BoJo’s desperate Monday letter to his MPs
On Monday 6th June Boris Johnson wrote to all the conservative MPs. The letters were hand addressed, signed by himself and sent just before they would vote on his survival as PM. The text of the letter makes interesting - and actually entertaining reading. Reproduced in italics is about a quarter of the letter with our comment in bold.
Tonight we have a chance to end weeks of media speculation…to draw a line under the issues our opponents want us to talk about… You mean you want us to stop talking about the risks to our constitution of breaches of the ministerial code
Together we won the biggest mandate for the Conservative Party in 70 years. More on that below
As we promised we resolved the long Brexit crisis and created a new and friendly relationship with the European Union. Pinch me - the Brexit crisis is resolved?! And our government has friendly relations with the EU?
It was because we took tough but responsible decisions during the pandemic that we were able to re-open our economy speedily Didn't we have not just one, but two lockdowns in the pandemic, the second one a screeching U turn after weeks of procrastination?
- with the result that we now have the lowest unemployment since 1974. Difficult stats there because so many were self- employed. No mention of the serious labour shortages in the NHS, social care, airports &c. some of which is due to that brilliant resolution of the Brexit crisis you boasted about just now.
And we took the tough decision to become the first European country to help the Ukrainians against Russian aggression; and I am proud of the leadership the UK has shown. But what about the international disgrace of the paltry number of Ukrainian refugees we have allowed into our country, due to a failure of leadership (ministerial responsibility), hostile environment and lack of personnel (we'll come back to that one).
From tackling social care to striking an economic and migration partnership with Rwanda, we have shown time and again that we can be trusted to deliver bold and innovative solutions to difficult and longstanding problems. You're claiming you have tackled social care - I don't think it would be unkind to call that (another) lie. The crisis in social care is completely unresolved. The only change was an increase in National Insurance contributions and almost all of this has been given to the NHS. The staffing issues remain enormous. It includes the consequences of a stubborn refusal to allow the import of skills from abroad
……..we have already taken decisive action to shield the public from the energy price spike.
In place of Decisive Action read Another Screeching U Turn
We will cut the costs of government. Cutting the cost of government means things like longer queues in airports, or for passport renewal, or for benefits. Perhaps you meant to say we will cut the costs of government and have a bonfire of regulations, but perhaps you remembered Grenfell?
We will cut the costs of business. And we will cut the costs of families up and down the country. From Transport to Childcare to Energy to Housing we will drive reform and find ways of reducing each item of household expenditure. This sounds like the magic money tree.
And we will of course devote all our energy to reducing the biggest single household outgoing of all - the tax bill. Here is a very serious point. The poorest in our country don't pay much in direct taxation. They get hit by VAT. Inflation has vastly increased the Chancellor's tax take through VAT so, far from reducing the tax bill, this Government has actually increased it. And in a non-progressive way because VAT hits the poorest households hardest. But you had to say this, not for the country but for your own right wing.
This is our vision: of a strong and prosperous United Kingdom, with our beloved Union Our beloved Union - but you've done more than anyone to destroy it, with the Brexit referendum and the unravelling fudge of the Northern Ireland Protocol.
….with our beloved Union protected and supported, projecting the best of British values around the world. This weekend our Queen certainly succeeded in this. We regret you failed to do so.
The letter ends by referring to the need to repay the trust of the 14 million people who voted Conservative in the 2019 election.
14 million votes = 44% of votes cast (even less of the electorate). But that translated into 56% of seats in the Commons. That's democracy!