Xtra News Community 2
August 22, 2019, 02:30:54 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Welcome to Xtra News Community 2 — please also join our XNC2-BACKUP-GROUP.
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links BITEBACK! XNC2-BACKUP-GROUP Staff List Login Register  

Britain is getting their own “clown” to rival America's “clown emperor”…


Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Britain is getting their own “clown” to rival America's “clown emperor”…  (Read 53 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« on: July 23, 2019, 10:17:28 pm »


from The Guardian…

I was Boris Johnson's boss: he is utterly unfit to be prime minister

The Tory party is about to foist a tasteless joke upon the British people.
He cares for nothing but his own fame and gratification.


By MAX HASTINGS | 4:20PM GMT — Monday, 24 June 2019

Boris Johnson with Max Hastings in 2002. — Photograph: Nigel Howard/ANL/Rex Features.
Boris Johnson with Max Hastings in 2002. — Photograph: Nigel Howard/ANL/Rex Features.

SIX YEARS AGO, the Cambridge historian Christopher Clark published a study of the outbreak of the first world war, titled The Sleepwalkers. Though Clark is a fine scholar, I was unconvinced by his title, which suggested that the great powers stumbled mindlessly to disaster. On the contrary, the maddest aspect of 1914 was that each belligerent government convinced itself that it was acting rationally.

It would be fanciful to liken the ascent of Boris Johnson to the outbreak of global war, but similar forces are in play. There is room for debate about whether he is a scoundrel or mere rogue, but not much about his moral bankruptcy, rooted in a contempt for truth. Nonetheless, even before the Conservative national membership cheers him in as our prime minister — denied the option of Nigel Farage, whom some polls suggest they would prefer — Tory MPs have thronged to do just that.

I have known Johnson since the 1980s, when I edited the Daily Telegraph and he was our flamboyant Brussels correspondent. I have argued for a decade that, while he is a brilliant entertainer who made a popular maître d' for London as its mayor, he is unfit for national office, because it seems he cares for no interest save his own fame and gratification.

Tory MPs have launched this country upon an experiment in celebrity government, matching that taking place in Ukraine and the US, and it is unlikely to be derailed by the latest headlines. The Washington Post columnist George Will observes that Donald Trump does what his political base wants “by breaking all the china”. We can't predict what a Johnson government will do, because its prospective leader has not got around to thinking about this. But his premiership will almost certainly reveal a contempt for rules, precedent, order and stability.

A few admirers assert that, in office, Johnson will reveal an accession of wisdom and responsibility that have hitherto eluded him, not least as foreign secretary. This seems unlikely, as the weekend's stories emphasised. Dignity still matters in public office, and Johnson will never have it. Yet his graver vice is cowardice, reflected in a willingness to tell any audience, whatever he thinks most likely to please, heedless of the inevitability of its contradiction an hour later.

Like many showy personalities, he is of weak character. I recently suggested to a radio audience that he supposes himself to be Winston Churchill, while in reality being closer to Alan Partridge. Churchill, for all his wit, was a profoundly serious human being. Far from perceiving anything glorious about standing alone in 1940, he knew that all difficult issues must be addressed with allies and partners.

Churchill's self-obsession was tempered by a huge compassion for humanity, or at least white humanity, which Johnson confines to himself. He has long been considered a bully, prone to making cheap threats. My old friend Christopher Bland, when chairman of the BBC, once described to me how he received an angry phone call from Johnson, denouncing the corporation's “gross intrusion upon my personal life” for its coverage of one of his love affairs.

“We know plenty about your personal life that you would not like to read in the Spectator,” the then editor of the magazine told the BBC's chairman, while demanding he order the broadcaster to lay off his own dalliances.

Bland told me he replied: “Boris, think about what you have just said. There is a word for it, and it is not a pretty one.”

He said Johnson blustered into retreat, but in my own files I have handwritten notes from our possible next prime minister, threatening dire consequences in print if I continued to criticise him.

Johnson would not recognise truth, whether about his private or political life, if confronted by it in an identity parade. In a commonplace book the other day, I came across an observation made in 1750 by a contemporary savant, Bishop Berkeley: “It is impossible that a man who is false to his friends and neighbours should be true to the public.” Almost the only people who think Johnson a nice guy are those who do not know him.

There is, of course, a symmetry between himself and Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn is far more honest, but harbours his own extravagant delusions. He may yet prove to be the only possible Labour leader whom Johnson can defeat in a general election. If the opposition was led by anybody else, the Tories would be deservedly doomed, because we would all vote for it. As it is, the Johnson premiership could survive for three or four years, shambling from one embarrassment and debacle to another, of which Brexit may prove the least.

For many of us, his elevation will signal Britain's abandonment of any claim to be a serious country. It can be claimed that few people realised what a poor prime minister Theresa May would prove until they saw her in Downing Street. With Boris, however, what you see now is almost assuredly what we shall get from him as ruler of Britain.

We can scarcely strip the emperor's clothes from a man who has built a career, or at least a lurid love life, out of strutting without them. The weekend stories of his domestic affairs are only an aperitif for his future as Britain's leader. I have a hunch that Johnson will come to regret securing the prize for which he has struggled so long, because the experience of the premiership will lay bare his absolute unfitness for it.

If the Johnson family had stuck to showbusiness like the Osmonds, Marx Brothers or von Trapp family, the world would be a better place. Yet the Tories, in their terror, have elevated a cavorting charlatan to the steps of Downing Street, and they should expect to pay a full forfeit when voters get the message. If the price of Johnson proves to be Corbyn, blame will rest with the Conservative party, which is about to foist a tasteless joke upon the British people — who will not find it funny for long.


__________________________________________________________________________

Max Hastings is a former editor of the Daily Telegraph and the London Evening Standard.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/24/boris-johnson-prime-minister-tory-party-britain
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 

Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2019, 10:17:51 pm »



Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2019, 10:18:07 pm »



Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2019, 10:18:23 pm »



Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2019, 10:18:38 pm »



Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2019, 10:19:04 pm »


from the New Zealand Listener…

Winging it with Boris: Why Boris Johnson
is not suited for the modern world


The PM-in-waiting exemplifies the UK's preference for bluffers over swots.

By ANDREW ANTHONY | Friday, 29 June 2019

Boris Johnson. — Photograph: Getty Images.
Boris Johnson. — Photograph: Getty Images.

BRITAIN is a country that has made a lot of effort to modernise in the past few decades. But it remains incurably attached to the ancient and the arcane, the tacit and the traditional. If you want to get to the top, there are ways of doing things that are longstanding, unstated and mysterious to outsiders. Because this is a meritocracy steeped in class and privilege, a dynamic 21st-century nation that thrives on hidden social codes and old school ties.

There have been 55 prime ministers since 1721, when the office was first recognised, and 19 of them have attended the same school: Eton. Boris Johnson will make it 20.

Twenty-seven of them went to the same university: Oxford. Unless a skeleton falls out of his cupboard — not the metaphorical kind but a real one with a knife lodged in its ribcage — Johnson will make it 28. Yet if it should turn out that Bojo has actually murdered someone, then his opponent, Jeremy Hunt, who has the charisma of a cyborg, will also make it 28.

I could go on, down to the particular debating societies that have moulded succeeding generations of Conservative British politicians. Johnson was president of the Oxford Union — a kind of preparatory House of Commons for entitled teenagers. Hunt was president of the Oxford University Conservative Association. It's as if, aged 18, they were admitted to a masonic finishing school for PMs.

And what they learnt back then was how to bluff and charm, and to assume an unearned air of importance and generally wing it. Elite British education has long encouraged those who can perform on the day over those who doggedly master concepts, facts and details. Recently, one of Johnson's tutors at Oxford recalled Johnson's approach to work: “If you're intelligent enough, you can rub along in philosophy on a couple of hours a week. Boris rubbed along on no hours a week.”

It means that there is probably no more entertaining legislative body on the planet than the House of Commons, where you're always guaranteed to hear baroque insults and robust banter. But it also means that there's probably no group of politicians less suited to understanding the modern digital world.

I mention this because the UK, even by contemporary standards, is currently witnessing a truly bizarre piece of performative drama. The two surviving competitors in the Tory leadership contest — the winner of which will automatically become prime minister — are in the middle of a six-week electoral campaign, every nonsensical moment of which is screened on national TV and reported in the papers.




It looks just like a real national election, except in this case only 160,000 Conservative Party members are eligible to vote on who will become the next prime minister. The rest of us might as well be Athenian slaves, forced to watch a demos that is restricted to a tiny and ageing elite.

Johnson, who studied classics at Oxford, might enjoy the irony. But there is something troublingly dated about the whole process, as if it were some giant jolly jape dreamt up by bored Oxford students. The truly surreal aspect, though, is that both candidates are promising their electorate a new deal on Brexit that the previous regime was singularly unable to deliver and which the European Union has repeatedly stated is not available.

But the Tory members don't care about any of that. They're too preoccupied with the question of who's offering the most attractive fantasy. And in the realm of incredible and shameless make-believe, there can be only one victor. Step forward, Prime Minister Johnson.


__________________________________________________________________________

Andrew Anthony is a feature writer for the Observer and is married to a New Zealand. He regularly writes for the Bulletin From Abroad column, published in the weekly New Zealand Listener magazine.

• This article was first published in the July 6, 2019 issue of the New Zealand Listener.

https://www.noted.co.nz/currently/world/boris-johnson-is-not-suited-for-the-modern-world
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2019, 10:19:35 pm »


from The New York Times…

Boris Johnson Is How Britain Ends

Not with a bang, but with a burst of blond ambition.

By JAMES BUTLER | Monday, July 22, 2019

Boris Johnson is angling to become Britain's next prime minister. — Photograph: Tolga Akmen/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Boris Johnson is angling to become Britain's next prime minister. — Photograph: Tolga Akmen/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

LONDON — Boris Johnson, to whom lying comes as easily as breathing, is on the verge of becoming prime minister. He faces the most complex and intractable political crisis to affect Britain since 1945.

That should be concerning enough. But given Britain's political system — which relies for its maintenance on the character and disposition of the prime minister — it carries even graver import. Mr. Johnson, whose laziness is proverbial and opportunism legendary, is a man well practiced in deceit, a pander willing to tickle the prejudices of his audience for easy gain. His personal life is incontinent, his public record inconsequential.

And his premiership could bring about the end of Britain itself.

The state of the United Kingdom, a constitutional compact founded in 1922 and stretching back, in one form or another, for centuries, is severely strained. Though Brexit is primarily driven by English passions, two of the four territories in the Union — Northern Ireland and Scotland — voted to remain. Both present immediate problems for Mr. Johnson — and for the future of Britain.

In Scotland, rancor at the sense that the country's vote counted for little and subsequent repeated bouts of parliamentary chaos have led to renewed calls for a second independence ballot. Nicola Sturgeon, the first minister, insists Scotland will hold one if Brexit takes place. One of the most adroit politicians in Britain, Ms. Sturgeon knows that despite widespread misgivings about Brexit, the majority needed for independence does not currently exist. But recent polling suggests a Johnson government might tilt the scales in her favor. An independent Scotland may be conjured out of the chicanery of Mr. Johnson's rule.

In Northern Ireland, Mr. Johnson is beholden to the Democratic Unionist Party, a hard-line Northern Irish Protestant party on which he will depend for a majority in Parliament. That severely curtails his room for maneuver as he attempts, one way or the other, to take Britain out of the European Union. The D.U.P. will not countenance separation from the rest of the United Kingdom — hence why the so-called backstop, effectively an insurance plan to avoid a hard border between Northern Ireland and its southern neighbor, fatally scuttled Theresa May's thrice-rejected deal. It is hard to see how Mr. Johnson can extricate himself from this problem, whose protraction may have a decisive effect on the country's internal politics. Calls for a United Ireland, encouraged by demographic change and the waning of unionist sentiment, appear to be gathering more support.

The traditional solution to such an impasse is to call fresh elections. But here too there are problems for Mr. Johnson. Current polls show a fluctuating four-way split with Nigel Farage's Brexit Party, which peeled off much of the Conservative vote in the recent European elections, the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party. Tory activists believe only Mr. Johnson can woo back the faithful from Mr. Farage, but if he steers the party farther right it would be likely to lose more liberal-leaning seats. Though the temptation of a resounding victory may pull on Mr. Johnson's vanity, the risk of a disastrous rout from a split base, handing Downing Street to Jeremy Corbyn and shattering the Tories, will surely be too great. And any successor to Mrs. May will fear the unpredictability of a snap election.

No way out there then. And the overall political situation has only worsened since Mrs. May's resignation. The European Union — newly configured after parliamentary elections, with an incoming head of the commission who has emphatically ruled out reopening negotiations with Britain — is likely to be short on patience and good will. (It doesn't help, of course, that its officials regard Mr. Johnson as a dangerous buffoon.)

At home, the rise of the Brexit Party constrains his options further. In part to nullify its threat, he has promised that unless a deal is reached by the end of October, the deadline for Britain's departure from the bloc, he will leave without one. And as Parliament, which remains intractably divided, is very unlikely to ratify anything Mr. Johnson presents, a No Deal exit looks far from impossible. The consequences of such a development cannot be foreseen — but they will surely not redound to the benefit of Britain.


Boris Johnson in Southampton, England in June 2018. — Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images.
Boris Johnson in Southampton, England in June 2018. — Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images.

So, the political situation is inclement, the room for maneuver limited, the stakes high. For another politician, assuming power in such circumstances would be daunting — but not necessarily dangerous. In a system that grants significant autonomy to prime ministers and relies on their propriety, character matters. The same scenario can play out differently in different hands. That's why, in the end, analysis comes back to Mr. Johnson and his terrible personality.

He prizes victory above government — his first ambition as a child was to be “world king” — and his political career has been marked by ferocity of campaigning and indifference in office, as both London mayor and foreign secretary. His contempt of scrutiny is plain to see: He was irked and petulant when challenged over budget cuts, the waste of public money on vanity projects or diplomatic gaffes. His easy talk of parliamentary prorogation — effectively suspending the legislature — may be a taste of the chaos to come.

He seems not to have principles. In the late '90s he told a surprised colleague he was “worried I haven't got any political opinions” — before going on to rehearse a hit parade of right-wing classics about “picanninies” and “bum boys” in his Telegraph column. While the insight into the void at the heart of Mr. Johnson's blond ambition is striking, there are some constants to his politics other than his spectacular mendacity: his defense of bankers and pursuit of tax cuts, and a loathing for those who call him to account over facts.

Reality will prove unavoidable on October 31, however Mr. Johnson bluffs. Predictions about Brexit generally assume too much stability in the status quo; Mr. Johnson's slipperiness makes it harder still to predict. Tackling Britain's deep divisions requires depth of character, conviction and principle, none of which its incoming prime minister has ever hinted at possessing.

In Mr. Johnson's queasy novel, thankfully his only one to date, a thinly disguised Boris-like politician muses that “the whole world just seemed to be a complicated joke.”

Britain may be about to discover how it feels to be the punch line.


__________________________________________________________________________

• James Butler is a British journalist who is a co-founder of Novara Media whose writing has appeared in The Guardian and also in The London Review of Books and Vice magazine.

• A version of this article appears in The New York Times on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, on Page A11 of the New York print edition with the headline: “Boris Johnson Is How Britain Ends”.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Boris Johnson? How Did We Come to This?

 • The Last Gasp of Northern Ireland

 • Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the Rise of Radical Incompetence


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/22/opinion/boris-johnson-prime-minister-britain.html
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2019, 10:19:57 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Boris Johnson's rise could be a preamble to his fall

Johnson wants to lead a Britain liberated from Europe to its former global greatness.
Many experts say he's in for a rude awakening.


By ISHAAN THAROOR | 12:59AM EDT — Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Boris Johnson. — Illustration: Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media/via Getty Images.
Boris Johnson. — Illustration: Barcroft Media/Barcroft Media/via Getty Images.

THIS WEEK, the decades-long quest of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson — known to everyone by his second name — may be about to reach its apogee. After his widely anticipated confirmation in a leadership vote by members of the Conservative Party, Johnson is expected to carry out the ritual of visiting Buckingham Palace on Wednesday before assuming his role as Britain's newest prime minister.

Johnson's rise to power has been long telegraphed (including in his own weekly columns in the Tory-boosting Daily Telegraph). A scion of wealth and privilege, Johnson went to Eton and Oxford before embarking on a controversial career in journalism that would catapult him into politics. During his stints as a correspondent in Brussels, Johnson charmed right-wing readers with his activist reporting on the foibles and excesses of the European Union — and earned a reputation for sensationalism and shoddy journalism.

“What was irritating is that he … started coming up with some extraordinary and, it turned out, completely inventive untrue stories about Brussels,” Bill Newton Dunn, a long-serving British member of the European Parliament, told my colleagues. He recalled one of many dubious headlines: “Brussels recruits sniffers to ensure that Euro-manure smells the same.”

Now, Johnson gets the chance to prove that the manure in Britain smells different. He has vowed to push forward Brexit, break free of the tyranny of the European Union and lead a liberated Britain to its former global greatness. His supporters are willing to look beyond a cringeworthy record of gaffes, sordid peccadilloes and soft bigotry. Most analysts, though, reckon that he is in for a rude awakening.




In the last tortured months of Prime Minister Theresa May's tenure, Johnson drilled down on an emotive theme: Brexit at all costs. The country's slow lurch out of the E.U. has paralyzed British politics and exasperated voters of all stripes. May couldn't overcome the divisions within her own party about the way forward. Johnson, formerly a foreign secretary in May's government, quit after it became clear May would not deliver the sweeping, clean break from Europe that he and his Brexiteer cohort had promised. For him, it was easier to bide his time and carp from the sidelines than own the mess of disentangling Britain from the continent.

That cynicism was baked in from the start. In February 2016, before championing Brexit, Johnson is said to have drafted two separate columns for the Daily Telegraph, one extolling the merits of leaving the E.U. and another warning that the risks of Brexit were greater than its rewards. He eventually calculated that his political fortunes lay with the former and, as the mayor of London, became the face of the Leave campaign, deploying his wit, irascible enthusiasm and carefully cultivated bumbling affect ahead of a June 2016 referendum no one — including Johnson himself — expected to win.

Now, under a Johnson government, Britain could crash out of the E.U. without a divorce deal in place this Halloween, unleashing untold horrors on the British economy. Westminster watchers puzzle over the profound impediments still facing Johnson in Parliament, the sharpening of knives by rivals within his own party and the probable humiliating concessions he may have to make to get European counterparts to consider renegotiating Britain's terms of withdrawal.

But the prime minister-in-waiting has been reading throughout from a different script. He makes incessant appeals to the bravura and derring-do of Britain's past, summoning the spirit of the Blitz and the stubborn will of his icon, Winston Churchill. In a column this Sunday, Johnson embraced the legacy of the American moon landing. If astronauts “could use hand-knit computer codes to make a frictionless re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere,” he wrote, “we can solve the problem of frictionless trade at the Northern Ireland border.”

Such absurd, if entertaining, commentary won't translate easily into meaningful politics.

“Johnson's entire pitch for the Conservative Party leadership can be read, in fact, as an argument for the force of character,” wrote The Atlantic's Tom McTague. “In his telling, after years of timidity under the dutiful but ineffective leadership of May, the country needs sheer will — not new technocratic fixes — to solve Britain's ills…. This is the Johnsonian view of the world: a romantic, egocentric belief in his personal power to do great things, to solve great puzzles, through the force of his personality.”




In that sense, he's hardly alone. “Boris Johnson, like [former Italian leader] Silvio Berlusconi, [President] Trump and all the other populist seducers who have made their entry onto the world stage of late, stands for the profanation and infantilization of politics,” wrote Jörg Schindler in German magazine Der Spiegel. “If it benefits him somehow, he can be a liberal today, a social democrat tomorrow and conservative the day after. And he doesn't even need to conceal his lack of plans and principles.”

Johnson “played a pivotal role in tipping sentiment” in favor of Brexit, Schindler argued. “And now he's supposed to repair the porcelain he has delighted in smashing over these past years? It promises to be a grandiose — and potentially disastrous show.”

Johnson's embrace of Churchill lends “his own cynicism and mendacity a paradoxical kind of gravity,” suggested Irish writer Fintan O'Toole in a scathing essay. “It is a mark of how far Britain has fallen,” he added, “that, in what may indeed be its biggest crisis since 1940, so many Tories are willing to suspend disbelief in Johnson's pantomime caricature of the man who gave it the courage to ‘stand alone’ in that dark hour.”

Set against Trump, whose “anarchism shades into authoritarianism, Johnson's shades into a kind of insouciant nihilism,” O'Toole mused. “The joker's evasiveness that has taken him to the brink of power will be no use to him if he crosses that threshold and has to make fateful decisions.”

Johnson is now at that threshold; along with countless others, he must be trembling.


__________________________________________________________________________

Ishaan Tharoor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. He previously was a senior editor and correspondent at Time magazine, based first in Hong Kong and later in New York. Earning a BA with honors in history and ethnicity, race and migration, Tharoor is also fluent in French, Spanish and Bengali.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/07/23/boris-johnsons-rise-could-be-preamble-his-fall
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2019, 10:53:28 pm »



Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2019, 10:54:54 pm »



Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2019, 10:55:56 pm »



Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2019, 11:06:16 pm »


Donald J. Trump's new blonde fuzzy-wuzzy lickspittle…



Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2019, 01:31:13 pm »










Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2019, 09:19:13 pm »



Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2019, 09:20:35 pm »



Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2019, 04:25:10 pm »


from The Guardian…

EDITORIAL: The Guardian view on Boris Johnson's
leadership — the years of a clown


If the UK’s new prime minister thinks he can sup with populists
like Nigel Farage and Donald Trump over Brexit,
he risks ending up as dessert.


EDITORIAL  | 6:46PM GMT — Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Boris Johnson celebrates victory in the Tory leadership election. — Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters.
Boris Johnson celebrates victory in the Tory leadership election. — Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters.

THE Conservative party has finally got a leader it deserves. As the UK's next prime minister, Boris Johnson won't be able to outrun boring facts and hide from bad publicity. He faces the most daunting challenge — that of how the UK can leave the European Union — on entering number 10 since Winston Churchill in 1940. It is fitting because Mr Johnson is largely responsible for the mess he now has to clear up. The signs are not promising. His pledge that the UK will leave the EU on 31 October “deal or no deal” is as politically expedient as it is destructive. His bravado helped to win the leadership. But it did not unnerve the EU and only hardened opposition within the party. Burning bridges to Europe is an act of arson not statesmanship. Leaving the EU without a deal threatens to wreck the UK economy, break up Britain and rekindle violence on the island of Ireland. No wonder Mr Johnson says he can avoid a hard Brexit, though he can't say how. He thinks he will be protected from harm if, and when, things go badly wrong. Yet his praetorian guard are from the Tory hard right who, he will find out, prefer to give rather than obey orders.

Mr Johnson's victory is the culmination of more than two decades of Conservative folly, which began when the party embraced populist Europhobia 20 years ago. The Tories decided that to win power they would need to fuse attempts to politicise immigration for electoral gain with Eurosceptic propaganda of the kind Mr Johnson revelled in dishing out. It is worth recalling the absurdity of William Hague warning in 2001 that the UK risked becoming a “foreign land”, pitting “the people” against the “liberal elite”. A year later Margaret Thatcher bizarrely urged Britain — and the hapless Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith — to quit the EU because the continent continually needed saving by the Anglosphere, adding, “Nazism was a European ideology, the Third Reich an attempt at European domination”. Mr Johnson made a similar ridiculous point when fronting the 2016 leave campaign.

In this radicalising process a referendum became the chosen political device to avoid the Conservative party having to reveal its splits over Europe. Mr Hague campaigned to save the pound and offered a referendum on any further extension of EU powers. By 2005 Michael Howard was pushing hard for a referendum on an EU constitution. When David Cameron became Tory leader he parked the populism, marooning voters who had been whipped up into a frenzy by his predecessors' rhetoric. Nigel Farage seized the opportunities presented and the rise of Ukip forced Mr Cameron into first shelving key elements of his modernising project before, in 2013, committing to the Brexit referendum — a decision that did not shoot Mr Farage's fox and led to the UK's vote to leave the EU.

The lesson for Mr Johnson to learn is that when centre-right politicians adopt the language and policies of populist nationalism, the only victory is for the hardliners. Mr Farage now leads the Brexit party and is riding high in the polls. If Mr Johnson thinks he can sup with the devil he might find that he sits down at the table as a guest and ends up as dessert. Nowhere is this more obvious than with Donald Trump, whose friendship comes at a steep cost. The price will be to bearhug the hard Brexit that Mr Johnson wants to avoid. Without that, Mr Trump cannot secure the US-UK trade deal that he prizes. Scooping up the votes of hard leavers can also repel more people than it attracts. Early polling of Mr Johnson's appeal appears to bear this out. Populist movements want to overturn constitutional governments so that the groups they define as enemies of the people can be targeted. That's why they need to be confronted, within and without the Tory party. Mr Johnson plays the clown. But the circus will move on, only to leave a broken country in its wake.


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/23/the-guardian-view-on-boris-johnsons-leadership-the-years-of-a-clown
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #16 on: July 25, 2019, 04:35:18 pm »



Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2019, 03:36:36 pm »










Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2019, 03:39:09 pm »



Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2019, 03:17:32 pm »


from The Washington Post…

Could Boris Johnson's ‘no-deal’ Brexit break up the United Kingdom?

A Scottish leader in Parliament suggested that with Johnson as
prime minister, the U.K. might crack apart, starting with Scotland.


By KARLA ADAM and WILLIAM BOOTH | 4:36PM EDT — Monday, July 29, 2019

British prime minister Boris Johnson and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace visit Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, Scotland. — Photograph: Jeff J. Mitchell/Reuters.
British prime minister Boris Johnson and Defense Secretary Ben Wallace visit Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, Scotland. — Photograph: Jeff J. Mitchell/Reuters.

LONDON — Boris Johnson was jeered during his first trip as prime minister to Scotland on Monday.

He didn't get the warmest reception from the first minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, either.

“The people of Scotland did not vote for this Tory government, they didn't vote for this new prime minister, they didn't vote for Brexit and they certainly didn't vote for a catastrophic no-deal Brexit, which Boris Johnson is now planning for,” she said ahead of their meeting.

Johnson left Sturgeon's official residence out the back door, avoiding another confrontation with protesters.

It has become something of a ritual for British leaders to demonstrate their commitment to the union with an early tour of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — or, as Johnson called them, “the awesome foursome that are incarnated in that red, white and blue flag.”

But there is much animosity toward Johnson in Scotland and palpable dread over leaving the European Union — especially by way of the hard, “no-deal Brexit” that the new prime minister says Britain must prepare for.

All of which has led to renewed talk of a crackup.

On Johnson's first full day as Britain’s head of government last week, Ian Blackford, the Scottish National Party's loquacious leader in Parliament, stood in the House of Commons and welcomed “the last prime minister of the United Kingdom.”

Scottish voters rejected independence, 55 percent to 45 percent, in a referendum in 2014. Now, Scottish nationalists are hoping that Johnson's premiership will help their cause. Blackford has called Johnson a “recruiting tool.”

A Sunday Times poll last month, before Johnson's selection, found that 49 percent of Scots favored independence but that the number would rise to 53 percent in the event Johnson became prime minister.

It is far from clear whether Johnson will continue to tip the scales in favor of independence or whether the new prime minister may yet win over Scots with his shiny optimism and numerous public-spending pledges.

In Scotland on Monday, Johnson praised “the most successful political and economic union in history” and sought to assure the north that “we are a global brand, and together we are safer, stronger and more prosperous.”

He also voiced his opposition to another independence vote, calling the 2014 referendum a “once-in-a-generation event” and warning that a do-over would undermine public faith in democracy.

Johnson defended his assertion that former prime minister Theresa May's withdrawal agreement was “dead” and that he could strike a new, better deal — despite assertions by European leaders that there will be no renegotiation.

“We are not aiming for a no-deal Brexit at all,” Johnson told reporters, even as his new minister charged with preparing for a no-deal departure, Michael Gove, said the government now assumed it would exit without a deal.

John Curtice, a politics professor at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, said that if a Johnson government leaves the bloc without a deal, “and if it's as bad as some claim it will be, then obviously it's easier for the [Scottish Nationalist Party] to pursue the independence argument.”

Curtice added that Johnson — who was a leader of the Brexit campaign in 2016 — is deeply unpopular across the United Kingdom with people who voted against Brexit. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the E.U.; England and Wales voted to leave.

Scottish nationalists are not alone in warning of the union coming apart.

In a rare intervention in British politics, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Friday, “One of the things, ironically, that could really undermine the union, the United Kingdom union, is a hard Brexit.”

Varadkar suggested that “a nationalist Britain” might encourage more people in Northern Ireland to want to dissociate themselves.

“People who you might describe as moderate nationalists or moderate Catholics, who were more or less happy with the status quo, will look more towards a united Ireland,” Varadkar said.

Some in Britain have sounded similar alarm bells. May's de facto deputy prime minister, David Lidington, told the BBC this month that the union “would be under much greater strain in the event of a no-deal.”

He added, “My view comes not just from Scottish nationalism and pressure for Irish unification — it comes from indifference among English opinion to the value of the union.”

Gordon Brown, a former Labour Party prime minister, said at an event in London last week that Johnson could be remembered “not as the 55th prime minister of the U.K. but as the first prime minister of England.”

To win his new role, Johnson prevailed with a total of 92,153 votes in a contest that involved only dues-paying members of the Conservative Party — who make up about 0.35 percent of the U.K. electorate and largely live in the southern half of England.

Hours after he won, hundreds of protesters gathered in central Glasgow, some carrying placards that read: “Boris No! Independence Yes!”

“It's an English vote, an English prime minister,” said Gary Kelly, 44, who started planning the protest a week before. “Boris is a racist, a homophobe. He's a bigot. He's not the kind of person Scotland wants representing them.”

A YouGov survey last week showed that 65 percent of Scots thought that Johnson would be a “poor” or “terrible” prime minister.

Even Ruth Davidson, who should be Johnson's natural ally as leader of the Conservative Party in Scotland, has been notably lukewarm on him.

Davidson — who has helped her party transform its fortunes north of the border, winning 13 seats in Parliament in the last election — reportedly banned Johnson from attending the recent Scottish Tory conference. She backed his rivals in the leadership contest. During the 2016 E.U. referendum, she fired up the pro-E.U. side by saying that Johnson's side had told lies.

Now that Johnson is leader, Davidson has said she will judge him “by his actions in office.” They met together on Monday.

“He's a disaster for her,” said Thomas Lundberg, a lecturer in politics at the University of Glasgow. Johnson represents the “quintessentially English posh person who has made it through privilege and contacts rather than merit,” he said.

Johnson has dismissed accusations that he is unpopular in Scotland. When asked about it in Parliament last week, he responded by explaining “why I seem to get a good reception in Scotland.”

“It may be because the people of Scotland recognize that they have a common-sensical Conservative approach, which would not hand back control of their fisheries to Brussels just as Scotland has regained control of its fantastic fish,” he said.


__________________________________________________________________________

Karla Adam is a reporter in The Washington Post's London bureau. Before joining The Post in 2006, she worked as a freelancer in London for The New York Times and People magazine. Adam has degrees from Queen's University in Canada, Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and the London School of Economics.

William Booth is The Washington Post's London bureau chief. Booth served as bureau chief in Jerusalem, Mexico City, Los Angeles and Miami, as pop culture correspondent for the Style section, and science reporter on the National desk. He has covered upheaval and transformation in Catalonia, Ukraine, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Haiti, Honduras and the Balkans. In Mexico, his work focused on migration, drug trafficking and the state response. In the Middle East, he covered the Israel-Palestinian conflict, including the 2014 Gaza fighting. Before coming to The Post, Booth was a staff writer at Science magazine. He was a Vannevar Bush Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated from the University of Texas in Austin. He was on The Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-finalist team that covered the Fort Hood shootings. His Washington Post magazine work has been anthologized in two editions of Best American Travel Writing.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Boris Johnson booed in Scotland

 • Want to understand Boris Johnson? Read his incendiary journalism.

 • VIDEO: Biking to work is just the start: Boris Johnson's unconventional ways

 • Scotland dreads Brexit. But is it enough to boost sentiment for Scottish independence?


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/could-boris-johnsons-no-deal-brexit-crack-up-the-united-kingdom/2019/07/29/b871ebac-b1e6-11e9-acc8-1d847bacca73_story.html
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2019, 03:05:49 pm »


from The Press…

Frog noises, and rulers' words that are little more

Whistling tree frogs don't have much to do with politicians. Except for the noises they make.

By JOE BENNETT | 4:00AM — Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Boris Johnson, here visiting HMS Victorious at Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, Scotland, “revels in being on stage, spot-lit, the adults all paying him attention”, writes Joe Bennett. — Photograph: Getty Images.
Boris Johnson, here visiting HMS Victorious at Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, Scotland, “revels in being on stage, spot-lit,
the adults all paying him attention”, writes Joe Bennett. — Photograph: Getty Images.


MIDNIGHT, MIDWINTER. I step outside to fetch firewood. Misty, dank, shiveringly cold. Yet the night is alive with the chirruping of frogs, their voices ringing through the air so cold and still and damp. And just as you would, I immediately think of Boris Johnson.

The frogs are poorly named. They're known as whistling tree frogs but they don't climb trees and neither do they whistle. Rather they live in the damp and boggy places at the head of the valley and when conditions are right they burst into song, making a noise like the trilling of cicadas, only fruitier.

Boris Johnson, on the other hand, is well named. He is, in full, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, and in that little name-train there is plenty to say about every wagon. But it is the de Pfeffel that sings. It sings of wars fought a long time ago on horseback. The de is French. The Pfeffel is German. And together they are pronounced privilege. They bespeak a class structure that the de Pfeffels of this world sit on top of and are understandably keen to perpetuate.




There is no such class structure among the whistling frogs. All are spawned equal, and all attend the same elemental school, where the only subject is survival and to graduate is simply to reproduce.

Boris Johnson's school was Eton. Of the 70 or so British prime ministers in the last 300 years, 20 went to Eton. The school has its own tailor and its own accent. You can hear Eton in Boris's vowels. They purr with self-assurance. They are ruling vowels.

And there remains something of the schoolboy about Johnson. He is delighted to be where he is and he wears the boyish grin of one who revels in being on stage, spot-lit, the adults all paying him attention.




His first performance in parliament as prime minister was like a school debating society. He labelled his enemies gloomsters and pessimists. He labelled his own kind optimists and patriots. He spoke reams of jingoistic rara. He said little that was specific. But he delivered his words with confidence and cheerfulness. Confidence and cheerfulness are infectious and appealing qualities. His party loved it.

Fat old men rose to their feet to applaud, excited not by an argument but by an accent and an attitude and a reiteration of the Rule Britannia myth. They sensed a change of climate. Out had gone the diffident vicar's daughter. In had come a buckler of swash. And they responded with boom and bellow. Hear hear, they boomed, hear hear, yeah yeah, ra ra, words that were little more than noises. Expressions of primitive feeling that surged in their loins and had to be given voice. Just like, in other words, the frogs up my valley.


A whistling tree frog. Unlike Boris Johnson, they're poorly named, Joe Bennett writes. — Photograph: Emily Spink.
A whistling tree frog. Unlike Boris Johnson, they're poorly named, Joe Bennett writes.
 — Photograph: Emily Spink.


For the frogs' chorus too is induced by a change of climate. Winter rains have fallen, the ponds have refilled, the streams are running again, the air itself is heavy with mist, and water drips from every blade of grass. And when that happens a frog's thoughts turn to reproduction. Every trill I can hear is a male frog, driven by the oldest urge, broadcasting his ambition to every female in the valley.

I have heard Johnson described as Trump with a thesaurus. I have read that beneath the plump and grinning exterior there's a ruthless demagogue. I hope for all our sakes that is not so. But it does seem to me that his elevation is another step down a road that my parents' generation would recognise. Neither frogs nor people change much. But the frogs sound good.


__________________________________________________________________________

• Julian “Joe” Bennett is a writer, columnist and retired English school teacher living in Lyttelton, New Zealand. Born in England, Bennett emigrated to New Zealand when he was twenty-nine.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/114608870/frog-noises-and-rulers-words-that-are-little-more
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2019, 11:55:07 am »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

Premier faces not-so United Kingdom

By LAURA KING | Friday, August 02, 2019

Anti-Brexit demonstrators gather in Belfast as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Stormont, the seat of government in Northern Ireland. — Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.
Anti-Brexit demonstrators gather in Belfast as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Stormont, the seat of government in Northern Ireland.
 — Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images.


HE WAS BOOED in Scotland. In Wales, a chicken submitted to his embrace, but politicians held him at arm's length. And in Northern Ireland, there were rumblings of Irish unity — which could only come at the expense of its ties to the rest of the United Kingdom.

Boris Johnson, the new British prime minister, presides over a country consumed by Brexit, the messy and drawn-out departure from the European Union. But the early days of his tenure are also casting a harsh spotlight on another kind of split: the growing fault lines within the United Kingdom.

“It is highly unlikely that Boris will be the PM who oversees the breakup of Britain,” Michael Kenny, a University of Cambridge professor of public policy, wrote on a politics blog for the Center on Constitutional Change. “But he may well go down in history as the catalyst for its dissolution.”

Johnson, who took up his post on July 24, spent much of this week on a road trip to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland — which, together with England, make up the United Kingdom. The new prime minister likes to call the union the “awesome foursome.”

On his whistle-stop tour, he encountered sharp resistance to the idea of a no-deal Brexit — that is, leaving the European Union on schedule, less than three months from now, without an accord governing future relations with the bloc.

The irrepressible new leader has said that he hopes to strike a deal before the October 31 deadline — but that he's also ready to walk away with no accord. European officials, meanwhile, are warning that they won't renegotiate the agreement reached with Johnson's predecessor, Theresa May.

The British pound, often a barometer for Brexit sentiment, touched two-year lows this week as no-deal talk was bandied about by Johnson's Cabinet ministers, who were largely handpicked for holding “do or die” Brexit views, in line with his.

Adding to Brexit jitters, Johnson's government announced it was spending an additional $2.54 billion on emergency preparations for “crashing out” of the EU, such as stockpiling medicines.

The shows of disunity that Johnson encountered this week in his kingdom-wide tour were a far cry from the United Kingdom actually dissolving under the strain of Brexit. But there are plenty of sardonic nods to the spirit of divisiveness he has inspired. A former British prime minister, Gordon Brown, recently observed that Johnson could make history as “the first prime minister of England” — that is, not the full United Kingdom.

Since he assumed office, Johnson hasn't yet made a visit to Brussels, where the EU is headquartered, saying he awaits signals of willingness to renegotiate. But home ground proved hardly more welcoming.

In Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, protesters booed as he arrived for talks with Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, at her official residence. Sturgeon told him in no uncertain terms that a no-deal Brexit would galvanize support for another Scottish independence referendum, which she backs and he opposes.

She told the BBC afterward it was clear to her that Johnson's government had embarked on a “dangerous” path.

Separatist sentiment in Scotland dates back centuries, and a 2014 referendum on breaking with the rest of Britain drew support of nearly 45% of the electorate — not enough to split off, but more than enough to rattle nerves in Westminster, seat of the British government. In the June 2016 Brexit referendum, Scots, unlike the U.K. as a whole, sided heavily with remaining in the European Union.

Wales, on the other hand, narrowly backed leaving the EU in the referendum. But it is heavily dependent on agriculture, and farmers are among those who are the most worried about the ramifications of a no-deal Brexit.

The prime minister, never one to shy from a photo op, visited a poultry farm in south Wales to demonstrate his support for farmers, gamely posing with a bird in his arms. But agricultural groups, including the main one representing Welsh lamb farmers, warned there could be unruly road-blocking protests and a forced mass slaughter of livestock herds if he pushes ahead with a no-deal Brexit and they are hit with tariffs.

The Welsh first minister, Mark Drakeford, told Johnson that crashing out of the EU would be “catastrophic” for Wales.

“The prime minister needs to think about the future of the United Kingdom in a genuinely serious way,” Drakeford told Britain's Guardian newspaper. “Just a few more choruses of ‘Rule Britannia’ and an extra supply of Union Jacks is not going to cut it.”


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at Stormont House in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He suggested he might be able to help end party discord. — Photograph: Kelvin Boyles/Pool Photo.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at Stormont House in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He suggested he might be able to help end party discord.
 — Photograph: Kelvin Boyles/Pool Photo.


And then Johnson was on to Northern Ireland, where the Brexit stakes may be higher than almost anywhere.

After decades of bloody sectarian conflict, a cornerstone of the 1998 Good Friday peace accord is an open border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, which is not. The 300-mile frontier is all but invisible. Trade flows freely, and people casually border-hop for jobs and shopping.

That status quo is threatened by Brexit. Johnson has demanded that the EU scrap the so-called backstop, an agreement that would preserve the “soft” border but could force all of the U.K. to remain in the EU's customs union. That would mean adhering to some EU rules, which hard-line Brexiters say they cannot abide.

In Northern Ireland, the leader of the Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein, Mary Lou McDonald, said that in the event of a no-deal departure from the EU, she would push for a vote on uniting Ireland — that is, for Northern Ireland to leave the U.K. Writing on Twitter, she called Johnson a threat to a hard-forged peace.

“Bluster & bravado can't mask the utterly destructive Brexit route he is taking,” she wrote. “He is on course to upend our peace & prosperity with his eyes wide open.”

Northern Ireland politics play a particular role in Johnson's ability to keep his new job. The working majority of his Conservative Party in the British Parliament is made possible only by its alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party, or DUP, which, as its name suggests, supports remaining part of the U.K.

But other parties in Northern Ireland, particularly Sinn Fein, are disdainful of the DUP for doing the new British prime minister's bidding on Brexit.

Johnson suggested he might be able to help repair a power-sharing agreement suspended two years ago amid infighting among Northern Ireland's political parties. But among the quarreling parties, there was considerable consensus on one thing: Johnson was ill-equipped to bring them together.

After the meeting in Belfast, the deputy head of the Social Democratic and Labor Party, Nichola Mallon, said Johnson displayed a “limited understanding of the complexities and fragilities of this place.”

Dublin wasn't on Johnson's itinerary, although British leaders usually move quickly to establish a rapport with the Republic of Ireland.

Johnson waited almost a week to telephone his Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, who crisply informed him that the EU, including Ireland, was “united in its view” that the Brexit accord could not be renegotiated.


__________________________________________________________________________

• Laura King has been a Washington, D.C.-based global affairs correspondent for the Los Angeles Times since 2016. She was most recently the L.A. Times bureau chief in Cairo, and served previously as bureau chief in Kabul and Jerusalem. Before joining the Los Angeles Times, she was a correspondent for the Associated Press in Washington, Tokyo, Jerusalem and London, covering conflicts in the Balkans and the Mideast. King is a graduate of UC Davis and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. She was a 1997 Nieman Fellow at Harvard and a fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University in 2013. In 2016, King was a co-recipient of an Overseas Press Club award for coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis.

https://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=6b6adc77-fd12-47fb-85c4-f4b10e4de5a3
https://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=9a940527-0807-47b9-9202-5f57f5818177
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 30097


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2019, 12:34:45 am »


from The Times…

Boris Johnson to defy any vote of no confidence

Refusal to quit risks drawing Queen into politics.

By STEVEN SWINFORD and HENRY ZEFFMAN | 9:00AM GMT — Tuesday, 06 August 2019

Boris Johnson would ignore convention to force through a no-deal Brexit. — Photograph: Jack Hill/The Times.
Boris Johnson would ignore convention to force through a no-deal Brexit. — Photograph: Jack Hill/The Times.

BORIS JOHNSON would refuse to resign even after losing a confidence vote so he could force through a no-deal Brexit on October 31, under plans being considered by Downing Street.

Dominic Cummings, the prime minister's most senior aide, told colleagues last week that Mr Johnson would not quit if Tory Remainers voted with Labour to bring down the government.

The Times has been told that Mr Johnson could stay on as prime minister even if Tory MPs were able to form a “government of national unity” opposed to a no-deal Brexit. Mr Johnson would ignore the result of the confidence vote and call a “people versus politicians” general election to be held shortly after Britain had left the EU.

Ministers said that there was an emphasis on “getting stuff out the door” by bringing forward policy announcements before a possible election this year.

Constitutional experts confirmed yesterday that Mr Johnson would technically be under no legal obligation to quit if he lost a confidence vote. They warned that it risked the Queen being “dragged into politics” and put in the “invidious position” of facing calls to remove the prime minister herself.

Tory Remainers have conceded that there is no “absolutely foolproof” parliamentary mechanism to stop a no-deal Brexit.

Diplomats in Brussels have been briefed that the prime minister has no intention of renegotiating the withdrawal agreement and is aiming for a no-deal departure. Yesterday an EU negotiator told a meeting between European Commission officials and diplomats from the rest of the EU: “With only a few weeks to go we are back where we were three years ago.”

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said yesterday it was “almost inevitable” that Labour would table a confidence motion next month. Dominic Grieve, a leading Tory Remainer and former attorney-general, said that it would be absolutely extraordinary if Mr Johnson refused to quit.

“The prime minister who has been defeated on a confidence motion has a duty to facilitate that process, not obstruct it,” he said. “It would be utterly extraordinary for a prime minister to refuse to leave office when he has lost a vote of confidence and there is an alternative individual available [and] able to form an administration.”

On Friday Mr Cummings made clear to government advisers that Britain would leave with or without a deal on October 31. He told colleagues that “nothing will stand in the way of that” and that the prime minister had the power to set the date for the next election after Brexit has been delivered.

Mr Johnson tried to play down speculation yesterday that he would call an election, insisting it was “the last thing I want to do”.

Catherine Haddon, a senior fellow at the Institute for Government think tank, said that, technically, under the Fixed-term Parliament Act, the prime minister was not required to resign upon losing a vote of confidence.

“In terms of a strict reading of the legislation, Boris is not required to resign. It is completely silent on all of this,” she said. “The onus is on the incumbent prime minister — they get to choose whether they resign. If they do not it is hard for a new government to be formed without dragging the Queen into politics.

“It would put huge pressure on the incumbent prime minister to resign. We would have a clash between a technical reading of the legislation and constitutional norms.”

If the Commons passed a motion of no confidence in Mr Johnson's government there would be a 14-day period in which MPs could attempt to form an alternative government. If they did not do so there must be a general election. By refusing to resign, even if MPs believed that they had the majority needed to form an alternative government, Mr Johnson would cause a constitutional crisis.

A resigning prime minister who accepts an alternative government would be expected to notify the Queen, who would then appoint a successor on his or her “recommendation”. A refusal to resign by Mr Johnson could result in calls for the Queen to intervene.

Yesterday Downing Street criticised Remainer MPs who “choose which votes to respect”, but minutes later refused to say whether Mr Johnson would respect a vote of no confidence in his government. Mr Johnson's spokesman said: “The UK will be leaving the European Union on October 31 whatever the circumstances, no ifs or buts. We must restore trust in our democracy and fulfil the repeated promises of parliament to the people by coming out of the EU on October 31. Politicians cannot choose which votes to respect. They promised to respect the referendum result. We must do so.”

Asked in the same briefing whether Mr Johnson was committed to “respecting” a no-confidence vote against his government, the spokesman said: “One hasn't been called, and one hasn't been held, and I have never discussed hypotheticals.”

In a sign of increasing tensions in the Conservative Party, Mr Cummings used a meeting with aides yesterday to accuse Philip Hammond, the former chancellor, of blocking no-deal funding.

Allies of Mr Hammond said that Mr Cummings was wasting taxpayers' money on a no-deal Brexit that Mr Johnson has said has only a “million to one” chance of happening.


__________________________________________________________________________

Steven Swinford is Deputy Political Editor at The Times.

Henry Zeffman is a Political Correspondent at The Times.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/boris-johnson-to-defy-any-vote-of-no-confidence-s28ksnhzm
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Open XNC2 Smileys
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum

Buy traffic for your forum/website
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy
Page created in 0.156 seconds with 11 queries.