When Johnson stood in the Commons, having been unwillingly recalled there by a decision of the Supreme Court, and said things he must have known would rile Labour MPs on a personal level, I wondered what was going in his head. The Jo Cox stuff was beyond the pale, and I refuse to believe he had no idea what he was doing. Won’t he need to keep at least a few Labour MPs on side if he wants to attempt to get a deal through parliament?
Of course, that was me falling for the bullshit. Johnson knows there is a zero percent chance of any deal being reached with the EU before mid-October and then said deal getting through parliament. Still, annoying Labour MPs for no visible gain, and risking alienating a lot of his own side, still seemed a rash move given all other factors.
Except if you come to the point where you realise that Johnson must be trying to goad them all into bringing him down. He must have decided that it would be better for a vote of no confidence to happen, Corbyn or someone else to take over for a bit and that new interim PM has to ask the EU for the extension. If that were to take place, Johnson can’t be seen to have broken his promise, and his people v parliament narrative gets an extra boost. I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the only thing that makes sense to Boris Johnson’s behaviour this week.
Even it this all works out for him as best as it possibly can, Johnson still has to wonder how he governs afterwards. By best case, I mean the following unfolds: parliament brings him down; Corbyn becomes interim PM, gets a year long extension from the EU; the interim government folds, a general election is called; the Tories win a large majority. Even if all of this happens – and I consider this a reasonable long shot – what does Boris Johnson do then? He still has Brexit and what Britain’s relationship with the EU will be like to sort out, basically starting from square one. He has to try and “unite the country” when he’s spent the first few months of his premiership getting up at least half the country’s nose.
I suppose he’ll feel like he has five years ahead of him to figure out how to avoid the pain he’ll face hurting the Tories electorally in 2024, but that seems small comfort. I suppose you could answer with this: five years is better than zero years.
A schop says
No vote of confidence no interim government
Keep the mendacious wanker there
Let him go begging to the eu for an extension and let his nativist support see how powerless and pathetic he is
An election in november thereby his swivel eyed loon support can vote brexit party and split their vote
Phil Beesley says
Academic research into the value of political commentary before a significant event suggests that it is as accurate as Mystic Meg on a bad day. Few people get anything right.
But I’m going to be correct in my prediction. If there is an interim PM, brakes on before the cliff edge, it won’t be Ken Clarke or Harriet Harman. It’ll be a backbencher who has presented a bill to parliament, maybe unsuccessfully, but somebody who has had a go at working the levers.
He must have decided that it would be better for a vote of no confidence to happen, Corbyn or someone else to take over for a bit
First part, yes, but why the second? It looks more likely the plan is to lose a vote of confidence and then go straight to an election, either by not allowing anyone else to take over by not resigning, or simply on the assumption that there is no one else who can command the necessary majority.
In 2010 the Lib Dems arguably put the country ahead of its own best interests for its party and its cause and it didn’t end well ! Any government of national unity (GNU) whoever the figurehead would be dominated by Labour with its very limited levels of popular support and with Corbyn and McDonald having very prominent positions. If Corbyn was not PM it would be reasonable to assume he would likely insist McDonald be in No.11. It would have to limp on for many months without much in the way of agreed policies and always at the mercy of “events” such as Thomas Cook. It would be a minefield for the Lib Dems and Jo Swinson knows it.
The alternative would be a GNU limited to only a matter of weeks to obtain an extension to Article 50 until 31st January 2020 for the purpose of having a General Election on the soonest possible date, hopefully by November! I would then suggest it’s principal legislation is for a referendum by “sensitive democracy” (preference voting) in January on up to 4 “Brexit Outcomes” to be confirmed by a Citizen’s Assembly. (If pre-determining quashing Brexit by Revoke & Remain then you have to also include no-deal).
I hope this would give people hope that this saga can come to a close if they so choose it, restore faith in democracy, yield a functioning government sooner than later with a domestic agenda from an election that’s not just about Brexit.
Paul W says
A Citizen’s Assembly? Good grief. More like a hand picked Soviet of Guardian readers. We have a Citizen’s Assembly already. It has 650 members and is called the House of Commons. Even if it is a bit rubbish at its job at the moment.
Paul W says
A Citizen’s Assembly? Good grief. More like a hand picked Soviet of Guardian readers. We have a Citizen’s Assembly already. It has 650 members and is called the House of Commons. Even if it is a bit rubbish at its job at the moment, we don’t need another wee pretendy rival assembly.
A schop says
Nick cohen rightly brings up that disaster capitalist hedge funds who supported vote leave and boris leadership stand to make 8 billion on no deal
It’s called shorting the country by betting against its currency
So bj has to deliver no deal
One of these gentlemen let’s call him has backed bj and made 220 million his surname sounds like odour
How much is that man of the people r smog set to make with his hedge fund
I feel sorry for the working class they truly are being played