One thing that’s puzzling me about the Conservative No Confidence vote of a couple of days back is this: why did the rebels call for a vote if they knew they were going to lose?

For when I first read about it, it was reported that Theresa May was expected to survive the vote.

I can only suppose that the rebels expected to win.

Why might that have been? Because they’re received enough promises from among the 317 Conservative MPs in parliament to believe that they had the necessary number of votes to topple Theresa May.

So I can only suppose that some MPs must have been a) promising the rebels they would vote for them, and b) promising Theresa May that they’d back her. And they’d been lying to somebody or other.

And there seem to have been at least 42 of these double-dealing MPs. Are we going to find out their names? I saw yesterday a link to some website that purported to have a list of MPs and how they voted, but it was behind a paywall so I couldn’t see it.

A lot of people in the Conservative party must be very, very angry at some of their colleagues. They’re probably no longer on speaking terms. The whole fiasco would seem to have deeply divided the Conservative party, perhaps irreparably.

I suppose we’ll find out in due course.

The other thing that’s puzzling me is: why did Theresa May head off to Brussels, on the day after the vote, to “negotiate” with the EU, when they’d already said there weren’t going to be any more negotiations?

Wasn’t the day after the vote the time to set out to unite the Conservative party, smooth ruffled feather, pour oil on troubled waters? Shouldn’t she have been on radio and TV everywhere, talking to people in Britain? Why did she immediately head for Brussels?

It didn’t seem to be quite the right thing to be doing, after such a momentous vote.

But it all makes sense if she’s a Remainer, and essentially one of the European political class. She may well feel more at home in Brussels than she does in Westminster. She’s probably got lots of friends there.

And maybe that’s why she always comes over as being so very confident. She has lots of friends in Europe, and lots of friends in the Conservative party.

There’s a lot that has yet to be played out. Doesn’t her Brexit deal need to get the approval of Parliament? Last I heard, she was unlikely to get that approval. Is anything likely to change in that respect?

I think it’s going to be some months before we know exactly where we are. But I strongly suspect that when she said “Brexit means Brexit”, she was really saying that Brexit could mean whatever she wanted it to mean.

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7 Responses to Puzzled

  1. roobeedoo2 says:

    Of the 200 votes Theresa May received from Tory MPs expressing confidence in her, 150 or so were from Tory MPs with government jobs. This is in effect a whipping instrument – they’re on the payroll of Theresa May’s government and beholden to vote the way they are directed.

    • Clicky says:

  2. Rose says:

    As I was delighted to find out how many people agreed with me about leaving the EU, I was very interested to discover how many Conservative MPs agreed with me that Theresa May was a dreadful PM. Now I just need to know just how many members of the public disagreed with the Smoking Ban, but of course the public was never properly asked.

    Public oppose pub smoking ban
    2 July, 2007

    “Only half of people in England think the ban on smoking in pubs, which came into effect yesterday, is a good idea, a survey shows.
    The annual British Social Attitudes survey, conducted by the National Center for Social Research, has found that 49% of its respondents believe people should be allowed to smoke freely in pubs or at least in designated smoking areas.

    Banning smoking in restaurants and the workplace is more popular, with 73% and 60% of respondents in favour, respectively.”

    Researcher Mark Johnson comments:
    That only half of the public support the ban on smoking in pubs will not be good news for the government ahead of Sunday’s introduction.
    Even worse, is that it is less popular among their traditional working class constituency.

    He adds: “No doubt the government will be hoping that once the ban has been introduced, public opinion will swing around in favour”

    With a very prescient comment below the article, anticipating a rise in antidepressant use.

    NHS prescribed record number of antidepressants last year
    29 Jun 2017
    “It also represents a massive 108.5% increase on the 31m antidepressants which pharmacies dispensed in 2006.”

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I believe the whole May “confidence” vote was another clever delaying tactic in which she is complicit..

  4. Philip Neal says:

    Delingpole has the lowdown: May’s chief of staff arranged for the balance of the letters to be released at a time of her choosing. Note also the one-day campaign in which she promised legal guarantees from the EU which it refused to grant the very next day.

  5. Michael Booth says:

    I heard the 1922 Committee Chair, Brady, had the 48 letters in his pocket and chose to release them when they could do least damage to May – in other words, another stitch up.

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