I just read a typically unsatisfying yet not completely uninteresting article in the New Statesman [below].
The conclusion of that article is that Boris Johnson will be forced to a general election before very long. Unlike msm talking heads, we have no need to say “whoever is the next Prime Minister”: the system is broken, the 100,000 elderly people actually given a vote love “Boris”, and so we, the other 65 million, are having imposed upon us the least honest, least competent, least loyal, least decent, least worthy, least genuinely British Prime Minister in living memory, perhaps ever.
The crunch is coming, but Boris Johnson has never kept to any “pledge” or promise, whether political or personal, so will not be bound by his “Leave EU by 31 October 2019” one either, in my view.
As I have blogged previously, Boris Johnson likes to be presented as a strong maverick character, whereas in fact he is actually rather weak: weak in logic, weak in general knowledge, weak in resolve, weak in ethical standards, weak politically.
Philip Hammond puts it more diplomatically: ” “He is actually a more complex personality than it sometimes seems,” Hammond said of Johnson in his interview. “He is a mainstream conservative on all topics except Brexit. I very much regret his attitude to Brexit. His own story, which is multicultural, multinational and liberal, speaks for itself.” [The Guardian].
Hammond’s words of course are two-edged and allude to Johnson’s part-Jew, part-Muslim, born-in-USA (and brought up largely in USA and Belgium) background, as well as his loose and indeed louche morality.
I may be overthinking this, because I do not see Boris Johnson as a determined —or indeed any sort of— planner (except in terms of trying to become Prime Minister for the past 20+ years), but I wonder whether Johnson foresaw that the Commons would block fulfilment of his “Brexit on WTO terms by 31 October” so-called “pledge”? After all, it would hardly require clairvoyance. The House of Commons has a large Remain majority.
If Boris Johnson “pledges” to leave on WTO terms on 31 October 2019 and if that is then blocked by the Remain majority in the Commons, Johnson can then sigh loudly in public and say “I did my best, but have been stabbed in the back by all those pro-EU MPs…”, thus absolving him from blame for not “delivering Brexit” (the EU will very likely grant further “extensons” etc…). Johnson can then present himself as the Tribune of the People, fighting the corrupt Remain MPs. A hero to fools…
From Johnson’s point of view, perfect. No need to actually negotiate with people who are more intelligent, more knowledgeable, better prepared than Johnson himself ever is, no need to put in much effort and, finally, also parking tanks on the lawn of Farage and Brexit Party (that less certain, though).
What if it goes wrong for Boris-Idiot and there is a no-confidence vote? I am wondering whether the prospect of this stupid clown as Prime Minister, even leaving aside Brexit, might not be enough to make some Conservative Party MPs abstain in a no-confidence vote. I would not bet against it.
If Labour put forward a no-confidence vote, and if that succeeds, it might not mean an immediate general election. The Conservatives can put forward another, less obviously clownish MP as their prime ministerial choice. If all the Conservatives and all the DUP support that person, then that freezes out Corbyn and Labour for a while.
What if there is a general election? If Brexit Party put up a fairly full slate of candidates in England, and if at least some form of Brexit has not happened by then, there might well be an explosion of rage from the half of the country (more than half) that voted Leave in 2016. That explosion might well not spare the Conservatives who have so badly handled the Brexit negotiations for the past 3 years. After all, that inept performance calls to mind the other stupidities of the past decade.
Scotland seems likely to vote at least 40% SNP in a general election, creating (maintaining) a bloc of about 40-50 Westminster MPs. As for England and Wales, if you take out the blacks and browns (etc), and you take out London (and Gibraltar, which has no votes in Westminster elections), the Leave vote was around 70%. What does this mean?
First of all, Brexit is not the only issue. The socio-economic problems of the country play more to Labour’s advantage. What is letting down Labour electorally now is that it is seen to be largely the party of the blacks and browns, the immigrants and their offspring, as well as public service workers, and those reliant on State benefits. I speak in broad-brush terms of course.
The people who are voting Labour now and might vote Labour in any 2019 general election are concentrated in quite few seats, about 200-250, but some polls are saying that only 40% of 2017 Labour voters will vote Labour if there is a general election this year. Translating that into seats is not easy, but it could mean a substantial reduction from the position now.
The above is however affected by the effect Brexit Party might have on the Conservative vote, bearing in mind that, as with Labour, as high as 60% of 2017 Conservative voters say that they will not be voting Con next time.
If Brexit Party puts up candidates all over England and Wales, and scores at least 15% nationwide, the present 312 Conservative seats will reduce to about 250 and possibly fewer. Most will fall to the LibDems or Labour, but no doubt Brexit Party could win a few too. If Brexit Party can score 20%+ nationwide, then there might be only 150 Conservative MPs left.
We are in minority, possibly coalition, territory. Either
- Labour + SNP or
- Labour + LibDems; or
- Conservative + Brexit Party or
- Conservative + LibDems
One intriguing fact is that Boris Johnson is apparently marginally more popular with Brexit Party members than he is with Conservative Party members.
My guess today (in this volatile climate, one alters perceptions almost daily) is that it is a race between Labour’s vote (especially in the North) collapsing and the Conservative vote collapsing in much of the country, and weakened further by the existence of Brexit Party (even if Brexit Party itself scarcely wins a seat).
I cannot see Boris-Idiot lasting for long as Prime Minister— he is completely unsuited for such a position; but having said that, the country has already gone half-mad…
I had scarcely published the above when, about an hour after that, the Guardian published the report below:
“Brussels to offer Boris Johnson extension”… Quelle surprise…
There is also this now:
Update, 10 April 2021
Nearly two years later from when I wrote the above blog post, we look back at the December 2019 General Election and see that most of the analysis was correct. What made the prediction of Conservative Party electoral collapse misfire was the event few —if any— predicted, meaning that Nigel Farage, snake oil salesman, stabbed his own pay in the back, and withdrawing from active participation the majority of Brexit Party candidates, all of whom had actually paid for their own deposits (and more)!
All or almost all Conservative Party candidates were given a clear run by Brexit Party. Brexit Party candidates in some formerly Labour seats where the Conservative Party was always unlikely to win, were allowed to stand, as in Hartlepool, where the Brexit Party 2-i-c, Richard Tice, came a very close third and, had the party not been killed by its own leader, might have pulled off an historic coup in a seat Labour-held since it was created. Farage’s actions destroyed Brexit Party credibility during the campaign.
The net result was that, with most intended Brexit Party votes going to Conservative candidates, the Con Party achieved a huge 80-seat overall majority. Many Conservative candidates, especially in the North, won by fewer than 2,000 votes. Had Brexit Party put up more than a token fight, the Conservative Party might well not have achieved a majority at all.
As for Nigel Farage, after his treachery in 2019, he had the gall to wind up Brexit Party (literally, since it was set up as a private company) and start yet another party, Reform Party or Reform UK, which he then abandoned when offered a great deal of money in business. An out and out, controlled-opposition, con-man.