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Polls of Tory members have shown they hate and fear Corbyn more than even the threat of the break-up of the UK or of Brexit not happening at all. This is a totally irrational position for them to take, but then politics is often more about emotions than rationality. Right now its about not handing a victory (however temporary) to someone they hate and fear.

Rationally it shouldn't matter all that much who is the temporary caretaker PM as long as he/she requests and receives an A.50 extension long enough to call an election and possibly a referendum thereafter - and then actually calls the election.

Someone like Ken Clarke would be ideal to attract dissident Tories because of his Tory pedigree, ministerial experience, and (presumably) lack of personal ambition. Conceivably he could even offer not to stand in the election so he can "focus exclusively on his caretaker PM responsibilities" and not pose a threat to anyone else's PM ambitions.

However Corbyn is also in an exceptionally strong negotiating position, because only he can deliver the vast bulk of the votes required to elect any temporary PM. He may therefore feel no need to reward another Tory and can satisfy the minimal Lib Dem/dissident Tory demand that any temporary PM be not Corbyn by nominating his own choice as long term successor as leader of the Labour Party.

I don't know who his choice of potential successor might be, but provided it's not a hard-left choice also unacceptable to dissident Tory and Labour MPs but widely acceptable within the Labour party (and ideally the wider public), it doesn't much matter who it is. All anti-no deal Brexit MPs would be let off the hook of having to support Corbyn and be able to rally to the support of "anybody but Corbyn or Boris" on the grounds that it is a temporary appointment in the name of a greater cause.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 at 11:11:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't really follow the argument. Every Tory who votes for Corbyn, any Labour MP or to stop Brexit will end his carreer. If it isn't the rabid Tory base that turfs them out it's going to be the Brexit party. If they decide to suicide for the good of the country some faction of capital that stand to suffer they'll probably do so for a considerable payout. On the other hand the LibDems are a single issue anti-Brexit party. At least from the voter perspective, they don't seem so sure themselves. If they give that up they'll go back to their post coalition core if even that.
On the other hand, if Corbyn allows someone else to lead the interim gov the media will absolutely treat him as the new defacto Labour leader. I'd give it 90% odds that the PLP would try a new coup around that person.
by generic on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 at 02:23:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first person in line for leading a caretaker government (supposing Boris must resign) is the Leader of Her Majesty's Opposition. That is an official post, and the person who occupies it has the first shot, by convention, at forming a majority. The Leader of the Opposition is Jeremy Corbyn, and he will be point man. Suggestions of meritorious others at this stage are fluff and/or smokescreens (eg Swinson's proposal of the longest-serving MPs).

Corbyn has committed to a clear plan:

  1. Request A50 extension
  2. Organize elections and accept their result
  3. Abstain from any contentious governmental action in the interim

That is in accordance with convention re interim governments, and should not be an obstacle for any anti-no-dealer.

MPs who are against no deal may refuse to accept that plan under Corbyn, but it would be extraordinary if they managed to cobble a majority together under anyone else - given that a rejected Corbyn is not obliged to play ball, and he commands by far the largest chunk of opposition votes. He therefore has a quite reasonable chance of success. If Swinson has to eat her hat, no problem, politicians do that all the time. Some people just have to decide what it is they want. And, if they blow this chance, then they will have been objective allies of no-deal.

But of course, don't sell the bearskin before you've killed the bear. Boris first has to lose a vote of confidence.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 at 02:58:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Honestly, at this point I think the important thing is that we've gone from an interim government being a laughable idea to something they're fighting about the leadership of, with two weeks still left in August.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 at 03:54:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Coincidentally, that is the main point of the lesser ego

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 16th, 2019 at 06:44:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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