Sunday, 24 February 2019

By Extension

The cancellation of Wednesday's Commons vote can only mean that an "extension" of Article 50 has already been arranged. Who is supposed to enforce the original date? The Supreme Court? Well, there you are then.

Yesterday's Daily Mail article by Amber Rudd, Greg Clarke and David Gauke was not a departure from Government policy, but an expression of Government policy. It was not a breach of collective responsibility, but an exercise in collective responsibility.

Theresa May and her party have been badly stung by the suggestion of three of its former MPs that it is no longer the conventionally defined centrist party of its own self-image, and not least of hers, but rather in some sense right-wing.

To the Conservatives, the Right, whether in any of the Continental or in any of the American forms, is like Communism, or historically Catholicism.

That is to say, they regret to have to admit that it does exist on the fringes of British society, but it is fundamentally alien to these shores, and it is certainly nothing to do with the Tories.

Indeed, in its own mind, one of the main aims of the Conservative Party is to ensure that, whether in any of the Continental or in any of the American forms, the Right never gains any kind of foothold on This Sceptered Isle.

May is going before the end of this Parliament. Before the end of this Parliament, expect to see Anna Soubry in the Cabinet. Not Andrew Bridgen. Not Jacob Rees-Mogg. Anna Soubry. And quite possibly Chris Leslie and Chuka Umunna as well.

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