Plus: The mystery of the missing Kwasi Kwarteng. The presence of the ebullient Brandon Lewis. The absence and recovery of Nick de Bois. Plus: Capita’s failures.
In normal times Diane Abbott’s miscalculation on the cost of police, or Tim Farron’s “smell my spaniel” moment, might have won. But not this year.
Plus: Cable, the Saudis, arms – and hypocrisy. MPs, the EU Withdrawal Bill, Henry VIII clauses – and hypocrisy. And: on a different note, why isn’t Zahawi a Minister?
No more foreign funding of extremism. No more self-appointed “community” intermediaries. No more pretence that it’s all about cyberspace.
With seven of their nine seats in England now held with majorities of less than eight per cent of the vote, the next election offers a chance to take them out for good.
During the 1980s, the electoral function of the SDP/Alliance was to help the Conservatives win. This does not necessarily hold true 30 or so years on.
The two parties have proven that they can work effectively together in normal circumstances. These are not normal circumstances.
Plus: Let’s have no sympathy for Farron. He didn’t give straight answers to straight questions, and is thus the cause of his own downfall.
He says that this is especially so in “a progressive, liberal party”
Tory voters on the Devon coast show no sign of being worried by the manifesto muddle, nor is there a Liberal Democrat revival.
Tim Farron has led his party into an electoral cul-de-sac on the EU. He needs a change of course to save his MPs – and his leadership.
Leaving the EU matters, but it shouldn’t drive out other important issues entirely.
A key problem for Farron’s party is that Labour is competitive among young people – many of whom have not forgiven it for tuition fees.
Most people I’m meeting seem either pro-Leave or resigned to it happening – and believing that Theresa May is best-placed to see it through.
They are willing to support the Corbyn leadership even though they expect it to break a similar tuition fees promise to that broken by Nick Clegg.