Friday 2 September 2022

Leading Questions

There are registered charities associated with the Board of Deputies, but in itself it is not one. The Jewish Leadership Council, however, is number 1115343, while the Community Security Trust is number 1042391. They therefore have no business opining on the internal affairs of a political party. Complain to the Charity Commission here.

More broadly, fewer than 70,000 people voted in the election of Labour's National Executive Committee, just as the Conservative Party's own initial estimate of the eligible vote in its Leadership Election is 160,000. Someone may well be about to become Prime Minister with as few as 80,000 votes. If that. No one would be surprised at a much lower figure.

There is no comparison between this and, for example, the fact that in 1990, John Major became Prime Minister with 185 votes, since those were the votes of MPs, whereas party members represent no one but themselves. In 2019, Boris Johnson had led in every round among Conservative MPs. But Liz Truss has never even led in one. The Queen would have no reason to assume that a Truss Government would command a majority in the House of Commons.

Like the Labour Party, you can join the Conservative Party from anywhere and no matter what your nationality. If such was your preference, then voting in this election was by the online means that the Government had banned trade unions from using, so that you could also vote from anywhere. Voting rights officially kicked in at a mere 15 years of age, but no one was checking even that, and simply to join the Conservative Party there is no minimum age at all.

For good or ill, Labour has changed its rules so that candidates for Leader would need to be nominated by one third of MPs, meaning that in practice only one candidate could ever be nominated at any given time, resulting in no election. There is never going to be another Labour Leadership Election. There pretty much cannot be.

But since the change from election by the MPs alone, then no Labour Leadership Election has ever led to the winner's appointment as Prime Minister within 24 hours. Such a Conservative Leadership Election is about to have that effect for the second time, and this time with the support of only one in six members of the House of Commons.

Yet armed with the Royal Prerogative, the new Prime Minister will be not so much a President as an absolute monarch. Since it is the Queen who summons Parliament at all, then it is the Prime Minister who really does so, and she could in the meantime use Orders in Council to enact primary legislation effectively by decree. If she just never got the Queen to summon Parliament, then that would be that. Even the question of revenue-raising does not present itself in the way that people who have never bothered to check tend to think that it does. Thank heavens that Truss would never go looking.

1 comment:

  1. She is not going to be Prime Minister for very long.