We could have done with this sooner . . .

It’s taken almost two years for a Tory MP to quote Leo Amery at Boris Johnson – see my post from 20 March 2020 Cometh the hour . . . but at PMQs today, that is what David Davis did.

Whether Davis’ dramatic intervention this afternoon will have the same impact that Amery’s did in the Norway Debate is anyone’s guess. Johnson affected not to recognise the quote,

I must say to him, I don’t know what he is talking about. What can I tell him – I don’t know what quotation he is alluding to . . .

A little disingenuous you might think, given Johnson never tires of tiring us by channelling his inner Churchill. What is certain, though, is that the reference to Amery will have made the intervention all the more galling for Johnson. As the Daily Telegraph noted, it will have been “the ultimate insult”.

Many Tories already share Davis’ view that Johnson is no longer fit to conduct the affairs of the nation – for that is the message that Cromwell delivered to the Long Parliament and that Amery repeated to Chamberlain. The party opposite know it.

But wanting change and demanding change doesn’t mean it will happen, or perhaps not quite yet.

Are you prepared to be told what to think?

Far and away the most chilling news this morning wasn’t the loss of Hartlepool (that, after all, was expected) but a short report in the FT, behind the paywall, about Sarah Dry withdrawing her reappointment application as a trustee to the Science Museum Group

in protest at being asked to “explicitly express support” for the government’s policy against the removal of contentious historical objects.

We live in strange and worrying times.

. . . but there is also another question – what are they so worried about that they are insisting on this?

A little unkind to Millwall FC

In his daily newsletter, Jonty’s Jottings, Jonty Bloom started his piece this morning with the French threat to Jersey and the Government’s decision to send in the Navy and ended it with a lovely line,

The UK has been reduced to the Millwall of Europe, “no one likes us, we don’t care” and firmly in the second division.

Second division certainly (and none of that “punching above our weight” nonsense) and undoubtedly we are neither trusted or liked but I’m not so sure about the “we don’t care” bit.

I think both the Prime Minister and his motley crew do care. They want to be liked and cannot understand why they aren’t. It’s a very English thing, sadly.

Not a fishy story

A report in the FT this morning behind the paywall) that the French have warned the UK that they might cut the power supply to Jersey unless fishing licences are sorted.

According to the FT

A senior UK official said the government had been taken aback by the strength of the French reaction, which was seen as an “aggressive escalation” given that the UK had been working together on the question of licensing. “It’s a strange way to behave, from what is meant to be a friendly country,” they added.

Well, yes and no.

Not only does UK policy continue to have a strong cake-ist element but the UK government continues to be surprised that “our friends in Europe” (as they so often refer to them as) are prepared to take advantage when they can.

But that is what competitors do. Following Brexit, both sides are very much rivals first, and only friends when it suits.

The problem for the UK, it appears, is that we want to be liked. Rather like our Prime Minister.

He just can’t help it . . .

After my post last week about how much Johnson dislikes being compared to Trump, it seems that he isn’t really that serious about changing his Trumpian behaviours.

142 other countries around the world have accorded full diplomatic status to EU ambassadors. But not the UK.

It seems to be a case that my sovereignty is bigger and better than yours.

It is also so very petty – and so very Johnson.