Video: May’s Downing St no-confidence response projects delusion, not defiance

Theresa May responding to news the no-confidence threshold among Tory MPs is reached

Surprising no one, Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 committee, has confirmed this morning that Theresa May faces a vote of no confidence in her leadership, surprising no one. Tory MPs will meet this evening at 5pm and a vote will be taken as soon as it ends.

Graham Brady’s press release this morning

May was described as projecting defiance in a short speech outside Number 10 this morning – but instead merely displayed a staggering detachment from reality, not only personally but on behalf of her party:

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Theresa May is expected to fight off the no-confidence bid, securing her as Tory leader for at least twelve months under the party’s rules.

But whoever is their leader, the Tories are a disaster for this country – and their continuation in government will be literally deadly to hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people.

Ironically, given the other factors at play and the knife-edge balance in Parliament amid the Tories’ chaos, those who need and want change for the better in this country under a Labour government should be crossing their fingers that she is still in place tomorrow.

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  1. If she wins the vote and strengthens her position, those criticising Corbyn for not triggering it at this precise moment, and they’re legion, are not going to emerge from this looking very sharp.

  2. I agree with the analysis that putting May into a position where she can win a vote is not a great idea.

    However. The serious issue is that the news is all about the Tories – and, indeed, any publicity can be good publicity. When I talk around, it’s clear that Labour’s low profile lack of a distinguishing policy is not good news.

    1. “However. The serious issue is that the news is all about the Tories”


      “When I talk around, it’s clear that Labour’s low profile”

      When it’s the Tories, bad news is transformed in to good news by the MSM, and when it’s JC’s Labour Party, good news is transformed in to bad news, or misrepresented, or ignored, the latter accounting for the “low profile” you mention.

      1. No. I’m not talking about political naivety. I’m referring to people who, by and large, know the score, are biased towards Labour, and know that bears shit in the woods (ref. the MSM).

        They tend, indeed, to favour a Remain option – but that’s to be expected amongst Labour supporters and voters.

        … and their essential support for Corbyn is tinged with frustration at present.

      2. RH: I’m not implying or suggesting that you’re wrong, but how do you know that ” their essential support for Corbyn is tinged with frustration at present.”

        And what could JC do to put that right (to your mind, and those of the people you refer to)?

      3. RH

        “…and their essential support for Corbyn is tinged with frustration at present.”

        You’re telling me!

      4. Alan – Just as an example, I was talking just now to someone whose loyalties are firmly with Labour. His comment was something along the lines of I’m f***ing pissed off with Corbyn. This is a bloody mess, and I doubt that I’ll support him again”

        All I’m saying is that this is fairly typical of a lot of what I’m hearing from ‘Remain’ supporting individuals who, remember, form Labour’s core support.

        What to do? Well – present an alternative to the Tories which points, admittedly to ‘Remain’. Because nothing else holds water and currently, half the nation is unrepresented by a major party, even though there’s a 50/50 split on the issue.

        No – it’s not risk free. But it is in line with the way things will move. Cut through the crap, and aligning with a generality of old farts and the swivel-eyes of the Tory right is not a good look for the Party of the future.

      5. “Alan – Just as an example, I was talking just now to someone…..”

        Well,what a coincidence! Anyway, THAT obviously proves it.

  3. For me, a personality counts a lot. She is rude and bully. Duncan Smith, I thought that he was pathetic but showed his courage saying, PM is bully, that changed my image about him (more than) a bit.

  4. My admiration of Mr Corbyn increases exponentially as he continues to prove that he is the right person to lead the country.

  5. Letting the Tories tear at their sores while they rot from the inside out in no way signifies ‘lack of a distinguishing policy’.
    Not giving the enemy anything to grab at is entirely the best policy when you’re fighting an enemy that owns the propaganda machine and even pays people to try to undermine the left on social media.

    The Doubting Thomas act is wearing seriously thin. Couldn’t you start afresh with another ID to make it a little less tedious for us?

    1. Sharply discerned and sharply expressed DMcN. Like many, if not most, I agree that the tactical position has been pretty spot on. As to the LP Brexit strategy the least that can be said is that it’s spectacularly different in terms of how it takes account of the border problem. Not really fair to judge it outright, in the absence of an election and ratification from Brussels, whatever one’s doubts.

      Obviously, the PV alternative is a more divisive issue: I think it is wrong to keep calling a second referendum/PV “only democratic”. To argue this is to equate it with elections – do we want a referendum on the same issue every 5 years, or every two for that matter? The argument that we are now better informed isn’t that convincing either; we are always going to be insufficiently informed of the alternatives at the time and better informed with hindsight. We are certainly not yet sufficiently well informed of the potential of the LP position, simply because it hasn’t yet gone to Brussels. Then there’s how you set up a referendum without loading it in favour of one side and the nightmare scenario of a 52 – 48 reversal etc etc.

      The LP have got that right as well, a general election is the priority here.

      1. paulo 12/12/2018 at 1:14 pm

        I must admit to being somewhat perplexed by your second paragraph.

        Your protestations about treating the referendum as if it is a GE are so obviously not based in fact that I am puzzled why you should put them forward.

        Any Peoples Vote will not be a repeat of the 2016 Referendum but a vote on the actual deal and your claim that we could end up having a referendum on our EU membership every 2 to 5 years is self evidently a non starter because that would require the support of parliament and we both know that isn’t going to happen. Even if we stretch credibility well past breaking point and accept for a moment your theory that parliament would support repeated referendums on the EU then that would reflect the views of our elected representatives and presumably the electorate, butt would that be a bad thing. It is also extremely doubtful that the other member states of the EU would put up with being pissed about every couple of years.

        As to your claims about whether or not the electorate are better informed. It would be more than a little disingenuous of you to claim that you are no better informed then you were when you voted in 2016 so why would you presume that others haven’t gone through a similar process. It is also undeniable that in any forthcoming referendum, the electorate would actually know what they were voting for, something not one Brexit voter could claim in 2016.

        I simply fail to see the relevance of your references to the Labour Party’s position. As things stand at the moment with the Tories in office the Labour Party’s position wouldn’t figure in any PV so until a GE is called (and won) it is simply irrelevant.

        Whether the electorate would ever be informed enough to make a fully informed decision on such a complex thing is a valid point. But by arguing this are you not also arguing that the electorate were also unqualified to make an informed decision about their vote in 2016, to take such a position does little to enhance the much vaunted ‘validity’ of the 2016 vote. You can’t have it both ways.

      2. paulo 12/12/2018 at 1:14 pm

        My apologies I neglected to cover your point about what should be on the ballot paper and the potential for another less than definitive result when we have a People’s Vote.

        I would advocate having 3 questions on the ballot paper and using STV as the voting system.

        Leave on whatever deal is in place at the time
        Exit without a deal

        STV has, amongst others, the following advantages in this situation
        It is simple and easy to understand
        It is inclusive by design
        It tends to give a conclusive result.

    2. “The Doubting Thomas act is wearing seriously thin. Couldn’t you start afresh with another ID to make it a little less tedious for us?”

      Sorry, O Master. Was I confusing the echo? I forgot that I was in a church that isn’t too threateningly broad and forgot to tiptoe respectfully.

      I do, however, agree about the general tedium – a negative ‘Me Too’ – that simply parotting the creed engenders. A sort of reflection of the MSM Westminster gang-bang.

  6. Theresa May is expected to fight off the no-confidence bid, securing her as Tory leader for at least twelve months under the party’s rules.

    That will well and truly saddle the Tories with a lame-duck leader for the next twelve months. I guess we’ll have to wait and see whether this turns out to be a good or a bad thing. There are significant arguments for both points of view.

  7. “the biggest threat to this country is the wishes of the electorate.”

    That tends to be the Brexiteer position, too. 🙂

    1. To advocate that you defend democracy by the denial of democracy strikes me as being the same argument that fascists have used throughout history.

  8. SteveH.

    Thanks for replying.

    Para 6
    I don’t have much of a disagreement with you here. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I don’t especially like the idea of UK referendums. They have the capacity to play havoc with more conventional electoral processes, as well as put parliamentary representatives in an impossible double bind – I hope you won’t ask me for supporting evidence!
    I think my comment as a whole makes it clear that validity, for me, isn’t about whether voters were right or wrong and so I’m not trying to have it both ways. A referendum is a recognised process and as such it has a “validity” which we ignore at our peril. And a referendum has taken place.

    Para 3
    My comment about repeated referendums is not a “theory”, neither is it a prediction. Your comment on the likelihood of repeated referendums sounds commonsensical enough, but I’m not commenting on events, my comment is on principles. It pertains to the logical and possible outcome of treating a referendum as if it is an election.

    Para 4
    I don’t think I’m being even remotely “disingenuous”. Of course, people may have changed their minds, I have, but probably not in the direction that you would prefer. “Better informed” I’m not so sure about. In support of your point I’d cite the border difficulty with Ireland. Does this invalidate the way the public voted? There are always going to be campaigners on buses aren’t there?

    Overall, SteveH, I get the feeling that I’m being asked to look at the PV as an exceptional case, to be judged on its own merits. I’m not a fan of exceptionalism either.

    1. Paulo –

      ” I don’t especially like the idea of UK referendums”

      You have highlighted the key problem. Referendums need to be used with care. The fact that this one was totally careless has been illustrated by the consequences.

      Even the local stamp collecting society usually requires a significant majority of its membership to agree a constitutional change, because such is not like a periodic election, which, because it is periodic, can operate with a simple majority. The result of the 1975 referendum stood because it was clear.

      Cameron screwed the nation because in his unintelligent rush to rescue the Tories, he made unsustainable commitments : that a simple majority would be binding. So we end up with this indeterminate mess, with the nation split down the middle, and an attempt to enforce the will of a minority in a one-off vote.

      Of course, this has led to the True BLeavers trying to deny another referendum in a totally illogical and inconsistent way, whilst Remainers can claim that there is no authority in a 37% minority result.

      The consequences are now plain to see. But, we are in a situation where only another referendum can legitimize a departure from the status quo. Painful, but necessary – unless anyone can come up with a better solution to the worst domestic decision for a century.

  9. Oops, the above link is to my inbox! Anyway, it was a medialens article about George W H Bush, and well worth reading.

  10. Thanks for the reference Allan – haven’t checked your inbox for you – always got time for medialens

  11. I have a pressing and salient question for Theresa May

    In view of the recent unprecedented run on the country’s popcorn stocks, what specific steps does she propose to take that will alleviate the impending national shortage of popcorn?
    For instance does she intend to put contingency plans in place to wave the popcorn trucks through customs?

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