George Osborne on the Measure of Boris

Writing in this week’s Spectator Diary, the former Chancellor and Evening Standard editor attempted to encapsulate how Boris operates…

“My children have the measure of our prime minister. A couple of years ago, my son and I went for a lovely Sunday lunch at his house in Oxfordshire — where he has a Kalashnikov mounted on the wall. Boris suggested we play a game. A tug of war, but with a difference. The rope is tied around your waist and the contest takes place across a swimming pool. If you lose you end up in the water, fully clothed.

That’s Johnson for you: fun, inventive but ruthless. I suspect his brother Jo had one ducking too many.”

mdi-timer 12th September 2019 @ 1:12 pm 12th Sep 2019 @ 1:12 pm mdi-comment Comments
Hammond Himself Said Voting Leave Could Lead to No Deal

The latest mendacious line to come from the hard Remain camp is that “nobody was told that voting Leave could lead to no deal”, with Philip Hammond going into overdrive this morning and claiming it is a “total travesty of the truth”. The problem is, as usual, it’s the Remainer line that is a “total travesty of the truth”.

Change Britain have looked at what Remainer politicians actually said and, surprise surprise, everyone from David Cameron and George Osborne to Dominic Grieve and Hilary Benn repeatedly warned voters that voting Leave would lead to Britain leaving the EU after two years, deal or no deal. Along with a certain Rt Hon. Philip Hammond M.P. at the Despatch Box in the House of Commons…

mdi-timer 14th August 2019 @ 10:10 am 14th Aug 2019 @ 10:10 am mdi-comment Comments
Osbornes Divorcing

The Osbornes said in a statement this evening:

“George and Frances Osborne have sadly decided to divorce after 21 years of marriage. This is a long thought-through and mutual decision. They remain good friends and jointly devoted to their wonderful children. For the sake of their children, they ask that the family’s privacy is respected. Neither George nor Frances will be making any comment.”

Not a surprise since the 5/2 diet really…

mdi-timer 1st July 2019 @ 6:55 pm 1st Jul 2019 @ 6:55 pm mdi-comment Comments
George Osborne Backs Lib Dems

George Osborne’s Evening Standard has endorsed the Liberal Democrats in the European Elections in his leader. Labour Press will love this.

In the Evening Standard editorial today, the Liberal Democrats are lauded for their remoaner credentials: “They had the courage from the start to say the referendum result was a mistake — and Britain needed to think again.” Despite leader Vince Cable arguing that the referendum result must be respected and talking up the benefits

Last week when pushed Osborne told Peston that it would be ‘ridiculous’ if he didn’t vote Conservative. Strangely he won’t commit to saying he will vote Tory, just as his paper is telling people to back the Lib Dems…

mdi-timer 22nd May 2019 @ 12:01 pm 22nd May 2019 @ 12:01 pm mdi-comment Comments
Osborne: Cabinet Have a Responsibility to Tell May Enough’s Enough

George Osborne is no friend of Theresa May but his analysis was measured and insightful on Peston last night. No bags in the freezer this time…

Rather than changing the party rules to engineer her departure, Osborne says the Cabinet and the Conservative Party more broadly have a “responsibility” to tell May that enough is enough. She has one last chance to try to get her deal through, after that the game is up…

mdi-timer 9th May 2019 @ 8:58 am 9th May 2019 @ 8:58 am mdi-comment Comments
Grieve Loses Local Support After Breaking His Word

Dominic Grieve, Beaconsfield’s current Tory MP, lost a local constituency association confidence motion by 182 to 131 against him. The Beaconsfield Conservative Association chairman says that, “He remains our Conservative MP but I will be speaking as soon as possible to my fellow officers and the Executive Council.” A vote of no confidence is not a deselection.

Grieve is a decent man, we all agree, courageous even. To ignore your supporters and act against their wishes has consequences in a democracy. Deselections are always unpleasant, without them or at least the threat of them, MPs would be completely untethered from their supporters. MPs of all parties often arrogantly detest their activist members, who generally tend to be politically further away from the mainstream and their own ordinary voters. This tension is always there, sometimes the link snaps. This is such a time.

Grieve’s arrogance was that he thought he could shift from promising his members – in writing – that he would respect the outcome of the referendum, to leading the efforts to thwart Brexit, without cost. Breaking your word to voters, particularly the ones who get out the vote for you, is risky.

George Osborne tweeted this morning that Dominic Grieve had been “deselected”, going on to say “The Tory leadership can stop any deselection if it wants – we frequently did. CCHQ should suspend the local party. Otherwise we are heading for a huge, historic split in the Tory Party.” As a matter of fact Osborne has got it wrong, Grieve has not been deselected – yet. It is a bit rich Osborne, who has been campaigning to get rid of the leader of the Conservative Party since 2017, now calling for party unity. It is also more than galling when a Tory grandee says the little people who deliver leaflets, raise funds, vote for the party should be ignored and steam-rollered. Assuming of course that Osborne is still even a Conservative Party member…

UPDATE: Some groups like Leave.EU have been trying to claim the credit for Grieve’s deselection – local members strongly dispute the idea that they had anything to do with it, although Guido understands that the grassroots Campaign for Conservative Democracy was involved. A local Tory source tells Guido:

“Last night was a case of local members, most of whom have been members for years, finally getting organised and rising up. It has nothing to do with so-called “blue wave entryism” which isn’t even a thing. We’ve seen no real rise in membership numbers at all to suggest it could have any sort of impact.

“The principal reason Beaconsfield members voted against Grieve was that they felt he had been dishonest with them; promising at his last re-selection meeting to honour the referendum result, and then doing everything he could to thwart it. It’s his duplicity which has led to this motion passing.”

mdi-timer 30th March 2019 @ 12:14 pm 30th Mar 2019 @ 12:14 pm mdi-comment Comments
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