A Tory vote of self-preservation

It has now been announced that the Prime Law-breaker will have to face a confidence vote Sir Graham Brady, chair of the back bench 1922 committee made the announcement on Monday morning after reports in the Sunday Times that the threshold of 54 letters to the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee had already been exceeded. Although Johnson was informed on Sunday evening, the committee chair chose not to make the news public over the jubilee weekend. Which is a shame, after all did the British nationalists not keep on telling us that this jubilee weekend was all about bringing joy to the nation? Johnson’s humiliation is the only thing that would have put a smile on the faces of many of us.

The move to oust Johnson comes as Conservative MPs are growing increasingly nervous about the two by-elections due to be held later this month. An opinion poll at the weekend showed that the Conservatives set for a devastating defeat in Wakefield, one of the so-called “red wall” seats that the Tories took from Labour at the December 2019 General Election which were key to Johnson winning the largest Conservative majority since the Thatcher era. Despite him being hailed by the party as the all-conquering hero, his manifest character flaws have proven to be his undoing and he now faces being kicked out of the office of PM after occupying it for an even shorter period of time than Theresa May.

The fact that Johnson is in this position despite winning a huge majority just over two years ago is testament to his gross unsuitability for high office

Perhaps the moment when it became clear even to Johnson loyalists that public toleration of his carefully constructed tousled shtick had worn out was when he was booed by the crowd outside St Paul’s cathedral on Friday when he and his wife arrived for the religious highlight of the jubilee proceedings, the ritual sacrifice of Nicholas Witchell to Succup, the god of sycophancy. In a sign that Succup had not lost his malign power over the BBC despite the fact that Nicholas Witchell remains alive and well, David Dimbleby, who presented the event for the state broadcaster, and who went into long and tedious detail about every aspect of the service, quickly skipped over the loud boos which greeted the arrival of Johnson, even though this was for many of us the only remotely interesting thing that happened.

The union flag waving crowd gathered outside the cathedral was composed largely of the kind of people who have fully bought into the myths of British exceptionalism. They were likely to be disproportionately those who would have been happy to put their X next to a Conservative candidate’s name on the ballot paper. If Johnson is being booed by union flag waving monarchists who are sold enough on the notion of British nationalism to pitch up outside St Paul’s in hope of catching a brief glimpse of some minor royal, he is likely to be even less popular with the public at large. The only way that Johnson could have avoided being the least popular guest in attendance would have been if Prince Andrew had turned up with a teenage girl wearing a T-shirt saying Pizza Express Woking No Sweat. However the Prince had very conveniently tested positive for covid, and so was a no-show, possibly he’s more susceptible to it because he can’t sweat.

However some Conservative MPs who want to unseat Johnson are keen are concerned that there is no clear successor in sight and wanted to give challengers more time to organise their campaigns. Although 54 letters of no confidence were required to trigger a leadership contest, and that number has been exceeded, 180 MPs will have to vote against him in the no- confidence vote due to be held on Monday evening. Those opposed to Johnson are not at all certain that they have the necessary numbers. Today Johnson and his allies have embarked on a concerted campaign to save him. He is fully prepared to use every dirty trick at his disposal in order to stay in power.

If Johnson survives the vote, party rules dictate that he would be safe from further leadership challenges for another year. Johnson has already made it clear that he has no intention of resigning and would not step down even if the vote showed that he no longer had the support of a significant swathe of his MPs. In the Conservative leadership ballot of 1990, Margaret Thatcher won the first round of voting, securing the votes of 204 Tory MPs against the 152 who voted for her challenger Michael Heseltine, however despite originally vowing to fight on Thatcher was forced to acknowledge that she had lost the support of a large number of Conservative MPs and announced that she was withdrawing from the contest.

There is little prospect of Johnson doing the same. However I would be sad to see him leaving Downing Street like that. I’d like to see him being dragged out in handcuffs. Johnson will try to cling to power even if he wins by a single vote. Thatcher was a vile, evil and heartless woman, but she cared about the Conservative party. Johnson is a vile, evil and heartless man. He doesn’t care about the Conservative party, he only cares about himself, now the Tories who put him in power in full knowledge of his many character flaws are worried that those same character flaws might damage them and their careers, they were not too worried about what damage might be done to everyone else and to democracy in Britain when they thought that Johnson was a vote winner for them.

The most likely possibility is that Johnson survives today’s vote but is seriously damaged by it, however he will try and cling on and in the process ensure that for months to come the sole focus of the British government will be to ensure Johnson’s survival. In the meantime we can expect more hideous right wing British nationalist populist measures like the disgraceful Rwanda policy, designed to appeal to the Brexit supporting union flag wavers.

It’s important to remember that today’s vote is not about holding Johnson to account, it is about saving the Conservative party from the consequences of its deceit and mendacity and finding a new leader who can secure Conservative rule. It is not an example of British democracy in action, it is a symptom of the failure of British democracy. Even if Johnson is finally replaced, which is most likely to come after months of Conservative internal wrangling, whoever does eventually replace him will still be complicit in the the corruption, scandal and economic vandalism that defines Johnson’s government.

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59 comments on “A Tory vote of self-preservation

  1. Dr Jim says:

    Confidence? really? is that what they pretend this is?

    The most successful liar of a Tory leader in modern times, Boris Johnson now comes under judgement by his own team of successful liars, those MPs and MSPs will be asked on camera and radio interview if they support or not support the liar in chief of their party, most will say yes they support him implicitly and unreservedly then later today they will vote secretly to remove him, and if they win they will admit they did that, if they lose they will deny they did it

    The most important thing for Scots and Scotland to remember and learn from this historical yet ever increasing event in the Tory party machinations is that we can do nothing about it, the people in Wales can do nothing about it, in Northern Ireland they are also powerless of any involvement in the processes of the government of the UK as elected by the voters in and of England

    In Scotland we don’t particularly care for liars and tend either not to vote for them or remove them where we have the power to do so, but of course this is English politics in England where we Scots have zero authority and zero agency, our glorious media in Scotland will talk a lot about it, they’ll interview people in the street about it in some sort of pretence that somehow we’re involved, but of course they know like we should know it matters naught what we think because we have as much say as a person in Jamaica or some other British colony somewhere very far away

    England likes liars, they keep voting for them over and over again, because in England as long as you sound apologetic about anything after you’ve lied about it a magical air of forgiveness waves over the people of that country only to be followed by them doing the same thing all over again and expecting a different result and still we in Scotland gaze on impotently watching our future being decided by another country, because as much as the British unionists like to describe the British isles as one country one nation, we bloody well aren’t, and that’s another giant lie to con the people of Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland into thinking we count in this thing, we bloody well don’t

    The only folk in Scotland who deeply desire Boris Johnson and the Tories to remain in control of Scotland are those who believe he is the only man and they are the only party who can prevent Scottish independence because they will refuse to recognise democracy just like in England where they really don’t care for democracy, they prefer power controlled by people who tell lies pretending to be a democracy or they wouldn’t enjoy the privileged title of being known as subjects to an unelected undemocratic historically wealthy family

    One again the debacle at Westminster proves Scotland doesn’t count

    *Long to reign over us*, bear that in mind when you do get a chance to make your vote count

  2. yesindyref2 says:

    Apparently there is a second version of his 3 page letter to MPs, which goes like this:

    MPs should support me because me and my Government took tough but responsible decisions during the pandemic to have as many parties as we wanted with booze and karaoke and food and all that, and have stuck our fingers up at the European Union. Bluddy furriners.

    From reducing social care to striking an economic and migration partnership with Rwanda so we get rid of refugees and charge the stupid public for it, we have shown time and again we can be trusted to deliver bold and cruel solutions to difficult and longstanding problems that interfere with our personal wealth-gathering.

    Over the next few weeks, Rishi and I will be setting out all the way in which we will be using Conservative lack of principles to take advantage of the citizens of the UK to stuff our pockets and drive growth in our hedge funds.

    We will cut the costs of government. We will increase the costs of business. And we will cut the food of families up and down the country. Obesity should be tackled by starvation of the masses!

    By throwing them under the bus, we will deliver above all on what we were elected to do in 2019 – uniting and levelling up for all Tory MPS, the poorest with the richest, with high wage high skill jobs across the whole Tory party.

    We can do it, but it will need all our collective resolve to help our party through what will be difficult months ahead as more and more people realise the unpricipled self-interested pocket-stuffing low-lives we are.

    I know that under recent months I have been to a lot of parties, same as during the rest of lockdown, and I know that experience has been boozy and vomit-inducing for the whole party. Let the cleaners clean up our mess!

    But I cannot stress too much that we have a golden chance to put this behind us now, and have a load more public funded parties in Downing Street.

    With your support and your votes for me me me, I believe that tonight we have a great prize within our grasp. Let the good times roll on! And on and on and on!

  3. An excellent summation as usual.

    I expect him to win narrowly and limp on, further demeaning the office and England on the world stage. Will also highlight to Scots how undemocratic the UK is when such an unpopular PM who lacks support from a large section of his own party can keep on acting like a tin pot dictator.

  4. Hamish100 says:

    ..and bbc radio Scotland turn to the Union Jack clad sole labour MP as shadow Secretary of State for Scotland for advice and guidance. BBC Scotland believe only labour in britnat garb can save the union if the Tories can’t.

  5. Bob Lamont says:

    Indeed a well timed piece, coming as it does at the end of the flag-shagathon which was supposed to be about the staying power of oul Liz, who despite everything many have a deep respect for – A holographic projection on the windows of the gold coach in procession said it all really, an Austin Powers/Spice girls remix with a touch of pomp and circumstance, yet all of it upper class illusion.

    Back on topic, I was surprised to read the content of this https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2022/06/06/the-only-way-to-end-this-misery-is-to-remove-boris-johnson-as-prime-minister/ on Richard Murphy’s blog early doors, but could not help think that’s exactly the sort of strategy Johnson would deploy and circulate knowing he had the numbers in Parliament in the bag to survive unchallenged (by the Tories) for another year.
    UK politics has ceased to be about public service, it is more about “servicing” the public

    EG – Look at the BBC machinations
    – “Ministers urge Tory MPs to back Boris Johnson in leadership vote” with comments open for the UK
    – “Douglas Ross has not called for Boris Johnson confidence vote” from the BBC in Scotland, their only article with comments open being “Train drivers’ union hopeful of ScotRail dispute settlement”.

    They really do think we are that thick at HMS James Cook that we cannot see what they and the Scotland Office are doing, a greater danger to democracy than dePfeffel Johnson ever was or will be.

    • The video of her taking tea with Paddington bear summed up how close the UK is to its end. Talk about bread and circuses.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Indeed so. My US friends were gushing over the Paddington Bear nonsense to my considerable surprise.
        It does however ably demonstrate the power of illusion, Green screens have replaced reality and Disney are in charge…

      • They should have done a sketch where the Queen meets Virginia Giuffre for tea and pulls a brown envelope with £12m in it out of her handbag.

        • Dr Jim says:

          This is 2022, Paddington bear is a Peruvian foreigner, he wouldn’t have got a visa to get into England and if caught trying to would’ve been deported orf to Rwanda and never got near the Queen or Buck Hoose

  6. grizebard says:

    What I found particularly striking was, at first hearing, an apparently throwaway comment by Dorries the other day on the lunchtime news of the English Home Service. She defended BoJo by pointing out the dangers (for the Tories) of a general election coming from “Labour and the SNP”. Usually you just get “Labour” from these people and everyone else roundly ignored, so the (entirely unprompted) addition of “the SNP” immediately made my ears prick up.

    But it happened again today, from another ministerial apparatchik defending BoJo. “Labour and the SNP”. So whatever others might think, the Tories are clearly getting very nervous of an eventual UKGE, and not least the SNP’s likely role in it.

    • https://archive.ph/y8zO3

      Boris Johnson touts ‘SNP coalition’ threat as he begs for Tory MPs’ support

      Can’t have the jocks getting a say in running the UK. No no no!

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “…the Tories are clearly getting very nervous of an eventual UKGE, and not least the SNP’s likely role in it.”
      For “role in it” read role in it’s aftermath should for any reason IR2 be delayed – Right now there is expectation of a GE to coincide with IR2, the London manipulators are really that desperate to prevent either IR2 or SNP becoming king-makers.

      • grizebard says:

        Indeed. It’s an interesting dilemma for the Tories. Go for a “scupper IR2” UKGE and give “Sturgeon” a legally-enforced national platform at a time when IR2 is full-frontal, and in effect make the election a referendum-by-proxy whose outcome for Scotland no-one could possibly ignore? While simultaneously risking substantial losses in England, just as happened with May back in 2017? Except that this time there won’t be an SNP dip in the wake of indy divisiveness over the EURef, and as you allude, Starmer might really need to do a deal or lose all credibility.

        They’re all afraid, very afraid, of the SNP now. And it shows.

    • Drew Anderson says:

      They use the same tactic during the 2015 UKGE, grizebard:

      https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://amp.theguardian.com/politics/2015/mar/09/tory-election-poster-ed-miliband-pocket-snp-alex-salmond&ved=2ahUKEwibyr6vn5n4AhX2hP0HHYBkCE0QFnoECBAQAQ&usg=AOvVaw06k4U2i2GYaK9n-uSxZk7v

      Cameron got a 5 seat majority, when a hung parliament was expected. The poster of Ed Milliband in Alex Salmond’s was used extensively in England, if perhaps not here.

      • Drew Anderson says:

        Alex Salmond’s *pocket*

      • Legerwood says:

        Perhaps it was not used here in the 2015 GE because Mr Salmond was no longer party leader or FM. That just shows you how much attention they pay to Scotland down there. Even a day or so before the election Nick Gleg was still spouting about Mr Salmond as if he was still leading the SNP. But then Mr Salmond was more of a bogeyman at that time than Ms Sturgeon so they had to pretend he was still in place.

        • Drew Anderson says:

          I’m sure they (the Saatchi agency that came up with it) were well aware that there was a new FM.

          I don’t think Nicola Sturgeon had much of a profile, out with Scotland, at the time. Alex Salmond certainly fitted the bill as a bogeyman figure for the true blues; he was also standing in that Westminster election.

      • grizebard says:

        Aye, I remember that well. It was a re-run of a previous version that had David Steel in David Owen’s breast pocket (or v-v, I forget).

        The difference of late has been Nicola Sturgeon, whose popularity in England during one of the later UKGE’s was notable, with some saying “can’t we vote SNP? – we’d rather like to have her running things here!”.

        She has been a bogeywoman for Unionists here, but only in England to the (significant) extent of general ignorance of what she’s about. When she gets exposure as in a GE, the result is if anything positive for the SNP. So that particular tactic has possibly passed its sell-by date.

        Except with the Tory Party leadership, of course!

  7. Capella says:

    Posted this on the previous thread but it seems appropriate here. BBC R Scotland has just announced that they approached the Scottish Conservatives for comment but no-one was available. so the answer to my question s still NO. Douglas Ross must surely have to resign too.

    Has Douglas Ross emerged from his cave today? Not heard any interviews. Surely his Scottish flock (of sheep) will need guidance.
    Pressure on Douglas Ross as Scottish Tories slam Boris Johnson

    DOUGLAS Ross is facing fresh pressure to go against Boris Johnson in the upcoming confidence vote as one of his fellow Tory MSPs has said he wouldn’t back the PM.
    A crunch vote on whether or not Johnson will remain as leader of the Tory party, and Prime Minister, is set for between 6pm and 8pm on Monday.
    Ahead of the vote, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has remained silent on the issue – instead tweeting about the Platinum Jubilee.

    https://archive.ph/RbWgC

  8. Alex Clark says:

    I’m not so sure that Johnson will win the vote tonight, other than those who rely on him for their positions in government I don’t believe he has much personal support at all. You know, people who actually like him and are willing to support him are likely pretty thin on the ground.

    The fact that it is a secret vote means there will be those that say in public they are supporting him but will actually vote to get rid of him, after all, it’s the type of thing he does all the time. Whatever the actual final numbers of tonight’s vote are I’m saying that this is the end of the road for Johnson and he will not be leader of the Tories at the next election. The end is nigh.

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, I’m inclined to agree. There was an evident sea change in mood among Tory MPs after they came back from their constituencies recently. The very public booing the other day may have also registered. For them, winning is all, and waning confidence in leader brings eventual merciless despatch. Never mind the morality, it’s all about survival. It’s the one law of Tory nature that even this master of escapology (both personal and political) can’t avoid for ever.

  9. Capella says:

    I think he may win narrowly. He bullies the Tories into supporting him by claiming to be a winner and they depend on him for their seats. Plus – who on earth would replace him! I believe the Tories are so craven that they will hesitate to ditch him. But, even if he does win, he will certainly be damaged and that suits us very well.

    Of course, I would much rather he loses and we can all enjoy the race for the succession.
    It’s win-win really.

  10. Blundell voted against Johnson. 🙂

    From ‘up in Elgin’ or somewhere.

  11. Dr Jim says:

    Johnson uses Nicola Sturgeon as his terrifying Scottish threatening bogeywoman as he pleads with his fellow partygaters to keep him in his place, *back me or face the Scottish threat of manipulation of the wee Labour mannie and Sturgeon shall rule England* says Johnson

    • It’s the classic ‘Do you really want blacks / muslims / Scots / Irish / Welsh / whatever running England?’ approach.

      • Dr Jim says:

        They are a scream aren’t they, they accuse every nationality creed and colour on earth of being anti English then when the chips are down they openly admit it’s England who are anti everybody

  12. Dr Jim says:

    Some news filtering through that this whole vote of confidence debacle is actually a put up job by the Tory party to vote themselves back into public confidence

  13. Alex Clark says:

    Will anyone ever notice that the Tory’s anti-corruption Tsar has resigned?

  14. Alex Clark says:

  15. James says:

    211 for 148 against, he will be gone within a month

    • In past times, you’d have thought so. But he’s a budding Putin or Lukashenko. Standing down is not something that would ever cross his mind.

      • James says:

        Then he will be removed against his will. It was only the payroll vote that kept him safe and they will soon be peeled away by the challengers for his job.

        I’m sure in the next day or so he will be told in the next day or so that he resigns or the 1922 committee will change the rules so that there can be another VOC (or they will leak something so damaging that even he cannot survive)

    • Capella says:

      Ha ha ha – he’s “SAFE” for another year – or 6 months maybe. All good from our pov.

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        As you said previously, win-win, Capella.

        And to cap it all, my nation goes to the World Cup for the first time in over 60 years.

        Whoop!

        • Capella says:

          Result! Good for Wales – a team we can cheer on with conviction. What a weekend you’re having WS!

          • Welsh_Siôn says:

            Put it in your diaries now:

            England will take on Wales on 29 November 2022 at the Al Rayyan Stadium in Doha. The game will kick off at 19:00 UK time.

            And then there’s the small matter of St Andrew’s Day the next day.

            I can imagine you lot whooping it up that weekend if we stuff the Anglos! (Hope you don’t mind if I join you if we do …)

            • Capella says:

              St Andrews Day is my birthday WS. I trust Wales will make it a day to celebrate. 😂

              • Welsh_Siôn says:

                How lucky is that? You were born an indeoendista for Scotland!

                I hope we can arrange something for you and other like-minded Scots in Qatar …

                It tends to impress a lot of Parisians that I was born in the middle of May ’68, too! As well as being kissed on the lips by Simone de Beauvoir when I was a toddler. 😀

                • Capella says:

                  Now that’s a claim to fame! De Beauvour is one of my earliest influencers. But you are a mere boy – I remember May ’68 well – a year of revolutions.
                  Just tell the Welsh team that Capella’s birthday celebration depends on their success. That should ensure a win 🙂

            • yesindyref2 says:

              Ireland had “Give It A Lash Jack” in 1990, what will Wales have?

              “For the red and gold Lion, Ryan” maybe?

              • Welsh_Siôn says:

                Despite Joe Jordan, 1977, Anfield and aw’ tha’ … I can still remember singing ‘Ally’s Army’ in the bath in 1978.

                Ah … the innocence of a 10 year old boy ….

                • yesindyref2 says:

                  Yes, I was at Anfield since I found the match wasn’t on TV at about 2 and rushed to Euston in my suit. Liverpool belonged to me that night!

                  Some penalty eh …

  16. Alex Clark says:

    In just over two weeks he will lose two by-elections and there will be some then who will wish they voted for him to go tonight.

    • grizebard says:

      They won’t be the first to have “buyer’s regret”. His entire life is littered with a trail of such.

      (Though in the by-elections, perhaps one loss, one win on a much-tanked FPTP majority with the LibDem challenger on a strong tactical vote. Same thing really, though. But if it’s two losses, big oopsie… )

  17. Tories had notably more confidence in Theresa May.

  18. yesindyref2 says:

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    (breathes)

    hahaaaahahahhaa

  19. Capella says:

    Whither DRoss? He’s not often right but he’s wrong again. Will he resign?
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-61711771

  20. Random fact of the day. Tenerife flag is the saltire.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Tenerife

  21. Alex Clark says:

    Johnson still as smug as ever.

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