THE LONDON PALLADIUM is preparing to host one of the great icons of the 1960s, Joan Baez, who burst onto the scene at Woodstock, hooked up with Bob Dylan, and sang some of the most memorable protest songs of the era. This week, however, it played host to a bird of a very different feather—a man who would have been more at home in the 1860s than the 1960s and whose idea of a singalong is “Land of Hope and Glory” rather than “Blowin’ in the Wind”. More than 2,300 people sat enraptured as Fraser Nelson, the editor of the Spectator, gently grilled Jacob Rees-Mogg, the MP for North East Somerset and head of the European Research Group (ERG) of Conservative MPs, on his politics and peccadilloes. Mr Rees-Mogg performed his old favourites. He confessed that he had never done the washing up (“That’s what washing machines are for”). He praised true blue Conservatism and threw jabs at wets in his own party (“Philip Hammond is no doubt in … [Read more...] about The group that broke British politics
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Both Labour and the Conservatives are braced for further walkouts as the creation of a new independent grouping of MPs continues to rip through the political landscape in Britain.As members of The Independent Group (TIG) said they expected to see more MPs join them, it emerged that former British prime minister David Cameron had made a last-ditch bid to try to stop a trio of Tories quitting.High-profile ex-minister Anna Soubry said Mr Cameron had reached out to the MPs as they prepared to turn their backs on the Tories for TIG.Ms Soubry told The Times Red Box podcast that Mr Cameron sent them a text saying: “Is it too late to persuade you to stay?”As attacks on Theresa May from ex-Tory MPs intensified, Ms Soubry accused the Prime Minister of having a personal “problem” with immigration.Ms Soubry told BBC2’s Newsnight: “The only reason why she will not agree to the single market is because of free movement of people.“And I think … [Read more...] about British political parties braced for further defections to Independent Group
You wait 40 years for a small number of MPs to break away from a mainstream British political party citing infiltration by extremists and then two come along at once. And not only do two come along at once, but they then merge. Yes, with news that three Tory defectors are to be join the eight Labour MPs that have already done the same, The Independent Group has become The Independent Supergroup, a centrist McBusted out to change British politics while desperately hoping no one notices they are not merely flying without wings but by the seat of their pants. It was Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen’s turn to summon the press on Wednesday afternoon, to take down the tablet of stone and read out “the speech” given by MPs who leave their parties. “Proud of what we have achieved....With a heavy heart…I have not changed...the party has changed…etc”. Join Independent Minds For exclusive articles, events and an advertising-free read for … [Read more...] about Opinion: British politics has its supergroup, but is it already McBusted?
Paul Collier 22 September 2018 9:00 AM 22 September 2018 9:00 AM Share Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Email Whatsapp The Conservative party has to move beyond Brexit and leaders: what is it going to be about? I suggest it has to be about healing capitalism. Capitalism is the only system that is capable of delivering mass prosperity, but it cannot be left on autopilot. Once every few decades it veers off track and requires active public policy. In the mid-19th century, the old Tory party was revolutionised by Disraeli’s ‘one nation’ agenda, correcting the social catastrophes of early industrialisation. In the 1930s, there was no Disraeli: indeed, no political party rose to the challenge of mass unemployment, which was addressed as an inadvertent by-product of rearmament. During the 1980s, a tempting new economic doctrine emerged in America: markets were sacrosanct, and government regulation was impeding them. High–powered incentives, linked … [Read more...] about Welcome to the hard centre – and the future of British politics
Take a step back and consider the state of British politics. The Labour party is now firmly, perhaps irredeemably, in the grip of the hard left – from top to toe. Its leadership would subsidise what it doesn't nationalise while its membership revels in a new factionalism that puts loyalty to the dear leader above all else. Above, even, the very real fears of a Jewish community appalled by the anti-semitism that has burst from the blogs and the fringes into the mainstream – encouraged or at least enabled by Jeremy Corbyn and his closest aides. This heady cocktail of socialism and racism is pretty much level-pegging with the Tory party in opinion polls. Conservatives might point at Labour MPs sitting opposite them in the Commons, taunting them over their current woes, but the next few weeks could rip the Tories apart and plunge the country into yet another political crisis. This is not hyperbole. As we all begin our working week, two serving government ministers have launched … [Read more...] about Socialists to the left, jokers to the right: the miserable state of British politics