Friday 21 January 2022

Boris told the House of Commons a whopping lie on Wednesday and nobody noticed

I watched Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday. The leader of Her Majesty's Opposition Sir Keir Starmer was no good - he told two rehearsed, unfunny jokes and landed no blows - but some backbenchers did. 

Lloyd Evans in the Spectator was absolutely right.
Sir Keir turned into a self-adoring giggle-pot and spent the entire session smirking, laughing, rolling his eyes, tossing his head, and throwing up his hands in contemptuous disbelief. All done to humour his baying supporters. He’s over-excitable. No gravitas. Today he simply needed to do his ‘disappointed waxwork’ routine and let public anger fill in the gaps. Instead, he tittered and simpered like a teenage boy who’s just been kissed.
Former Conservative cabinet minister David Davis landed what might have been a killer blow when he told the Prime Minister:
“I expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take.

“Yesterday he did the opposite of that.

“So, I will remind him of a quotation which may be familiar to his ear: Leopold Amery to Neville Chamberlain.

“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. In the name of God, go.”

The Prime Minister replied with a whopping lie to the House:
“I must say to him, I don’t know what he is talking about.

“What I can tell him, I don’t know what quotation he is alluding to."
Everyone in Parliament except perhaps the most uncultured and ignorant Labour MPs knows that famous quotation. Boris, who wrote a book about Churchill, certainly does.

Actually Davis mumbled the line and it seems it had no great impact - he is not popular or respected.

He was hopeless in the Brexit negotiations but his resignation from the cabinet led to Boris Johnson copying him and thus to his becoming Prime Minister.

Davis would have done better to have saved his knifing for next week.

Leo Amery was of course quoting Cromwell dismissing the Long Parliament but Cromwell did not use those words, which were put into his mouth by Thomas Carlyle.

One of the 2019 intake of Conservative members crossed the floor to join Labour just before Boris rose to speak and this paradoxically seemed to have made the Conservative rebels have second thoughts.

Boris should go this year, but not before Covid subsides and not when Russia might invade Ukraine and not over this scandal. 

Thank God the Remainer Jeremy Hunt didn't become PM. A Brexiteer was needed. But not Michael Gove, who is responsible for Theresa May being Prime Minister, went along with her awful mess of Brexit and has since argued for lockdowns incessantly. 

Fraser Nelson today:

How surprised can we really be about Boris Johnson’s No 10 shenanigans? He has always been a rule-flouting, outrage-inducing politician – that’s why he managed to deliver Brexit, save the Conservative Party and win the biggest majority they’ve seen in a generation. Covid-19 restrictions are now being dropped because his vaccine programme (again) triumphed. He has arguably achieved more in 30 months than John Major did in seven years – and he gets kicked out because his staff held a few parties?

But then again, think of all that hypocrisy. No one forced him to send the police after those who broke lockdown rules, but he did so anyway.
Lord Frost and Dominic Cummings are the most impressive men of the last few years in British politics, but Cummings is obviously flawed. Sir Keir Starmer, who forced Corbyn to go for a second referendum, is the least admirable man of the last few years. A dull, wooden man with fewer principles than Corbyn. 

Sir Anthony Blair from his point of view played a brilliant game in trying to prevent Brexit, but failed badly. He could have engineered the Norway option.


  1. Lord Young of Graffham, one of the best ministers in Mrs Thatcher's cabinet:

    Without Boris, we would be stuck in the regulatory morass that is the EU. It was Boris alone who could run a brilliant campaign that not only gave us the biggest majority since Thatcher’s last election, but also won seats that had never been ours in living memory.
    No other candidate could have rallied the party in that way. It was hardly a just reward for achieving a stunning victory that within weeks he saw the arrival of a pandemic.
    Even then, learning the hard way, this Government got us through as well as most big nations and today we stand with a strong economy, with unemployment – particularly among the youth – at record lows and the economy back to pre-Covid-19 days.
    The one thing that Boris can plead guilty to is fighting to keep the economy afloat, often in the teeth of difficult advice from the modellers in Sage.

  2. " The veteran David Davis had a dotage moment in the chamber by absurdly invoking Leo Amery’s war-time plea to Neville Chamberlain; ‘For God’s sake go’.

    "It won him some headlines so cheap that they would undercut a pound shop’s January sale. Yet the effect was not to lead to any feeling among colleagues that Davis had captured the mood of the House, but rather to expose the rampant egotism of those attempting to hasten Johnson’s demise."