It’s a madhouse out there, I tell you! Between the politics of Groundhog Day and the rise of the Undead we also have the howls of feminists about the sacking of one female SpAd (special adviser) – or three or four. So what is that all about then?
Firstly, the demos planned for today by the Momentum Hard Left – or rather, the ‘popular uprising’ by the people who are suddenly all experts in parliamentary procedures and ‘democracy’ and know all about prorogation. Hands up who didn’t have to look that word up when it first cropped up a few weeks ago? Yes, me also …
We read this morning that the organiser, a Mr Chessum, is a ‘professional demo organiser” (here), and:
“was also found by the Electoral Commission to have broken the law over a failure to report a union donation of £10,000 to Momentum, the far-left group that supports Jeremy Corbyn, for three years.” (paywalled link)
Odd that this piece of information never made headlines, unlike the court case against Mr Grimes (here) of the Leave campaign …
We’ll see today if the Hard Left which has taken over Remain really has ‘The People’ on their side, or if it’s the same old crowd of left-populists who love the ‘street theatre’ of sitting in roads and provoking the police – not that the police will harm them anyway.
Then we have the feminists wading in on that sacking of one of Mr Javid’s SpAds. She was a woman, and four other female SpAds had already left Johnson’s government, so:
“Sam Smethers, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, which campaigns on women’s rights, said she was concerned: “These reports are worrying. The world of political advisers is notoriously male-dominated, and here we are seeing women removed from or leaving their posts. Polling indicates the PM already has a problem with his appeal to female voters. They need to focus on countering that perception, not reinforcing it.” (paywalled link)
Oh dear God – please make this genderification of politics stop! We’ve seen where we ended up with the ‘but she’s a woman’ excuse in politics – Ms May ring any bells?
Then we have the rise of the Undead. That’s not just John Major joining Gina Miller’s court case, together with the Labour MP and Corbyn adversary Tom Watson (e.g. here). It’s also Gordon Brown.
He said in a speech in Scotland yesterday that the EU and especially Macron are going to offer an extension, next week, voluntarily. Non-paywalled reports are here and here, but compare and contrast the following paragraphs in the (paywalled) DT report. First see this:
“The EU wants to extend Article 50 to avoid a no deal Brexit, it has emerged, as Eurosceptic MPs said Brussels was starting to crack under the pressure applied by Boris Johnson. Emmanuel Macron was said to be ready to “withdraw” the October 31 deadline, and the European Commission said another extension was “obviously a possibility” in a clear softening of its position ahead of intensive negotiations next week. The EU believes that by offering an extension it will undermine Mr Johnson’s argument that Brexit has to happen in two months’ time “deal or no deal”, but Brexiteers cited the news as evidence that Brussels is starting to panic.” (paywalled link)
Then look at what Gordon Brown actually said:
“Speaking in Edinburgh, Mr Brown said: “I have actually been talking to some European leaders this week. I believe that next week the European Union will withdraw the October 31st deadline… My information is that Macron no longer holds to that deadline. It was really introduced for his campaign in the European elections to make him sound tough. And none of the other European Commissioners, including the new President of the European Commission, I believe will hold to that October 31st deadline. I think they will withdraw it. That’s what I believe they should do and I believe they will do.” (paywalled link)
‘Gordon Brown believes’ doesn’t sound exactly like an official proposal, does it! In a court case this would be called ‘hearsay’, especially when we read this concluding paragraph:
“A spokesman for the European Commission said: “Another extension is obviously a possibility and depending on the purpose the EU could be forthcoming.” (paywalled link)
Not much ‘crumbling’ by the EU there that I can see – but more on that below.
Next, there’s the usual bleating from the EU that the UK hasn’t done the homework and hasn’t given any information about how to deal with the Backstop. This time it’s from the EU Foreign and Defence ministers who met in Helsinki yesterday:
“EU foreign ministers meeting in Helsinki yesterday expressed concern at the lack of detail from Britain as the clock ticks towards the October 31 Brexit deadline. Concern is also growing across the EU over the government’s decision to prorogue parliament and the risks that the political fallout could pose to negotiations. European governments have so far stayed out of Britain’s domestic constitutional controversy but the restraint is slipping amid fears that the EU is turning a blind eye to the abuse of democracy.” (link, paywalled)
‘Abuse of democracy’ – oh yes, our dear EU neighbours were onto that quickly, thanks to the sh*tstorm (excuse my French!) which our MSM and twitterati have raised about prorogation:
“The meeting of foreign and defence ministers repeatedly raised the issue of parliament being suspended with Mr Raab and Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, as concerns began to spill into the open. “Now we see that the government is in danger of becoming stronger than the parliament,” Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s foreign minister, said. “It is strange. Westminster is the mother of all parliaments and now you have a situation where that parliament is in danger of being sidelined. It’s a way of proceeding in democracy that doesn’t quite conform to the rules. I’m worried.” (link, paywalled)
Perhaps they would like to condemn our country for not adhering to those ‘democratic EU values’? They only need to kick us out if we’ve become such a horrible dictatorship … !
The actual ‘news’ is that the EU, in the form of the Irish minister, keep playing the same old song that ‘the UK hasn’t brought anything new’ about the Backstop:
“We all want to get a deal, but, at the moment, nothing credible has come from the UK government in terms of alternatives to the backstop,” Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign minister and deputy prime minister, said.” (link, paywalled)
Haven’t we heard this from the EU for two years now? It’s always ‘non, nein, no’ and ‘do more homework. It’s been a pretty long Groundhog Day! And strangely enough, there’s no mention of granting us an extension.
Meanwhile, the preparations of the Remainers in Parliament are moving on, rumours are flying, and Corbyn is either going to be proposed as ‘caretaker’ PM – or isn’t. According to Keith Starmer, there’s a plan! This is it:
“The plan is to pass a law requiring another extension of Article 50 beyond October 31. It will be based on the legislation passed in April, known as the Cooper-Letwin Bill, which compelled the government to move a motion that agreed to the prime minister seeking an extension, to a date to be decided when the motion was passed.” (link, paywalled)
Now that intervention by Brown makes sense, doesn’t it! Well played, Labour! Another Groundhog Day in politics!
However, Johnson had this warning to the Remainers, especially those in the HoC:
“Yesterday the prime minister warned opposition MPs and Tory rebels that a “political generation” would not be forgiven by the public for stopping Brexit. He told Sky News: “The more our [EU] friends and partners think at the back of their minds that Brexit could be stopped, that the UK could be kept in by parliament, the less likely they are to give us the deal that we need. That’s why I really hope that MPs will allow the UK to do a deal and get ready for a no-deal Brexit.[…] If we stop the UK from leaving on October 31, if that’s what parliamentarians end up doing, it will do lasting damage to people’s trust in politics.” (link, paywalled)
Will they heed it? On past form, I’m inclined to say ‘will they heck!’. At the end of this tumultuous week, we’ll watch how that ‘popular uprising’ is going to play out. We’ll keep an eye on our Remain MSM who are doing their best to undermine this government with their selective reporting.
Until we’re ‘Out’, vigilance is the key – because we all know that this ‘deal’ of which Johnson speaks may turn out to be the cosmetically made-over May WA.