Attacking policy not person?

Who on earth do Boris Johnson and his followers think they are kidding when they say they are merely trying to kill off the Chequers proposals for Brexit, and not to topple the Prime Minister?

Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 8:17 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th September 2018, 9:22 am

“We are attacking the policy and not the person,” they claim. But are they really so naive? I simply do not believe they are not aware that if Theresa May’s proposals are ditched, it would reduce the Prime Minister’s authority to near zero and make her more vulnerable to predators who want her job than at any other time of her Premiership.

Mrs May has now publicly expressed her irritation about the continued speculation about her departure from office and who might succeed her. And she is sticking to her guns over her Chequers proposals, saying they are the best course to follow. She is commendably showing no sign of budging an inch from her proposals, despite the unease they have created in certain sections of the Tory Party.

She must have been aware, with the resignations from the Cabinet of David Davis and Johnson himself, that her plans would cause trouble - but what political agenda of this magnitude ever did otherwise?

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Environment Secretary Michael Gove has given the proposals a coolish reception - saying they are the best available - for the time being. Not exactly a resounding endorsement but at least a temporary thumbs up. The Prime Minister should be grateful for small mercies.

- Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat deputy leader, boldly takes her baby into the Commons chamber during a debate without, apparently, a murmur of protest either from other MPs or the infant.

But the general rule is that when the Commons is sitting, only elected MPs are allowed in the Chamber. So why did the Speaker, John Bercow, allow this to happen if he is - as he should be - such a stickler for the rules? In any event, there is a perfectly good crèche in Parliament, which the taxpayer funded.

It demonstrates what a rarefied atmosphere it is that MPs work in. What about female bus-drivers or those who work the supermarket tills? Their jobs aren’t so conducive as to allow them to be accompanied by their offspring at work.