What do you think?
It has been alleged that Conservative MPs were forced to vote with the government – against their will – by MPs who manhandled them through a lobby they did not want to enter, so that Liz Truss could claim her Parliamentary party had confidence in her leadership.
If this is true, then the result of the fracking vote yesterday (October 19) should be annulled. It simply isn’t safe to describe it as the will of Parliament, let alone the will of the people of the United Kingdom.
An investigation into what happened during the vote should be opened immediately, with Conservative Party whips and cabinet ministers barred from having any contact with other MPs until they have given their evidence.
Another vote should be taken, with Tory whips and ministers again compelled to cast their votes separately from other MPs, in order to ensure that there is no interference with the will of Parliament.
But what happened yesterday should sound the death knell of Liz Truss as a political leader – or even as a member of Parliament.
If MPs were physically forced to do something they had not intended to do, then somebody was ordered to force them. And the buck stops at the top – with Truss.
It seems clear that Tory MPs are of the view that she – and her Cabinet – have caused immeasurable damage to the Conservative Party. Just consider the reaction of Charles Walker, as recorded by the BBC. The man could hardly contain himself:
BBC Political Editor Chris Mason reckons he has been talking to a senior Tory “whose analysis was so brutal it left me open-mouthed”. He continued:
Liz Truss’s actions have been “unforgivable,” “terrible” and “appalling”.
“She has stuffed the party, the country, and there’ll be a general election.”
“How could she act like a little dictator without a mandate?”
He reckons the argument for a general election will be deafeningly loud – even though no Tory would want it, considering their current unpopularity across the UK. But that situation is worsening with every minute Truss remains in office.
Here’s another perspective on it, from Professor Tim Wilson. Besides his own opinions, he mentions some of the Tories who abstained from voting, including some very big names:
And he’s right about Ukraine. Vladimir Putin has declared martial law in those parts of that country that he claims to have annexed – even though he has not taken possession of them all.
He’s just sitting in Moscow, poised to do who-knows-what.
And, as Prof Wilson says, Liz Truss is worried about her knitting.
Charles Walker is right. The Tory Party needs to get its act together now – and the grown-ups need to take charge.
Until they do, the UK will play no effective part in international events. And who knows what will happen then?
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