The UK: The Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson years + not very good + problematic + infected + broke the law + unimpressed party + electoral poison

funky

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Sorry - what exactly is Rishi Sunak's remotely viable line supposed to be on his complicity with all this stuff? Even BEFORE any of his other problems!

We're talking about people that voted David Cameron, and then Boris Johnson, into power. I don't give the Great British Public much credit any more.
 

Penelope

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We're talking about people that voted David Cameron, and then Boris Johnson, into power. I don't give the Great British Public much credit any more.
I don't see how this would be enough for them to be so furious Boris Johnson has to leave power, but at the same time the guy that lives next door is left totally unscathed by it. At the very least, he'd be entering office on the benefit of the doubt at best.
 

ZenGiraffe

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Yeah, Truss leaking even a single photo of Sunak in that garden probably ends his leadership bid too (and of course, vice versa).

Which is perhaps why they don't seem to have properly stuck the knife in yet.
 

ButterTart

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Gangsta Nancy Lam

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win_the_game

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A party to celebrate the new plan for the immigration and asylum policy. The same plan that the UNHCR quite rightly criticised for denying people their rights under the Refugee Convention and international law amongst many other points. Foul.
 

Suomi

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4D2F2EBA-3126-495F-828D-BAA46A2DFCDE.jpeg
 

cwej

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His appeal will fade far quicker than Johnson’s did if he slithers into number 10. At least Johnson got by on pretending to be ‘one of us’, Sunak is unambiguously ‘one of them’.

He's also Asian so the minute he does something wrong the unconscious racist bias will come piling on against him. 'There's just 'something' I don't like about him, I can't put my finger on what it is'...
 

cwej

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My disgusting boomer parents and step-mum (all of them!) think the press are blowing it all out of proportion and they’re sick of hearing about all the people who had to say goodbye to loved ones over Zoom calls etc. :manson: Once again just because it wasn’t THEM. Seriously the most selfish generation ever.

Our parents really are of that awful age where they think they can tell us that we're a spoilt generation and don't understand hardship because we didn't grow up in wartime... EVEN THOUGH THEY DIDN'T EITHER BUT LIKE TO SOMEHOW PRETEND THEY DID.
 

lolly

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Our parents really are of that awful age where they think they can tell us that we're a spoilt generation and don't understand hardship because we didn't grow up in wartime... EVEN THOUGH THEY DIDN'T EITHER BUT LIKE TO SOMEHOW PRETEND THEY DID.

I think there was a significant gap in attitudes between my mum (born just after the end of WW2) and her sister who was 7 years older than her, and therefore a war baby. My mum always attributed it more to the fact that she saw the advent of rock n roll as a young teenager, and the permissive society, abortion rights, contraceptive pill, fashion revolution etc, whereas my aunt very much more grew up in the shadow of the war, and austerity

To be honest, I think there's an argument that my mum's generation had it easier than most before or since, but I'd agree they are the ones who seem most down on criticising future ones. I honestly think my gran was more enlightened and open minded than my mother in many respects, and she properly lived through two world wars.
 

cwej

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To be honest, I think there's an argument that my mum's generation had it easier than most before or since, but I'd agree they are the ones who seem most down on criticising future ones. I honestly think my gran was more enlightened and open minded than my mother in many respects, and she properly lived through two world wars.

Absolutely. The easiest time to buy property in history. Only has become more difficult since.
 

lolly

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Absolutely. The easiest time to buy property in history. Only has become more difficult since.
And never mind literally walking into an office or a factory one day and walking out with a job.

Perhaps not the BEST job (at least initially), but when I hear of the first/second/third interviews/selection processes my nieces and nephews have had to go through for relatively low retail and banking jobs, I'm frankly staggered.
 

Madison

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Cummings has straight out accused the PM of lying to parliament:

=====

UPDATE, 17 JAN

I started writing a long explanation of the 20 May.

It was a pivotal day for reasons other than the drinks party.

It was the day on which days of intense conflict over the the future of the government — including the Cabinet Office, Cabinet Secretary and the PPS’s own job, the real core of hidden power in the British state — came to boiling point. In many ways, the decisions and emotions of that day led directly to my departure.

Discussions about the PPS’s party invite at lunchtime therefore occurred in an extremely combustible environment. People were screaming in rage and frustration at the chaos the PM had caused by botched sackings and telling everybody different things. People were threatening to resign and hold press conferences. Whitehall was looking to the PM’s office for leadership on covid but it was a particularly intense shambles that day.

The whole thing is so profoundly depressing I can’t bring myself to write it all down now. I’ll just make some very simple points about the immediate issue in front of Sue Gray…

On 20 May, after the PPS sent the invitation to the drinks party, a very senior official replied by email saying the invite broke the rules. This email will be seen by Sue Gray (unless there is a foolish coverup which would also probably be a criminal offence).

The PPS went to the official’s office where they discussed it. The PPS declined to withdraw the invite.

I told the PPS the invite broke the rules.

He said: so long as it’s socially distanced I think it’s OK, I’ll check with the PM if he’s happy for it to go ahead. (Obviously even if it was ‘socially distanced’ this would in no way make it ‘within the rules’.)

I am sure he did check with the PM. (I think it very likely another senior official spoke to the PM about it but I am not sure.)

Amid discussion over the future of the Cabinet Secretary and PPS himself, which had been going on for days, I said to the PM something like: Martin’s invited the building to a drinks party, this is what I’m talking about, you’ve got to grip this madhouse.

The PM waved it aside. I had told him repeatedly the PPS should be replaced, as had other competent officials who knew the whole structure needed a huge upgrade in personnel and management. ‘He’s MY guy, I don’t want you replacing him with YOUR person.’ (Yes, this says a lot.)

I went home to bed at 3ish, still very ill from covid.

The idea that the PPS would be challenged by two of the most senior people in the building, say he’d check with the PM then not — is not credible.

Will the PPS claim that having invited people to a drinks party, he told the PM it was a ‘work meeting’?! (Claiming this, given the actual words of his invite, would, of course, necessarily imply that MR knew a drinks party was against the rules.)

Is the PM going to claim that a) his PPS told him ‘PM this is a work meeting’ and b) after he walked around the garden talking to people standing around drinking, ‘Sue, honestly, I swear to you I thought it was a work meeting’?!

No10 is throwing out as much confusing chaff as possible, such as nonsense about a ‘drinking culture’ intended to shift blame. (There was no ‘drinking culture’ while I was there but the string of parties after I left shows the PM trying to be ‘my own chief of staff’ was disastrous, as he was told it would be.)

MPs should focus on the basics.

The PM’s PPS invited people to a drinks party.
The PPS was told to cancel the invite by at least two people.
He checked with the PM whether the party should go ahead.
The PM agreed it should.
They both went to the party.
It was actually a drinks party.
The PM told MPs repeatedly that he had no idea about any parties.
The events of 20 May alone, never mind the string of other events, mean the PM lied to Parliament about parties.

Not only me but other eyewitnesses who discussed this at the time would swear under oath this is what happened.

I notice that when I explained about the PM trying to go see the Queen when he might have been infectious and I stopped him, No10 issued a total denial and I was told that ‘Martin is supporting the PM’s denial’. This episode was also witnessed by others who will tell the official inquiry that what I have said is true and the official denials are false.

There are many other photos of parties after I left yet to appear.

I’ll say more when SG’s report is published.
 

funky

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Ive got a horrible feeling that Boris is going to pull all kinda of strings and swoop in and somehow fix this energy bill crisis, and save his job (again). Something about the commentary from the right wing media tells me there’s a plan in place.
 

Penelope

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Ive got a horrible feeling that Boris is going to pull all kinda of strings and swoop in and somehow fix this energy bill crisis
How?

"Hey Rishi - could you do me a solid now I'm on my deathbed, and spend a load of money you've been so dead set on not spending that you forced me to sign off on a tax rise to cover the last lot for social care and the NHS?"

(worth adding that Sunak is very reluctant to even cut VAT on energy bills, which relatively wouldn't cost that much but which would "cut into his warchest" (:rolleyes:) for cutting a penny off income tax before a general election, which is what he's aiming to try and do)
 
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Penelope

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Also, frankly, the brand damage is getting to the point where I'm starting to almost rather the stupid cunt insists on staying and the Tory MPs somehow kid themselves that he can come back from this. Him not going isn't something that comes without its own consequences for the Tories!

Believe me when I say that this sort of feedback about any Tory leader (even Boris before now!) just...isn't something we've seen before and it's the type that's fatal. He's totally lost the benefit of the doubt, which is something he always had before that got him through these things.










 

Penelope

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How?

"Hey Rishi - could you do me a solid now I'm on my deathbed, and spend a load of money you've been so dead set on not spending that you forced me to sign off on a tax rise to cover the last lot for social care and the NHS?"

(worth adding that Sunak is very reluctant to even cut VAT on energy bills, which relatively wouldn't cost that much but which would "cut into his warchest" (:rolleyes:) for cutting a penny off income tax before a general election, which is what he's aiming to try and do)
Well, this could be one way, but fuck me - they really are getting desperate if they're considering this. They'd never go a million miles near this sort of thing that leaves them on the hook ordinarily. I'd also say it looks just as much like Sunak having a pitch in a leadership election for what he's going to do about the cost of living crisis.

Financial Times said:
UK looks at payments to energy suppliers to shield consumers from high bills
Radical intervention one option to ease burden on household budgets as local elections loom
Power companies would receive government payments when wholesale gas prices exceed a certain threshold and return money when they trade below the agreed level


George Parker, Nathalie Thomas and Jim Pickard in London

The UK is exploring a radical intervention in the power market, under which the state would make payments to energy suppliers when wholesale gas prices rise sharply in a bid to soften the blow to consumers.

The proposal, which is being promoted by energy companies, is described by government insiders as “plausible” and “logical”, but they admit there are also many downsides to such a step.

Under the initiative, energy suppliers would receive payments from government when wholesale gas prices exceeded a certain threshold so they would not then have to pass the increase on to consumers.

Some suppliers say the proposal — known as a temporary price stabilisation mechanism — could be self-funding over the course of several years as energy companies would have to return money to the government when wholesale prices traded below the agreed level.

Rishi Sunak, chancellor, accepts this could leave the taxpayer heavily exposed if wholesale prices remain high, but he has been discussing with Boris Johnson, the prime minister, ways to mitigate a cost of living crisis, officials say.

Without action by Downing Street, a price cap on household energy bills could rise from £1,277 a year to over £1,900 in April — fuelling inflation — and coming at the same time as tax rises take effect.

Johnson faces local elections on May 5 that could decide his political fate and is looking for “red meat” policies in the coming weeks to shore up his weakened premiership ahead of those polls. Other options to cushion the impact of soaring energy prices have their own problems.

A cut in VAT on domestic energy from 5 per cent to zero is still on the table, but has been described by Johnson as a “blunt instrument” helping both rich and poor households.

Ministers have also gone cold on providing government-backed loans to energy companies. Some estimates put the scale of the required lending at £20bn and one person briefed on discussions said: “Some of the firms would not be able to take on any more credit risk.”

Sunak is looking to offer targeted support to poorer households — possibly through an expansion of the warm home discount scheme — but ministers are looking to go considerably further.

Emma Pinchbeck, chief executive of the trade body Energy UK, confirmed on Monday that suppliers were discussing with the Treasury a mechanism to smooth out spikes in wholesale prices for consumers.

“The Treasury has asked industry to look at options for spreading the cost of the gas itself over a longer period of time,” she told BBC Breakfast. She added that under such a mechanism, in “a year where the [wholesale gas] price is lower, the industry pays back government and in a year where it’s higher, the government helps the industry to spread the costs”.

Government insiders admit there is no easy way to manage the huge spike in energy costs, but say this scheme might at least offer some prospect of the Treasury recouping money when gas prices eventually fall.

“If this was a non-starter, we wouldn’t still be talking to the energy companies about it,” said one person briefed on discussions being held with the business department and the Treasury. “There are quite a lot of delivery issues, but it’s a plausible option.”

The mechanism would be similar in design to “contracts for difference” that support renewable energy generation in Britain by guaranteeing a minimum electricity price for power producers.

But the idea is not universally popular with suppliers. One senior industry executive said it was “unclear how you could bring it to an end and at what point do you bring it to an end?”

The executive added that such a mechanism would effectively be “shutting down the market to competition” as no consumers would want to move on to fixed-price deals while the stabilisation mechanism is protecting prices for households whose bills are dictated by Britain’s price cap.

Investec, an investment bank, on Monday revised its estimate for April’s rise in the price cap, due to be announced next month, following drops in wholesale prices in recent weeks. It is now expecting a £630 increase to £1,907 per household versus a previous forecast of £2,000.

But the bank’s energy analyst Martin Young warned the cap will have to increase for a second time to £2,100 in October, when it is next scheduled to be revised. Other analysts have estimated the cap will have to increase in October to £2,300-£2,400 based on forward energy prices.


The other bit that sticks out is "Ministers have also gone cold on providing government-backed loans to energy companies. Some estimates put the scale of the required lending at £20bn and one person briefed on discussions said: “Some of the firms would not be able to take on any more credit risk.” - so they're not enthusiastic on giving loans because they implicitly think they might not get paid back...but they're open to a funding mechanism that's in effect an open commitment to an annual loan that might never get paid back?
 

octophone

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Just a bit of cassette boy and cold War Steve as an interlude:



This is SO well done. I generally can't be bothered with this kind of thing but that maybe because Cassetteboy are so brilliant at it that everyone else feels like a timewaster.
 

Jark

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it isn't even in Sue Gray's REMIT to judge Boris guilty or otherwise. FFS! I hate this narrative they're feeding us that Ms. Gay User Anagram can ride in on her white horse and restore Boris' virginity!!!
 

funky

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I sound like a broken record but this is like watching outtakes from The Thick Of It

just barmy

the soundbite tennis is hilarious too... Sky desperately trying to get a quote out of him where he takes responsibility and he just bats it back EVERY TIME. In the most excrutiating fashion.
 

ButterTart

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it isn't even in Sue Gray's REMIT to judge Boris guilty or otherwise. FFS! I hate this narrative they're feeding us that Ms. Gay User Anagram can ride in on her white horse and restore Boris' virginity!!!
Her job is literally to say whether or not the things we have photo evidence of actually took place. They’re hiding behind this report to the point that it’s almost certain they’ve already written it for her and she just has to put her name at the top.
 

ButterTart

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The arrogance of him is unbearable. Just GO. Have a tiny amount of dignity for once in your miserable life.
At least if he goes then Crerar and Cummings can start releasing all the shit they’ve clearly got on his potential successors.

The whole thing with that Starmer photo has only served to give Labour a boost as far as I’m concerned. You’ve got some the most soulless, unscrupulous tabloids in the country working overtime to find some shit to throw at Labour and the best they can come up with is a recycled photo of an incident where Starmer wasn’t even breaking the rules. If there was any evidence - however tenuous - of opposition parties breaking the rules it would be out there already.
 

Indie

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If Boris left today, then Cameron + May + Johnson will have lasted a combined total of 11 years and 255 days. Margaret Thatcher lasted 11 years and 209 days ON HER OWN

The last time we had four tory leaders in a row was Churchill/Eden/MacMillan/Douglas-Home, who lasted 13 years in total. Basically what i'm saying is we need Harold Wilson to win the next election for Labour.
 

Kratz

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I am sure somebody is getting ready to throw Sue Gray (a civil servant, doing her job) under the metaphorical bus if she is critical.
 

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