All Mouth, No Trousers

I’ve written before about the Republicans and Obamacare:

If we are to believe the words that come out of their mouths, the Establishment Republicans were vehemently opposed to Obamacare and longed for the day they could repeal it. But if that were the case, they would have spent the necessary time and effort to come up with a viable alternative and presented that to the public loudly and often during those five or six years that they were in opposition and Obamacare was in force. Only they didn’t: for all their talk in the election about repealing Obamacare, when it came to the job of actually coming up with an alternative, they didn’t have a clue.

I suspect the Establishment Republicans are terrified at having to come up with a genuine alternative because it will involve hard work and taking on the enormously powerful vested interests that make providing healthcare in America almost impossible.

I compared the above with the Tories’ dithering over Brexit, but 18 months on the comparison is even more apt. Here’s an article in The Telegraph:

Every weekend it’s the same. Theresa May is on the brink. Tory Brexiteers are poised to strike. They’re just two letters away from a vote of no confidence. The end is only days away. Mrs May is doomed.

And then… nothing happens.

Every weekend. Every single weekend. Honestly. The Prime Minister’s backbench critics like to call her “weak”. Perhaps they could tell us: what word should we use to describe people who endlessly declare they’re about to depose her, but never go through with it?

A few weeks ago, Boris Johnson looked poised to launch a leadership bid, depose the hapless May, and sit down with the EU for some serious negotiations on Brexit. Instead, as the article says, nothing happened. The contribution to Brexit of Jacob Rees-Mogg, the man in whom many placed their highest hopes, is to moan about things on Twitter. Even his biggest fans are unable to contain their disappointment:

If Johnson, David Davis, Rees-Mogg, and all the others wanted to be taken seriously they would have drawn up a document of what they would present to the EU, publish it, and be on every television show and in every newspaper talking about it non-stop. That would give people something to vote for, instead of holding out hope over some vague rumours that one of them is going to grow some balls and usurp Theresa May. Hell, the backbenchers should have been doing this since the morning after the vote. What else were they doing? They’re no different from Paul Ryan’s Republicans, moaning incessantly about Obamacare but when asked to present their alternative, they don’t even want to try.

This is a colossal failure on the part of the Conservative party, who deserve to be consigned to the dustbin of history. It’s also a colossal failure of the Labour party, who should have capitalised on this long ago instead of playing teenage Trots with the magic grandpa. But I suppose if there were any serious leaders in either the Conservatives or Labour, Theresa May would never have become Prime Minister and we’d not be in this mess in the first place. It’s hard to imagine a time when the political landscape was so bereft of anyone with an ounce of competence or leadership skills. I suppose we ought to be fortunate that, with a few exceptions, the EU members states are in much the same boat.

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16 thoughts on “All Mouth, No Trousers

  1. I’ve blogged about this quite a bit myself. The back story is that the Brexiteers know that they don’t have the numbers to get rid of May in a confidence vote, because most Tory MPS are traitorous Remainers (which is why the party has to be disappeared into a deep sinkhole). Once May wins a confidence vote then she can’t be challenged again for a year, in which time she will be vastly strengthened, and the Brexiteers powerless. So they’re trying to use the threat of no-confidence to keep her to the path. Which is mostly not working, because she knows they don’t have the numbers.

    Despite those excuses, though, you’re right that the Brexiteers are useless. The IEA even did their work for them, but when do you hear any of them talking about the nitty-gritty details?

  2. most Tory MPS are traitorous Remainers

    True, but many would jump ship in a heartbeat if they thought a stronger horse had entered the field. It’s not like these idiots have principles.

  3. I don’t think it’s that the Eurosceptics don’t have the numbers to depose her. I think it’s more that they are not prepared to take on the responsibility of implementing Brexit themselves. Davis was Brexit secretary and Boris was foreign secretary for two years, and did nothing constructive. Out of the cabinet, they constantly undermine May’s position in the negotiations. But they still expect her to do it, and take all the blame for any consequences, before any of them will make a move.

    May’s job is safe until Brexit is a done deal and there’s no going back. Then she’s toast.

    The Daily Mash’s take: Shit-shoveller to keep job until all the shit is shovelled

  4. Davis, Johnson et al have probably made the calculation that there aren’t enough Brexit conservative MPs. The constituencies would certainly favour a real Brexiteer who really means Brexit, but could be presented with a choice of two remainiacs. That would probably split the party for good.

  5. The above commentaters are right. Failure to put the bitch out equals disaster.

    The Tory Coward remain crowd could vote the bitch back in without instant consequences.

    But the final vote–her total sellout and crawling surrender vs WTO Rules is being set up for a single vote in January–so no time for wrecking amendments. Then is wet arse time for Tory MPs. That is a vote whose consequences they can’t duck. And vile and stupid as they are even they can’t imagine that it will all be forgotten about and have blown over by 2022. A new leader will have zero influence on changing that esp as the economic situation worsens after the sellout–when we could have been prospering. Still time to keep at the bastards harder than ever. The dole queue in Corbyn’s heaven is where they are going if they betray.

    If every Brexit supporter wrote just one letter to the Tory scum promising the wrath to come that would do the trick. I have written a very large number already and will be writing many more. If everyone for Brexit had done as much the Tory Party would have received several thousand million complaints and even their world of BluLabour fantasy would have collapsed.

  6. Perhaps the fear is it might trigger a general election… and look what happened last time.

    But, I wonder. Is all the choreography designed to get a no deal? Is this the plan all along? It would make sense. Use up the two years with tooing and froing. Get business, the markets, the population used to the uncertainty. It gives the economy time to psychologically and economically ‘price in’ perceived worst case scenario, so when no deal arrives, it is largely a non-event. In reality no deal and free trade = more competition, lower prices, increased economic activity, more prosperity.

    It shows there is no capital flight, inward investment is up, exports up, consumer confidence up ‘despite’ Brexit and the possibility of no deal.

    Nobody believes the doom mongers anymore. It has become a joke.

    And the EU reallly will have to agree tariff and non-tariff free imports from the UK as long as the UK will cooperate with declarations of origin.

    It would be a smart strategy… but it is that word ‘smart’ that has me worried. Smart and Comrade May plus the British political elite? Mutually exclusive.

  7. “True, but many would jump ship in a heartbeat if they thought a stronger horse had entered the field. It’s not like these idiots have principles.”

    Spot on.

    One of the problems with the media commentariat is that they’re in thrall to entertaining people. They like the sort of politicians that do flashy things, are a bit controversial, a bit witty, can appear on shows like Have I Got News for You and always assume that is the most important thing.

    Boris Johnson is not going to be Conservative leader. He had a shot at that and blew it through his own incompetence. He then got a job as Foreign Secretary and was useless. When it comes down to the ballots, he won’t get the numbers to end up in the last 2.

    What’s undervalued by the press is the real stuff of party and government. Why did May win? Because everyone in the Conservative Party trusts her. She’s known as a straight-shooter who doesn’t stitch anyone up. She takes the job seriously, she works hard. When she said “Brexit Means Brexit” people trusted her to do so. People in the commons and the wider party still trust her to deliver it in one form or another.

    The problem is that almost any candidate who gets within an inch of the PM job will be beaten by Sajid Javid. He’s seen as competent, experienced, able to win an election, and leans towards where most of the party are.

  8. Part of the problem is that the leaders of the Leave movement never really had a detailed plan for what it looked like beyond the headlines. Some wanted to open the door to US corporate interests (using free trade as a flag of convenience), some wanted to stop immigration, but whatever the reason the details were always going to be thrown over the fence to people who thought the whole thing was madness. In reality groupings like ERG and IEA are lobbyists for the interests that fund them, they’re not equipped to develop fully formed policies or implement it; they try to influence policy trends for their clients but it’s the civil service that does the heavy lifting. However, tearing up decades of deeply interlinked agreements and diplomacy in favour of a variety of ideological fetishes runs counter to how the civil service works.

  9. …holding out hope over some vague rumours that one of them is going to grow some balls and usurp Theresa May.

    I remember back when Gordon Brown was prime minister, Daniel Hannan used to shit all over Labour for the same thing. “When are they gonna grow some balls?”

    What’s he up to these days, I wonder?

  10. BoM4–Trustworthy May is ancient history to anyone who isn’t a fuckwit.

    The slightest knowledge of her useless, shite-smearing career at the Home Office would provide absolute confirmation of that.

    So you really must be joking.

    What they want is a terrible deal–the economy suffering so the lying cunts can complain “This Brexit thing really isn’t working ” and back we go.

  11. The political class’s problems with Brexit notwithstanding, dealing with things like Obamacare are hard, because when one side of the political argument just spends all its time giving out free stuff to people, its very hard for the other side to take even one cent of that away afterwards. We see the same with Brown’s ‘Working Tax Credits’ system (which should be done for misrepresentation – there’s precious little tax being paid by any of the people who get them, they’re just welfare by another name) – once you give X million some extra free cash that they don’t have to work to get, woe betide any party that comes along and takes it away. Its why western ‘democracies’ are f*cked. The ratchet only goes one way.

  12. It’s hard to imagine a time when the political landscape was so bereft of anyone with an ounce of competence or leadership skills.

    It’s the consequence of MSM insiting MPs must be touchy-feely PC SJW virtue signallers & 50% female and MPs/Parties capitulating. In Conservatives, Cameron is the main culprit.

    Any prospective MP with leadership skills, strength, independance or conviction is rejected or doesn’t even bother applying. Some do eg Johnny Mercer even though CCHQ rejected him.

    A good example may be this year’s BBC Apprentice – sensible no longer apply, candidates are a bunch of vain useless loons. Notable Sugar told not to ridicule tats/piercings.

    Pertinent:
    Theresa May plots with 1922 Chairman to keep power

    We need a Trump.

  13. >many would jump ship in a heartbeat if they thought a stronger horse had entered the field. It’s not like these idiots have principles.

    Yes and no. All else being equal they’ll go with the EU. Strong horse yes, go with that, but they’re pretty dumb so they don’t know what a strong horse looks like, and they don’t get out much, so they wouldn’t know what a genuine revolution looks like until they were hoisted up on lamposts with piano wire, and even then they’d think the crowds were just giving them a better look.

    So they think May is the stronger horse at the moment, once you factor in the reluctance to risk another GE. But in a way they agree with you, Tim, in that they think Johnson and Davis and JRM are not up to it. And truth be told they’re probably not.

    >Part of the problem is that the leaders of the Leave movement never really had a detailed plan for what it looked like beyond the headlines.

    Actually, all we need is third country status, with the tricky bits like aviation ironed out months in advance.

    >I remember back when Gordon Brown was prime minister, Daniel Hannan used to shit all over Labour for the same thing. “When are they gonna grow some balls?” What’s he up to these days, I wonder?

    Sacked by the Tories, so it’s not really his fault (although I agree he’s been a bit useless).

    >Why did May win? Because everyone in the Conservative Party trusts her. She’s known as a straight-shooter who doesn’t stitch anyone up. She takes the job seriously, she works hard. When she said “Brexit Means Brexit” people trusted her to do so.

    If true this is a reason why the Tories must die. She’s been utterly useless and egostistical for years.

    >The problem is that almost any candidate who gets within an inch of the PM job will be beaten by Sajid Javid. He’s seen as competent, experienced, able to win an election, and leans towards where most of the party are.

    And he’s a political mediocrity as well.

    >I don’t think it’s that the Eurosceptics don’t have the numbers to depose her. I think it’s more that they are not prepared to take on the responsibility of implementing Brexit themselves. Davis was Brexit secretary and Boris was foreign secretary for two years, and did nothing constructive.

    Not quite true. Davis prepared his plan, but it turns out May undermined the whole thing. But I agree that they’re useless. David got shafted, and… well, at least he resigned, but he should have moved Heaven and Earth to have May smahed to bits by the Gods.

    >We need a Trump.

    Yes.

    In the end Mr Ecks has always been right, for year upon year. That is what we should reflect upon.

  14. What Jim says. Undoing Obamacare is hard, Brexit is hard. Politicians can only make small nudges: big changes simply aren’t in their DNA. Doubly so if it means taking things away rather than giving out freebies.

    So instead of “no deal” we’re more likely to get the Norway option. Just because it’s far easier than working everything out from first principles.

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