, a win, and an end to Brexit (although it must be said, not an end to the Brexit debate – the fallout from either outcome is going to be atrocious).

If Johnson gets in, make no mistake – Brexit will rumble on until the end of 2020, and we’ll be right back where we were, but worse.

And I’m not sure my poor little brain can deal with that.


See you next week. God speed, everyone.

CAMPAIGN AND SUFFERING: So Far, So Predictably Crap

Hello BTLers!

I write to you after a weekend of doing very little politics because my life is now almost entirely politics.

For obvious reasons, I can’t go into too much detail about life at LDHQ. What I will say is that there is an incredible sense of purpose, of everyone wanting what’s best for the country, and genuine optimism about what will come next.

Also, a lot of people who are quite sleep-deprived.

I have desperately missed writing for Between the Lines. I write a considerable amount of blogs and emails for the LDs, but, as you’d imagine, I have to tone my rhetoric down quite a bit.

For example: I recently drafted a blog about Trump, Farage and Johnson being in bed together. I likened them to the Three Wicked Witches, except instead of magic their power was midlife crisis-induced masculine insecurity.

I also called Johnson and Trump “blonde-haired blusterbags.”

My manager asked me to redraft the blog. Politely, but firmly.

So here I am, back at the keyboard to write in my own style again. It’s good to be back.


GENERAL ELECTION

One thing I have learned from working for a political party for all of two weeks is that tunnel-vision is a very real thing. Since I started, I’ve tried my best to follow goings-on on Twitter and in the papers but the reality is that my life is Liberal Democrats.

I can see why Labour or the Tories can often seem so out of touch – you are surrounded, constantly, by people who only share your views. The LDs, to their credit, make a real effort to talk to normal people and be as broad a church as possible.

The same cannot be said for Johnson or Corbyn.

Let’s have a look at how they’ve fared on the campaign trail so far.

GENERAL DEFLECTION – BORIS JOHNSON:

  • Had the worst starting week to any campaign in living memory:
    • A minister stood down for derailing a rape case
    • The Tory Party chairman failed to turn up for a Sky interview, so Kay Burley “empty-chaired” him
    • Johnson was filmed spouting utter drivel about Brexit, showing he either doesn’t understand it or was blind drunk
    • And Dickensian tampon-applicator Jacob Rees-Mogg called the victims of the Grenfell tower tragedy thick.
  • Has seen an exodus of One-Nation, moderate Tories (many of them women);
  • Has got into bed with Nigel Farage, opening the door for attacks on the Tories as being the new Brexit Party;
  • Hasn’t got into bed with Nigel Farage enough, as the actual Brexit Party will still contest all the Labour-held seats he needs to win;
  • Was heckled to all hell by victims of the flooding in Doncaster;
  • Was interviewed for an easy chat on breakfast television and came across like he’d crawled into existence from a bog that morning and was still learning what humans are;
  • And yet somehow has gone up in the polls.

Remember though, folks – polls these days are as trustworthy as a fart after a vindaloo.

GENERALISSIMO: JEREMY CORBYN

  • Saw his deputy, Tom Watson, announce that he was stepping down as an MP at this election.
  • Saw Ian Austin, a long-standing ex-Labour MP, say that everyone should vote for the Conservatives.
  • Seems to have plucked policies out of thin air – nationalising Broadband is a bold, yet totally mental move.
  • Has had the entire Jewish community come out against him.
  • Was heckled as a “terrorist sympathiser” in Scotland.
  • Had a car-crash interview with Andrew Marr.
  • Had his long-term ally Len McClusky, the head of the trade union conglomerate Unite and major financial donor, say that Labour isn’t a Remain party.
  • And rumours circulate that he isn’t physically well enough to be Prime Minister.

Our two candidates, ladies and gentlemen.

Or so the media would have you believe…


GENERAL MALAISE

Look, I know I’m biased. I work for the Liberal Democrats.

But the reason why this all feels so… so…

…nihilisitic?

…is that these two men are utterly appalling candidates for the job of Prime Minister. One is a misogynistic toad who casually writes racist slurs, the other an antisemite who is more rooted in ideology than common good.

And yet they get all the air time. The wider media’s coverage of the election is CONSERVATIVE vs LABOUR, oh and here’s the Lib Dems, SNP, Greens and Brexit Party. lol, almost forgot

The reality is that there is another choice.

I strongly encourage everyone to look at their constituency’s results from the 2017 election. The BBC have a brilliant service for this, just go to:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election/2017/results

Have a look and see how your seat fared. In many cases, seats can be won or lost by a few thousand (or even hundred) votes. My constituency was won by 45 votes. That’s all it can take.

Tactical voting is, unfortunately, a requirement of this election. Our First Past the Post system doesn’t allow for proportional representation, so we have to be clever.

…in human speak, we elect our MPs, not the party itself. If I lived in a constituency where the Tories got 95% of the vote and I voted for the Lib Dems, my vote is basically meaningless. The Tories will win regardless, and my vote doesn’t have any meaning other than “you lost.”

If you hate the Tories, or hate Labour, and your seat is marginal between the two… Then, and I hate to say this, vote for the party that can win.

But if you live in a seat where that’s not the case, and you’re sick and tired of Johnson vs Corbyn, well…

You know what to do.


GENERAL REFLECTION

I absolutely do not want to turn Between the Lines into a mouthpiece for the Liberal Democrats. The joy of politics is being able to have reasoned debate, to criticise and argue with your peers from across the political spectrum, and to make your own choice at the end of it.

I will try to write about the election more generally when I can, rather than op-ed pieces like this one.

But the way I see it, there’s only one party that is moderate, progressive, and has the country’s interests at heart. Johnson is an egomaniac, Corbyn a Marxist.

Neither of these things are good.

If you feel like the news is a constant stream of disappointment, please do remember that there are other parties out there.

This week is manifesto week. I dare you to read the Liberal Democrats’ and see if you disagree.

Just please, please, please. If we can avoid a Johnson majority, we absolutely must try our best.

He might think he’s Churchill. He’s really just a chancer.

PURDAH LIKE IT’S 1999 : An Announcement

Hello BTLers.

It’s been a little while, I know. Since last we spoke, the election train has chucked a load of coal in the engine, released the brakes, and is now slowly starting to chug out of the station.

We’ve seen the opening salvos of what seems destined to be a vicious few weeks, with blame-games and insults being thrown around with the nillest of willies.

We also have some intrigue in a report that Number 10 is trying to suppress about Russian interference in the referendum, a new speaker, the concept of tactical voting and Nigel Farage stepping in to cock up the one thing he’s been so desperate to deliver for about forty years.

But, dear reader, I have some news. While I am going to do my best to keep Between the Lines going over the next few weeks, I’m not going to be able to cover the election as much as I would like.

This is because I am now working for the Liberal Democrats.


WHODDA THUNK

Yes, I know. I lambast and belittle Johnson and Corbyn as frequently as a trip to the urinals after your sixth pint. I furiously wrote about how appallingly Johnson had acted in trying to bypass Parliament, and I lambast the way that Corbyn wants to take us back economically, politically, and socially to the 1970s.

It’s almost I’m some sort of chap who likes Democracy, and Liberal policies.

I’ve been a Lib Dem supporter for years now, ever since the coalition government. This is ironic, considering that the reason why the Lib Dems found themselves in the political wasteland until only recently was due to their going back on their word during that period.

But the Liberal Democrats drove what I liked about that government. 5p plastic bag charge? Lib Dem policy. State pension triple lock, ensuring pensions were protected? Lib Dem policy. Same-sex marriage?

Yep, you guessed it. Lib Dem policy.

Also, the B-word. I have always tried to write impartially about Brexit, and I will never, ever, say that those who voted to Leave should be told that they got it wrong. They didn’t, but I do believe that the lies, overspending and suspicious activity of the Vote Leave campaign should also really be talked about more.

But Brexit, at its core, is a hugely damaging decision. Not just financially (and it will be a major financial faceplant), but diplomatically – we have a seat at an entity big and strong enough to compete against the US and China in terms of trade.

To throw that away to pursue the vision of historical, empirical glory is utterly bonkers, to me.

I will be honest – the Lib Dem position on Revoking Article 50 without a referendum is something that I have my doubts about. But I do understand why that’s their policy – they are now, legitimately, the only party that is openly campaigning to Remain, rather than Labour’s renegotiated deal followed by a referendum.

Ending Brexit by revocation is also the only way that we make this Brexit mess go away immediately. If we pass a Johnson deal, or leave with no-deal, the negotiations for the future trading relationship will go on for literally years.


LIB DEM SPIRITS UP

It made perfect sense for me to support for the party that espouses these values, and I somehow managed to snag myself a job writing for them. It’s literally my dream job, and I feel incredibly lucky.

I’ve been told about some of the stuff coming in the Lib Dem manifesto, and it sounds brilliant. So many of the issues that I care about are at its core, and I think it should be well-received by the wider public.

I have adored creating Between the Lines, and I’m so lucky in that I’ve been able to express my deep interest in and burning fury at our national political meltdown through writing for you all.

But there’s been one itch it hasn’t quite scratched.

I want to help make society better. I know, I know, some of the kinder of you right now are saying “Oh, glorious BTL editor” (and if you’re not you should be), “you are already making society better by explaining things to us.” Which I sincerely hope is true, and why I will make every endeavour to keep Between the Lines going as much as possible.

But I really do believe in the Lib Dems, their vision for a progressive, fairer and forward-thinking Britain and I really want to help them get the best election result they’ve ever had. I’m going to be throwing myself into it headfirst, and we’ll see what happens.

I’m quietly confident that this could be a pretty big year.


PURDAH ON

Now, back to BTL. It’s not just the fact that I’m about to be helping to fight an election campaign that is probably going to be absolutely mental, but I also have to be careful with what I write, too. Purdah is an understanding that’s put in place during election periods, which basically accounts for balance and fairness.

While I have next to no doubt that anything I write on here wouldn’t be picked up on (or even deemed relevant), I would also kill myself if I made a Bozzle Konks dick-joke that meant I couldn’t work in politics anymore.

It would be objectively hilarious, for sure. But ya boi gots ta eat.

So while I will try to write a few blog posts here and there, they’re going to have to be a bit more impartial and a bit more factual. I’ll still try and throw in a dick-joke here and there for good measure, but it’s not going to be quite the same.

And after the election I have every intention on getting Between the Lines back up and running again – consider this a hiatus, rather than an end.


Before I Go…

I’m not going to tell you to vote Liberal Democrat.

…Though you should.

But it is of the utmost importance that you vote. Don’t you dare come back to Between the Lines on December 13th without exercising your political privilege, or I will come to your house and drive a shopping trolley through your front door while screaming “SUFFRAGE” at you.

But one other thing, too – the next few weeks are going to be tough. The language will be spiteful, the anger palpable, the debate dire.

But don’t lose hope.

I really do get the impression that we are, slowly, moving away from the Johnsons, Trumps and Bolsonaros in the West. We’ve seen what happens when we give populists a platform, and it’s about as pretty as a dog turd on a bit of plastic stuck around a dead turtle’s head.

Common sense is coming back, even if it’s at a snail’s pace. But in the meantime, listen to the arguments presented to you, think about them, challenge them, and support them if they resonate with you. Don’t let anyone tell you how to vote, whether it be your parents, your partner, or someone you follow on Twitter.

Democracy works when we vote for what we believe is best for our country. We cannot know this unless we’re give as much information as possible to make an informed decision. Unfortunately, we don’t always get the latter, but we can damn well make sure we strive to do the former.

Good luck, everyone. I’ll see you when I see you.

Matt x

PURDAH LIKE IT’S 1999 : An Announcement

Hello BTLers.

It’s been a little while, I know. Since last we spoke, the election train has chucked a load of coal in the engine, released the brakes, and is now slowly starting to chug out of the station.

We’ve seen the opening salvos of what seems destined to be a vicious few weeks, with blame-games and insults being thrown around with the nillest of willies.

We also have some intrigue in a report that Number 10 is trying to suppress about Russian interference in the referendum, a new speaker, the concept of tactical voting and Nigel Farage stepping in to cock up the one thing he’s been so desperate to deliver for about forty years.

But, dear reader, I have some news. While I am going to do my best to keep Between the Lines going over the next few weeks, I’m not going to be able to cover the election as much as I would like.

This is because I am now working for the Liberal Democrats.


WHODDA THUNK

Yes, I know. I lambast and belittle Johnson and Corbyn as frequently as a trip to the urinals after your sixth pint. I furiously wrote about how appallingly Johnson had acted in trying to bypass Parliament, and I lambast the way that Corbyn wants to take us back economically, politically, and socially to the 1970s.

It’s almost I’m some sort of chap who likes Democracy, and Liberal policies.

I’ve been a Lib Dem supporter for years now, ever since the coalition government. This is ironic, considering that the reason why the Lib Dems found themselves in the political wasteland until only recently was due to their going back on their word during that period.

But the Liberal Democrats drove what I liked about that government. 5p plastic bag charge? Lib Dem policy. State pension triple lock, ensuring pensions were protected? Lib Dem policy. Same-sex marriage?

Yep, you guessed it. Lib Dem policy.

Also, the B-word. I have always tried to write impartially about Brexit, and I will never, ever, say that those who voted to Leave should be told that they got it wrong. They didn’t, but I do believe that the lies, overspending and suspicious activity of the Vote Leave campaign should also really be talked about more.

But Brexit, at its core, is a hugely damaging decision. Not just financially (and it will be a major financial faceplant), but diplomatically – we have a seat at an entity big and strong enough to compete against the US and China in terms of trade.

To throw that away to pursue the vision of historical, empirical glory is utterly bonkers, to me.

I will be honest – the Lib Dem position on Revoking Article 50 without a referendum is something that I have my doubts about. But I do understand why that’s their policy – they are now, legitimately, the only party that is openly campaigning to Remain, rather than Labour’s renegotiated deal followed by a referendum.

Ending Brexit by revocation is also the only way that we make this Brexit mess go away immediately. If we pass a Johnson deal, or leave with no-deal, the negotiations for the future trading relationship will go on for literally years.


LIB DEM SPIRITS UP

It made perfect sense for me to support for the party that espouses these values, and I somehow managed to snag myself a job writing for them. It’s literally my dream job, and I feel incredibly lucky.

I’ve been told about some of the stuff coming in the Lib Dem manifesto, and it sounds brilliant. So many of the issues that I care about are at its core, and I think it should be well-received by the wider public.

I have adored creating Between the Lines, and I’m so lucky in that I’ve been able to express my deep interest in and burning fury at our national political meltdown through writing for you all.

But there’s been one itch it hasn’t quite scratched.

I want to help make society better. I know, I know, some of the kinder of you right now are saying “Oh, glorious BTL editor” (and if you’re not you should be), “you are already making society better by explaining things to us.” Which I sincerely hope is true, and why I will make every endeavour to keep Between the Lines going as much as possible.

But I really do believe in the Lib Dems, their vision for a progressive, fairer and forward-thinking Britain and I really want to help them get the best election result they’ve ever had. I’m going to be throwing myself into it headfirst, and we’ll see what happens.

I’m quietly confident that this could be a pretty big year.


PURDAH ON

Now, back to BTL. It’s not just the fact that I’m about to be helping to fight an election campaign that is probably going to be absolutely mental, but I also have to be careful with what I write, too. Purdah is an understanding that’s put in place during election periods, which basically accounts for balance and fairness.

While I have next to no doubt that anything I write on here wouldn’t be picked up on (or even deemed relevant), I would also kill myself if I made a Bozzle Konks dick-joke that meant I couldn’t work in politics anymore.

It would be objectively hilarious, for sure. But ya boi gots ta eat.

So while I will try to write a few blog posts here and there, they’re going to have to be a bit more impartial and a bit more factual. I’ll still try and throw in a dick-joke here and there for good measure, but it’s not going to be quite the same.

And after the election I have every intention on getting Between the Lines back up and running again – consider this a hiatus, rather than an end.


Before I Go…

I’m not going to tell you to vote Liberal Democrat.

…Though you should.

But it is of the utmost importance that you vote. Don’t you dare come back to Between the Lines on December 13th without exercising your political privilege, or I will come to your house and drive a shopping trolley through your front door while screaming “SUFFRAGE” at you.

But one other thing, too – the next few weeks are going to be tough. The language will be spiteful, the anger palpable, the debate dire.

But don’t lose hope.

I really do get the impression that we are, slowly, moving away from the Johnsons, Trumps and Bolsonaros in the West. We’ve seen what happens when we give populists a platform, and it’s about as pretty as a dog turd on a bit of plastic stuck around a dead turtle’s head.

Common sense is coming back, even if it’s at a snail’s pace. But in the meantime, listen to the arguments presented to you, think about them, challenge them, and support them if they resonate with you. Don’t let anyone tell you how to vote, whether it be your parents, your partner, or someone you follow on Twitter.

Democracy works when we vote for what we believe is best for our country. We cannot know this unless we’re give as much information as possible to make an informed decision. Unfortunately, we don’t always get the latter, but we can damn well make sure we strive to do the former.

Good luck, everyone. I’ll see you when I see you.

Matt x

ELECSHUN? ELECSOON! : What Happens Now? (Part Two)

Here we go, lads.

Here we bloody go.

After three and a half years of terror, torture and tragedy, we are finally in the Endgame. Brexit, one way or another, will be sorted on the 13th of December, 2019.

…Except it may well not be. The sad reality is that Brexit is a part of us now. Brexit is us. We are Brexit.

And we deserve it.

While this election is the closest opportunity we have had for a resolution since the result of the 2016 referendum, a clear end to the deadlock is absolutely, categorically not guaranteed.

This nightmare may yet drag on into 2020. It may go on, indefinitely, interminably, for millennia.

Or it may end in a few short weeks.

It’s all to play for, folks. Who is going to come out on top?


ELECTION REQUEST 4 : ELECTORISE THIS

Finally, at the fourth time of asking, Boris Johnson got his general election yesterday.

As I explained in yesterday’s blog, yesterday’s vote was a one-line Bill, designed to allow a general election to happen with just 50% of the House of Commons’ backing. On Monday, Johnson failed to win an election through the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, which requires a 2/3rds majority.

But it was never fully guaranteed. In their trademark, charge-in-head-first style, the government tried to ram the vote through the House. However, Stella Creasy (Lab) won an amendment that allowed MPs to table amendments to it. As such, motions to extend the votes to 16 year-olds and EU citizens living in the UK were tabled.

Sensibly, however, John Bercow, into his final three days of Speaktatorship, decided that these amendments were not relevant to the matter at hand. He didn’t select them for debate or vote.

Essentially, they were important pieces of legislation that needed more debate, more time, and more thought, before they could be approved.

While if either had succeeded it would have been a huge blow to the Tories, this was the right call. Major changes to the franchise (those allowed to vote) should never be made on the hoof.

But there was still an amendment made to try and make the election happen on the 9th, not the 12th of December. This was to make it easier for students to vote, and further away from disrupting Christmas plans.

However, in the end, the government won, with a strong majority.

An election is happening on the 12th of December.


HOORAY! BREXIT WILL FINALLY BE SORTED

Yeah… about that…

Current polls have the Tories and Labour at exactly the same percentages as May vs. Corbyn at the start of their election campaigns in 2017. While the Tories have a healthy lead, that could easily evaporate in the fickle winds of an election storm.

Additionally, recent research suggests that this current electorate is the least loyal since records began in the 1960s – we are all far more prone to choose parties that we agree with, rather than just whose tribe we grew up in.

So while Johnson will undoubtedly be a better campaigner than Theresa May, who brought all the joy of a wasp in your pint, a Tory win is by no means guaranteed.

Corbyn, for all of his many, many… maaany faults, is a far better campaigner when he can take the conversation away from Brexit. He and his party have a final (if muddy) strategy on Brexit (negotiate Labour-led deal, then referendum), which they can announce and then focus away from.

And our politics is no longer a two-horse race. The Lib-Dems have had a massive surge in recent months since they have taken the most openly anti-Brexit stance. They made huge gains at the local and EU Parliament elections, and won the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election.

They have an untested but confident new leader in Jo Swinson, and aspire for an outright majority win. This might prove to be beyond them, but again – we live in strange times.

A thought for the Brexit Party, too. While the wind has been thoroughly taken out of their sails in recent weeks, expect a strong resurgence. Johnson must campaign for his deal, otherwise he undermines the weeks he spent negotiating it and thus himself (which he often spectacularly does anyway).

While there are currently splits in the Brexit Party about whether or not to support it, they will almost certainly unite to fight an election under a “no-deal” banner, which is still, somehow, a good idea to many. This could split the Brexit vote right down the middle.

Plus, Theresa May only won a majority thanks to a £1bn “investment structure” to the DUP. After throwing them under the biggest of busses in negotiating his new Withdrawal Agreement, they are about as likely to get into bed with him as they would anyone outside of wedlock.

Which is funny coz they hate extramarital sex and gay people and Northern Ireland just voted to make all of that hatred illegal.

Lol. Get with the times, DUP.

Anyway – do not believe the hype. This will not be an easy win for anyone, especially Johnson. He may well do it, and may well get the majority he needs to enforce his own brand of Brexit, but if I were a betting man, I would keep that money firmly in my pocket.


SO… WHAT’S ACTUALLY GOING TO HAPPEN?

No idea.

But…

My early-doors prediction is that the Lib-Dem/SNP alliance makes them joint-kingmakers. Neither the Tories nor Labour will win an election outright, and will need to get into bed with the opposition.

If it’s the Tories, a coalition won’t happen without a referendum. If it’s Labour, the referendum will happen anyway, and the hard-left socialist policies that Corbyn and McDonnell are pushing for will never get a majority.

Centrist politics will be forced back onto the agenda out of necessity, with the reigns firmly on which ever party leads. No more idealogical politics, just debate, compromise, and common sense.

At least, that’s what I’m hoping for. Unicorns may exist.

However.

In that scenario, Brexit doesn’t end on the 13th of December. Oh no, no, no.

A referendum takes six months to prepare. Six more, agonising months of Brexit debate. Over and over again through the same tired arguments. Paralysed from everything else in the meantime.

We are Brexit. And we deserve it.

See you all in July, 2020.

ELECSHUN : What Happens Now?! (Part One)

A disclaimer: this is not a full blog.

Why is this, I hear you cry?! Surely so much has happened that we simply must be brought up to speed, damn you Between the Lines!

Well, shut up. I’m going to tell you.

Then I’m going to tell you why, yet again, it might all be irrelevant by the time you’re reading this.

Here’s the deal.

  • The EU has granted us an extension to Article 50 to January 31st. Johnson’s pledge to deliver Brexit, do or die, by October 31st is dead in the water.
  • Johnson has tried to call an election yet again – this was blocked yesterday evening in the House of Commons.
  • Why? Because Labour think an election might be an absolute disaster for them – they are polling terribly, are in a state of constant civil war, and are currently adrift in a typhoon in a rapidly-deflating life-raft.

Ok, So Now What?!

Despite yesterday’s setback, the government will today table a one-line Bill designed to grant an election on December 12th.

This might pass.

WHY TODAY AND NOT YESTERDAY?!

I know, it’s exasperating. But there’s some reasoning behind it.

  • Despite Labour’s refusal to budge, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish National Party have joined forces to try and help an election happen.
  • I know, it seems bonkers at face value, but both of them benefit if an election happens before Brexit is sorted: the Lib Dems can campaign as the only true Remain party, and the SNP could try to kill off the Scottish Tories, win more seats, and push for a second Scottish independence referendum.
  • If Johnson tables this bill, it could win a majority – it is a Bill, so only needs a simple majority. Yesterday’s vote was under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, where 2/3rds of the House of Commons would have to agree to it, not 50% +1 extra vote.

So… We Are Getting an Election?

Not necessarily.

*hits head on desk*

I know. I know.

But. Because it’s a Bill, it could be amended.

  • The SNP want to introduce a Bill that reduces the voting age from 18 to 16/17, as well as one to allow EU nationals living in the UK a vote, too.
  • These would be awful for the Tories if either passes, as neither of those demographics are remotely likely to vote Conservative, giving added power to opposition parties.
  • If either of these amendments are successful, the Tories will likely pull the vote.

So, we won’t actually know what’s happening until the close of play today. If the stalemate continues, it’s hard to know what comes next.

But there is a very real chance that neither amendment passes (or is even selected), so we could see an election finally, finally be announced.

And I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. So take all of this in, immediately forget it, and face the new day.

Because while nothing stays the same in politics, in this day and age it’s changing faster than a chameleon on a disco ball.