FREE SCHOOL STEALS : Inadequate Food Packages and Tory Cronyism


I’m just as shocked as you are. Turns out that this government’s generosity does have a limit after all!

But this does, of course, come as something of a major surprise, given how “in touch with the common man” our government is. I mean, just take a look at their London Mayoral candidate, Shaun Bailey, finding an innovative, practical and compassionate solution to the homelessness problem based on his own experience:

Of course! Why didn’t anyone else think of that?! Now I can rest easy, knowing that I shouldn’t bother donating to charities that provide safe accommodation, medical and psychological care and paid work for the homeless. I’ll just bung ’em 20p, and after 250,000 people have done the same thing they can buy themselves a luxury loft conversion in Hackney Wick.

For Christ’s sake.

Now look, it’s worth noting at this point that the government is not directly responsible for the paltry food packages that have been sent out. This responsibility lies at the feet of the company responsible for sourcing and distributing the food, Chartwells. But we’ll dive into why this government, not so much a cabinet of all the talents so much as an IKEA cabinet with far too many screws missing, still deserves the blame for yet another fiasco.

And yes, it’s our old friend cronyism once again.


FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD PARCELS

It’s a pretty sad indictment of where we are as a country that any of our citizens rely on food banks and food parcels to survive, but that’s where we are.

And by the way, if you’re one of those people who says “Oh, well if we hand them food vouchers, then those deadbeat parents will probably spend it all on the marry-jü-ahnah and crack cocaine,” then you can get in the sea. I’m not even going to deny that yes, this probably has happened in some cases and will continue to happen, and it’s desperately sad for those children who are mistreated this way.

But if you are really one of those people who believes that one rotten apple spoils the whole barrel then I pray that you find some sort of joy in your miserable little life.

Because even this bunch of particularly free-market Tories concede that ensuring children aren’t sodding malnourished is a human right. Which is why the free school meals system existed in the first place – during term time, kids that couldn’t bring in food from home were given access to food provided by the state. And if you’re asking, “What kind of terrible parents can’t even afford to feed their kids?”, I would just like to remind you of something.

The average salary in the UK is £35,000. The average. This means that there is a significant number of people earning far, far less than this, especially as salaries of over £200,000 distort the average to be even higher. When you take into consideration that living in major cities is extremely expensive, none of us are taught about proper nutrition (unless you have the luxury of having the time and money to read about and buy healthy produce), and saving money is almost impossible when you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, it’s no wonder that so many kids have to be fed by the state.

So maybe don’t blame the parents from your ivory towers. The fact that you’re able to choose what you have for dinner is a luxury that millions of people in this country, the 5th richest in the world, don’t have.

Where were we? Sorry, today’s post is quite a rambling one. I get very, very angry about this. Can you tell?

How I spend my days off.

Ah yes, free school meals. You’ll probably remember the furore last year when the government said it wouldn’t extend the programme outside of term time, despite, y’know, the pandemic causing untold economic misery on those worst off.

Enter Manchester United and England winger-cum-striker, Marcus Rashford.

I will admit that I am now such a cynical, miserable bastard myself that when I heard about the campaign, I immediately thought, “PR stunt.” But no matter how savvy the team around him, it’s clear that this is Rashford’s personal mission. His MBE is well-deserved, although there is more than a hint of irony in the fact that the Queen gave him an award for combatting her own government’s ineptitude/callousness.

I wonder what Queenie makes of Boris Johnson. She’s probably used to dealing with bounding, furry cretins having had the corgis for so long. Feed him a biscuit and he’ll usually stop humping.

So anyway, Marcus Rashford campaigned that the free school meals delivered in term time be extended to the holidays, too, and won. Hurrah, children won’t go hungry.

Now, supposedly 75% of schools use a voucher system, where parents are given £30 to go and spend in a supermarket, choosing things themselves, and catering to their childrens’ specific needs. But 25% are sent food parcels, courtesy of Chartwells, a private company that the government have outsourced to deliver them.

Let’s have a look at a £30 supermarket shop vs what Chartwells have delivered:

Beans, cheese, carrots, potatos, Soreen, bread, apples, one tomato, and three Frubes. That, my friends, is what I call a snack.

And it’s meant to last for DAYS.

As Green Party MP for Brighton Caroline Lucas has stated here, Chartwells has apologised and is now investigating. Boris Johnson has called the parcels a disgrace, and the government’s official recommendation has now switched in favour of food vouchers.


MATES’ RATES

Chartwells have said that the issue was with rapid scalability, and there is obviously truth in that. While they are now the UK’s largest distributor of school meals, they have to hugely increase their output in a short amount of time.

But then that begs the question, why didn’t they say that they might struggle? Why were they only able to put £5.22’s worth of food into the package when their budget was £30? Why weren’t more firms outsourced to, ensuring above all else that children’s nutrition was the top priority?

Well, I have a reason. Ten thousand, actually. Paul Walsh, outgoing chairman of Compass Group, which owns Chartwell, is a Tory party donor, having given £10,000 to them.

Good Lord. Surely I can’t be saying that this government hands out contracts, paid for by taxpayers’ money, to friends and donors without even allowing competitors to get a look in? Surely that would be an egregious way to use the money that we pay the government to, oh, I don’t know, reinvest in the country and look after our most vulnerable citizens?

Sigh.

Look, according to a “local source” that used to work for a government minister in the 1970s, this happens all the time. And I get that you have trusted suppliers, businesses you have a good rapport with, and so on.

But handing out billions of pounds of our money to Tory donors, appointing peerages to allies and sycophants, and bypassing the Civil Service in favour of spending yet more hundreds of millions of pounds on private management consultants is almost criminal. It’s certainly desperately immoral.

The Tories are supposed to be champions of the free market, allowing competition and innovation to drive rapid growth. How is that supposed to happen when they’re the ones doling out lucrative contracts to people purely by virtue of the fact that they’ve shot grouse together?

And the people who suffer are the consumers. Look at those food parcels. £5.22’s worth of food instead of £30 – a considerable amount of the missing £24.78 presumably going straight into Chartwells’ coffers. Look at the frontline NHS staff forced to wear binbags because their PPE, made by companies that previously made plastic cups, isn’t up to code. This cronyism not only undermines trust in the government, but means that the quality of goods suffers, too. And it’s always those who need the most help who end up getting shafted.

It’s against almost any political, economic and moral code that I can think of.

And one final thought, just a reminder that Boris feels poor.

These people won an 80-seat majority.

I’m moving to the Cayman Islands. At least they’re open about stealing taxes.

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.

FACTUALLY IN-ARCURI-TE : Poll Dancing and Parliamentary Democracies

We are in “Squeaky bum time”, to quote from Sir Alex Ferguson. If Johnson fails to negotiate a deal with the EU, based on the slim pickings he sent them last week, then we have an almighty clash on our hands.

The Benn Act, the piece of legislation blocking a no-deal Brexit, should legally force Bozzle Konks to go to the EU, cap in hand, and ask for an extension. But, despite the black-and-white, legally binding nature of the Bill, Boris insists that he will never ask for an extension.

So what instead? Will Boris break the law? Will he send a two letters, one saying he wants and extension and another saying he doesn’t? Will he and Nigel Farage man a Spitfire and do a sky drawing of a hip-loaded man-cannon over the skies of Brussels?

Unfortunately, we simply do not know. Boris’s team insists that we are leaving on October 31st, despite having no legal basis for saying so.

In this high-stakes poker game, they might be holding aces. Or, more likely, they might holding an expired cinema ticket and a receipt from Boots.

These next two weeks will decide it, one way or another.

But, speaking of squeaky bums and sliding down polls…


Arcuri Gets Grilled By Britain’s Best Journalist*

*Best, in this instance, judged by overall contribution to society’s eventual downfall.

This morning, Jennifer Arcuri appeared on Good Morning Britain, after they paid her around £20K to do so. She was met with intensive questioning by Piers Morgan, masculine insecurity made flesh.

Arcuri is the American entrepreneur who has been at the centre of another Johnson scandal, after he allegedly used his power as Mayor of London to help her businesses in the UK and grow her brand.

He is also alleged to have frequented her flat, which contained a massive stripper pole in the middle of the living room. Supposedly his visits were for “technology lessons.” One can only imagine she was teaching him how to delete his search history.

These visits, incidentally, happened while he was still married to Marina Wheeler, who was at the time suffering from a little illness called cancer.

Classy.

Anyway, Arcuri came out bold as brass, saying that she was being attacked for being a female businesswoman, there was no evidence of any affair, and that the whole thing was just a big ol’ dose of “Fake News.”

She even said the words, “Fake News.” I know you’re American, Jennifer, but come on. You’re so 2016, lol.

Morgan, to his credit, did as good a job as you’d expect him to do, which was crap. No cross-examination, very little pointing to actual evidence, just letting her get away with it. She specifically denied Johnson ever writing her a reference letter, even though one has been leaked to the press.

Credit to her for the brass neck. Johnson himself refused to comment, which was unusual : this Prime Minister who has faced just one PMQs in his premiership doesn’t seem like the type to hide away from scrutiny…

It’d be funny if it wasn’t so terrifyingly depressing.

Anyway, the fact of the matter is that while this story has been a fun little side-show, it’s probably run its course. If there’s no actual evidence of anything more than “assisting” a friend, Johnson is basically untouchable.

While the Mayor’s office and Greater London Assembly is investigating and might ask Boris to personally give testimony, he will likely shirk any real answers. Without a smoking gun in his hand, he will get away with it.

Even though he’s covered in blood, is standing over the body and is wearing a sandwich board saying “I DID IT” on it.


Fudged the Judges?

In an interesting twist today, our legal system came out in favour of Boris Johnson. The same legal system that declared he had acted illegally just a couple of weeks ago.

Eh?

It’s actually completely normal, and expected. It also shows the judiciary really doesn’t get involved in politics unless it really has to, which has probably royally pissed-off the incel conspiracy nutters in Number 10.

Joanna Cherry’s team, who brought the complaint to the Scottish judges on prorogation, went to the judges again to get clarification. The issue in question was, ‘What happens to Boris Johnson if he refuses to obey the Benn Act?”

They were hoping that the judiciary might further spell out for Johnson how tied-down he was to the Benn Bill, or “Surrender Act”, as it is referred to by morons.

However, the judges refused – No. 10 had provided evidence saying that, if they failed to reach a deal by the 19th of October, they would ask for an extension. This came from Geoffrey Cox, the Attorney General, who is rumoured to have told Boris he will quit should the Benn Act be ignored.

This, to the judges, was sufficient evidence that the law will be followed, so they refused to wade in any further than they had to.

Now, will Boris actually do this? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, they have to take him at his word, because otherwise it sets a troubling precedent for what comes next. If he breaks the law, however, I imagine he will be crapped on from a height that can only be described as astronomical.

So, he cannot blame the judges.


But…

He will blame everyone else, according to a memo released by an “unnamed No. 10 source” yesterday evening.

Spoiler alert: it was Cummings.

Follow the link in this tweet below, and read the whole thing.

This statement, if really a reflection on upcoming policy, is The Charge of the Light Brigade. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends.” A furious thrashing inside a cage of their own-making.

By threatening to disrupt EU member-states and trying to bully them into vetoing an extension, it shows how desperate they are. No plans, no strategies, just angry, confused panic.

The EU simply will not buy it. The majority of UK citizens won’t either, I sincerely bloody hope.

Credit is due, in a way, for raging against the dying of the light. The Johnson administration is as broken as Arcuri’s stripping pole after BoJo had a go on it himself.

But, unfortunately, this rhetoric will incredibly damaging to societal cohesion, even though it’s politically pointless. It is, at its core, the mission-statement for the Tories for the upcoming General Election.

But the facts remain the same – no majority, no deal, no no-deal. An extension is the most likely outcome, followed by a General Election or a second referendum.

Strap in, team. It’s going to get bumpy.

Weekly Wrap-Up : LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND LOGISTICS


Don’t let the smoke and mirrors fool you. This has been yet another terrible week for Boris Johnson.

Despite his swashbuckling display at the Tory party conference, and praise for a toned-down rhetoric in Parliament yesterday, he’s still playing the same old game.

Bluster hard enough and maybe the idiots will actually believe me.

The truth is that all of Johnson’s power is gone. He is entirely reliant upon Parliament to support his new deal, which is, unbelievably, looking possible.

But his “deal” isn’t actually a deal. It’s an offer to the EU, and the offer basically amounts to a fart in a jar.

The EU has given Johnson an extra week to find extra concessions that don’t create not one, but two borders on the island of Ireland. They have rejected his offer, politely but firmly, and that is the real lay of the land.

Johnson will not be able to find a revised deal in the space of a week. And so he will push on with no-deal, even though it is illegal.

As in, to pursue it would be to commit a crime. Quite how he will get out of that little hell of his own making is, currently, anyone’s guess.

But that’s for next week. Let’s have a quick review of this past one then drink ourselves to oblivion.

Links, as ever, in the subheadings.


MONDAY

The Tory conference was in full swing, and Sajid Javid announced plans to raise the minimum wage. This policy, like the entire Conservative Party Conference, is irrelevant in the immediate future, because the Tories have no majority, and so cannot enact it.

If, as per the other parties’ conferences, this is merely a policy designed to win a future election, it is also irrelevant. A General Election will be dominated by Brexit, and nothing more.

So that, like most politics of this current era, was an utter waste of time.

Meanwhile, the PM was in the midst of yet another scandal after Times journalist Charlotte Edwardes alleged he groped her under a table.

These allegations have fallen by the wayside since Boris announced his new proposals for Brexit.

Who could have possibly foreseen that?


TUESDAY

Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, looking every part the Bond-girl who actually turns out to be working for the baddies, announced to the CPC that the UK would be turning to a points-based immigration model, like Australia.

See above for why this is, at its core, irrelevant and pointless.

She also warned criminals that “We are coming after you.”

One can only assume that upon hearing this, Boris Johnson quietly shat himself somewhere.

Anyway, Boris vowed to give the EU a “Final Offer,” which made the Conference irrelevant again.

Sorry. More irrelevant.


WEDNESDAY

Boris gave his keynote speech to the Tory Party Conference, and was much more like himself. He made a joke about the Speaker of the House eating a kangaroo testicle, however, which is a rather unfortunate mental image.

He was rightly praised on his delivery, but the speech was also entirely lacking in anything remotely close to substance. No policy announcements, nothing definitive over Brexit – just the repetitive, meaningless mantra of “Get Brexit Done.”

To be fair to him, he then tried to do just that. Boris sent a proposal to the EU which included customs checks across the Irish border, as-yet uninvented technology, and giving the DUP, the Northern Irish hard-right party, full control over the entire system.

Which, as I’m sure anyone with a passing knowledge of Brexit will know, is almost offensively crap.

The EU didn’t reject it outright, but gave overtures about dissatisfaction with parts of it.

By the EU’s standards, this is the equivalent of flipping Boris the bird and screaming “TA MERE” at him.


THURSDAY

Boris gave a statement to the House of Commons about his new proposals. He struck a conciliatory tone, a stark contrast to last week’s balls-to-the-wall, borderline offensive rhetoric.

He was praised by morons for trying to be kinder. People who aren’t morons quickly saw through his new tone as being a ploy to try and entice support from Leave-supporting Labour MPs.

It has, to some extent, worked. The rebels in the ERG who rejected May’s deal have all come on board, and at least five Labour MPs have openly stated that they will support the deal.

So, the big question – is this it? Is this what will, finally, break the Brexit logjam and smash us through into the reservoir of national harmony, drowning a few major cities of reasonable, fact-based dissent along the way?

No, it’s absolutely not.

Because it’s not a deal.

A deal requires two sides to accept it. The EU will not accept this paltry attempt at a deal. While Johnson may have whipped up support within Parliament to try and force the EU’s hand, they absolutely will not accept anything that could threaten the Good Friday Agreement or damage the EU’s trade customs.

So for all the optimistic rhetoric you will see on the front covers of the newspapers today, do not be fooled for one second – Brexit is not even remotely over.


FRIDAY

The EU has given Boris an extra week to try and make his deal more appetising than vomit-glazed roadkill. The kind of concessions they are asking him to achieve, however, are almost certainly not going to be palatable for the ERG and Labour supporters he has just managed to convince.

If he fails to do so, then the EU summit on the 17th of October, where Johnson hoped to finalise a deal, will be moot. It will be case of extension, or, somehow, no-deal, despite it being illegal.

This is the infuriating thing about our politics – despite it being clearly illegal, by virtue of the fact that we passed a sodding law saying it was, Johnson has ignored it and has just kept waffling on about it.

However, a Scottish court is currently considering whether or not Boris could be literally jailed for enacting a no-deal Brexit.

Boris might go to prison, you guys.

We will, almost certainly, delay Brexit again. If Boris refuses to do it, the EU has said it will listen to another representative of our democracy, possibly the head of the Civil Service, Sir Mark Sedwill.

And what of Boris? Will he be forced to stand down through his inability to “GET BREXIT DONE”? Or will he use his failure as a strength, pitting himself against “the anti-Brexit establishment”?

We shall have to wait and see. But it’s going to be a vicious, snarling couple of weeks.

Also, Rory Stewart is running for London Mayor as an independent candidate, having been kicked out of the Tory party. Quite a strange decision, given that he could easily have joined a different party or stood as an independent MP, but it might prove to be a good one for his career.

Just think. A few weeks ago, he was competing against Boris Johnson to be our Prime Minister. Imagine, just imagine, what things could have been like if he’d succeeded.

…Still shit, probably. But most likely considerably less so.

BEYOND THE PALE : A Bad Day For Brexit, But Hope For The Future


Yesterday was like watching politics through a fairground mirror. While normality, and sensibility, reigned out the outside, proceedings were bizarrely distorted through the looking-glass.

Boris Johnson gave his keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference and, in all credit to him, was far better than he’s been over the last few weeks. Watching him yesterday, you’d think that Brexit was all but resolved, a mere dotted line left to sign before we trotted off into the sunset, flipping the bird at Brussels on our way out.

But, a few hours later, that all flew out of the window. Johnson sent the EU what he deemed to be a “Final Offer” deal.

It hasn’t received the warm welcome that Number 10 might have wanted.

While the EU has not publicly responded negatively to the offer, it is widely reported to have been furious with it behind closed doors.

So while Boris’s speech dazzled his adoring fans, the optimism might well be short-lived.

And who could have predicted that?


Preaching To The Converted Conservatives

After a few weeks of weak public performances, when put in front of the home crowd, Boris began to show some of his old, indefatigable spark.

He made jokes about firing Jeremy Corbyn into space, how the SNP leaders of ironically-named Sturgeon and Salmond want to give Scottish fishing to the EU, and John Bercow eating a Kangaroo testicle.

Yes, Boris was far more like himself again. And, as you’d expect, the right-wing media loved it.

But, as per my article on Tuesday, it simply doesn’t matter. Not one jot. All the optimism, the bravado, the bluster – all irrelevant.

Because the fact of the matter is, despite the slogan of “Get Brexit Done,” it simply isn’t Boris’ decision to make. It is Parliament’s, based on the assumption that the EU will give them a deal and/or an extension.

A deal takes two to tango, however. And while the EU may or may not be ready for a ballroom dance, Johnson is currently acting like the drunken uncle at a stag-do having a stab at breakdancing.


Deal With It

This afternoon, the government sent a new offer to the EU for a Brexit deal. The messaging coming from the Tory media machine this evening is simple – “This deal gets Brexit done. Back it.”

And, according to reports, some MPs from both the Conservative and Labour sides who want to leave with a deal are ready to back it. Which is great!

Assuming the EU accepts it.

Sadly, yet predictably, this is desperately unlikely – the offer is nothing short of insulting.

It contains customs checks across the Irish border, a requirement of as-yet uninvented technological advances, and requires the Northern Irish government to approve it. The Northern Irish government, for clarity, hasn’t been sitting for two and a half years, so is very unlikely to approve it any time soon.

Because it currently doesn’t exist.

Considering that all of these issues were raised way, way back in the days of Theresa May’s premiership, the fact that Boris has sanctioned a proposal that entirely fails to resolve any of them is nothing short of embarrassing.

Or, at least, it would be, were it not a part of an almost more embarrassing plan.

Johnson is trying to blame the EU for failing to give any concessions in the spirit of finding a deal. This, despite the fact that the EU’s negotiating partner, us, has wibble-wobbled from every conceivable position about what “Leave” actually means since June 2016.

But Johnson’s premiership has never been about Brexit. It has only, ever, been about winning an election. By putting this nonsense in front of the EU, he has, for all intents and purposes, said, “This is it. Take it or leave it, and leaving it means No-Deal.”

The EU, through a mixture of damage-limitation and probably pity by this stage, would rather no-deal didn’t happen. It would be devastating to the UK, damaging to the EU, and no-one would win from it.

To be clear, it would not be a clean break. A no-deal Brexit would result in years-upon-years of trade negotiations with the EU, all from a weakened bargaining position.

Yet here we are. Joris Sodding Bohnson, throwing the ball in the EU’s court, ignoring everything that’s happened over the last three years, and claiming that it’s their responsibility to concede to it.

Pull the other one, it hangs lower and has bells on.


So What Happens Now?

The EU, unlikely to want to unilaterally call Boris a moron, will wait for Leo Varadkar, the Republic of Ireland’s prime minister, or Taoiseach, to do it for them in pretty words.

Then, the EU themselves will say that the proposals are meaningless.

Johnson did, to some extent, precipitate this by stating that these proposals were “a broad landing zone,” allowing for more discussion to take place.

But you could consider slap-bang in the middle of the Atacama Desert as a broad landing zone, yet you’d still promptly die, no matter how much you pleaded with the sun itself for an oasis.

It was a final roll of the dice, and Boris will roll snake-eyes. Next comes the onslaught of “The EU didn’t like my decent proposal” bollocks, followed by an election campaign of lies, followed by a hung-parliament and yet more confusion and anger until the mid 2020s.

Assuming the EU don’t tell us to just piss off.

At this stage, it’s not unconceivable that they might just do that.


Christ. What Else?

Well, Parliament’s being prorogued again next Tuesday, which is always fun, as the government has learned.

This time, it’s only for three days, and is entirely defensible – for all of Parliament’s words, they haven’t done all that much scrutiny since returning.

Mostly because Johnson has been far too cowardly to face them, and is apparently too terrified of scrutiny that he refuses to stand before them and defend his views. By proroguing next Tuesday, Johnson will only have faced one PMQs in his entire 9-week premiership.

Tells you a lot about those who support the Prime Minister that they don’t want him to face even the most basic level of scrutiny.

But, hey ho, that’s the world we live in.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Is There Any Good News?

While our MPs have been back, they have been able to discuss a truly remarkable piece of legislation about domestic violence.

Theresa May had a pretty crappy premiership. This, I would argue, is uncontroversial.

But she did try to make a legacy for herself by creating legislation to protect those trapped in abusive relationships, which is unquestionably a dignified and much-needed proposal.

As such, because of prorogation being deemed illegal last week (*trumpet sounds*), a bill that she worked tirelessly on wasn’t dropped, but instead was reintroduced to Parliament. Yesterday, MPs debated it again, and it was a stark, much-needed reminder that, actually, our system does work.

May herself gave an impassioned speech on the Bill, full of care and emotion. As utterly crap as she was as Home Secretary and as tainted her reign as PM will be, what this writer considers to be her true colours came across during yesterday’s speech.

Additionally, if you can spare a few minutes, watch Labour MP Rosie Duffield speak openly, candidly, and heartbreakingly about her own experiences of an abusive relationship.

This is what our Parliament should be. A chamber full of people who care, deeply, about the issues and rights of their constituents, who are unafraid to speak out against injustices, and who work tirelessly against them.

What is heartbreaking is that this is what the vast majority of our Parliament already is. It is just a few, a sad few, who have driven us to the precipice of madness.

The ones who get the most screen-time and the most publicity through hyperbole and division are, in our current times, the ones who are most influential.

But, deep down, our system works. And it works well. Those who wish to distort the system for their own gains (Johnson) are told to piss off and stop being so stupid by the institutions (the legislature and the judiciary) that make our constitution, and our nation, Great.


We’re in the Brexit end-game now. There will be a colossal fall-out from it. Leave or Remain, Business or Community, Right or Left – there will be nationwide discontent, whatever the outcome.

But at our core, our very centre, is a room full of elected Members of Parliament, across both sides of the House, who really do care about the people, rather than themselves.

The days of those who lie and obfuscate for their own gain are numbered. How much damage they will do on their way out depends on what happens next.

There is a bright future out there, after Brexit.

How we get there is yet to be seen.

KNACKERED JOHNSON : Why The Tory Conference Is Irrelevant


The Tory Party Conference is currently in full swing, and you can imagine what it’s like.

A room full of crackpot old farts falling asleep to dismal speeches given by sub-par Ministers, Parliamentarians and commentators. You can imagine it is like this, because all party conferences are like this.

Labour’s one last week was an utter shambles, and it seems as though no-one really gave a moment’s notice to the Lib-Dems’ one.

Yet, every year, the media go and dutifully report on the conferences, from the flagship policies to the painfully-tedious debates. Every year, the parties themselves try to whip up a fervour for their party’s vision. And, by and large, there is usually at least something interesting said over the course of the conference season.

But this year’s Tory conference is pointless.

Not because of the fact that it was planned at the last minute. Not because of the fact that most of their policies had already been announced. Not even because of the fact that Boris Johnson’s womanising past is casting a shadow over the whole event.

But because Joris Bohnson (as per this unfortunate spoonerism during a vox-pop last week) is not the man who holds the power over the Conservative Party.

The 21 Tory Rebels, sacked from the Whip for defying his wishes, are the real arbiters of power.

Which is a touch ironic, wouldn’t you think?


So No Conference Analysis At All, Then?

Oh, go on then.

The Tory Party Conference has been, as you’d imagine, full to the brim of pro-Boris, pro-Brexit supporters. The messaging coming from the man himself has been a pledge to “Get Brexit Done,” and those around him have shown very clear and obvious support for their main man.

Seeing as the organisers choose who attends the event, this is unsurprising.

Many Tories have remained in London for most of the conference, which is unusual. This is not because they are so desperately anti-Boris that they can’t stand to be in the same conference hall as him, but because Parliament is currently sitting.

In response to Johnson’s illegal prorogation of Parliament, last week Parliament itself refused to allow the Tories to suspend Parliament for its conference, which is what normally happens.

So there’s been a bit of a strange feel to the conference. Because Johnson, Cummings et al all expected to be fighting an election campaign right now, most of their hands have already been played, with very few new policies being available to announce.

Not to say that nothing new has been said. Sajid Javid started a speech yesterday with a genuinely touching moment by speaking Punjabi to his mum, who was in the audience. He announced a raising of the national living wage from £8.21 per hour to £10.50 by 2024. This is a good thing in principle, and is actually also a Labour policy, but comes with risks.

This puts the burden of financing higher incomes on to businesses, rather than the government. Smaller businesses, in particular, might struggle to set the wage as defined by Whitehall.

But, it’s also worth noting that the standard inflation rate of wages would see a rise to £9.45 by 2024 anyway. So it’s a) not going to be that much more damaging to businesses’ overheads and b) not that exciting a policy.

And yet that’s the A-Grade takeaway from the conference thus far.

Except for this video of Esther McVey having all 4 of her brain cells stimulated by the idea of 3D modelling, which has been around since the late 1970s.


Give Me Strength. But It’s Irrelevant?

Yep. Because the Tories that are currently at the conference aren’t even the Tories who are in charge. Everything they promise, all the policies they reveal, are irrelevant, because there is no Parliamentary majority anymore.

The second that Boris expelled the 21 Tory MPs who refused to vote with him in favour of no-deal all those many months ago (it was only three weeks ago), he made it so that he is unable to pass legislation without support from opposition parties.

He also gave himself a brand-new enemy – moderate Conservatives.

In particular, one gets the impression that Dominic Grieve wouldn’t dive in after a drowning Boris Johnson so much as chuck him a cast-iron life-ring. And what’s becoming increasingly clear is that Johnson is laughably, hopelessly mismatched against Grieve’s considerable intelligence and unwavering commitment to decency.

To create such a powerful enemy would be unwise at the best of times. At a time of crisis, to immediately hand over one of your finest legal minds to the opposition, as he has done with Grieve, is what is known in politics as appallingly bloody stupid.

Grieve has been prominently on the same side as Jo Swinson, Caroline Lucas, Ian Blackford, Anna Soubry and other prominent pro-Remain MPs in recent weeks. Not Corbyn quite so much, although they did unite to pass the Benn Act.

Together, they have been meeting and working together to prevent Johnson from carrying out his plans – as they now can essentially cast the deciding vote in Parliament, whatever happens next can only be approved by them.

…Unless the EU refuses to back another extension, which is possible, but unlikely.

Ish.

So while Johnson might stand before the faithful as their emperor and decree his will unto them, he is powerless to actually enact it.

He is like a wasp under a glass on a pub table: furious, railing against the sides of his imprisonment, and desperately trying to stab his stinger at his captors on the other side of the glass.

They won’t care, though. They’ve got him just where they want him.

And he’s not going anywhere.

CONTACTS, CONFERENCE AND CONFLICT : PM In New Scandal, Labour Lose Plot

Even the weekends are mad these days.

We enter this week with the real chance of it being Johnson’s worst yet since becoming Prime Minister. Either today or tomorrow, the Supreme Court will make its ruling on his prorogation of Parliament, and whether or not it was legal.

If they rule that it was illegal, the ramifications could be huge. Parliament may have to be recalled, Johnson may call another prorogation, or more legal challenges could be made against him.

Yet even if he wins the legal challenge, another scandal that broke over the weekend could yet fatally damage him.

Also, the scandal might be Johnson’s first about misusing his “Johnson” since becoming Prime Minister!

Sound the “headlines-we-all-knew-were-coming bingo” klaxon.

Also, the Labour Party has been having its conference over the weekend. Here, the plan was that the party would come together, form a unified front, and finally be the Opposition the country needs them to be!

Q: How did that go, I wonder?


A: ABSOLUTELY F*CKING TERRIBLY

What was meant to bring the Labour Party together actually threatened to finally tear it apart over the weekend. Reports emerged late on Friday night that Tom Watson, the deputy leader of the party and prominent People’s Vote campaigner, was to be kicked out.

A senior Corbyn-ally tabled a motion for the position of deputy leader to be disbanded, thereby removing Watson from office. The fears amongst prominent Labour leaders was that should Corbyn resign (which has been lightly-rumoured) then Watson would inherit the leadership by default.

Seeing as Corbyn has been slowly filling the other positions of power around him with far-left, largely Brexit-favouring allies, Watson’s Remainer disposition put him at odds with many of Labour’s head honchos.

Not, however, with everyone in the Labour Party.

Corbyn’s stance on Brexit is to remain impartial to Leave vs. Remain. If, however, Labour were in government, they would negotiate a new deal with the EU then hold a referendum on it : this deal, or Remain.

However, many within the party have already broken rank on this – Emily Thornberry, Sir Keir Starmer and Watson himself have all prominently spoken about their preferences to Remain.

This is directly contravening the party’s leaders – and they are the most vocal of a very large number of moderate Labour MPs. The rifts between the party are getting worse and worse, just in time for a General Election.

Just to compound things further, one of Corbyn’s closest allies, Andrew Fisher, also left the party the previous weekend. Fisher, who helped write the 2017 manifesto for Labour, left with a note criticising the leader’s office and their “lack of professionalism, competence and human decency.”

Ouch.


JOHNSON’S JOHNSON STRIKES AGAIN

In other news, Boris Johnson might have used government funds to help the career of an American businesswoman whose apartment he frequented.

Yep, that’s just another headline that rolls by, these days.

The Sunday Times, who are easily winning the media war for best investigative journalism over recent months, revealed in an article yesterday that Johnson, while London mayor, might have used his position and public money to help promote a “friend” of his.

This friend is Jennifer Arcuri, a former model who is now a tech entrepreneur. The Sunday Times alleges that Johnson personally intervened to allow Arcuri access to international trade missions, give her company sponsorship grants and even win a £100,000 government grant from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

This grant was for UK-based start-up companies. Miss Arcuri left the UK in 2018, but registered the company at a rental house in Cheshire, the Times claims.

If you want to see just how closely Johnson got to Arcuri’s career, have a little gander at this:

Just to add more lighter fluid to the barrel-fire that is this story, it is alleged that Johnson frequently visited Ms. Arcuri’s Shoreditch flat. Far be it for me to speculate on the activities of a convicted serial womaniser, but I doubt that Johnson would have been able to concentrate on any business-oriented meetings there, what with the stripper-pole that is in the centre of the flat.

Look, these kinds of headlines used to kill careers. But these days, in this environment, it’s likely that we’ll forget all about this. I hope we don’t, as if this story is proved true then it means that a politician used public funds, our taxes, to give preferential treatment to a foreign businesswoman.

But, despite everything, I think he’ll survive it. The man has enough puncture wounds to kill a rhino, but he keeps trundling on regardless.

Today could prove to be the day where his chickens come home to roost. And they may roost pretty damn hard. Serious, next-level roosting.

But do not think that the fight is gone out of this Prime Minister yet. With his opposition about to quite literally fall apart and anger against the Lib-Dems’ “Revoke or Bust” policy, he may yet survive.

At what cost, however, remains to be seen.

Weekly Wrap-Up – 19/07 – 25/07

Here we are. Some fifteen years in the making, we are finally living in a Boris Johnson Britain.

The politician who undoubtedly won the “Most likely to follow own ego until they become Prime Minister” prize at school is now our leader. And he has kicked things off with a bang.

Now, like some cruel teaser trailer for the film we thought we were about to see, all of Parliament will take 5 weeks to be away from Westminster. It’s unfair to call this a holiday – most MPs will take this time to work in their constituencies and use the time to help people who rely on them at a local level.

But my god, what a tease. We have two days of Boris, and then everyone sods off for a month?!

Don’t be too alarmed, though – over the next few weeks, we will keep speeding towards the inevitable carnage that is the clash between Parliament and Government. Everyone will still be working, especially Boris…

But things will only really heat up in September.

For now, though, let’s take a moment to assess this historic week, reflect, and then enjoy the sweet, sweet cool of the drizzle and clouds we have forecast for tomorrow.

38 degrees can absolutely do one.


Ad-Lib (Dem)

On Monday, Jo Swinson won the race to become the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. You can read about this here.

So far, she has done rather well – she has already mobilised the Lib-Dem social media team, who have suddenly become prolific on Twitter; shown compassion to a defeated Theresa May when Jeremy Corbyn couldn’t; and openly stated her case to be Prime Minister, not just a third-party leader.

And, with Boris’ doubling-down on Brexit this week, and Jeremy Corbyn’s refusal to openly back Remain, she has seen the Lib Dem support skyrocket.

This will be making the moderate Tories either start cacking themselves, or think long and hard about defecting.

The Lib-Dems might just be on the start of not just a resurgence, but becoming a new political power. 

Watch this space.


King Boris

The day after, a second leadership election result was announced.

You can read about it, in a slightly tipsily-written blog, here, or in a slightly less tipsily-written blog, here.

More will follow from this writer next week about what the repercussions of his new Cabinet are. But, in the meantime, it is worth noting this:

Boris has firmly staked his claim as the man to deliver Brexit. He has created a team around him that is designed to achieve this goal, and this goal alone.

Ostensibly.

Whispers have come out of Westminster saying that there is widespread speculation that Boris is planting the seeds of a fantastically Machiavellian political plot.

Having gone fully gung-ho, putting all of the pressure on the EU to accept his plans to “renegotiate,” despite their repeatedly saying that there will be no new negotiations, he has created his first scapegoat if things fail.

Then, when they refuse, he will go for a No-Deal Brexit, which he knows will be blocked by Parliament. The Tory rebels, the “non-believers” and “pessimists” in the Labour Party, as he accused them of being today – they are the second scapegoat.

And, with enemies from abroad and within laying siege to the “democratic will of the people,” which he has openly embodied, he will create a passionate, furiously-loyal voter base if he fails to pass Brexit by October 31st.

And then, and only then, will he call a General Election – he will have been prevented from achieving his goals by his political enemies, and so, will run on the understanding that “We can believe in Britain again, and make ourselves the great nation we should be, by voting for Boris.”

If he won an election, he would have a mandate to govern for five years.

Maybe this isn’t really about Brexit, after all?


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Swinging His Johnson About

D-Day.

Or rather, B-Day.

In yesterday’s scorching heat, itself preceded by tumultuous thunderclaps and lightning flashes during the night, the sun set on one era and rose on another.

It was a day of drama, tension, and upheaval – everything an important day in politics should be.

We said goodbye to Theresa May and welcomed in Boris Johnson. Nobody quite knew what was going to happen as the political panda that is Mr Johnson shuffled into the doors of Number 10, Downing Street.

But by golly and by gosh did he immediately leave his mark.


The Maybot Is Terminated

Yesterday, we said a sort-of-but-not-all-that fond farewell to Theresa May, Britain’s second female Prime Minister. A mere 120 days since May first offered to resign in order to push her Brexit deal through, she was finally done.

But, before she could depart No. 10 and hand the keys over to Bozza, Tezza had one last Prime Minister’s Questions to take part in. To a packed House of Commons, she fielded “questions” from all over the house, which were mostly just complimentary statements about her premiership from stooges or admirers.

This is the norm for a PM’s final PMQs – play nice, thank them for their service, turf them out with a nice gift of a decanter or a handbag and then move on.

Jeremy Corbyn, however, didn’t get the memo – he laid into May’s legacy, highlighting her shortcomings on policy and failure to address some serious social issues like homelessness and food banks.

And, in a moment that makes me wish she’d had a bit more chutzpah from the start, she showed humility towards Corbyn with her final statement to him…

And then told him that he should follow her example and stand down as leader of the Labour Party.

This, in political terms, is the equivalent of shaking someone’s hand, kicking them in the shin, farting on their head while they’re keeled over then setting off on a moped, aiming a ferociously-flipped bird in their direction as you do so.

It was rather glorious.

Then, tears brimming, she said her goodbyes, marched out of the Commons, shaking the hand of John Bercow as she went (some enemies aren’t worth keeping), and set off for Buckingham Palace.


BoJo Time

After resigning to Queenie, May left the palace and retreated to her constituency in Maidenhead.

The time had come.

Boris, on his way to meet with the Queen, was met by climate change protestors who forced him to change his route, but this was a mere hiccup on the path to fulfil his destiny – far worse had befallen him before, only to be vanquished.

…Like Michael Gove stabbing him in the back, lest we forget.

Ho ho ho.

As per tradition, the Queen invited him to form a government, which he accepted. He was then carted back to Number 10 to give his maiden speech – so far, so textbook.

But this is Boris we are talking about – nothing is ever as straightforward as that. There were a few… oddities… about his speech.

Firstly, it was held to the backdrop of anti-Brexit protestors screaming at the top of their lungs outside the gates to Downing Street, and pro-Brexit counter-protestors screaming right back at them.

I travelled to Downing Street myself yesterday to be met by chants of “BORIS IS A LIAR” to the backing track of “Killing In The Name Of” by Rage Against The Machine. British politics is fun.

Second, his girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, already a target of excruciatingly intense media coverage following the release of her recorded bust-up with Boris, did not accompany him to the palace – she instead stood waiting with the rest of his staff outside the doors to No. 10.

While not a bad thing at all in and of itself, it is atypical for an incumbent Prime Minister to not appear with their partner… although Boris is still technically married to someone else, so that might be for the best.

Most importantly, his speech itself showed more than we thought it might – while there was little in the way of real substance, went on far too long, and was an oratory mess, it told us one, major thing: Boris means business on Brexit. 

While many had suspected that Boris might play his cards a little closer to his chest in order to keep both sides of his warring party together for as long as possible, Boris doubled down on his commitment to leaving the EU by the 31st of October, and promised to negotiate a new deal.

Which the EU have said, repeatedly and clearly, will not happen.

But Boris was not done yet. Not by a long shot.


Collaborative Cabinet or All-Out War…drobe?

Wardrobe.

War.

…Or something.

Boris didn’t reshuffle the Cabinet so much as disassemble it, lovingly stack it into a firepit, pour lighter fluid on it and burn it into ashes.

My God, it was a massacre. That sounds hyperbolic, but seventeen ministers were sacked or left of their own accord – a truly absurd number.

Look, I’ll go into more detail about the new Cabinet in a blog in the next few days and give you the lowdown on the new faces but the one thing to know is this:

This is not a collaborative government. There is not the width and breadth of ideological and political opinion in there that there was in May’s government.

This is a Brexit task-force.

And they face Mission Impossible.


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Long Live The King

As I write, it is 1am. It is currently apocalyptic outside.

With a torrential downpour acting as the percussion, the night’s sky is a symphony. Regular, pallid illuminations of the garden act as a melody, with the alarmingly frequent forks of jagged lightning skimming across the sky serving as dissonant frills to an already jarring tonality.

The thunder, rolling in and out from far and near, serves as an unwilling timpani.

Two things could have caused such a malevolent force across our national clime.

  1. Cthulu, Beelzebub, or Hades themselves have risen, turning these fair green lands into their playground;
  2. Or Boris Johnson finally became Prime Minister.

Lol, it’s deffo number 2.

And actually, Boris deserves to be Prime Minister – a superb orator, someone who commands loyalty and respect from those around him, and someone who is, despite everything, trying to mobilise Britain with something that has been lost for quite some time now…

Optimism.

And yet I find myself watching the storm outside, worrying for the mental fortitude of the dogs downstairs, and finding myself falling on the side of the critics.

It boils down to one, all-encompassing and yet unanswerable question:

How does Boris make us survive the storm that, once forewarned, is now finally falling upon us?


Route One: The Masterplan

Boris is, as he has himself confessed, someone who believes that bravado and courage are more important than having a clear-cut plan. He is also someone who is more than happy to put the interests of a career, and the long-term, over what is arguably right.

This is, after all, the man who wrote two columns for the The Telegraph in 2016 – one in favour of Remain, and one in favour of Leave. He only chose the latter mere hours before the result was announced.

But underneath it all lies an extremely intelligent man, make no mistake. The hair, the bluster, the bonhomie – it is all a calculated plan to be the acceptable face of conservatism to a nation that lurches in and out of support of it.

Perhaps his claims during the election campaign were merely a mask. Perhaps his claims of leaving on October 31st “come hell or high water” are merely a ploy to strike fear into the hearts of the EU.

Perhaps there is an ace in his sleeve. Perhaps there is a get-out-of-jail-free card that is yet to be played.

But many, far more intelligent people than this humble writer have yet to see it. It is unlikely that there is an angle that no-one else has seen yet.

But you never know.


Route Two: The Boris Factor

There is no denying that Boris is a force of nature. 

This writer has even experienced it himself.

In 2006, I attended a debate that he was on the panel for. When questions were opened to the floor, I asked him, “Do you think that your political success is because of your appearances on Have I Got News For You?”

This was in front of around 600 people, many of them also prominent politicians, and the question sparked a murmur in the room (and suddenly made me need to urinate very urgently).

However, he simply chuckled and then gave his answer, all the while making welcoming, non-threatening eye-contact with me. He even cracked jokes which were warmly received by the room before him.

I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t listen a word he said – it was like being under a spell of joviality and warmth and I just found myself smiling and nodding.

But back then, I was but a mere teenager, acne-ridden and wide-eyed. The EU are not teenagers, nor are they acne-ridden or wide-eyed.

They are hard-nosed negotiators, who have the backing of an entire continent of trade and political security. We are an island, with waning power, and a distinct lack of self-awareness concerning our empirical past.

Boris might have charmed me, but I cannot envisage a time where he would have Ursula von der Leyen in the palm of his hand.


Route Three: The Ritual Sacrifice

King Boris will never fall on his sword.

However, his refusal to do so may prove to be the tipping point.

To watch any documentary about Boris recently is to see a man who is desperately insecure. According to widely-shared accounts, he has always been a man who believes that he deserves different treatment to those around him, for he knows better.

And yet, for a man who knows better, he has chosen to take the poisoned chalice of the Tory leadership at the time where it is less wine than it is pure arsenic.

He knows that Parliament will block no-deal. He knows that Parliament will block prorogation. He knows that Parliament will block anything he does, and he knows that his majority will soon be down to just three.

Three.

A majority to pass a white paper on the idea that “Kicking Kittens Is Wrong,” but little else.

The fact of the matter is that Boris will, more likely than not, come to realise that his timing was nothing short of catastrophic. His premiership will come crashing down around him as he realises that his promises of leaving on October 31st will eventually be proven to be lies; that he cannot be a One Nation Conservative while he panders to the ERG; and that a divided nation will not unite under him in these apolitical times.

In short, Boris is fucked.

A man who has always dreamed of becoming Prime Minister has chosen the worst time in history to do it. In a matter of weeks, his bluster and bravado will make way for pleading and pandering. His plans will fall to ashes, he will be forced into a General Election, and God only knows what will happen then.

Or, if fortune favours him, he will lead us into a no-deal Brexit. And it will be on his shoulders, and his alone, if the damage done to our economy is as bad as the warnings say.

The King Is Already Dead.

Long Live The King.


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