Welcome to my day: 4 July 2022 – Boris takes it sleazy…

Good morning, gentle readers, as another lively week begins, albeit curiously similar to many recently. A Government mired in sleaze, now reduced to being teased by the Chinese diplomatic corps, caught between multiple political rocks.

You can entirely understand why the Prime Minister would have initially backed his mate when accusations of sexual misconduct emerged. After all, when your own personal record is so poor, you’re hardly in a position to take the moral high ground. But the notion that the Deputy Chief Whip of the governing party requires a minder to keep them out of trouble does make you wonder what sort of behaviour is sufficient to set you beyond the pale.

If looking at pornography in the chamber of the House of Commons merits resignation, and I think that it does, then why not the behaviour of Chris Pincher which, one notes, has been admitted to? And it isn’t a first offence, it seems.

And, ironically, the sex act of which the now-Prime Minister and his now-wife are accused, whilst rather ghastly to the imagination, is a bit of a sideshow. At least it should be – two consenting adults were involved in what they thought was a private space. The suggestion that a well-paid job was being sought for her is, on the other hand, where the attention should be firmly focused. It is interesting to watch the formerly friendly media turn on the Prime Minister though. Perhaps we’ll see promotional pieces for potential rivals over the summer…

The polls continue to improve for Liberal Democrats, as our rise into the low teens continues. In local government, the swing away from Conservatives and to us is becoming significant, and at the level where we can win in places through tactical voting even where we don’t have a long record of activity. It offers a virtuous circle where success offers motivation to others to campaign more and thus become more credible. The 2023 local elections begin to look more promising by the day…

And talking about local government, Michael Gove spoke to the Local Government Association last week, and was remarkably non-partisan in his comments, thanking all of the Group Leaders, including our own Joe Harris, and announcing a two-year settlement for local councils. Anything which allows councils to plan beyond next week should be welcomed, although with continued pressure on budgets, and inflation likely to intensify that, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating. There was also the announcement of a new Office for Local Government, which appears to sound a bit like the old Audit Commission, abolished during the Coalition years.

If Michael is reading this though, funding for the National Association of Local Councils would be welcome, especially as the most hyper-local tier of government continues to take on tasks that principal authorities are devolving or withdrawing from.

* Mark Valladares is the Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and a member of the National Assembly of the National Association of Local Councils.

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11 Comments

  • Eventually the penny will drop and miscreants will plead with the PM not to defend them – because people will assume that the truth is the opposite of what he says.

  • Russell Simpson 4th Jul '22 - 5:35pm

    Stop calling him Boris!

  • Yes Mark. I love your diary entries, but PLEASE stop calling him Boris.

  • David Evans 5th Jul '22 - 6:56am

    So it is now emerging that Chris Pincher had been accused of “inappropriate behaviour” and that “a disciplinary process that confirmed the MP’s misconduct” as reported by the BBC. This happened when Mr Pincher was in charge of the Foreign Office working under Dominic Raab. All this follows a series of ridiculously contorted statements by Boris Johnson’s allies in the Cabinet, using language designed to be unclear in an attempt to confuse the issue. The man, his entire cabinet and his party must go and go now. Quite simply, they are unfit to govern.

    However, the one thing that is disappointing is that the comments from our spokesmen and women on TV, are still only mentioning Boris Johnson and not the Conservative party as the root of the problem. We have to make it stick on the Conservatives and not just Boris Johnson – Otherwise when they dump him and it will not be long now, they will elect a nice new shiny leader, almost certainly a woman so that claims of sexual impropriety would be almost unthinkable, and go back to “concentrating on the job”

    This has been mentioned here before, but it seems that neither our spokespeople nor their advisors are getting the message.

    We have to up our media game, or the opportunity to permanently damage the Conservatives will be lost, and we will be back to being a small party that is quite good at by elections. They (and Labour) did it to us up to 2015. Are we up to the fight?

  • Mick Taylor 5th Jul '22 - 9:15am

    As a soon-to-be expat, I will not be involved in the party’s fight directly. I do agree 100% with David Evans. It’s time to take off the kid gloves and take the fight to the Tory Party. Our appalling PM is a symptom of a much wider disease of corruption and lies that pervade the whole Tory Party. They are not fit to be in power and the spineless actions of their back bench MPs shows that the Tory Party is rotten to the core.
    However, I no longer think the PM will go anytime soon. In any event, it’s far better from a LibDem tactical point of view that he stays and leads the tories into the next GE. I would expect that if there is a further threat to the PM he may cut and run and HM cannot refuse him a dissolution.
    The LibDems need to attack the Tories ruthlessly and build up our fighting capability in our target seats.
    As for Labour, what a disgrace. Starmer isn’t capable of running a whelk stall, never mind the country. No case for going back into the EU? Make Brexit work? Lib Dems can and must make the case for Europe. Millions of our citizens are crying out for leadership they will never get from the current Labour Party

  • I share the distaste (stronger words may be appropriate) for the current Tory Leader and far too many of his cronies in the Tory Party. But a wee word of caution.

    As someone who was active in politics in this party for almost sixty years, has a Masters in politics for the period covering Liberal Government and subsequent decline, I could produce volumes of names of miscreants, scoundrels and downright nasties in every political party (including this one) since the beginning of the last century. Success should be based on high quality vigorous leadership, high quality relevant policies, individual hard work and commitment. Paddling in a stream of abuse will produce waves……but no Olympic medals or meaningful success. People in glass houses….. etc.,

  • Question : “Should a late middle aged overweight male of untidy (and often unseemly) habits, exhibiting early signs of convenient memory loss, be regarded as sufficiently competent to be in office as Chief Minister of an offshore landmass somewhere to the west of Europe ?”

    In recent years the shrewd most northerly bit of said landmass consistently replies in the negative – claiming to be better at managing its own affairs….. though a small minority often seen carrying diamond shaped yellow placards “Better under Boris” are in denial about this.

    Set out the reasons for your opinion in 250 words.
    (Examiner, “ I’m not sure I can or want to remember”.)

  • Joseph Bourke 5th Jul '22 - 6:26pm

    The resignation of Sajid Javid and Rishi Sunak feels like the Geoffrey Howe moment that led to the resignation of Mrs Thatcher.

  • Mick Taylor 5th Jul '22 - 6:38pm

    I hope David Raw is tongue in cheek in his comments. He knows full well that LibDems in Scotland do not, in the main, support independence, though some do. Party policy is for a federal UK with maximum devolution to Scotland. Scottish LibDems most certainly don’t support the current PM or his party or his antics and quite frankly he’s wrong to even suggest that they do.
    There’s enough problems with getting the relationship between the countries and regions of the UK right and mischievous comments like this really don’t help.

  • @MickTaylor well said.

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