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3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The GATT XXIV plan - a... · 0 replies · +1 points

I wouldn't call what you or Bardirect have provided "reasoning". You have both provided irrelevant comparisons to other supposedly dramatic occurrences or hypothetical alternatives.

My reasoning is as follows. A significant majority of MPs are against leaving the EU without a deal. Prorogation of Parliament would circumvent that opposition for a few weeks, during which time the UK would leave the EU without a deal.

This would create an intense political storm, combined with economic disruption. When the Commons returned, the government would immediately lose a motion of no confidence.

Depending on the severity of the economic harm, the Conservative Party would either win or lose the General Election that would follow. My judgment is that it would lose.

Furthermore, I don't think either of the two leadership candidates would pursue this course.

Of course, there is a strong element of personal judgment in this argument, but inevitably so.

However, I don't think you are correctly appreciating the degree of outrage that the use of prorogation as a device to overcome the will of Parliament would produce in the country.

It would strike at the core of our system of government, in which the need for government to maintain the confidence of the House of Commons is the first precept. The issue of confidence is broader than the technical question of whether the Commons has actually passed a motion of no confidence; if it were felt that such a motion would have been passed but for a mere tactical suspension of proceedings in Parliament, this would be rightly viewed as tantamount to a coup d'état.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The GATT XXIV plan - a... · 2 replies · +1 points

Proroguing Parliament would be in a class of its own. It would also be extremely difficult for a government that had done this to survive long in office, because the Commons would presumably exact its revenge at its next sitting, by passing a motion of no confidence.

None of us know what the political effects of such events would be, but it would surely be a high-risk strategy, especially for a new Prime Minister.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The TV Tory leadership... · 0 replies · +1 points

Incidentally, there is no reason to think that leadership candidates must somehow convince us that they have the most original or effective plans for dealing with long-term issues.

The job is simply to lead; good ideas can come from anyone, and indeed often come from people outside the party.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The TV Tory leadership... · 0 replies · +1 points

Thatcher was dragged out, and the members were upset, but once that was out of the way the contest was very polite. Heseltine was clearly a divisive figure, and not just because he had wielded the knife to Thatcher, but the contest itself was conducted largely in terms of policies and electability, at least in public.

No doubt, behind the scenes, it was brutal, but the public at large did not witness this. There were no TV debates, although each candidate was interviewed separately on television.

While we can all agree that there are long-term political problems that should be addressed, it is obvious that discussion of these issues will just be window-dressing and kite-flying, while the main activity will be blood-letting, Boris-bashing, and a largely hidden war conducted between candidates and individual MPs over the practical options for dealing with Brexit.

A complication is that no MP is likely to place much faith in any of the candidates willingness or ability to stick to any of these Brexit plans, because it won't really be in the gift of the leader to force any plan through.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The TV Tory leadership... · 3 replies · +1 points

In normal times, this would be a good opportunity for the Conservative Party and some of its more prominent MPs to obtain publicity for themselves and their ideas.

I recall that the contest to replace Mrs Thatcher was very civilised and undoubtedly helped John Major to establish more of a public profile. (Unfortunately, it turned out that he was "not one of us" as I think Mrs Thatcher remarked later.)

Today, the signs are that this contest is going to be bloody.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The TV Tory leadership... · 3 replies · +1 points

Corbyn did well because of an abysmal campaign by the Conservative Party, and the fact that the antics of the hard left in the 70s and 80s were unknown to a significant part of the electorate.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The TV Tory leadership... · 0 replies · +1 points

This happened because Gove destroyed Boris Johnson's campaign and his own, leaving the untested Andrea Leadsom as the only remaining candidate.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The TV Tory leadership... · 1 reply · +1 points

I admit that fanaticism is too strong a word. What I mean is that Conservative and Labour party members tend to lie more towards the edges of the political spectrum than those who vote for those parties in elections.

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - The TV Tory leadership... · 16 replies · +1 points

A major problem, which recently gave us Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, is the fanaticism of the narrow base of party members that chooses a leader.

This encourages candidates to make commitments that are seen as extreme by the wider electorate.

Furthermore, in the current climate of very divisive politics, not just in relation to Brexit, but touching upon the fundamentals of our economic system (the proper role of the public and private sectors), there is a risk of poisoning the political atmosphere still further.

The fact that there is a clear front-runner, Boris Johnson, will encourage very negative campaign tactics directed mainly at him, which looks likely to damage the person who may eventually become Prime Minister.

There is a shocking lack of party discipline already, and an enormously difficult agenda for the new PM to tackle.

Is it wise to expect this process to be beneficial to either the Conservative Party or the country?

In the end, we have a parliamentary system, in which the Prime Minister is whoever can command a majority in the House of Commons. If the governing party decides it needs a new leader, would it not be more logical to leave it to MPs to choose one?

3 years ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Corbyn will win if tod... · 0 replies · +1 points

MPs are collectively the major seat of authority.

The fact that most of the incumbents voted Remain has made it difficult to trust in the process, but in the longer-term people can vote for committed Brexiteers such as are found in the Brexit Party.

"The State" as you call it is just the aggregate of MPs.