The Tory Leadership contest was always going to get a bit feisty. In a party as split as the Conservatives, who are about as split as a banana in a bowl with vanilla ice-cream, chocolate sauce and almonds on top, there were going to be disagreements.
Well, yesterday things started to get tasty. We’ve seen some serious shade thrown by, of all people, Loraine Kelly, the Labour Party mount a serious challenge to the no-deal candidates, and Rory Stewart…
Well. See for yourself.
"I didn’t want to make this too personal, but do you really feel that (Boris Johnson)… is the person you want writing the instructions to the nuclear submarines?"
— BBC Newsnight (@BBCNewsnight) June 11, 2019
Yeah. Shit’s going down.
Let’s start with the man of the hour.
The Stuart Dynasty Reborn
Look, there hasn’t been a Stuart/Stewart on the throne since 1714. But for the people in the room watching one speak yesterday, it seems as though the vast majority would have settled for him becoming Prime Minister.
Rory Stewart, as we have detailed in our analysis of him as a candidate (which you can find here), is a different breed of Tory politician. Yes, he has the hallmarks of one – an Old Etonian, went to Balliol College at Oxford, a Tory man through-and-through…
But he’s started a quiet revolution during his campaign to become PM. While it is extremely unlikely that this will be his time, make no mistake – the man will likely be a major force in British politics before long.
Without wanting you to have to endure too many minutes of politicians speaking, I would recommend watching this clip of him explaining why the actions of some of his rivals are so utterly bonkers:
Other candidates "are telling fairy stories", claims Rory Stewart MP as he launches his Tory leadership campaign, saying he does not believe in "promising what we cannot deliver" referencing a no-deal #Brexit and department funding pledgeshttps://t.co/8LEvpSyfdg pic.twitter.com/sj0Uulc4hm
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) June 11, 2019
Unfortunately, we are currently living in a world where we are more inclined to believe half-truths and the bending of facts until they are unrecognisable, rather than reality. We here at Between the Lines are humbly trying to propagate fact with as little bias as possible (no easy feat, mind you), but there is little reciprocity by those who hold the cards.
The Tories are a disgrace. Corbyn and his cult-like followers, systematically failing to address rampant antisemitism in their party, are a disgrace. Nigel Farage and his manifesto-less, populist politics is a disgrace. Change UK’s dissolution due to ego and career-furthering ambition is a disgrace. UKIP’s appropriation of the racist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon is a disgrace.
And the Lib Dems, as honest as they are, couldn’t lead a nation if it had a formed a conga line behind them and was actively pushing it towards a thriving economy and peak happiness levels. It would simply trip over its own sandal-laces.
British politics, in fact, is a disgrace.
But Rory Stewart talks of facts. Of prudence. Of living in our means. Of sensibility. He’s by no means perfect, and his campaign promises of a broadened National Citizens’ Service and abolition of hospital car parking charges are irrefutably ridiculous.
But he’s the start of something new. And he’s not the only one.
Jess Phillips, Matt Hancock, Wes Streeting, Sam Gyimah… on both sides of the House, there are good, decent politicians coming to the fore. Once this Brexit nightmare is over, once the fires have used up all but the last few gasps of oxygen, and once the ash has cleared, there will be a new generation.
But In The Meantime…
Lorraine Kelly thinks Esther McVey is a dickhead.
Well, possibly. That’s not slander, for any lawyers reading. It’s conjecture.
It’s bloody funny conjecture though.
Many moons ago, Esther and Lorraine worked together as presenters on GMTV. Esther went off to have a career in politics, Lorraine remained in TV. So far, so simple, right?
Well Esther McVey was on Good Morning Britain the other day, and this happened.
To be fair, Esther McVey is against the teaching of LGBT education in schools, while Lorraine Kelly is (unbeknownst to this writer until yesterday) something of an LGBT activist. It’s understandable our Lorraine, who is a TV character and not a real person, might not be her biggest fan.
No-deal? No Chance.
In a pretty definitive move from a party that has, until recently, been about as decisive as a toddler choosing between cake or ice-cream, the Labour party yesterday tabled a cross-party motion to prevent a Tory leader from pushing through a no-deal Brexit without Parliament’s consent.
The motion will be voted on today.
If passed, the motion will allow legislation to be drafted that will prevent a no-deal scenario on Brexit Deadline Day, October 31st.
This is to prevent candidates like Esther McVey, Dominic Raab and even Boris Johnson from implementing their campaign promises that if nothing had been achieved by October 31st, Britain would leave without a deal.
Interestingly, and perhaps somewhat hypocritically, Rory Stewart, a vehement opposer of no-deal, has said that he will not be voting in favour of the motion – probably a tactical move to ensure that he still appeals to the Tory right. He needs to appease them to become PM, not the country.
However, Sir Oliver Letwin, hilarious toff and erstwhile right-wing bastion against Brexit, has given his backing to it, as has Corbyn, the SNP, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, and the Green Party.
Presumably Change UK will back it, too. Who even knows with them anymore.
Given that the Tory party has a majority of just five in Parliament, it could squeak through, which would be a serious hammer blow to Johnson et al.
If their delusions of no-deal Brexit are taken off the table, perhaps some common sense might just come back to the forefront of the leadership race after all?
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