ROD LIDDLE Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party and the Conservatives need to make a formal pact
4 Sep 2019
HAD you ever even heard of Dr Phillip Lee? I hadn’t. I suspect there are members of his family who have only heard of him vaguely.
Phil’s the bloke who destroyed Boris Johnson’s parliamentary majority a couple of days ago. Puffed up with his own self-importance, he marched across the House of Commons to join the Liberal Democrats.
Farage, one of the most impressive politicians of the past 50 years, should sail to Johnson’s rescue
He had been elected as a Conservative for the seat of Bracknell. But Phil’s a staunch Remainer and cannot abide the views of his own party. Or his constituents, who voted by a majority to leave. Or his local party activists, who are in favour of Brexit. So off he went to join Jo Swimsuit’s tiny band of gibbering hobgoblins.
I don’t know how long Phil will last in the Lib Dems. Some of his new party colleagues have already resigned because they can’t stand him. Largely because of his views on gay marriage.
Either way, I think we can be pretty sure that is the first and last time you’ll ever hear of Dr Phil. His political career, such that it was, is over. Yes, I know. Try to restrain your grief. We will rebuild!
Phil was the first of this week’s vast exodus of nobodies and numpties from the remainer wing of the Conservative Party. Some had already gone before, of course. That demented squawkbox Anna Soubry got the hell out a while ago.
Meanwhile, Justine Greening announced she won’t be standing in the next election because she wishes to spend more time with herself. What a loss. The worst education secretary in living memory.
But the rest were given their marching orders by Boris Johnson. On Tuesday night the Tory remainer rebels treacherously voted against their own party. And voted against the democratically expressed wishes of the British people.
They had been threatened with expulsion and deselection from their comfortable constituencies if they did so. My guess is that most of them didn’t think Boris would have the balls to kick them out. Certainly not that complacent old warhorse Ken Clarke.
What a delight it is to report that Boris did have the balls. He told them the whip was withdrawn and that they would be deselected. It was exactly the right thing to do.
RIGHT THING TO DO
These remainers have spent three years trying to thwart Britain’s exit from the European Union. Or trying to weaken Brexit so it isn’t really Brexit at all.
They have worked against the national interest and the wishes of the British people. And the wishes of Conservative activists. Not to mention their own constituents, who, in almost every case, were by a majority for leaving the EU.
That hopeless of old toff windbag Sir Nicholas Soames, for example. Grandson of Winston Churchill he may well be. But he’s been in the House for a quarter of a century and never said the remotest thing of interest or importance. In his case, the apple fell a long, long way from the tree.
The rest of the 21? Someone called Antoinette Sandbach, crazy name, crazy gal. Anne Milton, from Guildford. Ed Vaizey. Nah, I’m not going to lose much sleep over the loss of these monkeys. And nor will their local associations.
And then there is Philip Hammond. There has not been a single politician, on either side of the House, who has more damaged our attempts to leave the EU than this humourless, grey-faced reptile.
When Theresa May was flailing around in Brussels, trying to act tough with the negotiators, the appalling Hammond — her Chancellor — was back home telling the Press that No Deal would never happen and was off the menu entirely.
Brilliant strategy, Hammond. May had the rug pulled from under her feet by him time and time again. He should have been sacked two years ago. For all this, he is lauded as a hero by The Guardian. If a Tory politician is getting praise from that rag, he should know he’s doing something very wrong.
So in principle, Boris was entirely right to line up these losers and make them walk the plank. Instil a bit of discipline into a party which has been torn apart by Brexit. But it has come at a terrific cost.
The Prime Minister no longer has a working majority. Indeed, he is now 43 short of a working majority. The mathematics of Parliament is entirely against him. And just as it has always been, the mathematics of Parliament is against Brexit.
That’s why Bojo decided to suspend Parliament. Because while Parliament is sovereign, that sovereignty devolves from the people — just as Jacob Rees-Mogg said in a stirring address to the House of Commons on Tuesday.
NO WORKING MAJORITY
It has been Parliament which all the way along has tried to derail Brexit. There has always been a large inbuilt majority against leaving the EU. And while MPs sometimes say, “We must respect the will of the people”, they tend not to mean it. In the past three years they have conspired to PREVENT the will of the people.
Boris took the view that the sovereign decision taken by the British people in June 2016 outweighed the sovereignty of Parliament on this single issue. I make him right.
It will come as no surprise that those screaming blue murder about Boris being “undemocratic” are those who never wanted to leave in the first place. The hysteria and hissy fits have been hilarious to behold.
Konnie Huq’s was the best, of course — screaming about how people had voted to have their heads chopped off. You what, love? Quite why anyone would be interested in the views of a not terribly bright former Blue Peter presenter is another matter.
But she did very neatly sum up the derangement and fury of the Remainer crowd. They simply cannot see that, when it comes to questions of democracy, the thwarting of Brexit is the biggest crime of all.
So now we have a Government which has no authority in the House of Commons. And sitting there opposite BoJo is Magic Grandpa and his retinue of dingbat Marxists, Hamas lovers and Trots.
It comes to something when the leader of an Opposition doesn’t dare support the call for a general election when the Government is in such bad shape.
But Jeremy Corbyn is terrified of an election. He knows his personal ratings put him somewhere between a bucket of cat sick and the Ebola virus. That’s the main reason he has opposed Boris’s demands for a general election so far.
He has also gone back on his deal to respect the views of the British people. He now thinks there should be a second referendum on leaving the EU. He has been forced into this position by his party, which is overwhelmingly in favour of Remain.
So what happens next? In his short time as Prime Minister, Boris has done exactly what should have been done three years ago, when we first began to negotiate our leaving of the EU.
He has been positive, decisive and bullish. He has acted ruthlessly with those in his own party who refuse to respect either the 2016 vote or Conservative Party policy. Some of the credit for this must go to his adviser, the tenacious Dominic Cummings.
But BoJo has insufficient time to get a decent deal from Brussels, because the EU is showing no signs of movement. He is hamstrung in Parliament. And weighing over him is Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which gobbled up millions of Tory votes at the EU elections in May.
Farage, one of the most impressive politicians of the past 50 years, should sail to Johnson’s rescue. There needs to be a formal pact between his party and the Tories.
Farage should recognise that Boris has done the best he can do. If there isn’t a formal pact, we might well wake up one morning with Magic Grandpa as Prime Minister, bizarre though that might sound.
And Brexit? I still doubt it will happen. I always have. And the problem all the way along has been Parliament. It does not reflect the views of the country. It reflects instead the views of a middle-class elite which simply will not accept that other people sometimes have a different point of view.
Right now, Parliament is not fit for purpose.
Tory rebels from top left: Sam Gyimah, David Gauke, Alistair Burt, Philip Hammond, Guto Bebb, Steve Brine, Caroline Nokes; Justine Greening, Sir Nicholas Soames (Churchill's grandson), Anne Milton, Rory Stewart, Ed Vaizey, Margot James, Stephen Hammond; Ken Clarke, Richard Harrington, Sir Oliver Letwin, Richard Benyon, Dominic Grieve, Antoinette Sandbach, Greg Clark