Is it one rule for them and another for us?

By Simon Gentry, Newgate Public Affairs

A promised revolution in skills and training, delivered at a time when thousands of university students are quite literally locked up, public annoyance about pubs being closed while the Parliament’s in-house pubs stay open, and patchy lockdown rules that confuse even the Prime Minister.  Another day in the hurly-burly that is British Politics in 2020.

But we’re not alone.  In Brussels, Guy Verhofstadt MEP, that scourge of Brexit and arch Euro-federalist, is lambasting the EU member states and the EU over the requirement to achieve unanimity on foreign policy issues whilst praising the UK.  His ire has been raised by the EU’s  stance – or non-stance – on the situation in Belarus where ‘President’ Lukashenko had himself secretly sworn in last weekend, The EU is mute on the subject whilst praising itself as a beacon to the world.  Meanwhile Germany twiddles its thumbs about the attempted murder of Alexei Navalny – a fact discovered by its own security services.  In fact, Angela Merkel’s utilitarian form of politics is increasingly under fire both at home and abroad.  Making Germany even more economically dependent on Russia and China may not have been very wise after all.

But back here, Matthew Goodwin, the pollster and analyst, says that amongst his private network of non-political friends only two ‘political’ issues have cut through since the pandemic began.  The first was Cumminsgate, which channelled all the resentment, fear and hatred of the alleged master-mind behind Vote Leave and hence most evil Brexiteer, into one super-toxic poison and … the decision by the Houses of Parliament authorities that the bars in the Palace of Westminster were staff canteens and were therefore exempt from the 10pm closing time rule.   He makes the point that one should never under-estimate the British people’s loathing of perceived double standards.  And he’s right.  (The twitter hoards incidentally blame the Prime Minister for this.  Apparently he wants to drink with his chums … because he has nowhere else to drink with them …)

When you take a step back, one of the most frequent issues gracing the front pages of Britain’s newspapers are allegations of unfairness.  We are, as a nation, apparently routinely shocked by revelations that wealthy people get better education, housing, jobs, live longer, etc.  This is one part of the left’s critique of the Conservative Party and Boris Johnson in particular.  Overlaid with the criticism that he’s lazy and that they are all incompetent, it’s a powerful and culturally comfortable criticism.  The decline in the Conservative Party’s standing in the polls appears to suggest it’s working.

A promised revolution in skills and training, delivered at a time when thousands of university students are quite literally locked up, public annoyance about pubs being closed while the Parliament’s in-house pubs stay open, and patchy lockdown rules that confuse even the Prime Minister.  Another day in the hurly-burly that is British Politics in 2020.

But we’re not alone.  In Brussels, Guy Verhofstadt MEP, that scourge of Brexit and arch Euro-federalist, is lambasting the EU member states and the EU over the requirement to achieve unanimity on foreign policy issues whilst praising the UK.  His ire has been raised by the EU’s  stance – or non-stance – on the situation in Belarus where ‘President’ Lukashenko had himself secretly sworn in last weekend. The EU is mute on the subject whilst praising itself as a beacon to the world.  Meanwhile Germany twiddles its thumbs about the attempted murder of Alexei Navalny – a fact discovered by its own security services.  In fact, Angela Merkel’s utilitarian form of politics is increasingly under fire both at home and abroad.  Making Germany even more economically dependent on Russia and China may not have been very wise after all.

But back here, Matthew Goodwin, the pollster and analyst, says that amongst his private network of non-political friends only two ‘political’ issues have cut through since the pandemic began.  The first was Cumminsgate, which channelled all the resentment, fear and hatred of the alleged master-mind behind Vote Leave and hence most evil Brexiteer, into one super-toxic poison and … the decision by the Houses of Parliament authorities that the bars in the Palace of Westminster were staff canteens and were therefore exempt from the 10pm closing time rule.   He makes the point that one should never under-estimate the British people’s loathing of perceived double standards.  And he’s right.  (The twitter hoards incidentally blame the Prime Minister for this.  Apparently he wants to drink with his chums … because he has nowhere else to drink with them …)

When you take a step back, one of the most frequent issues gracing the front pages of Britain’s newspapers are allegations of unfairness.  We are, as a nation, apparently routinely shocked by revelations that wealthy people get better education, housing, jobs, live longer, etc.  This is one part of the left’s critique of the Conservative Party and Boris Johnson in particular.  Overlaid with the criticism that he’s lazy and that they are all incompetent, it’s a powerful and culturally comfortable criticism.  The decline in the Conservative Party’s standing in the polls appears to suggest it’s working.

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