The new conventional Westminster wisdom is that it is now the Tory Party which is wanting a General Election, and all the various Rotten Lefties™ who are running scared of the abundant charisma (ho ho ho) of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his chief polecat Dominic Cummings. Except it’s not true.
We have been told for weeks now that Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn, is the party that is putting a roadblock before the Will Of The People™, that Jezza and his pals are the ones wanting to Delay Brexit™. But when Tory chairman James Cleverly appeared before the inquisition of the host on The Andy Marr Show™ today, we could see that wasn’t true.
The Lib Dems and SNP were looking to bring forward a one line bill which would approve a General Election, with the only proviso that No Deal was taken off the table while the campaign took place. What was not for the Tories to like? Off went the spin siren.
“[The] bill is clearly a gimmick. Their bill moves the election date by three days, takes the Withdrawal Agreement completely off the table, and if really they want to vote for an election they can vote for the bill that we put forward”. Oh, and Look Over There: “We’ve not been the ones that have called for a General Election 35 times. It’s the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn”. So what? And, indeed, Marr said just that. Twice.
Then Cleverly let it slip. “And the point that we’ve made is the sequencing and timing that we’ve put forward will see us delivering Brexit with a deal, which is what many many people claimed was completely impossible and also has a General Election so that we can get a sustainable working majority to deliver on the priorities the British people tell us about”. So he does not expect the Tories to win a General Election.
Not with a working majority, anyway. How can I be so sure? Well, if the Tories did win with a working majority, they could get their Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament, no ifs, no buts, no need to depend on the DUP, Labour rebels, or anyone else. The sequencing that Cleverly describes has one implication: they don’t expect to get a majority.
Otherwise, with the prospect of that majority and the ability to deliver Bozo’s Brexit bonanza, why object? Why blame Labour, when there is the prospect of seeing off Jezza? That’s not for the Tory chairman, who would rather waffle on about “we are saying this Withdrawal Agreement Bill which codifies the agreement that’s been made with the EU and capitals around Europe can go through”. Get your majority, then.
He’s droning on about “the Prime Minister has already laid out a timetable whereby we get the Withdrawal Agreement Bill through so we can leave with a deal like we said we wanted to, like we’ve always said we wanted to, and also give the British people the election that I think they recognise that parliament needs”, and claiming to be a democrat, while shooting down anyone who suggests there should be a confirmatory referendum to settle matters.
Either way, James Cleverly doesn’t make sense. Everyone else is blocking Brexit bar him and Bozo. Even when they offer him and Bozo the General Election that would bring them the majority they and their press pals are claiming they would win.
It’s almost as if the Tories are frit of the voters. I’ll just leave that one there.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at