Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Historians will puzzle over how it came to this, but the stars seem to be aligning for Boris and a No Deal Brexit

There's a strong case to be made that Have I Got News For You is indirectly responsible for Brexit.  If they hadn't helped Boris Johnson build up his image as a loveable buffoon, he'd never have become Mayor of London and wouldn't have had the political capital with which to make a decisive intervention in the EU referendum.  Now that butterfly effect seems set to take Johnson all the way to Downing Street, where perhaps (particularly in the light of today's failed Commons vote) he'll be able to push through a No Deal Brexit.

The fact that he was 'created' by a comedy TV show is one thing that would make a Johnson win unusual, but it's not the only thing.  This would also be the first time in living memory that a governing party has installed a backbencher as Prime Minister.  I'm actually struggling to work out when such a thing last happened.  Theresa May was Home Secretary when she took over from David Cameron.  Gordon Brown was Chancellor when he took over from Tony Blair.  John Major was Chancellor when he took over from Margaret Thatcher.  James Callaghan was Foreign Secretary when he took over from Harold Wilson.  Sir Alec Douglas-Home was Foreign Secretary when he took over from Harold Macmillan, who in turn was Chancellor when he took over from Sir Anthony Eden, who in turn was Foreign Secretary when he took over from Sir Winston Churchill.  You might assume that Churchill himself must have been a backbencher when he became PM due to his famed spell in the wilderness, but in fact he'd been First Lord of the Admiralty in Chamberlain's short-lived War Cabinet.  So a Johnson premiership would be a very rare example of non-continuity for a government in mid-term.  He resigned from Theresa May's administration for a reason, and it can be assumed that he'd oversee a change of direction more akin to an outright change of government.

What would it mean for us?  I've heard some people say that Boris Johnson doesn't really believe in anything but his own ambition, so there's no way of knowing for sure whether he'll keep his promises to the ERG headbangers until he's actually in office.  But for my money it's his ambition that'll ensure he does stick to his word, because he'll know his place in history will be guaranteed if he delivers on a No Deal Brexit.  Even if it unleashes economic calamity, it's unlikely to be reversed for a very long time, and so the political status quo would become synonymous with Boris in much the same way that the post-war consensus was synonymous with Attlee.

Which leaves the question of whether parliament would be able to stop No Deal if Johnson is hellbent on bringing it about.  Today's vote makes that less likely, but doesn't close off the possibility entirely.  But one thing is for sure: a parliament that thwarts the main objective of the government is making an early general election inevitable.  Polling suggests that Johnson is the only one of the ten Tory leadership candidates who would recover a significant number of the votes lost to the Brexit Party in time for an election this autumn, so it could be that, paradoxically, he would help save Ruth Davidson's bacon in her north-east seats in Scotland.  The SNP might instead have to look towards gains from Labour to keep up the momentum towards a second independence referendum.

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25 comments:

  1. "There's a strong case to be made that Have I Got News For You is indirectly responsible for Brexit."

    Not sure about Brexit but I'd definitely say even more specifically that "There's a strong case to be made that Angus Deayton is indirectly responsible for Boris as PM."

    I know Boris had already been on HIGNFY as a guest in the Deayton era but I think it was really only after the Deayton scandal and subsequent firing from the presenter role and Boris being one of the memorable early guest presenters, that he really took hold in the public consciousness.

    Ergo, blame Angus?

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    1. Oh!, for the love of God, we are in trouble now.

      Delete
  2. WTO Rules is a deal. A special deal could easily be struck but the EU dictatorship need to have all on their own terms. Rather sad that a bunch of EU Capitalist millionaires call the tume. I do have to laugh at Skier who appears to be a pretend socialist wanting this bunch of EU mafia mobsters dictating to Scotland.

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    1. Robin of LocksleyJune 12, 2019 at 9:30 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
    2. I'm not a socialist.

      Just left of centre (the real centre, not the UK hard right 'centre') and a strong social liberal.

      Delete
    3. I actually match very well with the SDLP and Plaid Cymru.

      https://www.politicalcompass.org/uk2017

      If was British, I'd have likely voted Lib Dem until they went all strong right of centre 'orange book' under Clegg.

      Delete
    4. Skier, I am to the left of the centre forward and to the right of the ootside left.

      Delete
    5. Robin of LocksleyJune 12, 2019 at 11:49 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
    6. GWC, your actually beneath contempt.

      Delete
  3. As for Bozo's brexit, ... If you were to write a drama describing the last days of the British empire, it would pretty much go as things are happening in reality.

    The question is whether bozo is the completely self interested incompetent buffoon that oversees the final collapse, or whether there's still one worse PM to come. My money is on Bozo being the one.

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  4. If Boris gets the job and the anyone but Boris plotting fails I wonder who he will choose as Scottish Secretary. That appalling car crash that is Ross Thompson?

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    1. The mega-talented Kirstene Hairbrain?

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  5. As darkness descends on the last day of the British Empire.. Oh shit, Where's the lifeboat! Is that the pipes I hear.
    Scotland this is your opportunity.

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  6. Aye, the butterfly effect.
    If St. Donald Dewar had not fell doon deid, if that guy, can't remember his name, the far left socialist, had not forced Gray to hide in a sandwich shop, if McCletchie had not been outed on his taxi fares.
    I venture we would be in a much worse position today.

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    1. Erasmus G ScatterpouchJune 13, 2019 at 12:17 PM

      Butterfly effect. If Colonel Tanktop hadn't been so powerfully influential we'd have been involved in terrble things. Fact.

      Delete
  7. Full British fascism gets ever closer. Tories wiping the 2016 result from existence because they lost, while their work to shut down Holyrood one devolved power grab at a time gathers pace.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-48607722

    https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/ruth-davidsons-tory-mps-accused-16509769

    The future of the UK is not a democratic one. To survive now, it must bring democracy to an end and preserve unionism by dictatorship. The unionist vote is too small now to hold the UK together through free democracy.

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    1. Daily Record will be backing Yes next time at this rate (Murray Foote obviously has already).

      https://twitter.com/Fergoodness/status/1139088041606356992

      "This blatant attempt to rip up the Scotland Act in a doomed effort to shore up support for the Union is risible”

      Delete
  8. We just took huge leap closer to having the most incompetent, racist buffoon of a PM in British history.

    The UK is so utterly, utterly fucked.

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    1. That should make you happy then Skier. Scotland run by the EU Mafia must be right up yer alley. Wee Knickerless will be putting on her favourite shag me shoes on her next audience with Herr Junk.

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    2. I believe it's 'Herzog Juncker'. He's from Luxembourg.

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    3. I thought he was a former waitor from Barcelona.

      Delete
  9. Here is me just aboot tae enter the Chanel Tunnel, Manche on the way back tae Blighty

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    Replies
    1. Robin of LocksleyJune 13, 2019 at 7:49 PM

      Purse.
      Cordelia and purses.

      Delete
  10. GWC. Hello, you are good comedy value. Once we achieve independence I do hope you manifest in some other form. I've been in the Highlands this weekend and saw a heiland coo with some very troublesome dangle berries, can I suggest you come back as one of those? Kind regards.

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