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  #151  
Old 09-01-2019, 09:02 PM
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On present form, that's not so clear. They might suck up Labour votes in leave-voting Labour constituencies more than Tory votes in Tory constituencies. They might have a spoiler effect on the distribution of seats as between the established parties without actually winning any themselves.
Which would be a disaster for the Tories.

In the 2015 general election UKIP secured 12.5% of the vote. Under the crapulous British electoral system that got them precisely one seat out of 650, instead of the 80 or so that they might have expected in a democracy. But there were 50 seats in which the Tories lost by fewer votes than UKIP secured.

If we assume that the Brexit party largely competes with the Tories for votes, then the stronger the Brexit party performance, the more seats the Tories lose. And they can't afford to lose any seats; at present Johnson's nominal majority is 1 seat.

Currently the Brexit party is polling in the 10%-15% range. If that is replicated in a general election, it's hard to see how the Tories can win.
  #152  
Old 09-02-2019, 05:04 PM
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The post you quoted is a month old, but it's proving to be true. Johnson is clearly gearing up for an election, and he will need to come to an arrangement with Farage's Brexit Party not to split the right-wing vote.

Nigel Farage warns Boris Johnson ‘honeymoon is over’ and says Brexit Party ready to wipe out Tories at next election

The Brexit Party has already chosen candidates for every seat in Britain.



Nigel Farage offers no-deal Brexit election pact to Boris Johnson

Johnson is unlikely to make a public response to this, since he is not talking about an election yet. But there is no question that if the Brexit Party were to stand against the Tories, it would be a disaster for the Tories.
They'll take votes from both Tories and Labour, and get votes from some people who wouldn't have voted for either, but the chances of them actually taking seats are minimal, especially if the election is after Brexit. The 2015 election gave them a huge boost due to the referendum, but like UDS said, they still only got one seat. They're nowhere near as powerful as Farage claims. He's not helped by the fact that there are other parties people can also use as a protest vote.
  #153  
Old 09-02-2019, 05:45 PM
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... Currently the Brexit party is polling in the 10%-15% range. If that is replicated in a general election, it's hard to see how the Tories can win.
Wow. Just when I thought Boris's options couldn't become any more limited....
  #154  
Old 09-02-2019, 06:13 PM
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Wow. Just when I thought Boris's options couldn't become any more limited....
He'll also lose all 12 of the Scottish seats the Tories gained in 2017, I suspect. I'm not hugely plugged-in to the Scottish Conservatives, but I know enough to know that he is not at all well thought of even in party circles. Loathed by the voters, and with Ruth Davidson having resigned, there's no Tory sell in Scotland that will play well.

Last edited by Baron Greenback; 09-02-2019 at 06:13 PM.
  #155  
Old 09-02-2019, 06:51 PM
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My opinion is that he's a lying, corrupt hypocrite who will happily destroy the country (possibly literally) for his own profit and aggrandisement, and who - based on his career so far - will likely manage to escape being held accountable for his actions because he has funny hair and bumbles about a bit.
But enough about our president. This thread is supposed to be about Boris Johnson.
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  #156  
Old 09-02-2019, 07:24 PM
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Johnson's plan to blame the EU and/or parliament for no-deal seems to be going well, unfortunately.

He will call an election - he must do so because he can't govern with a majority of one. He was hoping to have polling day immediately after Brexit, when he could get credit from the useful idiots for keeping his promise, and before the chaos and shortages hit.

It looks like that plan has been scuppered by the new bill to stop no-deal, and he will be forced to call an election in mid-October. The only hope now is that he loses that election. Corbyn may be far from ideal, but he better than Johnson by miles, and he has pledged to hold a second referendum.
  #157  
Old 09-02-2019, 07:43 PM
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Damn British politics just gets crazier and crazier. Will Boris call a snap election? Who will win? Will the EU grant another delay if a Remainer Parliament emerges from the snap election?

No one knows.
  #158  
Old 09-02-2019, 08:09 PM
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  #159  
Old 09-02-2019, 08:43 PM
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Damn British politics just gets crazier and crazier. Will Boris call a snap election? Who will win? Will the EU grant another delay if a Remainer Parliament emerges from the snap election?

No one knows.
British political headlines look like clickbait even when they're trying not to.
  #160  
Old 09-02-2019, 08:48 PM
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How is John Major thought of back there these days?

I lived in the UK during his tenure and I remember he used to get teased a lot for his headteacher appearance and being a bit of a wimp. There was a very funny satirical program called Spitting Image that really got stuck into him but despite that I thought he was a smart, astute man who was more suited to being a cabinet minister than the front man. There doesn't seem to be many politicians like him these days.
  #161  
Old 09-03-2019, 04:58 AM
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How is John Major thought of back there these days?.
An irrelevance and, like you said yourself, a "Spitting Image" puppet.

His intervention is not surprising but is a bit rich considering that his handling of the Maastricht treaty set the UK on this course in the first place. That's when the referendum should have happened John.
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  #162  
Old 09-03-2019, 06:51 AM
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An irrelevance and, like you said yourself, a "Spitting Image" puppet.

His intervention is not surprising but is a bit rich considering that his handling of the Maastricht treaty set the UK on this course in the first place. That's when the referendum should have happened John.
That's very much the Brexiteer point of view.

By reasonable people he is regarded as a man of integrity, and his reputation has steadily improved in recent years.
  #163  
Old 09-03-2019, 07:30 AM
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It seems Labour, or at least many of their MPs, are now opposed to an election. You really couldn't make this up. RIP The United Kingdom.
  #164  
Old 09-03-2019, 07:34 AM
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That's very much the Brexiteer point of view.

By reasonable people he is regarded as a man of integrity, and his reputation has steadily improved in recent years.
I'm not a Brexiteer and it absolutely is a mainstream opinion of him. He is known for peas, being grey, liking cricket and having an affair with Edwina Curry. He is less of a figure of outright ridicule merely because he has been out of the news. Consider that an improvement if you like.
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  #165  
Old 09-03-2019, 08:11 AM
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I'm not a Brexiteer and it absolutely is a mainstream opinion of him. He is known for peas, being grey, liking cricket and having an affair with Edwina Curry. He is less of a figure of outright ridicule merely because he has been out of the news. Consider that an improvement if you like.
That's what the view of him was at the end of his premiership. This is a more accurate current portrayal:

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By reasonable people he is regarded as a man of integrity, and his reputation has steadily improved in recent years.
Major was a grey man who wasn't suited to being Prime Minister, but he has managed his retirement well. In particular, his work with the Royals and particularly the young princes following Diana's death garnered him some public goodwill. His personal reputation has also improved in comparison with some of his successors, as is often the case.

Nobody wants him back in office (least of all himself), but he's managed to earn some quiet public respect in the interim. However, I doubt any public comments he makes on the subject of Brexit will cause much of a stir in any circles.
  #166  
Old 09-03-2019, 08:16 AM
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I'm not a Brexiteer and it absolutely is a mainstream opinion of him. He is known for peas, being grey, liking cricket and having an affair with Edwina Curry. He is less of a figure of outright ridicule merely because he has been out of the news. Consider that an improvement if you like.
I'd have said he was pretty much not thought of, and that stuff like the peas/grey/cricket labels had faded almost entirely. But I thought I'd look it up and lo and fucking behold:

Quote:
John Major is the 3rd most popular Conservative politician and the 5th most famous. John Major is described by fans as: Genuine, Honest, Conservative, Intelligent and Patriotic.
91% recognition, 23% positive opinion, 37% negative. That's based on over 9000 interviews over the past year so it's pretty solid. I am flabbergasted.
  #167  
Old 09-03-2019, 08:35 AM
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I'd have said he was pretty much not thought of, and that stuff like the peas/grey/cricket labels had faded almost entirely. But I thought I'd look it up and lo and fucking behold:
A poll which has Boris Johnson and Theresa May occupying the no.1 and no.2 positions as "most popular"
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  #168  
Old 09-03-2019, 09:48 AM
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Here's The Guarniad on Major's joining the lawsuit over prorogation: https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...no-deal-brexit
  #169  
Old 09-03-2019, 09:50 AM
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A poll which has Boris Johnson and Theresa May occupying the no.1 and no.2 positions as "most popular"
Sure. There's a difference between "most popular" and "actually liked", especially among politicians. But it's a better showing than you would have guessed, isn't it?
  #170  
Old 09-03-2019, 10:55 AM
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BBC:
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Conservative MP Philip Lee has defected to the Liberal Democrats ahead of a showdown between Boris Johnson and Tory rebels over Brexit.
...
His defection means that Boris Johnson no longer has a working majority in the Commons.
  #171  
Old 09-03-2019, 10:56 AM
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Needle scratch

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  #172  
Old 09-03-2019, 11:31 AM
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Sure. There's a difference between "most popular" and "actually liked", especially among politicians. But it's a better showing than you would have guessed, isn't it?
If I calibrate it by comparison to May and Johnson then I don't think I know what "popularity" actually means or what conclusions to draw from it.

I mean, you must be surprised at how high up those two are yes?
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  #173  
Old 09-03-2019, 11:41 AM
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Phillip Lee defected to the Lib Dems.

What does this mean for Johnson's government?
  #174  
Old 09-03-2019, 11:42 AM
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If I calibrate it by comparison to May and Johnson then I don't think I know what "popularity" actually means or what conclusions to draw from it.

I mean, you must be surprised at how high up those two are yes?
I suppose, in calibrating how surprised we ought to be by anyone's ranking, the question to ask is "Yes, but which Tory politician did you think would be more popular?"

I'm not surprised by Johnson. The whole point of "Boris" was that there was a significant chunk of people who thought he was a top lad. I am a bit surprised by May, but I suspect that after she quit people started giving her sympathy and credit for trying.

I am surprised by Major being third because I would have thought that current MPs/Ministers would do better than him. Whether Rudd and Hammond on one side or Raab and Javid on the other, I am genuinely shocked no active Tory MP does better than Major. Which is damning for them but does suggest there's a decent number of people who respect his recent contributions on Brexit.
  #175  
Old 09-03-2019, 11:46 AM
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Phillip Lee defected to the Lib Dems.

What does this mean for Johnson's government?
In blunt terms, he no longer commands a majority of the Commons and therefore shouldn't be PM. He can't win a vote even if all Tory MPs voted with him. Which they currently won't on Brexit. It makes a lot of his threats more obviously bluster, and massively increases his incentive to call an election.
  #176  
Old 09-03-2019, 11:56 AM
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If Scotland votes for independence, what will the U.K. government response be?
  #177  
Old 09-03-2019, 12:26 PM
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If Scotland votes for independence, what will the U.K. government response be?
That depends entirely on what the state of the government is at whatever point the next vote is held (should it be held). At this point there's no knowing what state that will be.

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  #178  
Old 09-03-2019, 12:53 PM
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For another Scottish independence referendum to be held, the Westminster parliament would have to pass the enabling legislation, and if they voted to leave there would have to be legislation at Westminster to complete the disentanglement, dot the i's and cross the t's. So there'd have to be some level of functional co-operation.

Last edited by PatrickLondon; 09-03-2019 at 12:53 PM.
  #179  
Old 09-03-2019, 01:36 PM
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The problem with Scottish independence is the finances.

Scotland's deficit seven times higher than UK as a whole last year

"Total state spending in Scotland was £1,661 higher per person than the UK average... while tax receipts were £307 less per head than the UK average."


The question is whether the EU would even allow them to join with a deficit of 7% of GDP, far higher than any EU nation.

The SNP argues that they would repudiate their part of the UK national debt and stop supporting Trident. Whether the UK parliament would agree to that is another matter...
  #180  
Old 09-03-2019, 01:42 PM
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If anyone wants to watch the live debate in parliament this evening, it's here.

Last edited by GreenWyvern; 09-03-2019 at 01:45 PM.
  #181  
Old 09-03-2019, 02:11 PM
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O Britain, my beloved Britain....! To what a sorry pass you have come.
  #182  
Old 09-03-2019, 02:12 PM
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The problem with Scottish independence is the finances.

Scotland's deficit seven times higher than UK as a whole last year

"Total state spending in Scotland was £1,661 higher per person than the UK average... while tax receipts were £307 less per head than the UK average."
Richard Murphy does a very good job of pointing out the many issues with the GERS claims here: https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/...iscal-deficit/ and here https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/...-to-the-truth/

"the accounting is biased and theoretically utterly flawed. When accounting it is vital that all estimates are prepared consistently and on the same basis. GERS has not been. Income is estimated on the basis of that arising IN Scotland but spending is estimated on the basis of that arising FOR Scotland. So, only taxes paid in Scotland are included. But expenditure in England (mainly), Wales and Northern Ireland is also charged to Scotland when Scotland is deemed to benefit from it. But the tax paid to generate that expenditure is not taken into account. The system is, then, inherently designed to show a deficit. This is why the Scottish government claim about it is wrong."

Please do check the first link in particular (hard to quote here, as much of the data is represented in graphics)
  #183  
Old 09-03-2019, 04:25 PM
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the end of democracy


Now that Boris has lost control of Parliament (due to a Government MP switching to the opposition), his only hope is to avoid all voting and keep bleating "we had a referendum several years ago and that's all that matters."

And of course letting Dominic Cummings run the country...
  #184  
Old 09-03-2019, 04:35 PM
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Things are getting positively spicy in the debate right now. Some of the tories are just ripping into the government. I don't think the threat of deselection has worked.
  #185  
Old 09-03-2019, 05:11 PM
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Now that Boris has lost control of Parliament (due to a Government MP switching to the opposition), his only hope is to avoid all voting and keep bleating "we had a referendum several years ago and that's all that matters."

And of course letting Dominic Cummings run the country...
My guess is Boris's likely path:

1. Agree to Labour demand to the delaying legislation (he will plan to repeal it), to give him the General Election in October that he wants, and that they also want as well.

2. While he could potentially use various procedural tricks to try to ignore this legislation until the UK barreled out of Brexit, it would leave him no real path forward as a politician. The scenario of agreeing to it and getting Labour to sign off on a general election gives him freedom to run with a 10/31 exit as the Tory manifesto.

3. If they win--and let's have an aside:

it's worth noting most swing polling sites for Parliament (https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/homepage.html one I frequently use) still suggest it's not at all a foregone conclusion Boris will lose a general. Labour's support is horrible even compared to what they drew in 2017, and the voting landscape is very fractured. In a FPTP system it makes it very possible for the conservatives to come away with a commanding majority in the face of a more divided opposition.

But if they win, Boris will seek to push through legislation on the single day he will have after winning the election to reverse the delaying legislation. Assuming he had won the general, he could insist the Lords not block the repeal effort on the basis that exiting on 10/31 was part of the Tory (winning party) manifesto, and thus the will of the electorate.

4. Britain crashes out of the EU, Boris gets to be PM for 5 years. Probably outright ignores calls for Scottish independence or poisons any potential referendum efforts by imposing untenable requirements on Scotland; likely Boris also blames the chaos of hard Brexit on the conservative rebels and Labour who "undermined his last minute negotiations" (which from all accounts, were not actually happening.)

To go back to #3, "if they win" is difficult to say. I think the reason all the projection sites show them winning such a strong majority is because of all the fracturing right now, with Labour having lost significant % support and Lib Dems having gained, and the expectation Brexit Party won't win a single seat and thus not costing the conservatives too badly. But right now as we speak a lot of, frankly "brave" (if we can use that word) conservative politicians are standing up to Johnson and sacrificing their political careers to do so. They will be purged from the party and unable to run as conservative candidates in the general, but do they take significant party support with them? To some renegade faction or etc? Who knows.

Last edited by Martin Hyde; 09-03-2019 at 05:12 PM.
  #186  
Old 09-03-2019, 05:28 PM
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The Rebel Alliance wins the vote.

Philip Hammond, Ken Clarke, Rory Stewart, Oliver Letwin and Nicholas Soames are no longer Tories. 21 Tory MPs defied the whip to vote for Letwin’s motion tonight:

Bebb
Benyon
Brine
Burt
Clark G
Clarke K
Gauke
Greening
Grieve
Gyimah
Hammond P
Hammond S
Harrington
James
Letwin
Milton
Nokes
Sandbach
Soames
Stewart R
Vaizey

Theresa May voted with the government.
  #187  
Old 09-03-2019, 05:32 PM
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My guess is Boris's likely path:

1. Agree to Labour demand to the delaying legislation (he will plan to repeal it), to give him the General Election in October that he wants, and that they also want as well.

2. While he could potentially use various procedural tricks to try to ignore this legislation until the UK barreled out of Brexit, it would leave him no real path forward as a politician. The scenario of agreeing to it and getting Labour to sign off on a general election gives him freedom to run with a 10/31 exit as the Tory manifesto.

3. If they win--and let's have an aside:

it's worth noting most swing polling sites for Parliament (https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/homepage.html one I frequently use) still suggest it's not at all a foregone conclusion Boris will lose a general. Labour's support is horrible even compared to what they drew in 2017, and the voting landscape is very fractured. In a FPTP system it makes it very possible for the conservatives to come away with a commanding majority in the face of a more divided opposition.

But if they win, Boris will seek to push through legislation on the single day he will have after winning the election to reverse the delaying legislation. Assuming he had won the general, he could insist the Lords not block the repeal effort on the basis that exiting on 10/31 was part of the Tory (winning party) manifesto, and thus the will of the electorate.

4. Britain crashes out of the EU, Boris gets to be PM for 5 years. Probably outright ignores calls for Scottish independence or poisons any potential referendum efforts by imposing untenable requirements on Scotland; likely Boris also blames the chaos of hard Brexit on the conservative rebels and Labour who "undermined his last minute negotiations" (which from all accounts, were not actually happening.)

To go back to #3, "if they win" is difficult to say. I think the reason all the projection sites show them winning such a strong majority is because of all the fracturing right now, with Labour having lost significant % support and Lib Dems having gained, and the expectation Brexit Party won't win a single seat and thus not costing the conservatives too badly. But right now as we speak a lot of, frankly "brave" (if we can use that word) conservative politicians are standing up to Johnson and sacrificing their political careers to do so. They will be purged from the party and unable to run as conservative candidates in the general, but do they take significant party support with them? To some renegade faction or etc? Who knows.

Unusually, this time I think there might be a lot of "shy Labour voters" just like there used to be for the Tories. The Tories generally get more votes than their polling suggests, but that fluctuates.
  #188  
Old 09-03-2019, 05:36 PM
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The problem with Scottish independence is the finances.

Scotland's deficit seven times higher than UK as a whole last year

"Total state spending in Scotland was £1,661 higher per person than the UK average... while tax receipts were £307 less per head than the UK average."


The question is whether the EU would even allow them to join with a deficit of 7% of GDP, far higher than any EU nation.

The SNP argues that they would repudiate their part of the UK national debt and stop supporting Trident. Whether the UK parliament would agree to that is another matter...
I'm entirely against Scottish independence, but to appeal to just the economics against them being independent is totally ignoring the Irish example right next door.

Ireland was impoverished for years after independence but by and large was seen as 'Worth it'
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  #189  
Old 09-03-2019, 05:37 PM
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Word on the street is that no one is being deselected unless they rebel on tomorrow's vote.
  #190  
Old 09-03-2019, 06:08 PM
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Sky News editor:
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Confirmed: Philip Hammond has had whip removed after phone call with Chief Whip. Source close to group: ‘No10 have responded by removing the whip from 2 former chancellors, a former lord chancellor & Winston Churchill’s grandson. What has has happened to the Conservative Party?’
  #191  
Old 09-03-2019, 06:18 PM
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Word on the street is that no one is being deselected unless they rebel on tomorrow's vote.
Thirty minutes later - because these are the times we live in now - the word on the street is they appear to be being called by the Chief Whip one-by-one and are no longer Conservative MPs.
  #192  
Old 09-03-2019, 06:35 PM
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Just-expelled Rory Stewart, MP:
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Strange that a decision has been made to remove the whip from so many colleagues who were ministers so recently. Particularly when we voted repeatedly for a Brexit deal. I can’t think of a historical precedent. But I am not stepping down as an MP.
Sun political editor:
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A Tory MP texts: “What a nuclear grade cluster f**k”. Tough to disagree.
  #193  
Old 09-03-2019, 06:45 PM
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Good chance that Boris Johnson won't be moving up on this list ever.
  #194  
Old 09-03-2019, 07:17 PM
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Good chance that Boris Johnson won't be moving up on this list ever.
I guess that's one way he might make his mark on history. Centuries from now, will he be remembered as a great British hero, great British villain, or the answer to a trivia question?

Meanwhile, political correspondent for The Times:
Quote:
Ken Clarke does not appear at all shaken, or lost, by being booted out of the party he's represented for 49 years in the Commons. "Anyone who says I'm not a Conservative is taking an odd political view. It's the Brexit Party rebadged."
  #195  
Old 09-03-2019, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan_Liam View Post
I'm entirely against Scottish independence, but to appeal to just the economics against them being independent is totally ignoring the Irish example right next door.

Ireland was impoverished for years after independence but by and large was seen as 'Worth it'
True, but that was pre-EU. If Scotland wants independence to stay in the EU, it has to meet the EU deficit/GDP ratio. If they're over that ratio and can't get admitted as a member, then their independence could cut them off from both the EU and the rump UK.
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:01 PM
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Things are getting positively spicy in the debate right now. Some of the tories are just ripping into the government. I don't think the threat of deselection has worked.
It may actually have emboldened them. There is party discipline, sure, but there's always a limit to that when a party is internally divided.
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:10 PM
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Plus, there is likely a strong element of "Fuck off, Boris!"
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Stanislaus View Post
In blunt terms, he no longer commands a majority of the Commons and therefore shouldn't be PM. He can't win a vote even if all Tory MPs voted with him. Which they currently won't on Brexit. It makes a lot of his threats more obviously bluster, and massively increases his incentive to call an election.
Not necessarily. You can be PM now without a majority, thanks to Cameron and Clegg, and as Prime Minister Theresa "Worst-parliamentary-defeat-for-a-British-government-in-modern-history!" May conclusively demonstrated.

If Corbin isn't prepared to vote non-confidence, but isn't prepared to vote for an election, then Boris stays as PM. There's a strong "Molon labe" element to parliamentary government.
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Last edited by Northern Piper; 09-03-2019 at 08:16 PM.
  #199  
Old 09-03-2019, 08:26 PM
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"Now"? You always could have been PM without a majority. It's never been about commanding a majority. It's about not being openly voted against by a majority. The UK has had minority governments since before the Crimean War.
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:04 PM
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Sure, but even with a minority government, the test was that the minority PM could "command a majority in the House" i.e. the PM could reliably get the major pieces of legislation through the House. Formerly, if a government lost major votes that were part of its basic policy or election manifesto, that meant that the government either resigned or called an election.

The Cameron-Clegg "reforms" have changed that. PM May could not get the most important piece of legislation in her government's agenda through the House. It got defeated three times. Before Cameron-Clegg, that first vote would have been a confidence measure, the government would have been defeated, and May would have had to resign or call an election. Instead, she stayed in power - a minority government that could not command a majority on the most important issue of the day.

And now, PM Boris has just been defeated in the Commons by the passage of the "Delay Brexit" bill or resolution (not sure exactly what form it took). A significant number of his own party deserted him, including heavyweights in the party and despite a heavy whip. He does not command a majority in the Commons, and under the traditional rules, he should resign or call an election.

But being defeated on the centrepiece of his government's policy towards the most pressing issue of the day doesn't trigger a resignation or an election, under Cameron-Clegg. The Opposition now controls confidence votes and whether an election will occur, thanks to the Fixed Terms Parliament Act. They can defeat with impunity, and the PM's own party can turn on him, yet he stays PM..That is a fundamental change in the British Constitution.

Another potential example is that Britain could now experience the failure to pass budgets and a government shutdown, just like in the US. We used to say that was impossible in a Westminster parliamentary system, because if the government was defeated on its budget, it either resigned or went to the polls (Wilson in 1976; Clark in Canada in 1980). But now, the Opposition can defeat the budget and it won't be a confidence measure. And the government in that situation won't be able to call an election, even if it wanted to, because if the Opposition has the votes to defeat the budget without calling it a confidence measure, the Opposition also has the votes votes to deny the election. The PM and government can be defeated on a budget, but can't call an election to let the people decide, and it doesn't have to resign.

The Cameron-Clegg reforms have fundamentally altered the British constitution. Frankly, I don't think theWestminster Parliament is still an example of the Westminster parliamentary system. It is fundamentally different.
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