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Kickstart to our country can only truly come after election of 2022.

Byline: Joe Riley keeping a watching brief on the world at large MY SHOUT

THE biggest fear at the Tory party conference is not that Brexit has inflicted irreparable damage, but that Labour, having kicked anti-Semitism into the long grass for another season, appears to be getting its act together (with or without the return of Derek Hatton).

Their delegates left Liverpool with the semblance of a costed political future to improve the lives of millions without a proper pay rise since God was a boy.

This is despite continuing differences between the leadership and membership over a second EU referendum, and mumblings of a breakaway movement to temper left-wing extremism.

The Tories, on the other hand, appear to be in the midst of what is politely termed among failing companies as "managed decline."

Some of those involved - including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove - could also be on course for managed extinction.

Floundering transport secretary Chris Grayling may well be added to the list after the trains fiasco.

My prediction is that Theresa May will be given a politely restrained reception for her speech on Wednesday: the sort of nodding dog resignation usually reserved for troublesome family members embarking on terminal care.

The real kick-start for the future of British political life can only come after the next General Election, and that could be as far off as 2022, by which time Britain will likely be a sink-or-swim offshore island.

| BEYOND the fringes of any party conference, there is a boozy haze of over-indulgence.

But only a public replica of what goes on in parliament, which has an ignoble history of subsidised drinking ever since Pitt the Younger threw up behind the Speaker's chair, and Herbert Asquith, whose alcohol consumption was legendary, earned the nickname Squiffy.

This indulgence extends to foreign climes.

George Brown, foreign secretary under Harold Wilson, was so inebriated on an official visit to Brazil that he mistakenly asked a cardinal archbishop for a waltz while his hosts were standing to attention for their national anthem.

Thus, with true historical perspective, the suggestion that MPs should in future be breathalysed before voting in the House of Commons is not without substantial merit.

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 1, 2018
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