Exclusive: EU(W)/Henry VIII is Tories’ oldest trick – don’t fall for it


Earlier today the SKWAWKBOX revealed the abstainers who are the real culprits on the Labour side with regard to last night’s ‘EU (Withdrawal) Bill’ (EUWB) – formerly known as the ‘Great Repeal Bill’, followed by an interview with veteran Labour left-winger Dennis Skinner, in which the Bolsover MP gave his perspective on the vote and the reasoning behind his decision.

Now, in its third exclusive of the day the SKWAWKBOX can reveal, thanks to an interview with a senior Labour source, that the miner-turned-MP’s reading of the situation was more accurate than that of his critics – and what the Tories’ game really is when it comes to the EUWB: more ‘divide and conquer’.

The source told the SKWAWKBOX:

This is an old Tory trick – one that they are very good at: tie something unreasonable to something very reasonable and dare you to vote against it.

They are masters at it. So instead of a Parliamentary Bill of £208 billion to blow on a submarine with missiles that don’t work – they’ll introduce a ‘Maritime Defence Bill‘ supposedly safeguarding the realm.

And they’ll introduce it the day after a terror attack to make you seem evil and reckless for voting against it. This Great Repeal Bill is exactly the same.

The basic purpose of the Bill is to follow through on the Referendum. But to play their trick, they insert a clause that has the potential to be abused even though no government would dare do so.

Having dangled the bait, they sit back and pray that Labour will take the bait and vote against it.

Then they can use their media pals to tell everyone that a) Labour voted against the will of the people and b) that Labour is divided and untrustworthy while claiming May is strong and the Tories are united.

The oldest trick in the Tories’ book is ‘divide and conquer’ – their ability to split good people right down the middle…..

In Ireland, India, among the English working class, all across the globe – divide-and-conquer. It’s what the Tories do and too many people are still falling for it.

The SKWAWKBOX’s source appears to be right, as knives have come out for Skinner and wild comments are flying around.

The Tories, meanwhile, having lit the blue touch-paper, are now lighting a cigar and sitting back to enjoy the show.

Don’t play their game.

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    1. Stolen from my CLP Chair:

      “To be clear, this is a record of last night’s votes:
      – Division 13: that an amendment be made to the government’s EU withdrawal bill. Ayes: 296; Noes: 318. Dennis Skinner voted Aye.
      – Division 14: that the EU withdrawal bill be read a second time (i.e. sent to committee). Ayes: 326; Noes: 290. Dennis Skinner voted Aye.
      – Division 15: stipulating how long committees have to examine each clause of the bill. Ayes: 318; Noes: 301. Dennis Skinner voted No.
      Skinner voted in favour of the Labour amendment to the bill, in favour of the bill being sent to committee, and against the deadline for committees.”

  1. No government would dare to do so?
    Of course they would. I understand what Skinner did but it was still a massive risk to take. Are you really prepared to risk democracy on the chance you are right?

  2. He’s a wily arl’ fox, is Dennis.

    I’m not gonna criticise him for this – for now, anyway. (Hence no post on the previous thread) I can’t be certain, but is it not possible he’s giving the other bastards enough rope to hang themselves with? This is only the first vote, is it not? We’re told this is a ‘power grab’ yet we’re in the embryonic stage, I believe.

    Yes, maybe it IS about the will of the people (RE: brexit) for Dennis.

    What follows about the democratic process(es) once we’re out will be a different kettle of fish, and if this post-brexit power grab is still as obvious after the next round I fully expect Dennis will be shouting spite AND voting against in future.

    The people will see through it once things become clearer. In the meantime I’ll direct my displeasure at the likes of field & flint…Don’t let them distract you from what’s what…Look at what they’re about before turning on someone principled enough to be worthy enough of being an MP.

    Remember, Dennis tells the tories how it is and gets kicked out the commons for it. The rest of them are drinking in the commons bars with the feckers – And even collaborating with them in focus groups & think tanks…

    Praising Laura Pidcock, but castigating Dennis (For something that’s not even been passed yet; and in my opinion is unlikely to get much further) seems a tad churlish.

    Come on people – give him the benefit of the doubt, eh?

    Jus’ sayin’…

  3. They were successsful with divide and conquer and Dennis helped them by going against the majority of his party as did those who also voted with the Tories and abstained.

    The excuses are coming after the vote This should have been said and debated within the Labour Party , if genuine, before it took place.
    Why wait until afterwards ?

    Labour were very clear it was not a vote aganst Brexit but aganst the Tory attempt to take control of new laws.

    Now It just seems like an excuse for splitting the party. Dennis should know better than to give the Tories ammunition like that.


  5. It’s not just the Tories who do this, either. Labour used exactly this tactic at conference last year when they dangled the carrot of policy-making powers at Women’s conference against adding Scottish and Welsh seats to the NEC.

    1. Very true Kathy, but that was the NU labour Blairite basXXtrds that did that trick. The premise of the article is spot on re Tories divide and conquer .They have, as a political party , successfully transplanted their schism in their party over the EU onto the ENTIRE nation and spilt us down the middle . We now have good people on both sides at each other over this and it’s all down to the INSANE swivel eyed right-winger nut jobs in the TORY party and that twat Farage .

      1. They will use the powers if they get them. It’s naive to believe otherwise. Look at what they’re doing to the composition of parliamentary committees. Making Labour look split is a bonus, it takes the heat off them, but it’s not the main aim.

  6. This issue seems to be being presented as an either or position. On past evidence it is not credible to argue that a Government, particularly a Conservative and Unionist one, would not use the Henry VIII powers once such a bill is passed. The most recent blatant clue being the Conservative and Unionist Government’s attempts to ensure all the Committee’s have a Conservative and Unionist majority. It is therefore, on the balance of probability, likely the Government are playing the divide and conquer game AND intending to take advantage of the powers they are seeking with this Bill.

    The logic of the argument presented by this site so far is that such clauses have only been introduced to divide the opposition. On that point it has certainly worked as those who voted for it, including Dennis, have walked right into it. How many times have we seen legislation go through on the basis of the argument ‘don’t worry, we will put some amendments in and neuter it further down the Parliamentary process.’. Only to see the main thrust of bad legislation survive on the back of a few tame amendments.

    As Thomas Clarke over at the Another Angry Voice blog argued a few months back you cannot argue to leave an undemocratic entity in favour of an equally undemocratic entity – the EU single market for the UK one – and expect to be taken seriously. And that is where we are.

    The facts and the reality are that the vote on this Bill, after the amendments fell the other night, was NOT, as Dennis argued, about leaving the EU. He has got that 100% wrong. It was about what powers the Government will have once we have left. Dennis is that concerned with maintaining consistency he has misinterpreted what this was about. A honest enough mistake which should not be spun in the way it is being spun. Voting against further readings of the Bill if amendments fall will implicitly recognise this reality. Indeed, in indicating the possibility of voting against the Bill further along the process should amendments not be satisfactory recognises not only that this is the case but also that voting down the Bill later on will go against the principal Dennis is standing on.

    Nothing fundamental about this Bill will change in terms of Dennis’s interpretation of what it is about. If it is, in Dennis’s interpretation, about leaving the EU right now then it will also be able leaving the EU tomorrow, next week, next month and next year all the way through the Parliamentary process of the Bill. Certainly, it will achieve consistency for Dennis on the terms he has laid out if he votes for specific amendments during the process. However, having voted for the Bill this time around on the basis that it is about leaving the EU and therefore he has no choice but to be consistent to his past admirable voting record on the issue of EU membership and to be able to demonstrate that to his constituents, voting against it in the future – particularly should amendments not prove successful or the Committee’s are gerrymandered with Government majorities – any vote against the Bill by Dennis in the future will undermine the position he has taken this week. Because on his own terms , that it is about leaving the EU, he cannot in good conscience vote against a Bill which is about leaving the EU.

    Either Dennis continues to vote for this Bill throughout its Parliamentary process even if amendments fail on the basis he has laid out or he votes against it and undermines his present position by recognising it is not, nor ever has been, about leaving the EU but about HOW we leave the EU and a feudalistic power grab. He, and those who support this mistaken and flawed position cannot have it both ways.

    Certainly, there are three who have fallen for the divide and conquer element of the Conservative and Unionist party twin track approach to this issue. However, it seems there is a certain degree of confusion as to exactly who it is who have fallen for it. To the figure of one hundred and eighty degrees.

  7. Thanks for an excellent article, yet again😊. I have a minor niggle though, there are no dates on the article. I, and I’m sure I am not alone in this, like to know when the articles are published, therefore can I please request you date them all in future? If they ARE dated, I apologise and ask to be directed to same. Keep up the great work😊.

    1. The articles are always dated. The date appears in different places, though, depending what kind of device you’re using to view.

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