Monday 24 October 2022

The Hindu to See the King

 So the Conservatives have not made the same mistake twice. (See the previous entry.)

Sunak has won among the MPs and that was good enough. He will present a more substantial leader for Keir Starmer and Ed Davey to tackle electorally, though at first glance Sunak lacks communication skills in front of a television camera.

He could be - we'll have to see - at the Social Democratic end of the Conservative Party - a bit like Johnson, but Johnson also threw red meat tit bits to his right wingers and was a Nationalist with it.

He'll be a Hindu charged with deciding between two Church of England bishops for appointments.

He is untested, of course, with the broad-brush management of ministers who are to do the specific delivery. Many Liz Truss 'yes people' will now be bundled out from the Cabinet.

Thus, regardless of public statements of best intentions, right wingers will add to those disgruntled. We remain at the end of a political cycle where the body politic is desperate for renewal that comes with a sea-change General Election. Pity that the opposition leaders lack charisma. Capable and tested ones are in devolved government. Unless Truss, who ignored them, Sunak would do well to call upon them in a positive manner.

Same Again?

Johnson has gone. Whatever his reason, it's sensible from a Tory Party point of view. He became divisive. His 'time' will probably be to head up the opposition, if the Tories lose the next General Election.

However, imagine the scenario now. Penny Mordaunt gets over a hundred MPs, many from Johnson, many anti-Sunak.

Two go to the membership. Sunak with the overwhelming backing of MPs again loses to the other one.

It would be just like how Truss won, the Tories' own Jeremy Corbyn, the ideologue who lacked the support of most MPs. (The difference is: he was genuine and she was fake, a recreation several times.)

The Tory Party in the House of Commons would explode. They might even hold their own vote afterwards and have Sunak (almost) command a majority in the House of Commons.

Or, more likely, the Mordaunt faction would make Sunak unable to get legislation through.

So, unless she backs down, the risk is that the Tory Party self-destructs.

Saturday 22 October 2022

Stupid Politics (Continued)

 The Tory calculation is that Boris Johnson will prevent an electoral wipeout. The problem is that he will now divide opinion.

Yes, some electors will vote for him, but equally those anti-Johnson who are not attracted positively to 'Soporific Starmer' or 'Disappointing Davey' will be motivated to vote for who can remove their constituency Tory MP.

But, before we ever get there, imagine Sunak getting the vast majority of Conservative MPs only for it to go to the membership and find that they select Johnson. It'll be back to the same issue again, as with Truss.

Plus, if Johnson wins, several Conservative MPs will go independent or even join an opposition party.

Rely on the Conservatives to get it wrong again!

Thursday 20 October 2022

If Johnson Stands

 If Boris Johnson wants to stand for Conservative Party leader, the Conservative Party will descend into chaos like the present chaos has been a little difficulty.

He commands support and wishes to restore what was lost, but too many have learnt the lesson of his unsuitability as Prime Minister.

So, far from there being a unity candidate, there'd be (with a week?) sharp division with massive infighting. A placed-in Prime Minister would not be able to command the House of Commons.

I'm not very good at predictions but I can see the trends and movements. My predictions sort of work their way through perhaps in a different way. I was right that Truss had lost authority, but she (for a while) decided to dig in. However, nothing she said had lasting power and so she has gone.

Some want Johnson in as the only charismatic leader to face a General Election. The price is huge.

The problem for others is that they would be a leader up to defeat at the polls and then would be replaced, especially after a bloodbath. If I was a Tory MP with leadership ambitions, I'd become leader in a period of coming opposition to have a manifesto and policy aims and identity. What's the point of a short period in office, when defeat is almost guaranteed?

The Tories cannot do a leadership stitch-up within a week if Boris Johnson stands.

Monday 17 October 2022

She's Going (Or Not)

Update: Read below and I'm wrong. Prime Minister Liz Truss told Chris Mason, the BBC Political editor and part-time Comedian Correspondent, that she was leading the Conservatives into the next General Election. They will, of course, be delighted. What it means is rather than stand down and make things easy and organised, they will have to prise her out.

So what was the very important business that kept Liz Truss from the House of Commons this afternoon? Why did Penny Maudant take her place.

Had Putin nuked Ukraine? No, she was talking to Sir Graham Brady. Surely the House of Commons and accountability takes priority? He's a party manager.

Then we hear she will have drinks with the cabinet this evening.

Journalists haven't said it, because they haven't been told. But let's speculate. They've discussed her succession and she will slip away quietly.

She turned up to hear Jeremy Hunt wipe away her policies and join her to the 'anti-growth coalition' - presumably her meeting with Sir Graham Brady had a satisfactory conclusion.

Friday 14 October 2022

Jeremy Hunt? He Won't Last

 Jeremy Hunt is apparently the new Chancellor of the Exchequer before it's even been announced.

He has no connection with Liz Truss, and the question has to be who would serve under her. Her authority is completely battered. Kwasi Kwarteng was her ideological soulmate and he did what they wanted to do. They lacked legitimacy to do it - who voted for them to suddenly do the other thing? - but Jeremy Hunt is no more than a safe pair of hands. He will be a short term chancellor only because when she falls he will fall. She's finished and her colleagues may as well get on with it.

She's On Her Way

Update: Truss has sacked her ideological running mate, the Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng. Astonishing after all of 38 days. The chaos wasn't his doing, it was theirs. I don't see this is changing what I wrote below only yesterday. (Today is14th Ocotober 2022.)

It's amazing how it works out. The Truss government never had legitimacy. The tiny selectorate could not be behind such a change of policy from centre-right Johnson to economic liberal (and reconstructed) right wing Truss.

She's crap at her job and so is Kwarteng. You wouldn't think he was a hedge fund manager because he comes across as someone without experience. You wouldn't think she had been in the cabinet so long, but then as Foreign Secretary her legacy is having opportune photographs taken.

You get that moment when suddenly authority drains away. After just a month in the job it's happening again, as it did with Johnson. This time, if there is no General Election, the Tory Party has to obey the rules of Parliamentary democracy and the Members of Parliament approve the people put in power.

Truss will not only not win a General Election; she will sink the Tory party ship. Maybe the Tories just have to accept that they are going to lose. The reason Patel did not stand for the leadership was because she knew the next leader would lose and be sacked. Better to be chosen as opposition leader, set out your stall and make the appeal to the voters.

The non-Budget that was a Budget can be reversed in part or whole, but the damage is done. The idea that taxes should be cut when the NHS is flat on its back, the court system is disintegrating, and there is no improvement in productivity, and when so many people are sick, is madness. Growth comes from investment, not from fiscal measures that cause stricter and contradictory monetary measures. Johnson at least knew that money had to be spent.

This has been a lesson in Jeremy Corbyn too: he did not have the support of MPs for his far-reaching radical project. It was sourced in the swollen Labour Party membership of that time. Liz Truss is a Jeremy Corbyn, and she is the wrong person at the wrong time with the wrong ideology.

Authority is slipping away and so goodbye. Bizarrely, the constitution is working.