Tuesday 3 September 2019


The EC assume Parliament can steer the Britannia back to Brussels, and they'll not lift a finger until this has been tried.  So today marks the end of the phoney war (UK theatre).  What has Team Boris achieved up until this point?

1.  Some rather obvious stuff:  boosting Tory morale; obtaining the (fairly usual) honeymoon bounce in the polls; and presumably carrying out more concrete no-deal prep than Hammond allowed to happen in the forgoing three years.  All quite useful as far as it goes, but none of it sufficient to carry the day**

2.  Taken control of the agenda to the maximum extent possible (given that Grieve et al will have their day, one way or the other); made all the running; herded the opposition parties onto ground of Cummings' choosing; depressed a lot of lefties, and reinforced people's generally bad impression of Corbyn

Now it gets interesting ...

3.  Signalled from Day 1 that there's confidence aplenty on the GE front, making Corbyn shifty on the subject as Labour MPs hum and haw.

4.  Substantially neutered Corbyn's "unicorns for everyone" GE strategy (which did rather better than the Tories imagined it would in 2017)

5.  Signalled that the Gloves are Off (proroguing Parliament, firing Spads, hint at de-selection) 

On 3, it's not precisely clear whom Brenda from Bristol will blame for a forthcoming GE.  But Bren is exactly the kind of voter Cummings excels in reading, so we may guess he's got that one covered.  Heaven alone knows where the unicorn bidding war will go (4): but Cummings is pretty shrewd on the headlines he wants (crime, NHS, schools) and has staked them out early.  However, I don't see a decisive move on / from Farage (yet): and the Celtic Fringe aspects don't seem at all under control.  Extremely interesting that an 'Irish Unity' march in Glasgow caused rioting ... the fish-woman may have more on her hands than she'd realised.

Finally ...

6.  Gone a long way to get the benefits of what is often termed the "Israeli Nuclear Strategy", i.e. - yeah, but they really are mad enough to do it.

Gets even more interesting from here.

** of course, Boris' definition of "carrying the day" is something that many Brexiteers are deeply suspicious about.


Anonymous said...

The key question is what's an acceptable Brexit for Boris/Cummings.

I know E-K is convinced that this will be WA with a backstop tweak but I'd like to be more optimistic.

Given the closeness between Boris and Trump, I think there'll be an interim free trade agreement between UK and US from day one - so any deal with the EU must allow us to make our own trade agreements.

Wouldn't it be interesting if both UK and US both came out and said the WTO is not fit for purpose and are both going to pull out unless WTO terms are improved.

david morris said...


"Brenda from Bristol", the apparently random person interviewed on the street by the BBC, is in real life a paid for Labour Party activist.

Who knew ?

Well you (obvs), but you're in good company, neither did the political editor of the Speccie.

Anonymous said...

If the election frees Boris from the fuckwitsaurs of the DUP, I expect the old backstop will be back. NI will effectively remain in the EU, rest of the UK with a trade deal.

NI is the problem - Boris may regard it as the piccaninny in the woodpile - and pushing it closer to reunification with the republic is a small price to pay for getting out of the EU.

The DUP and more mouth-foamy Unionists may disagree, but fuck 'em.

Matt said...

I'm looking forward to the prospect of parliament forcing Boris to the EU cap-in-hand for an extension, only for him to veto it when unanimous vote required to approve.

dearieme said...

My suspicion is that the May deal would be worse than just staying in. So some substantial improvement, not just backstoppery, is needed otherwise it would be better to have a "No deal" exit.

I don't trust Boris either, but he's all we've got and the capering in parliament can't be allowed to run on for ever. Or could it be allowed to run on until the General Election of 2022? With who as PM?

Elby the Beserk said...

Corbyn shifty?

Shurely shome mishtake...

Matt said...

Worth pointing out that the Withdrawal Agreement is not a (trade) deal.

It's an agreement to pay into the EU coffers and follow their rules with the small chance that they might give us a beneficial trade deal afterwards.

Anonymous said...

Well, we're down to a government with a zero majority.

I await the deepfake video of Boris doing "Another One Bites the Dust"

Anonymous said...

Didn't take long for the Maybot to be replaced by the BorisBot. Flailing around without Cummings input.

Cummings I admit has a delicious sense of humour

"Boris, lose some weight, drop that old hag and get yourself a sexy young 'un and don't forget to adopt a f***in puppy. You win them over"

Looking forward to more Cummings nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Gift NI to the Republic and I would expect expect Glasgow (and possibly elsewhere in the UK on occasion ) to be a little 'lively' for some years to come.

Anonymous said...

“Gift NI to the Republic”. Hmmm. Why we would we want it? South Armagh is full of dreadful people. You’re welcome to it.