Well this wasn’t really supposed to happen.
Last week, it looked for all the world that the Tory Leadership Race was all done and dusted, Boris was going to win, and it would be a mere formality in that he would end up with the keys to No. 10. This week would have had a pointless debate on ITV, some more vacuous vox pops, but nothing would really happen.
Bam. Enter Donald Trump.
Also bam, enter Jeremy Corbyn’s ineptitude. Again.
The US President ended the career of a British official by directly involving himself in our affairs and our government refusing to back our man, and a Panorama exposé released on Wednesday night shone a harsh spotlight on some of the deeply concerning antisemitic actions of Corbyn’s inner sanctum.
Jesus Christ. And we thought politics couldn’t get any worse.
Earlier this week, the British ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, had some of his private memos leaked to Isabel Oakeshott, a right-wing journalist who has close links with Aaron Banks, Andy Wigmore and Nigel Farage.
These three men are the main power brokers of Leave.EU, which might end up being important – Darroch is unashamedly pro-EU and anti-Brexit. The leak may be proved to have been perpetrated by pro-Brexit activists to oust him.
These were then published in The Mail, and it didn’t make for pretty reading – Darroch essentially called Trump’s government inept and confused, and that in order to get anything done you had to lavish praise upon him. You also had to pretend he had the mental age of a 5 year-old.
Trump did not take kindly to this, lashing out on Twitter not just against Darroch, who he said he would cut ties with, but also at Theresa May and the British government.
Follow the link above to read more about Trump’s tirade, but since BTL covered the story on Wednesday, Sir Kim has resigned his post.
This has led to an outpouring of anger and disgust from many politicians, who believe that Darroch was simply prepping his team as any decent leader would do. But their anger isn’t just aimed towards Trump, but towards Boris Johnson, too.
You know, the right-wing, blonde-haired whoopee-cushion-in-a-suit on our side of the Atlantic.
In the leadership race debate on Tuesday, Johnson refused to unequivocally back Sir Kim, while Jeremy Hunt explicitly said that he would give him full backing until his retirement at the end of the year.
This has not sat well with politicians and people alike, who find it disgraceful that one of our politicians (and, let’s face it, our next Prime Minister) would rather kow-tow to foreign influence than protect one of our own civil servants.
Reportedly, Darroch was watching the debate and saw that Boris wouldn’t support him – this is what made him decide to resign.
There is an interesting undercurrent to this story, as it was reported today that less than half of the Tory membership’s ballot papers have been returned so far, despite most of them being sent over a week ago. Most pundits believed that the membership would already know who they wanted to vote for, immediately fill out their ballot paper, and send it back.
The fact that they haven’t suggests that there might be a bit more to this race after all – decisions may be being held back to see how both candidates fare against one another.
Failing to support “Our Man In The US” may not have done BoJo any favours…
That being said, he’s still overwhelming favourite to win.
It is Boris, after all.
On Wednesday night, BBC’s Panorama programme ran an hour-long exposé of the ongoing antisemitism scandal that is slowly destroying the Labour Party.
It was deeply unpleasant viewing.
Interviewing a number of ex-party members who worked in the complaints division, it was clear that the problem has been far larger than previously thought, starting in 2015 when Corbyn’s promotion to leader brought an influx of new, hard-left members to the party.
With them came their historic distrust and vitriol against Jewish people, stemming back from the 20th century and earlier.
Look, I can go into more detail about the documentary, and we covered antisemitism within the Labour party in an article you can read through the link above, but the most important thing to take away from it is that there is clear evidence of systematic ignoring of antisemitism cases, attempts to sweep them under the rug, and outright hostility towards those who tried to combat it.
Again, unpleasant viewing.
The fallout from the programme has been intense, but Labour have fought back. The Labour Press Team worked quickly to dispel much of the story as hokum, and the witnesses interviewed on the show as “disaffected former officials.”
This, despite some of them talking about requiring therapy after working there, and one even contemplating suicide.
Labour’s leadership have threatened certain interviewees with legal action for breaking Non-Disclosure Agreements and firmly flipped the bird towards all of those who are now accusing them of systematic antisemitism.
But for the rest of the Labour Party, those not in the inner sanctum, the documentary was a harrowing wake-up call. The first quiet cries for Corbyn’s head have been let out, and it will only be a matter of time before they turn into a crowd of thousands, baying for blood.
Just two years ago, a crowd of thousands was chanting Corbyn’s name at the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival.
Now, they’d hound him out of the Festival on sight.
Cowards on the right, and cowards on the left.
Strange, depressing times.
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