Extract from Spectator's Evening round up: "Is the party over for Boris?" "This is the most serious Downing Street party revelation so far..anger in the Commons was visceral. Johnson has made an entire career out of getting away with things. Many of his Conservative colleagues..
have allowed him to get away with those things, too, because they see him as a vehicle to the party being in government. But the reason so many of them are speaking out against him now – and even more are refusing to say anything at all....
– is that they fear their constituents will not forgive these latest revelations given the painful contrast with the lives many of them were living in lockdown, according to the rules Johnson himself had set."

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More from @alexhallhall

13 Jan
I hope @paul_lever and @LordRickettsP won't mind me
RT'ing their exchange - they're far more senior and experienced diplomats than me, from whom I learned a lot as a junior. But, with genuine respect, I think below exemplifies a straw man argument about Brexit 🧵
I've never argued that we can't engage diplomatically with EU post Brexit; just like it's never been argued that we can't trade anymore with the EU; travel to the EU; send parcels to friends/family in the EU; collaborate on scientific, medical, artistic, police or legal matters.
Also, I've never contended that the EU is the only organisation that matters; or supersedes NATO, which has primacy on security. The EU also has many flaws. But it remains our nearest neighbour, biggest trading bloc, and its members still important allies.
Read 7 tweets
12 Jan
In case of wider interest, I am sharing here a brief recap of what I said about "Global Britain" from the podcast below: "We're marginally less influential than we were five years ago. We're no longer in as many of the rooms where debates take place." 🧵
"We no longer pool our resources, and knowledge, and expertise and multiply our influence through the EU. We're less valuable to the US and we're now deciding to cut our diplomatic network by another 20%. So, what we say and what we do are at complete odds with each other."
"And as long as we're engaged in these petty, trivial wars with our European neighbours, that's going to distract us from actually focusing on these international challenges. Let's say there's another Russian attack on British soil, another Skripal moment...
Read 6 tweets
10 Jan
Another epic blog by Chris Grey - this one over Brexiter desperation to win the battle over the meaning of Brexit, and avoid the harsh judgement of history. Every sentence is quotable, but here are some [edited for concision] highlights 🧵 chrisgreybrexitblog.blogspot.com/2022/01/brexit…
"the most committed Brexiters are so invested in the idea of being betrayed and of victimhood that no actual Brexit would have satisfied them. Taken together, this meant it was almost guaranteed that the idea that ‘Brexit would have worked but it wasn’t done properly’ wd develop.
there's no great moment of revelation that Brexit has failed, just steady accumulation of a realisation..One way some Brexiters seek to head off such assessment is not so much by denying as by downplaying damage caused, principally by pointing to aversion of worst-case scenarios
Read 13 tweets
7 Jan
I woke up this morning feeling strangely unsettled...and realised that despite (or perhaps, because of) 30+yrs in conventional govt service, I'm now starting to question everything I thought I once knew about my country and its institutions.
Top down, our system is undemocratic - prerogative powers exercised on behalf of the Crown, unelected House of Lords, system that gives disproportionate powers to govt, elected with less than 50% vote, imbalance in powers across the Union, cozy nexus of donors, media, politicians
Populace kept distracted and entertained with never ending diet of shallow news and gossip about royals, toffs, socialites, models, sports, pop, soaps, crime, etc. Feelgood stories or trivia which gloss over the challenges and inequities which actually prevail in our society.
Read 7 tweets
5 Jan
Today I issue the second in my series of dispatches as new Ambassador at Large to the Court of St Boris (sorry, I mean, St James), addressed to the President of the Small Island Developing State which I currently represent, "Sid" for short.🧵
Excellency, I bid you greetings on the New Year, and health and happiness for our people. Following my "first impressions" dispatch on the state of the UK, in this telegram I shall identify some of the opportunities I foresee in 2022 for our relationship with this noble Kingdom.
First, trade. I believe we have an opportunity to secure a new deal on excellent terms, as the UK, facing new red tape & decline in trade with EU, is desperate (I mean, "keen") to achieve results elsewhere. More favourable than the existing EU deal, to which the UK used to belong
Read 20 tweets
3 Jan
The comments on this post are amazing...the extraordinary efforts required by civil servants and others to justify their expenses, against this cavalier use of public money. My favorite comment was by someone criticized for buying the "expensive biros"!
I spent literally hundreds of hours over my career both collating, photocopying and itemizing my own expenses, as well as poring over the claims of those I line managed, (feel guilty about this) sometimes nitpicking...in order to ensure not even a hint of fraud.
Of course, it's absolutely essential to use public money carefully. However, I once got into serious trouble with the FCDO hierarchy for pointing out that the amount of time spent on such activity and other rigorous internal paperwork also came at a cost.
Read 10 tweets

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