Two years ago I wrote what may have been the most prophetic headline of my journalistic career.
I didn’t mean to insult all Cocker Spaniels. Of course, I recognise that with the right training their natural intelligence can be channelled and they can be made into the most excellent gun dogs. But as anyone has ever owned a spaniel can confirm, they are also prone to being quite exceptionally idiotic and useless.
Nowhere near as idiotic and useless as Britain’s current prime minister, especially where Brexit is concerned.
Every now and then, I find myself having to explain to Americans what has become of the amazing Brexit revolution, which they heard about a lot at the time (the vote was in June 2016) because in many ways it was the precursor to the Trump revolution.
When I tell them that virtually nothing has been achieved in the two years since, that the Remainer establishment has been doing everything in its powers to frustrate the democratic will of 17.4 million Leave voters, they’re astonished.
“How can this be?” they want to know.
Well, the number one reason, I’d say, is Theresa May. She’s a Remainer by inclination and by public record. She’s utterly in thrall to the Remainer-dominated Civil Service. She lacks the imagination or ideological backbone to make a persuasive case for a fairer, freer, friendlier Britain outside the shackles of the European Union.
I totally agree with Daniel Kawczynski, the Conservative backbench MP I had on my podcast the other day.
He recently told Sky News:
Daniel Kawczynski said Theresa May was not an “authentic Brexiteer” and could renege on her promise that Britain will exit the customs union, leaving Britain in “dangerous, unchartered territory”.
The MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham in Shropshire warned that if she did, UKIP would “come back like a phoenix” and “destabilise” the Conservatives “like you’ve never seen before”.
He added that some people in parliament were doing “everything in their power” to “neuter” Brexit, specifically accusing 14 rebels in his own party of “taking advantage” of its “tiny majority” to block Brexit.
Also, she’s not a conservative. Just an authoritarian social democrat who drifted into the party because we don’t have an Authoritarian Social Democrats party.
Up till now, Conservatives – especially those in the government – have been cautious about trying to defenestrate May. The received wisdom – complete rubbish, I’ve always thought, but still – has been that it’s just too risky a move with the socialist Jeremy Corbyn lurking in the wings, itching to turn Britain into the next Venezuela.
But I think now everyone has had enough. Here are some encouraging signs that she won’t be around for much longer.
Sajid Javid. The new Home Secretary is profiled here by Fraser Nelson in a piece touting him as a possible contender for the next PM. I’d still personally prefer the Mogg. (Who wouldn’t?). But in politics, you rarely get the candidate you want and Javid has an awful lot going for him, not least that he totally gets free markets.
Oh and he doesn’t like to play the race card…
His friends say he can’t bring himself to spin a hard-luck story because he feels nothing but gratitude for his upbringing. A mother who, though illiterate, supervised his study every day. Then Exeter University, where he met his wife. A vice president of Chase Manhattan bank at the age of 25, and a close relationship with four brothers whose lives are – like his – a case study in what Michael Howard famously called the “British dream”.
He’s also a case study of the type of Tory who dislikes identity politics and, as a result, seldom talks about who he is.
Next, we must mention the resignation of your favourite new MP you’d never heard of before. Her name is Andrea Jenkyns, Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood. She has resigned from her position as a junior minister in protest at the government’s laggardly progress on Brexit.
At her website she writes:
Currently, I sit on the committee for Exiting the European Union where we examine and scrutinise witnesses, experts and ministers who have a massive influence on our country’s future. Securing Brexit and safeguarding the right kind of departure is important to me personally and I know is a very important issue for my constituents. As we get closer to us leaving the EU, my committee business will be more important than ever and I believe it best I do all I can to fight to secure the right direction for our country’s future.
Currently, there are 21 members on the Brexit committee, only 7 of which voted to leave the EU. It is my opinion that the reports produced by the committee have been unbalanced in favour of us either remaining in the EU, the customs union or delaying our departure. I, therefore, feel I need to spend more of my time doing all I can do to correct this imbalance and be a robust voice for the benefits of Brexit.
During my time on the committee, it has become clear that some of my colleagues are committed to upsetting the democratic decision of the British people. Over the past few months, this situation has caused me much frustration, but since this disparity is unlikely to change I feel it is my duty to give the necessary attention to this vitally important role.
Principled, yes. But also, surely, canny. As a woman, she must know that she stands a better chance of preferment than her male colleagues. She must sense that this was a gamble worth taking in order to enjoy even better opportunities under a more robustly pro-Brexit Conservative leader. I hope she’s right. Good luck to her!
Finally, we should note that the Tory party’s backers are getting restive about this lame duck Prime Minister.
As Christopher Hope reports here:
Theresa May needs to be quit as Prime Minister to because the Brexit talks “resemble a Greek tragedy and it only ends when everyone is dead”, a leading Tory party donor says today.
Jeremy Hosking, a City financier who has donated £375,000 to the party since 2015, says the Government’s strategy to exit the European Union had to change.
Mr Hosking is the first major donor to speak about against Mrs May and her Brexit talks.
Yep. If we want Brexit, May has got to go. It’s really that simple. Now, why did no one listen when I said this two years ago?