Friday 1 January 2021

Resign now, Boris

Auberon Waugh once wrote of Rupert Murdoch:  for crushing the print unions, Murdoch deserves a dukedom.  For everything else - one of the less pleasant circles of Hell.

Two dukedoms, then, for Boris: one for crushing Corbyn, the other for seeing through (after a fashion) the Trade & Cooperation Ageement.

Then go

Oh - and a Happy New Year!



Anonymous said...

It wasn't Boris who crushed Corbyn.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and happy new year! I won't tempt fate by saying that it can't be worse than 2020.

Thud said...

He still has work to do, I hope he sticks around, HNY.

dearieme said...

Lord Boris, Baron Brexit - it has a ring to it.

His Grace the Duke of Omnium - that would be better.

dearieme said...

But who would replace him?

Grove is a clever wee bugger but surely nobody would trust his word on anything?

Rishi? Ms Truss?

James Higham said...

Sack Khan?

Matt said...

The Tory party has an extremely shallow pool of talent to draw from (Mrs May was PM for example) so don't expect anything better from them. We need a proper conservative party to actually make some proper changes. Once I see a Bonfire of the Quango's I'll know we are taking the first steps towards a better country. Until then, it's more clown-fuckery.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Matt. When the Tories stop talking and start doing, that's when we know they're serious.
It has taken 4 years since the referendum to get to this point, and only because Farage and the Brexit Party held their feet to the fire.
There is a long, long list of things that they ought to have tackled beforehand, if they were genuinely conservative.
At least they can't use the EU as an excuse for not doing things the electorate want them to.
If only our politicians weren't so lamentable...

phil5 said...

I think Boris may well go. Brexit is done and he can go out on a (sort of) high and start making the money he has moaned about not making now. It'll be a fight between Gove, Rishi and Truss. I'd like to see Liz Truss as PM. I quite agree about the lack of talent in depth in the Conservatives though.

jim said...

Part of the art of recruitment is spotting the 'moved on before the s%^t hit the fan' operators.

Then I have a problem with organisations that depend on a 'cult of the leader' to succeed. Many good reliable organisations had/have a rather dull collegiate style at the top. When the objective is a clear one - make money - I suppose that is feasible.

The idea that our country is seriously impacted by whether or not this or that individual is 'a good leader' seems a total failure of organisation, the figurehead should not matter that much. When Boris moves on his Linkedin page can speak of huge successes and great projects, but we will know otherwise.

But who to replace him. To use Rishi seems a waste, the fellow seems to fit well as Chancellor. Which leaves Gove, a chap who always makes me think of a snake. Mr Raab exudes a certain sulphurous menace. Ms Patel's defect is that she was Home Secretary, almost all UK Home Secretaries are a bit odd pyschologically - so no. Possibly Ben Wallace would be good, not excessively bright or zealous but safe-ish. Or we might go for Mr Jenrick, an interesting chap, possibly too interesting.

Nick Drew said...

Thud - @ He still has work to do ...

He certainly does - but has shown precious little sign of being equal to the tasks

in the absence of covid we'd be in a great place for a seriously-strategised four-year run of constructive government and another GE result at the end of it

but a war needs a war leader, and on covid (allowing for the inevitable period of early confusion) his judgement & performance have repeatedly been shockingly bad - Chamberlain-1940 bad - to the extent of proving all we need to know about him

(in fact, what we already knew)

Graeme said...

Under Cameron, May and Boris, the Conservative party has moved into something that Barbara Castle, Jim Callaghan and Woy could belong in. Gove shows every sign of really believing in the eco-green nonsense. There are very few Redwoods in parliament. We need a Conservative Party, not this squishy Social Democrat fake Conservative Party

BlokeInBrum said...

There have been plenty of rumblings from those who know Boris that he wants to quit. He can earn far more outside of Government than in and in a comfy self employed existence that doesn't involve a great deal of scrutiny of his activities.
Saw the recent obit of Norman Tebbits wife which brought him to mind again. A grammar school boy who did good for himself. Typical of a certain type of conservative - from a modest background who did well for themselves through hard work and self reliance. If only there were more of his type throughout Government and the Civil Service.
It's no surprise that the Left is vehemently opposed to Grammar Schools and selective Education, how else are they supposed to indoctrinate the youth?
You can look at America to see what direction things are going - it's now racist to grade students, since blacks and Hispanics persistently grade significantly below Whites or Asians.

Anonymous said...

To the "purists" - the Tories know you lot don't win elections. Labour do a lot of angst over purity and being the "real" left. It's why they lose a lot. The swing voters aren't any more fond of you lot than they were of Corbyn, so be careful of what you wish for.

@Jim - if Boris was going to leave before the shit hit the fan, he's a bit late. This thing called covid, you might have heard of it? Been in the news a bit. Or is the "Brexit will destroy us" meme that has been predicted on a daily basis since the referendum was announced?

If you predict the same disaster is to happen every day because of an event, then, eventually, you'll be right about the disaster, but any smugness at the result should be tempered by the fact you're a worse forecaster than Mystic Meg and it may not have had anything to do with the event you wish to pin it on.

Now, a replacement for Boris... The entire UK political spectrum is rife with political pygmies, and if anyone seems taller than the rest it should be seen in the context that any average man can be a giant at a midget convention.

Truss is the most likely IMO, Gove is what happens when you combine the top-job-seeking of Helseltine with the trustworthiness of Mandelson. I trust the rest of the crabs will do their bit to keep him barrel-bound.

There'll be the usual political knife-fight, and Truss will rise like Major did, but without being Major, on the back that she isn't one of the others. She seems like someone who can be worked *with* rather than be found working *for*

E-K said...


Gerr'im orf.

With one of those long Vaudeville hooks.

andrew said...

I fully expect Johnson to "exeunt stage left pursued by a bear".
Mostly because he really does not like being hated.

We are out now and people will start asking "how has that made my life better"(*)

The answer will be "it has made things worse".
Scotland will want out, and if a vote is allowed it will probably be for out of the union and back to the eu.

The rest of the world and the uk electorate looks on at this yellow shower that are happy to break deals thay have signed up to (**) and so cannot be trusted, at the same time as touting the uk as a world hub for law and finance where rule of law and trust is what makes us useful.

They look at the civil service and see people who cannot organise a doctors appointment.

I expect by 24 the cabinet will be dominated by people who were not there much in 16.

(* it actually might make some things better but most people will remember the passport queue and the lost jobs and the small inconveniences and the increase in the price of french wine (go chilie)
For over the next few years barely a sparrow will fall in winter without it being blamed on brexit)

(** how does the USA get away with it...)

dearieme said...

"the increase in the price of french wine": would you care to explain that?

Thud said...

I feel he still has time to get on top of the covid issue and nobody at the moment can communicate and sell Like Boris and people need his positivity, he has some distance to go yet, then Truss.

andrew said...

Well, iro european wine:

(I dont work in this area so may have details wrong)

Uk VI-1 certs will be required for imports from 1 June 21.
This adds costs.

And vat / duty (reclaimed from france or not paid either way extra paperwork and/or cashflow tied up and then paid in the uk)

Depends on the scale. A tankerload may cost the same to process as a few cases (over 100l) of something posh.

The cost is thought to be 300 to 400 eur per consignment

I mentioned chilean wine as (i do not think) their import costs will change and some of it is really good.

Anonymous said...

I like French people, and I like French Sauvignon Blanc among many other wines. But Chilean Sauvignon Blanc is pretty good.

Anyone remember that Bulgaria used to have great value wines in Communist days? Their Cab Sauv was wonderful and cheap. Apparently in post-Communist euphoria thay gave the vineyards back to the descendants of the original owners. But there'd been a 50 year gap, and the descendants couldn't make the wine like the Commie co-ops could.

Graeme said...

"The rest of the world and the uk electorate looks on at this yellow shower that are happy to break deals thay have signed up to (**) and so cannot be trusted, at the same time as touting the uk as a world hub for law and finance where rule of law and trust is what makes us useful."

Any examples or are you just another Jonathan Freedland or Polly Toynbee, extending your peculiar mental state to the rest of the world?

dearieme said...

Thank you, Andrew, but surely "paperwork" will be mainly electronic so once you've paid for the software and got used to it, its cost implications will be about zero?

andrew said...

This involves doing lab tests.

If your shipment happens to be 12 cases of lafite (*) one bottle gets opened and tested. The cost of that one bottle can be in the 1000s.

The uk has (or had) a rather successful fine wine trade. But in the general sense there will be significant costs for any small importer. On the other hand i can import a few cases (under 100l) from a french supplier without these costs...

Worse, I think this is a *british* regulation. We dont need the eu to destroy our livelihoods.

(* i doubt i will ever afford or buy or really want a bottle but if you go on the estate tour you can get a glass of the current trie and it is v. good)

dearieme said...

'"I think this is a *british* regulation.' Then it's not a brexit thing at all since we are free to abolish it.

Though I admit that I can see the temptation to punish the French. We do it freelance; we simply boycott French (and German) wine.

We also boycott German cars but that's a bit bogus because we wouldn't buy the damn things anyway. Expensive rubbish selling on snob appeal based on a long vanished tradition of building them well.

andrew said...

It is a brexit thing as it is something that used to be 'zero cost and zero thought required' and now will not be - and that change is completely due to the event of brexit.

That this brexit thing is fixable by the UK, and has been known about for years (-since June 16) and has not been fixed is a commentary on the quality of the UK political class and civil service's planning.

The WSTA estimates about 170,000 people work in the wine industry (and another 100k in the supply chain). About 180,000 people work in the fishing industry.

This sounds pretty trivial and obscure from the outside but is not. There are 1001 (*) apparently small things like this that it should be within the ability of the govt to 'smooth the edges off'.
And all together they go a long way towards making the difference between making a success or failure of brexit.

Getting back on topic, like getting rid of the EU, I do not think getting rid of Johnson will make things better - or worse.

We need a 'department of administrative affairs' to 'rightsize' (**) the laws and SIs and regs - and yes, an effective minister.

(* another one I am aware of is on the impact of REACH and ECHA registration and on that I really do not know anything)

(** you cannot just get rid of the rules, I suspect these regs relate to food safety and the desire to not have antifreeze in your Auslese.
One way would be to mutually recognise the original (EU) producers declarations - but then there would have to be a degree of trust and in a very limited way shared sovereignty between the EU and the UK)

rwendland said...

Happy New Year ND. What gives with the folks in your Croydon area re Covid ND? Today's ONS COVID-19 Infection Survey has Croydon the 3rd highest LA in England, with 5.0% active Covid incidence on 2nd Jan. Only beat by Redbridge & Barking and Dagenham.

From the age-range charts it looks like the xmas period has increased Covid by 2.5 times amongst 25-49 year olds, from about 1.0% to 2.6%, but that has started dropping post xmas to 2.0%. However the grandparents (70+) are now upward from what was a steady 0.6%ish to 1.0% and barely dipping post xmas. Looks like the predictions that hospitals will be inundated within a week or two will be correct. Tough times ahead to pay for xmas fun it seems - not so happy unfortunately.

Nick Drew said...

Croydon's population profile is unusual. The north of the borough has inner-London characteristics (but with no single BAME group predominating, unlike e.g. Tower Hamlets; possibly because we have the Home Office immigration dept here). The south is classic suburbia / rural-edge, with some of the most expensive properties outside central London and an astonishing density of golf courses, betraying a classic middle-class population, white and established professional BAME.

On covid, all through the interval between first and current lockdowns we had the lowest infection rates in London, I don't quite know how. The big hospital here has (I am told) garnered much praise for its adaptations in response to covid: its mid-2020 'hospital-within-a-hospital'** (a sealed-off zone with separate entrance for elective surgery only) has set a new standard for best practice. It moved to 6-day a week ops, delivering 120% of notional capacity (vs <80% *normally*) to work off the backlog.

Even now (and I was in there last weekend), although severely under the cosh there are no patients in corridors. But, as noted in another BTL comment here, they are reduced to having 'covid bays' in regular wards. Not good at all.

** ironically, made easier to achieve because it's comprised of a very disparate cluster of buildings that grew like topsy, the earliest being Victorian, unlike some of the highly integrated purpose-built hospitals of recent design,-0.1149056,352a,35y,90h,39.35t/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en-GB