Apologies for spending time and pixels on yesterday’s unspeakable “BBC Leadership Debate”! It’s important – not because we learned more about the May successor contenders but because it showed how Remain BBC and the rest of the MSM are manufacturing a ‘preferred’ candidate.
If you preferred not to watch that ‘great debate’ between the remaining five contenders for the May succession, then you made the right choice. It was dire. The ‘performers’ were BoJo, Hunt, Gove, Javid and Stewart – Dominic Raab dropped out after yesterday’s ballot. There’ll be another ballot this afternoon, so the ‘fun’ will go on.
Obviously, the MSM commentariat had to tell us what to think since we’re too stupid to think for ourselves. Unsurprisingly, their sickening love affair with Rory Stewart is ongoing.
Never mind that most of us outside the Westminster bubble – and that includes Tory Party members – know full well that Rory ain’t no Tory! Never mind that we know that all his admirers in the MSM would rather die than vote for him in a GE were he to become PM!
This sketch in the DM is an example that is not quite stomach-turning. The others are worse, believe me! Just look at this title in The Times – paywalled: “Rory Stewart’s light touch charms princes and warlords” …
Why do they do it, you might well ask. There are two reasons: one is that Rory is a Remainer. The other is that he is the chosen candidate of the Remain Tory MPs in their all-out campaign to ‘Stop Boris’. That he is supported by the Grieves and Lidingtons is all you need to know.
Interestingly, as far as the Remain MSM are concerned, it’s irrelevant that Rory has received money from a Russian oligarch and a Saudi Prince, see here. Play the substitution game, substitute ‘BoJo’ for ‘Rory’: do you think this wouldn’t have made headlines, screaming that BoJo is now disqualified?
There’s one aspect though which observers noted from the start but which apparently didn’t bother the MSM commentariat too much. That was the constant bias shown by the ‘impartial BBC leader’, Ms Emily Maitlis, who interrupted Boris Johnson incessantly with ‘gotcha’ questions dug out of the BBC archives.
The DT editor Mr Asa Bennett actually declared her the winner of the debate, and if that was meant to be tongue-in-cheek it did not come off:
“Emily Maitlis showed no fear, diving in as the contenders spoke in her crusade to get answers out of them to the questions asked by the members of the public who had been beamed in. “Are you listening?”, she at one point snapped at Mr Johnson.” (paywalled link)
Oh dear. I must have watched a different debate – one where she ‘snapped at Mr Johnson’ on a permanent basis …
Will this affect today’s ballot? Most MPs will have made up their minds already and it’s now only about jockeying for position to get a seat at the cabinet table by supporting ‘the winnah’. It looks as if the MSM dahlink will be shoved up and up and up.
Mr Javid, who just scraped in yesterday with 33 votes, may well decide to retire and tell his supporters to give their vote to Rory. We’ll know more later tonight.
Meanwhile, here is the acerbic verdict of the inimitable Sir John Redwood who writes in his Diary today:
“The BBC debate was dreadful. It was set up and chaired badly so we learned little. There was no wish to allow or require a serious discussion of the major issues facing the country. Boris was constantly interrupted by the presenter and the BBC pursued its agenda to make sure the candidates could not discuss the great opportunities that follow if we just get on and leave.” (link)
Just so. Do read the whole entry where Sir John Redwood points out yet again that the arguments from some of the contenders, about re-negotiating the WA, is poppycock (my word, not his – he’s far more polite!)
It is interesting that a remark by John Bercow – yes indeed, by the Speaker himself – got scant attention yesterday. Shorn of his usual insistence that the HoC ‘must have a say’, he told the French paper ‘Le Figaro’ on the weekend:
“Our default legal position, if no deal has been approved and if no extension is negotiated with the EU, is that we will leave the Union. In other words: we will be unable to prevent a hard Brexit.” (link)
Indeed – but the Remainers don’t want to hear this and the contenders are happy to big themselves up talking about re-negotiations which aren’t going to happen, or about how clever they are by going to get Ms May’s Vassalage Treaty approved by Parliament – that’s dear Rory’s stance.
Of course, with all their dealings en coulisse to garner votes from their colleagues one cannot expect them to know such things. Nor can one expect them to know about the ‘treat’ the EU has in store for us should we remain on May’s terms. It’s Switzerland which is on the receiving end this time:
“Swiss access to the EU’s single market is governed by a system of ‘equivalence’, which can be withdrawn by the commission. The equivalence expires at the end of July, unless it is renewed. The commission has said it will only renew if Bern made progress towards agreeing an overall EU-Swiss agreement, which would replace the current patchwork of individual deals governing the relationship between Switzerland and the bloc. The commission document, which was discussed before a final decision will be made, said, “An expiry of the ‘equivalence’ may be just the warning shot across the bow they need.” (paywalled link)
The EU makes no bones about the fact that this is meant as warning to the UK:
“Brussels is ready to punish Switzerland by blocking its access to Europe’s financial services market as a warning to Britain that the EU will not compromise on Brexit. […] The move to freeze Switzerland, a non-EU country, out of Europe’s single market is being interpreted as a message intended for a new Conservative prime minister. In a note to his colleagues, Johannes Hahn, the Austrian commissioner responsible for the Swiss talks, warned that making an example of Switzerland was necessary to make a bigger political point to Britain. “We simply cannot accept any further attempts of foot dragging and watering down internal market rules, especially in what is probably the decisive phase regarding Brexit,” he wrote, in a document seen by The Times.” (link, paywalled)
Just as the Brexit ‘negotiations’ were used by Brussels to ‘make a point’ to any EU member state to not even think about an ‘Exit’, so Brussels plans to punish a third country to show us what punishment is in store for us.
Of course our Remainers blithely disregard this latest example of Brussels intransigence where EU masks are now dropped. For example, all the pious words about EU citizens’ ‘Rights’ have been nothing but another Remain ploy:
“Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, yesterday rejected a plea by ministers in the UK to agree measures that would protect the rights of British and European citizens in the event of a no-deal Brexit.” (link, paywalled)
Let that sink in! This is the ugly face behind the smooth EU negotiators’ charming facade. And finally – as if the ongoing Tory balloting weren’t sufficient, we’re told to ‘expect’ another ‘bombshell’ today, see here and here. According to these reports, Jeremy Corbyn is expected today to
“… back a move for Labour to change Brexit policy and support a second referendum. […] the shadow cabinet is set to meet and make Labour’s stance decidedly pro-Remain, putting it firmly at odds with the Tories, who have ruled out a second referendum.” (link)
Labour, as I wrote yesterday, looks to position itself as the Remain Party in order to win at the next GE which will soon be upon us. That GE will be fought not on Party politics of LibLabCon but on ‘Remain’ and ‘Leave’ terms.
On that background, the winner of yesterday’s BBC “debate” may in the end turn out to have been the man who wasn’t there: Nigel Farage.