Just a quick one this week, folks. We here at BTL HQ have been putting blood, sweat and tears into getting the Tory Leadership Race blog up and running, and that has meant sifting through some pretty mediocre newspaper articles about some pretty mediocre politicians.
However, there are also some fascinating candidates besides the big-hitters of Johnson and Gove, and we’ve also explained exactly how the system works.
Hint: It’s not a great system.
But the most pertinent news story this week in British Politics was the arrival of The Donald.
Duck Trump Comes To Town
It’s always reassuring to know that even if your own house is falling to pieces, at least your neighbour’s is already ablaze with the fury of a thousand populist suns. Trump’s America is about as divided as the split between those who stand to wipe and those who sit.
Donald Trump set down for his first real state visit this week, following on from last year’s fleeting, business-heavy trip. He met and dined with the Queen and the Royal Family without causing any major diplomatic rifts, claimed that the NHS would be a target for future trade deals then backed down… hell, he even backtracked on his claim that the Duchess of Sussex (Meghan Markle) was “nasty.”
All in all, it went rather well… considering…
…You know. Trump.
However, he did manage to cause a political stir by slagging off the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, before he even landed, and on Tuesday he also claimed to not know Michael Gove, prominent candidate for the Tory leadership, despite being interviewed by him a few years ago. Instead, he gave his blessings to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, which is probably not as meaningful a gesture as it would have been a few years / exactly one President ago.
Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, absconded from his invitation to the banquet with Trump’s delegation and gave a speech at an anti-Trump rally, then changed his mind and asked to meet with him, only to be denied the meeting.
Way to stick to your guns, Corbo.
Then, yesterday, Trump travelled to France to take part in the profoundly moving memorial of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Tonally, his speech was very good, which probably means he had nothing to do with the writing of it. The day was granted the sombre and reflective tone it deserved.
All in all, Trump threw a few spanners into the works, as he is wont to do, ignored the protests against him and called it fake news, but also failed to be an abject nightmare for all concerned.
It’s a sign of where politics has gone that this is considered to be a considerable diplomatic win.
For more info on his first two days in the UK, please check out our article here.
But What Of The Tories?!
I know, I know – it’s so exciting my brain might melt.
Well, as we linked to above, Between the Lines has taken some time to put together a comprehensive guide to the Tory Leadership Race this week. There have been some developments, too:
- Matt Hancock made the bold move of calling Jeremy Corbyn himself an anti-Semite, a ballsy move that will probably see him slapped down with a defamation case;
- Dominic Raab said that he would push through a no-deal Brexit by circumventing Parliament through proroguing it (calling an end to it without calling for a new one).
- John Bercow, arguably becoming the most unlikely bastion of democracy in history, has since said that Raab’s idea is practically impossible.
The hustings to the One Nation (or moderate and progressive) Tories were held this week, and Raab came off incredibly badly. We can but hope, as we alluded to in our analysis of his strategy, that this utter moron and his policies are taken off the table for good.
But who knows anymore?
Stay tuned next week folks – things are going to get bumpy until the Summer Recess, where MPs will take some time off. Then, a new Conservative Prime Minister will be announced.
Then, the shit will hit the fan.
You heard it here first. Have a lovely weekend!
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