Johnson’s Westminster Cabinet is Far to the Right of Thatcher 406


I can only imagine that the media people who are saying this is the most right wing cabinet since the 1980’s were not sentient in the 80’s. Thatcher never had a Home Secretary remotely as illiberal as Pritti Patel, never had a Foreign Secretary remotely as xenophobic as Dominic Raab, never even had a Chancellor as anti-State intervention as Sajid Javid (though came closer there) and never had a Defence Secretary as bellicose as Ben Wallace.

Even Thatcher’s final and most right wing Cabinet contained figures like Ken Clarke, Chris Patten, John Major, Virginia Bottomley, Douglas Hurd and William Waldegrave. All Tories with whom I have fundamental disagreements, but every single one of them is far, far to the left of virtually all of Johnson’s appalling cronies.

Thatcher deliberately and cruelly wrecked the social democratic society in which I grew up, with the aim of destroying any ability for working people to be protected against the whims of the wealthy. But Thatcher never introduced privatisation into the NHS or state schools – that was her acolyte Blair. She maintained free university education in England and Wales. That was destroyed by Blair too. We should be more rigorous than to accept Thatcher as the definitive most right wing government possible. It is not only lazy, it obscures the fact we now have the most right wing British government since 1832.

Pritti Patel is a Home Secretary who admires the approach to law and order of Benjamin Netanyahu and voted against a measure to prevent pregnant asylum seekers being slammed into immigration detention pending hearing. Savid Javid is a Chancellor who materially caused the problems of British Steel by, as Business Secretary, vetoing in Brussels tariffs against dumped Chinese steel. Dominic Raab is a foreign secretary who negotiated a deal with the EU then resigned because it was so bad.

This is the biggest political shock to hit the UK in my lifetime and it is potentially worse than Thatcher. Here in Scotland, we need to move immediately for Independence. The time for talking really is behind us.


406 thoughts on “Johnson’s Westminster Cabinet is Far to the Right of Thatcher

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  • Colin Alexander

    “Here in Scotland, we need to move immediately for Independence. The time for talking really is behind us”.

    Try telling that to the SNP. FIVE YEARS since 2014 and they still haven’t established the legal bases for securing independence.

    Basic questions such as:

    1. Is a s30 order needed for a legally binding referendum?

    2. If it is and is refused, what is the legal bases for Scotland’s people to exercise self-determination?

    ie, a majority of Scottish MPs elected on a pro-indy mandate or a declaration by said MPs that the Union is dissolved or demand that HM Queen exercises her royal prerogative on the advice of the FM and Scottish politicians to dissolve the Union, or what?

    • Republicofscotland

      I think Colin, holding a referendum without Boris Johnson’s approval, is the right way to go, afterall, I’m pretty sure it’s international recognition that really counts, and not so much that of Westminster’s.

      • Jo1

        I think it would fail RoS.

        We would see a massive campaign to boycott such a referendum, I’m certain. It’s true too that the rest of the world is often selective about which polls they do and don’t recognise.

        • Republicofscotland

          Lets not forget that Catalonia held a referendum without permission, and it would more than likely be independent by now if the international community had recognised it.

          Scotland is already a nation and has been for centuries, its not a region or county of England, and the Scottish people are sovereign.

          We’re in a union and are not part of England, unions are dissolved, such as in the Velvet Divorce.

          • Jo1

            RoS
            That’s my point! It was held illegally, it was boycotted. That’s why it wasn’t recognised internationally.

            I don’t need lectures on Scotland being a nation. I know it is! Your reasoning totally ignores that currently we need a S30 order.

            I say again, what would be the point of having a referendum where the NO side led an all-out boycott? The result would be invalid. It couldn’t be otherwise. It’s a complete waste of time. Madness. We’d look like fools.

          • Republicofscotland

            Wake up Jo1, Westminster will never ever grant a S30 anytime soon you know that and so do I.

            Ergo alternatives will be needed.

        • Muscleguy

          Holyrood has always had the right to hold consultative referenda. So it could legally hold one to ask if it should open negotiations with Westminster about independence.

          • Muscleguy

            If Westminster refused after a successful referendum we could take them to the ECJ for a ruling or just tell the international community ‘we have tried everything, we have a clear democratic mandate, will you recognise us if we declare Independence?’.

            We could then send Polis to the border and cut the power cables heading south and any water or oil pipelines. We then refuse to send any foodstuffs or manufactured goods south and we export them, via Eire if necessary. Holyrood then passes bills to establish a Scotpound and insists all taxes payable to Wastemonster get paid to Holyrood instead or else there’s a cell in Barlinnie for you and jail some on remand as examples.

            Before too long Brexit England would be begging us for negotiations. But then because we will have regained our EU membership the head of the Commission will be there saying ‘now before we start there’s this Withdrawal Agreement we need to get passed’.

            Caught by the short and curlies and surrounded by EU states (I’m sure the French fishers could help a bit there, Auld Alliance etc).

      • Tom Welsh

        The US government disagrees with you. It maintains that no secession (except of course Kosovo) can be legal without the agreement of the government seceded from.

        But then it would, wouldn’t it?

  • Anthony

    Yes, a mad bunch. The person he’s put in charge of the nation’s finances is a proud Ayn Rand fanatic while Raab, Patel and co contributed to the wild libertarian screed Britannia Unchained. 70% of them private school too, compared to 7% of the population. It is the kind of cabinet we should have expected from a hard right elitist like Johnson.

    • N_

      Is the whole of Britannia Unchained online somewhere? I’ve only found a small part of it. I was wondering whether it was Randroid.

      • pete

        Re Britannia Unchained. This website claims to have it online and available for download, but demands that you register to do that, naturally I am unwilling to test the veracity of this claim as I prefer to rely on the bad reviews I have read of it. I you want to give it a go it is here: [ Mod: ebookdownload link removed – see below. ]
        I would strongly suggest that if you do, you use bogus information and one of the freely available temporary e-mail services to confirm the address, so you don’t end up on anyone’s mailing list.
        Wait, why do you want to read that?

        • Disinterested Bystander

          Did you notice that that website has managed to misspell ‘Mobile’ in the header?

          Anyway none of the ebooks exist on that site which has merely been created to redirect visitors, via the download/read online buttons, to Playproz.com which is a trial offer scam. What typically happens is that you pay a small amount of money – say a Pound- via a credit card for a seven day trial which is impossible to cancel. You then get stung for £80 or so per month on a continuous payment authority which is also very difficult to cancel.

          I’d advise the moderators to delete that link to save Mr. Murray’s readers the possibility of being ripped off.

          • pete

            Thanks for the advice and the intervention of the moderator, I noticed the misspelling, that should have alerted me to the ludicrous nature of what was offered, what can I say but sorry. Still a mystery as to why anyone would want to read the book.

        • john

          No different to any online data collection. Why would one give their own (real) data to *anyone* for free?

    • Rhys Jaggar

      How is Johnson elitist if he had to filch my work done in the North of England for North of England clients to copy in London? That is not elite, it is third raters having to pinch the school swots homework before beating him up in the playground.

      He is not an elitist, he is a mouthpiece for the very rich. A very different proposition.

  • John Jones

    For the first time in my life I am afraid for our future. This government under Mr Johnson will decimate all of our nations in the UK and our democracy. Mrs Thatcher was bad but as you say the current government is even more right wing (they are so far to the right they are out of the park). Surely, surely now is the time for independence and the time for manoeuvring is over. We must see action from the Scottish Government before people take to the streets in protest.

    • N_

      Proposal: let the SNP MSPs get their snouts out of the trough, put their jobs on the line, and call for a Scottish general election where UDI will be the main promise in their manifesto. Easy-peasy, thoroughly legal, and Unionists couldn’t say it was illegitimate. The “majority of Scots” who you believe might take to the streets would account for at least 75% of the electorate (3 million out of 4 million), so here’s the SNP’s big chance.

      • N_

        Many will never forget that it was the SNP who brought down the Labour government and triggered the election that brought Thatcher to office.

        • Jo1

          That isn’t true N-.

          The SNP withdrew their support from that Labour government because it denied Scotland devolution in 1979. Just under 52% voted for devolution. The then Labour government decided it wouldn’t go ahead because that number didn’t represent 40% of the electorate. So it was shelved.

          Fast forward to 2016….37% of the UK electorate voted Leave. And boom! We’re all out of Europe.

          Before you hurl loaded allegations around, tell the whole story.

          • Republicofscotland

            Well said Jo1.

            It was Labour’s George Cunningham who dreamt up the 40% rule. Labour are as big an enemy to Scotland as the Tories are.

          • Jo1

            RoS
            I’m sick of hearing that event twisted to look like the SNP backed the Tories.

        • John Jones

          Please see Jim Callaghan’s comments on what happened courtesy of Wings over Scotland – He clearly states up to 34 Labour members voted against the Government.
          These are Callaghan’s comments on the 40% rule:

          “[The rule] was instigated by another Labour sceptic, George Cunninghame [sic], with the support of Labour and Conservative opponents. He proposed that if the consultative referendum contained in the bill resulted in less than 40 per cent of the total electorate voting in favour of Devolution, then the Secretary of State for Scotland would be required to lay an Order before Parliament, wiping out the whole Act.

          This provision was carried by a majority of fifteen, with as many as thirty-four Labour Members voting against the Government. On the other hand a small number of Conservatives and the Liberal Party supported us.

          I have since wondered whether those thirty-four Labour Members would have voted as they did if they had been able to foresee that their votes on that evening would precipitate a General Election in 1979, at the least favourable time for their Government.”

          • Tony

            The 40% rule was wrong.

            However, the government lost the confidence vote by 311-310. 6 Labour MPs did not vote!
            Gerry Fitt abstained in protest at the use of torture in Northern Ireland.

            Even with the 40% rule, Labour could have won the confidence vote.

            Sources: Hammer of the Left by John Golding
            Cruel Britannia.

    • George

      “For the first time in my life I am afraid for our future.”

      Where have you been all this time?

      • John Jones

        Following the political scene on a daily basis but always with a sense of optimism. Not now unless we the people of Scotland take action to secure independence.

    • Jo Dominich

      John Jones

      I agree with you. It is truly a worrying time with a Fascist Government about to enter into an electoral pact with another Fascist Party, the Brexit Party.

  • Tony

    Unfortunately, Craig is absolutely right.
    I think it is interesting that Theresa May called on Corbyn to stand down just like Cameron did in 2016.
    But the new Cabinet appointments are truly frightening.
    I am reminded about what Roger Stone once said when he was asked if Nixon could be nominated by the Republican Party today. And he responded by saying:
    “Reagan couldn’t be nominated today”.

    • Republicofscotland

      Chomsky said in his A Requiem for the American Dream, that the Republican party is the most dangerous body of people on the planet, I tend to agree with that.

      • Tony

        Yes, Chomsky is very good.
        But he does not understand the significance of the JFK assassination. It was a coup and it did change policy. He admits to not being very interested in it.
        But Kennedy was one of the most moderate members of his administration and this is something that he does seem to recognise now.
        It is easy to idolise someone especially if they died in in such tragic circumstances. However, there is much testimony that indicates that JFK was planning to pull out of Vietnam in his second term.

        He would also have pursued further disarmament initiatives with the USSR and planned to visit that country.

        The recent ‘Chasing the Moon’ series shows that he wanted to have a joint US-USSR mission to the moon.

        He also planned to ditch LBJ who had blackmailed his way onto the ticket in 1960 with the help of a dossier provided by his friend and neighbour J. Edgar Hoover.

    • Jo1

      Why did you find that interesting from May? For a start she lied. She claimed, “I accepted it was time to go.” She didn’t! It took her months to go and when she finally did there was no accepting about it. She was greetin’ in Downing Street in pure temper for goodness sake!

    • Trowbridge H Ford

      Think that you overlooked Mad Maggie going along with bombing Libya for the alleged Soviet terrorism in March 1986.

      • Robert Harneis

        She had to do that to get Reagan onside in cutting back on funding for the IRA in the US. Nothing mad about it

  • Sharp Ears

    Johnson has been bellowing at max decibels for the last two hours and a half taking questions in a packed HoC, following his ‘statement’. He doesn’t speak. He shouts. Most of it is bluff and bluster and is without meaning. If anyone on the opposite benches dares to make a critical comment, he labels them as pessimists and naysayers. I pity the Hansard staff doing the transposing of the rot.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Then someone should ask him whether his wife was a pessimist for chucking him out for repeated shagging of those not his wife…

    • Jo1

      He started off “behaving” and going with the script they’d written for him. But once the questions came the real Johnson emerged, all fluster and bluster and even spit!

      Give him enough rope…..

    • Dungroanin

      Mostly he was ‘answering’ while turned to his benches! In an imitation of prince Hal rallying his troops.

      He stumbled in a couple of replies by implying an election.

      Brown blew it by not having an early election and waited until after the meltdown which pretty much guaranteed his defeat. (Maybe that was the script)

      May blew it by not having an early election and so losing her majority to push through a no deal without needing parliamentry opposition support. (Def not scripted).

      That should have taught them! But it really would be optimistic thinking to think they can do it this time. Johnson over Hunt was a choice between telegenic and charismatic over the cold eyed assassin Hunt. Who would play better in a early election? Of course their best performer is the smartarse Jacob… but he is too busy holding the strings to be stuck in No 10.

    • Michael McNulty

      I wonder if for his first day as PM Boris chose that shade of pale blue for his tie in a silent nod to Netanyahu that his government will be favourable to Israel? If so then an attack on Iran beside Trump looks ever more likely.

  • djm

    Waldegrave.

    Otherwise predictably REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  • Gary

    I agree, Thatcher was, in her time, a HUGE lurch to the right but still as nothing to what has come afterwards.

    Boris has given his speech now and has included a ‘wish list’ of things that he ‘says’ he will do and spending to match. Some of it sounds remarkably UNTory, but that’s if it actually happens of course.

    There is talk of Boris having a GE to strengthen his government and while I think that’s unlikely he could decide to use it as a device. By calling an election he could prevent any changes to existing legislation to the UK leaving on 31st October and thus we would be out without a deal. I’m not saying it’s impossible for his to get a new and improved deal which then sails through parliament BUT doing so would be like winning the lottery without actually buying a ticket.

    He wouldn’t ACTUALLY be proroguing parliament and he could say he is seeking a mandate from the people in the same way that Theresa May did, disastrously, during her tenure. Even if he lost, he’d win. This would be somewhat psychopathic but what else would we expect?

    • David McGrath

      If Johnson goes for a GE to force an exit the EU coulddecide to postpone acceptance until post-election.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Thatcher would have gone far further if she had had another decade. She started from a state of huge nationalisation, she simply went as far in 11 years as was politically feasible.

      • Dungroanin

        Correct. First national police force. Destruction of unions. Murdoch. Big Bang.
        Just ask what happened to the Sids with their shareowning and destruction of soi housing. The big lie of equating public finances with personal finances. Credit boom to let the international bankers own more assets and collect massive interests on from the invented money.

        This final iteration of the 50 year capture of the British political power is indeed composed of the psychopathic, entitled 2nd generation of that neocon queen bee Thatcher. (More like the queen from Alien 2).

      • Robert Harneis

        Thatcher was a pragmatist. She denationalised because nationalised industries were bankrupting the country

      • Tony

        It is not just the time factor to which you refer.
        Thatcher generally had a good sense of what she could get away with. She was far more right wing in her actual beliefs compared to her actions in government.

  • John

    Please let Newcastle come with you when you go. How about everyone north of the Tyne?

    • Wolsto

      Draw a line from Chester, to Chesterfield, to the top of East Anglia. Everywhere north of that can go with Scotland.

      I am half Scottish and all my family live up there. I have been staunchly against splitting up the UK as I think the world needs fewer borders, not more, but at this point I couldn’t blame the Scottish for going for it, and if they do then I want to go with them!

      • GFL

        Great idea, but how would we avoid the gobshites in North Yorkshire.( Harvey Smith types)

  • Nick gethins

    Yes Craig. But the indy movement needs to be on a clear anti-neoliberal platform. Hopefully the grass roots movemet can regalvanize and give more vision than we are getting off the SNP leadership.

  • DiggerUK

    ““Boris Johnson boasted he was the bankers’ best friend and he has proved it by appointing a banker whose former company was one of those responsible for the financial crash and became notorious for its involvement in tax avoidance. Javid has consistently called for more tax cuts for the banks and corporations. So from the outset it’s clear that this is a government by the bankers and for the bankers.”
    John McDonnell quote. https://labourlist.org/2019/07/10-labour-reactions-to-boris-johnsons-cabinet-reshuffle/

    Thankfully, following on from Tom Watson’s slapdown with his dodgey nonce allegations there are some in the labour leadership moving towards a clearer brexit position. Labour could still get the keys to number ten.
    Labour not a Remain party, says (anonymous) Corbyn spokesman…_
    https://labourlist.org/2019/07/labour-not-a-remain-party-says-corbyn-spokesman/

  • Republicofscotland

    It looks like Johnson’s inner circle is mainly on board no deal Brexiteers. Johnson says he wants a deal with the EU, however, my cynical mind tells me that really he wants out without a deal.

    I totally agree that Scotland must exit this defunct union as soon as possible.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Boris Johnson is an “issue” rabble rousing sort of person; he is not a strategic thinker – leader type of guy.

    Watch, I predict, as he shatters and breaks, but in the process it shall not just be him – but the country.

    • michael norton

      Boris is going to get Scotland to build more Frigates, as we need them to patrol the Gulf o Persia and defend our seas.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Is he going to pay for some fighter jets to for the carriers currently minus aircraft? That was Gordon Browns master stroke…

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Jo1 July 25, 2019 at 23:36
            It’s likely to undergo bigger leaks if it goes pushing it’s nose in other people’s back yards.

    • Shatnersrug

      Johnson is a lazy, egotistical buffoon. Since he entered political life he has done nothing. Quite often not even showing up. You maybe able to get away with that as a backbencher or ever FS but not as PM, the idea that he will sleep for 6 hours as previous PMs have done is laughable. He does not have the mental or physical fortitude for that job. Which is why I suspect he won’t last very long.

  • Sharp Ears

    Johnson has lost the services of Sir Mick Davis as Treasurer of the Tory ‘partei’ and as a funder. Davis is extremely rich from his mining activities. Tory funds are at a low.

    Mick Davis quits as Tory Party chief executive, warning underfunded, disunited party would put Corbyn in Downing Street
    He says he is resigning because Boris Johnson ‘should be free to choose a team at CCHQ’
    https://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/mick-davis-quits-as-conservative-party-chief-executive-warning-party-needs-money-to-fight-corbyn-1.486761

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mick_Davis

    Davis featured in some of the correspondence in the Fox/Werritty/Gould affair about which Craig wrote extensively at the time in 2011.

    btw I believe Johnson has dropped Fox who was appointed by May as Secretary of State for Overseas Trade.

    Gould was the Ambassador to Israel 2010–15. Since 2015 he has been Director General for Digital and Media Policy in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Is he still there at DCMS? Nicky Morgan was made the Secretary of State for DCMS yesterday replacing Jeremy Wright.

    PS Johnson has finished. His stint at the Despatch Box today lasted three hours.

    • Trowbridge H Ford

      Think that the GCHQ team will be important in hooking up the Russians to the Darroch Affair.

      • Trowbridge H Ford

        Remember Boris as FS appointed Jeremy Fleming to be the new Director of GCHQ. a leasing light in dealing with Cyber Warfare.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Trowbridge,

        Speaking of Russians; oh – how the people have been duped:-

        If the facts below are correct then the entire Mueller investigation is/was an elaborate hoax.

        Issues

        There seemed to be one large question looming throughout the Mueller investigation:-

        Did Russia interfere ( meddle) in the 2016 US elections?.

        Brief facts

        Hillary Clinton sought to be elected as the first female president of the US.
        Clinton’s main rival, within the ranks of the Democratic Party, was Bernie Saunders.
        There was meddling with the computer(s) of the Democratic Party.
        At about the same time James Comey, as head of the FBI had stated that Clinton might be the subject of investigation.

        The foregoing is a significantly adumbrated list of the factual dynamics.

        Investigation.

        Since much centered around the DNC computer(s) then these questions spring to mind.

        Why not subject the computer(s) immediately to a technical investigation so as to determine time of any external interference and source of any hacking – both of which can technically be done?
        Why not call on a man from the NSA ( a world renowned technical computer expert) to examine the computer(s) and further given testimony in the Mueller investigation if truth seeking was the objective? The man’s name is Bill Binney and he was willing to give evidence as an insider with very detailed knowledge and capabilities in a technical way to get to the truth.
        Of all the people in the world who could speak directly to the truth there is the man at the centre of the whole event – namely the publisher in Chief of Wikileaks. He made it publicly known that he was willing to be interviewed by Mueller. Further he had sated that it was not the Russians. So, if a person is accused and he makes himself available to be interviewed then logically ( as any competent detective and/or police officer would do) why not then interview the primary suspect and then take the trail further to where it leads to seek the truth?

        Conclusion

        Having listened to the Congressional testimony of Mueller I noted so far that there are some 200 unanswered questions based on claim of privilege. So much for that. Yet the wider farce, which many seem unaware of is that there are two(2) things running in tandem:-

        The allegation of Russian interference; and
        The allegation against President Trump of obstruction of justice.

        However – here is the rub. Trump does have a point, for the first limb has to demonstrate some credibility in a detailed and evidentiary way? The whole investigation stems from point of focus number 1. For the misbehaviour of Trump in misadvising and misinforming and lying in true Trumpian style – becomes but a side show, for the real question as I have outlined above has yet to be truly investigated. Congress therefore, as is Mueller, are both dancing around the mulberry bush and no one seems to be noticing the avoidance of going on to the turf which really matters as regards the commencement of the whole investigation. Trump’s dalliance was and remains but a secondary and consequential sideline stemming from the first main and still yet unanswered issue.

        Here – listen to Bill Binney as the former technical Director of the NSA – and ask again – why with simple common sense if not logic – then how in goodness name can a man so centrally placed not have been interviewed by Robert Mueller?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9TyASfZV0c

  • Roger Mexico

    To be pedantic Bottomley was never in Thatcher’s Cabinet (the Queen Bee wanted no rivals round the table) and Waldegrave only for a few weeks at the very end. Both were Ministers of State before though.

    • Robert Harneis

      Nonsense. In the end there were nothing but Eurofanatic rivals round the table.

  • nevermind

    On meeting three grown men in a Hotel bar on Barra, talking of the current dire straight our politics is in, the talk came upon Independence and what to do next.
    They asked me what I think about another Independent vote and my answer was ‘ how about having it yesterda’, to cherrs in the bar by those who earwigged us, pats on my back.

    Totally alien to me, i had to refuse the drinks offered as Barras roads are single lane and consist mostly of bends. People are simply appalled by the SDP’s inactivity, they are horrified by the consequences and economic realities looming, they are seconding Craigs demand.

      • nevermind

        Sorry Bob, I’ll be leaving very early tommorrow unless that floating box of spanners thats the Isle of Lewis is late for some reason.
        I have a long drive back to Norfolk, much appreciated, maybe another time.

    • BrianFujisan

      Great Story Nevermind..Didn’t I tell ya that the Western Isles were Robbed in the Indy Vote 2014..I remember telling you that in Luss..My heart was Breaking then.

      Enjoy your last night.

  • Laguerre

    Some commentators are beginning to talk about a hard right coup, e.g Kettle in the Graun:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/25/power-brexit-boris-johnson-radical-conservative-party

    Personally, I think that’s right. It’s an extraordinary narrowing of the field of talent in the Tory party to just a small faction, deliberately ignoring the rest of the party. It’s a government that cannot last, as it has no majority, and the rest of the Tories left out are hardly going to be well pleased. A missile supposedly aimed at the 31st October, and then what? Reshuffle? Election?

    • Rhys Jaggar

      I just think it is a Brexit Cabinet. He has no mandate to go off piste, the electoral arithmetic prevents it. He might love to, but Parliament is still higher than Donald Trump in the British Constitution….

      • Laguerre

        It’s a more subtle strategy than that. Johnson is well aware that he doesn’t have a majority. So there’s a reason he has chosen a very narrow faction to put in cabinet. Thinking everything is just as normal is a very common British failing. Unfortunately the earth is moving under those complacent English feet.

  • Bob Costello

    There are many people saying this Craig, but the problem is the SNP. They are virtually anti-independence at the moment. I have been advocating for a new party for quite some time now. Would you consider leading such a party?

  • lysias

    If Britain ceases to be the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, does it keep its permanent seat on the Security Council?

    • N_

      SNP policy is that rump Britain would get the seat.

      When the USSR was about to break up in December 1991, the Soviet representative at the UN circulated a letter saying Russia would take on all of the USSR’s obligations and rights under the UN Charter and it was accepted with no objections.

      • lysias

        If a reduced Britain retains the seat, that will make it even harder to justify denying permanent seats to India, Japan, and Germany.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      The Security Council, indeed the whole Unanimous, needs a revamp.

      It needs to leave NYC and go somewhere more reflective of the multipolar world that is emerging. A prosperous mid-sized nation with a reputation for diplomatic moderation.

      Secondly, the Security Council needs to be answerable to the whole world, particularly when an SC members State has broken International law. I am in favour of ‘three strikes and you are out!’ It is the only way to bring the Us to heel. They might quit the UN but the world should not worry, they should carry on without them.

  • N_

    Here are two cases of Downing Street spin, slavishly followed by the mainstream media and also by some who should know better:

    1. The idea that Johnson has been brutal in wiping out a large proportion of the previous cabinet.

    (What they don’t say is that he has brought back several has-beens, including some figures who were sacked for actions such as leaking state secrets [Williamson] and conducting unauthorised discussions with a foreign power [Patel]. If you look at the full members of the new cabinet, almost all of them were either in the cabinet before or at least regularly attended cabinet meetings. How many doesn’t this apply to? I haven’t counted, but it’s probably about three out of about 20.)

    2. The idea that Johnson “gaffed” by releasing the incredibly sensitive information (joke) that the queen said she didn’t know why anyone would want the job.

    (This is propaganda, FFS. It is being put out to strengthen the idea that Johnson is courageous, the kind of person who takes on jobs that everyone else is too weak to do.)

    (And while I’m here, it also distracts from the point that the sh*tty queen was a key person in the Leave campaign. Anybody who thinks the Sun and Laura Kuenssberg repeated what the queen allegedly told them without at least the OK from the Palace – and in fact they probably did it at the instigation of the monarch’s clique – is living in cloud cuckoo land.

    And what do we have now? Once again, we have the sh*tty queen publicly helping out the Tory Leaver scum, helping to push this country off the cliff – that’s what.)

    • Laguerre

      “The idea that Johnson has been brutal in wiping out a large proportion of the previous cabinet.”

      Well, he did. The fact that he brought back extremist has-beens in neither here nor there. The point is that he has narrowed the field to a small faction, quite unlike May’s cabinet, which did at least attempt to represent the range of interests. Now they are excluded. True believers only (including the hypocrites who pay allegiance for career advancement).

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Look mate, this is not Dolphin Square in 1980 when buggering paedophiles could run amok. You can put 50 thugs in a town square but if the residents resist and the police do their duty, the thugs cannot run amok.

        A Cabinet like this with a majority of fifty might be scary. With a CAS majority of TWO, any fisticuffs and the stewards can yank them out and throw them into the cells to cool off.

        A lot of people need to calm down and realise that bluster is just that. it is not legislation enacted.

        Focus on whether Statutory Instruments can be used and clunk Norman Tebbitts Spitting Image truncheon straight over the head of whoever thinks they can ram things through via the back door….

        • Laguerre

          Very British complacency, as I noted just above. Johnson’s strategists are brighter than that. If they hadn’t been, he would not be PM today.

    • Jimmeh

      The entire cabinet was technically deemed to have resigned at the moment TM left office. Every minister is automatically a new appointment. Johnson was responsible for zero sackings.

      On a related matter, I have seen this ‘brutal purge’ compared with Macmillan’s “Night of the Long Knives”. It is not at all the same thing; Macmillan was the PM both before and after that large-scale reshuffle. The people he fired were his own appointees.

  • Degenerate

    I marvel at the blinkered view of some like Craig, who knows first hand the machinations of the UK’s own “Deep State”, yet somehow still thinks this is about “left” vs “right”.

    I further Marvel at the convoluted Scottish “Nationalist” logic, that believes a better future for Scotland lies in the Globalist clutches of the EU.

    Just to be clear, I am not a fan of this new government.

  • Highlander

    May intended Boris intends to have the army on the streets of Scotland. To retain our devolved parliament is not on the cards Boris has marked.

    • Republicofscotland

      The new Scotland office hub due to open next year, (very convenient) with its over bloated 3000+ staff, has the main purpose of stifling Scottish independence, reporting back to Westminster and to attempt to negate Holyroods powers.

      Its a General Mola fifth column type staging post.

  • Isobel McCrossan

    Wishing for independent Scotland but sorry for the non Tory people in England and Wales

    • Rhys Jaggar

      He has no working majority and he is not going to get Remain Tory MPs to do his bidding without a mandate.

      He has no mandate to do anything other than what 2017 manifesto documents.

      Quite a few right wing scribblers in London might remember we murdered 1 million ‘for democracy’ in Iraq.

      They want to subvert democracy now, what price is on their heads?

      • Highlander

        Fascist require no permissions.
        According to Mary Robertson, at the time chair of the UNHCR stated the illegal food for oil programme run by the USA and Westminster cost the lives of four million Iraqis, the illegal war against Iraq cost the lives of at least one million four hundred thousand.
        Yes, after the brexit no deal, and the tariffs added, I’m sure Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya Sudan etc will be queuing to purchase English goods.

  • John Wood

    This is a US soft coup d’etat. They have done similar elsewhere. Trump and his cronies and backers want (1) to break the EU as a competitor, (2) to take over the UK and run it entirely for private profit, like a banana republic (3) our oil – especially with the vast new discoveries now coming on stream, (4) they want to force us to accept their disgusting low quality food and other products (5) they want to buy up the UK cheap and asset strip it (6) their hedge funds want to make a lot of money from the chaos they’ll cause.

    Is this finally the end of the monarchy? Victor Rmmanuel III failed to stop the rise of fascism in Italy. The Queen has simply appointed Boris although he has no clear majority in Parliament. Poor old soul, she is now useless as a head of state and should have retired long ago. But we can’t vote her out. She is just an expensive irrelevant anachronism. And the tourists still visit Versailles over 200 years since France became a republic.

    • Vercingetorix

      Vast new oil discoveries?? I must have missed that. Where is it located?
      My hunch, no more, is that Q Liz has dementia.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    What say we make a prorogation of Parliament a trigger for UDI?
    Who could we rely on for recognition?
    Germany certainly recognised Croatian independence with unseemly rapidity. I wonder why? What’s an Ustaši anyway?
    Would Dublin jump at the opportunity to stick it to London and hasten a united Ireland?
    What of the auld alliance?

    • lysias

      If a united Ireland is in the cards, Scotland should join a federation with united Ireland. That way, Scotland will automatically stay in the EU, and the Ulster Protestants will be mollified.

      • Vercingetorix

        Your suggestion comes across as sincere, but by god its a bloody awful one. So bad many Scots would be clamouring to re-join Borisland even as it sinks.

        • Jo1

          Indeed. It’s very naïve. I marvel that so many people, here and elsewhere, speak about the reunification of Ireland as if it would all come about smoothly.

          • Republicofscotland

            Jo1.

            Scottish indy will be the same, as I’ve said before Westminster won’t grant a S30, we’ll have to take independence it won’t be given.

      • Jimmeh

        No. A united Ireland would be a new state, and would have to apply for membership of the EU like any other state.

        Similarly, a newly-independent Scotland would be a new state; it would not inherit EU membership. And a Scottish/Irish federation would be yet another new state; the same rules apply.

        I support Scottish independence; but EU membership (and the regional grants that go with it) will disappear with independence, I’m afraid. Nationalists need to explain how an independent Scottish economy is going to sustain itself between independence and Scottish admission to the EU. Hand-waving this problem away just looks like so much Boris Johnson bullshit.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I think that actually the line in the sand has to be that this Government has no mandate to govern distinct from the 2017 manifesto and legal challenges to anything outside that should be considered, along with mass squatting in the House of Commons, the voting lobbies and along the whole of Whithall, Millbank and all other paths leading to the Palace of Westminster.

    There is literally zero constitutional basis for any going off piste and if 1000 years of imperfect Parliamentary conventions are now redundant, there should no consideration that’s Cabinet members can enjoy any protection under the laws of a land whose constitution they would be so riotously casting asunder.

    As a democrat, I am required to respect an election outcome creating such a cabinet with a right wingers wet dream manifesto. As yet, no such election has taken place. mayor Johnson once got elected saying ‘I’m Boris. err…..that’s it.’ He lost my vote on principle thereby by refusing to publish a manifesto, but Londoners gave him carte Blanche. I trust the UK population is more intelligent……if his Golden Age is truly that, he will publish detailed metrics on which he will be judged……and explain how powerful enemies may start loosening ties by setting out to undermine the achievement of those metrics.

    To me, this reads like a coup in Ukraine. Trump praising Johnson means he has a shopping list he expects to be fulfilled. Johnson has no mandate to fulfil them. This is our country, not Trumps. Johnson answers to us, not to Trump. I am sure an Eton and Oxford education costing £500,000 today would expect scholars to have absorbed such basic respect for democracy….

    Breitbart is clearly plugging the US line with blogging scripts clearly distributed. None respect the fundamental tenets of electoral democracy. We should not respect the legitimacy of those comments….

    The best opportunity to engage comes in framing what a Golden Age means to the people. not to Boris, JRm or Donald Trump. To the people, be that the Scottish people, the British people or the bottom 70% of the people.

    An election is about enunciating what is possible and the principles which underpin action.

    If people disagree with neoliberal America First bores isms, now is the time to speak up.

    • Laguerre

      You’re very like Johnson in your optimism about how it will all be alright.

  • David

    Labour has done more damage to this country than the Tories. Blair is an out and out war criminal and Brown sold us to the banks. Try and remember that austerity is a direct result of Brown giving all of our money to his banker friends, oh and surprise surprise see who he now works for. Under Corbyn it would be even more damaging ( although for different reasons)

    Boris is no more or less full of pooh than anyone else in Westminster, or in that fact Holyrood. A wishy washy government trying to please everyone will end up pleasing no one, hence Ms Mays departure.

    Brexit needs resolution and soon, not in another year or twos time. I voted leave, but honestly now I don’t care either way, like most people I simply want it done with so that we can get on with dealing with the many other issues we have as a nation. The UK has been adrift since the referendum and like it or not the country needs someone to point the good ship UK in a direction, any direction is better than the current state of affairs. Even today labour again stated its position on Brexit. They “might” take the remain position. Might ? Really. I “might” win the national lottery this weekend ! Corbyn is now going to be forced to actually take a position soon, for probably the first time in his life.

    As labour now has a hard left lunatic in charge, it was inevitable that the cons would elect a hard right lunatic in response. Once Brexit is done I suspect we will see a gradual return to more centrist political leaders.

    • Greg Park

      All the worst things associated with New Labour – pointless war based on lies, light touch regulation, PFI, outsourcing and all the rest – were supported by the Conservatives 100%. What you call centrists are actually hardcore neoliberal, NeoCon ideologues and catastrophe merchants.
      (Btw Corbyn had a clear soft Brexit position all the way through, which the LibDems, SNP, etc, all voted against in Parliament last year. If there is a hard Brexit they will be more culpable than Corbyn).

    • SA

      So in summary David you are saying that Johnson’s election is a good thing because once he delivers a no deal Brexit, which nobody voted for, he will give way back to a more centrist government leader and government. And you prefer this government to be conservative because of new labour’s history of wars and siding with the banks as if the Tories would not have done the same. You fail to see that this is why the Blairites who unfortunately still a powerful faction within labour are the cause of the lack of clarity of labour’s current stance.
      The crux of the matter is this. The current parliament is full of egotists on both sides and who no longer reflect the will of the electorate. As one who voted remain I would concede that we have to leave but this should have been sorted out by parliament and hasn’t, resulting in this present chaos. The glaring fault here is with our so called representatives and none of this mess will be solved unless there is a general election and a government with a clear mandate. If we had a functional democracy this role would fall to an elected president and not an unelected hereditary nonagenarian with a clearly self interested agenda.

  • Caratacus

    “Dominic Raab is a foreign secretary who negotiated a deal with the EU then resigned because it was so bad.” Are you quite sure about that, Craig?

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