Britain Global conflict Israel 

Is Boris Johnson “good for the Jews”?

Britain now has its first celebrity prime minister. On Tuesday, Boris Johnson was elected leader of the Tory Party following Theresa May’s resignation over her failure to deliver Brexit. On Wednesday, Johnson “kissed hands” with the Queen and thus succeeded Mrs. May as Britain’s PM. As with all social or political developments of note, the Jewish world is predictably asking about this one: “Will it be good for the Jews?” Johnson has entertained and scandalized Britain for years through his many scrapes, his jokes, his politically incorrect gaffes, his chaotic…

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UK Britain 

As ruthless Johnson signals “Brexit do or die”, I’m still counting my spoons

The commentariat has been utterly convulsed by the composition of new prime minister Boris Johnson’s government. As Remainer ministers and those disloyal to Johnson were either sacked or fell on their swords to be replaced by Brexiteers in every key position, Brexit supporters were as ecstatic as Remainers were choked with horror and rage. Johnson’s purpose in effecting this ruthless transformation was clear: to send an unequivocal signal that the Remainers’ game is now up. Britain will be leaving the EU on October 31, “do or die”. The purpose of…

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Churchill Britain 

Every flawed PM needs a Clemmie Churchill

As few surely can be unaware, Boris Johnson idolises Winston Churchill. He has indeed been mocked for appearing to believe that he is Churchill reincarnated. Wags have observed that when Johnson waxed eloquent in his biography of Churchill about the great man’s stellar attributes he appeared to be describing himself. The comparison, however, might not be quite such a joke. I recently caught up with First Lady, Sonia Purnell’s justly acclaimed biography of Winston’s wife Clementine. This was an eye-opener for two reasons. First was the extent to which Clemmie…

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no-deal Britain 

Will prime minister Johnson put lipstick on the pig?

Today’s Sunday Times reports that various EU countries are panicking so badly over Britain leaving the EU with no deal they are willing to offer a new one. At its shallowest, this proves the point some of us have been making from the get-go: that the only way the EU would ever offer withdrawal terms in Britain’s interests would be if the UK credibly threatened to leave with no deal at all. However, there is a far less rosy way to look at this reported development. Boris Johnson has positioned…

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UK Britain 

Why Brexiteers don’t trust Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson insists that he’s not bluffing when he says he’s prepared to take the UK out of the EU with no deal if, as is now widely predicted, he becomes Britain’s next prime minister later this month. Do we believe him? Maybe; maybe not. Many don’t. One reason why there’s so much suspicion is that he has consistently said he will try to get a better deal from the EU – and expects to do so. Since the EU has shown itself implacably opposed to any renegotiation, some might…

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Tories Britain 

How the Tories can save themselves and Brexit

A general election in Britain in the near future is surely well-nigh inescapable. Whoever wins the Conservative leadership election — and as we can see from the histrionics of the past few days, Boris Johnson may end up destroying himself — both Johnson and his rival, Jeremy Hunt, have committed themselves to leaving the EU with no-deal on October 31 if they cannot renegotiate the withdrawal terms. Since it seems overwhelmingly likely — regardless of Johnson’s claims to the contrary — that the EU will not offer any concessions, the…

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Britain 

Can this leadership contest produce a real British conservative?

Boris Johnson has topped the first ballot for the Tory leadership with 114 votes, and it is being assumed that his bandwagon is now unstoppable. Is it? If Michael Gove, that intellectually formidable, competent and experienced minister is deemed by the admission of his past cocaine use to have a character flaw that makes him unsuitable to lead his country, how much more so is this true of Boris Johnson. His launch press conference was shoddy. Faced with awkward questions, such as over his own sampling of cocaine in the…

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Tories Britain 

How liberal conservatives are having their coke and eating it

Michael Gove is fighting to stay in the Tory leadership race after the weekend’s startling revelation that during the 1990s he had used cocaine “on several occasions”. He drew a distinction between individuals behaving illegally and the importance of the drug laws in protecting society. Accordingly, he said, he refused to join London’s liberal consensus for drug legalisation because “there is a greater sin than hypocrisy. It is the refusal to uphold values because one may oneself have fallen short of them.” Which you might think is having his coke…

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UK Britain 

Trembling on the verge of political meltdown – but they still don’t get it

Can we now please end the pretence that Michael Gove is a reliable Brexiteer? Still dead-set against leaving the EU with no deal – which remains the single most likely way to honour the referendum result – he has reportedly told other Cabinet ministers that he is prepared to delay Brexit until late 2020. Assuming the EU would agree to another, longer extension (and if they didn’t, what would Gove do then?) such a delay would kick Brexit into the long grass. Uncertainty would continue, bringing continuing political paralysis and…

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UK Britain 

From the frying-pan into the fire?

It would appear that Mrs May is about to resign. We’d do well to be a little cautious about whether this is actually going to happen. Just saying. We are reading that her resignation will be announced tomorrow. Then she will remain prime minister until the Conservative party elects a new leader. In normal circumstances, this would seem a strange way to govern a country. After all, by what authority would she do anything at all as a kind of post-political mortem prime minister? But then, these aren’t normal circumstances,…

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