17 July 2016

A week is a long time in politics? Try 3 days! The first two rounds of the Conservative Party leadership contest whittled the five pretenders down to two – Theresa May and our local MP, Andrea Leadsom. On Monday, Leadsome withdrew from the race (she had performed astonishingly poorly in an interview with the Times and was quite clearly not up to the job. The good news is that she recognised that she was not remotely capable of becoming PM).

On Wednesday afternoon, therefore, Theresa May became Prime Minister. So, less than a month after a narrow margin voted for Brexit we have a new Prime Minister who was, effectively, put in office by one person – Andrea Leadsom.

A leadership contest between May and Leadsom would have been quite entertaining. I am not the only one who likened them to the Wicked Witch of the East and the Wicked Witch of the West. Sadly, Dorothy’s house fell on and killed the Wicked Witch of the East and we’re left with Theresa May. Therefore, we don’t get to use the many wonderful descriptions of the contenders. For example, one cabinet source is reported as having said that Andrea Leadsom resembles “Iain Duncan Smith with more hair and less charm”?

With Cameron’s resignation we can thankfully consign him to the dustbin of history. The Guardian had quite a balanced article summing up his years as PM – A Prime Minister of Broken Promises. It’s certainly a generous perspective to accuse him of breaking promises. Like all successful politicians, Cameron was a master at the art of lying more effectively than others. Also,

Mr Cameron’s besetting weakness was his instinctive preference for short-term tactics over long-term strategy.

Isn’t this true of most politicians, though? They are always more interested in short term tactics than long-term strategies as they are always, inevitably, looking towards the next election.

Owen Jones’ column in the Guardian also passed judgement on his premiership. He failed his own fiscal targets and leaves a bitterly divided country in crisis, with the union at risk of splitting, after gambling our future on the EU referendum.

Cameron crept into government in 2010 promising to eradicate the deficit in a single parliamentary term. His government didn’t even come close. His government was “paying down Britain’s debts”, he declared in 2013: it actually added more debt than every Labour government put together.

And Frankie Boyle’s column, true to form, has many very funny bits – funny if it weren’t so serious.

So where are we? Well, we have an opposition dedicated to opposing itself, and a country so heavily dependent on money laundering that we just brought out a waterproof fiver. Churchill’s on the back, presumably because he best reflects the current state of the UK economy – “Never was so much owed by so many …”

There were a couple of good cartoons by Chris Riddell in the Guardian this week – one on the aftermath of the Brexit lies and one on the aftermath of the Chilcott Report.

brexit_cartoon Bliar

It’s an old, old joke which I’ve used before – how can you tell when a politician is lying? His/her lips are moving.

We’ve been out and about this week with sister Sallie and her husband Rod who are visiting for a few days. Thursday was an outing to Hidcote in Gloucestershire which was stunningly gorgeous in the sunshine. And, on Friday we made our way out to the National Trust property at Clinton Baddesley – fabulous house. I’m not sure I can stand the pace but it’s fun trying.

And finally, happy happy birthday to our youngest son and the father of our newest granddaughter!

Much love to you all,

Greg

 

One thought on “17 July 2016”

  1. The MPP has to be the most informative and amusing weekly in existence. And free, to boot. Of course, there’s a plethora of news to work with. Once the Brit political scene has settled back into its accustomed stance – keep calm and carry on, etc. – there will be the no less gob-smacking spectacle of Americans ripping each other apart in a frenzy of political mayhem.

    Oh well, keeps us entertained.

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