Thursday 15 November 2018

The course I have set is the right one. [citation needed]

Theresa May has come out fighting.

 Image result for theresa may today

 In a speech reminiscent of a previous PM, Gordon Brown, whom she resembles in very many dysfunctional ways, she insists she is getting on with the job. Delivering on her promises. Standing up for Britain. Everyone loves her and backs her. And only a few rebels are against her.
She might as well have added in a Scottish drone, “it’s the right thing to do.” And then stared woodenly and unconvincingly at a camera that wasn’t switched on.

After a day that has seen her lose junior and senior ministers.  Have her cherished Brexit plan savaged by the very person who would be delivering it. And seen the final few letters needed to begin a leadership challenge being delivered to the chief whip, Theresa has decided she will stand firm.
Like a rock. 
A big, granite, lumpen, featureless, brooding, immovable and pointless rock.

Obviously the PM has been in with her advisers. She has looked at the numbers for and against her. And decided that with some bribery and arm twisting. Some stick and carrot, that she could see of a leadership challenge.

There is no clear replacement to her. The party is split and will vote equally for Leave or Remain hopefuls. There will be many hats in the ring. Some loathed by others. Faction after faction will be stabbing and smearing their opponents in the media. She won’t face that. So she can slip through the middle on a split vote. Again. That would have been her advice. Which she accepted.

And as usual, it is poor political and practical advice. Advice from spads and schemers who see survival as a great success in its own right. Instead of the failure that simply being challenged already means she is.

If her advisers were honest with her, they would be more truthful. She has already lost. She was mortally wounded by her own terrible election campaign many, many months ago. And has only been limping on because her main rivals are divided and her official opposition is a joke.

But that does not mean she is a success. Only that others are even worse.

What the most senior and most trusted of her inner circle should be telling her is that it is over. 
 That if she goes now, before the challenge is official, she can go with some dignity. Can always claim she was defeated by opponents who never allowed her to put her brilliant and visionary Brexit plan to the actual test. And that she gave way only because time was so short for the Brexit deadline, and the stakes so high. That for the very good of the nation, she sacrificed herself. And they can also tell her a whole load of other untruths she can spin in her memoirs.

They should point out that if she doesn’t go now, however, she will face a challenge. Like hapless John before her, her majority isn't large enough to be certain a challenge can be seen off. And if she fails to win over her MPs, she will go down as a failed, booted out, PM.

They need to point out that glad-handing, schmoozing, backslapping and bonhomie is not on her skill set. That she will need to be able to woo the party. Individual MPs. Backbenchers. Buttering them up and being their buddy. One on one. And she is useless at that unfamiliar socialising lark.

The advice should be just how long will the contest now take? How much time will be lost. What size of a majority she thinks she needs to win by. Because just winning by one vote isn’t nearly enough. How much weaker will she be if she only got a small level of support? Enough to win, but not to lead. She already knows that 48 are definitely in the rebel camp. And those may be the bravest or most disgruntled 48. But there will be many more timid souls who will wish her well to her face. But will stab her in the back if they can do so anonymously.

And even if she survives the challenge unscathed, so what?
She still has to drive through her divided cabinet a Brexit plan so toxic she dared not mention it by name at her own conference. 
 A plan that is so poor and so weak she has to hide it from her own ministers.
 A plan so awful she has to try and bounce it past her cabinet by not letting them read about its contents until two minutes before a vote on it. And giving them false choices to approve it or ruin the country. To agree with her or take a long walk down a driveway to humiliation.

And if she gets it through her new cabinet appointees, how does she get it past parliament?
Labour are dizzy at the prospect of defeating her over it. The SNP want their NI like own exceptions included.  The liberals..are simply irrelevant.
Remoaners hate it. Leavers hate it. She has lost a remoan minister just this week. And lost two Brexit ministers today. Both saying they couldn’t begin to introduce it, it was so bad.
She lost a foreign secretary the day she tried to force the Robbins plan on everyone.
It has been roundly rejected by everyone who has read it, bar a handful of ultra loyal Mayites.

And even if, by some mathematical miracle, she got it through Parliament? So what?

The DUP who are against it, and will simply bring the entire, fragile,  government down anyway.

And even if they don’t it’s such a feeble framework that the further concessions she must give to the EU will erode any lingering support the prime minister has. While allowing her opponents to jeer,that they told her so!

It’s a bad draft. From a bad Prime Minister. It fails to deliver on all the things she claims it does. And all are aware of that. Hiding the detail isn't leadership or clever politics. It’s cowardice and delusion.
Yet, like the appalling Prime Minister Brown, she seems not to realise what is most obvious to all else.

Early on in his premiership, Gordon the Mad, insisted that 42 day’s detention was “the right thing to do.”  Nobody really agreed with him. But he insisted it was. He made the non issue of pretending to be tough on crime into a contest about himself.  He faced down labour rebels. Demanded loyalty. Sent in his fixers and black ops to ‘persuade’ the waverers. 
 He spent days and nights on the telephone attempting to placate, promise and win over his own reluctant, soft on crime, lefty MPs.
It became a trial of strength. His own Hamburger Hill. A vicious fight with many casualties, for not very much at all.

In the end he used every drop of his already depleted reservoir of political capital and every ounce of his shallow stocks of good will and managed to secure a small majority for his 42 day detention bill.

At a time when he was still popular and had a Parliamentary majority Cameron or May would have killed for, he wasted all his time, effort and resources to secure a mild win on a minor matter. That was, as everyone had told him it would be, defeated in the Lords and abandoned completely soon after.

 He was a bit of a laughing stock in the media. He was never able to reasonably explain quite why he had this obsession. Why his was the only possible solution to the issue. Why he ignored all reasonable advice and alternative proposals. 
 Or why he allowed himself to be sucked into defending an indefensible position in the first place.

It was the beginning of the end for him. And when the real threats and real problems came later on, he had few friends and little power left. He was only saved from his own ignominious booting out by his own party, by the economic catastrophe that he had so happily helped to ensure.
And as we all know he ended his political days as a sad joke. An object lesson. In appointing someone whose ambitions far exceeded their abilities.

So, Theresa. Why persist? The very, very, very best outcome is that in years to come, people will say your Chequers deal was 'Meh!' 
Trust me. There won't be crowds lining streets to raise a public subscription for a statue immortalising you and your Bino. 

What you will be remembered for is failing to win an election with a stonking great poll lead, with national support, against a communist whose own party wanted him to lose.
  Failing to introduce any legislation of note except banning plastic straws and destroying the diesel car industry.
 And by fighting a bloody rearguard, possibly igniting a civil war of succession, that fractures the Conservative party and returns the country to the grip of malign socialism that will take more time, treasure and pain to repair than any cliff edge Brexit ever could.

That's what her advisers should be telling her.
But they won't.

Image result for gordon brown theresa may


Long JPY / Short GBP said...

If she goes, then what? Who replaces her? What's their policy on Brexit? Will they command a majority in parliament to implement it?

I can guess at these questions but the answer for the last one is the easiest: there's no majority for anything. So Britain is stuck, no?

Timbo614 said...

Thank you Bill. Summed up maybe as "There is none so blind as those who will not see".

Perhaps Mrs May will sleep on it (or not as the case maybe) and tomorrow there will be some new news. Everything seems a bit like this at the moment Deny, Deny, Deny.. Oh alright then.

Anonymous said...

She may be all of the above. But to get rid of her requires the party to be united. If she can do that, then there will be a different deal and she'll be toast.

Up to the party now.

Thud said...

Compared to what may be coming from the left she will be seen as a beacon of political genius. I quite like her myself, surely I'm not alone in this.

Sebastian Weetabix said...

No majority for anything inevitably results in no deal, the so-called cliff edge, hard Brexit. Which is actually what I voted for. I don’t want to opt in to European arrest warrants or Euro defence/security initiatives. I want out. So do at least 17.4 million other people. Many millions more than ever voted for Thatcher or Blair. It’s almost as though there might be political success to be had by really leaving.

Nick Drew said...

Thud, I have to say I'm agreeing with a lot of what you're sending in BTL here.

I bow to no man in my contempt for May's political stupidity. But her Head-Girl dignity and fortitude are entirely admirable. She'd go to the scaffold without stumbling or tears.

But, as we know from Charles I, that's not enough.

As stated before, I fear some of our friends here don't have quite the imagination to see what Corbs/McD would do with power. Mr BQ says " the grip of malign socialism that will take more time, treasure and pain to repair than any cliff edge Brexit ever could. Trouble is, they could also do things that are totally and utterly irreparable, at any price - at the stroke of a pen. And they would.

E-K said...

Would they get in by a large enough majority ? Checks and balances, surely ?

Thud said that technology would be utilised. Well we all now how shit the state is at that.

With which army would they kick our doors in ?

With which police would they lock us up ?

With which prisons would they incarcerate us ?

The EU on the other hand...

There is a big difference between a Stalinist leader voted in with a proper mandate and one slipping in by default. And if we can ignore a
52% majority we can ignore a PM elected with a low voter turnout.

Alas. The predicament of the young might change things but we seem little prepared to do anything about it.

My lads. Far FAR better educated than I ever was. One a trainee doctor (set to be a surgeon) the other an MSc student (hoping to do a PhD - already working on cutting edge nano tech research) will be unable to throw a dinner party in their own house until their mid to late thirties, if ever at all.

You create that kind of inter generational iniquity and you get a brain drain and/or leftism.

It is difficult to avoid noticing their seething contempt as they get older and more informed.

Anonymous said...

"Trouble is, they could also do things that are totally and utterly irreparable, at any price - at the stroke of a pen."

What could they do? Open the borders? More than 30% of primary children are "minority" already. Sell off all our engineering and tech companies overseas?

I guess the answer is "destroy the City and slash the tax base".

But in the end only demographic change is irreparable, short of civil war and expulsions.

PS - AEP in the Telegraph, love the guy but he's predicted 27 of the last 3 financial armageddons.

"From what we know, the Barnier (EU) plan is self-evidently at odds with democratic self-government. No nation would normally accept such terms unless very small, or bankrupt, or first defeated in war…

The eurozone economy is already close to stall speed as global borrowing costs ratchet higher…

My view is that the financial shock of a no-deal Brexit would crystallize mounting risks and hurl the eurozone into an existential crisis. Academic trade models do not capture the multiple channels of contagion, obvious to any Mayfair hedge fund dealing with capital flows. Some 80pc of Europe’s capital markets are in London.

Confidence would be shattered. The derivatives markets would seize up. The wealth effect of a stock market crash would cause eurozone consumption to buckle. Unless the EU backed off very quickly, the cross-Channel supply chains of European multinationals would break down. Airbus would have to suspend its European operations. Germany’s 750,000 annual car sales in the UK would collapse.

Britons have been told for two years that a no-deal Brexit would bring the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – as well it might – but the European public has not been alerted to the big risks they face in any comparable way. The insouciance has been astonishing. This asymmetry has psychological implications.

It is a fair bet that stunned electorates would turn on their elites with condign fury, ushering in a ‘Salvini Europe’ and the ascendancy of AfD in Germany. How this would play out within the UK’s internal union is anybody’s guess.

This ‘euro-dämmerung’ is what the EU unwittingly risks by presenting Britain with what looks like the peacetime equivalent of Austria’s ultimatum to Serbia in July 1914."

E-K said...

I don't doubt Theresa May's stoicism is backed up by medication and by a full establishment giving her emotional support out of sight.

"Just keep fucking it up, girl. That's all you have to do. Leave are all wind and piss. They'll fold."

I don't see what's hard or admirable about that.

Nick Drew said...

Anon - "What could they do?" sorry, you're just not being imaginative enough.

- give away Gib, Falklands: stroke of a pen
- give away our permanent seat at the Security Council: stroke of a pen

I'm not going to go on, but that's the tip of the iceberg

E-K said...

If the May deal goes through then we'll be a mere colony of the EU.

Gibralta, Falklands, Security Council. Will that not be under effective EU control ?

We Leavers have had such a battering. We have been told (by our own party no less) what stupid scum we are. We do not trust ourselves to vote again.

I'd just about drag myself to a second referendum but I doubt I'll vote in another election.

Thud said...

EK, I'm sad to say one of my cousins is an organiser for momentum (he was named in the leaked labour doc on inquiries into momentums activities) he specialises in building databases for using in the deselecting of labour MP's and he is very good at it.The govt may be shit at technology but the generation motivated in their hatred of Britain is most definitely not.Labour always destroy everything they touch and then the grown ups come along and try to make good that's the way its worked for 60 years.I'm convinced that the next lot will mess things so badly that no returning conservative administration could fix the damage even in 2 terms and that is if they don't gerrymander, manipulate and intimidate themselves into perpetual power.

Bill Quango MP said...

I don't think much of the Robbins Plan.
Understandably, it cannot please everyone.

Robbins must be a genius. A hardworking,dedicated, diligent servant of the Crown. Because to produce a document that fails to garner support from any single faction, except the EU, takes real time investment and through understanding of EU regulation and contract law. Real competence is required to ensure absolutely no-one likes the deal, not even by accident.

Theresa May's problem is the Brown one. Ultra secretive.Handful of key personnel with whom she does everything. To the exclusion of all others.
And that terrible, blind, dogged intransigence. Fierce, if misdirected, faith in their own abilities.

May has had warning after warning.
Her plan to bypass the brexit dept completely. And make promises she couldn't keep to all, to get them to the deadline and then, fingers crossed, just fling them over it through no alternatives, was only eve going to cause uproar.

The day the cabinet said no to Chequers,was a day for a rethink. The press was skeptical. The media. The opposition.The DUP, aeveryone.

She paid no attention.

The Mogg, who might be all mouth, tried again and again to get her to change the course on the red lines she must not cross. And she kept saying, even says so now, that he has.

But she hasn't.
And so she has forced the party to oppose her. by blind, arrogance? Doesn't seem right, arrogance. Maybe just blind stupidity.
The deal is acceptable to many in large parts. The 95% agreed.
But the 5% are not acceptable. And should never have been allowed to stand.

As ever, she creates her own misfortune.

hovis said...

BQ: I am wondering how you got to 95% acceptable with £39bn for vassalage, swallowing the bull about the hard NI border - seeing different treatment of NI, changes to the way Gibraltar is "managed" and finally having to go begging to the EU to change our status - wow. As put succinctly elsewhere May wouldn't even sell her country to slavery, she'll be paying for it.

ND: Charles I was indeed bave on the scaffold but was also a duplicitous high handed double dealer. Through his actions he was time and again shown to be completely untrustworthy. The comparison with May is very apt.

andrew said...

Going back to one of the core values of this place:-

there are limits to how important governments are

It is people and the organisations that they form themselves into.
Governments ( ours and the EU ) are just two such organisations.
There are many more organisations that exist to make money for their owners and employees. They will find a way. It will not be easy at first.

TM has chosen to focus on immigration as the example that shows we are leaving. It fools no-one who does not want to be.

I think she is admirable and this probably is the best deal we could or will get (gove has worked that one out). Hopefully history will judge her more kindly than her colleagues.
But is is worse than remaining (as many kno, my preference).

However the people voted out and not getting out would be a betrayal of all democratic principles.

Anonymous said...

Not sure about immigration.
Agreed the UN Compact on Migration- to be ratified December- which is extremely dangerous and will I suspect mean immigrant quotas from various states. No illegal immigration. Simply agreed.

Dick the Prick said...

Cheers Bill. Great stuff.

Charlie said...

From Bloomberg, "PM May - Getting rid of me risks delaying Brexit"

But not getting rid of her risks the worst Brexit imaginable.