Jeremy Corbyn’s powerful speech in parliament

In yesterday’s debate, in which Boris Johnson lost the vote on the SO24 motion despite his threats to rebel Conservative MPs that they would not be the party’s candidates at the next election if they voted in favor of it, Jeremy Corbyn gave a powerful performance that exposed the reckless behavior of the government. As Corbyn said, “Boris Johnson’s government has no mandate, no morals and, as of today, no majority.”

Here are two short excerpts.

As this analyst said, Johnson may have set a record for dodging questions during what is know as a PMQ (Prime Minister’s Questions where people ask the prime minister questions that s/he is expected to answer), resorting instead to trying out jibes and slogans for what is likely to be an election in the near future.

PMQs has never been one of the enlightened features of our political debate. It is a shouting match all too frequently dominated by slogans, displays of machismo and cheap jokes. But even prime ministers who have been most comfortable in such a crude and brutal arena, such as David Cameron, have also acknowledged that they have been under some obligation to answer questions and address matters of policy and detail, and that while insults can get you through some of the time, they won’t work on their own.

Today it felt as if PMQs has become even more diminished, because in his first appearance in this arena Johnson seemed to show no interest whatsoever in addressing the issue at hand. He has probably set a new record for dodging questions – he did not even half-answer them, as Theresa May frequently did – and instead he seemed intent on using the entire session to road-test some election slogans, principally his claim that Corbyn is championing a “surrender bill”, and that he is scared of a general election.

Parliament is at the moment debating a bill to forbid a no-deal Brexit. The second reading of the bill passed by a margin of 329-300 and that seems likely to be close to the third and final reading to come later today.

How Johnson responds if it finally passes, as seems likely, is anybody’s guess.


  1. unit000 says

    Jesus fuck. So… An amendment to the bill to prevent No Deal just passed because the government failed to provide tellers to count the No votes. The amendment itself (introduced by Stephen Kinnock, son of former Labour leader and European Commisioner Neil Kinnock) states that the purpose of any extension to the withdrawal period is to agree the passage of a withdrawal bill based on Therea May’s withdrawal agreement and cross-party discussions on that.

    Conspiracy or cock-up? I think we all know the answer to that one, given that the government is responsible for assigning tellers.

    The amendment itself doesn’t compel the introduction of any legislation, so it wouldn’t seem to tangibly effect anything, but this is genuinely concerning as it demonstrates that the government has more dirty tricks up its sleeve in terms of subverting parliament.

  2. khms says

    Did Boris really sabotage his own cunning plan?! I thought of the pair of Trump and Boris, he was supposed to be the clever one?!

  3. unit000 says

    More intelligent than Trump? That’s a fairly low bar. Johnson is cunning rather than notably intelligent. He’s not stupid, but he is lazy and entitled. He’s built a career on bluster, lies and winging it -- but he’s been able to do so by playing a buffoonish comedy character called “Boris” in public (friends and family call him “Al”).
    That’s why the situation is so precarious right now. You can’t just wing it when you’re Prime Minister. Johnson, who sees preparation and planning as an admission of weakness, is out of his depth -- he can’t keep track of which lie he told to whom when. Right now, Dominic Cummings is effectively running the government (such as it is), because he does have a plan, he is prepared, and he’s considerably smarter than Johnson (though not as smart as he seems to think he is).

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