Rory Roars off into the sunset

Rory Stewart dramatically today got noticed for a moment. Fed up with being spoofed on Twitter, Stewart set out his stall to be Mayor of London – a place he has visited more than once. On his past as an assistant governor of an Iraqi province, he remarked that a place of where society has broken into chaos, random killings stalk the streets and all normal life has given up hope would be a challenge after Iraq but one he will take on.

I last missed interviewing Rory Stewart in July outside Westminster Hall – he had a glint in his eye as he swept up to me, then realised I was not starstruck by his presence and swept past. Now that he has plunged back into the limelight, I will fail to interview him again about his new ambition.

It is a long walk from Penrith to Downing Street but Stewart has this in his sights as he sets out on the latest ‘RoryWalk’. He is set to defy Boris Johnson, whose approach he despises, by trying to imitate his career path exactly as the master showed.

Publishers are waiting to see what happens next, and if there’s a book in it.


By Rory Stewart:

By Boris Johnson:

By Liam Fox:

By David Cameron

By Tim Bale



New comedy act opens in Brighton

In a welcome return, the Labour Conference hit the boards in Brighton, with stunning comic performances all round.. ‘This is a real boost to our party’ said a Conservative spokesman.

See people you wouldn’t trust to run a tea room trying to chair a debate on macro-economic policy! Marvel at the 1950s tribute acts, as they “move composite 13” and call each other “comrade”.

After last week’s rather tame warm-up act, LibDem ’19, this a shaping up to be a corker.

The show started with a show reviewing allegations anti-Semitism, successfully kept Judenrein by holding it on the Sabbath.

John McDonnell’s magic show was back on display, with his four-day week trick: not a minute on the day, not a penny off the pay, and not a business left open.

A highlight has been Emily Thornberry: after her passionate plea to keep up the massive funding for her project, “the EU”, she turned to a hilarious story about being run down by a car: it’s the way you tell ’em Emily. She then doubled the gain, pledging to use every breath to stay in the EU to avoid an economic shock, while supporting Jeremy Corbyn to close the whole economy – an unbeatale tour de farce.

There’ll be fireworks later in the week as the leadership invite a party who blew the gaff in 1984. All eyes on the van in the car park.

Critics are hopeful of even better comedy sets as the week goes on, leading to the grand Corbyn finale. A former columnist on the Telegraph was delighted with the Labour Conference Show, and hoped it would go on: journalist Boris Johnson said it is he best boost he has had since his own prorogation performance.

Court of Session – Inner House prorogation full judgment published

In the matter of the reclaiming motion by Cherry and 78 other, from the outer House we say:

Bored. Bored. Gey bored.  All the guid, weighty commercial trials go to London. We have not even the power to enforce our writ beyond fifty miles from this place without that we beg it o’ the London judges. Bored.

Here’s a pretty one though sent up from the Outer House. Nine and seventy petitioners no less, and the Lord Advocate among then, and all the fees they bring.

Aye, the Lord Ordinary is right in all he says – there is not a case to speak to and no law to overturn this act they complain of, nor any precedent to challenge it either, but they do keep yelling and wailing, and the old vox populi, or in any case vox shouty

They dinnae mind who we are in London, so this may shake them up – we are no some wee county court here – these robes cost a pile o’ money. A big gesture then, and we get noticed, at last.

(We are always overturning primary acts of our local parliament, a toytown parliament as it may be. It so often acts madly and we step in, so could it not be fairer to knock a thing or two from London?)

Now, reckoning as the matter is non-justiciable as the learned Lord Ordinary said, aye, but grand words can fit around that.  This is a matter of Royal Prerogative and there is no Act nor precedent to tell us what is a right way and a wrong way to use it, so maybe we can make the rules up as we go. It would indeed be shocking if a politician were permitted to make political decisions for political reasons. (I dislike the look o’ the man too, and I didnae get to send my children to Eton nor even Fettes like that Blair character.)

We shall stand it upon ‘the constitution’ and pass over that there is no constitution, and assume conventions apply, though conventions are not law. Not so bored now, eh?

Our decision may have no grounds, no law, no principle beyond politics, but if we speak it boldly then someone in London will notice we are here at last.


Court of Session prorogation case: full judgment published

In the matter of the Petition of Joanna Cherry and 78 others for judicial review of Her Majesty’s prorogation of Parliament, I find as follows:

That the petitioners tae hae brought sic a matter afore this court is a scandalous proceeding close tae contempt. There is nae even a shadow o’ a trial ‘ere fur this court, and yon petitioners, hae they but half an ounce o’ sense atween them knew that fur th’ gey beginnin’ – and as learned counsel sit amangst them I have nae doot they knew it, yet they came here for a’ that. They have wasted their ain time, for which I presume they reckon nae value, but wi’ all they have wasted the time o’ this court, o’ the clerks and staff o’ the court and, whilk is worse, my time, in pursuing a ludicrous case for nae more than their ain vanity. This is the noblest court of law i’ the land, no a billboard for a cheap show at the Fringe.

The De’il tak ye a’. The only winners here are th’ lawyers, who appear here in stoatin force and, I hae nae doubt, at stoatin expense, and one I see among them most famous for these japes in London: see you, Maugham – it’s Jolyon by name; on a jolly by nature, is it? Filling your purse for the exploitation o’ gullible fools is an advocate’s business, so I’ll say nae word against ye.

A word these bampots should learn: ‘non-justiciable’; and this matter is as non-justiciable as any pile o’ crud ever to hae disgraced my court, and nae sense o’ false outrage will mak it otherwise. Here we deal wi’ law, and ‘unlawful’ disnae mean ‘what I don’t like’. I must repeat how many times I must, by the way: this a court of law wi’ dread authority o’er a’ for the benefit of a’: it is nae the St Andrew’s Undergrad Debating Society.

Ah’m heavy ragin’, at ye, so I am. Awa wi ye. Ah wull nae bear tae see yer dunderheided, snowflake faces i’ my courtroom a minute longer. If ye want to tak’ yersel’s off to the Inner House, well ye kin gie them a chance tae roar at ye tae.


Operation Casement: still no arrests

Police are still hunting a gang of highly placed players threatening to conspire with a foreign power against British interests in vital Brexit negotiations. One, known to MI5 as ‘Ex-Chancellor’ and to French intelligence as ‘Qui est cet idiot-ci?’ has had access to high-level state intelligence. There are fears that even some Privy Councillors and the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee may have been compromised.

It is thought that charges of espionage, treasonous acts and behaving in a manner not expected of a gentleman could be brought, resulting in long sentences and even expulsion from the Carlton Club.

A senior police investigator who would not be named said, “We realise that the allegations are serious and that a conspiracy at this level has the potential to cause permanent damage to the British economy and political stability as well as ruining the country’s reputation in the world. However now that ‘Nick’ is inside, we have lost our main source of information about senior politicians. We don’t know where to look, even when they confess publicly.”

Confronted by allegations about his involvement, Dominic Grieve responded ‘Allons enfants de la patrie, le jour de gloire est arrive!”. Asked about the ‘no-deal’ scenario, he responded “Je refuse absolument et je ferai tout ce qui est en mon pouvoir pour éviter cette situation”. Pressed on whether he would then vote for any new deal brought back from Brussels by Boris Johnson, Grieve responded “Non.”

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