Today MPs are back at Westminster today and no doubt a big topic of conversation will be the latest polling which shows very little difference compared with what it was before the holidays. The Tories are still in dire territory and if this was repeated at a general election then hundreds of CON MPs would lose their jobs.
Moving against Sunak so soon would be crazy, not least because there is no valid alternative.
The factions fighting within the Parliamentary Conservative party are doing so because of a lack of a realistic plan to rally round. Sunak lacks the vision, the opportunity or the hinterland of electoral support to produce one at least at the moment. He looks doomed to be the patsy in their defeat.
Communities including in celebrity enclave of Montecito, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz told to evacuate as more rain is expected
8in of rain in 24 hours !
My thread header attracted 378 comments.
No.376 was still on topic. Albeit some modest diversions around Ukraine and Britishvolt.
Is this a record for a non-election thread?
If you think you've had a bad day: a 300 tonne wagon and transformer toppled over in Slovenia. It's in a rather precarious position.
Thomas (in the background) is not impressed. I can't see Sir Toppam Hat, but I bet he's calling it "a cause of confusion and delay!"
It was an excellent header. Several thought provoking notches up from PBs usual educational fare of demands for more grammar schools and bemoaning VAT extensions to private education.
Looks like Richard Branson had a night to forget as well, his plane-launched rocket looked okay but didn’t make it’s intended orbit https://twitter.com/DJSnM/status/1612687023600726017
SpaceX launched another batch of OneWeb satellites successfully, and one never gets tired of watching the F9 first stage come back to Earth! https://twitter.com/DJSnM/status/1612675420494909440
Tens of thousands of businesses will be at risk of collapse after the government cut financial support for their energy costs by 85 per cent, business leaders have warned.
Ministers last night confirmed a maximum support package of £5.5 billion over the 12 months from April, down from an estimated £18 billion over the six months of this winter.
James Cartlidge, the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said it was “not sustainable” to continue what was “one of the most generous packages in Europe” at a time when the national debt stood at £2.48 trillion.
However, the Federation of Small Businesses described the move as “catastrophic”, creating a cliff-edge in support at the end of March and spelling “the beginning of the end for tens of thousands of small businesses, which have been relying on the government energy support to survive this winter”.
The Qatari owners of Paris Saint-Germain are looking to significantly increase their sports portfolio by investing in a Premier League club.
Sources claim that recent meetings between Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who is the president of PSG and chairman of Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) as well as beIN Media Group, and Daniel Levy, the executive chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, are part of a broader initiative to expand the Qatari sporting empire off the back of the World Cup.
Tottenham are denying that any discussions are related to either selling the club outright, the potential sale of a stake in the business or a naming-rights deal for the stadium.
But The Times understands that a meeting between Al-Khelaifi and Levy at the Fairmont Hotel in Doha during the World Cup was followed by further discussions in London last week.
An expansion is certainly on the agenda for QSI, whose interests is limited to PSG, a 22 per cent stake in the Portuguese club Braga — acquired for €80 million (about £70.5 million) last October — and the booming sport that is padel tennis.
When they swing, I think they'll swing largely and en-masse.
Mind you that might be skewed by Hyufd having a very Hyufd moment about the Russell Group.
God help us
Big old irrelevant dog.
In rough terms £17bn of support in 6 months became £5bn in 12 months. This produced spectacular sums like, err, £2k for the average pub with most of that support focused on heavy users. Frankly, at that level, they really shouldn't have bothered with a wide ranging scheme at all.
I am not saying that they should have borrowed billions more to subsidise energy consumption or that Labour's response was even close to coherent (the "sticking plaster" nonsense got old very quickly) but it does show that money remains tight, especially with all these strikes to buy off. Not really seeing where a wave of Rishi popularity is going to come from.
All the adulation, the grandeur, the chauffeurs, the grace and favour homes, are covered courtesy of the grateful taxpaying voter.
It sounds like a great gig for a profligate, power hungry couple, whoever they may be. One can't scramble the RAF to rescue Afghan hounds when one's income source is speeches to the Coal and Steel Federation of Cleveland Christmas lunch. One can as PM.
Boris has a caucus of at least 100 MPs in the party, and quite probably now about 120-130+
However, Sunak would need to lose a VoNC amongst his own MPs first, or quit, and I think that's where the high hurdle is.
The ignored matter, always unfashionable in England especially (Scotland is slightly different) is this. What do the Tories believe. What is their underlying philosophy and ideology. In what ways is this distinct from those of other parties. What consistent principles undergird everything they do.
Just because foundational philosophy doesn't get discussed in the Mail or on Twitter doesn't mean it doesn't matter. At the moment the lack of this means they can't win the GE as long as they are against a party with some degree of social democrat coherence and party discipline.
Happily the Conservative and Unionist Party can be trusted not to make policy judgements based on donations, and never ever favours its corrupt friends.
Sorry I missed it. Back to back at work yesterday, and the same today.
Hope the back to work is OK and the family aren't exhausting you.
I caught a few minutes of Wes Streeting in the chamber ripping Steve Barclay so many new arseholes that Barclay ended up indistinguishable from his own back benches.
The formula, savage the depth of failure and
highlight modest Labour proposal that Tory is in absolutely no position to attack (even if nonsensical) will stand good till 2024 and, more importantly will tally with experience out in the country.
The Tories are heading for below 9m votes at the next election like in 1997, and as then the Con -> DNV route is more important then either direct Con -> Lab or Con -> LD or the not insignificant anti-Corbyn DNV -> Labour. (In 1997 Cons lost 2.3 votes for every Labour vote gained)
- the only problem is that his own government has produced an impact assessment saying the opposite https://twitter.com/PickardJE/status/1611327460771090435
If somewhat fatter.
Sunak identifies five largely vague goals and says they are the people's priorities - are they even the settled priorities of his own MPs? The urgency behind some of them frothing about the EU Freedoms bill shows that they know their time is short. But many of the MPs who will lose their seat know the "Freedoms" will damage their constituents.
I can see Sunak surviving towards the next election relatively easily. Yes there will be open warfare against his position but without any real damage being done. Because if they remove Sunak who is the replacement and what do they believe in? He only goes in summer 2024 if they are still an ocean off a lead with a looming wipeout focusing their minds. Then it will be Boris and the only purpose will be survival.
@YouGov poll for @TimesRadio reveals decline in “dismay” at prospect of a Labour win, but not a lot of delight either.
More on your #TimesRadio 10am https://twitter.com/MattChorley/status/1612726348031864833/photo/1
Incredible work has gone into the UK’s first ever launch of an orbital satellite tonight.
Good luck to the entire team
Has Leondamus passed on the mantle ?
Many of the key decisions- not going so hard in renewables and efficiency (2013?), being unsustainably generous with the 2022/3 winter energy package (Truss interlude), even taking a (temporary in his view) hit on the economy by disrupting our trading arrangements (2016) were taken long ago, in goodish faith. But as with the infrastructure investment squeeze (which Britain has done basically forever), there was always a risk that they would bite us on the bum sometime. And the time is now and the bum is Rishi's.
It looks like Mike Pence's leadership PAC spent $91,000 on copies of his new book in November.
Putting donor money to good use!
I suggest the Conservative and Unionist Nutty Tory Sect.
Lots of MPs will be putting their time into LinkedIn and work contacts, rather than plotting in the tea room.
Betrayal and plotting are their primary focus
I could actually envisage Harry emulating the career of the late “Big” John Holmes.
Albeit because he's triggered not because he has an inadequate blood supply...
The Sunak cost fallacy.
They'd have to meet three criteria;
1 Be in a seat that Sunak loses but someone else might save;
2 Believe that Boris will do better- he has the aura of a winner but objectively isn't all that popular;
3 Be willing to go through All That Nonsense again.
There will be some thinking that way, but enough? It's a stretch.
(Though like you, I won't believe he's politically dead until he's had the equivalent of a lying in state where I can check for myself.)
That's why there was a sudden rush of MPs announcing they weren't standing at the next election. They're working out what they're going to do in 2025 when they aren't MPs any more.
However under Boris the Tories were polling 30 to 35% before he resigned despite the fact OGH was saying he had to be removed for their rating to be improved.
So if Sunak is heading for a heavy defeat in the polls before the next election campaign and the Times are still leaking heavily to RefUK and DK then Boris may well be brought back to fight that election campaign
Apparently, it’s not unknown for people to buy large orders of digital books from themselves. This only costs the Amazon (or whatever) tax, since nothing physical is involved.
The old classic is counting “despatched to book shop” as sold, by the publisher. This is done for political biographies which are “supported” by the publisher - the publisher is actually giving the politician a pile of cash, dressed up as a book deal…
Having swept past the Tories / Tory "independents" in May they would then need to coalesce around a dynamic candidate for Tees Mayor and basically go at it for a few years. And hire some serious organisers / media people to get past the massive Tory chumocracy which is local news...
And it's insane making all children do calculus when numeracy is more important. OTOH if they are too busy with calculus they can't do numeracy and detect bullshit so easily when they grow up. Which might be the logic behind Mr Sunak's policy.
Far too many on the right of the party are obsessed with Johnson and utterly fail to understand he is not acceptable to large parts of the country and another leader before the next GE would be insane
Sunak is not the problem, indeed he is the only conservative who may mitigate 24, but the civil war waging behind Sunak is
I understand they will apply to ambulance, fire and rail
Anyway... Happy Prince Harry Book Day everyone!
It has a retail of £28, but both Amazon and Waterstones have been selling it for £14 for months now. If the publisher paid Harry a $20m advance for the book, there’s no way they’re making the money back in sales, and any serialisation in papers has been totally undermined by leaks.
So, what’s the actual business model here? Because it clearly isn’t selling books, which will be in the six figures worldwide, not close to getting the advance back as far as the publisher s concerned.
Obama’s memoir sold 1.7m at full price, it’s hard to imagine Harry is going to come anywhere close to that.
Government has been denying there's any evidence for quite a while now, and has refused to halt the dredging for further studies.
I'm not saying this excuses this latest news, but it'll be interesting to k now what the levels of pollution are compared to those historical levels.
The link below *should* show one of the puddles near the fishermen. This was just south of Sunderland.
What is going on with celebs has always been hard to understand. The Private Eye suggestion is that the “advances” themselves are bullshit. As in $20 million or whatever is actually what would get paid if the book sold a zillion copies. The actual cash handed over, in nearly all cases, as an actual, real advance was orders of magnitude smaller.
The size of the advance was part of the publicity for the media package as a whole, in other words.