This is becoming a pattern. When Boris Johnson was faced with voting on the third runway for Heathrow, which he had pledged to oppose but his government was pledged to support, he used his position as Foreign Secretary to wangle a trip to Afghanistan. Last week he headed off to Kyiv rather than turn up in Doncaster to let his Northern MPs know that the cupboard is bare; and their careers are likely to be short. This week, on the day of two by elections unlikely to go well for him, he has popped up in Rwanda so he is a long way away when the exit polls drop and there’s some awkward explaining to do. These trips are becoming ever more frequent, so he might not want to come back.
The BEIS has issued a statement that they are introducing legislation to make it easier for agency workers to be used as scabs during industrial disputes – which assumes that there is a load of people out there who are eager to be loathed by their communities. TUC petition against this is here.
Mick Lynch’s demolitions of lying government ministers – like the hapless Under Secretary for Tech, Chris Philp seen here having his bubble burst- and collusive media hacks, like Kay Burley or Richard Madeley, who have shown up their role as propagandists for the established order every time they have opened their mouths – have been a breath of fresh air and struck a nerve with quite a broad layer of people who appreciate a bit of honesty when they see it and don’t like being manipulated. If you have a Labour MP, Momentum have a tool for you to press them to come out in support of the rail workers here. And the Greener Jobs Alliance has a briefing on why climate campaigners should support them too, which is here.
Boris Johnson outdoes Mr Bumble with his refusal to extend Free School Meals to children on universal Credit in the government’s “Food Strategy” announced on Monday. At least Oliver Twist had a first round…
The decision to deport refugees to Rwanda – which the government disingenuously portrays as simultaneously quite ok, hinting that anyone who opposes it is being racist towards Rwandans, AND a deterrent to the people who arrive by boat and not through any of the official and legal channels that don’t actually exist – contrasts with the rather mawkish Jubilee film with the Queen sharing marmalade sandwich habits with Paddington Bear. Paddington being a refugee from Peru, who arrived at Paddington station with the label “Please take care of this Bear”. So, people did. Priti Patel would “take care” of him in a different way altogether. Maybe someone should write a spoof book, Paddington gets deported.
“Nothing and No One can stop me now…!” What every villain says just before someone stops them. With 75% of his backbenchers voting no confidence in him last week Johnson reminded me of the last scene in Kurosawa’s transposition of Macbeth to Japan, in which the King dies bristling with arrows like a porcupine.
The DFE Net Zero launch at the Natural History Museum in April combined the usual vainglorious boosterism from the government – Nadhim Zahawi explaining that Britain would “lead the world in the Green Industrial Revolution” because of the “entrepreneurial spirit” (that leads us to have the lowest private sector research and development investment in the G7) and “tech entrepreneurs” – completely at odds with what they are actually doing. Building 4 new net zero schools by 2024 (out of more than 24,000 in the country) was described by the Minister as “upping our ambition”. The student protest movement has been telling the Emperors that they have no clothes since 2018. They are beginning to put on some token garments, but have a long way to go.