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…

Read More
Gove 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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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,…

Read More