The Labour Party is split when unity is needed against an aggressive Right

There are plenty of signs in the wind that we may have a General Election not far off and yet the Labour Party seem to be in a mess, riven by accusations of anti-semitism and bunker-mentality denials by its leadership clique. It seems stuck in intra-party conflict at the very point when one might imagine unity is needed against a very militant right wing that poses a major threat, on … Read more

Civil service being subjected to excessive political pressure over Brexit

As investigations focus in on the likely leaker of the Darroch memos, the wider ramifications are now under scrutiny. It is now being suggested that the leaking was politically motivated by those seeking to establish in Washington a British ambassador more clearly sympathetic to both Trump’s and Brexiters’ policies. Coming in the midst of a leadership contest thought likely to install a pro-Trump Hard Brexiter, the implications are considerable. At … Read more

The Johnson leadership bid tilts towards Trump as Brexit looms

The row over the British Ambassador to the US, coming just after a public debate between the leadership challengers to the Tory Party succession has been instructive as to the likely direction of play. Leadership elections, especially when a party is in power, can give useful clues as to the new coalition, in party-political terms, that is being assembled, the personalities and the likely policies in particular. The resignation of … Read more

No deal Brexit is giving Britain a political nervous breakdown

It’s interesting to hear from the ex-head of the UK intelligence service, MI6, that Britain is going through a “political nervous breakdown“. People might be forgiven for thinking “me too” over this national psychiatric diagnosis, such has been the ongoing paralysis in government and Parliament as a result of the Brexit impasse. He went on to criticise the quality of political leadership by the leaders of the main political parties … Read more

Heroes at work to prevent a No Deal Brexit are showing the way

Pessimists think that there is nothing now that can prevent a determined UK PM taking Britain out of the EU with or without a deal. Optimists however think that he can be stopped and that saner counsel will prevail. Those concerned about what is going to happen fluctuate almost daily between these emotional poles. For those more inclined to the “glass half full” outlook on life may be feeling more … Read more

Boris Johnson and the economics of Leave: the whiff of an election

Preoccupied as many people are with the approaching crunch point over Brexit, they may not be so aware of the powerful whiff of an approaching general election and the potential voting-winning economic and tax-and-spend policies of the hard right behind Boris Johnson. While stuffed full of curious contradictions, and amidst masses of scepticism from soon-to-be-ex Chancellor Hammond, there is an interesting sense in BJ’s Borisomics of a mix of tax … Read more

Now is the age of the hyperleader of reactionary populism

Today is the age of the hyperleader whose power rests on a superbase of mainly online social media supporters, which is partly eclipsing traditional politicians. To understand the power and appeal of reactionary populism, and therefore what Brexit is about, one needs to get the nature of this largely male beast and its ability to manipulate its following, and the challenge it poses to representative democracy. What are hyperleaders? Trump, … Read more

Can a No Deal Tory government be formed and will it last long?

With the election of a hard-Brexit supporting Tory leader, the question arises as to whether he will be able to form a government and how long it will last. In particular Johnson has refused to rule out a No Deal Brexit by 31 October and certain of his party have said that in that case they would vote to bring his government down. Two constitutionalists have said that he might … Read more

Remain need to form an Anti-Brexit alliance to fight the election

While the Tories are busy being inwardly-focused and dreaming of the easily-won Brexit paradise as promised by Boris Johnson, the Remain side need to be thinking of the likely next General Election. The million dollar question must be whether they can form an Anti-Brexit alliance. The lesson of the last few years should be that the old two party voting pattern has broken down, or is at least on its … Read more

Can Parliament stop a No Deal Brexit being pushed through by a new PM?

You may be feeling more than a touch of déjà vu but it looks like we will be going to the wire again in October, when another round in the struggle for power between Parliament and government over Brexit is likely to take place. Again people are asking whether and how Parliament can stop Johnson pushing through a No Deal Brexit. The Tories appear to be leaving the crowning of … Read more