It’s a crucial week for the government. Theresa May’s long talked about deal is finally in the open, and now that people have seen it, they’re not too happy with it. We’re in the utterly surreal position where a government defeat of 40 is seen as a good thing.
Scarier three figure numbers have also been mooted.
Almost no-one, perhaps not even the Prime Minister, thinks it will pass. Almost no-one, perhaps not even the Prime Minister, thinks it is a Brexit.
What happens in the next week is going to shape our country. What do you think is going to happen? You can have up to three choices in the poll.
May’s deal fails
May’s deal passes after last minute Parliamentary wrangling
Beyond the first poll choice, which looks like so much a certainty that I can’t imagine any bookies are accepting bets on it now, I couldn’t even begin to predict.
I think a general election is a non-starter, as the parliamentary mathematics for it to happen don’t look remotely realistic. The DUP will continue to support the government in any vote of confidence, and even if one were called and lost this would not inevitably mean a general election. I’m pretty sure that it would require a 75% vote in the Commons to trigger an election. This could happen if May calls it voluntarily, but then once bitten and all that…
For the rest, I really haven’t a clue. Right now it feels as if pretty much anything could happen. Whatever happens will probably be shit though.
Do you reckon May is going to have the energy to proceed? She has spent two years in the job now, and by anyone’s standards, has fucked pretty much every bit of it up, from domestic security to calling elections she didn’t need to and crucially, failing to come up with a deal that either delivers Brexit or is better than Remain.
I think there’s a fair chance she’ll go after the vote, and if that happens, any incoming PM is going to want his or her own mandate.
One thing that should never be underestimated with May is her sheer pig-headedness - she’ll stagger on until she gets deposed, which may well happen before too long. That said, Rees-Mogg and his merry men have done a spectacularly feeble job of triggering a no-confidence vote thus far; this may change over the next couple of weeks though.
Should she face and lose a vote of confidence from her own party, rather than the Commons, then any successor will want to look very carefully at the polling figures and wonder whether his or her only act as PM will be to call a general election and then lose it.
Should she face and lose a no-confidence vote in the Commons then she’d obviously have to go as PM but not necessarily as Tory leader. Though in those circumstances I think even May would stand down as party leader, leaving the mother of all cluster-fucks for her successor. But I can’t see a no-confidence motion being tabled, let alone won.
True. This is something that even ms pap, who doesn’t maintain much of an interest, is keenly aware of.
Thing is, how does a government that can’t win votes retain the confidence of the party, or indeed, the country?
Mrs May has been given a helluva lot of leeway. I think we’ll both agree that it is almost unprecedented in our lifetimes. I can’t remember a PM treated so uncritically by the media after performing so poorly. Ever.
The supply and confidence arrangement with the DUP was considered cast-iron, but I don’t think she gets to rely on that anymore. Worse, with all the people she has managed to annoy, I don’t think she’ll even be able to count on the diminished pool of MPs in her own party.
The DUP have stated unequivocally that they will vote against the government on the EU deal, but will support the government in any vote of confidence. Not surprising I guess, as they’d rather be dealing with a feeble Tory government that’s beholden to them than with any government that isn’t, least of all a Corbyn-led Labour one. And Tory MPs will never vote against their own government in a confidence vote.
The confidence of the country means nothing in these circumstances, as it’s down to a vote in the Commons. The Tory party may decide to oust May, of course, but it’s a large step from obtaining 48 letters to securing 150+ votes. Not least because a lot of Tory MPs will almost certainly fear the alternatives more than they detest May.
The more I think about it, the more I think I should amend my statement about May leaving her successor with the mother of all cluster-fucks. She would, but if she struggles on she’ll have a minor variation of the same cluster-fuck to deal with.
Actually, that’s a very good point. Johnson very certainly would back himself against Corbyn or anyone else. Delusions of grandeur isn’t quite the term - delusions of adequacy comes closer.
It will be interesting to see (and my guess is that we will indeed see this) if Tory MPs are willing to vote for Johnson in sufficient numbers for his name to go through to the membership. If they do then he’ll be a shoo-in for the leadership, as said membership love him to bits. But given that an awful lot of Tory MPs hate his guts, he may stand no chance of getting that far. Much will depend on the other candidates and what they may have up their sleeves.
Thing is, it was never an impossible job. I think anything becomes an impossible job if the person doing the job can’t or won’t do it.
The problem with the post-poll process is Theresa May. Beyond getting into Number 10, probably with the help of her brief at the Home Office, she is not only entirely bereft of ideas, but she played the wrong cards at the wrong time.
She spent her first nine months in office being ordered around by Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, happy to be so because she thought they had more of a clue than she did.
She believed the press about the unelectability of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, and prosecuted the worst general election campaign I’ve ever seen. She made Michael Howard look good, FFS.
After the 2017 GE, any aspiration of delivering her Lancaster House was gone.
It really could have been different. In her position, I’d have done the following things day one.
Guaranteed the rights of all EU citizens resident in the UK as British citizens.
Started planning for no deal
A savvy politician would have done the same. It would have granted the UK the moral high ground and would have put us in a much stronger negotiating position throughout.
Instead, the EU has dictated terms throughout and ended up writing May’s withdrawal bill.
It was never impossible in the abstract. It was always impossible with her.