Saturday 7 September 2019

Johnson Found Out - Above His Abilities

Opposition MPs and parties, including those chomping at the bit for a General Election are holding off. It is the correct procedure for maximum effect.

Boris Johnson has shown that the MPs must not trust him, and the worst move now would be to pass a law to insist on seeking an extension, or having a deal, or having back the May deal via the Kinnock amendment, and then leave it in Johnson's and Cummings' hands to do as they wish.

Proroguing Parliament as Johnson has forced was for a long time regarding scrutiny but a short time regarding extra waiting for a General Election.

(It shows that proroguing ought to come under Statute Law and not Monarchic power as has happened with calling a General Election.)

The upshot is that Johnson has prorogued against himself. Unable to pass laws by his own actions, the date will approach in which he must ask for an extension to stay in the European Union, and enact it, or have a deal ready.

My guess is that he will never have proposals acceptable to the European Union regarding replacing the backstop, and that, as a last ditch measure, he will table the Theresa May deal off the shelf. It may even approach a majority to get it through. The Kinnock amendment means that Parliament must discuss it as according to concessions offered by the government after the Labour and Conservative talks.

(Originally, the government failed to provide tellers so that there would be no measure of the number of Labour MPs voting for the Kinnock amendment that would then be a competitor to the government's approach of going for a deal, or no deal, without the backstop. The price of this was the amendment succeeding by failing to provide the tellers. But it may be that the government uses this in having a deal, any deal, to remove us from the European Union.)

BUT this project has been all about protecting the Conservative Party from the hard-right Europhobic wing, and May's deal will betray that wing and can only get through with Labour votes. Labour of course won't support it, and this time will want a General Election. The same will be so for the Liberal Democrats, Greens, Plaid Cymru and the all-important Scottish National Party.

Labour must wait, because at the moment Labour is weak, but waiting until beyond the end of October weakens the Conservatives more, because of its internal betrayal and a recovery then in the Brexit Party. The weakness of the Conservatives will also help the SNP be sure they pick off the Tory MPs in Scotland.

So until then it is vital to keep Johnson weak. The Cabinet will soon become frustrated.

If he does go for a General Election by votes, until he prorogues Parliament, if it looks to be successful then make sure it is successful by less than two thirds so that an emergency government can take the reins and actually deliver the delay request ahead of the General Election.

Something else. It was often said - and virtually by Johnson himself before Theresa May was selected to be Prime Minister - that the office of Prime Minister was above Johnson's abilities. This looks to be the case. He does not command detail - at least Theresa May understood her brief - and he just blusters and makes it up as he goes along. He has been found out. The notion that he had the charisma to communicate - and he had a good run prior to scrutiny - has fallen flat, just as his ability in the job has been shown to be inadequate. The Cabinet will surely now overcome the 'reign of terror', which was only to cover up for Johnson's inabilities by Dominic Cummings driving the ship, and so it won't be long before Johnson is gone. He may even realise it himself and go, to be replaced by a caretaker government, to secure the extension and then go to the country.

I would not be surprised if he then changes his used name back to Alexander.

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