Sunak – a PM with a 70+ seat majority, from a party that has been in charge for thirteen years – just blamed the Leader of the Opposition for "depriving people of urgent care" by refusing to support gov't measures that run roughshod over working people's rights. Wow. ~AA #PMQs pic.twitter.com/47F6INcL15
What can they possibly go after, consistently, across all issues, that will undermine Labour and make Tory abstainers turn out 1992 style.
I predict that "Why don't Labour support our (widely regarded as) tired, ill-considered legislation" is not going to be the strategic underpinning of a polling recovery.
Are Tory backbenchers bothered?
Is this a symptom of an exhausted government, sliding to an inevitable crushing defeat, or an example of something that plays badly in the Commons, but might gain some traction in an election campaign?
I'd say, not bothered and exhausted, which implies Sunak will lead the Tories to a heavy general election defeat, but I'd be interested in any arguments to the contrary.
I think this is a fair analysis:
The Prime Minister’s political gamble right now is that people want a competent manager, not another Boris Johnson or Liz Truss. The risk with this strategy is that the country is in chaos, and anyone presiding over that is unlikely to win any “best boss of the year awards”.
All Starmer has to do then is keep telling the story of a Britain unravelling in a way which grabs attention, and we all know the public’s heart is through the health service.
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We're four weeks from the winter solstice, so about 15% of the year has shorter days and a lower noon sun than today.
It's certainly a contribution that's not to be sniffed at, particularly once the grid has more storage to time-shift it to the early evening peak in demand.
Solar is so dirt cheap now too - cheaper watt for watt than wind even in the UK I think - that it really ought to be getting rolled out on a decentralised basis everywhere possible. One area where government subsidy could pay for itself given the cost of the energy price guarantee.
Particularly useful in summer when the wind isn't blowing, and as you say doubly useful with increasing EV usage and battery storage.
Ukraine wants German-made Leopard 2 tanks.
The Netherlands has German-made Leopard 2 tanks.
Watch Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte ( @MinPres ) respond to
@ak_mack ’s question about his government sending tanks to Ukraine.
None of it stands up to sanity or reasoning. The minimum service requirement that Sunak was banging the drum for does nothing to address the outrageous wait times for the vast majority of days when there isn't a strike.
This denial of people's lived experience will absolutely destroy them. Especially as so many of those Tory backbenchers - especially the 2019 intake - are fucking morons. You want to antagonise your electorate? Ignore them, belittle them, patronise them.
He needs to sort out a deal with the teachers. Less critical but still urgent.
Ideally, he would do a deal with the train staff too. Less urgent, these people provide a worse service than Ukraine even when they are not on strike. If the railways close down because people learn to live without them too bad.
The intray is piling up Gordon Brown style. Sunak needs to start emptying it.
The lectern was compared to a Jenga tower, from the board game that results in total collapse, as it featured pieces of wood that resembled Jenga blocks ready to topple. It was specially made for the former prime minister who lasted 45 days in No 10.
Starmer: Ambulance waiting times are awful. What are you going to do about it?
Sunak: We're fixing it, but it's all your fault anyway because you won't support our minimum service level legislation and you're in the pocket of your union paymasters.
But he's fundamentally not very good at talking persuasively; has he ever really had to before?
And the whole government seems to be cutting itself off from information about the outside world. The vibe is planning imaginary armies of tax cuts to win on 2024, which is why they can't pay people more now. Which would be fine if things were rolling along nicely of their own accord, which they aren't.
Bit unfair on Major (albeit most Scottish seats were Labour still in 1997 and 2010)
Blair 1997 43.2%
Pretty clear difference.
Aletha Adu at the Guardian copied the story from John Stevens at the Mirror.
The lectern was of the same style, although supposedly it wasn't the same actual lectern, as the one that was used at the Tory leadership announcement.
Liz Truss must really have liked that unusual style of lectern.
But I am sceptical about them being two different lecterns. Two questions: 1. where is the first one? 2. Did anyone spot any differences between them?
Angela Rayner, who uses w********t for good purposes (bless her), may know more than she lets on when she says "(Liz Truss's) choice of a Jenga design should have been a warning sign of the chaos she was about to unleash."
It was, Angela. I read the sign at the time.
The word "Jenga" comes from Swahili, but Jenga is a complete red herring.
Think of something closer to home:
A quarter of the Republicans in the Michigan state House signed a letter to Ron DeSantis asking him to run for president.
It is as nothing, against the enduring magnificence of the legendary Edstone.
That teachers are on as low a wage as possible
That non-teaching staff costs are removed as much as possible
That school building maintenance be cut if its public sector or contracted out
That as many schools as possible get farmed out to trusts and free school organisations where education money can be spent properly on CEO salaries
It really is not very complicated.
1. Use inflation to cut public sector pay and increase taxation.
2. Use money thereby raised to reduce the deficit, thereby avoiding a run on the pound, and to fund pre-election tax cuts.
3. Blame Labour.
If he increases public sector pay then that's two-thirds of his strategy wrecked. He will resist a u-turn for as long as possible.
"Conservative prime ministers are each allowed to help design the lecterns for their time in office. They are custom-built for Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ), which usually orders two and loans one to Downing Street."
"Theresa May's lectern was designed by Fiona Hill, her joint chief of staff, and was designed to look 'feminine', according to a source."
"David Cameron's was designed by Baroness Sugg, his head of operations, and was designed to look 'statesmanlike,' while Mr Johnson's blockier design was intended to withstand him thumping it as he delivered speeches."
Truss...oh she just likes twisty pillars... Never heard of Rosslyn...
Was it a loan or a duplicate? If it was a duplicate, why break with the tradition of loaning?
I haven't checked but did the Conservative Party make any spending pledges about education in their manifesto, and have they fulfilled them if they did.
Does anyone have any ideas of a classic male 90s number?
I was going to wear a gimp mask and go as a 90s tory but i’ve been told that it isn’t appropriate x
There are a dozen or more European countries that have Leopard tanks. Some of them are obviously not going to be giving any to Ukraine (Hungary, Austria, Switzerland), or unlikely to (Portugal). Not sure if we've heard in public from many of the others.
He's made his call on the basis of the politician's hierarchy of needs - he wants to be re-elected, so he needs pre-election tax cuts.
If he's lucky next winter won't be as bad for the NHS, as the post-Covid effects work their way through the system. And Starmer will self destruct somehow.
That goes, only more so, for nearly everyone. So it makes little or no difference.
Having said that, in the real world Sunak will do as a PM for now who isn't Boris, Truss, Jezza, Attila the Hun, Baker, JRM or Laura Pidcock and who will lose the next election with a degree of basic decency, handing over to the nearest thing available to the One Nation Tories, ie SKS, preferably in a LD coalition.
Oh, wait ...
Or decline an invitation which sounds so lame that on balance I would refuse it in favour of a Burns Night.
I think this is the general choreography being aimed at this week. Told to expect another step forward today. I guess we'll see if they can make it happen.
2 tax advisors then highlighted other examples where such a priority system (potentially with very light doublechecking of calculations) seemed to exist.
People become quite upset to discover they are rich barstewards.
I remember when I pointed out to some young IT developers that being on 50K a year in FinTech made The Man they were all talking about.
Matrix trench coat ?
Scream mask ?
Or if you have the six pack, dress for Fight Club.
So the German government can say that no such request has been made.
The formal request will only occur when the people asking know that it will be granted. Asking and then being actually told no would be embarrassing for the German government, the government in question and Ukraine.
I simply don't see what the MPs see in him. I still think May will see his premiership mortally wounded; the next political issue will see him replaced with someone less Eeyorish....
P.S. Yes, Scholz is speaking at Davos this afternoon, and it's expected that he'll say something about Leopard 2 deliveries.
I therefore doubt the swing will be that bad, albeit a few more seats lost to Labour maybe
The moment there's no chance of Boris Johnson coming back as PM then Sunak's gone.
I assume the US has indicated, for whatever reasons, that they won't be sending Abrams, else we'd already have heard about it, but have given the green light to European allies to send their tanks. Greece and Spain are other countries with quite a few Leopards, Norway Denmark and Sweden also have some. As does Canada apparently.
But I do think at least 100 tanks will be promised by the end of the week.
In BCP, for example, my old patch, it wouldn't surprise me to see Bournemouth and Poole Tories down to a handful each. And Christchurch entirely wiped out....
If there’s any scandal there at all, it’s with the boring accountant who decided to replace it.
Sunak's there for the duration. He was more than adequate at PMQs bearing in mind the weakness of his hand and a darned sight better than Truss, Johnson and May but not a patch on Dave C.
@campbellclaret: Anyone got to the bottom of the Zahawi tax story yet? Most of media playing along with their ‘if we say nothing eve… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1615620589686870021
All the possible candidates can see that they do the same or worse against Starmer and the current Labour party. So, if they manage to get the job - 18 months of being PM, followed by a crashing defeat and the end of a political career for sure.
Or try and survive the defeat and wait until there is a better chance.
That he thought he was fit to be a cabinet minister is bad enough of course.
So giving the OK for supplying tanks breaches a different redline, according to some.