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December 17 was a big day in the House of Commons.

Theresa May turned up to report her pathetic – miserable? Abject? – failure to bring back anything useful from her meetings with EU leaders last week over her Brexit deal (in fact she ended up with less security than when she left the UK).

Jeremy Corbyn told her to stop hanging about and set a date for the delayed “meaningful vote”, in which Parliament can provide its verdict on the deal, demand changes, and even delay the UK’s departure from the EU, if it is deemed necessary in order to get an acceptable agreement.

Mrs May said it would happen on January 14, nearly a month from now and five weeks after the date originally set for the vote (which Mrs May called off when she realised she didn’t have a chance of winning it).

Mr Corbyn said, “I should bleedin’ cocoa,” or words to that effect, and tabled a motion of “no confidence” in Mrs May. And didn’t she look old, when he was doing it? Tired out; defeated … I wouldn’t be surprised if she resigned.

In her immediate response, though, Mrs May… ran away.

She scuttled out of the House of Commons like a scalded rat.

Subsequent developments suggest she cleared off to get legal advice on reasons to deny Mr Corbyn his debate (the government may refuse to allow a debate and vote on his motion, although a good reason is expected).

Before she responded – not in person, of course; she got some flunky to do it – both the Democratic Unionist Party (which had been propping up Mrs May’s minority government until its MPs realised she had double-crossed him over the Irish border ‘backstop’ arrangement) and Jacob Rees-Mogg, spokesman for the Tory backbench European Research Group (who had demanded his own vote of “no confidence” – in Mrs May’s leadership of the Conservative Party because he didn’t like her Brexit deal either) declared that Mrs May had their full support.

This means the DUP is now a gang of hypocrites who have betrayed their voters by supporting a deal that could lead to Northern Ireland quitting the UK and rejoining the Irish Republic…

… and the ERG, along with any other Tories who voted against Mrs May but planned to support her in Mr Corbyn’s vote, are also a gang of hypocrites because they actually voted to remove Mrs May from office, less than a week ago.

To quote the (soon-to-be-former?) prime minister herself, nothing has changed – so the 117 Tories who voted against her have no reason to change their minds.

(That’s unless you count the fact that Brexit is due to happen right before a new EU law comes into force that penalises tax evaders and Mrs May’s plans ensure that it won’t apply to the UK – although the reason they might want to get out of the bloc before falling under the jurisdiction of such legislation just… I don’t know… escapes me.)

Late in the evening, Mrs May’s flunky turned up with an excuse to deny Mr Corbyn his vote of “no confidence” in Mrs May.

No sweat. It seems Mr Corbyn intended to escalate his motion to “no confidence” to one in the government if the government blocked his motion against Mrs May – for obvious reasons.

As it is, he was pre-empted by the leaders of the other opposition parties. They wanted to make Labour look bad for failing to demand a vote of “no confidence” against the government in the first place (even though such a vote would have been lost; the motion against Mrs May had to come first, because it puts the screws on the other MPs who had turned on her).

Oh yeah, and the Tory-supporting mass media have been pretending that those other opposition leaders are right, in a desperate bid to stop Mrs May and her Brexit deal looking like what they are.

Apparently someone on Newsnight didn’t get the memo and called them for what they are.

So at start of play on Tuesday:

  • The DUP have been outed as hypocrites for supporting Mrs May in spite of that party’s own policies.
  • The ERG has been outed as hypocrites for supporting Mrs May in spite of her failure to give them any of the assurances they wanted.
  • The Tory backbenchers who voted against Mrs May last week will be hypocrites if they don’t vote against her in whatever “no confidence” motion actually happens.
  • The leaders of the opposition parties that aren’t Labour are hypocrites because they have been briefing against Mr Corbyn for failing to call a “confidence” motion against Mrs May’s government that they know can’t be won on its own; the people mentioned immediately above had to be reminded of their own behaviour first.
  • The Tory-supporting mainstream media are a very poor joke.
  • Mr Corbyn is golden.
  • And Theresa May is toast. It is clear that she does not have the confidence of the House of Commons; otherwise she would have allowed MPs to discuss the motion of “no confidence” in her.

I can’t wait for whatever happens next. If someone calls Mr Corbyn an anti-Semite again, we’ll know they’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


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