UK Politics

Tilting at windmills

The commentariat have been roused from hibernation.

First the, so called, “progressive” Caroline Lucas proposed a racist and sexist all white female cabinet to stop a no-deal Brexit – including Nicola Sturgeon, who isn’t an MP!

Then Corbyn proposed that he should lead an interim/caretaker government, assuming Johnson loses a vote of confidence.

There is just a “government”, and with a lot of politician shaped holes which would mean McDonnell in No. 11, Abbott at the Home Office, etc, etc, etc.

If Corbyn was truly altruistic he’d support another candidate, this is just an attempt to get power.

The LibDems have traditionally prospered as a party of protest, when they run councils their rhetoric is anti-Whitehall.

Joining the coalition in 2010 resulted in a massive loss of support and although they’ve recovered since 2015 they’re still below their peak.

Current Labour policy is the negotiation of a “Labour Brexit” – whatever that might be – and then a referendum, the LibDems just want a second referendum to, they hope, revoke Article 50.

They’ve recovered on a pure anti-Brexit platform, and there is still the memory of the coalition; Swinson lost her seat in 2015 and had to recover it in 2017. Why support an unpopular divisive Brexiteer who leads a party that isn’t unambiguously Remain? They want to stop Brexit without being in, or supporting a, government.

There have been fifteen defections from Labour since 2017, invariably citing the environment since Corbyn’s ascent, and these are extremely unlikely to put him into No. 10.

MPs are representatives not delegates, but failing to support your leader/PM in a confidence vote would finish a Conservative career.

Labour has 247 MPs, a long way short of a majority, and Swinson is almost certainly correct that Corbyn couldn’t get the necessary support.

Parliamentary machinations to prevent “no deal” by further extending Article 50 are more likely to succeed as there are supportive Conservatives.

This might force Johnson to call an election which makes the Brexit Party significant.

Brecon and Radnorshire showed how a Remain Alliance minority can beat a divided Brexiteer majority; if this was extended and the Brexit Party fielded candidates against the likes of Rees-Mogg the outcome would be unpredictable, and a Commons supportive of a second referendum is possible.

Extending Article 50 and hoping the dominoes fall the right way is probably Remainers best route to another referendum.

If Brecon and Radnorshire is seen as a Brexit by-election, a 2016 Leave seat was still Leave in 2019, and without a tainted Conservatives candidate the results would have been closer. There’s little to suggest that a second referendum would give a different result.

Johnson’s wanted to be PM for a long time, so it’s hard to believe he’d embrace a Kobayashi Maru situation.

Meetings with Merkel and Macron are planned, but there are reports that Germany expects No Deal and will not renegotiate.

A leaked “no deal” report was dismissed as “from when ministers were blocking what needed to be done to get ready to leave and the funds were not available”.

Risk Management involves assessing the likelihood and severity of scenarios to prioritise actions to eliminate, or minimise, the effects. This is ongoing, ”turbocharged”, and there are frequent progress meetings.

We don’t know the full magnitude of the task, progress made, and how much will be complete by 31 October.

The French ports chief advises No-deal lorry mayhem at Dover and Calais? ‘C’est la bullsh**’ and the previously mentioned German report implies activities underway.

Corbyn can call a confidence vote, if he thinks it would succeed – unlikely.

Another extension to Article 50, like Cooper-Letwin, might pass but could force Johnson into an unpredictable election in search of a mandate. The threat might bring some Conservative rebels into line.

In September there will be attempts to stop “no deal” and select committees will investigate contingency planning.

The EU doesn’t want Brexit but should prefer a deal and that’s when they might start talking.

Assuming Johnson survives, his post-Brexit election pitch has to be either that he got a better deal or that the harbingers of doom were wrong about “no deal” – the latter depends upon the actions currently underway.

With the Brexit Party’s raison d’etre gone, the policy/spending announcements – presumably with more to come – pulling the rug out from under Corbyn, who becomes a discredited Jeremiah, Johnson could secure a workable majority.

Then we’ll find out if he’s James T. Kirk or a dumb blond Icarus.