We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The UK government meltdown, ctd

Events in UK politics are moving so fast at the moment that it is hard to know what will be the composition of the British cabinet by the end of this Bank Holiday weekend. Reuters, along with other news media is reporting that five of the foreign nationals released from British gaols – who should have been deported back to their original countries – have re-offended. The scandal of the released overseas prisoners back on the British streets looks set to send Charles Clarke down the political U-bend.

All very bad and I weep no tears for the jug-eared Home Secretary. A thought does occur to me, though. We make a fuss about foreign prisoners being released onto the streets rather than being deported, and of course a primary duty of a government is to protect its citizens from foreign menaces. But many thousands of British-born prison inmates who are released from often pathetically short sentences re-offend too. A few years ago I was mugged, an experience all too common in London, and it is frankly no difference to me whether the person was a foreign re-offender or British.

The negligence of Clarke’s department means he must resign, in my view. But let us not, in our understanderble desire to send these creeps, fools and knaves to the political dustbin, ignore some rather basic facts of penal life. My problem is not simply that we should send offenders back to their country of origin, it is that we send them to prison for often insanely short sentences in the first place.

37 comments to The UK government meltdown, ctd

  • mat

    I think part of the reason why prison sentences these days are so short is that society likes to explain away criminal activity using the subconscious. Apparently, the typical criminal isn’t fully aware of his actions. It’s not the ‘real’ him that committed the crime, but the subconscious him. This perspective stems directly from Freudian psychoanalysis.

    My answer is always that we should then simply imprison the individual’s subconscious. If a criminal pleads temporary insanity, all we have to do is imprison his insane component.

  • Brian

    I read in this week’s Darlington and Stockton Times about Daniel John Wood, Michael Beattie and John Graham Rigg, of the fair borough of Stockton who, apparently indulged in ‘a totally unprovoked attack on a victim who was unable to defend himself, kicking and punching the victim as he lay on the ground’.

    Community service.

    The mitigating circumstances appear to be ‘they are fork-lift truck drivers’.

    So we’ve quite enough home-grown scumbags around without adding any foreigners to the tally.

    And quite enough drooling imbeciles masquerading as judges.

  • Robert

    I think it’s time for a little vigilantism, the civil power having shown itself to be morally bankrupt and incapable of protecting the citizenry.
    That out of the way, we can get to the fun bit of picking the punishments, here are mine:
    1. Thieves , Muggers and general shitheads – fingers cut off with secateurs.
    2. Paedophiles – Fed into a tree shredder, feet first too so they enjoy it longer.
    3. Islamo nutters – skinned, then roasted over a slow fire with an apple in their mouths, then fed to pigs.
    4. Corrupt civic officials – staked out over an anthill, covered in honey
    5. Old dears who thump a burglar in their own home – A CIVIC PARADE AND A DONATION OF £1000 FROM POLICE FUNDS FOR DOING THE COPPERS JOB FOR THEM.
    Add your own, its fun.

  • Any government minister devoid of total incompetence, and any government department likewise endowed, will be more aware of what the statistics are than the public, and even Parliament. They will also play the statistics to best effect. So beware.

    Some 288 foreign offender releases ago, the extent of the damage was, very probably, well known.

    We now have the drip drip of statistics being fed to us, most carefully. Lack of shock, hence delay and staging, are key elements. Also, something even more distracting, and less painful, than Mr Prescott’s love life might, with any luck, turn up to help.

    Note that, today, we get the re-offend rate of the most serious and violent 79 (out of the 1,023) having been convicted of re-committing the most serious and violent offences: total 5.

    Then will come another carefully judged traunch: If I were the Home Office, I’d choose to add all other offences committed by the 79, majoring on how minor some of them are (sorry, that would be “most”, not “some” – a minor exaggeration, easily put and surely petty for anyone to refute).

    Third, the major offences by the remaining 944; that is unless some lessor subdivision of the total can be defined and (by some means) justified as a useful reporting step along the way (halve the numbers, spread it over 2 or 3 weeks: reporting delays you know).

    Next, we’ll get the minor offences by the majority. This is always assuming that interest in the issue is maintained.

    And it will be ages before we ever know what damage was done by the last 288. First government of a different complexion would be my guess.

    And if they are not doing this, even by their own standards, they are totally incompetent.

    Best regards

  • Verity

    And a paedophile out on parole raped a little boy of seven, and a 14-yr old boy raped a little girl in the loo of Sainsbury’s and there’s at least a murder a day and on and on and on, because the socialists have no will to lock anyone up because “prison doesn’t work”. Of course, prison does work for the obvious reason that they’re isolated from society and under guard. But it’s the slow degradation of societal norms that Tone & Co are after.

    Even after the announcement, Jonathan, that these five violent foreign ex-prisoners had re-offended, Charles Clarke said there was no question of him resigning because he had to stay on to sort it all out.

    Has there ever been a more disgraceful government in Britain? Someone who reads a lot of history will be able to tell us.

  • Verity

    Robert – I think you’re too fancy. You can do more with just your basic gun. For thieves and robbers, you can pistol whip them with the butt of the handle, possibly damaging their eyes in error and certainly accidentally breaking their nose. It will be difficult for them to get away as five of your mates will be holding them down. So unfortunately, their jaw may get broken as well, and all their teeth knocked down their throat. Oh well, c’est la vie.

    Paedophiles – castration.

    Islamonutters calling for the end of Britain and shariah, shoot quietly, with a silencer, as you walk past them. I would also include those vicious, aggressive women wearing hijabs, burqas, chadors, whatever in this category.

    Finally, build more prisons and bang the remainder up. Fly the cross of St George whether the Islamonutters – who we can, in any case, leave to the other prisoners – like it or not. Place all loos in the Islamonutter section facing Mecca. Bacon butties.

  • Robert

    I tend to agree, but I was hoping to make a spectator sport of it, a la Roman Games.

  • Paul Marks

    So Verity wants a person who reads a lot of history to say whether there has ever been a worse government in Britain.

    Well Atlee and co nationalized various industries and expanded government entitlement programs (what one calls a “Welfare State” is a moot point – government health, education and welfare spending was a much smaller percentage of the economy under Atlee than it is today, but I suppose it counted as a Welfare State).

    However, Atlee was a decent and honouable man and Blair and co certainly are not.

    Harold Laski was a pro Soviet all-the-way socialist (someone who took clause four of the Labour party Constitution – which Mr Blair got rid of on the rational gounds that few people actually wanted the state to own EVERYTHING), but Atlee kept him under control.

    The Major government was full of sleeze and did bad things such as sign the treaty of European Union – but it is plain that the present government is far worse than that of Mr Major.

    I agree with Verity that the present government has a desire to undermine all the traditional safeguards for civil liberties and to undermine the traditional moral institutions of society (if they finish that job, actually nationalizing everything will not be necessary, civil society would have already been smashed).

    The Labour M.P. Frank Field (once a great admirer of Mr Blair and still someone who tries to see the best in him) openly states (for example in his recent article in the Daily Telegraph) that many Labour politicians see Welfare Rights as the basis of a new society – a society totally at odds with the traditions of mutual aid and robust independence (no contradiction) of the old British working class.

    The new society that is being built is a vile thing. Full of management jargon and talk talk of “rights” and “inclusion”, masking arbitary power where there is really no distinction between “public” and “private” as everything (even if privately owned) is controlled by the political class. And where there is a grand project to control all human behavour and even human thought – which will simply twist and corrupt the population (and is already doing so and has been doing so for many yeas – decades before Mr Blair actually came to power, for he is but the fairy on top of the Christmas tree of the New Left elite).

    Even Mr Edward Heath (the worst Conservative party Prime Minister in my lifetime) who got rid of the old counties, the “old money”, and shoved us into what was then called the E.E.C. – never had a great project to transform society into some New Left dream vision(which will be a nightmare vision).

    Neither did that old corrupt. regulating, government expanding Dizzy back in the 19th century.

    Or Lloyd George (either as Chancellor or as Prime Minister).

    Certainly if we go right back in history one can name governments that have killed vast numbers of English people and enslaved still more (the regime of William I, William the Bastard, is most likely the worst of all), but I think Verity means in the present age.

    And I think this may be the worst government we have had in the present age.

    I would not have minded meeting Atlee, or Harold Wilson or even Edward Heath.

    Their political opinions were very different from mine, but they were clearly British and they had other interests. The present political class make my skin crawl.

    I do not want to see what they will do to Britain – I have seen too much already.

    Please note that I have not gone into the “alternative” (Mr Cameron, Mr Francis Maude and their hangers on) – nor do I intend to.

    The only “postitive” note is that the economy will give out long before the project to build a “new humanity” is finished.

    The vast credit-money bubble financing both the government and the “private sector” can not last for ever.

    “When will the slump come?” – If I could give a day I would be a rich man. But I can not (any more that Mises and Hayek could in the late 1920’s concering the credit money bubble in the Untied States).

    Each time the bubble looks like bursting the central bank pumps it up some more – but that will make the evenutal busting greater.

    We have already gone a longer time without a bust in the boon-bust cycle than ever before.

    The bust when it comes (and it will come) will be “interesting” indeed.

  • Verity

    Thank you for that excellent analysis, Paul Marks. Everything you wrote supports my own thesis that this is the most destructive “government” Britain qua Britain has ever endured, and that it is a “government” which does not have Britain’s interests at heart. It is Internationale (these fuckers never give up, do they?), tranzi-governmental (but not trans-national business – oh, pulleeze! “Fair Trade” coffee!) blood sucker organised to keep what we must now call “the rulers” (not “the governors”) in perpetual comfort and power and grind the faces of the taxpayers under the Fascist boot of some made-up “political correctness”.

    They have spent nine years picking apart the social fabric of a formerly cohesive, peaceful, kindly society. They’ve worked fast. Now little girls get raped in the ladies’ toilet of Sainsbury’s by a little 14 yr-old shit who will receive “NuLab counselling”. Personally, I would like to see him receive a bullet to the brain.

    The will to destroy society is so clear …

  • GCooper

    I have to agree, once again, with almost every word Paul Marks has written – though I might, tentatively, suggest that he’s letting Wilson off the hook a little more gently than I would.

    Clearly, rather than taking Soviet Russia as their model (as had Laski and that earlier generation of Labourites) this current crop had Gramsci’s ideas drip-fed to them by the academic fifth columnists who performed their ‘education’, back in the 1970s and (in some cases) ’80s.

    The bursting of the credit bubble is, as you say, hopelessly hard to predict – not least because one is trying to estimate the effect of an enormous variable, not seen before: China.

    But even if the economy doesn’t implode quite yet in the traditional sense, as can be seen from the mess the NHS is in, ZaNuLabour’s inability to do anything other than hurl money at problems will bring them down, sure as eggs is eggs.

    And it can’t come a day too soon!

  • Verity

    Bad news, GCooper. It won’t go away. The norms of political life in Britain over the centuries don’t apply any more.

    That is over.

    The Gramcis have won, unless there is a genuine revolution – as in, on the streets, which may not be beyond hope – although I think the British have been so doped they will surrender.

  • Andrew Milner

    You guys are just too liberal. Bring the entertainment back into execution. Turn your Neighbour Watch into a Right Wing Death Squad. And as for the police: If they’re not part of the solution they’re part of the problem.
    Seriously Home Secretary Clarke, what’s the point of a police super state when you can’t walk the streets at night? So if/when “Nobby” Clarke is resigned off out of it, who do you want as next Home Sectretary? Surely not another comeback from “Shagger” Blunkett?
    I honestly don’t understand what’s keeping you guys in the Police State UK. The weather, rough Brit chicks, infringement of civil liberties, miscarriages of justice, police misguided ineffectiveness, high crime rate, high living costs, Prevention of Terrorism Act. The Home Office want’s more men convicted of rape so they’ve made coercion and lack of active consent pre-conditions for rape. What utter nonsense. This allows any air-head chick that wakes up with a hangover and a bad case of buyer’s remorse to claim coersion/lack of consent, and thus rape. We don’t have to put up with that feminist BS here in Japan. Male chauvenist? What me. Why so edgy, Baby Doll? So don’t start the revolution without me, but keep in mind it will play hell with house prices, sterling investments and exchange rates. So get your funds out first.

  • Nick M

    Yeah, Mr Milner. But in Japan you end up eating really weird shit outta the sea.

  • permanent expat

    Nick M: Wierder than tripe?
    All countries have their ‘little’ problems but, despite their own sometimes ‘antisocial’ cultural baggage, they don’t suffer much from the curse of immigration. When I was in Japan some years back they were proud of the fact that unaccompanied women were able to walk home at night without fear of molestation. Doors were not locked, nor bicycles, nor cars. The ‘desk’ at our hôtel told us that if any of our property was stolen the culprit would be another foreigner. An embarrasing statement.

  • Nick M

    permanent expat,

    Well I don’t eat tripe. Even my grandmother had a pretty low opinion of it.

    I live in a pretty rough area of Manchester. My girlfriend, who is 5’1″, is happy to walk the streets at night (and no sniggering, you know exactly what I don’t mean). I guess that means it isn’t that rough, afterall.

    Japan is an unbelievably sexist society, in which comics about raping female college students are widespread.

    Japan may not suffer from the curse of “immigration”* but considering that (a) your screen name is “permanent expat” and (b) as a serial member of the Samizdata comentariat, you must be aware that a basic tactic of libertarians who feel overly put upon by their governments is to move somewhere less restrictive. So what’s wrong with moving to another country?

    Or, in short, are you just a hypocrite?

    * The Japanese economy relies heavily on illegal immigrants, who obviously don’t count.

  • pete

    In our horribly PC climate the foreign prisoner mess was bound to happen. The police, civil servants, gaol staff and probation staff who might all be expected to work properly together to monitor and if necessary deport these people all know that is is better not to speak out in any way which could be conceived as discriminatory – mortgages have to be paid, kids have to be raised. They all keep quiet preferring the collective anonymous guilt of incompetence which means nobody will be disciplined or sacked.

  • I just spent a week in Paris – purposely chosen instead of London at least partially because of the comments on this blog. I was pleased to note that the French seem to have made some progress on the security front compared to five years ago, when I was last there. Police seemed to be everywhere. No riots, no strikes. Camouflage-wearing soldiers carried automatic weapons in the courtyard of the Louvre.
    The economy does seem to be a problem. It’s heavily, almost overwhelmingly dependent on tourism, at least in the Ile de France. The terrorists can dry that up overnight. Graffiti was everywhere outside of the center of the city, which is not a good sign.
    But my twenty-something daughter did walk around Montmartre by herself alone at night without a problem. I don’t feel she would have been safe doing so in some parts of London. I wonder if I should give old Britain another chance.

  • permanent expat

    Nick M: Thank you for the implied ‘hypocrite’ tag…a bit strong but I’ll overlook it inasmuch that we are all hypocrites about something.
    You are quite aware of the sense of my comments on immigration so why do you pretend otherwise? Do please try not to be so facile….specious.
    That Manchester is, apparently, safer than most parts of the UK is a welcome blessing.
    Comics! Yes, Japan is a sexist society. The Septic Isle isn’t? Read the reports.
    I obey the law in the country in which i have chosen to live. I am a guest here. I’m not dealing in drugs. I don’t torture, rape & murder teenies. I don’t call for the overthrow of the society in which I am a guest. In short, I behave myself.
    All countries have some immigration ‘problems’, including Japan but the blanket statement that their economy depends on illegals is simply not true.
    Moreover, like them or not, the Japanese have a sense of identity & are proud (most of the time) of their heritage. Unlike the UK they still have one.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Has there ever been a more disgraceful government in Britain? Someone who reads a lot of history will be able to tell us.

    To be honest Verity, if one considers a bit of British history, as Paul Marks has nicely done, then a huge mark of Cain must rest on the forehead of the post-war Labour administration and the subsequent Tory ones and their creation and continuation of the Welfare State/mixed economy setup that has provided the soil in which much of what we now have has grown.

    I think Verity is probably correct to state that Blair’s administration is one of the worst in living memory, particulary as judged by its impact on crime, liberty and culture. There is a real sense that this government hates Britain and what it stands for.

    On economic grounds, it has to be said that while this is a regulating and taxing government, previous governments, such as the Wilson ones, were arguably far worse. We don’t have the sort of trade union strife of then, we don’t have confiscatory top tax rates and we are more exposed to the benefits of global trade than in the 60s. Monetary policy is handled fairly competently now. So some things are better.

    Reading the William Hague book on Pitt the Younger (Hague is a cracking good writer, BTW), is a sobering reminder that a largely undemocratic, chaotic system run by aristos and the odd genius produced one of the greatest governments in our history. And Pitt was a boozer, a cold fish with many people, etc. As a leader, he was probably without equal barring Peel (my historical political idol), Gladstone, Churchill, Salisbury or Maggie. (In the second and by no means bad second rank I would name Palmerston, Baldwin, Asquith, Lord Liverpool, Walpole).

    The worst prime ministers: Blair, Callaghan, Wilson, Lloyd George, Eden, MacMillan, Major, Heath.

  • GCooper

    Johnathan Pearce writes:

    “The worst prime ministers: Blair, Callaghan, Wilson, Lloyd George, Eden, MacMillan, Major, Heath. ”

    I hope that wasn’t in order of the harm they did?

    It it was, that noise you can hear will be Edward Heath complaining from hell. Where he so rightly belongs.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    GCooper, no, I just listed them out. It would be an interesting intellectual exercise (assuming that I am bored out of my skull and having better to do!!) to rank the worst and best on a scale. For instance, what sort of criteria should one use: worst/best in terms of impact on economy, culture, foreign relations, liberty, social tranquility, democratic accountability, probity, etc?

    Some of the great PMs could be quite devious, while some of the more honest ones were hopeless at the job. I think Blair has a sort of foxlike cunning, and occasionally does the right thing by accident, almost (BoE independence), but on the sort of benchmarks I suggest, he comes out very badly indeed.

    Of course it is a good idea to get a bit of historical perspective to see how other eras judged their own governments and politicians. It also ensures one does not get too depressed. We will get out of this situation in time (at least that is what I tell myself).

  • ernest young

    Why not up the ante for serious Ministerial failure, make the punishment fit the crime – make them forfeit their pension rights!

    If, as in the case of Clarke, he desires to stay on, as some form of penance, supposedly ‘to clear up the mess’, well let him, but at a reduced salary, and no pension.

    Paraphrasing; ‘Never have so many earned so much for knowing so little’…

  • Andrew Milner

    “You end up eating pretty wierd shit out of the sea.” You mean like urchin or seaweed? If emigration means same language, same culture, same food, same values, same race, you paint yourself into a corner. And if you are too candy-assed about the climate, you’ll never make the move. And of course a British wife does tend to nail your feet to the floorboards. The further you get from UK, geographically and culturally, the more you’re appreciated. You will never find your ideal country, so you have to pick the one that offers you personally the best deal. Assuming you can get into character as an “English gentleman”, would be hard to better the welcome you get in Japan. Sure you could “find yourself” in a country where infringement of civil liberties is worse than Britain. But it really isn’t an issue, because when it’s not your country, it’s how it affects you that’s important. If it bothers you that much you simply vote with your feet. So if you are looking for a country where your retirement pension will go a long way (face it, everywhere’s cheaper than UK, even Japan), check out Asia. But you’ll need to separate image from reality. Take Laos with its Communist government. The NGO scene is such a total gravey train it’s distorting the economy of Vientiane, so why not cut yourself a slice of that action. “Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst …”

  • Verity

    Johnathan Pearce – I read that the BoE decision was forced on brown stuff by the EU. It was their decision, not his. He is too stupid and too power hungry to make such a decision.

    Yes, Blair has an animal cunning, but he also has a very destructive agenda. He did the right thing by going in to Iraq, although why – given that he is not driven by principle – we will never know. When he writes his yawneroo autobiography, he will lie. So it will be a mystery forever.

  • watcher in the dark

    Ideas that ministers of this government have a conscience and therefore will resign over issues such as not being in control over their jobs (let alone UK events) are without any sniff of reality. Blair’s buddies will tough it out – and even if they didn’t survive by some incredible series of events, they would be invited back into the cesspit soon enough.

    Is Clarke a good Home Secretary? Hmmm… open to debate. But what does it matter anyway? If he goes, another Blair bozo steps up into the position to talk the talk, but not walk the walk.

    Socialism under any guise is bad. However under NuLabour, the smuggies are even more determined than usual to drag us all down those last few inches into the mud with them.

    Most people know what a good society is and what a healthy, productive population requires to live well and contribute to the national well-being. More policing, clear laws to deal with offenders, real jail sentences, a civil service keeping track afterwards of the malcontents we feed and house for however long. Clarke and the rest of them know too but won’t give it.

    Remember, we are despised by NuLab for voting them in, so what did we expect?

  • I live in a pretty rough area of Manchester. My girlfriend, who is 5’1″, is happy to walk the streets at night (and no sniggering, you know exactly what I don’t mean). I guess that means it isn’t that rough, afterall.

    Hmmm. Which part of Mancester? I’ll lay a ten quid bet that it is not a pretty rough area by Manchester standards, and by that I mean the area in which she walks is not north of Great Ancoats Street.

    If you don’t believe the area is rough, try getting house insurance or car insurance, and – if you are lucky enough to be offered cover – compare it against any other area in the country.

    I spent 7 years living in Manchester, and have travelled all over the place since, including several trips to isolated industrial towns in Russia on my own. Nowhere have I found to be rougher than Manchester, and the actuarial statistics bear this out.

  • Verity

    Robert Speirs – Your daughter would not have been safe walking around some areas of Paris alone after dark, either. Of course the well-lit, well-policed central areas of cities with high tourist populations are safe.

    The other Robert – I think the vigilante idea is good, except I think it should be actually inside the prisons. We could leave it to the British prisoners to sort out the foreigners, with no penalties. Saves time and admin.

  • It’s just an impression, but the apparent aliens in Paris seem a lot more nervous, a lot more hesitant than they were five years ago. One example. I remember the plaza on the Palais de Chaillot was totally occupied by Africans selling little Tours Eiffel on blankets five years ago. Rien de blancs. Many female flics. And last week? One African. And many muscular male gendarmerie with weapons. Something’s changed.

  • permanent expat

    Robert Speirs: I remember well ‘The Wind of Change’ & the Africans (& others) taking back their own countries……& why not? Did not we all agree?
    High time, methinks, that we had our own wind of change & took back our own country. Maybe the Fwench have woken up to this….if not much else. Your Something’s changed may be a small breeze.

  • Deportation should be a common punishment. What better way to exclude people who clearly do not fit your society, while minimally limiting their freedoms.

    Deporting criminal immigrants is obvious. Deporting natives will take some time.

    Where to send them, you ask? Pick any tiny uninhabited island. They are responsible after that.

  • guy herbert

    Andrew Milner,

    […] when it’s not your country, it’s how it affects you that’s important.

    No; it is whether you care, or are willing to change your behaviour to reduce the risk. You can become an expat who ‘doesn’t get involved in local politics’, i.e. props up whatever thug is in power. But you can do precisely the same thing at home. Those Samizdatistas who live in Britain could mouth New Labour platitudes occasionally as officially required, burn their incense to Caesar, and concentrate on making a very good living in one of the richest countries on earth.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Johnathan Pearce – I read that the BoE decision was forced on brown stuff by the EU. It was their decision, not his. He is too stupid and too power hungry to make such a decision.

    I have no doubt that entry into the euro was part of the motivation, but ironically, the decision has been such a success that it makes it harder, not easier, to enter the euro because why would we want to join the European Central Bank when the Bank of England does a decent job?

    Nigel Lawson wanted to make the BoE independent back in the 80s, for very different reasons, and was turned down by Maggie. Had she agreed, the Tories might have avoided the screwups on interest rates and the history of this nation just might have been very different.


  • Verity

    Johnathan, I didn’t know about Nigel Lawson in the Eighties. Intersting that Maggie turned him down …

  • Andrew Milner

    What I have written, I have written.

  • Tim


    He did the right thing by going in to Iraq, although why – given that he is not driven by principle – we will never know.

    He’s obsessed with gaining a place in history. That’s all there is to it.

    As he’s completely failed to reform public services, he has no claim there. The Labour party will want to quietly forget him when he’s gone as he didn’t stand for core values. Northern Ireland hasn’t exactly been a great success, and most of the credit gets passed to Mo Mowlam.

    So, when Iraq came up, he thinks “I know, I’ll be there with Bush when we create a domino effect that democratizes the middle east”. Also, from the Falklands on, going to war has given a boost to the PMs ratings.

    Unfortunately for Blair, Iraq isn’t either the Falklands or GW1 which were simple conflicts over territory and reinstitution of government. It’s a mess that’s going to go on long after he leaves office.

  • Andrew Duffin

    “Events…are moving so fast … it is hard to know what will be the composition of the British cabinet by the end of this Bank Holiday weekend”

    Well surprise surprise, the composition of the cabinet was exactly the same at the end of the weekend as it was at the beginning.

    What did you expect, ministerial responsiiblity?

  • Johnathan

    Andrew, steady on. I was not making an exact prediction (not with this lot of scoundrels). I’d be very surprised if there are no departures. I just had a chat with a fairly sensible MP. Expect announcements in the next 48 hrs.