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January 19, 2019

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Scratch

"To borrow Noel Gallagher’s metaphor, she's a woman with a fork in a world full of soup."

One trusts he acknowledged his debt to HMHB's "Bob Wilson, Anchorman."

Brian

It feels like you’re damning Corbyn with faint praise when you describe him as gifted with “the common touch”. I suspect many non-Londoners would also not agree, and simply see him as as a useless socialist. When I was about 17, chatting to our local milkman, he said he could never support Labour as they were just a bunch of “useless badminton-playing swingers and wife-swappers”. The image stated with me, but I could never work out what the milkman had against swingers and wife-swapping.

Scratch

No red-blooded milkman wants a round populated with sated housewives.

Brian

Haha!

Tasker Dunham

A comment on the Daily Mail site has just amused me (as comments there often do): "she's the the kind negotiator to come out of DFS with a full-priced sofa".

georgesdelatour

I find Teresa May utterly mysterious.

“Stubborn” is exactly wrong. Her Lancaster House view - “Brexit means Brexit”, “No deal is better than a bad deal” - is the antimatter of her Chequers view: so no idée fixe, no stubbornness there. She approached negotiations by conceding early to Barnier on everything which gave the UK leverage; so no Charles De Gaulle “empty chair crisis” stubbornness there.

The EEC/EU has been the most religion-like divisive issue in UK politics since Hugh Gaitskell’s time. When the Conservatives were the most pro-EEC party, it led Enoch Powell to stubbornly campaign for Labour in 1974, and Roy Jenkins to stubbornly campaign against Labour in 1983.

I understand completely that Dominic Grieve believes in Europe with every fibre of his being. He’d still be stubbornly trying to frustrate Brexit if the Referendum had been 80-20 for Leave. Bill Cash is probably is anti-EU equivalent. But May seems completely agnostic on it.

I have zero evidence for this; but is it possible she’s motivated by some romantic attachment? There’s suggestive evidence that Edwina Mountbatten’s romantic relationship with Nehru may have caused the India-Pakistan border to be secretly adjusted in India’s favour. Could something similar be at play here?

georgesdelatour

There’s an obvious comparison to be made, between Harold Wilson’s leadership of Labour in 1974-76 and May’s of the Conservatives today. She doesn’t come out of the comparison well.

Wilson had to navigate extreme party divisions in a minority government, and then in a government with a tiny majority. He was very shrewd at finding the right cabinet roles for people, where they could do least damage, and - if possible - even some occasional good. Moving Tony Benn to Energy, where his evangelising enthusiasm was an asset, was smart.

May started by making a Remainer Chancellor, and a Brexiter Foreign Secretary. It would have been better if she’d done the opposite. Chancellors find it harder to get involved in the day-to-day cut and thrust of political disputation, and they inevitably become the boring killjoy of the cabinet, telling everyone else that the country can’t afford their unrealistic policy ideas. Chancellors soon learn that even their most innocuous comments can cause Sterling or the FT index to yo-yo; so they have to be far more guarded than any other cabinet minister. There’s a reason Tony Blair shrewdly made his bitterly resentful rival Chancellor rather than Foreign Secretary.

While it’s hard to imagine BoJo as Chancellor, I can certainly imagine David Davis in that job. And giving him it would have elevated his status on the Tory Right, potentially splitting any future ERG vote for Johnson as PM. Meanwhile, a Remainer Foreign Secretary would have suggested to non-dogmatic Remainers that her vision of post-Brexit Britain was open and internationalist; not the “w**s begin at Calais” approach BoJo was likely to suggest (and quickly did suggest).

So what to do with BoJo? I’d say Home Secretary. He was an okay Mayor of London, so he might have risen to the task. But if he didn’t, he’d eventually be forced out after ruining his reputation.

Daniel j Rogers

It's ridiculous to think stubbornness is a quality.

When did anyone ever conduct a job interview and say "I'm going to hire this woman, love her stubbornness" ?

cjcj

Chris has contracted a fatal combination of Brexit Derangement Syndrome and Corbynism. Leaving aside the obvious contradictions, it's becoming all rather odd...

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