Less than a fortnight after Britain voted to leave the European Union it seems like everyone is resigning.
The coming EU referendum, a report on the dominance of the privately-educated and the, er, Eurovision Song Contest are the subjects three of this week’s podcast.
It has been an odd day for the impending referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, at least for those who thought they had firm backing from at least some top Tories.
First off David Cameron, the prime minister who is predicted to lead the campaign for Britain to remain within the EU, told businessmen at a Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference that:
During the last Labour leadership contest Andy Burnham ruled out running for a third time, telling PoliticsHome that he wouldn’t be standing again.
Yet in an interview with Liverpool Echo the shadow home secretary seemed to leave space for another go. When asked whether he would run again he said:
“I always thought not. I’ve tried twice and I think there’s a limit to how many times you can stand. I have the feeling that if it was to be my time it would have been this one. But you don’t know what the future brings. I’ve always said I will always serve the party in any way I can but I don’t expect to [run again].”
This kind of language seems to echo that of the Tory Boris Johnson, who when asked about the party leadership said that “if the ball came loose from the back of the scrum, which it won’t of course, it would be a great, great thing to have a crack at.”
Burnham has previously said he “definitely” won’t be standing again, but perhaps he hopes that when Labour needs a new leader he might be called on in the manner of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, a Roman dictator who only took power when called upon by the empire.
Image Credit – Andy Burnham, September 2010 by Victoria MacDonald
Grandstanding at the Tory conference on Wednesday, David Cameron took the opportunity to attack Jeremy Corbyn for his description of the death of terrorist Osama bin Laden as a “tragedy”.
As the Right Dishonourable has now pointed out twice, the video in which the Labour leader is quoted from makes it clear that for Corbo the escalation of violence and the snuffing out of the rule of law is the real “tragedy”:
“On this there was no attempt whatsoever that I can see to arrest him [bin Laden], to put him on trial, to go through that process. This was an assassination attempt and is yet another tragedy upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center attack was a tragedy, the war in Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy.”
In return for this Cameron lambasted Corbyn for his “security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology”.
For a conservative it is strange to attack support for the rule of law as part of a “Britain-hating ideology”, especially since, as all good Tories know, it is partly Britain’s reputation for strong law that makes us such an attractive place to invest.
But stranger still is the implicit attack by Cameron on London mayor and Tory leadership hopeful Boris Johnson, even if his preferred successor is chancellor Gideon “George” Osborne.
Way back in December 2001, as the fumes from the destruction of the Twin Towers were still strong in the nostrils of New Yorkers, Johnson took to his column in the Torygraph to reject the notion that British squaddies should perform a summary execution if they came across bin Laden:
“Bin Laden should be put on trial; not in Britain, but in the place where he organised the biggest and most terrible of his massacres, New York.
“He should be put on trial, because a trial would be the profoundest and most eloquent statement of the difference between our values and his. He wanted to kill as many innocent people as he could. We want justice. It was a trial that concluded the tragic cycle of the Oresteia, and asserted the triumph of reason over madness and revenge.”
At the end of his piece Johnson does skirt over Britain’s commitment not to hand over crooks to the Yanks if there is a danger of them being executed (as was true in New York at the time), which does rather spoil things.
But even so, once this article is brought to Call Me Dave’s attention he will no doubt waste no time in denouncing Johnson for his “security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology”.
We await the prime minister’s response.
Image Credit – Boris Johnson, November 2011 by BackBoris2012 Campaign