Tag Archives: Heseltine

Tories fall out: Heseltine lays into Sunak’s Spring Statement

Michael Heseltine at Downing Street in 2017 when he was sacked from his advisory roles for rebelling against the government in a Brexit vote in the House of Lords.

Don’t you just love it when Conservatives start arguing amongst themselves?

It tends to indicate that their government doesn’t have much life left in it.

Rishi Sunak’s spring statement has been labelled “cloud cuckoo land” by the former Conservative deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine.

Asked on LBC radio by presenter Andrew Marr for his thoughts on the chancellor’s spring statement, which did not land with “universal enthusiasm”, Lord Heseltine replied: “No and nor can it, it’s cloud cuckoo land.

“As the chancellor has said that public finances are in a difficult situation, the debt is rising and inflation is likely to force up interests are so, all this talk about tax cuts and cutting public expenditure and all this sort of thing is simply not real in the present circumstances.

He added: “What is needed is a strategic plan to battle our way through by increasing the scale of the economy and economic activity and more productive investment. But there are no plans expect in a limited number of places.”

“The one thing that I’m as sure as I can be from any experience I have is that the next twelve months with the cost of living rises and the reduction in living standards is going to be, very, very difficult for the government. “

Let’s hope so – as the architects of our difficulties, they deserve to suffer much more than we will.

Source: Rishi Sunak’s spring statement labelled ‘cloud cuckoo land’ by Lord Heseltine

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‘If Boris goes, Brexit goes.’ Would that be such a bad thing?

A perfect metaphor: Boris Johnson tried to publicise Brexit by coming down a zipwire waving Union flags. He got stuck and was left hanging helplessly in the air – just as his half-baked “oven-ready Brexit” has left many of the rest of us.

Former Tory Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine has raised a serious possibility: with Boris Johnson in danger of losing his job because of rule-breaking, his Brexit may lose its credibility.

Lord Heseltine, writing in The Guardian, suggested that

Having proclaimed the Brexit referendum triumph of 2016 as the unique achievement of Boris Johnson and praised his historic success in the election three years later with the slogan “get Brexit done”… the wreckers of the European dream slowly begin to realise that if Johnson goes, it shifts the sands from beneath their feet.

He and Lord Adonis, leaders of the European Movement, devised and publicised the slogan, “If Boris goes, Brexit goes”. It’s causing hysteria among Brexiteers, but they have a point:

 If the prime minister is found to have lied to parliament and to the people, what defence is there to the allegation that the Brexit cause – mired in similar controversy over lies and dissembling – was conducted with the same disregard for the truth?

We all have a clear memory of the Brexit campaign and what was said. That we were being run by Brussels. That European restrictions were holding back our economy and lowering our living standards. That we could keep all the benefits of the single market and customs union, while negotiating trade deals with faster-growing countries in a world that was shifting east. That we had to regain control over our borders. That there would be no new border between Northern Ireland and mainland Great Britain, and that the Good Friday agreement, having ended years of strife, would be fully honoured.

[Johnson] claimed that a barebones trade deal – without most of the benefits of the customs union and the single market – was “oven ready” and would “get Brexit done”.

Except [the] deal didn’t “get Brexit done”. Within months it had seriously frustrated trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, and the government threatened to tear up the very deal it had itself negotiated to safeguard the position of Northern Ireland. Lord Frost resigned from the cabinet as Brexit minister last December after less than a year, complaining of the Covid strategy but also bemoaning that, regarding Brexit, the correct agenda was not being pursued.

He gave no detail as to what that agenda should have been or who was holding it up, but the villains were familiar: the metropolitan elite, the civil service, the BBC, Brussels, the remoaners – … Everyone except the actual people in positions of power.

And now Johnson, under serious threat of losing his job, has made Jacob Rees-Mogg Frost’s successor – a man so clueless he has actually asked Sun readers if they have any ideas that could save Brexit.

Meanwhile, the bombshells continue to land: now, even cows have become a Brexit sticking-point – because their ears have to be re-tagged if they move from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland.

It’s another example of the “burdensome red tape” that has been choking the UK ever since Johnson’s “oven-ready Brexit” was enacted – a change that, remember, he promised would release us all from bureaucratic restrictions.

So Brexit may unravel altogether if its biggest cheerleader bites the bullet over Covid-19 rule-breaking.

Would that be such a bad thing?

Source: Why the panic among Boris Johnson’s allies? Because they know Brexit is unravelling

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Also in the news: cuts, corruption and quarrels at the Conservative conference

Boris Johnson: The blond lummox is humiliated again.

The Tory conference has started – with a wave of controversies and scandals.

Let’s look at a few of them:

Lord Heseltine slams Johnson’s ‘levelling up’ sloganising

Former Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine accused Boris Johnson’s government of “sloganising” rather than having the political will to actually improve the nation.

He said: “It’s very easy to keep sloganising, but they’ve been doing that for nearly two years and they have wasted that period of their power with a large majority.

“What is missing is the political will to take difficult decisions… This Government simply doesn’t face the facts about how it needs to be done and the single minded purpose that has got to be applied to it.”

Boris Johnson humiliated over a £20 note

STV reporter Kathryn Sampson made a fool of Boris Johnson in a Conservative conference interview – by brandishing a £20 note.

She asked: “If I gave you this £20 note this evening, what would you spend it on? What would that mean to you though? A cocktail at conference? A taxi? For some Scottish families, there are charities that would say this £20 a week note is the difference between being able to heating their homes.”

When the prime minister started waffling, she changed tack to quiz Johnson on appointing Tory donor Malcolm Offord as Scotland Office Minister and peer in the Lords: “How many of these £20 notes would I have to give you to get a peerage? Do you know why I’m asking about peerages Prime Minister? Malcolm Offord. What Is it about the six figure sum he donated to the Conservative party that made you think he was the right candidate for a peerage and for a role in your government in the Scotland Office?”

Johnson tried to claim that his choice had experience, but was cut off: “What’s wrong with your Scottish MPs? They’re elected.”

Rees-Mogg wrong-footed by man with cerebral palsy

Tory Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg was lost for words when confronted by a disabled man who said the Tory benefit assessment system had forced him to prove that he still has cerebral palsy – which is a lifelong condition.

Dominic Hutchins, 43, said afterwards that not only did he have to spend an hour explaining all the things he cannot do (on the day Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey tried to re-state the Tory claim that the assessment system should be about what people can do), but the Tories had also robbed him of his job.

He said: “I’m a youth and community worker. Since the Tories got in power in 2010 they have demolished youth services, which made me claim benefits. I not only had to claim jobseeker’s allowance, I had to prove I am still disabled and I’ve not medically been cured.”

As Rees-Mogg beat his retreat, urging him to see his own MP, Mr Hutchins said: “They don’t care, it’s all lip service to shut people like me up. It’s awful.”

UPDATE October 5: I now have video of this. Be warned – it is upsetting:

It’s mischaracterisation, but not as Sunak described it…

This is self-explanatory:

Considering Rishi Sunak’s defence of Boris Johnson, we can draw our own conclusions about everything he said in his speech.

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