Late in January 2022, Jacob Rees Mogg suggested that a change of Prime Minister would lead to an early General Election. He must know this isn’t true: are we being softened up for one?
Rees Mogg’s remarks have been read as an attempt to stop Tory MPs in former “red wall” seats siding against Boris Johnson, but aren’t these the Tory MPs with the strongest incentive to ensure that their party has a leader who people support?
What he’s reported to have said on Newsnight is:
“It is my view that we’ve moved, for better or worse, to an essentially presidential system and therefore the mandate is personal rather than entirely party [based] and any PM would be very well advised to seek a fresh mandate.”
Civil liberties concerns over Covid Passports are misplaced — and opposing them risks fuelling the anxiety that is creating the space for increasingly authoritarian government behaviour
I’m hearing genuine concern about the increasing authoritarianism of the Johnson government and more complicated concerns about civil liberties and Covid regulations — particularly around the idea of Covid passports. But these are profoundly different. Joining them together is a bad idea, and plays into the government’s hands.
Timing the Brexit deal so Parliament has no choice between this and the disaster of “no deal” is the latest in a long series of steps that look like a consolidation of power in the Executive. This is dangerous.
The leader article in The Economist for 21 November, “remaking the state”, offered a chilling and credible reading of the present government’s attempt to reform the state — by concentrating power in the Executive through a mix of reducing the power of judges, pushing back against devolution, reforming [sic] the civil service and tipping power from parliament to government. It comments (rightly) that “The Tories are right to advocate constitutional reform, bit their proposals take the country in precisely the wrong direction”.