Thursday 23rd of September 2021

the shortest honeymoon in parliamentary history...


I enjoy schadenfreude as much as the next guy and for the millions of us who detest Boris, last night brought the stuff in spades. I was quite taken by Jeremy Corbyn’s comment. Too much the gentleman to refer to BoJo in person, Jezza’s was as neat a slice of alliteration as you’re likely to come across in a parliamentary put-down.


This government has no mandate, no morals and as of today no majority.

That last being an allusion to Tory member Phillip Lee, who dramatically crossed the floor to sit with the Lib Dems even as Boris was speaking. In those few seconds of theatre a Tory majority of one – and that reliant on May’s squalid deal with the creationist and reactionary DUP – went up in a puff of the proverbial.

But Lee’s perambulation – one small step for man, one fat smack in the chops for Boris – was but the first strike in a night of triple whammy. Within hours the government – a day of threats, bribes and all round arm-twisting notwithstanding – lost its bid to block a no-deal Brexit vote.

Worse yet, his Plan B – or Plan A? – hit the skids immediately after that defeat, wittily referred to by Scottish Nationalist Ian Blackford as the “shortest honeymoon in parliamentary history” – while a Right Honourable Member off camera calls out, the very second Speaker John Bercow announces the result, that this is:

Not a good start, Boris.

All good stuff. As Noel Coward would say, I couldn’t have liked it more.

For the third hammer blow BoJo can thank a fellow Etonian. T’was David Cameron, whose own reckless complacency got us into this mess,1 who also saw to it that a prime minister may no longer call a snap election as and when s/he sees fit. The Fixed Term Parliament Act of 2015 has put paid to that. Now the Commons will decide whether – and more crucially, when – BoJo gets to grandstand as saviour of the People’s Will in the face of a parliament bent on thwarting it.

In plain terms, Johnson can’t follow his failure to push through a no-deal option by “going to the country” on a Parliament Versus Democracy ticket at a time of his choosing. Not without two thirds of the House of Commons assenting to it. Which as of this morning looks about as likely as Yemen winning the next world cup.


When history repeats itself, Marx observed, it does so as farce. It was Peter Ford, former UK ambassador to Syria, who pointed out BoJo’s affectation of aping the hunched shoulder slouch of his hero, Winston Churchill. But one of the most penetrating assessments of this trickster’s psychology came from a man whose writings I’m more given to slating – here for instance – if, indeed, I read them at all.

In yesterday’s Guardian – a paper I’ve come, for reasons given in many a post on this site, to detest more than I do the redneck honesty of the Mail – Rafael Behr packs rare depth of insight into so few paragraphs.

I never said the man can’t write, nor that he’s a fool.

Brexit is not the first thing Johnson has found difficult, but it might be the first difficult thing he cannot simply abandon. The path by which he arrived in Downing Street is strewn with jettisoned jobs, principles and relationships. He finds other people’s needs burdensome, and is used to shrugging them off. But now he is yoked to an onerous national duty. His discomfort was obvious in parliament today.

Johnson’s traditional repertoire of glibness and bluster served him poorly as his authority and his majority melted away. The first significant test of his command of the Commons resulted in humiliation. He was defeated by a majority of 27, forfeited control of the legislative agenda, desperately threw a general election gauntlet across the chamber and watched helpless as the leader of the opposition dodged it.

… Johnson chose the leave side in the 2016 referendum, thinking it would be beaten. He intended to earn kudos among Eurosceptic Tories while evading responsibility for turning their fantasy into reality. He flaunted his unreadiness to own the result, withdrawing from the subsequent leadership race on the day of his campaign launch. He served in Theresa May’s cabinet only as long as he could be idle in a grand office. When the time came to commit to a workable Brexit model, he resigned.

In part, Johnson is captive to the public school cult of effortless dilettantism that despises diligence as vulgar and swotty. He is also a hostage to his own breezy rhetoric. Even now that the technical complexities and economic hazards of Brexit are indisputable, the prime minister pretends that obstacles are trifling or illusory. He claims that leaving the EU without a deal would not be a calamity, but also that the threat of calamity is necessary to persuade the EU to grant a deal.

Nicely observed, Mr Behr. My only carp is with the dishonesty of the final sentence. It asks us to mock the illogicality of threatening the EU with no-deal calamity, while assuring the home fans that no-deal will be no calamity. That slyly fails to distinguish what is/is not a calamity for the EU from what is/is not a calamity for the UK.

Not for the first time – see my post the other day – I should add that I’m (for the time being) a Remainer: albeit one with peg on nose, heavy heart and zero faith that the European Bankers’ Club can ever be reformed.2 And albeit one who sees nothing illogical in Johnson’s insistence that a no-deal Brexit option is essential to the ability of negotiators to drive a hard bargain in Brussels. As any kid on a tough block knows, you gotta have a nuclear option.

If you don’t give my bike back my dad’s gonna come round and beat up your dad!

For all his astuteness in assessing BoJo’s character, Rafael Behr is less smart at assessing the realpolitik of the fix he’s in. For that we’ll do better to heed his nemesis from the other side of the spectrum.

But Behr’s naivity on this front, like that of many other Remainers, is tinged with disingenuity. His real objection is not simply to the no-deal Brexit Boris says he doesn’t want but must have as negotiating card – while Honest Nige insists on no-deal as his price for not standing Brexit Party candidates against the Tories.

Behr, like so many other Remainers, objects to Brexit, period. And the problem with making its reversal a goal to supercede all others is that it ignores fifty percent of the population of – let me say this one more time for good luck – a thoroughly and toxically Disunited Kingdom.

* * *

  1. By “this mess” I refer not to Brexit but to the simplistic terms, and lies on both sides, in which the Referendum question was framed. And to the failure to demand more than a simple majority – two thirds is traditional – for so far reaching and long lasting a change to the status quo. And above all to the deep and deeply frightening divisions of a not so United Kingdom; divisions both reflected and exacerbated by the 2016 outcome.
  2. I feel another post writing itself. Of late I’ve been seeing FB comments, in some cases by folk whose views on other matters I respect, to the effect the EU is the cause of decades of peace in Europe. Of all the ways in which this is flawed in both its premise and the conclusion drawn, the confusion of correlation with causation is a howler of schoolboy proportions. Wearing big waistline trousers makes you fat. Show me a man with big waistline trousers and I’ll show you a fat man.

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a fine tradition...


British PM Boris Johnson’s brother, Jo, has resigned as a Conservative MP and government minister citing “an unresolvable tension” over the Brexit crisis.


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Since becoming prime minister, Boris Johnson has been pushing for withdrawal from the European Union by 31 October with or without a deal, but since losing his parliamentary majority on Tuesday, there is no guarantee now that UK legislators will be able to ratify any potential deal agreed upon with Brussels.

Former British Prime Minister Theresa May was spotted looking happy and blissful while watching her successor Boris Johnson taking criticism from both sides of the House of Commons on Monday, after MPs decided to take control of the agenda preventing a no-deal Brexit from happening.

May, who returned to the Commons for the first time since her departure as PM, burst into laughter as Johnson was clumsily trying to defend himself when replying to questions from Father of the House and Tory member Ken Clarke who was sitting next to her.

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dying on stage like a bad yellow comedian...


Finally he managed something approaching a sentence. “My brother has been a fantastic …” What was the job he had given his backstabbing, dumbass brother again? His mind had gone blank. Say something, Boris, he told himself. Something. Anything. Have a guess. “Science minister.” Shit. He knew he’d got it wrong. Jo was the sodding universities minister. Anyway, who cared? Jo was dead to him. Since when did a Johnson ever have a fit of conscience? It would tarnish the brand. Classic Dom.

Johnson continued ad-libbing. He’d die in a ditch if Britain wasn’t out of the EU by 31 October. Probably preferable to dying on his feet, as he was now. Just then, he heard a noise behind him and turned round. A policewoman had collapsed. He shrugged, took a sip of water, and carried on talking. She needed to toughen up a bit. Post-Brexit Britain was no place for the weak. Besides, his need was so clearly greater than hers. He was the World King. And if she died, he could always just recruit 20,001 new recruits. Classic Dom.

Slowly, the drugs began to wear off, and Johnson stumbled back indoors. “You nailed it,” said Dom and Dommer encouragingly. “You were so bad, you were brilliant. We’ve got them exactly where we want them.” Classic, classic Dom.


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the bigger the bull...


Boris Johnson’s shrinking options have narrowed further after opposition leaders agreed to reject his demand for a snap general election, until a Brexit delay has been secured.

Senior members of the “rebel alliance” who have pledged to block a no-deal Brexit, including Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson, agreed to withhold their support when the government holds a second vote on Monday aimed at triggering an early poll.

With parliament due to be suspended by next Thursday at the latest, it now appears unlikely Johnson will succeed in his bid to force an election before 31 October – unless he takes the nuclear option of resigning.


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it won't matter what happens next...

Boris Johnson’s shrinking options have narrowed further after opposition leaders agreed to reject his demand for a snap general election, until a Brexit delay has been secured.

Senior members of the “rebel alliance” who have pledged to block a no-deal Brexit, including Jeremy Corbyn and Jo Swinson, agreed to withhold their support when the government holds a second vote on Monday aimed at triggering an early poll.

The prime minister reportedly wrote to Tory members on Friday evening pledging to break the law that will require him to seek an extension of Article 50. “They just passed a law that would force me to beg Brussels for an extension to the Brexit deadline. This is something I will never do.”

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boris has a tantrum...

Britain's Parliament has been suspended for five weeks after a night of drama in which MPs again rejected Prime Minister Boris Johnson's attempts to force a snap election.

Key points:
  • Suspending Parliament will limit opposing MPs' ability to block Mr Johnson's plans for Brexit
  • MPs are trying to stop a no-deal Brexit, and some have branded the suspension a "coup"
  • Boris Johnson had asked MPs to back his call for a snap election in order to break the deadlock


More than two-thirds of the Parliament, or 434 MPs, were needed to back the motion calling a general election, but that figure was well short after Labour and other opposition parties chose to abstain from voting.

It was the sixth major defeat for the Prime Minister in just his fifth day in the House of Commons.

MPs will now be sent home and Parliament suspended, or prorogued, until October 14 — just two weeks before the October 31 Brexit deadline.

Earlier in the day new legislation that will force Mr Johnson to head to Brussels to seek a Brexit delay until January 2020, unless a deal or no-deal Brexit is approved by MPs by October 19, was passed into law.


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"I swam around that rock [Sunday] morning. From here you cannot tell there is a gigantic hole in that rock. There is a way through."

                                                      Imbecilic Boris...

the hulk has more brains...


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has likened himself to The Incredible Hulk, saying "the madder Hulk gets, the stronger Hulk gets" as he stressed his determination to take Britain out of the European Union with or without a deal on October 31.

Key points:
  • Mr Johnson drew parallels between Britain's situation in Brexit talks and the frustrations felt by fictional scientist Bruce Banner
  • Negotiations with the EU are still foundering over the issue of the Irish 'backstop'
  • The PM said he was "very confident" ahead of a meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker


The Mail on Sunday newspaper reported that Mr Johnson said he would find a way to circumvent a recent parliamentary vote ordering him to delay Brexit.

"Hulk always escaped, no matter how tightly bound in he seemed to be — and that is the case for this country. We will come out on October 31," he said.

British MPs have repeatedly rejected the exit dealMr Johnson's predecessor Theresa May negotiated with the EU, and this month rejected leaving without a deal on October 31.

Last week, Mr Johnson was forced to deny lying to the Queen after a Scottish court ruled that his decision to suspend Parliament until mid-October was illegal.


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Unfortunately, the Hulk has more brains than the yellow-headed rat...

the inept, incompetent idiot he is...


This is a guy who wants to lead a nuclear-armed United Kingdom. He wants to secure the power to command the armed forces and order military interventions overseas. He wants to be in charge of the 5th largest economy in the world and be responsible for the National Health Service across England and all the schools and nurseries that are vital to educate and develop children into thinking and compassionate students. Yet in reference to his hastily cobbled together Brexit deal, which has been roundly condemned as even worse than Theresa May’s deal, he said it was “oven ready” and all that was required was to:

“Whack it in the microwave gas mark 4”…

FFS… a potential leader of one of the most powerful nations on the planet thinks microwave ovens have a gas setting!!! If I was to make this up people would scoff and accuse me of political bias but with Johnson there is no need to make things up he opens his mouth and his own words expose him as the inept, incompetent idiot he is.


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