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I think we are agreed on all of the above. Jeremy plays a key role, but only if Boris loses a VOC first. And even if Boris does lose a VOC, he is probably still in the driving seat because he has two weeks to regain it - by bribery, chicanery, charm, threats, or all other means necessary.

I don't hold out much hope of any Tory with continuing political ambitions voting against him, but there must be quite a few who:

  1. Intend to retire at the nest election in any case
  2. Know they have no prospect of advancement under Boris anyway
  3. Are going to be de-selected anyway
  4. Have their eyes on a lucrative career in the city or elsewhere

A few, probably, no more than a handful, may do so out of principle or a belief that No-deal represents the worst possible outcome.

There is a political ritual we have to go through, whereby Jeremy exhausts every possible option before conceding that he cannot command a majority of the house for a caretaker premiership, no matter how attenuated.

Suppose, for the sake of argument, he agrees to nominate Harriet Harmon for the role, a labour loyalist of considerable ministerial experience who has acted as Labour party leader and deputy leader and Leader of the opposition before. A credible choice in constitutional and political terms but who at 69, doesn't appear to have further political ambitions.

Even if she wins the confidence of the House, could Boris refuse to resign? Could he attempt to dissolve parliament and call an election in any case? Can the Queen force him to resign and make way for Harmon?

I'm sorry, but with a constitution as vague and open to abuse as the UK's it is almost impossible to take the UK political system seriously, and I certainly wouldn't regard the HOC as "the mother of Parliaments" or the UK as a serious or advanced democracy.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 19th, 2019 at 10:08:00 AM EST
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