EPISODE 167 : REVENGE OF THE REMAINERS
It's becoming routine to use the phrase "another remarkable week in British politics" but it certainly has been, with the return of Westminster politics providing the backdrop for yet more astonishing events.Boris Johnson's first full week of Parliamentary action has certainly been anything but dull.
The drama began with his majority of one falling to zero, with the dramatic crossing-of-the-floor by MP Philip Lee to the Liberal Democrats.Next, with Johnson's threat to suspend (or "prorogue" in Commons-speak) the chamber for two weeks, MPs wishing to legislate against a No Deal Brexit were forced to act quickly. The so-called "Rebel Alliance" of Labour, Liberal Democrats, SNP, independents and some Conservatives conspired to take control of Parliamentary business and promptly forced through a Bill to outlaw any exit from the EU without an agreement, 22 Tory MPs siding with the rebels.
Boris's response was straight out of the Imperial playbook, immediately removing the Whip from all 22, preventing them from sitting as Conservative MPs. Keen to be seen as decisive, will his actions prove successful? Or will he soon regret casting them aside, with his government now an effective minority?
The drama continued with a heated first PMQs for Johnson, which saw him use the word "shit" to describe Labour's economic policy (only the 14th time that expletive had been used in the House) and refuse to apologise for describing Muslims wearing veils as resembling "bank robbers and letterboxes". Having started the week declaring "I don't want an election", he then called Jeremy Corbyn a "big girl's blouse" for refusing to support his motion to override the Fixed Term Parliaments Act and hold one.
A somewhat bizarre Trump-esque speech at a police event followed on Thursday, and the week concluded with Amber Rudd's resignation both from Cabinet and the Tory Whip further adding to Johnson's woes. Johnson now finds himself in the extraordinary position of having to beg the Opposition to call a General Election, a hostage to fortune in Number Ten.
Whatever next? Boris still has 73 more days to last in order to avoid the ignominy of being the shortest-serving PM on record. British politics in 2019 remains as gripping as ever.
Meanwhile, development on Number Ten has stepped up a gear, with the basic shell of the app now complete. The plan for the week ahead is to start fleshing out the content and scenarios, hope to share some screenshots soon. Keep enjoying the real world drama, the aim is to have the virtual world released in the New Year, thanks for your patience!