And a hearty Welcome Back to the Liberal Democrats

Talks about forming new “pro EU centrist party” reported at Westminster

Although given the current upchuck against it I wouldn’t want to be representing the standard views of the dimmer parts of the establishment myself.

31 thoughts on “And a hearty Welcome Back to the Liberal Democrats”

  1. The Inimitable Steve

    “A number of my colleagues would not feel comfortable in a party led by Andrea Leadsom,”

    They’re really going all-out to smear Mrs Leadsom, aren’t they?

    I hope she wins.

  2. The Inimitable Steve

    Ecksy – they’re so pants-shittingly desperate to stop Leadsom that I’m convinced there’s fuckery afoot.

    Smells like Vote Remain 2.0

  3. Bloke in North Dorset

    Meanwhile it looks like Labour are going to continue tearing themselves apart as the wet lettuce is going to challenge the wet fish. To add to the fun the wet fish may not even get on the ballot which will cause heads to explode over at Momentum.

  4. “Smells like Vote Remain 2.0”

    I would say even more so. The DT looks to be full “sink Leadsom” mode right now.

    Not sure it’ll have any effect, as I expect the members will prove to be even more independently minded than 17 million of us were last time.

  5. Philip Scott Thomas

    I liked this in the linked article:

    “The Conservative leadership, which is being congested [sic] by Theresa May, the Home Secretary who backed the Remain cause and Andrea Leadsom, a Brexit supporter, has become increasingly fractious.”

    Seriously, are there no proof-readers left at The Telegraph?

  6. “Smells like Vote Remain 2.0”

    Its exactly that. The same actors, the BBC, the papers, are in full on smear mode….

    And I think it will have the same outcome…

  7. ” they’re so pants-shittingly desperate to stop Leadsom that I’m convinced there’s fuckery afoot”

    Sure there is. They managed to get Leadsom as the most inexperienced and easiest to attack representative of Leave from those available. They are now going to do their very best to make her look stupid, inexperienced and incompetent. Then the consrvative party you trust it?

    I hope she wins too. I also hope she has the strength of mind and determination to see through what she needs to do. It won’t be easy.

  8. If Leadsom wins, I fear that brexit will be stymied, because up to 20 Tory MPs will either leave the party or defy its whips. So a Leadsom-led Tory party will no longer have a majority in the Commons. The only hope of getting brexit enacted is for the Tory party to cohere until the job is done. And the only one of two unprepossessing candidates who can unify the party is luke-warm remainer, May.

    Leadsom had the support of just 84 MPs out of 331. If the members put her in charge, she would be in a similar but worse position to Corbyn. She would be learning to be party leader and PM at the same time – without ever having had a major job in politics and without the support of a majority of her MPs.

    Some here (hello Ecksy) will say that May will do all she can to prevent brexit. But the evidence against that view is that she has stated she accepts the referendum result, is supported by key brexit figures like Fox, Grayling, Patel and David Davis, and is apparently going to appoint Davis as her chief brexit negotiator.

    Why do these leading brexiteers support May? They believe May can and will deliver brexit, because the electoral price of not doing so would be enormous, and because she can calm down the remainiacs in her party. On the other hand, Leadsom believes in brexit, but will not have much support among Tory MPs. She will antagonise the remainiacs and lose the party’s majority – on which brexit depends – which could easily result in another General Election, when the Remain would try to overturn the referendum result.

  9. Theo, you do have a way of forging a future to suit your preferences; if “up to 20 Tory MPs will either leave the party or defy its whips” – and that could be just 1 or all 20 – where will they go? Form the new pro-EU party threatened in the OP? Defy the whips – and then what?

    And so what? I’m more than a little sceptical about the whole ‘negotiations’ palaver anyway, not least the need at all. Why do we need great convocations of bureaucrats – just to keep them in the hotels to which they’ve become accustomed? It’s like some 17th century royal court, with viziers taking a cut off the merchants, when at the end of the day all we’d be doing is prearranging trade legislation for Parliament to introduce – resurrendering sovereignty before you’ve even got it.

    Perhaps the best thing about the referendum was that it wasn’t the futile choice of an election between candidates who differ only in their choice of ties, but a binary choice giving an opportunity to reject the status quo. The result predicates an inevitable rearrangement in politics, and it might be only after that that any meaningful Brexit can be achieved. So Theresa May’s ability to unite the Tory party carries little weight with me and that’s more than offset by her being dim, incompetent and authoritarian. Let MPs show their true colours and hopefully the electorate will reward them accordingly; the next sovereign Parliament will be able to pass its own legislation, and would have every right to revise any obligations from this Parliament.

  10. Nemo

    You miss the point. There are more than enough Remnant Tory MPs in the Commons to deprive the government of its majority, in which case article 50 might not be actioned. Only May stands a chance of keeping these people on board.

    If you imagine that Leadsom is not also dim, incompetent and authoritarian, you haven’t been paying attention to what she says. And she’s woefully inexperienced, too.

  11. Theo, I don’t think I sm missing the point, even if ramblingly failing to make my own. Perhaps being overseas I take a more macro view, but I see Article 50 negotiations as too much thicket in which villains can work their mischief at Britain’s expense; it should be little more than an accounting exercise of existing commitments but, whatever the scope, a sovereign Parliament will be free to legislate for itself. No Parliament should be able to bind its successor – debt mountains and Climate Change Act notwithstanding – so I see the next sovereign Parliament as of far more import than May v Leadsom.

    And I deliberately didn’t mention Leadsom because I know so little of her, but I do know of May and am firmly against promoting known miscreants. It never ceases to puzzle me how people can rationalise favouring known wrong ‘uns. It’s not a party-specific thing – what lingering affinity I had for the Tories evaporated with Dave’s ascendancy – so a plague on all their houses, and a Parliament elected sovereign can amend or repeal any legislation. It’s just a question of invoking Article 50 and the two years is a done deal Negotiations? Whatever.

  12. I tend to agree with Theo.

    I think May recognises that this is the future. If the Conservative MPs try and defy Brexit, there will be all-out revolt in their constituencies by either the people in the local association or the local voters.

  13. Theo–what charming naivete as Hitch would say.

    If 20 Tory MPs piss on the people of this country they will hopefully be de-selected or lynched. If they are such scum as to refuse to back the procedure that they were quite happy with when they thought that it was going to give them what they wanted all bets are off anyway. If May is so big on Brexit–and surely you jest–why would they not give her the same treatment? The only reason they are backing the Darling Dud is because they know she will give them the sell-out sabotage they want.

    “But the evidence against that view is that she has stated she accepts the referendum result,”

    And Herr Hitler has no more territorial ambitions in Europe.

    And if Grayling (one of the nastiest coves around and a bungler) etc are so big on Brexit why would they get in bed with such a gang of treachers and arseholes as their “fellow” MPs who will act to frustrate this nations clearly expressed will. Davis is a spent force in politics –capable of misjudgement as events have shown. Kissing May’s arse might be him seeing a possible way back to the centre of power. Is he above a sell-out for that? A big bet indeed.

    “Why do these leading brexiteers support May? They believe May can and will deliver brexit, because the electoral price of not doing so would be enormous, and because she can calm down the remainiacs in her party. On the other hand, Leadsom believes in brexit, but will not have much support among Tory MPs.”

    A contradiction–May is well in with treacherous remainers yet can still deliver Brexit– but those same treacherous remainers won’t support Leadsom–because why again Theo?

    How is a true Brexit delivered by the Fat-Arsed Flower any less despicable to the remainer Tory treachers than Brexit delivered by Leadsom?

    Aye–there’s the rub. Why should they be more on board with pissing on their putrid remainder selves under May’s leadership than Leadsoms?

    Because Fat-Arse has promised them a stitch up and either lied or bribed the supposed Brexit commandos. Davis is a polit– at the end of the day in both senses of that phrase– and he’s been out in the cold a long time. I have no doubt he could con himself that his interests co-incide with those of the Failed-Fishhead. Just this once.

    There would be a big electoral price–but how long does May have to go? A few years as treacherous PM and she still gets a better pension, the cash-based gratitude of the EU and some small kudos of having been PM for a short time. Even the Bottler can cash in on that a little. May will not suffer if BluLab are rousted to hell in 2020.

    Party members–Vote Leadsom and piss on Tory MPs. They will obey out of fear because they are dross.

  14. ” There are more than enough Remnant Tory MPs in the Commons to deprive the government of its majority, in which case article 50 might not be actioned. Only May stands a chance of keeping these people on board.”

    The only way an bungling trout like May can keep them scum (as Long John would put it) on board is to water Brexit to Homeopathic levels.

    The govt bangs in Article 50 without the support of these scum and promises that it will assist in the de-selection of any prick who so much as sneezes without permission. And arrange to confiscate their pensions.

    End of Tory revolt.

    There was a Tory revolt to try and save Britain’s mines I recall. How did that work out again?

  15. Oh, and Davis as chief Brexit negotiator would be good: I’d hope he’d be resistant to the blob merely subdividing, and so reduce the amount of subsequent untangling required.

  16. Nemo

    Article 50 – which is quite separate from any subsequent negotiations – can only be invoked if there’s a majority in Parliament. If there’s no Tory majority, it will probably not be invoked, nor the EEC Act (?) repealed. The opposition parties will have a field day. Only May stands any chance of uniting the Tory party to achieve brexit.

  17. Bloke in North Dorset

    “I think May recognises that this is the future. If the Conservative MPs try and defy Brexit, there will be all-out revolt in their constituencies by either the people in the local association or the local voters.”

    If Tory MPs don’t realise that any backsliding on Brexit will be handing their costituencies to UKIP they’re dimmer than I thought.

  18. Pro-EU AND centrist is an oxymoron. The median voter is a Leave voter. I should imagine you’d have to get quite far towards the 40th percentile before you’d find anyone who is explicitly “Pro-EU”; even amongst Remain. That’s not centrist.

    Kind regards,

    A dogmatic centrist.

  19. Andrea Leadsom is my choice.

    Good at one thing only: hiding.
    She has achieved nothing positive as Home Secretary and failed in many areas.
    She is too steeped in “more of the same” mindset to lead a country which voted to leave the EU.
    She is more Left wing than Blair or Blunket and believes in state control of the population.
    She has been, in Westminster politics too long and will owe & be owed too much to be honest.
    Her longevity as Home Secretary is due to Cameron’s preference of the left and fear of sacking useless women*
    May looks like a Labour politician: always unhappy, scowling and angry similar to Rudd, Soubray** etc.

    New to Westminster with no baggage or favours owed.
    No history as a Spad, or other politico.
    Appears to be happy, positive and optimistic.
    A much needed breath of fresh air when electorate has rejected the politics of the incumbent metropolitan elite political and media class.

    No surprise those same incumbent metropolitan elite political and media class have declared war on Leadsom as she is perceived to threaten their cosy incestuous lives.

    Leadsom no [Cabinet] experience claim is laughable. Blair & Cameron who manipulated and schemed for years within Westminster to become party leader had no cabinet experience.

    Cometh the hour, cometh the man


    *Cameron promoted the useless to make himself look better and sacked the competent (eg Gove & Paterson) as he feared them drawing attention to his weakness.
    ** BBC.EU.Referendum.Brexit.Reaction.160624.Anna.Soubray.Throws.Toys.Out.Of.Pram

    Funny: Ms Holly Nobrain

  20. Ecksy

    Some very nice rhetorical flourishes there, but I disagree.

    So you don’t trust Grayling and Davis, but what about Patel and Fox? If you are sceptical about all of them, what gives you such confidence in someone as naive as Leadsom?

    Leadsom has the support of only 84 MPs out of 331. She is widely seen as a lightweight with no coherent policy platform – a brexiteer but otherwise a Tea-Party-like authoritarian God-botherer. So she will have as much (or less) authority over her MPs as Corbyn does. Result: chaos. And probably another General Election, which would postpone brexit. Given Leadsom’s propensity for gaffes, she could lose that election…and then brexit would be in huge jeopardy.

    May has the support of 199 MPs. She has the experience and the authority to press at least some of the remainiacs to fall into line and action article 50. She can say to the remainiacs and doubters that she accepts the referendum result, so why can’t they? By contrast, Leadsom risks making the dissenters more determined.

    Only May stands a significant chance of actioning article 50. What happens after that depends on the pressure exerted by all brexiteers.

  21. Theo,

    I can’t work out what your agenda is?

    It does concern me that you are now claiming the unproven Mishcon de Reya possible challenge that “Article 50 cannot be invoked without a majority of Parliament” as fact?

    And are we really completely clear that there is more reality / chance of Remainers dissenting against Leadsom as there might be of Leavers dissenting against May? Putting your own preferences to one side for a second?

    Leadsom has said – wisely or otherwise – that whe will invoke Article 50 immediately, May has said she will not.

    Whether or not May’s decision is the better one strategically, Leadsom’s decision would be crucial. In that Brexit is a war, and that earlier vote was simply one battle.

    Invoking Article 50 would be a very significant battle in itself, hence the establishment currently doing whatever it can to destroy Leadsom / whoever is standing on the Brexit ticket.

  22. Theo, agreed re separation of invocation of Article 50 from negotiations – it’s central to my point. Once it’s invoked, in two years Britain’s independent and Parliament’s again sovereign. Of course there’s the small matter of actually invoking Article 50 – and Mishcon de Raya can Foxtrot Oscar – but timing relative to the next general election will be crucial: failure to implement will meet with a disgruntled electorate and, hopefully, party loyalties are now so diminished that voters will administer some long-overdue purgatives. If a subsequent government still fails to invoke Art. 50, then all bets are off and the head of state’s involvement becomes a strange possibility. Such an obvious affront to democracy couldn’t be allowed to stand; a new Parliament in 2020 unable to invoke would be inherently unstable, and Royal Prerogative’s not completely ancient – think Australia, 1975.

    From a devious Remainiac point-of-view, I’d delay Article 50 as long as possible, so the less the public see of the negotiations, the less they can hold those responsible to account at the election, and the careerists who’ve shown such blatant disdain for the public can maybe squeak through for another fixed term as a semi-detached part of the blob. How stable would you expect that to be?

  23. Eur In Trouble Now

    Was there a single day in the last week when Leadsom opened her gob without proving what a massive liability she is? And this muppet is supposed to negotiate with Europe?

    The alternative is a million miles from inspiring … but let’s get serious, people! These things matter!!

  24. Anon,

    I think you and Theo fail to address a critical point of the referendum: the massive disconnect between the self-deemed elite and the electorate that it displayed. It can’t go on forever and so will end, questions being ‘How?’ and ‘When?’ I don’t imagine a total collapse, so ‘how’ could be a smooth correction with a calm outcome, or an erratic affair, damaging as it contracts, or it could rebound to an opposite – say from supranational authoritarianism to national authoritarianism. ‘When’ comes down to how long those who outgrew their constituents continue as they are, and how long those constituents wish to be taken for mugs. The referendum result gives cause for optimism on the latter.

  25. EITN–So the media tell you. And you swallow.

    As for Theo–my guess is that he is trying to save the Tory party.

    A task that cannot be done. Indeed my additional guess would be that the middle class CM garbage of ZaNu and BluLab have far more in common with each other than with the British people and so they will join forces to form a new Party. The Scum party would be a good name.

    The Tory party–like ZaNu is finished–dead but not yet fallen over. As Indiana Jones’s Dad advised him re the Holy Grail–“Let it go”. And that was a priceless object. The Tory party is a tarnished turd box.

    Let it go Theo.

    Also you have failed to answer my point as to why remain MPs –quite willing to stab the expressed wishes of the British people in the back under Leadsom–should be willing to fall in line for a true Brexit under May. If they are so determined on treason what is the difference? May has no authority beyond a schoolmarm tone backed by zilch.

    The only logical reason for the difference is because they expect and trust May–one of their CM own–to deliver a homeopathic stitch up.

  26. PF

    I think it likely that article 50 will require parliamentary approval. Even if that is wrong, parliamentary approval will be needed to repeal the EEC Act or whatever it is called. In any event, a government without a working majority will be unable to achieve brexit, because it will fall and there’ll be another general election.

    May’s authority would rest not only on her experience but also on the perception that she is able to win elections – and so safeguard the seats of the resentful remnants. Leadsom might appeal to the core vote, but she’s a vote loser overall: IDS in drag.

    As for the Tory party, it is not safe to let it disintegrate until Labour is destroyed as the official opposition. The SNP have done part of the job. UKIP could finish it, but I fear that is unlikely without Farage at the helm.

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