Tuesday, June 07, 2022

Two opposing views of where the government goes now

Yesterday the Prime Minister won a motion of confidence among Conservative MPs by 211 votes to 148.

Under Conservative party rules as they currently stand he cannot be challenged again for another 12 months, and it is a safe prediction that the PM will win the motion of confidence in the House of Commons as a whole which the Lib/Dems are seeking to put forward.

The PM has said that it is now time for the government to get on with the job, and clearly, that is indeed the government's responsibility. 

It would also make sense for the Conservatives to  reflect on the situation: the PM won the support of the majority of his colleagues, nearly 60% of Conservative MPs, but the fact that more than 40% of them voted against him should lead to reflection about the causes of such levels of disquiet.

There is a vast range of views about whether and how soon Boris Johnson should go. One view was expressed by Daniel Johnson on the website "The Article" in a piece called

"Some will never forgive Boris Johnson, but it is not too late for him to deliver."

This essay basically gives you the pro-Boris view, to the extent that I am slightly surprised that the author of this piece which came out just after the initial "Update" from Sue Gray could also have written it.

An alternative view was posted by Paul Goodman, the executive editor, on the Conservative Home website here.

Both Daniel and Paul undoubtedly speak for significant sections of the party, on the one hand the supporters of the PM, on the other those who do not necessarily expect or demand that he resign tomorrow but who share some of the concerns of those who voted against him. Conservative Home's member panel suggests that the vote by Conservative MPs was not a million miles away from the opinions of party members - the majority of members back him, but almost the same proportion of members as MPs do not.

As far as I am concerned, we have had a vote, the MPs has made a decision which stands for now, and it would not be helpful to keep re-fighting it. The government must redouble its efforts to complete the programme on which it was elected and must listen to the concerns of voters on all issues, especially the economy and the cost of living.

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