And: One Greg Clark. Two Vince Cables. Eleven Germans going home. 100,000 Remain protesters. 17 million Leave voters. Plus: Meanwhile, Javid gets on with his job.
May’s appeal next week at Chequers will be founded in grinding detail, not Churchillian rhetoric. Key to agreement will be taking Ministers with her and springing no untoward surprises.
The combination of crucial Brexit votes, crumbling ministerial discipline, growing grassroots discontent and a rail crisis serves to intensify pressure on Downing Street.
Its failures begins with the machinery of Government – the core civil service itself. This must be fixed.
So much of the Government’s strategy is predicated on the belief that this is impossible. But what if that’s wrong?
Speculation about pressure on Williamson, or calculation about Cabinet numbers, misses a key point: May must keep Davis and Fox onside.
In my experience of departmental life, it will take at least six months before we can judge Javid’s management.
It is too fragmented to deliver this successfully – so a senior Cabinet minister should be tasked with bringing about change.
Parliament’s job should be to hold the Prime Minister and Executive to account for what they have to do, rather than becoming a party to it.
Here are just a few of the ways that I have seen work and that government should be adopting more broadly.
Tactical newspaper articles are necessary but insufficient. She should make a series of speeches to set out her stall and try to change the weather.
That the company is a government customer isn’t the whole story. After all, few customers must manage the consequences of their supplier’s collapse.
Many ministers are indeed well-suited – but it feels as if this is a secondary consideration: just check their CVs, and ask if we might sometimes choose better.
That doesn’t just mean talking about it – it means putting it into practice both in Government and in how we run our own Party operations.
Given Brexit, limited parliamentary time and a hung parliament, one priority is to demonstrate how leaving the EU will create specific opportunities for Britain.