8 December 2019
This time next week it’ll all be over and we’ll know the worst (there isn’t a best on offer). I wonder how proud we’ll feel if the new, elected prime minister turns out to be someone who hasn’t even got the courage to be interviewed by Andrew Neil.
I’ve suggested the BBC film an interview of Andrew Neil with an empty chair. Neil would go through the most significant of Boris Johnson’s lies and contrast what he said in 2016 (or whenever) with what he’s now saying and ask “How do you explain that?”. Cut to empty chair and silence, then back to Neil who goes asks about another of his lies, and so on.
Johnson did take part in a debate with Jeremy Corbyn on Friday but it was chaired by the wrong Nicholas and the result was, in terms of statistical significance, a tie. Had Nicholas Parsons chaired it, Boris Johnson would have lost by 1,783 points because of his constant hesitation, deviation and repetition. He was also duly humiliated and ridiculed when he dropped out of a press conference in Luxembourg (ostensibly to avoid protestors!), thereby proving that his claims of progress in the Brexit negotiations are entirely unfounded.
Back in September when Johnson was very rude to Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament Brexit coordinator, I felt so ashamed to be British that I emailed Verhofstadt to offer an apology to the entire EU on behalf of those of us in Britain who deeply regretted the childish and offensive remarks that had been made by our unelected prime minister and to hope that Verhofstadt and all his colleagues would be able to maintain their faith in the common decency of most of us in Britain.
I didn’t expect a reply and didn’t get one at the time but, on Wednesday, I received one saying “There is no need for an apology, but it is good to know that citizens are on our side” and assuring me that “[my] voice is being heard as we try to limit the damage and find the best possible solutions in the interest of everyone.” What a kind man to reply to a nobody like me.
I mentioned last week that the poster for our independent candidate had been torn off our fence so I was disappointed to hear that this wasn’t just an isolated drunken ‘frolic’ and that some of Claire Wright’s other posters have been damaged or defaced, with one of her large campaign boards being ripped down by “two men dressed in black”. Since she’s the only candidate who can overturn the Tories, suspicion would appear to fall on conservative supporters.
For more on Claire Wright and Hugh Grant’s endorsement of her campaign (joining Martin Bell who is already backing her), see the article in the i at https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/general-election-2019-disgruntled-conservative-party-voting-east-devon-claire-wright-1328557
The Tories’ desperation was also demonstrated by a fifth communication urging us to vote Conservative. Too late for us because we’ve already voted by post but encouraging to see how desperate the Conservatives are, particularly since the pro-EU ‘Best for Britain’ campaign estimates that only just over 40,000 people voting tactically in 36 key seats could avoid a majority Conservative government.
It was also interesting that our local Conservative candidate is following his master’s lead and didn’t have the courage to attend the Sidmouth hustings on Friday because he preferred to go late-night shopping and to a Christmas Fayre. His vulnerability was emphasised by Boris Johnson’s actually visiting East Devon this week to offer his support. Johnson moaned about the state of the A303 and the A358 at Taunton (which he hadn’t been told isn’t actually in Devon) and pledged more funding for roads. He naturally declined to say how much, if any, of the funding would come to East Devon or used on the A303 if he was elected.
The state of Ohio this week is trying to change the (state) law so that doctors would have to re-implant ectopic pregnancies after they’d been removed or face a new charge of “abortion murder”. The only slight hitch is that the procedure isn’t medically possible.
Donald Trump has been in London (well, Watford) this week and said he wouldn’t comment on the election but that he could work with Boris Johnson and it would be “so bad” if Jeremy Corbyn took over.
In Wednesday’s copy of the Times, Matthew Parris headlined his column “Let’s think of kindness as well as evil that men (sic*) do” and wrote “I’d ask you … to reflect on the vast potential for good that lies in the accumulation of trivial acts of kindness or civility … like each individual grain of sand in a dune that, blowing in the wind, can carry all before it, they can be an unstoppable force though none will ever merit a headline.”
* Remember this is the Times, where men are men and women do the typing and make the tea.