If there was ever an example of someone who should be careful what they wished for, one of those pretending to be a real journalist in the service of our free and fearless press just provided it. There should, an increasing number of them now claim, be the General Election to end all General Elections, a cathartic extruding of the poison that has found its way into our democracy. But they may not have thought this one through.
Yesterday afternoon, the odious flanneled fool Master Harry Cole, who is alleged to be the deputy political editor of the increasingly wayward Mail on Sunday, mused “There is a real feel of 2009 to this Parliament. The arrogance of the pre expenses crisis Commons has seeped back in a different form. 2010 election saw 150 stand down and scores lose their seats. Can’t help but feel like a similar clear out is coming down the line”.
Quite apart from the fact that he is imagining that so much changed in 2010, when the real shock came in 2015 as the Tories’ blatant overspending, together with the ascent of the SNP in Scotland, Master Cole is, as in the days when he was the tame gofer to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, not thinking this through.
Sky News’ veteran presenter Adam Boulton had the first of two answers which Master Cole may find inconvenient. “Elected MPs are using their mandates in conflicting ways in a hung parliament which still has up to 2 1/2 years on the clock. Political journalists and politicians who don’t respect that don’t understand elective democracy”.
Certainly Master Cole and his pals do not understand elective democracy, and nor do the hordes of pro-Brexit droids who infest Twitter and other social media platforms. But the second of the two answers that Cole will not want to hear has come from Wrexham’s Labour MP Ian Lucas. And it concerns the C-word, as in Corruption.
As he has pointed out, “[Boris] Johnson, [Michael] Gove and Dominic Cummings were the central characters in the Vote Leave campaign as, respectively, Campaign Committee member, Co-Convenor of the Campaign Committee and Campaign Director … Vote Leave broke the law in 2016, accepted by Vote Leave itself … Gove has admitted he knew of the payments giving rise to the electoral offences”. And there was more.
“Cummings has refused to give evidence to the DCMS Select Committee to explain his role in electoral offences. He was found to be in contempt of Parliament … Boris Johnson appointed Cummings as his political adviser and has refused, as Prime Minister, to direct Dominic Cummings to give evidence to the Select Committee. He is, thereby, obstructing a Parliamentary Inquiry … Gove is the Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office, the department with conduct of the Electoral Integrity Bill. He must make public his role in the Vote Leave Campaign”. That’s the kind of corruption involved.
So when Master Cole, and no doubt many more of those increasingly angry pundits, talks about the “arrogance” of the Commons, he should realise that there is no greater arrogance than that displayed by alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his pals - those who Cole and the rest of the Tory cheerleaders are backing.
He should be careful what he wishes for. Because he might just get it.
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