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Boris off to a bad start

by Frank Schnittger Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 10:45:29 PM EST

Boris Johnson enters the first day of the official UK general election campaign with an average lead of 11% in the 11 polls published since the House of Commons voted to hold a general election. These poll leads range from 7 to 16% and there is no discernable trend over the past week. Not too bad a start, one would have thought, until one recalls that Theresa May's lead was 19% when she called the 2017 election.

Boris Johnson's campaign launch has also been dogged by no less than three scandals on the opening day of the official campaign:


First, Jacob Rees-Mogg blamed the Grenfield tower residents for not ignoring official fire-brigade advice to stay put, and therefore being responsible for their own deaths. Matters were not helped by Tory MP Andrew Bridgen appearing to suggest this was because Jacob Rees-Mogg was cleverer than those who died in the Grenfell Tower fire...

Then the Tories were caught doctoring a video of Labour shadow Brexit secretary to make it appear he had no answer to the question of how Labour would negotiate a better Brexit deal.

Mr Starmer was grilled by ITV on Tuesday over the party's Brexit plans, including rigorous questioning on its policy of trying to negotiate a new divorce deal and then holding a referendum in which its MPs might then campaign against the agreement they had struck.


In a heavily edited video of the interview published by the Conservatives, Starmer was shown being asked by ITV presenter Piers Morgan why the EU would give a Labour government a good Brexit deal.

Mr Starmer was shown apparently blinking, startled, faltering and uncomfortable behind the red slogan: "Labour has no plan for Brexit."

In the actual interview, Mr Starmer did not falter but answered immediately: "Well Piers, I have been talking to the EU, to political leaders across the EU 27 countries for three years, and I know very well what the parameters are of any deal that they would do with a Labour government."

---

Yet Conservative Party Chairman James Cleverly, speaking to ITV on Wednesday, repeatedly refused to either accept that the clip had been doctored or to apologise.

Not a good look when there is so much emphasis on fake news and nefarious social media campaigns...

Finally, Welsh secretary and cabinet member had to resign when it was revealed he had covered up his knowledge that his aide had sabotaged a rape trial:

A cabinet minister has resigned on the first official day of the UK election campaign over allegations he knew a Conservative candidate for the Welsh assembly had sabotaged a rape trial before he was selected by the party.

Alun Cairns said he was not aware his former aide was responsible for the collapse of the case in August 2018 after making claims about the victim's sexual history.

But an email obtained by BBC Wales this week revealed the Welsh secretary was told about the incident in August 2018, four months before Ross England was selected as a candidate.

Mr Cairns received an email from Geraint Evans, his special adviser, on August 2nd, 2018. It said: "I have spoken to Ross and he is confident no action will be taken by the court."

Christina Rees, the shadow secretary of state for Wales, accused Mr Cairns of "brazenly lying" about his knowledge of the case.

Not a good look, even for a Tory...

With the Lib Dems also slipping in the polls - an average of 11% behind Labour and Jo Swinson focusing heavily on the soft Tory vote in Tory held seats, the Remain vote may not be as badly split between Labour and the Lib Dems as first feared. With Nigel Farage's Brexit party averaging only 10% in the polls, he may not represent as bad a threat to Labour seats in Leave constituencies as first thought either.

With the Tories expected to lose some seats to the SNP in Scotland and others to the Lib Dems in the South of England, Boris is banking heavily on picking up Labour seats in Leave voting constituencies in the midlands and North of England. But will strongly Leave Labour voters in these neglected constituencies really vote Tory? Some will undoubtedly defect to the Brexit party, but then so may some Tory voters.

Labour is on popular ground when it seeks to protect the NHS from being bartered away to US Corporations under a Trump/UK trade deal; when it seeks to provide workers with greater protection in the gig economy; when it seeks greater protection for tenants and better services for commuters on privatised rail services. If voters really want to move on from Brexit they have 10 years of Tory austerity and chaotic rule to focus on.

This being the first winter election since since 1974 the cold and dark will limit all the parties' capacity for door-to-door canvassing reducing Labour's membership advantage and making digital campaigning more important. Having the better messaging and targetting technology will be more important than ever. Perhaps we will find out if Dominic Cummings is really the genius he claims to be. Starting off by doctoring video clips in a way easy to refute may not be the wisest strategy.

Tom Watson's statement that his decision  to stand down as Deputy Leader and candidate is for personal rather than political reasons should limit the damage it might have done to Labour's chances and the presence of former Conservatives like Dominic Grieve as independent candidates will highlight divisions on the Tory side.

The DUP's cause will not be helped by the decision of their MP, David Simpson to stand down because of an extra-marital affair, and, when added to the "Cash for Ash scandal" and Ian Paisley (Jnr)'s (unreported) free trips to Sri Lanka on 5* holidays in return for lobbying for the Sri Lanka Government will add to the perception of sleaze in the DUP ranks. Boris Johnson has few enough potential allies as it is, and it looks unlikely that the DUP will be among them in any case, even if they do manage to retain all their 10 seats against all expectations.

Thus, with SNP support, Corbyn could well end up being the next Prime Minster, even if the Conservatives are the largest party - even if the Lib Dem refuse to support him. They would probably also support his second referendum legislation if he were to become PM, so all is not lost for the Remain cause. It all depends on how the British people vote however, and many will be attracted by Boris' simplistic "get Brexit done" message.

Or will they? They might also be attracted by the Labour message of giving them the final say within 6 Months of gaining office. It may be the only way of reconciling the rift that has opened up in British society, and that is surely the more urgent task.

Display:
Seems to be going great
by generic on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 11:03:57 PM EST
Two Cleverly by half, it would seem, he now claims to have been doing a radio interview at the time - from inside the Sky news TV studio 15 feet away from their TV presenter??!!??

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 11:19:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course comparing Corbyn to Josef Stalin is just standard Boris knockabout stuff, the kind of thing good for a few guffaws at Eton debating society. Plays well with the Telegraph readership, but will it win any converts to Boris' cause? After all it was he who prorogued parliament illegally and said he would not obey the law with regard to seeking a Brexit extension.

So who's the wannabe dictator now?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 6th, 2019 at 11:31:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tbh, the full Cleverley interview with Piers Morgan was an absolute delight from start to finish. 18 long minutes of sweaty humiliation.

Morgan must have been especially pissed cos it was his interview they messed around with, but he just kept piling in. All Cleverley could do was repeat his 3 agreed quotes.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 04:11:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given that Piers Morgan is a steaming pile, he can do little else other than keep piling in.
by rifek on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 10:29:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Geez ... Ian Austin could serve in the Trump administration ... calls on Labour voters to back Boris Johnson .... what an utter rightwinger ... serving money interests.

TheyWorkForYou Register Donations

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 10:22:01 AM EST
Ian Austin was a nobody who served as an official bag carrier for a year under Blair. He's been working for a Tory think tank for over half a year, havng resigned as a Labour MP in spring.

He says "don't vote Corbyn" and the media go apeshit.

Ken Clarke, who was a minister, including Chancellor of the Exchequer, for several Prime Ministers, including Thatcher, Major and Cameron, resigns from the Tory party and it's crickets.

Same for Phillip Hammond, May's chancellor. He resigns and the media yawns.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 04:08:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He also seems to be collecting a lot of serious money from Zionist and other "private individuals" - see Oui's link

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 05:57:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that said, I do worry that this IS a deliberate policy.

They're dominating the news cycle by having "Scandal of the Day". Every minute a tory is on telly defending their agenda, Labour aren't on screen duscussing theirs.

And in today's skewed media landscape, a person who is making mistakes and lying all the time actually looks authentic to people who've become allergic to scripted soundbite politicians.

Meanwhile Boris is off-screen and those Tory ministers always make sure they get a few jabs against Labour.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 04:15:05 PM EST
I'd suggest it was an updated version of Firehosing;-

Guardian - Firehosing: the systemic strategy that anti-vaxxers are using to spread misinformation

Firehosing relies on pushing out as many lies as possible as frequently as possible. That's typical for propaganda, but the aspect that makes firehosing a unique strategy is that it doesn't require the propagandist to make the lies believable. That seems counterintuitive, but as Carlos Maza of Vox explains, firehosing is effective because its goal isn't to persuade. It's to rob facts of their power. Firehosing inundates us with so many wild opinions that it becomes exhausting to continually disprove them. In this scenario, reality is reduced to positioning and who can sell their position best.

"Firehosing inundates us with so many wild opinions that it becomes exhausting to continually disprove them

"The strategy is effective for those trying to hold on to political power, and it's the same for those who gain power from engaging in science denial.



keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 04:22:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's a funny way to spell democratization of the innerboobs.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 06:13:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lie big, lie often, make it stick.
by rifek on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 10:33:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More like "shitposting" or rather "shitacting".

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 Nov 8th, 2019 at 02:16:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This list of scandals does not even include Boris' hiding the report on foreign interference in the Brexit Referendum. Will anyone make an issue of that?


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 05:51:34 PM EST
Give it time - this is day 1 of the campaign and already people are inundated with scandals...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 06:00:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian | Trump-Russia dossier author [STEELE] gave evidence to UK intrusion inquiry

I believe, this report would be called a "nothing burger" in the USA. So the hounds are back to sniffing out Tory MP campaign finance SCANDALS.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 06:12:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A "nothing" burger as decided by the media = something that it is not in the interest of corporate media ownership to reveal

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 07:44:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
given that the tories have already taken nearly £3 million in donations from Russian sources since the election was agreed, I think there's no chance this report will ever be released.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 07:42:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour should start referring to 'Comrade Boris'.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 10:52:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And yet another headache for Johnson:

Boris Johnson urged to nominate new EU commissioner 'rapidly'

The incoming head of the European commission has exposed Boris Johnson's failure to meet his "do or die" pledge to leave the European Union on 31 October, by requesting the "rapid" nomination of a British candidate to join her Brussels top team.

Ursula von der Leyen has written to the prime minister asking him to propose a British candidate or candidates for EU commissioner "rapidly, in the shortest time possible", one of her spokespeople said on Wednesday.

[...]

Heightening the pressure on Johnson's government, von der Leyen has called on the UK to propose female candidates, as part of her bid to have a gender-balanced commission.

Not sure there is many women willing to take that post among the Tories these days. Johnson will have to widen his search. Helen: Fancy a stint in Brussels? The beer there is quite good.

by Bernard on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 08:53:22 PM EST
Yea, I'll do it. Can I cancel A50 unilaterally?


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 09:52:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately no, but you could do a hell of a lot of shitposting! :-)

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Nov 9th, 2019 at 09:31:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Canvassing:

by Bernard on Thu Nov 7th, 2019 at 09:20:09 PM EST
Boris speaking out of both sides of his mouth, as usual...


Business leaders puzzled after Johnson contradicts own Brexit deal

Prime minister's rambling speech in Antrim vows no checks on goods to North from Britain.

British prime minister Boris Johnson has puzzled business people in Northern Ireland by saying there would be no Irish Sea border for goods from the North exported to Britain.

In a speech to members of the Northern Ireland Conservatives at an election rally in Templepatrick, Co Antrim, on Thursday evening, Mr Johnson also said "there will not be tariffs or checks on goods coming from Great Britain to Northern Ireland that are not going on to Ireland".

Questioned by Irwin Armstrong, owner of Ciga Healthcare in Ballymena, Mr Johnson said if anyone asked him to fill out a customs form, "tell them to ring up the prime minister and I will direct them to throw that form in the bin".

There would be, Mr Johnson insisted, "no forms, no checks, no barriers of any kind. You will have unfettered access."

Under the Brexit deal agreed between the EU and the UK, Northern Ireland will remain in the UK customs union post-Brexit, but will be subject to EU customs rules. This avoids a hard border on the island of Ireland by placing regulatory and customs checks at ports on the Irish Sea.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 at 11:34:58 PM EST
Confusion tactics. It's not as if Boris doesn't know. But he also knows most people can't see through the thick smoke. The more untrue, contradictory, and plain silly comments he makes, the thicker the smoke.

(See shitposting above).

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 Sat Nov 9th, 2019 at 07:18:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there was always an element of that by dodgy political operators and canvassers on the ground. What's changed is that you have Presidents and Prime Ministers doing it now, and not getting called on it. The EU Commission should beholding a contradictory press conference, but they probably won't. That would be "interfering" in the internal politics of a member state...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Nov 9th, 2019 at 09:29:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think what has changed (and changed the behaviour of presidents and PMs) is the massification effect of social media.

As for the EU, Juncker might call him on it, but isn't he having some bit of him repaired in a clinic? Anyway, it would only make more buzz to drown out Corbyn.

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 Sat Nov 9th, 2019 at 09:37:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Twitter has enabled Trump to by-pass congress, press spokes people, and even TV, and speak directly to "his people" in a language they can viscerally understand...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Nov 9th, 2019 at 10:51:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Politicians in the USA--elected or not-- have employed film, television, radio broadcast to "by-pass congress" and "speak directly" to their people in a language they can "viscerally understand" for about a hundred years.

Before that were monographs circulating among the "elite" in diverse regions of the world and vanity presses like Benjamin Franklin's, for example. You are familiar with the life and times of that historical personnage and his associate among the "founding" fathers, are you not? He arguably was the William Hearst of 18th cen. British America.

ITC is merely another media of telecommunication between people. It is not the message, yet it is the message and self-selecting recipients which dismays, perhaps. Which is odd considering that a large portion of Trump's twitter audience in any given hour reply to heckle and insult.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Nov 9th, 2019 at 02:23:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tbh I think he meant that. He was genuinely saying that he'd be prepared to make an agreement with the EU and then just ignore the primary terms of that agreement.

His attitude would be, "what ya gonna do about it?". And he has a point. Treaties only work if there is goodwill to adhere to the terms of the treaty and Boris is signalling loud and clear that he is not a trustworthy partner.

which, franky, hardly comes as a shock, but is just another example of him believing that Britannia can waive the rules.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Nov 10th, 2019 at 09:14:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boris' is just trying to sort out the problem he has with the DUP - he may need their votes in the next Parliament. He hasn't thought much beyond the election and getting the right result.

If he dishonours the terms at some stage in the future, it is easy to see "what the EU is going to do about it". Slap punitive tariffs on UK export goods and services until such time as Boris (or his successor) complies with every small print line in the agreement.

It is one thing Trump tearing up agreements with (say) Iran, because Iran has limited options to bring the USA to heal. Not so with the EU and the UK - as Boris (or his successor) is bound to find out.

But Boris is bluffing and blustering as usual. He will comply in the end as he always does. But in the mean time he has got the rubes thinking he is on their side. Anything to win the election and stay in office. Meanwhile the real power of that office decays all the time.

Literally no one in the EU is taking him seriously. How many EU PM's have visited 10 Downing St. since he became PM? Any?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 10th, 2019 at 10:05:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The fundamental error is that the British establishment consider the EU a peer organisation, not a massively more powerful one.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Nov 11th, 2019 at 11:51:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And a few years ago, the UK may have had a case - the EU has limited competencies, was riven by disagreements, and was a by-word for procrastination and delay. The largely British led drive to expand eastwards to embrace 10 relatively poor members without reforming rules that required unanimity on many issues meant that little could get done.

The most amazing aspect of the Brexit debacle has been the unity of purpose and competence in execution of the EU side of the negotiations. Brexiteers could be forgiven for having expected a much more divided and weakened EU negotiating stance. Ironically, that unity may well break down when it comes to negotiating a future relationship between the UK and EU with the result that little or no agreement many be possible - a basic, bog standard FTA at best.

Brexit may well turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to the EU...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 11th, 2019 at 12:23:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard on Sun Nov 17th, 2019 at 07:23:49 PM EST
you point the wig end of the stick at the floor, mumble something in latin and all the water goes.

all together "Brexifuxus"

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 18th, 2019 at 05:57:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boris probably hasn't wielded a mop since he starred in Harry Potter - in his own dreams...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 19th, 2019 at 01:10:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps Johnson thought he'd already done his bit, after footage had emerged of him attempting to mop the floor of a Specsavers in Derbyshire last Friday. The widespread verdict was that Johnson appeared to be actually making it worse
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Nov 19th, 2019 at 01:14:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"I was always humble, in my way. The problem is you didn't understand that."
[Source: José Mourinho in 1st press conference as Spurs manager] 🤣

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Thu Nov 21st, 2019 at 08:33:56 PM EST
has special needs...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 21st, 2019 at 09:52:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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