A Tory/Brexit Party pact will never happen with Dominic Cummings at the top
The New European
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Readers consider the possibility of an election pact between Nigel Farage's Brexit Party and the Conservatives.
Having dealt with the moderates, it is Dominic Cummings' feuds with fellow Brexiteers which will alienate the prime minister's remaining parliamentary supporters and reduce the chances of a deal with the Brexit Party.
Cummings has called the European Research Group, "a narcissist-delusional subset… spouting gibberish about trade and law" and described the former Brexit secretary, David Davies as being as "thick as mince, lazy as a toad". He wrote that some Eurosceptic MPs "should be treated like a metastasising tumour and excised from the UK body politic".
Beyond parliament he has stated "the overwhelming majority of economists and 'trade experts' who brand themselves pro-Brexit, live in parallel universes, and spin fantasies to you".
Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party says Cummings thinks "we're all cretins and members of the lower orders" and himself thinks "the appointment of Cummings makes any prospect of co-operation seem very difficult". That looks to severely hamper any likely general election scenario.
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What is the point of a general election in which the Tories have a non-aggression pact with Farage and Labour have a non-aggression pact with the Remain parties? If a general election is to be a surrogate referendum, why not go straight to a referendum?
A referendum which offers voters the choice of various scenarios with transferable votes is the only thing which will solve our national stasis. Not a general election with loose affiliations of existing parties which is likely to end up in another hung parliament, with Professor John Curtice having to explain to us all the next morning whether Leave or Remain has won.
I am a Conservative Party member but disillusioned with the games being played by the current PM.
What has struck me over the past few days is the passion the rebel MPs had for trying to do the right things, effectively losing their jobs to vote with their conscience. I am ashamed of my party but proud of our parliament.
In the 1940s, when my grandmother was dealing with a feckless, self-willed, rowdy child, she would shout, "come here, you wee Tory".
I thought your "Tinpot Despot" front page (TNE #158) was a bit over the top until I saw Boris Johnson making a political speech in front of a bunch of pressganged police officers. Pinochet would have approved.
Professor Glen O'Hara's useful analysis ("Continual crisis offers no way out", TNE #159) helpfully reminds us where we all are - craving an end to chaos, argument and uncertainty - and suggests the most palatable/least offensive result might be a soft Brexit that would still unfortunately lead to years of unresolved struggle.
I find I have been learning to 'bridge' - maintaining all existing friendships, relationships, contacts - and making new ones in the hope of neutralising the uncivil arguments that so suddenly separate us into opposite camps.
My hope here comes from observing creeping realisations that all Leave options involve years of further negotiations. Hope also that we find the courage to realise if we want peace and quiet we shall have to face down bullying and incivility, or timidly give in to it and contribute to permanent unrest.
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