Monday, April 15, 2024
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The toppling of Theresa: Day Six


THE woman who acts like a dominatrix at Westminster but an appeaser in Europe remains in office and, more appallingly, in power; the driving character of a disaster movie that the ordinary voter is powerless to do anything but watch.

On Monday the manful Mark Francois tried his level best. He demanded of the chairman of the 1922 Committee another vote of no confidence in Mrs May. After a meeting in Downing Street between May and the 1922 executive, Sir Graham Brady said they didn’t intend agreeing to Francois’s proposed course of action, though it may have prompted them to a face-off with the PM, reported here. According to this, they told her straight that she was the problem and to go for the good of the party as she sat in impassive stony silence; making one wonder ever more about her mental state.

Updates on the Cabinet tell us that Andrea Leadsom is furious with her, but not quite furious enough to resign. She hopes, in her dreams, Angel Merkel will open up the Withdrawal Agreement for more discussion and a proper Brexit. Though Liam Fox writes to MPs explaining the clear disadvantages of signing up to the customs union, they are not disadvantageous enough yet to make him resign – although his dear leader, whom I propose from now on to call Kim May, is happily not just mooting them with her new commie mate Corbyn, but assuring him they’re in her WA anyway. Meanwhile the latest leadership polling suggests that Michael Gove’s drop in popularity as a result of his support for May is not yet sufficient to cause him to abandon her.

The latest on the Cabinet at time of writing is that four members have failed to back her on the Brexit delay motion. Andrea Leadsom, Chris Grayling, Geoffrey Cox and Liam Fox abstained from voting, while 97 Tory MPs voted against the delay, yet didn’t resign from her government.

So Kim May continues with her politics of confusion and appeasement. Never mind that top German politicians and think tanks have now castigated the EU over its negotiating strategy; the only unreasonable people are those who want a clean Brexit (this from the once ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’ PM). Another day and another trip round the EU  on-bended-knee and to the cool reception that awaits her. 

In the real world, May’s green light for EU elections enrages Tory grassroots, and the number of local associations that have had enough continues to rise, the latest being David Gauke’s West Hertfordshire constituency.

And a former long-time Tory MP, Michael Brown, joins Nigel Farage’s new party.

Paul Goodman, the editor of Conservative Home, becomes the latest Tory to call on the Cabinet to tell May to go. But what Goodman describes as ‘May’s perfect world’ is certainly neither as beyond the realms of possibility on past experience nor as fantastical as he assumes. The finale to his scenario of her Machiavellian plotting and planning is this:

‘[She wangles] a short extension from the EU at today’s emergency summit – having persuaded Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron that she and Corbyn will shortly combine to drive the Withdrawal Agreement through the Commons.

‘This would then happen. A Bill based on the Agreement would pass swiftly. Plans for British participation in the European Parliamentary elections would be scrapped. Britain would leave the EU before May 23.

‘Her party would then forgive her for preparing for those elections, for whatever losses emerge from the local elections on May 5, and for all the trials, U-turns, humiliations, defeats and tribulations of the Brexit negotiation process. She would thus have room to execute a swift reshuffle in which her most likely successors would be moved sideways, marooned or sacked. There would be talk of bringing on a new generation of leadership candidates – to reinvent the party for the future, along the lines which Onward and others are floating.’

Heaven defend us.

Monday marked Theresa’s 1,000th day in office. The real worry is that the current deplorable Cabinet might opt for another 1,000 days exactly on the terms Paul Goodman describes. Ruling without party support or a mandate would be nothing less than government by hegemony.

The trail of political destruction gets longer, deeper and wider in pursuit of Kim May’s overriding goal of staying in power at all costs.

We at TCW are still counting the days for the Cabinet to wake up, put aside self-interest, get real about the enormity of what is at stake and insist en masse that she goes.

Today is Day 6 . . .

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Edited by Kathy Gyngell

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