Westminster was still mostly empty on yesterday’s Bank Holiday Monday. Everybody, even the D-list politicians, were unavailable. No ‘source’ leaked nothing, and as the EU Parliament closed its doors on the 18th of April, preparing for elections next month, the ‘diplomats’ and ‘administrators’ who kept leaking their gossip to our Brussels correspondents were also enjoying their well-deserved ‘family holiday’ back home. Don’t forget though: Juncker is gone for good …
It was inevitable though that RemainCentral, i.e. The Times (paywalled link) picked up an unprecedented attack by that Remain backbench MP Nicky Morgan on Sir Bill Cash. He wrote a succinct article last week in the DT where he did not mince words about the failure of the May government securing Brexit. Ms Morgan however attacked him for daring to speak his mind:
“A veteran Tory Brexiteer has been accused of fuelling the hate mail and death threats directed at MPs after accusing Theresa May of appeasement. Sir Bill Cash used a newspaper column to lash out at the prime minister, claiming that she had made the country “crawl on our hands and knees” to France and Germany to secure a Brexit extension. He said that the extension agreement with the EU was a betrayal of the referendum result, asking: “Since when has a forced and humiliating surrender ever been an ‘agreement’?” (paywalled link)
Nothing wrong with writing that, surely? Not for Ms Morgan though:
“Nicky Morgan, the Conservative chairwoman of the Treasury select committee, warned that his comments risked further stoking public anger. “This kind of language is not helpful. It’s not the kind of language that our councillors or frankly any normal people would use,” she told the Today programme on BBC Radio 4. Asked whether she saw any connection between such phrases and the threats received by some MPs, Mrs Morgan replied: “Yes, I do.” Such comments, she said, were “stoking up other people who are often sitting at home and watching this stuff, and it gets them really, really angry and fired up, and then they will say things that they would never say face to face”. (paywalled link)
Are we in North Korea? Have we travelled back in time to Stalin’s Soviet Union where ‘the great leader’ must not be criticised? And note well how Ms Morgan (i’m sure she’s not the only one!) regards us ‘people out there’: too stupid to make up ur own minds, needing someone to tell us what to think – which is good if we listen to the likes of herself, but bad if it’s proper criticism of her idol May and by extension herself. It seems that being an MP does rot some people’s minds ..
Given that our MSM would rather talk about “Game of Thrones” than Brexit, I’ve been looking at articles published at the Easter weekend which I’ve saved up. Here’s one: in one final deed the EU MEPs did get in one last vote before it was all over, and that vote was rather important. Facts4EU reported:
“Yesterday [Ed:18th April] the EU Parliament moved another step closer to the goal of a common EU defence policy and EU Defence Union. 328 MEPs voted in favour, with 231 against and 19 abstaining. They approved the next part of the EU Defence Fund (EDF), totalling €13 billion (£11.2 billion pounds). This means that the EDF can now go to the EU Council for final discussion and approval.”
If we’re still in, we’ll pay – and if you d like a little piece to fit into the puzzle of why our Whitehell serpents do their best to keep us in, here is one which only makes sense if those serpents are certain that Brexit will ‘not be done’, one way or another:
“The UK army’s fleet of tanks is to be stripped by a third, and is planning to revamp 148 of its 277 Challenger 2 tanks, which were in use between 1998 and 2002, because of cost restraints. Analysis from the Ministry of Defence says the British army would plummet to number 56 in the global league table of number of tanks available. It would mean the UK’s mothballing of tanks would make it smaller than Burma, Serbia and Cambodia.” (link)
While this may please the usual lefty “pacifists” who’d rather waste our money on illegal immigrants and green crap, this reduction of our defence capabilities only makes sense in the context of the EDF – something Ms May has signed up to, Brexit or not. Now look at this league table:
“The league table is compiled from data collected by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. At present, the UK’s fleet of 227 tanks sit at a ranking of 48th below nations such as Ethiopia, which has 461, Romania with 418 tanks in its fleet and Spain, which counts 327. Russia tops the tables with 12,950 tanks, followed by the US with 6,333.” (link)
Obviously, we don’t need no tanks because, with EDF, we can use the tanks from Spain (hello, Gibraltar …!) and Romania as well as those of Germany (do they still have any?), France or the Netherlands!
Do any of our dedicated Remain civil serpents actually believe that, should it come to that showdown with Russia the EU seems to be so keen on, this EDF, commanded from Brussels, will actually ‘protect and defend’ us ‘orrible Brits?
Closer to home, the Tories are locked in self-destruct mode, desperately trying to get rid of Ms May. The Party leadership must now decide to call an EGM. That is of course the fault of all those bad “UKIP entryists”, therefore Ms Amber Rudd and others have now written an Open Letter to business owners:
“Amber Rudd and other leading Tory moderates have issued an open letter to business owners urging them to join the Conservative Party so they can vote to prevent a hard Brexiteer from becoming the next prime minister. In a move designed to combat the influence of the hardline leavers of the European Research Group (ERG), the new One Nation group of Conservatives urged those who want a closer relationship with the EU to sign up and fight. It comes after the ranks of Tory members were swelled by an influx of tens of thousands, many of them former Ukip supporters and leave campaigners.” (paywalled link)
Do they see their beloved Remain in jeopardy, or even their cabinet posts? BoJo, Ms Rudd’s pet hate, is topping the list of possible May replacements (see ConHome). She is of course on record saying that she’d rather leave the Party than stay under BoJo …
As some Tory MPs have rushed back to London yesterday evening, we have again ‘sources’ talking to ‘correspondents’. In a bid to shape the debate, they hinted that they would tell Ms May to give a proper date by which she’ll leave, namely the end of June. Do they really think the Tory grassroots will swallow this and go back campaigning (see here)?
But who knows – the ‘men in grey suits’, a.k.a. the 1922 Committee of backbenchers may finally find their collective round dangly objects and do the evil deed … They are meeting this evening, and rumour has it that some are thinking about installing a ‘caretaker PM’ to get us Out now so that there won’t be an EP election.
Anyone with half-a-brain will of course add two and two together and come up with the reason for the sudden urgency: no EP elections, therefore: no Brexit Party upsurge, therefore: the Farage Fox slain. Or so they think. We’ll know tomorrow if there was a ‘Night of the Long Knives’. I’m not holding my breath …