The endless comparisons between Boris Johnson and Winston Churchill are wide of the mark.

All the while there has been an obvious historical parallel hiding in plain sight.

Henry VIII. 1/3
✅ Known for his many marriages
✅ Schism with the Church/Treaty of Rome
✅ Investing in the Royal Navy
✅ The divine right of Kings
✅ (For the lawyers...) Clauses
✅ Rocky relations with Chief Ministers 2/3
And, to quote the venerable wikipedia:

✅ An extravagant spender, continually on the verge of financial ruin
✅ Numerous 'costly and largely unsuccessful' wars
✅ Frequently characterised in his later life as a 'lustful, egotistical, paranoid and tyrannical' monarch 3/3
PS One more for luck (again from wikipedia...):
✅ He frequently used charges of treason and heresy to quell dissent

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More from @syrpis

30 May
This is a bit different; some thoughts about how we *listen* to people. I'm putting it here because it may, as I'll try to explain, have political resonance. THREAD 1/15
We listen (and read) for lots of different reasons, and in lots of different contexts.

I think that, fundamentally, we can listen in 2 ways, and that those 2 ways are markedly different. 2/
We can listen either from our perspective, with our own frame of reference in place, seeking to work out how what is being said interacts with our own world view. 3/
Read 15 tweets
28 May
A quick thread on the Cummings evidence - and what it tells us about Brexit. 1/10

(This is very much a preliminary view; all thoughts very welcome).
The bit I want to focus on is the bit where he rails against the chaos and incompetence at the heart of Govt and the dangers of group-think. If he had hair, he would have been tearing it out. 2/10
His response was to seek to bring in 'talent' from outside. To create a plan and to operationalise it. To galvanise the state into action. 3/10
Read 10 tweets
26 May
What is twitter for if not (yet another) hot take on the Cummings Committee evidence?

I'll try to keep it short. 1/6
It is, on its face, a damning indictment of chaos and dysfunction at the heart of Government, which in March, and again in the autumn, cost many thousands of lives. 2/6
But Cummings is an unreliable narrator, full of contradictions. His errors, lies and missteps are excusable. Others': not so much.

His comments on groupthink, playing by the rules, openness and transparency will rightly raise eyebrows. 3/6
Read 6 tweets
21 May
A BBC journalist used 'deceitful' methods to secure 1995 interview. Wow.

Have the 'outraged' press forgotten about phone hacking?

Has the 'outraged' government forgotten about its relationship with the truth?
Read 6 tweets
16 May
Seeing lots of reaction to proposals for a progressive alliance, and have been struck by one thing.

Members and activists tend to reject it; while 'mere' supporters of opposition parties tend to embrace it. 1/7
Obviously, there are a lot more 'mere' supporters than members and activists.

But, I don't think that there can be any chance that a progressive alliance will happen without the strong support of members and activists.

So, why might the two groups think as they do? 2/7
Members/activists might oppose a progressive alliance because:
a) they are familiar with the party rules (which make it much more difficult);
b) they are likely to think their party can win; 3/7
Read 7 tweets
13 May
The Higher Education (Free Speech) Bill is more than a little incoherent - as @michelledonelan seems intent on demonstrating.

The Bill is here:… 1/8
It aims to secure free speech 'within the law', so... there will be debates about what the limits of the law are (see eg Prevent; IHRA anti-semitism definition etc). 2/8
It aims to stop discrimination based on an individual's 'ideas, beliefs or views' (for academics, 'within their field of expertise'), so... there will be debates about what each of those means. 3/8
Read 8 tweets

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