Today’s win for the Moggies of the European Research Group inside the Conservative Party is a setback for the people advising Theresa May. But who are these advisers, and why do they seem to be bombproof?
Following a weekend of frantic phone calls, Chief Whip Julian Smith met with Theresa May last night to tell her she faced embarrassing defeat on all four of the Tory rebels’ (European Research Group or ERG) amendments. This morning, Smith requested a meeting with Jacob Rees-Mogg, and told him that HMG would accept all four changes.
Doubtless we shall now see the Lords defeat all the amendments and put the old ones back in – after which, this coming Friday, Michel Barnier will say he wants more changes plus all the capitulation clauses restored. There will be more ticking clock illogic from Guy Verhofstadt, and most of the MSM will blame Britain.
It is a tribute to the tooth-shattering bias of the Guardian that it headlined this development, ‘May caves in to hardline Brexiters’. Such “analysis” is a travesty: the Prime Minister was put in a corner facing a white-hot poker because a group of genuinely democratic MPs insisted on the real Sovereign Brexit for which we’d voted. (Even after this retreat by May, I’m not convinced we’re there yet, but let’s put that aside for the moment.)
Whether it had any effect on Smith’s advice to May, I would like to thank all those Sloggers who responded in such numbers to the appeal to email their MPs. I was surprised and delighted with the volume of response, which I estimate to have been in excess of 80 people for certain, or roughly 18% of legislators at Westminster.
However, beginning roughly around the middle of last week, I have been following an avenue of research on a broader basis. I’m trying to get a more informed opinion on one basic question which, while I know there is no simple answer to it, bothers me more than all others at the moment.
This is the vexed issue of why popularity-fixated national politicians seem to spend so much of their time both espousing and following policies likely to make them deeply unpopular.
I have posted many times to the effect that there are myriad Alt States whose unelected power, money and obsessions are the real drivers behind so-called “government policy” on issues as diverse as the future of public health care, the civil war in Syria, and Britain’s future relationship with the European Union.
Tomorrow at The Slog, one such highly secretive association is put under the spotlight….and a demand made for us to quantify its real level of influence on policy in both the United Kingdom and Europe.
Don’t miss it. None of the findings are exclusive….but they are explosive.