After Brexit Secretary David Davis had pretended he was the victor in his meetings yesterday with Theresa May - he wasn’t - the briefing against the PM did not let up. She was guilty of alleged backsliding, Britain might never leave the EU under her watch, there needed to be a much more combative approach to these dastardly foreigners, all the usual delusion of grandeur was wheeled out. And then came an alleged leak.
An absolute Muppet. And Elmo from Sesame Street
London’s formerly very occasional Mayor Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, now inexplicably elevated to our very own comedy Foreign Secretary, had attended a reception at the Institute of Directors in central London, hosted by the Conservative Way Forward group, last heard of trying to explain away its role in the Tory bullying scandal. After the reception there was a dinner for an inner circle of just 20 people.
Here, Bozza held forth in characteristic style - bluster, pretence, misinformation and downright lying - with the whole shebang somehow covertly recorded and then released to the media. Now colour me sceptical, because I am sceptical, but there is no way that one of the select 20 attendees would have made the recording unless not just Bozza, but CWF, had given it their approval. It was not an accident.
The content of his outpourings shows exactly why the recording was leaked. We were “going to go into a phase where we are much more combative with Brussels” - that checks another box with hardline Brexiteers. He attacked Philip Hammond and the Treasury team: “That fear of short-term disruption has become so huge in people’s minds that it’s turning them all wet. Project Fear is really working on them”. Another Brexiteer box checked.
Bozza was “increasingly admiring of Donald Trump”. He was “convinced that there is method in his madness”. That one will please the Atlanticist right in the Tory Party - people like the disgraced former Defence Secretary Liam Fox, and indeed CWF.
The Irish border issue? You guessed it, that got rubbished too: “It’s so small and there are so few firms that actually use that border regularly, it’s just beyond belief that we’re allowing the tail to wag the dog in this way. We’re allowing the whole of our agenda to be dictated by this folly”. He knew this because he was Mayor of London, y’know.
“It’s the 21st century. You know, when I was mayor of London … I could tell where you all were just when you swiped your Oyster card over a tube terminal, a tube gizmo. The idea that we can’t track movement of goods, it’s just nonsense”. What if they don’t touch in?
It was all designed to achieve the same result as the bluster from David Davis - undermine Theresa May and make it easier for the Tory right to move on her if they think she is insufficiently enthusiastic about screwing the economy in pursuit of ideological purity.
So when one of those “friends of Bozza” told “This was a private dinner under Chatham House rules so it is sad and very disappointing that it has been covertly recorded and distributed to the media”, to that I call bullshit.
Bozza’s rant was recorded and leaked deliberately to undermine Theresa May, reinforcing her inability to sack the SOB. She’s too soft on the EU for CWF; hence their participation. And the Tory right still can’t do dirty tricks convincingly. No surprise there, then.