Friday 24 May 2024

The Horse's Mouth

I have been sparing a thought for Paula Vennells, who had assumed that her well-rehearsed performance was going to be the main news this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. At this point, one is supposed to say that she is probably not bad at heart. I have lived at the closest of quarters with people who were.

But oh, the comments that I have had to reject when I have pointed out why the Post Office had to be cut out of the Royal Mail in 2011 so that the Royal Mail could be privatised, leading to almost comical arrangements such as workers at adjacent desks that their respective employers were renting from each other. Why could the Royal Mail not have been privatised with the Post Office in it? That was because the City knew, even then, about Horizon. Today, that was confirmed.

It has been quite a week for conspiracy theories. Not long ago, everything that is coming out at the Post Office Inquiry was so dismissed. At the start of this week, so was everything that has since been published in the Infected Blood Inquiry Report. But now, even the Financial Times talks about "the Deep State". That matters. A wise man once told me always to read the FT and The Economist because they were where the Establishment talked to itself on the assumption that no one else was listening.

And no one better personifies that Establishment, that Deep State, than Simon Case, who came up through GCHQ and the Royal Households, as a spook and a courtier, to become the Prime Minister's handler and fixer, in that order, for such is seen as the real role of the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service.

But when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Keir Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

At this General Election, I have been a declared Independent candidate for the constituency containing Lanchester since before the last one. The boundary changes have moved Lanchester into North Durham, which I will contest unless the Workers Party of Britain did so. I am of course supporting the Independents whom it is also supporting because they were already established on the ground, although the ones who were in that position four and a half years ago are mostly or entirely sitting MPs, and hardly any more than those have stood for Parliament before, as I did in 2019.

To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not. We have made a start. But I do need an answer from the Workers Party. Will it be contesting North Durham? If so, then I will stand aside. But I need to know by Sunday.

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