McDonnell: Most Right Wing Cabinet in my Lifetime

The endorsements just keep flying in for Boris’s new Cabinet, it was John McDonnell’s turn on Peston last night to hail it as the “most right wing Cabinet in my lifetime” and predict that we’ll see some “pretty hardline neo-liberal policies come out”. High praise indeed from Britain’s most left-wing ever Shadow Chancellor. McDonnell astutely notes that they will be “differentiated certainly from the Labour Party”…

Whether it really suits Corbyn “down to the ground” is another matter, he may end up finding out sooner than he really wants. New Leader of the Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg told Peston a general election was not a “government objective” but was “impossible to rule out” given the Parliamentary arithmetic. The way Boris ruthlessly stamped his authority on the Cabinet yesterday suggests he is more than prepared to face down any potential rebels. With an election if necessary…

McDonnell couldn’t even say Labour would definitely back Remain, meanwhile Corbyn continues to wander round aimlessly calling for a general election while refusing to table a vote of no confidence in the new government. Labour’s Marxist leadership may be in for a sharp shock now they’re no longer getting an easy ride against May’s muddled centrism…

mdi-timer 25th July 2019 @ 8:24 am 25th Jul 2019 @ 8:24 am mdi-comment Comments
Tom Watson’s U-Turn on Bad Al’s Brexit Agenda

Tom Watson has been making a full-throated case for remaining in the EU this morning at the sycophantic pro-EU think tank Centre for European Reform. Guido couldn’t help but remember this memorable clash between Watson and Alastair Campbell just last May. Watson tears into Bad Al for not respecting the Brexit vote and repeatedly mocks the fact he no longer decides Labour policy:

“We have to listen to the whole of the British people on this Alastair and we’ve got to make sure that we honour them by saying we’re coming out of the EU…”

“What I’m saying is: you no longer decide Labour Party policy… I know you’d like to, I know they don’t pay you a lot of money as the editor of the New European…”

Campbell might have been unceremoniously shown the exit door from Labour, its Deputy Leader doesn’t seem to mind him setting the agenda again…

mdi-timer 17th June 2019 @ 12:01 pm 17th Jun 2019 @ 12:01 pm mdi-comment Comments
Heidi on Joining Lib Dems: Never Say Never

Heidi Allen tried to water down rumours that she will join the Liberal Democrats last night on Peston, but left the possibility open for herself saying “never say never in this game because there are shifting sands”. Guido’s analysis shows that as a Lib Dem Heidi would hold a decent chance of holding her seat. As for the other TIGs, not so much

mdi-timer 6th June 2019 @ 8:32 am 6th Jun 2019 @ 8:32 am mdi-comment Comments
Hunt Won’t Commit to October 31 Brexit Deadline

Jeremy Hunt was grilled on Brexit by Peston last night after being forced to helplessly sit through a whole segment of the show where his flip-flopping on Brexit was read out line-by-line. Ouch…

More significantly, Hunt would not commit to the new October 31 Brexit deadline on the grounds that Parliament could try to block no deal, which he argues would lead to a “very, very devastating” general election. Hunt’s plan relies on putting back together the Conservative-DUP alliance, which will be a tall ask if the hated backstop is still in place…

On the other side of the argument Dominic Raab tells the Spectator that he would be prepared to use all the “levers of the executive” to force through a no deal if necessary, potentially setting up an epic constitutional crash with aspiring ‘Eternal President’ John Bercow. May never seriously attempted to use those levers so Raab would be in unchartered waters. Ultimately the onus would be on Remainer Tory MPs to decide once and for all what they really think is worse, no deal or a Marxist Prime Minister…

mdi-timer 30th May 2019 @ 8:54 am 30th May 2019 @ 8:54 am mdi-comment Comments
Mercer: We Have to Pick Someone Who Wins – That’s Boris

The Tory leadership field has got marginally less crowded after outside contender Johnny Mercer formally announced on Peston that he wouldn’t be running – and gave a ringing endorsement of Boris Johnson instead:

“The one thing we’ve been missing is leadership… it’s very clear to me that there’s one individual who can try and govern from the centre-right… and that is Boris Johnson…

“We are in parlous times and the only individual who is going to beat Farage and Corbyn and win an election… we have to pick someone who wins.”

Mercer hints that he will be a big part of Team Boris, he reveals that he’s had “many conversations” with him and that “we’re going to try and do it together, go out try and inspire the party, bring them together”. Dominic Grieve and Wes Streeting are predictably amused but there has been a big softening of attitudes towards Boris among many longtime “anyone but Boris” Tories, he has been publicly courting the ‘One Nation’ caucus, even Ruth Davidson has now said she can work with him. Panicking Tory MPs are watching their party’s catastrophic slide in the polls and desperately looking around for a winner, many are coming to the same conclusion as Mercer…

mdi-timer 23rd May 2019 @ 7:58 am 23rd May 2019 @ 7:58 am mdi-comment Comments
Thornberry’s Jab at Anonymous Labour “Backroom Briefing”

Fair to say that Emily Thornberry’s not particularly impressed with anonymous “backroom briefing” from Labour spokespeople suggesting that Labour might abstain on the second reading of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. “I’m the elected politician, I’m on the record, we’re not going to vote for the Withdrawal Bill if we don’t agree it, and we don’t…” Who could she possibly be thinking of…?

mdi-timer 16th May 2019 @ 10:22 am 16th May 2019 @ 10:22 am mdi-comment Comments
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