Barmy Adonis: Farage is PM

Another bonkers statement from Andrew Adonis on LBC this morning. Think this story has run its course now…

10 Bonkers Things Adonis Said About Brexit

It’s remarkable Andrew Adonis kept his job for so long given he has said all this about the government’s main policy:

  • Compared Brexit to appeasing Hitler
  • Called Brexit “self-mutilation”
  • Said Britain should have joined the Euro as it would have averted Brexit
  • Called Theresa May’s top aide Nick Timothy a “Brexit extremist”
  • Demanded MPs “halt Brexit” and “scrap Brexit”
  • Claimed Brexit could mean “planes grounded, nuclear power unsafe”
  • Called the EU Withdrawal Bill the “National Betrayal Bill”
  • Reckons Brexit is being driven by a “David Davis-Keir Starmer axis”
  • Compared Brexit to the Titanic sinking
  • Wrote to Tony Hall demanding the BBC sack Andrew Neil for “pro-Brexit bias”

Even most Remainers aren’t pushing his barmy letter this evening. Not the words of someone thinking rationally.

Adonis’ Shouty Crackers Resignation Letter in Full

Brexit hater-in-chief Andrew Adonis has finally left his cushy government job at the National Infrastructure Commission. A government source says: “He’s been moving closer towards the exit door with each new onslaught he makes against Brexit. He’s now walked through the door before he was pushed.” At last.

Guido said last month that Adonis had been driven mad by Brexit – his resignation letter confirms that. He says Theresa May has become the “voice of UKIP and the extreme nationalist right-wing” and that Brexit is “a dangerous populist and nationalist spasm worthy of Donald Trump”. Adonis, an unelected peer, also says Brexit doesn’t have a popular mandate. Totally mad.

Dear Prime Minister,

The hardest thing in politics is to bring about lasting change for the better, and I believe in working together across parties to achieve this. In that spirit I was glad to accept reappointment by you last year as Chair of the independent National Infrastructure Commission, when you also reaffirmed your support for HS2, which will help overcome England’s north-south divide when it opens in just eight years time. I would like to thank you for your courtesy in our personal dealings. 

The Commission has done useful work in the past 27 months, thanks to highly dedicated public servants and commissioners. Sir John Armitt, my deputy chair, and Phil Graham, as chief executive, have been brilliant fellow pioneers from the outset. I am particularly proud of our work on HS3 to link the Northern cities and Crossrail 2 for London, and our plans for the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge corridor. All these will be transformational if taken forward without delay. 

However, I am afraid I must now step down, because of fundamental policy differences – on infrastructure and beyond – which simply can’t be bridged.

Your decision to rupture British membership of Europe’s key economic and political institutions is the most important. The European Union Withdrawal Bill is the worst legislation of my lifetime. It arrives soon in the House of Lords and I feel duty bound to oppose it relentlessly from the Labour benches. 

Brexit is a dangerous populist and nationalist spasm worthy of Donald Trump. After the narrow referendum vote for an undefined proposition to ‘leave the EU,’ it could have been attempted without rupturing our essential European trade and political relations. However, by becoming the voice of UKIP and the extreme nationalist right-wing of your party, you have taken a different course, for which you have no parliamentary or popular mandate. 

You are attempting to wrench  Britain out of the key economic and political institutions of modern Europe, erecting barriers between people and trade even within Ireland. If this happens, taking us back into Europe become the mission of our childrens’ generation, who will marvel at your wanton destruction. 

A responsible government should be seeking to persuade the British people to stay in Europe while also tackling, with massive vigour, the social and economic problems within Britain which led to the narrow referendum result of eighteen months ago, particularly in our many desperately poor towns, cities and regions. Your policy is the opposite. The Government is hurtling towards the EU’s emergency exit with no credible plan for the future of Britain’s trade and European co-operation, while ignoring – beyond soundbites and inadequate programmes – the crisis of housing, education, the NHS and social and regional inequality which are undermining the fabric of our nation and feeding the populism which led to Brexit. 

What Britain needs in 2018 is a radical reforming government in the tradition of Attlee which works tirelessly to eradicate social problems, while strengthening Britain’s international alliances. This is a cause I have long advocated and acted upon in government and I intend to pursue it with all the energy I can muster. 

Britain needs to be deeply engaged, responsible and consistent in its European policy. When we have failed to be so in the past, the security and prosperity of our Continent have been in jeopardy – inevitably so, given our power and our embodiment of the values of parliamentary democracy. For Her Majesty’s Government, there is no such thing as ‘splendid isolation’: and when Lord Salisbury, among your most short-sightedly cynical predecessors, pronounced this as British policy in the imperial late-Victorian era, it was followed within barely a decade by the First World War and what was, in effect, a 30-year European war between the forces of democracy on the one hand, and Communism and extreme nationalism on the other. The stakes may not appear so high as this moment, but no-one observing Putin’s Russia, and the rise authoritarian nationalism in Poland and Hungary, can doubt the resonances with the past or the dangers ahead. As Edmund Burke so wisely wrote, ‘people will not not look forwards to posterity who do not look backwards to their ancestors.’

However, I would anyway have been forced to resign from the Commission at this point because of the Transport Secretary’s extraordinary decision to bail-out Stagecoach and Virgin on the East Coast rail franchise. This bailout will cost the taxpayer hundreds of millions of pounds, possibly billions as other loss-making rail companies demand equal treatment, endangering the entire national infrastructure investment programme. 

It is increasingly clear that the bailout is a nakedly political manoeuvre by Chris Grayling in defiance of his public duty. It would be an act of cavalier irresponsibility even were public resources not so constrained, and is the more so in the context of Brexit. Mr Grayling’s policy appears to be motivated above all by a refusal, for purely political reasons, to follow my precedent of 2009 in the case of National Express and the same East Coast franchise. I set up a public company to take over the franchise once the private operator defaulted on its obligations to the state because it had over-bid for the contract, and the same should have been done in this case. The circumstances are very similar. 

The decision to bail out Stagecoach/Virgin will inevitably come under close scrutiny by the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, and I need to be free to set out serious public interest concerns. I hope the PAC calls Sir Richard Branson and Sir Brian Souter to give evidence soon, given the gravity of the financial losses to the taxpayer. I stand ready to give evidence to the PAC and other parliamentary committees at their convenience, and to share with them substantial relevant evidence. 

As you know, I raised these issues directly with the Chancellor and Transport Secretary immediately after the bailout became apparent from the small print of an odd policy statement on 29 November majoring on reversing of Beeching rail closures of the 1960s. I received no response from either Minister beyond inappropriate requests to desist.

You occupy one of the most powerful offices in the history of the world, the heir of Churchill, Attlee and Gladstone. Whatever our differences, I wish you well in guiding our national destiny at this critical time.

 

Safe to say he won’t be missed.

10 People Who’ve Been Driven Mad By Brexit

For the past few months it has become clear that certain members of the politico-media bubble have been undergoing a Brexit induced breakdown. The Remainiac bug is spreading – even some Remainers who were previously worth listening to have started to sound like tin-foil hatted conspiracy theorists. It falls upon Guido to stage a public intervention for their own good. Our list does not merely include ultra-Remainers who might be irritating but have kept their marbles. These are the 10 people who have been truly driven off the deep end by Brexit…

  • AC Grayling – Where else to begin? Grayling has become Twitter’s nutty professor, every day pumping out increasingly unhinged anti-Brexit diatribes. Some highlights include labelling Brexiteers “vermin“, seeking a general strike to oppose Brexit, claiming “90% of informed opinion” is against Brexit, alleging other ultra-Remainers were being “silenced” by forces of the state, and arguing that the Tory government is “alt-right”. Grayling is alt-reality.
  • Andrew Adonis – Every day he tweets about “stopping” or “halting” Brexit, which he calls “self-mutilation”. Some of his more vitriolic attacks are reserved for fellow Remainers who he reckons have sold out, he claims for example that Brexit is being driven by a “David Davis-Keir Starmer axis”. Peak Adonis was when he wrote to Lord Hall demanding the BBC sack Andrew Neil. Remarkably he still has a government job…
  • Ben Bradshaw – Bradshaw has taken to tweeting out Louise Mensch blog posts citing “multiple sources with links to UK intelligence” who apparently say the referendum should be voided due to Russian intervention. Yesterday he tweeted that it was time for the Tories “to come clean about extent of Kremlin’s reach into heart of Government”. Friends don’t let friends retweet Louise Mensch. 
  • Carole Cadwalladr – Cadwalladr appears to genuinely believe Brexit was a Russian plot, she has claimed the Leave campaign used psy-ops to hoodwink voters and doesn’t appear to realise she is being elaborately trolled by Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore who have christened her “Carole Codswallop”. Last night she suggested lifelong Eurosceptic Michael Gove only backed Vote Leave on the orders of the Legatum Institute, who she reckons are agents of Putin. It’s so ridiculous even Newsnight have taken the piss. The Observer’s continued indulging of her conspiracy theories seems almost exploitative. 
  • Tim Walker – The waspish former diary columnist delights in dishing out snark, but thin-skinned Tim can’t take it when his conspiratorial babble is called out. The former Telegraph man turned freelancer and New European contributor reckons “Putin will continue to govern this country through stupid, weak, vain, greedy politicians so long as we, the people, are prepared to sit back and let him”. Cuckoo. 
  • Jolyon Maugham – Twitter’s most attention-seeking QC once said he considers it an honour that he is known as “the biggest c**t at the English bar”. Brexit has turned him mad as well as bad. Just read how nasty Maugham was to the genial Danny Finkelstein about Article 50. And who can forget the time he decided to set up a new political party to fight Brexit. Always a telltale sign of a Brexdown. 
  • Jeremy Cliffe – Talking of which, the Economist’s Berlin correspondent started The Radicals, seriously pledging to reverse Brexit, join the Euro, join the EU army and make Ken Clarke the next European Commission president. He quit the party after 12 hours following an all-staff internal email bollocking from his bosses. The Economist’s embarrassment was the happiest the FT newsroom has been all year. 
  • Liam Byrne – Byrne is partly responsible for setting off the Russia conspiracy theorists (and the Mail on Sunday), demanding a “US-style judge-led inquiry” in response to a Louise Mensch blog. He’s tweeted out crank articles quoting intelligence “sources” saying the referendum will need to be re-run. He’s in danger of going the full Bradshaw. And Liam, we really need to talk about the beard. 
  • Tom Brake – There has always been something of the night about Tom Brake, and the mood of parliament’s most humourless MP has not been helped by Brexit. When he’s not complaining to Bercow about Guido, Brake is making a fool of himself about Legatum. LibDem press officers play a game where they compete to put the most OTT lines into his press releases, knowing Brake will never tell them to tone it down. 
  • Alastair Campbell – Okay so he always was a few billion short of a trade deal, but Bad Al is really not taking things well at the moment. He calls Leavers “Brextremists”, compared them to jihadists and even launched into a xenophobic rant against Gisela Stuart. He’s not gone in for the Putin stuff to be fair. Though that’s possibly more to do with his own Russia Today appearances. 

Guido wishes them well and looks forward to their post-Brexit recovery in April 2019…

Remainers Reject Adonis ‘Sack Brillo’ Demand

Brexit is sending a lot of previously reasonable and rational people round the twist. Andrew Adonis is the latest, yesterday demanding that Andrew Neil is sacked and bizarrely claiming that Brexiters “control” the BBC. Adonis’ hysterical tweets were rejected by his fellow Remainers, who called him “daft”, “ridiculous” and “preposterous” and defended Brillo against accusations of bias.

Don’t imagine the many, many pro-Remain BBC journalists are particularly keen on the idea either. Adonis is in danger of going the full A.C. Grayling, it’s remarkable he still chairs the government’s Infrastructure Commission…

UPDATE: The FT’s editor adds his voice:

Angry Adonis Wanted ‘Office for Students’ Job

Andrew Adonis is furiously tweeting about the Office for Students, the new universities regulator, whose first Chief Executive was appointed last month. Adonis is alleging that the body, and its new head Nicola Dandridge, will be subject to regulatory capture:

This may or may not be true, there is always that danger with vested interests. Speaking of which, shouldn’t Adonis disclose when criticising the oversight of the ‘Office for Students’ that he went for the job of Chairing the Board… and didn’t get it…



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Quote of the Day

Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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