Off the back of this (which may well be empty gossip), some slightly disjointed thoughts.

In the current govt, Johnson is a shell. No authority, no plan, no decision-making.

The real power is the axis of Gove-Cummings

But Gove must know he can't be next. He's tried and failed twice. He's better (by his estimation) as a power behind the throne. So although he's touted, I personally doubt it.

Cummings won't survive if Johnson goes. A successor won't tolerate him.

Opposite Corbyn, the Tory front bench could pick almost anyone. Opposing Starmer, they need somebody serious.

If it happens fast, I'd bet on Sunak. Currently popular cos he's "Captain Giveaway"

But very soon the bills need to be paid, and his lustre will fade fast.

So if Johnson waits until ~March 2021, Sunak's time may have gone.

From the remaining front bench, we have such a relentlessly weak and unpopular team it's hard to imagine the nation accepting any of them. Raab. Patel. Truss. Leadsome. Shapps. All voter-repellent trash.

This presupposes the British public will accept what will be, by then, the 5th successive PM to take office without winning an election. Times will be febrile a year into Covid, with (predicted) 10-12% unemployment and Brexit gone badly wrong. Could collapse any govt.

There is - I hate to use the word - more talent on the backbenches. But almost all of them are Brexit sceptics with a history of saying no to the voters that count ... the 0.5% of the electorate that are Tory members. Hunt is the big beast, but I doubt they'll accept him

Where does this lead? It leads where almost all paths for the Tories are leading: dead end. They survived a decade by lying, but here comes the truth, and it demands payment. Their time is up. They're exhausted and out of ideas. All 10-15 year govts end like this

The problem for us - actual humans - is that they can hang on for years with an 80 seat majority, in power but not able to govern, lost, flailing, destroying at will, ineptly fronted by whatever useless halfwit miraculously falls over the line next time

Happy 2021 everybody!

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More from @RussInCheshire

18 Sep
Someone I know (offline) said they didn't understand the whole Brexit / Ireland / Trade thing. Didn't see the first few episodes, couldn't catch up, now lost.

So for those in the same boat, I'm gonna try to explain. This is (necessarily) simplified, but here goes
In 2016 we voted to leave the EU.

But if we do that without a Trade Deal, we risk making a lot of our economy noncompetitive.


Because if you don't have a Trade Deal, you have to use WTO (World Trade Org) rules. And those include tariffs.

What are tariffs?
Tariffs are a kind of tax: between around 10% and 90% of the value of the thing you trade. So for example, beef that we currently sell to Spain for £10 will now cost £19.

And that means it's cheaper for Spain to buy beef from France. So they will. So our beef farmers suffer.
Read 19 tweets
14 Sep
#TheWeekInTory had to pause for a bit while I dealt with a poorly old mum. So this is actually about 3 weeks, very compressed

I dreaded coming back to this. I mean, honestly, where do you start?

Deep breath…
1. Theresa May couldn’t agree a Withdrawal Agreement (WI) because – in news that will shock the millions who warned about this – it’s impossible due do without accepting EU rules, or harming NI, or breaking up the UK, or crippling the economy, or all of the above
2. Nevertheless, Boris Johnson agreed a WI from the EU

3. Then Tories voted to accelerate the Withdrawal Agreement through parliament, specifically so it wouldn’t have to face scrutiny

4. And Boris Johnson withdrew the whip – sacked – 21 Tories who didn’t support the delay
Read 37 tweets
13 Sep
Well, I just reported @SuellaBraverman and @RobertBuckland to the Bar Standards Board. Advising a client to break the law explicitly breaches published Bar Standards, and brings the profession into disrepute.

The usual punishment is being struck off.…
In the unlikely event you want to do the same, you'll need their addresses.

Luckily, these are on their websites. Here are links
It would be terrible if several thousand people reported them, and their professional body suspended their right to practice law. If that were to happen, they could no longer hold their offices. Obviously this would be tragic.
Read 5 tweets
12 Sep
Brexit Trade Talks:

UK: We don’t like our deal

EU: Why not?

UK: We only get 95% of what we want

EU: It only gives us 95% too. That's how negotiating goes

UK: We want a new deal that gives us everything we can think of

EU: But you signed a deal

UK: Don't care, we hate you
EU: Bit rude

UK: We elected people to go to your meetings specifically to say we hate you

EU: And how is Nigel?

UK: Not happy?

EU: Why not?

UK: TV has dried up. So we want a new deal, and we want the deal in 3 weeks, or we cancel our existing deal

EU: Wait, what?
UK: You heard. Give us 100% of what we want in 3 weeks, or we break the law and walk away with 0% of what we want

EU: Er… suits us!

UK: Wait, what?

EU: Perfect. Do it. Walk away. Take Nigel with you.

UK: No, hold on, wait: you have to negotiate, so Boris can win
Read 21 tweets
10 Sep
A few points:


If Britain, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, sets a precedent for arbitrarily ignoring international treaties, how can the international community enforce them in future? How can we compel Iraq or N Korea to follow the rules?

I'm not just talking about trade deals or the EU. Fact is, grown up govts cannot allow this to happen, because it undermines every country's confidence in international law and agreed treaties. On trade, security, nuclear weaponry, everything.

If the aim of this is to show how independent we are: what an appalling failure. We've now got 3 weeks to backtrack or the EU can sanction us. The US has said there's no chance of a UK/US deal if we do this. And the international community is aghast.
Read 7 tweets
8 Sep
This is depressing thing to say, but we're nowhere near the worst yet

Covid health crisis hasn't ended. A 2nd wave combined with normal winter NHS crisis will be horrendous

Mass unemployment will start soon, and nobody under 60 has had to feed a family through anything like it.
Even if we find a vaccine tomorrow, producing enough and then injecting 67 million will take 12 months. By that time, projections are 12% unemployed.

There's been no public disorder yet because furlough means the unemployed generally don't feel unemployed yet.
But when furlough ends, the high-street dies, we see the collapse of holiday companies, airlines, car manufacturers, train companies, and countless small businesses go under... then the shit will hit.

And trust in govt is collapsing. Few now believe them.
Read 17 tweets

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