Note: Since I wrote this Sir Mark Sedwill has resigned as Cabinet Secretary and from his other post as National Security Advisor. Both effective from September.
With Boris Johnson showing ever more signs of strain, he appears to be losing his grip and the political antenna that was Dominic Cummings seems to be malfunctioning.
In a misguided sense of loyalty and strength, he has yet to fire Robert Jenrick. Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government who granted permission for a £1 billion development in East London. He overruled advice from an inspector and officials that the “vibrant new waterfront neighbourhood” wasn’t a good fit and lacked sufficient affordable housing. He took the decision just in time to save its developer £45,000,000 in taxes. A couple of days later and that benefit would have been lost to the developer. This community infrastructure levy would have gone to Tower Hamlets, one of London’s more impoverished boroughs. It would have been earmarked for developing infrastructure, modernising schools and other community investment. The situation is getting murkier and continues to emit a malodorous whiff.
Simultaneously, Keir Starmer fired Rebecca Long-Bailey from the shadow cabinet for retweeting an anti-Semitic tweet from actress Maxine Peake, a well-known lefty. Long-Bailey came second in the leadership poll behind Keir Starmer and is a keen Corbynista. The tweet, whilst not directly anti-Semitic, linked the technique used by police, resulting in the death of George Floyd to training given by the Israeli security services to USA police. Whilst criticising Israel and not Jews directly, it was sufficiently nuanced for Keir Starmer to take a dim view and he immediately fired her. Coincidentally, the Equality and Human Rights Commission is due to release its report into anti-Semitism in the Labour party, Monday UK time.
So we have Johnson bumbling along, not firing miscreants within his party, and Starmer taking swift action to rid himself of a staunch Corbynista. In a poll published yesterday, in answer to the preferred Prime Minister question, Johnson received 35% approval and Starmer received 37%. The Conservatives received 43% support and Labour 39%. This gap of 4% points contrasts with February/March when the Conservatives held a 20% advantage over Labour.
Reports are coming in that show that the voters no longer consider Labour to be the party of the traditional working-class but to cater for the metropolitan elite and the immigrant community. This was reflected in the massive gains in the north for the Conservatives at the last general election. As I have commented on in my previous letters, Johnson’s actions are causing the Conservatives to haemorrhage support from this group of voters. They hate any whiff of financial skullduggery or exploitation of their position by politicians and they are disappointed that Johnson hasn’t fixed it. They are feeling screwed.
Starmer is quietly exploiting this and is slowly regaining lost support.
As forecast a few weeks ago, Sir Mark Sedwill, the Cabinet Secretary, is preparing his resignation, possibly later today (Sunday) or tomorrow. This has been “masterminded” by Dominic Cummings. The head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is forecast to retire soon, after its merger with DfID (International Development), with more upheavals in Whitehall before the end of the year.
The internal rumblings against Johnson and Cummings are growing louder.
A football supporter hired a plane to tow a message “WHITE LIVES MATTER BURNLEY” over a football game. He was severely castigated for this and was reported to the police. Burnley FC banned him from attending any games in future and his employer fired him. Much to the dismay of the great and the good, they confirmed that he had broken no laws, but he remained fired.
The next day, it was announced that Dr Priyamvada Gopal, 51, who teaches in the Faculty of English at Churchill College, Cambridge had been promoted to Professor. This was after she had tweeted that “white lives don’t matter”.
This week has seen major riots in the UK at street parties and two stabbing incidents, one in Reading resulting in 3 deaths and one in Glasgow, resulting in 6 casualties and the deaths of the protagonist, shot by the police. The two stabbing incidents were perpetrated by asylum seekers, one of whom was known to MI5, but sources suggest that they are not terrorist related as such but driven by drug-induced psychotic behaviour. It is becoming apparent that a portion of the asylum seekers are bored and at a loose end and have been taking drugs to pass the time.
In a leak from the intelligence services, it was revealed that they had been diverting scarce resources away from terrorism, and especially the BLM movement, into infiltrating the “far-right” groups on the premise that these were developing into the major internal threat.
Simultaneously it was disclosed that the street parties and raves are being (allegedly) funded by drug dealers in an attempt to regain business lost during the lockdown. There are so many people attending these gatherings that the police can’t handle them, so they are taking a watch, observe and record stance. They are rapidly trying to strengthen their intelligence gathering to combat them.
In the meantime, the Home secretary ordered the chief of the Metropolitan Police Cressida Dick to attend a short notice meeting without coffee.
I haven’t even had time to report on the breakdown of the lockdown and social distancing resulting in 500,000 people squeezing onto the 5 miles of beaches at Bournemouth, or the resulting 50 tonnes of rubbish left on those beaches.
The country is slipping into chaos and control is drifting away from the authorities.
As I have said previously the blame game has started and the scientists and politicians are running for cover.
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