Stanley Johnson - the Prime Minister’s father - has had multiple discussions with Chinese state officials on behalf of his son incl. at Chinese embassy at ambassador level & above.

UK officials increasingly concerned Boris is running an “off-books” diplomatic policy.

This “off-books” diplomacy with the Chinese government via the Johnson family goes back “over a year”.

While some media comment has leaked out over the last year or so - most of the reporting - via FT or Guardian for example - has been careful or alternatively played on Stanley’s humorous image.

In fact this action is strictly prohibited precisely because of risks it entails.

Officials at the FCO are now increasingly nervous that the Johnson family actions do “not fit the patten expected” by allies since the new US administration came in last month.

I’ve been watching this story seep out in various corners for quite a while.

For those who haven’t - the media have been tip-toeing around it for sometime now.

Officials at FCO believe this a pattern of behaviour by Boris who prioritises “personal contact” incl. via his family to official channels when dealing with foreign govts.

While FCO less concerned when with allies there is disquiet when undertaken with less friendly regimes.

Also further “disquiet” at FCO that “Boris doesn’t get” that while Trump may actually have favoured Johnson’s “off-books” approach to diplomacy the new US administration won’t.

For those that ask ruling out “off-books” diplomacy doesn’t mean no “discreet back channels” which can be useful - it means where all Intel & govt agencies completely unaware what is happening.

Some of the info coming out about China - & let’s be clear this is no scoop there’s a lot of briefing going on - represents I suspect a FCO turf war btwn those who want a return to a more “measured” traditional foreign policy & those that rose in the wave of Johnson-Trumpism.

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More from @nicktolhurst

23 Feb
The British royal family were never really under serious threat from the left.

Most liberals & “do-gooding” lefties are suckers for people who look like they’re trying to make the world a bit better place.

It’s the right wing & nihilistic media that’ll destroy them in the end.

I think as well, many non royalists will be surprised what happens when the Queen passes on.

She is such a cultural & social icon theres likely to be the same effect as when a country loses a chunk of itself - which of course could literally happen at the same time as well.

The Queen passing on the same time as Scotland leaving the union is likely to concentrate minds in 🇦🇺🇨🇦🇳🇿 where the Generation that associates the “shared monarchy” with the war & the “British-heavy” migration of the pre-1970s will have faded into insignificance.
Read 4 tweets
22 Feb
This is a very curious tweet by the BBC.
To those who know financial sector this is a normal figure for registrations.
It doesn't mean what BBC language is implying.
Nobody expects the City to suddenly collapse - if it did the country would effectively be broke overnight.

The intention of this @BBCNews tweet was to cloud/decieve rather than explain.
The use of phrase "'set to open UK offices'" implies in most peoples minds something other than is likely to be the case in all but a minority of cases.

Its almost disinformation.

By "opening up a 1 000 offices" could quite easily refer to a thousand companies registered to a single address.

In fact after losing several trillion worth of business to Amsterdam this BBC tweet attempts to hide this behind a dodgy stat that most people wont understand..
Read 5 tweets
21 Feb

Civil Service increasingly despairing of "Johnson's ability to focus on everyday govt" as he floats ever more stranger ideas - the latest a "giant roundabout under Isle of Man to connect UK countries via interconnecting tunnels" - as part of his "patriotic Union" plan.

Story starting to (partially) seep out now..


Civil service increasingly told to present information in "short easily understandable answers" and to research ever ever more fantastical ideas & "notions" the Prime Minister throws at them at short notice.
Read 9 tweets
19 Feb
It’s one thing to select guests with a particular bias - it’s bad practice but not uncommon..

...but making this non journalist who simply made up stuff on TV as your political correspondent is signalling that GB News has dispensed with even the lowest of journalistic norms.

There was some talk that the GB News / FOX News comparison was overblown but it should be remembered that many Fox News staff do have a background in genuine journalism.

Tom Harwood is just a political operative who was shown up time & time again for simply making stuff up.

The decision to make Harwood the political correspondent is thus confirmation GB News won’t be run as merely a conservative minded media channel which you could make a case for - but as an anti-journalism outlet for Vote Leave.

Not just Brexit.....but “journalistic-exit”.
Read 4 tweets
16 Feb
There’s only ever been 3 real Labour govt eras & each time there was a common theme to how they started:

Attlee in the positive post war era
Wilson in the positive mid 1960s era
Blair in the positive late 90s era

Understand this & you get why Labour have to play this carefully.

In bad times swing voters (liberal-Conservatives & socially conservative Labour voters) retrench.

When everyone feels positive about things voters are prepared to be expansive. There’s enough room, money & resources to spend on everyone.
In bad times it’s “me & mine”.

Labours policy of showing competency to better manage Covid & Brexit is thus sound historically.

And, to some counter intuitively, Labour might stand a better chance of getting in if the post Brexit/post vaccine is not not a complete disaster.

How can this be..?
Read 4 tweets
16 Feb

UK govt has told the 25 leading heritage & culture bodies in UK public life to eliminate left wing “woke” thought & anti British actions which it believes is not in step with post Brexit sentiment.

Culture minister Oliver Dowden to personally coordinate the campaign.

Part of this camüpaign will involve coordination with Dept for Education to see that "all views represented" & giving speakers the "automatic right" to claim compensation should a university or educational inst. decide to retract appearance due to political considerations.

Govt plan is also based on outlawing any govt funding in heritage area that could “be used politically” or on “political themes.”

Upcoming coordination by culture & Dept of education planned for early next week aimed at “turning the tide” on culture.
Read 4 tweets

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