It’s Sunday, and there’s yet more crazy in the ever changing kaleidescope of crap which is British politics. Cabinet Minister Amber Rudd has announced her resignation from the cabinet and from the Conservative party, citing the fact that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a lying toad who’s hell bent on turning the Conservative party into a bunch of right wing populist English nationalists. Which the rest of us have already known for quite some time, but thank you for catching up, Amber. Next week Amber will write an anguished column for the Guardian in which she tells us of her shock on discovering that Elvis is dead.
What has prompted her resignation is her disgust at the treatment of her 21 former colleagues who were unceremoniously expelled from the party last week by her erstwhile boss. Never mind Brexit. Never mind people who fear for their medications, putting food on the table, or losing their sole source of income because of a no deal Brexit, 21 Tories have had to resign from the party. That’s the real tragedy here. Will no one think of Nicholas Soames.
But Amber is also concerned that she has seen little evidence that the government is actually working to get a deal. All she has witnessed behind the scenes is a government putting all its efforts into coping with a no-deal Brexit. This confirms what we’ve all known for ages. Lyin’ Bastert Johnson has no intention of getting a new deal from Brussels and is hell bent on a no deal exit in order to mop up the electoral threat from the Brexit party and ensure that he remains Prime Minister after a General Election. This is a revelation which is way up there with the news that Elvis is still dead.
But having been a bit churlish, let’s not be too churlish. Better late than never. Amber Rudd’s resignation is significant because it points to deep divisions running right through the heart of the Conservative party to its very highest levels, divisions which are not fixable. Politicians are used to internal party divisions. The greatest enemy of your average politician is another politician within his or her own party, not the opposition. However the Tory party is no longer capable of containing those divisions.
This is all the more striking because we are still in the early months of a new Prime Minister, one who has only faced the House of Commons for a week, and who in the normal run of things would still be enjoying a honeymoon period. At this stage in Theresa May’s leadership the Tory party were still hailing her as Thatcher 2.0. The meltdown of Lyin’ Bastert Johnson’s leadership within such a short period of time has led to serious questions about the future of the Conservative party. This is party whose leader is allowing speculation to mount that he might break the law because it’s a political inconvenience for him. Citing the will of the people as an excuse to break the law is the first rule in the despot’s playbook. The Johnson government is very quick to accuse Jeremy Corbyn of being like a South American dictator, but they’re the ones who are behaving in a dictatorial manner. The MPs who voted for the law that LBJ is considering breaking were elected by those people in whose will he cites.
On Sunday Dominic Raab, who always looks as though he’s fresh from a steroid rage at the gym during which he bit the head off a chlorinated chicken, took to the TV to inform us all that the Prime Minister is going to obey the letter of the law, but will “test its limits” as far as possible. Along the lines of, “Sorry officer, I wasn’t driving at 75 mph in a 20 mph zone, I was testing the limits.” Or, “No, I didn’t actually take cocaine, it was an inconclusive snorting event.”
His partner in not-a-crime-at-all, Sajid Javid, told Andrew Marr that the Government would of course obey the law, but would not ask for an extension to Article 50. He didn’t reply when asked how the Prime Minister not asking the EU for an extension to Article 50 counts as obeying a law requiring the Prime Minister to ask the EU for an extension to Article 50. Instead he waffled on about trying to get that deal that everyone knows that LBJ is making no serious attempts to get. It’s a bit like being asked whether you will obey the legal obligation to pay your taxes, and reply with an insistence that you are planning to build a spaceship to Mars made entirely out of Mars bars.
But then this is the Andrew Marr Show, expecting incisive political analysis from the Andrew Marr Show is like expecting bacon recipes from Peppa Pig. The same edition of the programme also blessed us with the insight that now that Ruth Davidson has resigned, the SNP can start to expect to win Scottish Conservative seats. No dear, the reason Ruth has resigned is because the SNP will be winning Scottish Conservative seats.
Meanwhile the Herald today has a headline proclaiming that the Scottish Conservatives have revolted over the Prime Minister’s handling of Brexit. Revolt is a strong word here, like describing an almost inaudible sigh as a howl of outrage. What this revolt actually boils down to is Jackson Carlaw asking nicely for the party whip to be restored to the 21 Conservative MPs it was withdrawn from last week. Jackson is more concerned about the careers of Conservative MPs than he is about a no-deal Brexit. There’s the Scottish Conservatives there with their finger on the pulse of what’s really important. His fellow MSP Adam IT’S THE LAW Tomkins has tweeted that laws shouldn’t be broken. But he doesn’t say what he’d do about it if the Prime Minister does just that. Sigh again, probably. This so-called Scottish Tory rebellion is not exactly Spartacus and his army being crucified on the Appian Way, is it. If you’re waiting for the day when the Scottish Tories rebel in Scotland’s interests and lie down in front of LBJ’s car on the A92 as he’s on his way to a photo op with a fishmonger, you’ll die of old age first.
However the truly gobsmacking thing here is that despite the complete meltdown of the Government, despite the fact that it is led by a blatant liar who is manifestly unfit for the job, the Conservatives are still well ahead in opinion polls asking about voting intention in the coming General Election. In Scotland on the other hand, the Tories are facing a potential extinction level event. A poll of Conservative constituencies in Scotland suggests that the Tories are likely to lose every single one of them as the SNP sweeps the board. Never have Scotland and the rest of the UK been so politically estranged from one another. This is not a sustainable situation.
Everywhere you look in British politics the chasms loom ever larger. Something has to give. If Scotland is ripped out of the EU against its will, it will be the end of the UK.
My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.
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