Wednesday 6 July 2022

Bedtime for Boris

Finally, if disingenously, cabinet ministers have had enough.  Why it takes l'affaire Pincher, a trivial and sordid little occasion, to precipitate matters is a bit of a puzzle, but here we are.  A Geoffrey Howe / Nigel Lawson moment; and it's off to the bookies for MSM editors everywhere.  Of the runners & riders I noted here less than a month ago, Mordaunt appears to have risen to the top just now.  And Starmer's puppetmaster will be hoping and anticipating there's more than one Big Vacancy in the offing as the dominos fall.  That strategy of simply being there looks better than ever. 

... Johnson is always going to self-destruct: possibly sooner rather than later: the key is to be in position for when it happens ...

So what happens now.  My guesses:

  • Boris, being copper-bottomed shameless and utterly desperate, not least for money but also for fame and glory, will not quickly see his way to the exit
  • The remaining Cabinet ministers will be in agonies of indecision.  Has Sunak stolen a march on them all and restored his earlier, pre 'non-dom moneybags' standing?  Or does the rule about wielding the knife hold good?
  • The 1922 Committee, proven to be able to act with lightning speed when the mood takes it, will move into permanent session, making it clear they have the power to change the rules in whatever manner they choose (just watch them) 
  • Team Boris (which exists, and will also be pretty desperate now) will have been up all night plotting his next moves.  They may be fairly adroit, in a last-chance sort of way.  Expect to see him abroad very soon (he is scheduled to be in Poland next week, and there may be ways of advancing this), wrapped in the Ukrainian flag again.  Mention of tax cuts was near-instantaneous.  Expect also to see hints that if directly threatened, he'll bring down the pillars of the temple in some unspecified way.  
'Unspecified'?  Obviously all his instincts are for après moi... but I'm not at all sure he can call a GE unilaterally: all he can do is go to the Queen, who must then cast around for someone who can form a government.  But remember always: the lines of logistics in politics are very short, and power in the hands of someone with imagination is a mighty thing.  For example, unilateral commitments made publicly to international parties would be very difficult for a successor to row back from.

We must thank the Lord there is no UK equivalent of the Presidential Pardon, or there'd be no saying what else he might do. 

Have at it!



Clive said...

It’s all got a very 1970’s — or even 1960’s feel about it, certainly in terms of what the main protagonists in the Conservative party and the mainstream media are doing. And what they think happens. It’s all rather procedural. Big Beast (or beasts) resign, confidence in the leader slips away, headlines headlines headlines. The pressure grows on the PM. “Someone” “has a word”.

So, we’ve all seen this movie before. Which is largely my point. It’s not in the slightest organic. The politics moves too slowly for the insatiable demand for new developments on Twitter. The energy inputs for creating and sustaining media (and political) momentum are much higher here, in 2022, than they were even ten years, let alone 30 years ago when these sorts of machinations worked in a fairly predictable way. Was it just me than, when we went though the developments this morning, felt a sense of flatness and unmet expectations when no other senior cabinet figure resigned? Yeah, Boris is on the ropes. Yeah, Boris got himself in a sticky situation. Yeah, the knives are out. Yeah, the media vultures are circling. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Why, with all this — rather confected, I have to say — excitement, am I struggling to stifle a yawn?

decnine said...

If tax cuts are announced without seriously big spending cuts, look forward to INFLATION and poverty. The 'Government' is doing its best to create poverty anyway with their insane drive to Zero Carbon. Cutting (savagely) the productivity of capital won't turn out well.

Bill Quango MP said...

Cabinet minister’s resigning is a far, far better method than changing the rules of expulsion, that the desperate Backbench faction wished to do.

Never change the rules if they can be used against you. If the ‘22 can form each week for a no confidence, then the party is ungovernable. There is no need to do that. If enough resign, and enough refuse to serve, it is over. Those that resigned can come back under a truth and reconciliation government.

This coup is a better way. Ensures genuine desire within the political party for removing a leader. And if it fails, those that want the leader gone are in a stronger position to criticise and attack and openly call for change.

Most political coups fail. There just aren’t enough rebels or the clinging on faction has nothing left to lose and is a minority faction within its own party.

May, survived.
Blair survived
Johnson survived very recently.
Brown survived
( 3 times. Those Increasingly feeble attempts to remove him)
Corbyn, survived at least twice, possibly four times? Had to double up ministers to have enough shadows to go around.
Major, survived .

Even Trump survived his appointees fleeing from him.

Duncan smith - ousted
Thatcher - ousted
Charles Kennedy - ousted
Salmond? Manoeuvred out, I think.

All dry quick, in the scheme of things,

Not a great success rate. Mostly due to the lack of an credible alternative or a looming crisis, or bungling incompetence from the plotters.

A resigning action is far better than a rule change, footy stamp, cry baby, didn’t get what I want, toy/pram, voter repelling, unity fracturing, drawn out media circus, election losing, uncertain effort to remove.

“If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly: if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,”

E.g. if events can be controlled, then there is a good chance that the act of assassination itself, is the end of the business. And not the beginning. No guarantee. But the swifter the better, for success and power.

It’s Johnson’s own fault. Sending the troops out to defend the indefensible position. Time and time again.

Caeser Hēméra said...

I am a little surprised the Tories weren't more prepared for this, they knew that, in Boris, they were getting someone who found reaching for a lie easier than being truthful, a man-child who regarded responsibility as something to be avoided.

Expecting an emergency budget - corp tax increase cancelled, VAT cut, fuel duty cut and Boris Bonka handing out sweeties from his factory.

Would be interesting to see if there any deals with Gabon that could be done too, now they're in the Commonwealth. Cheap petrol in exchange for massive investment in an effort to bring the forecourt price down.

E-K said...
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Clive said...

@ Bill Quango MP

BBC running a, erm, running commentary on resignations

It’ll need, I reckon, at least one other cabinet-level resignation to move the dial. There’s so many junior ministers and PPSes nowadays they really don’t count. Even if the 1922 Committee changes the rules and even if there’s a leadership contest potentially on the cards, that’ll take weeks. Given the repetitive nature of this “Johnson in New Crisis!” storyline, public interest is already borderline and, without some novel plot twists we’ve not seen before, even that’ll wane.

E-K said...

Boris is in the shit not because of groping but because he's a Lefty.

The BBC are making sleaze the last straw but the Tories who are the true threat to him are those that want him gone and are sick of his greenism and leftism per Princess Nut Nut.

Anonymous said...

Fair play - Boris managed to hang on for nearly 20 months after Dom Cummings went.

I know physiognomy is a discredited science, but I would never employ Zahawi as my lawyer, doctor or financial adviser - he just looks dodgy).

I'm still convinced about Tory candidates being vetted for skeletons (to ensure they have them), Louise Mensch was a Cameron A-lister, for Pete's sake.

Anonymous said...

As long as Dom C was in 10 Downing Street, I thought there was a chance that the government might actually sort some of our long term problems.

Once he'd gone it was back to government by focus group again...

Bill Quango MP said...

From Guido.

Surprisingly the 1922 executive has decided against changing the rules to allow a second vote of no confidence in the PM. Instead executive elections will go ahead on Monday, 2pm to 4pm. The Cabinet’s imminent meeting may render the 1922 process irrelevant anyway…

( quite so. No need to mess with the already adequate rules. That way lies disaster. As the pro EU breakaway Tory MPs discovered. All of them losing their seats. And ushering in an 80 seat majority specifically against them and their shenanigans.)

Anonymous said...

"If Priti Patel is in charge of telling him to leave he might be safe after all"


andrew said...

The economist has said it well
Mr Johnson is not the cause of all that ails Britain. He has brio and charm. But the dangers of sitting around that cabinet table with him are real. His flaws tarnish good people. They poison the government—and therefore the country—that he leads.

andrew said...

What saddens me is that the whole cabinet has known Johnson is a serial liar, fantasist, cheat who is quite happy to throw his colleagues under the bus and someone who values loyalty over talent for years,

This never bothered them until it was undeniably obvious he had lied to them and sent them out to spread those lies knowing that they knew they were asked to spread lies.

It was fine as long as it happened to someone else.

Clive said...

@ Bill Quango MP

[Guido] "Surprisingly the 1922 executive has decided against changing the rules ..."

Surprisingly? LMAO.

Anonymous said...

The Economist is a globalist rag to be fair, even though they may be right about BoJo. Stopped clocks and all that.

WPH said...

I'm genuinely starting to wonder if the primary driver behind this "chain me to the mast" mentality is financial, as ND touches on. Cummings mentioned in a post-exit interview that BJ was obsessed by his income, mainly in relation to its shortcomings in relation to his ex-marital obligations. Not only is he facing a fairly substantial cut to his official salary (and donor sourced top ups), his extra-curricular earning potential looks like being a bit thin on the ground.

I can hardly see the Torygraph putting up £250k for 2 columns a month on "what needs to be done" after 3 years of pissing off their entire readership; and he orchestrated the resignation of the wife of the Political Editor of the Spectator, which might make things at Doughty St a bit frosty.

Honestly, I think the best way to get him to go might be to have a whip round of the richer elements of the donor pool who would like to see the Tory party survive to the next decade, and present him with a cheque for a couple of million to "just fuck off"...

Anonymous said...

PS - I see the police are shooting at Dutch farmers, and 47 police injured in Skopje protests related to EU accession conditions for our new NATO ally North Macedonia, it's all happening but unreported in Brit media...

Anonymous said...

Boris is almost becoming a tragic figure at this point.

As he's grown older and more powerful, so has the quality of his women gone down. Petronella Wyatt when he was at the Speccy, whatsername now who's not a beauty.

There's a pic around of BoJo at an Oxford dinner, absolutely ratted, looking just the way you'd expect an arrogant Bullingdon Boy to look. Gazing adoringly at him is his exquisite first wife, Allegra Mostyn-Owen. They split after 6 years, and she's now the childless second wife of a younger Muslim guy in the East End - what a waste of good genes.

Still, he'll probably do what another rootless type did, David Miliband - head for the US where he'll be rewarded for wedging himself so firmly up the collective State Department posterior.

jim said...

OK so you get rid of Johnson - so what - what really changes. Nothing, that's what. OK so we might see a few less obvious lies (for a week or two) and PMQs will be a very dull affair with some nothing at the box. Because nothings is all they have got left.

But a nothing will not matter much, the real problem is that the Tories have got nowhere to go. No policies that they dare implement will make any difference to GB plc. Anything in the least effective will rattle the DM/DT demographic, so don't do it. Situation the same for Starmer, he will not front up any meaningful policies.

We keep to the foolish notion that a 'good leader' will fix things. Not going to happen, the problem is much deeper within the structure of UK society.

So we stay in Stuck Britain. Dare not lay any concrete or tarmac or build houses - the Nimbys won't like it and we might frighten a newt. Keep house prices up - that and magnolia paint sales are what keeps the Treasury afloat.

Once the dust has settled the same old problems will be back and the same old barriers to change. We will probably look back and say 'I quite liked Boris - he was a turd it is true, but an amusing turd'.

Anonymous said...

"Dare not lay any concrete or tarmac or build houses"

do you live in the Hebrides or Sutherland? Because I see new houses absolutely everywhere, from Kent to Pembrokeshire and up to Redcar and Teesside. Mostly built on what were green fields.

Anonymous said...

"I fight on, I fight to win"

Sobers said...

"do you live in the Hebrides or Sutherland? Because I see new houses absolutely everywhere, from Kent to Pembrokeshire and up to Redcar and Teesside. Mostly built on what were green fields."

When you're importing 250k people per year, you have to run pretty hard on the new housing front just to keep up......

Anonymous said...

OT - Kazakh President offers more oil to Europe, Russia (who only recently kept him in power when US/UK kicked off a 'colour revolution') shuts the oil pipeline through Russia to the Black Sea - for maintenance purposes of course.

The beauty of the move, from a Russian perspective, is that the flow that will be curtailed is not primarily Russian crude, which can be diverted elsewhere anyway, but output from neighboring Kazakhstan. Almost 1.5 million barrels a day of crude supply can be taken off an already tight market at virtually no cost to Russia. Supplies to European markets, where about two-thirds of CPC crude ends up, already are being constrained by unrest in Libya, which has slashed the north African country’s exports by half and looks likely to send them even lower, as well as the shunning of Russia’s own barrels by former customers.

Anonymous said...

Frogs fully nationalise EDF. It's all happening!

Amazing really - sometimes historic change is glacial - but it's rattling along at the moment.

Sobers said...

"Boris is in the shit not because of groping but because he's a Lefty."

Precisely. No-one would care two hoots for parties in No 10 or groping MPs if Boris had given the voters what they voted for, a Conservative government. Partially because a proper Tory government wouldn't have turned the country into a police State over covid so No 10 could have had orgies if it so fancied. Instead he's given them a government considerably to the left of Blair and plenty of sleaze to boot, so if you are a Conservative voter of 2019, whats in it for you to continue supporting the Tories? Voting for them doesn't stop the onward march of the Left, so you might as well not vote at all, or try and find a fringe party to vote for as a protest. The last Tory USP 'We're not the horrible other lot!' has been utterly destroyed. They are the horrible other lot, just their handcart taking us to hell is slightly slower, thats all.

The Tories will be wiped out at the next election. Not because of sleaze, who cares about that sh*t? We all know politicians of all hues are lying cheating a**holes. They'll be wiped out because they have p*ssed on their core voters for the best part of a decade, and they've noticed. It'll be like Labour in Scotland.

Elby the Beserk said...

Anonymous said...
"Dare not lay any concrete or tarmac or build houses"

do you live in the Hebrides or Sutherland? Because I see new houses absolutely everywhere, from Kent to Pembrokeshire and up to Redcar and Teesside. Mostly built on what were green fields.

7:38 pm

All over our part of Somerset. Happily, we live on a private estate, so it's not going to happen here. We call it Neo-Feudalism and are big fans :-)

Norton St. Philip has one such hideous carbuncle placed on the edge of the village, whose Cotswold stone vernacular has been mocked by the excrescence of a new estate dumped on the edge of a village with next to no services. The Budgens that was part of the build long ago shut down.

The village signs were changed to

Norton St. Fullup.

And every village around here has the same turd of an estate shat on it by central government.

Anonymous said...

...aaaannndd he's gone. The glee on BBC Radio 4 makes me want him to stay. Open speculation as to whether he'll be as upset at the lectern as Teresa May obviously was.

They're finding a few Tory MPs willing to put the boot in. I remember not kicking a man when he's down used to be a British characteristic, but I guess if we were still living in that era Boris would never have got near the leadership.

End of an era. Must say it was never dull with Boris around.

E-K said...

What's really done for Boris is the fuel crisis (and its impact on inflation.)

Putin has just handed him his arse back.

He would have weathered this storm had the economic foundations been secure but he followed BBC News 24 Hour agendas and Princess Nut Nut and that's why he's been the worst PM in our history. Pinch-Gate was just the latest in the BBC's Tits and Bum Show.

I don't think we as a country can recover. Certainly not the Tories anyway.

Nick Drew said...

Kev, it will certainly be bad next winter but we aren't as badly threatened by the energy crisis as (e.g.) France or Germany - and they are the ones who've been equivocating on UKR as far as they dare, in the face of almost reckless public demand (esp. in Germany) for more action against Putin

Actually, aside from panic at the petrol pumps last Sept (which was unconnected), I'm not sure the sheer magnitude of the energy crisis has truly dawned on public consciousness yet, what with the price cap and summer weather. It's only Martin Lewis who is screaming from the rooftops. I don't think many people would single out the energy crisis as what did for Boris.

Finally, the energy crisis is truly global: and it has its origins in Jan 2021, long before UKR kicked off.

No harm in you being a lone voice on this; just sayin'

Elby the Beserk said...

He's gawn.

Jan said...

I predict Carrie will be the latest in the series of exes not long after they're booted out of No 10.

I too had wondered if the financial side of it all had any bearing as WPH above. He has a lot of expenses after all.

He was never a conviction politician and only went for Brexit as it seemed like a winnable battle but his heart wasn't in it. He just wanted to be PM and this was a means to it. After that he thought he had to go with the green agenda and Carrie was the way he could do that, get the young and trendy woke set on board and to make his mark on the world stage. Same with Ukraine. He will ditch anyone who doesn't serve any purpose to him going forward.

I agree he didn't give any of the red-wall Tories anything of what they voted for which was a proper Tory government.

Anomalous Cowshed said...

It's all very interesting. I broadly agree with Clive up top, although I don't understand what “The energy inputs for creating and sustaining media (and political) momentum are much higher here" might mean, but never mind.
A fair number dynamics knocking about.
Johnson got Brexit done
True enough, but part of that was halting the sheer chaos knocking around within the Commons, with the likes of TIG, Grieve and Stewart. And Corbyn/McDonnell, plus, of course, Starmer.
Brexit overshadowed any other domestic policies the Conservatives might have been able to create. In essence, the domestic platform is simply a re-heat of Cameron/Osbourne.
Voter turnout is still low
Post war peak was 84%, in 1950. Probably due to a novelty effect after the national governments.
The following 42 years ‘97 does not have turnout over 80%, and nor is it lower than 70%.
From 1997 to 2001, it drops by >10% pts to under 60%. Been rising since, but in that 20 year period, has yet to breach the 70% mark.
Brexit was political decision, not an economic one
Increasing EU competencies and directives, reduced political agency, reduced the attack surfaces of each domestic party as policy options narrowed. Politics shifted towards highlighting differences in morality.
"Not an economic one" - Project Fear bugs were seen as features, by Leave voters. Remain voters were status quo, influenced by the past.
Parachuting of candidates and the increase in Government jobs
Parachuting candidates into seats increased. Central control tightened as higher numbers of MPs owed their job to the central machine, but not necessarily the party leader, and less to local organisations.
New Government agencies required new Ministers. Increased patronage and central control, this time from the party leader, yet this can be reversed, if ministers are given an incentive to co-ordinate against the centre.
With low majorities, the number of backbenchers relative to ministers decreases, and the sources of incentives to rebel can be much broader, whilst the pool from which replacement ministers can be drawn is smaller.
Volatility of Commons Majorities
High turnout does not imply high majorities. From '45 up to about '79 large majorities could be overturned quickly. From '97 onwards, Blair's majority shrank slowly, while turnout was low. Low turnout gives high majorities that are stable.
Swapping from low majority to high implies that many MPs enter the House, completely inexperienced. The pool is wider, but not deeper. From low to low, implies that political experience is retained by the House.
The Expenses Scandal and MPs' Duration
Many MPs decided not to stand in 2010. The election did not result in a majority, even though turnover in MPs was high.
The terms served by MPs would have dropped, lowering the experience available in the House. Both Rayner and Sunak entered the House in 2015. Seven years later, Sunak has been Chancellor, Rayner is Shadow. Both are 42, entering the house at 35. Had they completed A-levels by May 1997?
MPs have shifted younger, as voters shift older. Younger MPs expect shorter duration, taking other jobs at an earlier age.
Binding the Civil Service to Policy
High-T majorities are unable to bind government institutions to radical policies. Future administrations in high-T environments are bound to status quo policies. Low-T high majorities can compel institutions, altering the policy environment. Given low turnout the majorities erode slowly. The House retains political and administrative experience, and a future low turnout/low majority administration is bound to the environment.
Turnout changes on a generational timescale, while remaining susceptible to radical phase changes. High turnout is associated with high levels of voter dissatisfaction with the policy environment.

Anomalous Cowshed said...

Buggered that one up.

Johnson's underlying problem - Low-T, Low-M environment. Post the expenses scandal, there were not enough MPs in the pool to give the necessary experience in day-on-day, week-on-week politics.

Those MPs he did have were more focused on their perceived moral standing with voters, competing with Labour on that basis, than they were with actual policy objectives.

He never got M high enough to override either. Hence, wider (non-Brexit) policy is the rehash Cameron/Osbourne.

Starmer has exactly the same problem, plus a few more. He might benefit from a radical shift to High-T, if inflation hits hard enough prior to the next election. But he's got another one the horizon, Brenda. When she goes, the Republicans will be out in force. Probably true of the Lib-Dems as well.

Clive said...

@ Anomalous Cowshed

Re: "The energy inputs for creating and sustaining media (and political) momentum are much higher here..."

I'm not sure myself exactly what point I was trying to make :-)

What I was getting at, tricky to explain, was it only took a Howe resignation speech, a leadership contest and some cabinet members talking Thatcher into resigning. All mundane stuff. The merest hint from a few, largely behind closed doors, and Thatcher resigned. There wasn't any inclination in her to keep fighting through the second round of the leadership contest.

Contrast with what it took to get Johnson to go (not that he's actually gone yet, but we have to -- stifle a guffaw here please -- take him at his word he really will go, really he will), literally every, bar a few exceptions, cabinet minister to tell Johnson, in public he must go and/or resigning. Plus a great gaggle of PPSes and junior ministers. It was touch-and-go whether the 1922 Committee might have to blast him out of Downing St with heavy artillery. Both the parliamentary party and the mainstream media had to throw everything at him, 27x7, for weeks. Months, even.

Anything less just wouldn't have sustained public interest. There's too many distractions, from social media to stuff on the internet to streaming services whose backlogs on your watch-list grow like topsy. It's getting harder and harder for interest groups and their media mouthpieces to influence public opinion.

I'd wager this is their last success. Next time, given how desensitised we've all become to being relentlessly messaged-at and oblivious we're becoming to the myriad of narrative creations, a politician with Johnson's level of brass kneck'edness could simply tough it all out, regardless.

Anomalous Cowshed said...

I see. Yes, that does make sense - I probably would have used "capital" instead of "energy", but no matter.

Yeah, they might have managed to expend a vast amount of energy/capital, just in notionally getting rid of Johnson, but there might not be enough left for any of them to make a credible fist of becoming leader and then running a government.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope Ben 'give Ukraine nukes' Wallace doesn't get it. I think Mad Dog Truss is out of the running.

We may end up missing Boris yet!

Caeser Hēméra said...

@Jan - the red wall voters didn't vote for a Conservative government, they voted for the party which was likely to win an election, stop all the Brexit neverendum nonsense and didn't have Jeremy Corbyn in it.

That just happened to be the Tories.

You will find that there has been a drift to the Tories, prior to that, but in that time quite a lot of little 'c' conservatives have been scathing about the move left. Now correlation isn't causation, but I'd bet a good chunk of that drifting has come from the red wall voters finding a 'softer' Tory party on the social aspects.

There are a lot of voters who are culturally conservative, socially liberal and economically conservative. They don't mind single sex toilets, but but don't agree with the Y chromosomes taking part in XX activities, they're fine with refugees as a concept, but don't take the piss, and they want their kids to own houses and their pound to pretty much the same stuff as last year.

If the SPADs spent more time in provincial pubs, and less time perusing Twitter, they might find they're a bigger portion of the electorate than the students whining about mis-pronouned and pivot towards them.

At some point Labour will figure that out too.

Nick Drew said...

Clive - I have another explanation / perspective on that, maybe tomorrow

CH - yes, it was 'anything but Corbyn'. A pity the (majority of) Tories thought they needed to pay as high a price as Boris to achieve that

Don Cox said...

Every year there are fewer provincial pubs and fewer people in them. I don't know how you find out what the electorate are thinking, but I doubt if pubs are the answer.

Personally, I'm sorry to see Boris go. The campaign against him by the media has been vicious and relentless, and of course he made mistakes, such as having babies in Downing Street.


DJK said...

We'll miss Boris when he's gone. His has been a shockingly bad government, but I don't see anyone in the Conservative party that could lead a better one. There will be fewer scandals, and the next PM will get an easier ride from the BBC, but the relentless decline in living standards and Britain's international standing will continue.

Bill Quango MP said...

That’s that then.

I stand by my choice of Boris for 2019.

Brexit required an optimist at the very least. The post European Prime Minister who allowed the misery and the political vs populace civil war of 2016 to end.

Sadly, the real problems came almost immediately. Bigger even than Brexit.

His downfall, as noted on here and by others, was his unfathomable decision not to surround himself with a wise, competent, loyal, committed, hardworking, administrators, economic and management experts. To manage his day to day government for him.
And where was his comms?
The most important for a modern leader. All the Crimes and lies and surprises. The Failures and the criminals, and the other sex pests or dodgy diners, can all be buried by an Ali C or Peter M.

Westminster spends all day and night focusing on PR and spin. News management. Has been that way for decades and decades.
So why did Boris never appoint a giant in that role to the position? An experienced, mega player?

It’s a mystery.

Anonymous said...

DJK is correct.

Perhaps the enormous scale of his election win made him think he had twelve to fifteen years to do whatever it was he wanted to do. No hurry. Enjoy the office. Worry about the difficult bits another time. Take it easy. Tour the world. Decorate the house. Et famous people. Be liked….

Sobers said...

"Perhaps the enormous scale of his election win made him think he had twelve to fifteen years to do whatever it was he wanted to do. No hurry. Enjoy the office. Worry about the difficult bits another time. Take it easy. Tour the world. Decorate the house. Et famous people. Be liked…."

I think all he wanted to do was the bit in bold.

dearieme said...

Schrödinger's PM.

DJK said...

Sarah Vine is very good on Boris in today's Mail. Without doubt, Boris is enormously talented, far more so than almost all of the rest of the Conservative party. But he's just temperamentally unsuited to being PM, being lazy and cavalier with normal ethical standards. His fall is a tragedy, certainly nothing to celebrate.

Anonymous said...

It's certainly a tragedy when you consider the list of possible replacements.

Anonymous said...

Boris yesterday "if I have one insight into human beings, it is that genius and talent and enthusiasm and imagination are evenly distributed throughout the population"

They're not, although his follow-up, that opportunity isn't evenly distributed, had more truth.

While I carry no torch for Eton, if you took next September's Eton intake and swapped them for the intake of Nelson Mandela Academy, I bet the Eton kids would be the brightest bunch that the Nelson teachers had ever taught, while the Eton staff might have a bit of a shock, not a good one.

Anonymous said...

His resignation speech was really rather good, apart from that one bit of PC:

"I have tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we are delivering so much, and when we have such a vast mandate, and when we are actually only a handful of points behind in the polls, even in mid term after quite a few months of pretty unrelenting sledging, and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally, and I regret not to have been successful in those arguments, and of course it is painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself, but as we’ve seen at Westminster, the herd is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves - and my friends, in politics no one is remotely indispensable.

And our brilliant and Darwinian system will produce another leader equally committed to taking this country forward through tough times ..."

Anonymous said...

In the Guardian, the first "Brexit is not a done deal" column arrives.