My word, isn’t this a surprise?

The pressure on Theresa May’s fragile leadership grew last night after she was reportedly described as “dead in the water” by a former Tory Cabinet minister.

Former chief whip Andrew Mitchell is claimed to have said at a private dinner that the Prime Minister “couldn’t go on”, adding she had “lost her authority” and was “weak”.

The serving MP is alleged to have made the comments on June 26, the day Mrs May struck a deal with the DUP to prop up her minority administration in Parliament.

Published in the Evening Standard where the guy sacked by May as Chancellor, one G. Osborne, is editor.

28 comments on “My word, isn’t this a surprise?

  1. There is no doubt that the new editor of the Evening Standard has an axe to grind with Theresa May over his sacking, but most people would have said it was well deserved, if not long overdue.

    As for the comment itself, “couldn’t go on”, “lost her authority” and “weak” would all seem to be a fairly accurate reflection of the truth after her dismal performance in the election.

    It takes a great deal to snatch near defeat from the very jaws of victory, but with her high-handed and idiotic views on draconian internet censorship, abandonment of commitments against increasing general taxation and the dementia tax alone, she swung a potentially significant majority to a hung parliament propped up by the execrable DUP.

    Her only saving grace is that she is not Jeremy Corbyn.

    Having said all of that, do we really want to go through yet another leadership contest in the middle of BRexit negotiations? I don’t think so.

    Let our Poundland Maggie Thatcher remain in Number 10 until we have actually left the EU at the end of March 2019 and then give Theresa May her hat and coat, not before.

  2. Ospuke shows his colours–as if there were doubt–preferring to publish shit that can only aid Corbyn and the prospect of Marxist dictatorship for the UK.

    Again accounts received for the lad.

    Hopefully Bliar won’t be the only one to get a war crimes tribunal and a life sentence.

  3. Andrew “Do you fucking know who I am?” Mitchell and George “Blackmail” Osborne, as ever, offering bad advice.

    If Mrs May were weak and couldn’t go on, someone else would be PM. If she went now, it would be JC. Not much worries people as rich and well placed as Osborne, but a 98% tax rate might grab his attention.

    No, Mrs May’s strength is that no one has the stomach for the job and most Tories would be dragging her back to Number 10 by the neck should she show signs of quitting.

  4. Mrs May’s strength is that no one has the stomach for the job

    I think this is more about no-one wanting to be tarnished with the consequences of BRexit, better to let Theresa May carry the can and then step in during the leadership contest in September 2019.

    Well she is fucking awful to be fair.

    Anyone who thinks she’s not fucking awful is either delusional or was not paying attention during the General Election campaign. Both she and it were a monumental disaster that spunked away a significant advantage in return for nothing.

    She even managed to do the unimaginable and resurrect Jeremy Corbyn from the ash heap of history where he belongs.

    If Theresa May thinks she is anything other than a short-term caretaker PM, she is very much mistaken. The only reason she remains PM is because of BRexit and Jeremy Corbyn.

  5. Andrew Mitchell was one of the MPs keen to push foreign aid spending through the roof, along with Jo Cox who spent years at NGOs before becoming an MP in 2015. Former MP and now NGO leader David Milliband was and is, too.

    If Theresa May wants to regain some authority over the Conservatives she could do far worse than slashing foreign aid. Slash it hard. They have been throwing money at the World Bank, the foundations of billionaires and an army of NGOs in order to meet an arbitrary target, in a time of supposed austerity.

  6. If Theresa May wants to regain some authority over the Conservatives she could do far worse than slashing foreign aid. Slash it hard.

    She could, indeed she should cut foreign aid, which amounts to little more than bungs to kleptocratic dictators and countries with space programmes.

    But any action she takes will be too little, too late.

    She has the smell of death about her and that doesn’t go unnoticed. There may be a lot of useless sheep in the House of Commons, but there are plenty of hyenas too, who would love to gorge on the corpse of a washed up PM.

  7. The advantage of going now is that the new PM will be shrieked at to get a mandate by calling an election. The new PM will say no, form a team of adults, and carry on compromising as minority governments do.
    And the thick British public ( not all of them, but the ones who demand national elections for everything ) will be taught a lesson that at GEs you really are voting for a candidate, and not approving the leader.
    If she carries on for 18 months, we won’t learn this.

  8. If she carries on for 18 months, we won’t learn this.

    If the price of BRexit is that PM carries on as caretaker for 18 months until matters are settled, then I think that is a price worth paying.

    If Theresa May holding office was essentially blocking someone more suitable then I might agree, but looking around there are nothing but political pygmies and other chancers.

    The only person in the cabinet who might make a decent PM is David Davis and he’s rather busy with BRexit at the moment, which is where he needs to be.

  9. Gareth +1

    Willie Hague was bleating about how Brexit will “reduce” our international “influence”, which is a stupid claim on the face of it, but positively risible in light of his chosen example: Somalia.

    Willie fancies himself a sort of Lawrence of Arabia figure to the Skinnies. Though given Somalia is the world FGM capital, Lawrence of No Labia might be more apt.

    Anyway, it’s Super Important we spend more money and time on Somalia, according to baseball cap aficionado and improbable drinking champion Hague.

    Why? We have no national interests in Somalia. They have nothing we want. The only legitimate British interest there is making sure they don’t end up here.

    Scrap foreign aid, sack every last Joleon and Jocasta, hire more immigration enforcement.

  10. Cutting foreign aid would be a bad idea right now.

    The point is to make it clear, at an unofficial level, that the foreign budget is for the promotion of British interests abroad.

    That is, sweeteners for trade deals and so forth. If tackling malaria somewhere results in an invigorated local economy with goodwill towards Brits, than let’s do it for that reason.

    This may seem horribly cynical, however if we tried tackling world poverty and disease for selfish reasons only, then we’d probably make a much better job of it.

    Jocasta and her chums at the NGOs need MORE poverty to avoid being made redundant.

  11. John – why do you think the DUP are execrable? They’re more conservative than the Conservatives. Not, I’ll grant you, a high bar to clear. But given the laundry list of stupid and evil things Mrs May wanted to achieve with a Tory majority, and the other option of Jez turning 10 Downing Street into a dosshouse, I’m glad the DUP are around.

  12. Jack C uses that part of foreign aid which tackles an externality, communicable diseases, to approve all of it – the development aid being the biggest part.
    Personally I’d set the foreign aid target at 1.3% of national income, which in round numbers is currently the amount provided by the free market, so the governmental part of foreign aid would be zero. If the free market level drops, then government can step up. What lefty could possibly disagree with that? Oh, we can’t let philanthropy decide who gets the money, is that the problem? It’s not engendering good will to the UK if it comes from willing British residents, but it does foster good will if it’s extracted from British residents’ pockets under threat of court. Is that it? Aaaargh.

  13. @JackC

    I think there’s an argument that foreign aid should be directed at some big project, eg malaria eradication, rather than on piecemeal bits and bobs like women’s rights awareness in Ethiopia or whatever. For one thing, dozens of other Western countries are also funding such projects so there is nothing really distinctive to point to at the moment, other than the headline figure of what % is being spent. Since the main objective of all this spending seems to be little more than PR, I’d rather we added something to “our Navy eradicated the slave trade” – something big and promotable and distinctive and easily assessed on its success, rather than assessing it as brilliant and virtuous purely the grounds of what % of GDP got splurged on it. A race-to-spend is seldom a good race to win, and therefore not the kind of race one wants to compete in at all.

    For another, if we opted for “eradicate disease X” then lots of the funding would basically go to UK-based biotech researchers. If it was “build some massive road/railway” then it could go to British engineering contractors, and so on. Preferably something the UK industry has some expertise in. Though personally I’d avoid overseas aid that required years of maintenance or skilled labour once UK funding has stopped, cos I’m less than convinced that if we built a bunch of schools and roads and hospitals that they’d all be in a functioning state ten years later. Total eradication of some horrible disease strikes me as more attractive – once the goal is completed, nobody can cock it up later, and some public health benefit may ultimately accrue to the UK from its elimination.

  14. Jack – I don’t hate the idea, but we don’t need a separate DFID then, do we? Abolishing it is a quick win.

  15. At the moment we’re just giving people fish for a day (and shiny limousines to their rulers).

    Not only should we teach them to fish instead, we should use the aid budget to bribe our way to preferential access to their fish, and for our fishing equipment suppliers.

    Limousines may still result, but they’ll have to at least be partially earned.

    I know I’m being very simplistic.

  16. The sort of foreign aid I’m happy with is bringing foreigners here and training them as nurses, doctors, engineers, etc., and then *sending* *them* *home* to build their home country. Hell, I’d even train them for free, let the SJWs claim it as whitey reparations for the evil of stamping out the slave trade or summut.

    What makes me angry is the continous lefty demands to extract human resourse from foreign countries to use here. That’s Empire Economics rebuilt. Sod competing with furriners with our own resourses, we’ll kill off the competition by stealing their resourses instead.

  17. JackC,

    “That is, sweeteners for trade deals and so forth. If tackling malaria somewhere results in an invigorated local economy with goodwill towards Brits, than let’s do it for that reason.”

    But does even that work? The government in China seem to be a bunch of cunts, but how many people are boycotting their stuff?

    And “sweetening foreign trade”? Can’t BAE and Rolls-Royce pay for their own hookers and Maseratis for African dictators if it’s going to make them money selling arms to them? Why should I subsidise their businesses?

    I think what foreign aid is really about is people who just want to help people around the world. The “benefits for Britain” is just to con people who don’t see why we should.

  18. The Inimitable Steve,

    “I’m glad the DUP are around.”

    Yup. Excellent bunch. Sure, they don’t like abortion, but no-one in Northern Ireland does. But anyone who wants the BBC license fee can’t be all bad.

    I don’t even know why abortion is still such an emotive topic. This ain’t the 1950s. Get on the pill. You can get the morning after pill in Northern Ireland if the condom breaks or you just got drunk and slutty. Other than that, raise the money for the flight to London on Kickstarter. I mean, you can argue about rights and all that, and that’s a fair point, but if someone told me I could bypass a crappy law that I only had to break once or twice for £200, I don’t think I’d put a lot of energy into fighting it. On the flipside, the DUP thinks the BBC should scrap the licence fee, which would save many people, not just drunken sluts, £140/year.

  19. As I never tire of pointing out to lefties wailing that the DUP are ‘evil’, because they oppose abortion and gay marriage: Do you think they’re the only section of the NI populace that has objections to these practices? (Think carefully before giving your answer.)

  20. And as I never tire of pointing out to lefties who say the DUP are “evil”, they don’t ever say that about Sinn Fein, which does genuinely have blood on it’s hands. No, they only say it about parties that believe in the union, which only shows they are lacking in the patriotism necessary to be taken seriously.

  21. “But anyone who wants the BBC license fee can’t be all bad.”

    missed the word “abolished” in there

  22. @The Inimitable Steve, July 9, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    John – why do you think the DUP are execrable? They’re more conservative than the Conservatives. Not, I’ll grant you, a high bar to clear. But given the laundry list of stupid and evil things Mrs May wanted to achieve with a Tory majority, and the other option of Jez turning 10 Downing Street into a dosshouse, I’m glad the DUP are around.

    Thanks, saved me typing similar.

    Re: abortion – not only NI, RoI is same. Haven’t noticed Labour et al calling RoI neanderthals, anti-feminist etc

    Best thing about DUP is they’re straight talking and pragmatic unlike moonhowler LibDems, SNP, Greens, Plaid Cuntu etc.

    I look forward to seeing them on BBC QT; 1 MP Greens was on again on Thursday.

  23. Ditching foreign aid is tactically stupid. The government has enough battles and skirmishes to get Brexit done without adding to their problems.

    I would give the the money to the Copenhagen Consensus, pointing out to everyone who will listen that they’ve already done the cost benefit analysis. Then I’d close down DFID, except for the guy who writes the cheque, and donate the saving to quell opposition.

  24. BiND – I dunno. Is it?

    Conventional wisdom suggests so, but then conventional wisdom is pants, as evidenced by the fact that Brexit and Trump happened. Of course the Graunibeeb would go mental, but turns out the majority of the public doesn’t actually give a rat’s arse for the media’s narrative.

    I reckon a semi-talented politician could easily make cutting foreign aid hugely popular. Serve up a few juicy examples of graft, waste and – most importantly – ingratitude, wheel out some relatively sympathetic British pensioners and homeless, and frame it as taking care of our own first. Easy peasy. It’s the kind of thing even Jim Hacker could pull off.

    However, we have Theresa May, a woman for whom the sad trombone sound effect was invented, so perhaps you are correct.

  25. The Inimitable Steve,

    “Of course the Graunibeeb would go mental, but turns out the majority of the public doesn’t actually give a rat’s arse for the media’s narrative.”

    I quit the Conservatives as an activist because I realised that other activists either don’t agree, or aren’t up for pushing their MPs to change their attitude. I’d foolishly thought maybe with ditching Cameron, there would be a change. But having spent time with them, there are almost no slashers in their ranks. They made some cuts because they had to. Not because of any philosophical desire to leave people with more wealth. They want a private sector to succeed so they can spend more money on everyone else. They don’t defend the tax cut because Why the Fuck Should People Hand Over Half Their Pay, but because of the laffer effects.

    And they are obsessed with how nice they appear. They do not grasp that Labour will always be nicer for the people who aren’t paying for it, or that for people on the border of tax and spending, Corbyn is offering a better deal because he’s promising to help house them (unaffordable and bollocks, but what are the Conservatives doing to help get a 35 year old into a house? Oh yeah, standing in fields with NIMBYs).

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