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My most recent post on Liz Truss left off with the beginning of the end in her final week as Conservative Party leader.

Friday, October 14

Her sacking of Kwasi Kwarteng and installation of Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor on Friday, October 14, meant only one thing — her end was nigh:

Liz Truss’s first Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng: what he expected, what he got instead (October 13, 14)

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng illustrate that one DAY is a long time in politics (October 13, 14)

The Times‘s headline on the morning of the 14th said that Conservative MPs were already plotting to install Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt in Truss’s place. One of them would be Prime Minister and the other would be Chancellor or Foreign Secretary:

The article also said (purple emphases mine):

Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng, the chancellor, are expected within days to make a humiliating climbdown over corporation tax in an effort to calm the markets and see off a mounting revolt.

Indeed, that is what Truss announced at her disastrous press conference that afternoon. By then, Jeremy Hunt was already Chancellor:

It was hard to believe, especially as Ireland’s corporation tax is half that: 12.5%. What is to stop businesses in Northern Ireland from moving south of the border?

Liz prefaced the announcement with:

This is difficult.

Guido Fawkes has the video and another quote preceding her announcement about corporation tax:

It is clear that parts of our mini-Budget went further and faster than markets were expecting… so the way we are delivering has to change…

He concluded (emphases his):

The mother of all U-turns…

Later in the afternoon, Wendy Morton, the Chief Whip, summoned Conservative MPs to an online call with the Deputy Prime Minister Thérèse Coffey.

One hundred of them dialled in. Coffey allegedly kept staring at her notes:

Saturday, October 15

Saturday’s papers were scathing.

The Daily Mail asked, ‘How much more can she (and the rest of us) take?’

The i paper led with ‘Tory MPs tell Truss: “It’s over”‘:

The Telegraph‘s Tom Harris wrote about the symbiotic relationship between the Prime Minister and the Chancellor from Margaret Thatcher’s time to Truss’s.

When that relationship goes wrong in a big way, it’s nearly always bad news for the PM, although there are exceptions:

When a prime minister loses a long-serving chancellor and ally – as Margaret Thatcher did when Nigel Lawson walked out of her government in 1989 – the political ramifications are enormous. In Thatcher’s case, that event signalled the beginning of her long defeat. When a prime minister loses a friend too, it becomes, as Liz Truss stated in her press conference, “not an easy” personal moment. 

Their closeness also makes it impossible for Truss to distance herself from the mess left at the Treasury. It is not clear which policy Kwarteng implemented that the prime minister was so unhappy with that she had to fire him. In 1989, Lawson resigned over his objection to the prime minister’s reliance on her economic adviser, Sir Alan Walters, but there were already disagreements between Numbers 10 and 11 over whether Britain should join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. 

[John Major’s Norman] Lamont was fired over his handling of Britain’s departure from the same institution. Javid resigned over personnel issues. Rishi Sunak’s reasons for resigning were similar, though in his case the personnel issue involved the then prime minister himself.

In Jeremy Hunt, Liz Truss might be given a chance to form the kind of reassuring, mutually supportive – and, crucially, stable – relationship with her chancellor that good government demands. It would be foolish, however, to assume that when such a relationship breaks down, it is always the chancellor who is next to go.

The Telegraph‘s Camilla Tominey looked at the backbench Conservative MPs, wondering how Conservative they actually were. I was glad to see that she mentioned Alicia Kearns, who does not seem very Conservative to me.

Tominey’s article shows that a significant number of Conservative backbenchers do not hold traditional Conservative Party values:

Never underestimate the Conservative Party’s unparalleled ability to turn the gun on itself when coming under enemy fire. As the pot shots continued to rain thick and fast on Liz Truss’s troubled premiership, what did the Tories decide to do? With Labour’s help, they elected Alicia Kearns as chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

For those unfamiliar with Ms Kearns, she is the former Amnesty International activist who led the so-called “Pork Pie Plot” to oust Boris Johnson over partygate. Despite having been an MP for all of five minutes, the 34-year-old, who won the safe seat of Rutland and Melton in 2019 (hence the pork pie theme) decided that the Conservatives’ wisest move was to remove the man who secured the party’s biggest election win since 1987. Well, dip me in jellied pork stock and cover me in hot-crust pastry, that went swimmingly!

Having declared last year that she came into Parliament with “one legislative change I wanted to deliver, which was to ban conversion therapy”, inexperienced Kearns now occupies one of the most influential posts in the House of Commons.

Her first intervention? Following hot on the heels of her fellow chair, Mel Stride, of outspoken Treasury select committee fame, she used a radio interview on Thursday night to urge the Prime Minister to reverse the tax-cutting measures in the mini-Budget.

I’ve got nothing personally against Ms Kearns – she is clearly a thoughtful and intelligent woman. But if she isn’t for cutting tax, then what on earth is she doing in the Tory party, let alone now apparently in the running to enter a future Conservative Cabinet?

One former minister was this week quoted as saying: “Everything [the Government] are doing is everything that I don’t believe in.” Why, then, is that senior politician – apparently so opposed to spending controls and economic growth – not currently residing on Sir Keir Starmer’s shadow front bench or drinking Remaineraid with Sir Ed Davey?

As former Brexit negotiator Lord Frost put it on Thursday: “There are too many … social democrats operating under Conservative cover.”

It is one thing to be a broad church, but the Tories are currently taking on the mantle of a Blue Labour cult.

Not only are many of them perfectly comfortable with taxing people more, despite the tax burden being at its highest in 70 years, but they are also apparently as opposed to fracking as Ed Miliband. They seem to love the status quo and appear happy to watch Britain slowly sink into decline – along with their own party.

Tominey says that Liz Truss’s platform was clasically Conservative, and so was the one upon which Alicia Kearns was elected.

These are the MPs who will determine the outcome of Brexit and the next election. Both are in peril.

Tominey rightly lays the blame at the feet of former PM David Cameron, a wet who wanted a different type of Conservative MP:

David Cameron’s decision to introduce open primaries in the late 2000s, which saw wannabe MPs selected by non-members as well as members, was perhaps the most obvious mistake. The Conservatives ended up with “yellow” Tories in its ranks, such as Sarah Wollaston, who later defected to the Liberal Democrats.

Funnily enough, Sarah Wollaston is no longer an MP. Others like her, most of whom had the whip removed, were defeated or chose not to run in 2019.

This is the issue:

But more broadly, by inviting people with no background in Conservative politics to stand for Parliament, they ended up with people with no Tory backbone either. Holding successive snap elections only made the selection process less rigorous and open to people high on ambition and low on ideology.

This is a problem for the next general election. GEs depend upon local activists — party members — who are willing to canvass door-to-door:

We now have the Sunak squadders, calling for people to keep less of their wages, for businesses to pay more in corporation tax and for benefits to be linked to inflation, Corbyn-style …

Conservatives have become so detached from reality that they actually believe this will help them to win the next general election – even though it promises to prompt a mass walkout by the very grass-roots activists they rely on to run a campaign.

However, Tominey says that Rishi Sunak’s coronavirus handouts have also altered the public perception of the role of the state. We can but see how this will play in 2024 or early 2025 when the next GE comes along.

Monday, October 17

On Monday, October 17, Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt had to stand in for Truss during a debate. Opposition MPs accused Truss of hiding under a desk.

Mordaunt had to deny that more than once, saying that Truss had a ‘very genuine reason’ for not being present.

I don’t often feel sorry for Penny Mordaunt, but I did that day:

However, one Labour MP, Andrew Gwynne, tweeted that Liz Truss was the victim of a ‘coup’ — his word — and that Jeremy Hunt was the acting PM:

https://image.vuukle.com/f6a3e1ae-5984-48dd-8fe4-cb0a5368b71b-404bcb3a-bd15-43df-b0b6-f4920edde5c7

On Tuesday, October 18, The Times explained why Truss did not turn up at the despatch box the day before:

For much of the day Truss was conspicuous by her absence. She refused to respond to a question by Sir Keir Starmer in the Commons, prompting accusations from Labour that she was “frit”. Penny Mordaunt, the leader of the Commons, answered questions in her stead. She said that the prime minister had “a very good reason” for her absence but refused to explain further, prompting misplaced speculation that Truss had resigned.

That reason for her absence turned out to be a meeting with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee. Sources said that the meeting was routine and had been arranged before Kwarteng’s dismissal. But the issue of her leadership, and a potential revolt by Tory MPs, was said to have been discussed.

One source on the committee said there were a “number of views” on the way ahead but that there were concerns that an immediate move to defenestrate the prime minister could further destabilise the markets.

“The question is whether it is more damaging to create further uncertainty by getting rid of the prime minister when the chancellor [Hunt] appears to have settled the markets,” said an MP on the committee.

Some Tory MPs believe that with the unravelling of her tax-cutting agenda and signature energy policy she is finished politically. Sir Charles Walker became the fifth Conservative MP to publicly call for her to go, saying her position was “untenable”.

A senior Conservative source added: “It’s the biggest unforced humiliation for a British government since Suez. Eden did the decent thing and resigned.”

“The trouble is there is no consensus for who should replace her,” said one former backer of Rishi Sunak. “And the last thing we need now is to be seen to be causing more uncertainty on the financial markets.”

Monday night was grim.

On the subject of a coup, Nigel Farage agreed that Jeremy Hunt was in charge, and that this was a ‘globalist coup’:

https://image.vuukle.com/f9d07d03-d334-4051-8724-6f4fa2ddda17-ae8bf94e-7f5a-4ffd-9a52-0e6022d7356a

On his GB News show that night, Dan Wootton also said that there had been a coup. He agreed that the unpopular Hunt was in charge and that no one liked him, except for the Establishment. He said that if the Conservatives allowed this to continue, then they deserve to lose the next GE:

https://image.vuukle.com/f6a3e1ae-5984-48dd-8fe4-cb0a5368b71b-8e6e7a67-592c-457b-b72e-c0ac239a343b

Truss surfaced to give an interview to the BBC’s Chris Mason, wherein she apologised for the mini-budget. She said:

First of all, I do want to accept responsibility and say sorry for the mistakes that have been made. I wanted to act, to help people with their energy bills, to deal with the issue of high taxes, but we went too far and too fast. I have acknowledged that.

Tuesday, October 18

Tuesday’s headlines were deeply discouraging for her. Nearly all had photos of her alongside Hunt:

The new biography of Truss, Out of the Blue, was not even ready for publication. Someone photoshopped the cover with a remainder sticker on it, saying, ‘Reduced for quick sale — please just take it’:

https://image.vuukle.com/98cdcb40-7d3c-4d74-8d23-f9daebdfd1a1-93607ebf-9abe-4f09-a639-03c36aff8641

The Sun‘s political editor, Harry Cole, one of the book’s co-authors, posted an article about the MPs plotting against her:

TORY plotters dubbed the “Balti Bandits” carved up Liz Truss’s future last night over a korma and bhuna feast, The Sun reveals.

Leading rebel Mel Stride hosted more than a dozen “miserable” Conservative MPs in his large House of Commons office for an Indian takeaway – with the PM’s fate also on the table.

Ex-Ministers John Glen, Nick Gibb, Mark Garnier and Shailesh Vara tucked into “lashings of curry and naan” ordered in by Mr Stride, alongside outspoken backbencher Simon Hoare. 

2019 intake MPs Angela Richardson and Simon Baynes were also said to have joined the “poppadum plot” – but sources say the meeting ended with “no credible solution” to their woes

Contenders include ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt – but given the party is deeply split, the plotters admitted the chances of a rapid “coronation” of a new PM were “almost zero.”

One attendee told The Sun: “the vast majority of attendees were Rishi Sunak supporters, but there were Penny people too. It was not a Rishi thing.” 

On Tuesday evening, Truss had another group angry with her — her own supporters in the European Research Group, the pro-Brexit group of backbench Conservative MPs.

The Telegraph‘s Tim Stanley wrote about it, as he was there in the corridor for Truss’s meeting with them:

Liz Truss launched her fightback at 6pm in Committee Room 11. The meeting was actually set for 5pm; Commons voting ran late so Mark Francois advised us hacks to go away and come back later, but I hung around on the suspicion that the moment we left, Liz would slip out of her hiding place in the roof of the lift and jog, unseen, into the Room …

These are the true believers: if they’re angry at Liz for anything, it’s for not keeping the mini-Budget

What we saw of her on TV on Monday night, interviewed by Chris Mason, did not spark confidence as she uttered that dread word “sorry”, thus accepting personal responsibility for blunders past and future. It is the mark of an “honest politician”, she said, to admit mistakes. That’s true, but it’s also a dead giveaway for a not-very-good one, trying to turn a repeated error into a display of moral virtue. As Samuel Johnson might have said, “Honesty is the last refuge of the incompetent”.

She bobbed into view in a dark blue dress and black tights – fresh-faced, one suspects, from a good night’s sleep. Instinctively, I stood: she might be a PM, but she’s still a lady. I earnt a cheeky nod. Those who can’t fathom the rise of Ms Truss haven’t met her. She has a way of compromising you, of making you think you’re on her side, and it’s the most fun side of the room to be on.

The ERG roared as she entered. She entertained them behind a closed door for about 45 minutes. Then she left, followed by Mr Francois who told us it was “a very positive meeting”.

The PM evidently spoke about Northern Ireland and her commitment to raising defence spending by the end of the decade, which is ambitious for a woman who could be out of office by Friday. And he noted that David Canzini, the clever political operative, was with her, an eminence so grise, none of us had noticed he’d gone in.

No 10 confirmed it: he was hired as of that morning.

Too little too late. That might have been Canzini’s shortest job.

Wednesday, October 19

On Wednesday, October 19, Guido Fawkes posted that the Reform Party — formerly the Brexit Party — was climbing in the polls. The photo shows their chairman, businessman Richard Tice:

Guido’s post said, in part:

Guido can reveal that in the 48 hours before close of play yesterday afternoon, the old Brexit Party received almost 1000 new £25 membership sign-ups. That new five-figure cash boost was joined by 300 members registering a new interest in standing as a party candidate at the next election. The first time the Tories dipped below Labour in the polls – September 2021 – Reform saw one in 10 Tory voters switching to them. Can they continue capitalising on Liz’s woes?

It’s not just Reform benefitting from the dire state of No. 10. Last night the LibDems revealed five new donors, each giving £50,000 to the party, one of whom is a former Tory donor. While the last 36 hours have been calmer for Truss, it does feel like the ship has sprung one too many leaks to be repaired by a strong PMQs performance…

Wednesday was another fateful day. Home Secretary Suella Braverman resigned, then a confusing scene took place in the voting lobby over a division (vote) on fracking, which resulted in more chaos when it was unclear whether Wendy Morton had resigned as Chief Whip:

Liz Truss’s final 24 hours: Suella Braverman’s resignation, question over Whips’ resignations (October 19)

Truss appointed Grant Shapps, former Transport Secretary, in Braverman’s place:

Holy mole, guacamole!

Nigel Farage repeated ‘coup’ in his tweet about the news:

As with Hunt, Truss had to scrape the barrel.

The Telegraph reported that, like Hunt, Shapps was not a Truss supporter:

It is a remarkable turnaround for Mr Shapps, the transport secretary under Boris Johnson who went on to become a prominent supporter of Ms Truss’s leadership rival Rishi Sunak.

Only on Monday night, Mr Shapps was telling a theatre audience that he believed Ms Truss had a “Mount Everest to climb” to remain in power.

“I don’t think there’s any secret she has a mountain, a Mount Everest to climb,” he told Matt Forde’s podcast. “What she needs to do is like threading the eye of a needle with the lights off.”

Now he is one of her most senior ministers – and another example of the way a weakened Ms Truss is being forced to offer olive branches to the Sunak supporters she had previously shunned.

Not only was Mr Shapps questioning her chances of success until as early as this week – he was working proactively to get rid of her.

Mr Shapps has been viewed in Westminster as one of the leaders of the opposition to Truss’s libertarian policies.

He spoke up at the Tory party conference in Birmingham earlier this month against her plans to scrap the 45p rate of income tax, and warned that Ms Truss had “10 days” to turn things around or MPs “might as well roll the dice and elect a new leader”.

This is what the aforementioned Camilla Tominey was lamenting in Conservative MPs. Some of the recent ones have no appreciation of or allegiance to Conservative values. Shapps was a Cameronian MP.

The article also discussed Shapps’s famous spreadsheets which appear to work as well as the 1922 Committee in making or breaking a Prime Minister:

The veteran MP – known by some as the “Duracell Bunny” for his enthusiasm – is also well-known for his “Star Wars” spreadsheet, with which he has spent the past few weeks recording the views of MPs on Ms Truss and her plans.

Mr Shapps used an earlier version of his famous spreadsheet to lead a rebellion against Theresa May, and also utilised its information to help guide Boris Johnson into Downing Street.

The spreadsheet is said to contain more than 6,000 historical “data points” from previous conversations with MPs.

It was rumoured that he had been in contact with Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak to see if they would join an effort to oust Ms Truss. And some rebel MPs claimed he had even offered himself up as a caretaker prime minister.

Let us not forget that Shapps himself is hardly a paragon of virtue:

… unfortunately for Mr Shapps, some elements of his past may make a shot at No 10 less than likely – not least the Michael Green saga.

This was an alter-ego he employed to enable him to run a series of get-rich-quick schemes on the internet while he was an MP.

Mr Shapps originally denied he had a second job, and threatened legal action against a constituent who said he had. But he was forced to admit practising business under a pseudonym in March 2015.

All this happened while he was Tory chairman, in charge of David Cameron’s efforts to win the 2015 election.

He was demoted soon after to aid minister, and resigned from that role after claims he had ignored repeated allegations of bullying involving the Tories’ youth organiser. It was said the alleged bullying, which took place on the party’s RoadTrip 2015 campaign, may have caused one party member to commit suicide.

On Wednesday evening, Camilla Tominey reprised her warning about un-Conservative MPs and their takeover of the Government. She, too, used the word ‘coup’:

the departure of Suella Braverman as home secretary speaks to a bigger problem for Liz Truss than sheer optics.

In sacking two key allies on the Right, only for them to be replaced by opponents more to the Left of the party, the Prime Minister is increasingly looking like the victim of a Conservative coup.

It is certainly ironic that the former home secretary, in post for just 43 days, first used that word to describe those who plotted against Ms Truss’s original plan to link benefit to wages rather than inflation

With that, and most of her mini-Budget up in flames thanks to a rebellion by the moderates, Jeremy Hunt now appears to be the de facto Prime Minister.

He will now be joined by his fellow Sunakite Grant Shapps, who despite being rejected from Ms Truss’s original cabinet, has now been appointed to replace Mrs Braverman at the Home Office.

Braverman, at one point, had headed the aforementioned European Research Group:

her swift exit from one of the highest posts in public office will anger her European Research Group supporters.

It was only on Tuesday evening that Ms Truss was said to have charmed the backbench group of Eurosceptics with her honest, straight-talking approach.

They are unlikely to take kindly to their former chairman, a darling of the grassroots, being ejected in such unseemly fashion.

Mrs Braverman, a Conservative leadership candidate herself over the summer, received the longest standing ovation at the Tory Party conference two weeks ago.

Fortunately, Rishi Sunak re-appointed Braverman as Home Secretary. He probably realised he had to, in order to keep Party members on side.

Returning to Wednesday, October 19, The Telegraph posted an article stating that Conservative backbenchers were asking Labour for help in ousting Truss. Unbelievable:

Rebel Tories have been asking Labour MPs to help them overthrow Liz Truss, The Telegraph has been told.

Conservative backbenchers are growing increasingly frustrated with the Prime Minister’s leadership, but currently lack any mechanisms to remove her given the one-year immunity she has from a no confidence vote.

As things stand, the only way to oust Ms Truss would be to change the rules – which is a decision that only the executive of the 1922 committee of backbenchers can make – or if she resigns of her own volition.

One Labour MP told The Telegraph: “Tories are speaking to us saying ‘this is a complete nightmare and there is no way out’. We are being asked ‘can’t you do something about her?’”

The MP, who said their colleagues have reported similar experiences, said they were approached by one Red Wall MP whose constituency was in the north and another MP who is a member of the One Nation group of moderates …

A Labour source said: “There is very little Labour can do. Even a vote of no confidence doesn’t have the constitutional standing that it used to. The Tory party are the ones that elected her, they need to get rid of her.”

The paper’s Michael Deacon wrote that Conservative MPs were entirely to blame for the mess. Furthermore, he said, they risked angering Party members, the campaigning activists, if they pushed ahead with a rule change saying that the members would no longer be able to vote for future Party leaders. The members elected Truss over Sunak in August:

This week, The Telegraph reported that Tory MPs want to bar members from voting in future leadership elections. Supposedly the reason is to speed up the process of choosing a leader. But this is blatantly a smokescreen. Quite plainly, MPs just want to prevent the members from landing them with another turkey like Truss.

Many members are appalled by this suggestion. And so they should be. Such a plan is not just arrogant and undemocratic, it’s delusional. Because party members aren’t to blame for the current mess.

Tory MPs are.

After all, who put Truss on the ballot paper in the first place? Tory MPs. No fewer than 113 of them, in fact. A third of the parliamentary party. Out of an initial field of 11 candidates for the leadership, Truss was the MPs’ second favourite.

Unlike the MPs, however, the party members weren’t allowed to choose between the initial field of 11. If they had been, it’s extremely unlikely that they would have chosen Truss. They’d have been far more likely to choose Penny Mordaunt or Kemi Badenoch, to name just two. In fact, if the MPs had deigned to ask them, I suspect that the greatest number of members would have wanted their leader to be Boris Johnson – the person they chose to be leader in the first place.

The truth is, the members voted for Truss simply because they didn’t want to vote for Rishi Sunak. In leadership contests, they’re only ever given two candidates to choose from. And why? Because Tory MPs don’t trust them. They fear that, if presented with a wide-open field, party members will choose the “wrong” candidate. Funny how things turn out.

All things considered, then, it seems clear that, if anyone should be barred from voting in leadership contests, it should be Tory MPs. In future, just leave it to the wiser judgment of the members instead.

That night, The Telegraph posted an article by Lord Frost saying that the Party was moving towards a status quo, if not anti-Brexit, stance, going all the way back to David Cameron’s time as Prime Minister, with George Osborne as Chancellor and Philip Hammond in the same post under Theresa May:

… the Government is implementing neither the programme Liz Truss originally advocated nor the 2019 manifesto. It is going in a completely different direction. We are back to Osbornomics, the continuity Hammond view of the world. There is no shred of a mandate for this. It’s only happening because the Truss Government messed things up more badly than anyone could have imagined, and enabled a hostile takeover by its opponents …

… the correct account of the past few weeks is the simplest. Truss tried to deliver worthwhile reforms and set the country onto a much-needed new direction. I supported this policy direction and still do. But it was rushed and bungled. The markets were spooked. The mistakes were opportunistically seized on by her opponents to undermine her leadership, to blame Brexit, and to stop the party getting out of the social democratic tractor beam of the past few years. And now, under pressure, the Prime Minister has reversed tack completely.

The risk now is that we lose for a generation the opportunity to do anything better. Every time the PM defends her approach, she denounces the policies on which she was chosen. The danger is that necessary and correct reforms are discredited.

Frost held that Truss was ultimately responsible for her own downfall.

As such, she had to go:

We are where we are. I am very sorry about it, because I had such high hopes. Whatever happens to her ministers or the stability of the Government in the next few days, Truss just can’t stay in office for one very obvious reason: she campaigned against the policies she is now implementing. However masterfully she now implements them – and it doesn’t seem that it will be very masterfully – it just won’t do. She said she wouldn’t U-turn, and then she did. Her fate is to be the Henry VI of modern politics – a weak figurehead, unable to control the forces around her, occasionally humiliated, and disposed of when she has become inconvenient. Better to go now.

As for her successor and the Party:

Then the party must do two things: avoid making the economic situation even worse by repeating the policies of the Cameron government in totally different circumstances; and recover some political legitimacy for carrying on – because in our system legitimacy does matter.

Thursday, October 20

After 44 days, Liz Truss resigned as Conservative Party leader on Thursday, October 20.

She served as Prime Minister for 50 days, beating George Canning’s record of 118 days. Also a Conservative, he died of tuberculosis in 1827.

She remained PM until Rishi Sunak succeeded her:

Liz Truss’s final 24 hours: Suella Braverman’s resignation, question over Whips’ resignations (October 19)

Liz Truss’s final 24 hours: fallout over Braverman and Morton, no tears in exit speech (October 19, 20)

Rishi Sunak becomes Prime Minister: a momentous morning of historic significance (October 24, 25)

How Rishi Sunak won the Conservative Party leadership contest — part 1 (October 20, 21, 25)

How Rishi Sunak won the Conservative Party leadership contest — part 2 (October 21, 26, 27)

How Rishi Sunak won the Conservative Party leadership contest — part 3 (October 22-24, 27, 28)

On Thursday morning, The Telegraph posted a Planet Normal podcast in which Lord Frost said he could see Brexit being reversed:

In the wide-ranging discussion, Lord Frost also said that he could see a future where Brexit is reversed. 

“Brexit was about giving us the power to do things ourselves and to give responsibility back to British ministers, British governments. And they’ve shown that many of them are not up to the job in the last year or two.”

“I can easily see a situation where Keir Starmer gets in. We drift back closer into the single market and go back into the Customs Union. And then everyone says why are we in these things where we don’t get a say in them? Wouldn’t it be better to be a member? So I can easily see how it could happen. And the way you stop it happening is to prove, while we have the levers of power, that we can do things differently and better. And at the moment we’re not making a very good job of that, unfortunately.”

Little did Truss know that, the day before, she had stood at the despatch box for her last PMQs:

She resigned early on Thursday afternoon. Thankfully, she didn’t cry, unlike Theresa May, who broke down at the podium (Guido has the video):

Sterling began surging the second Truss finished her announcement:

In less than 24 hours, the Conservative Party website deleted her presence from their home page (Guido has the before and after screenshots):

It was a sad ending to a sad episode of British parliamentary history.

Next week, I will look at who, besides Truss herself, was also responsible for it.

Truss is currently spending time in her own constituency and has not yet appeared on the backbenches, an alien place for someone who had been a minister of state for most of her career.

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While this is a change to the previous schedule of analysing Liz Truss’s premiership, more about which next week, there are references below as to why hers and Kwasi Kwarteng’s plan was the right one for the UK.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt delivered his Autumn Statement — a Labourite Conservative budget — on Thursday, November 17, 2022.

Compared with Kwasi Kwarteng’s fiscal event of September 23, this will be a disaster for most middle class Britons.

It was clear that Hunt designed this budget to placate the all-hallowed — for whatever reason — OBR (Office for Budget Responsibility) and the markets. Stability is their watchword. Growth, regardless of what Hunt said yesterday, plays little part in our economy for the foreseeable future.

Unlike Kwarteng’s, which did focus on growth, Hunt’s statement had little to no consideration of the British taxpayer in a cost of living crisis.

What Hunt said

Before going into Hunt’s address, Guido Fawkes has a brief summary and the full detail from the Treasury, a 70-page document.

Below are excerpts from Hunt’s Autumn Statement to the House of Commons (emphases mine):

… today we deliver a plan to tackle the cost of living crisis and rebuild our economy. Our priorities are stability, growth and public services. We also protect the vulnerable, because to be British is to be compassionate and this is a compassionate Conservative Government.

Remember when then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak told us we did not have to worry about the cost of borrowing and borrowing itself during the pandemic? Well, now we have to worry:

Most countries are still dealing with the fallout from a once-in-a-century pandemic. The furlough scheme, the vaccine roll-out and the response of the NHS did our country proud, but they all have to be paid for.

Hunt paid homage to the Bank of England and had a poke at Kwarteng for not doing so:

So the Bank of England, which has done an outstanding job since its independence, now has my wholehearted support in its mission to defeat inflation and I today confirm we will not change its remit. But we need fiscal and monetary policy to work together, and that means the Government and the Bank working in lockstep.

He delivered a deeper attack on Kwarteng:

I understand the motivation of my predecessor’s mini-Budget and he was correct to identify growth as a priority, but unfunded tax cuts are as risky as unfunded spending, which is why we reversed the planned measures quickly. As a result, Government borrowing has fallen, the pound has strengthened and the OBR says today that the lower interest rates generated by the Government’s actions are already benefiting our economy and public finances. But credibility cannot be taken for granted and yesterday’s inflation figures show we must continue a relentless fight to bring it down, including a rock solid commitment to rebuild our public finances.

He bowed before the all-powerful OBR, whose forecasts have not been terribly accurate over the past few years. Let us see if these come true in the coming months:

Richard Hughes and his team at the OBR today lay out starkly the impact of global headwinds on the UK economy, and I am enormously grateful to him and his team for their thorough work. The OBR forecasts the UK’s inflation rate to be 9.1% this year and 7.4% next year. It confirms that our actions today help inflation to fall sharply from the middle of next year. It also judges that the UK, like other countries, is now in recession. Overall this year, the economy is still forecast to grow by 4.2%. GDP then falls in 2023 by 1.4%, before rising by 1.3%, 2.6% and 2.7% in the following three years. The OBR says higher energy prices explain the majority of the downward revision in cumulative growth since March. It also expects a rise in unemployment from 3.6% today to 4.9% in 2024, before falling to 4.1%.

This is Hunt’s strategy, with the blessing of the OBR and borrowing Sunak’s morality from the August leadership campaign about leaving debts to the next generation:

I also confirm two new fiscal rules. The first is that underlying debt must fall as a percentage of GDP by the fifth year of a rolling five-year period. The second is that public sector borrowing over the same period must be below 3% of GDP. The plan I am announcing today meets both rules.

Today’s statement delivers a consolidation of £55 billion, and means inflation and interest rates end up significantly lower. We achieve this in a balanced way. In the short term, as growth slows and unemployment rises, we will use fiscal policy to support the economy. The OBR confirms that, because of our plans, the recession is shallower and inflation is reduced. Unemployment is also lower, with about 70,000 jobs saved as a result of our decisions today. Then, once growth returns, we increase the pace of consolidation to get debt falling. This further reduces the pressure on the Bank to raise interest rates, because as Conservatives we do not leave our debts to the next generation.

So this is a balanced path to stability, tackling inflation to reduce the cost of living and protect pensioner savings, while supporting the economy on a path to growth. But it means taking difficult decisions.

Hunt then discussed the fiscal drag elements of the budget. Fiscal drag means drawing the unsuspecting into paying new and more tax:

I start with personal taxes. Asking more from those who have more means that the first difficult decision I take on tax is to reduce the threshold at which the 45p rate becomes payable from £150,000 to £125,140. Those earning £150,000 or more will pay just over £1,200 more in tax every year. We are also taking difficult decisions on tax-free allowances. I am maintaining at current levels the income tax personal allowance, higher rate threshold, main national insurance thresholds and the inheritance tax thresholds for a further two years, taking us to April 2028. Even after that, we will still have the most generous set of tax-free allowances of any G7 country.

I was amazed he could talk about 2028 with a straight face. By then, we will probably have a Labour government. Oh well, he’s done their work for them.

Continuing on tax rises, he said:

I am also reforming allowances on unearned income. The dividend allowance will be cut from £2,000 to £1,000 next year, and then to £500 from April 2024. The annual exempt amount for capital gains tax will be cut from £12,300 to £6,000 next year, and then £3,000 from April 2024. Those changes still leave us with more generous allowances than countries such as Germany, Ireland, France, and Canada.

Because the OBR forecasts that half of all new vehicles will be electric by 2025, to make our motoring tax system fairer, I have decided that from then electric vehicles will no longer be exempt from vehicle excise duty. Company car tax rates will remain lower for electric vehicles, and I have listened to industry bodies and will limit rate increases to 1 percentage point a year for three years from 2025.

At least he kept one thing from Kwarteng’s statement:

The OBR expects housing activity to slow over the next two years, so the stamp duty cuts announced in the mini-Budget will remain in place but only until 31 March 2025. After that, I will sunset the measure, creating an incentive to support the housing market, and the jobs associated with it, by boosting transaction during the period when the economy most needs it.

He won’t even be Chancellor then.

Moving on to businesses:

I now turn to business taxes. Although I have decided to freeze the employers national insurance contributions threshold until April 2028, we will retain the employment allowance at its new higher level of £5,000. That means that 40% of all businesses will pay no NICs at all. The VAT threshold is already more than twice as high as the EU and OECD averages. I will maintain it at that level until March 2026.

Then came the windfall tax:

Can I just say that any such tax should be temporary, not deter investment and recognise the cyclical nature of energy businesses? So, taking account of that, I have decided that from 1 January until March 2028 we will increase the energy profits levy from 25% to 35%. The structure of our energy market also creates windfall profits for low-carbon electricity generation, so we have decided to introduce, from 1 January, a new, temporary 45% levy on electricity generators. Together, those measures will raise £14 billion next year.

Business rates have been a thorn in the side of those enterprises on our high streets. Here, it would seem, Hunt offered some relief:

Finally, I turn to business rates. It is an important principle that bills should accurately reflect market values, so we will proceed with the revaluation of business properties from April 2023, but I will soften the blow on businesses with a nearly £14 billion tax cut over the next five years. Nearly two thirds of properties will not pay a penny more next year and thousands of pubs, restaurants and small high street shops will benefit. That will include a new Government-funded transitional relief scheme, as called for by the CBI, the British Retail Consortium, the Federation of Small Businesses and others, benefiting around 700,000 businesses.

Then he turned to people on benefits, proving that Sunak’s furlough scheme during the pandemic was more than adequate:

… I am proud to live in a country with one of the most comprehensive safety nets anywhere in the world. But I am also concerned that we have seen a sharp increase in economically inactive working-age adults of about 630,000 people since the start of the pandemic. Employment levels have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, which is bad for businesses who cannot fill vacancies and bad for people missing out on the opportunity to do well for themselves and their families, so the Prime Minister has asked the Work and Pensions Secretary to do a thorough review of issues holding back workforce participation, to conclude early in the new year.

Alongside that, I am also committed to helping people already in work to raise their incomes, progress in work and become financially independent. So we will ask over 600,000 more people on universal credit to meet with a work coach so that they can get the support that they need to increase their hours or earnings. I have also decided to move back the managed transition of people from employment and support allowance on to universal credit to 2028, and will invest an extra £280 million in the DWP to crack down on benefit fraud and error over the next two years. The Government’s review of the state pension age will be published in early 2023.

He then discussed foreign spending:

… I salute the citizens of another country right on the frontline … the brave people of Ukraine. The United Kingdom has given them military support worth £2.3 billion since the start of Putin’s invasion, the second highest contribution in the world after the United States, which demonstrates that our commitment to democracy and open societies remains steadfast. In that context, the Prime Minister and I both recognise the need to increase defence spending. But before we make that commitment, it is necessary to revise and update the integrated review, written as it was before the Ukraine invasion. I have asked for that vital work to be completed ahead of the next Budget and today I confirm that we will continue to maintain the defence budget at at least 2% of GDP to be consistent with our NATO commitment.

I was pleased to hear that overseas aid will stay at 0.5%:

Another important international commitment is to overseas aid. The OBR’s forecasts show a significant shock to public finances, so it will not be possible to return to the 0.7% target until the fiscal situation allows. We remain fully committed to that target, and the plans I have set out today assume that official development assistance spending will remain around 0.5% for the forecast period. As a percentage of GNI, we were the third highest donor in the G7 last year, and I am proud that our aid commitment has saved thousands of lives around the world.

Net Zero is still going ahead:

I also confirm that, despite the economic pressures, we remain fully committed to the historic Glasgow climate pact agreed at COP26, including a 68% reduction in our own emissions by 2030.

He discussed schools, beginning with those in England:

we have risen nine places in the global league tables for maths and reading in the last seven years.

… as Chancellor I want to know the answer to one simple question: will every young person leave the education system with the skills they would get in Japan, Germany or Switzerland? So, I have appointed Sir Michael Barber to advise me and my right hon. Friend the Education Secretary on the implementation of our skills reform programme.

Some have suggested putting VAT on independent school fees as a way of increasing core funding for schools, which would raise about £1.7 billion. But according to certain estimates, that would result in up to 90,000 children from the independent sector switching to state schools, giving with one hand only to take away with another.

So instead of being ideological, I am going to be practical: because we want school standards to continue to rise for every single child, we are going to do more than protect the schools budget—we are going to increase it. I can announce today that next year and the year after, we will invest an extra £2.3 billion per annum in our schools.

He has asked a former Labour MP, Patricia Hewitt, to help him reform the NHS. Oh, my days:

I have asked the former Health Secretary and chair of the Norfolk and Waveney integrated care system, Patricia Hewitt, to help me and the Health Secretary to achieve that by advising us on how to make sure that the new integrated care boards, the local NHS bodies, operate efficiently and with appropriate autonomy and accountability. I have also had discussions with NHS England about the inflationary pressures on their budgets.

More money will be pumped into the system:

With £3.3 billion for the NHS and £4.7 billion for social care, there is a record £8 billion package for our health and care system. That is a Conservative Government putting the NHS first.

Barnett consequentials, which come from the hard-pressed English taxpayer, will also increase:

The NHS and schools in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland face equivalent pressures, so the Barnett consequentials of today’s decisions mean an extra £1.5 billion for the Scottish Government, £1.2 billion for the Welsh Government, and £650 million for the Northern Ireland Executive. That means more resources for the schools and hospitals in our devolved nations next year, the year after and every year thereafter.

A new energy strategy will be forthcoming from the Business Secretary.

These are Hunt’s infrastructure commitments:

… today I can announce that I am not cutting a penny from our capital budgets in the next two years, and I am maintaining them at that level in cash terms for the following three years. That means that although we are not growing our capital budget as planned, it will still increase from £63 billion four years ago to £114 billion next year and £115 billion the year after, and will remain at that level—more than double what it was under the last Labour Government.

Smart countries build on their long-term commitments rather than discarding them, so today I confirm that because of this decision, alongside Sizewell C, we will deliver the core Northern Powerhouse Rail, HS2 to Manchester, East West Rail, the new hospitals programme and gigabit broadband roll-out. All these and more will be funded as promised, with over £600 billion of investment over the next five years to connect our country and grow our economy.

Our national Conservative mission is to level up economic opportunity across the country. That, too, needs investment in infrastructure, so I will proceed with round 2 of the levelling-up fund, at least matching the £1.7 billion value of round 1. We will also drive growth across the UK by working with the Scottish Government on the feasibility study for the A75, supporting the advanced technology research centre in Wales and funding a trade and investment event in Northern Ireland next year.

He is bringing devolution to England in the form of mayoralties:

Our brilliant [Conservative] Mayors such as Andy Street and Ben Houchen have shown the power of civic entrepreneurship. We need more of this inspirational local leadership, so today I can announce a new devolution deal that will bring an elected Mayor to Suffolk, and deals to bring Mayors to Cornwall, Norfolk and an area in the north-east to follow shortly. We are also making progress towards trailblazer devolution deals with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the West Midlands Combined Authority, and soon over half of England will be covered by devolution deals. Taken together, that £600 billion investment in our future growth represents the largest investment in public works for 40 years, so our children and grandchildren can be confident that this Conservative Government are investing in their future.

Hunt is altering the Truss-Kwarteng investment zones to be more in line with Michael Gove’s aspirations for levelling up:

I will also change our approach to investment zones, which will now focus on leveraging our research strengths by being centred on universities in left-behind areas, to help to build clusters for our new growth industries. My right hon. Friend the Levelling Up Secretary will work with Mayors, devolved Administrations and local partners to achieve this, with the first decisions announced ahead of the spring Budget.

The Truss-Kwarteng energy support plan remains in place until the end of March 2023:

I pay tribute to my predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for Spelthorne (Kwasi Kwarteng), and to the former Prime Minister, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Norfolk (Elizabeth Truss), for their leadership in this area. This winter, we will stick with their plan to spend £55 billion to help households and businesses with their energy bills—one of the largest support plans in Europe. From April, we will continue the energy price guarantee for a further 12 months at a higher level of £3,000 per year for the average household. With prices forecast to remain elevated throughout next year, this will mean an average of £500 of support for every household in the country.

There is more help for the most vulnerable:

At the same time, for the most vulnerable, we will introduce additional cost of living payments next year of £900 to households on means-tested benefits, £300 to pensioner households and £150 for individuals on disability benefit. We will also provide an additional £1 billion of funding to enable a further 12-month extension to the household support fund, helping local authorities to assist those who might otherwise fall through the cracks. For those households that use alternative fuels such as heating oil and liquefied petroleum gas to heat their homes, I am today doubling the support from £100 to £200, which will be delivered as soon as possible this winter. Before the end of this year, we will also bring forward a new targeted approach to support businesses from next April.

But I want to go further to support the people most exposed to high inflation. Around 4 million families live in the social rented sector—almost one fifth of households in England. Their rents are set at 1% above the September inflation rate, which means that on current plans they are set to see rent hikes next year of up to 11%. For many, that would just be unaffordable, so today I can announce that this Government will cap the increase in social rents at a maximum of 7% in 2023-24. Compared with current plans, that is a saving for the average tenant of £200 next year.

Labour started a commotion at this point. Hunt then announced a rise in the minimum wage:

This Government introduced—[Interruption.] I thought they cared about the most vulnerable! This Government introduced the national living wage, which has been a giant step in eliminating low pay, so today I am accepting the recommendation of the Low Pay Commission to increase it next year by 9.7%. This means that, from April 2023, the hourly rate will be £10.42, which represents an annual pay rise worth over £1,600 to a full-time worker. It is expected to benefit over 2 million of the lowest-paid workers in our country, and it keeps us on track for our target to reach two thirds of median earnings by 2024. It is the largest increase in the UK’s national living wage ever.

Benefits will increase by the rate of inflation:

today I commit to uprating such benefits by inflation, with an increase of 10.1%. That is an expensive commitment, costing £11 billion, but it means that 10 million working-age families will see a much-needed increase next year, which speaks to our priorities as a Government and our priorities as a nation. On average, a family on universal credit will benefit next year by around £600. To increase the number of households that can benefit from this decision, I will also exceptionally increase the benefit cap by inflation next year.

Finally, I have talked a lot about the British values of compassion, hard work, dignity and fairness, but there is no more British value than our commitment to protect and honour those who built the country we live in, so to support the poorest pensioners I have decided to increase pension credit by 10.1%, which is worth up to £1,470 for a couple and £960 for a single pensioner in our most vulnerable households, but the cost of living crisis is harming not just our poorest pensioners but all pensioners.

The triple-lock stays:

Because we have taken difficult decisions elsewhere today, I can also announce that we will fulfil our pledge to the country to protect the pension triple lock. In April, the state pension will increase in line with inflation, an £870 increase, which represents the biggest ever increase in the state pension. To the millions of pensioners who will benefit from this measure, I say: “Now and always, this Government are on your side.”

Hunt did not receive a jubilant reception from Conservative MPs, some of whom had concerns.

Dr Liam Fox asked about quantitative easing and interest rates:

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on a balanced and skilful statement prioritising fiscal stability. He will be aware that some of us believe that the Bank of England maintained monetary conditions that were too loose for too long, but that it would also be a mistake to maintain monetary conditions that are too tight for too long. Can he therefore confirm that the anti-inflationary measures that he has taken today will mean that the pressure to raise interest rates will be minimised, and that there is a much greater chance that they will fall earlier than would otherwise have been the case?

Hunt replied:

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right to focus on this issue, because every 1% increase in interest rates is about £850 more on the average mortgage, so it is hugely important to families up and down the country. The OBR has said that the measures that we have taken today will mean that inflation is lower than it would otherwise have been. That means that the Bank of England is under less pressure to increase interest rates, which for reasons that he knows are such a worry for so many families.

Sir William Cash was concerned about the ever-increasing costs of the HS2 rail project:

My right hon. Friend argued for sound money and sound foundations. Would he be good enough to explain how it is that High Speed 2 will continue beyond Birmingham at a verifiable cost of at least £40 billion, when every independent report on HS2 condemns the project and confirms that phase 2 will make rail services to all west coast destinations north of Birmingham much worse? I ask him to make a clear commitment to keep this matter under review at all costs; it is in the national interest.

Hunt said:

My hon. Friend is right that the increases in the budget for HS2 are disappointing, but a strong economy needs to have consistency of purpose, and that means saying we will make sure that we are a better connected country. The lack of those connections is one of the fundamental reasons for the differences in wealth between north and south, which we are so committed to addressing. There is a bigger issue about the way that we do infrastructure projects: it takes too long, and the budgets therefore get out of control. We are just not very good at it, and we have to sort it out.

Theresa Villiers rightly asked how soon we could move to a lower-tax economy if the forecasts are wrong. For me, this was the question of the day:

I thank the Chancellor for the announcement on schools funding, which, as he knows, is something that I raised with him as being crucial. Can he also confirm that, if current forecasts about economic recovery and inflation prove to be overly pessimistic, we will move more quickly than he has announced today towards delivering a lower-tax economy?

Hunt was non-committal:

My right hon. Friend is an immensely experienced colleague. She is right to point out that there is always inaccuracy in any forecast, and there is always variation from fiscal event to fiscal event, so we keep all those decisions under review in the round. I think it is still important to have forecasts—that is better than not to have them—but we keep all those decisions under review.

Virginia Crosbie from Ynys Môn in Wales asked how soon the new nuclear programme would begin:

This Government’s commitment to Sizewell C and large-scale nuclear is welcome, and it was noted that Labour’s shadow Chancellor failed to mention nuclear. When will the launch of Great British Nuclear be announced, and will its scope include large-scale gigawatt nuclear at sites such as Wylfa in my constituency, as well as small modular reactors?

Hunt was encouraging:

There is no more formidable advocate for big nuclear investment on Ynys Môn than my hon. Friend. Indeed, when I went on a family holiday to Ynys Môn this summer, she tried to persuade me to visit the potential site of a nuclear power station with my children. I apologise that I did not take her up on the offer, but it shows her commitment. My right hon. Friend the Business Secretary will be making an announcement soon on things such as the launch of Great British Nuclear—I hope before Christmas, but if not just afterwards—because we want to crack on with our nuclear programme.

Richard Drax was concerned about the burden on the taxpayer, another excellent question:

I have huge sympathy for my right hon. Friend. We are facing severe financial challenges for the reasons he explained so well, but Members on both sides of the House are promising to spend billions and billions more pounds. I remind the House that it is the private sector, and hardworking people through their taxes, who pay for Government expenditure. Does my right hon. Friend agree that raising taxes on both risks stifling the growth and productivity that he and I both want, and that would counter the recession we are now in?

Hunt defended his budget:

My hon. Friend is right to make the case for a lightly taxed dynamic economy, and I would like to bring taxes down from their current level. We are faced with the necessity of doing something fast to restore sound money and bring inflation down from 11%, which is why we have made difficult decisions today. But yes, my hon. Friend is absolutely right: there is no future for this country unless we get back on the path to being a lower taxed economy.

Mark Pawsey asked about small businesses:

My constituents in Rugby and Bulkington will not enjoy the tough decisions that the Chancellor has had to make today, but they will understand the need for sound finances after the huge expenditure that the country has made on the pandemic and supporting people with their energy costs as a consequence of the war in Ukraine. They will also want to know that businesses will continue to invest to grow and to create jobs. Will he speak about the incentives that still exist for businesses to do exactly that?

Hunt pledged his support:

I am happy to do that. My hon. Friend is quite right to raise those issues. We are doing a lot of short-term things, including help with energy bills as well as business rates. As we move to a new business rates system, we are freezing the levels at which business rates can increase and introducing a 75% discount next year for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. Fundamentally, as a Conservative Government, we know that we cannot flourish as an economy without flourishing small businesses, and we will back them to the hilt.

Greg Smith asked what Hunt was doing about reducing fuel duty:

I absolutely agree with my right hon. Friend when he talks about the inflationary pressures coming from the aftershocks of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. We see that at the fuel pumps and, more significantly, our haulage and logistics sector sees it with the enormous level of taxation on diesel in particular driving inflation to get food and goods on to our shelves. As he prepares for the March Budget, will he look at the inflationary impact of fuel duty on top of the high cost of diesel and see whether we can reduce it?

Hunt said he was looking at the issue:

I assure my hon. Friend that I will absolutely do that. We have a little time, and I know that fuel duty is an important issue to him and many other colleagues.

March 2023 — fuel duty hike

Hunt’s answer to Greg Smith on the fuel duty hike sounded reassuring, but GB News’s economic editor Liam Halligan uncovered a planned fuel duty hike of 23% for March 2023 from the OBR forecast. It would be the first since 2011:

Here’s Liam Halligan talking about it:

Forbes noticed it, too, bringing the news to an even wider international audience:

https://image.vuukle.com/8d46442a-2514-45e7-9794-98dfc370ce1b-94c4922a-473b-4f2c-bf6c-332bb8ccac4e

Fiscal drag

The Times had an article on the upcoming fiscal drag following Hunt’s budget:

Disposable incomes, after adjusting for inflation, will fall by 4.3 per cent in 2022-23, which would be the largest fall since records began in the 1950s. It is set to be followed by the second largest fall — in 2023-24 — of 2.8 per cent.

… Despite the aspirations of Rishi Sunak to create a low-tax economy, Britain is on course for its biggest ever tax burden as hundreds of thousands of workers are dragged into higher income tax bands by the freezing of thresholds and allowances while businesses also face a jump in levies, including employment taxes.

The tax burden is set to rise to 37.5 per cent of GDP in the financial year ending 2025, reaching the highest level since records began shortly after the Second World War.

The level of taxation as a share of the national income will rise to 36.4 per cent of GDP this year and 37.4 per cent in the financial year ending 2024, breaking the previous record.

Recovery is not likely to begin until 2025, several months after the next general election. This is accurate only if Conservatives are still in power by then:

GDP is expected to rise by 4.2 per cent this year before falling by 1.4 per cent next year, only returning to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024. However, growth is expected to pick up to 2.6 per cent the following year and 2.7 per cent in 2026, following a recovery in real incomes, consumption and investment.

The Telegraph also had an article on fiscal drag:

Nearly a quarter of a million workers will be dragged into paying the 45p rate of income tax after Jeremy Hunt slashed the threshold at which it is charged.

The salary on which the additional rate is payable will be reduced from £150,000 to £125,140 effective next April, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in the Autumn Statement, and frozen until 2028, forcing 232,000 workers into paying the top rate of tax for the first time and costing these quarter of a million taxpayers £620 on average, according to wealth manager Quilter.

The number of workers paying 45pc has more than doubled since the rate was first introduced in 2010 – rising from 236,000 to 629,000 today – as wage inflation has pushed more taxpayers into the highest income tax band.

Lowering the threshold will cost the 629,000 workers earning over £150,000 who are already impacted by the 45pc tax an additional £1,250 …

Just two months ago, then-Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng promised that the top rate would be abolished altogether. But now the Government is hoping to earn £420m in 2023-24 by catching more taxpayers in the 45pc net, and almost double that – £855m – in 2027-28.

Neela Chauhan of accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young said the move was “a major attack” on higher earners.

She added: “It’s going to bring in people into the upper rate who feel that they are far from being rich.”

Tax firm RSM said that there are also unexpected consequences of slashing the additional-rate threshold and the Chancellor had opened the door to a new 67.5pc tax rate.

Taxpayers earning over £100,000 lose their personal allowance at a rate of £1 for every £2 of income.

This means for every £100 they earn between £100,000 and £125,140, a worker takes home just £40 – because £40 is lost to income tax and another £20 to the tapering of the personal allowance – creating a 60pc tax trap.

Dismal headlines

The Guardian has a breakdown of last Friday’s front pages, which were bleak.

The Telegraph noted the austerity of George Osborne, Chancellor when the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition took over from in 2010, and the Labourite policies of his predecessor Gordon Brown. At the bottom of the page is an analysis from Lord Frost:

Lord Frost’s analysis is pro-Truss/Kwarteng

Lord Frost points out that the OBR are predicting what Liz Truss did just a few weeks ago:

This was a very curious Autumn Statement. For the last month, we have been told that Britain needed to re-establish the confidence of the markets and put in place renewed fiscal discipline, supposedly so carelessly squandered by Liz Truss. “Eye-wateringly painful decisions” were coming for all of us …

… public spending will be at its highest since the 1970s and taxation the highest since the Second World War. Both only start to fall, gently, in the late 2020s, and then only because of some pretty heroic assumptions about growth. Indeed, under Liz Truss we were told that 2.5 per cent growth was impossible – yet the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is predicting exactly that for 2025 and 2026.

How do we explain this?

To do so, I think, we have to go back to that extraordinary week in mid-October, when Truss’s government blew up on the launch pad

She was levered out of Downing Street with the argument that she had been careless about the public finances, casual about fiscal discipline and had lost market confidence. An emergency correction was needed – tax rises or spending cuts, and probably both.

Yet on taking office, our current government will have found – as the OBR has now acknowledged – that we were already into a deepening recession. Tightening fiscal policy with growth collapsing and interest rates increasing globally would clearly have been an insane policy, one at variance with what virtually every economist would suggest. But, having destroyed the Truss administration for being insufficiently fiscally disciplinarian, the Government could hardly overtly change course itself.

That is why we got what we got. Keep growing spending, raise taxes now on unpopular groups, defer deficit reduction and everything else until 2025, and meanwhile talk a lot about austerity and discipline to disguise the reality that this is likely a similar fiscal policy to what Truss’s would have been, just at higher levels of tax and spend. Then, after the election, if the Conservatives are still in power, it can all be looked at again …

… Taxes on business wreck investment and growth. Taxes on the (not very) rich destroy incentives. Britain’s hard-won reputation for being a low tax country is permanently lost. And we all have less of our own money and are less free.

Another defence of Trussonomics

The Mail reminds us that the Truss plan was to cap energy prices for two years. Hunt has reduced this to the end of March 2023:

Average energy bills will rise to £3,000 a year from April as Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed he was scrapping previous Government plans.

In his Autumn Statement to the House of Commons, Mr Hunt revealed changes to the ‘Energy Price Guarantee’ would leave Britons facing higher gas and electricity payments next year.

When former prime minister Liz Truss first announced the cost of living support in September, she outlined how average energy bills would be frozen at £2,500 a year for the next two years

Delivering details of an altered plan today, Mr Hunt revealed the Energy Price Guarantee would now be set at a higher level of £3,000 a year for average households until April 2024.

Of course, those who use less energy at home might have less to pay:

The plan only caps the cost per unit that households pay, with actual bills still determined by how much is consumed.

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said:

The fact that this comes on top of so many other price rises means life is going to get even tougher next spring.

More Trussonomics

The Spectator‘s editor Fraser Nelson wrote an analysis of the budget for The Telegraph, ‘This could turn out to be the week that the Tories lost the next election’.

I noted above that some of what Hunt said points far into the future.

Fraser Nelson also observed that fact:

Suspiciously, almost all of this austerity is due to take place after April 2025, after the election. The Tory benches were very quiet during Hunt’s speech, perhaps because they were piecing all this together. It was not just an Autumn Statement being written, but the next Conservative manifesto, too – with all the bad stuff saved for after the vote. Hardly the behaviour of a party expecting to win.

As one minister put it: “This was the day we lost the election.” This is how some Tories see the Autumn Statement: a suicide note, wrapping a poison pill for a Keir Starmer government to swallow.

This is the alarming rate of borrowing today. Factor in the previous QE and the generous Sunak pandemic programmes when he was Chancellor:

Even now, the Government is borrowing £485 million a day – or £20,000 by the time you finish this sentence. It all needs to be repaid. And the interest we all have to pay for such debt is, broadly, treble what it was a year ago.

The new forecasts show a UK Government expecting to pay £484 billion in debt interest over the next five years – almost £300 billion more than was expected this time last year. This year alone it’s £120 billion, twice last year’s sum.

This extra £60 billion has had to come from somewhere. It’s enough to double the size of the military, treble the police force or rebuild every school or hospital. But instead it is dead money, servicing an old debt – and things need to be squeezed to make room for it. For years, Tories wrote cheques, for HS2 and more, barely thinking about the cost. Now the bill has landed.

Nelson doesn’t mention the number of times long-serving Conservative backbenchers warned Sunak over the past two years that the bill would come due, but I saw them in parliamentary debates being duly ignored. To Sunak, those men were mere Thatcherites, so last century. Rishi told us we could borrow with little consequence. Not so.

He created a lot of our current problems and campaigned in August that he would be the candidate to get us out of this situation.

Now he is No. 10, just as he wanted to be from the beginning:

Sunak can’t be blamed for the debt interest. But he might have been expected to have better ideas of how to get out of the mess.

Of the Autumn Statement, Nelson writes:

Liz Truss said her message was “growth, growth, growth,” but Sunak’s seems to be “brace, brace, brace”. A massive fiscal impact lies ahead, he says – and our mission is to recognise it, make our peace with it, and accept that talk about a low-tax future is futile. So his Autumn Statement did not kick-start a recovery. It was, instead, a requiem for growth.

Of the August leadership campaign, he reminds us:

During the leadership debate, Truss was asked what advice she would give to Sunak. Don’t be so fatalistic, she told him. Don’t go along with narratives of decline. She had a point. Groundless optimism ended her premiership very quickly, but groundless pessimism can also be deeply damaging.

Nelson wonders how a government can so quickly discount its people:

A million more Brits, for example, are expected to join the 1.7 million already claiming disability or health-related benefits over the next five years. They will, in turn, join the 3.5 million others on out-of-work benefits. Was it so unreasonable to hope that this number might go down, with people helped back to work? We’ve been promised a review into all this, but not much else.

Another assumption is that most of the 400,000 who have dropped out of the economy since the pandemic started, citing long-term sickness, will never work again. It’s hard to find many other countries giving up so readily on such a stunningly large chunk of the population.

Is a uniquely British malady at work here? Or is the real problem a kind of Tory fatalism, where an exhausted governing party thinks the country is now too old, too sick or simply too workshy to get back to where it was in January 2020?

Many conservative voters said at the time that Rishi’s furlough scheme was a bit too helpful — and we were paying for it.

Now we are paying even more for it.

Nelson concludes:

the risk is that voters make up their mind now – and associate Toryism with chaos, broken promises and a general counsel of despair. Labour just needs to promise to do things better. As things stand, it’s not a very high bar.

Feeling fleeced yet?

The Telegraph‘s editorial warned, ‘Hard times ahead for British taxpayers’:

Unlike the tumultuous response to Kwasi Kwarteng’s unfunded growth measures in September, the market reaction was muted, which is precisely what Mr Hunt hoped for, even if the pound fell against the dollar amid forecasts of a year-long recession …

… benefits and the old age pension will rise in April by 10.1 per cent, the inflation rate in October.

This continues a trend of recent years whereby working people are expected to pay more in tax to protect social programmes that successive governments have been reluctant to reform. Although headline tax rates have not risen, the extended freeze on allowances at a time of double-digit inflation is a serious hit to the incomes of millions who will be dragged into higher bands. Some three million earners will pay income tax for the first time.

This year will see the sharpest fall in living standards on record, while the tax burden rises to its highest level as a share of GDP in decades. More than 47 per cent of national income will be spent in the public sector. In fact, spending will actually rise in real terms. The cuts are to planned budgets.

Rishi Sunak and Mr Hunt consider this social democratic approach to be fair and compassionate, closing off attack lines from Labour as a general election approaches. But there are consequences for the long-term well-being of the country if working people and businesses feel they are being fleeced to prop up failing public services and a benefit system in need of a drastic overhaul.

Essentially, the productive part of the economy is being squeezed to prop up the unproductive. The problem Mr Sunak faces is that, by 2024, the Conservatives will have been in office for 14 years and they need to offer voters a better slogan than “Labour will be worse”. In fact, Labour would support many of the measures in the Autumn Statement, from loading more tax on the wealthy to increasing windfall taxes on the energy companies.

ministers need to prepare for the worst and could proactively address the biggest drags on the economy, above all the NHS, social care and welfare benefits. The health service continues to soak up huge sums – with another £6 billion announced yesterday – and yet produces worse outcomes. Its shortcomings are causing problems throughout the economy, with treatment backlogs contributing to acute manpower shortages which the Government intends to fill by increasing immigration.

The Spectator‘s political editor James Forsyth, a close friend of Rishi Sunak’s, explained in The Times why this recession is different to previous ones and why we need more people in the workforce. I hope his friend pays attention to this:

One bright spot amid the gloom is the unemployment rate, which is just 3.6 per cent, down from 3.8 per cent this year. This is close to historic lows. But even this glimmer is tarnished. The low unemployment number disguises how many people have left the labour force: one in five working-age Brits are economically inactive, meaning they are neither in work nor looking for it. More than five million are claiming out-of-work benefits.

The recession may last a year, perhaps two — but it will be different. Unemployment, as formally defined, won’t exceed 5 per cent even during the worst of the downturn — in the 1980s it went into double digits. Seldom have there been more vacancies in the economy. It’s an odd form of recession where almost anyone who wants a job can find one, but that’s the situation we’re in. Almost every month, the number of those not looking for work grows: it jumped by 169,000 in the three months to August. That is more than the population of Oxford.

This has consequences. The OBR thinks the cost of health and disability benefits will rise by £7.5 billion — quite a sum. A shrinking labour market is also one of the reasons why the Bank of England thinks potential growth is now a mere 0.75 per cent even in 2024-25. The Tories desperately need to get back to moving people from welfare into work — not just to reduce the welfare bill but also to boost the economy

Alongside those not in work nor looking for it, there are 970,000 people on Universal Credit who are working very limited hours in an economy where employers are offering shifts. Hunt announced that about 600,000 of them will now be required to meet a work coach to try to increase their hours. This signals a return to Tory welfare reform …

to ensure taxes don’t need to keep going up indefinitely, two things are needed. The first is a renewed emphasis on public-sector reform. The Tory mantra used to be more for less from public services. But in recent years, it has felt like the opposite is the case. As the Institute for Fiscal Studies pointed out this week, the NHS has more money and more staff than it did before Covid yet is treating fewer people on the waiting list. This needs reversing if the tax burden is not to continue climbing ever higher.

The second is the economy needs to grow. Meat needs to be put on the bones of the growth agenda that Sunak and Hunt set out this week, with further incentives for businesses to invest.

After the debacle of the mini-budget, this autumn statement was always going to be about steadying the ship. Yet satisfying the markets is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a successful government. Sunak and Hunt must now deliver on public service reform, moving people from welfare into work and getting more out of the health and education budgets.

The Telegraph had more on the parlous state of the NHS, despite more taxpayer money being dumped into it, all for nought:

An analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows the health service in England carried out 600,000 fewer procedures in the first nine months of 2022, compared with the same period in 2019.

The NHS’s budget rose from £123.7 billion in 2019-20 to £151.8  billion in 2022-23, with the extra funding tied to a target of increasing elective hospital activity by 30 per cent compared with pre-pandemic levels. This will not only be missed but matters have worsened. Why is no one being held to account?

Record sums have been poured in for years, yet there is now a waiting list of more than seven million patients. Working practices remain stuck in the past, with consultants complaining that hospitals are “like the Mary Celeste” at weekends, while most GP surgeries are only open on weekdays, pushing patients to overstretched A&E services.

The NHS unions are not helping in their demands for more money.

The article concludes:

There is something fundamentally wrong with the NHS which politicians must confront before it crashes and brings the rest of the economy down with it.

Hunt puts economic hope in migrants

It seems the OBR, a quango started by the Conservative Chancellor George Osborne and staffed by Labourites, has convinced Jeremy Hunt that he should increase our already heavy migration levels to boost the economy.

That’s a left-wing idea that has never worked.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman will oppose that, but can she succeed? Only a few weeks ago, a 90-minute argument with Liz Truss and Hunt resulted in Braverman’s resignation. Her security violations were a likely smokescreen for what really happened.

The Telegraph reported:

Jeremy Hunt is relying on a surge in net migration to more than 200,000 people per year to help deliver economic growth as he oversees a sharp rise in the tax burden to its highest ever peacetime level.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) predicted net migration – the numbers entering the UK minus those leaving – will be 224,000 next year, before gently declining to settle at 205,000 a year from 2026 onwards.

This is dramatically higher than the OBR’s March estimate, when it predicted that net migration would be between 139,000 and 129,000 in the same years, some 80,000 lower.

It is also significantly higher than the long-term “ambition” of Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, to reduce net migration to below 100,000 – similar to the target of Theresa May, one of her predecessors in the post.

The increase in migrant labour will help to buttress Britain’s economy as Mr Hunt imposes higher taxes on earnings, jobs and investment. The OBR said that an increase in migration would help add to the potential size of the economy.

However, rising costs from tax are creating “growing disincentives to work”, reduce business investment and depress wages, according to the OBR itself.

Business groups were even more damning. The Chancellor talked a lot about “hard work” and “fairness” in his Autumn Statement. But workers, entrepreneurs and businesses have been left to pick up the bill to keep Britain’s welfare state on the road.

The OBR are being deeply irresponsible in advocating city-sized populations coming from abroad each year.

Where will these people live? How is our infrastructure — medical facilities, schools, water supply — increase to meet this demand year upon year?

Anyone travelling by Tube can pick up a copy of the Evening Standard to read about how many British twenty-somethings in London cannot find a room to rent. In many cases, there are 100 of them chasing every available room. The Standard interviews them. Their stories are heart-breaking. These young people are signed up to every rental app, to no avail.

Council tax increasing

On top of all of this, The Times reported that Hunt has given the green light to councils to increase council tax:

… the chancellor announced “more council tax flexibilities”, enabling councils in England to raise council tax by 3 per cent a year (up from 2 per cent) from April 2023 and increase the adult social care precept by 2 per cent a year (up from 1 per cent) without having to hold a referendum — leaving councils free to raise the tax by up to 5 per cent next year.

Their article has charts of various council tax rates and offers this example:

If they decide to increase council tax by the full 5 per cent, council tax band D payments would rise by £115 from £2,300 to £2,415 a year in Rutland in the East Midlands — the local authority with the most expensive tax bills in England — while in Westminster in central London, the cheapest authority, they would increase by just £43 from £866 to £909 a year.

Short takes

The Telegraph has an article on winners and losers from the Autumn Statement. There are only two groups of winners: housebuyers and pensioners/benefits claimants.

The Guardian interviewed some of Hunt’s constituents in leafy South West Surrey. They are unhappy with him as MP and are equally unhappy with the Government.

Guido Fawkes’s sketchwriter summed up Hunt’s announcement as follows:

What was the job of the day? To persuade the markets that all was under control. That debt-to-GDP would fall in reasonable time, that things would get back to normal in his cool, technocratic, managerial hands.

It’s what we all need, to believe that someone knows how things work and that they know what they’re doing. That there is such a thing as “sound money”. That the great, communal hallucination of financial reality may be preserved.

In Guido’s view, the Chancellor did exactly that. (Pound crashes, housing market collapses, the global financial architecture disappears into the Pacific Trench)

The readers’ comments near the end of that post have to do with the raw deal Liz Truss got. Here’s the exchange:

I find it impossible to believe that Liz Truss did so much damage in a couple of weeks with a mini budget which was never even enacted to require today’s grotesque socialist budget. Hunt and Rishi must be following an ideological policy and using Truss as their excuse.

Yes, she’s been made a convenient scapegoat by the WEF shills, to cover all their earlier and current mistakes and wrongdoings.

She went too far too fast and, by doing so, gave the one nation Tories and SunakHunts the opportunity to bring her down. The real villains are Sunak and Bailey [Bank of England governor] with their money printing and inflation denial. We are paying for their mistakes.

She didn’t go too far too fast. That is the Conservative spin. The Socialist spin is that she crashed the economy. It was cautious and a promising start, a direction of travel being set, nothing more – except for that huge two year package on the gas bills which was pure socialism and not mentioned by anyone.

The true Conservative spin is that, as an experienced Cabinet minister, she didn’t scan the political and financial hinterlands and underestimated the faux Conservative forces ranged against her. Once she u-turned she was done for.

On another of Guido’s posts, a reader posited that this is all about reversing Brexit:

The champagne socialist billionaire Rishi Sunak and arch remainer narssisist Jeremy Hunt have nailed the final nails in the socialist party AKA as the Conservative party coffin. They will be wiped out at the next GE for a generation. They want to tank the economy and make everyone feel financial pain so they can say BREXIT didn’t work. They will then seem to come to the rescue with every excuse on the planet and join us up first to the single market and customs union. Then kicking and screaming back into the EU. Why do you think they staged this remainer coup and got rid of Truss? The Truss budget of low tax, high wages, high growth, low government spend and the scrapping of the 2300-3000 EU laws retained on the UK statue book would have taken advantage of BREXIT and boosted the economy. They could not allow that to happen. They want to ditch plans to scrap the EU laws as that will make it harder to leave. They have folded on the NI Protocol and leaving the Jurisdiction of the ECHR. Why? Because they want to rejoin. We now are having forced on us a low wage, high tax, low growth, high government spend economy that will cripple most people financially and small businesses. Who wants to invest in the UK now?

On that note, another reader posted a photo of Hunt and Sunak sharing a laugh, with this fictitious caption:

Hunt: Told you you didn’t need the support of the members.

Sunak: Yes, it was so easy to stab Truss in the back, too. Who needs democracy?

What taxpayers can do

All is not lost for taxpayers. There are ways to mitigate the effects from Hunt’s statement.

Anyone who needs to cut back on food costs, protein in particular, should start eating eggs, which are cheap and the best source of protein around. Supposedly, they’re in short supply, but I bought a dozen only yesterday.

The Telegraph has an excellent article on various egg preparations, whether sweet or savoury. It’s well worth reading.

The paper also has a helpful article about what taxpayers can do to mitigate Hunt’s raid on their money. Some will require advice from a financial planner. The most important tip is to get one’s capital gains in order and start liquidating shares or funds to put into an ISA — a process called ‘bed and ISA’ — without exceeding the CGT thresholds. This has to be started well before the end of the 2022-23 tax year in April, when the current capital gains threshold of £12,300 expires and becomes £6,000 for one year, then £3,000 the year after that.

Good luck!

‘No one is remotely indispensable’.

So were the words of Boris Johnson as he stood in front of Downing Street in the early afternoon of Thursday, July 7, 2022, to announce that he was standing down as Conservative leader. He said that he planned to stay on as Prime Minister until a new leader is chosen.

Boris’s resignation speech

The Prime Minister’s speech is just over six minutes long:

Knowing how quickly the leadership contests moved in 2016 (David Cameron to Theresa May) and in 2019 (May to Johnson), we are likely to see a new party leader in place before Parliament’s summer recess. Regardless of what news outlets say, it no longer takes two or three months. The timing — i.e. summer resignations in all three cases — will accelerate because of recess.

Guido has the transcript of Boris’s speech, excerpts of which follow (I’ve put in punctuation, paragraphs and emphases):

It is now clearly the will of the parliamentary Conservative party that there should be a new leader of that party and, therefore, a new Prime Minister and I have agreed with Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of our backbench MPs [the 1922 Committee], that the process of choosing that new leader should begin now and the timetable will be announced next week.

And I have today appointed a cabinet to serve – as I will – until a new leader is in place.

So I want to say to the millions of people who voted for us in 2019 – many of them voting Conservative for the first time — thank you for that incredible mandate, the biggest Conservative majority since 1987, the biggest share of the vote since 1979.

And the reason I have fought so hard for the last few days to continue to deliver that mandate in person was not just because I wanted to do so but because I felt it was my job, my duty, my obligation to you to continue to do what we promised in 2019, and of course I am immensely proud of the achievements of this government …

He went on to list Brexit, the coronavirus vaccine rollout, coming out of lockdown the earliest of any other Western nation and showing leadership with regard to Ukraine.

He clearly regretted that he had to stand down:

If I have one insight into human beings it is that genius and talent and enthusiasm and imagination are evenly distributed throughout the population but opportunity is not, and that is why we need to keep levelling up, keep unleashing the potential of every part of the United Kingdom. And if we can do that in this country, we will be the most prosperous in Europe.

And in the last few days I have tried to persuade my colleagues that it would be eccentric to change governments when we are delivering so much and when we have such a vast mandate and when we are actually only a handful of points behind in the polls, even in mid term after quite a few months of pretty unrelenting sledging, and when the economic scene is so difficult domestically and internationally. And I regret not to have been successful in those arguments and, of course, it is painful not to be able to see through so many ideas and projects myself.

But as we’ve seen at Westminster, the herd is powerful and when the herd moves, it moves and,
my friends, in politics no one is remotely indispensable.

And our brilliant and Darwinian system will produce another leader equally committed to taking this country forward through tough times, not just helping families to get through it but changing and improving our systems, cutting burdens on businesses and families and – yes – cutting taxes, because that is the way to generate the growth and the income we need to pay for great public services.

And to that new leader I say, whoever he or she may be, I will give you as much support as I can and, to you the British people, I know that there will be many who are relieved but perhaps quite a few who will be disappointed. And I want you to know how sad I am to give up the best job in the world, but them’s the breaks.

I want to thank Carrie and our children, to all the members of my family who have had to put up with so much for so long. I want to thank the peerless British civil service for all the help and support that you have given, our police, our emergency services and, of course, our NHS who at a critical moment helped to extend my own period in office, as well as our armed services and our agencies that are so admired around the world and our indefatigable Conservative Party members and supporters whose selfless campaigning makes our democracy possible.

I want to thank the wonderful staff here at Number Ten and, of course, at Chequers and our fantastic protforce detectives – the one group, by the way, who never leak.

And, above all, I want to thank you the British public for the immense privilege you have given me.

And I want you to know that from now until the new Prime Minister is in place, your interests will be served and the government of the country will be carried on.

Being Prime Minister is an education in itself. I have travelled to every part of the United Kingdom and, in addition to the beauty of our natural world, I have found so many people possessed of such boundless British originality and so willing to tackle old problems in new ways that I know that even if things can sometimes seem dark now, our future together is golden.

Thank you all very much.

Boris delivered his speech in a normal, matter-of-fact way, which was good, especially given the circumstances.

Now that he has resigned from the Conservative leadership, some ministers are willing to come back into Government for the interim period.

As such, Boris held a Cabinet meeting at 3 p.m. today:

Those who read my post from yesterday will recall that I had not expected to cover this development until next week at the earliest.

However, yesterday afternoon into this morning was pure political carnage.

Wednesday, July 6

Junior ministerial resignations continued to pour in throughout the day, into the night.

Mid-afternoon, Boris held a second online meeting with Conservative MPs:

Guido has the story (emphases in red his):

In a sign of a continuing effort to hold on to his job, the PM has held a second meeting of Tory MPs in his parliamentary office, just 19 hours after his last meeting. Last night’s turnout was said to be around 80 – today’s turnout is said to have fallen to around 30. A loyalist MP spins that the PM was in a “buoyant mood and keen to get on with the job”. Presumably he was just happy his PMQs slagging was over and done with…

Boris apparently pointed to polls narrowing to “about five points” and left his reduced coterie of supporters under no doubt that “he’s going nowhere… no chance of stepping aside”. We’ll see what the 1922 Committee has to say about that this evening…

Guido’s mole concluded that “Basically the current challenge is all about personality and not policy. It’s a coup attempt before recess” The timetable observation is, at least, objectively correct…

At 3 p.m., Boris appeared for 90 minutes before the Liaison Committee, which is comprised of all the MPs who head Select Committees.

They grilled him on his performance and whether he would resign.

I’ve never seen anything like it. You can watch the proceedings using the link below:

These were the topics of discussion and the names of the MPs questioning him. Sir Bernard Jenkin chaired the session. Conservative MPs Tobias Ellwood and Jeremy Hunt might have their eyes on the leadership. Boris defeated Hunt in the 2019 contest:

All were brusque, including Bernard Jenkin, sadly.

That said, in May, Jenkin did write to the Leader of the House, Mark Spencer, to express his disappointment that some Government ministers were not appearing as scheduled before Select Committees:

The Liaison Committee were vipers. They were on the attack relentlessly.

Boris stood his ground. He reminded one MP that, in 2019, he had more than doubled the number of sitting Conservative MPs:

He also stated that he did not want another unnecessary general election when he had a clear mandate from the electorate to carry out. You can see how nasty Bernard Jenkin got in this short exchange:

Huw Merriman went so far as to send Sir Graham Brady, Chair of the 1922 Committee, a letter of no confidence during the session:

Meanwhile, Guido Fawkes and his team were busy updating Wednesday’s list of resignations.

The 1922 Committee was — perhaps still is — considering a rule change allowing for more than a 12-month gap between votes of confidence in a Prime Minister. Pathetic.

Guido has the story (purple emphases mine):

There are some reports that the 1922 Committee may move in the next 24 hours-or-so to dispose of the PM. Bloomberg is reporting that “The Tory backbench 1922 Committee will meet at 5 p.m. Wednesday and will discuss changing the rules to allow another party-leadership ballot. If there is a majority opinion in favor, a ballot could be held as soon as next week.” James Forsyth of the Spectator reports rule change or not, a senior committee member tells him “they now favour a delegation going to Johnson to tell him that it is over and that they will change the rules to allow another vote if he doesn’t quit”.

Guido’s post has a list the 1922’s executive members and whether or not they favour this rule change.

Later on, the 1922 decided not to change the rules — for now — because they will be holding their executive election on Monday, July 11:

Guido reported:

Surprisingly the 1922 executive has decided against changing the rules to allow a second vote of no confidence in the PM. Instead executive elections will go ahead on Monday, 2pm to 4pm. 

The Times had more:

Critics of the prime minister are organising a slate of candidates who are expected to win a majority of places, given most backbenchers voted to oust Johnson in last month’s vote. They are then expected to endorse a rule change.

During the afternoon, it was rumoured that the Chief Whip, Chris Heaton-Harris, was going to tell Boris that time was up.

Boris was hemhorrhaging support. The resignations were coming thick and fast from junior ministers. This is how it is done. The same thing happened when Labour wanted rid of Jeremy Corbyn as leader:

I used to like most of the Conservative MPs. Given what happened yesterday, I am not so sure anymore.

Those who have gone down in my estimation include former Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch; Lee Rowley; Liam Fox; Red Wall MPs Dehenna Davison, Jacob Young and Jo Gideon; Ed Argar and former Welsh Secretary Simon Hart.

And that’s not counting the rest of them that Guido has named, including those from Tuesday.

The only one I’m willing to give a pass to is Lee Anderson.

The hubris and hypocrisy got worse.

Attorney General Suella Braverman appeared on Robert Peston’s show on ITV that night to announce her withdrawal of support for Boris. I really had expected better of her, especially as Peston has been anti-Boris for years. To add insult to injury, she went on to announce on his show that she would be running for leader:

Cabinet members visit Boris

Just before 5 p.m. a small Cabinet delegation visited Boris in Downing Street.

Guido wrote:

A Cabinet delegation of Nadhim Zahawi, Grant Shapps, Brandon Lewis, Simon Hart and Michelle Donelan are currently waiting in Downing Street to tell Boris the jig is up, and it’s time for him to step down. Kwasi Kwarteng has also reportedly lost confidence. Beginning of the end…

Note Michelle Donelan’s name in that list. Boris had just made her Education Secretary after Nadhim Zahawi moved into the Chancellor’s role.

What did Michelle Donelan do? She resigned after 36 hours in the role:

Yes, of course, she got a pay out — one of £16,876.25:

The others got pay outs, too. I read that the total for ministers who resigned is over £120,000.

That’s not a Conservative plan, by the way.

That’s how the system works.

The caboose

Just before midnight, the final resignation of the day rolled in, that of Gareth Davies, making him the 35th that day. There were ten more from Monday as well as Michael Gove, summarily sacked. It’s hard to disagree with the person comparing this to Trump:

Michael Gove

It was time for this duplicitous man to go. I never trusted him and never will.

When he turned from supporting Boris in the 2016 leadership campaign to start his own before supporting Theresa May, he stabbed him in both the front and the back.

One thing we have learned during Boris’s premiership is that he — Boris — is one to forgive.

He made Gove part of his Cabinet in various high profile roles.

On Wednesday, Gove decided to tell Boris to resign:

Gove, most recently the Levelling Up minister, was conspicuous by his absence in the House of Commons. He missed Prime Minister’s Questions:

News emerged at 9:30 that Boris sacked Gove — via a telephone call:

I will be very disappointed if Gove returns to a Government role. He is a Scot who, in my opinion, is too young at the age of 54 to appreciate the Union fully, and he does not have the Englishman’s best interests at heart.

I’ve never heard him say anything about England other than to do away with English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) in 2021. As the then-Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, he deemed it unnecessary in Parliament. It was a quick, quiet moment in the Commons. I do wonder why it went unchallenged by English MPs.

Yet, the English are the ones who have been overlooked the most over the past 25 years, beginning with Tony Blair, a quasi-Scot who pumped our Government and media full of many more Scots, e.g. Gordon Brown, to name but one. My apologies to Scottish readers, whom I admire greatly, but it is true.

Christian Calgie from Guido’s team explains that Boris might have sacked Gove because, unlike the Cabinet secretaries who had descended upon him earlier, Gove allegedly told Boris to resign:

By the end of Wednesday, it became clear that Boris was not about to leave:

Guido reported:

Guido has had it confirmed by a PM ultra loyalist that Boris Johnson is not resigning tonight, and is understood to be planning a reshuffle. The news will spark further senior cabinet resignations…

According to reports, Boris sat down individual members of the Cabinet – including those involved in the coup – and cited his 2019 mandate, as well as the belief the government needs to spend the summer focusing on the economy and not a leadership election …

I watched four hours of analysis on GB News on Wednesday, beginning with Nigel Farage …

… and concluding with Dan Wootton, who had a great interview with Boris’s father Stanley Johnson (see the 1 hour 15 mark, or, if the GB News clock shows, 10:21). Stanley is a big supporter of his son, which was heartening to see:

Thursday, July 7

Conservative ministers continued to resign en masse on Thursday morning, July 7.

Guido has a timeline of resignations and other events of the day.

Just before 9 a.m., Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi sent Boris a formal letter requesting his resignation.

Just after 9 a.m., Defence Secretary Ben Wallace — also thought to be a candidate for Conservative leader — tweeted MPs to say that they should make use of the 1922 Committee to get rid of Boris:

At 9:07 a.m., news emerged that Boris agreed to resign as Conservative Party leader. I agree that the next demand from the braying hypocrite hyenas in the media will be a call for a general election. Disgusting:

Guido reported:

Chris Mason has been told the PM has agreed with Graham Brady that he will resign, allowing a Tory leadership race to take place ahead of the Tory Party conference in October. A letter has been written. He’ll quit as Tory leader today. Guido’s frankly not sure how Boris can stay on for the summer with so many ministerial holes in his government…

Perhaps we can get by with fewer ministers, as someone said in Parliament this morning.

I hope that Boris’s Cabinet meeting at 3 p.m. went well.

Not everyone has been happy with the coup so far. Former Conservative Prime Minister John Major is fuming. It’s interesting he never reacted like that about David Cameron or Theresa May:

In brighter news, Boris’s loyal friend from Ukraine rang him with his condolences and thanks:

1457: PM has spoken to Zelensky on the phone. Finished the call by praising him: “You’re a hero, everybody loves you.”

Yes, well, I wished our MPs loved Boris as much as President Zelenskyy does.

Ladies and gentlemen, this was a coup.

It was for a ridiculous reason, too:

https://image.vuukle.com/42c85f62-4bbb-4aff-b15a-100d5034d7aa-f9083ab0-35b3-43b1-82cf-0e95a9739d29

Don’t forget: this was ALL ABOUT BREXIT.

More to follow next week.

This is my longest post to date, but it is informative. You might need a cuppa and a snack.

At the weekend, I read a few articles on the mid-November raid on the CIA server farm in Frankfurt, Germany.

It sounds like something out of a blockbuster film, but when I saw two retired generals’ names in the mix, I began to pay closer attention.

First, my thanks to reader john cheshire who sent me the link to a Bill Still video on this topic from Saturday, November 28.

Unlike the usual Bill Still videos, this one is only seven minutes long and well worth watching, especially for the night-time footage of Ospreys flying over the server farm:

Still is reserving comment until more information comes out to authenticate everything.

Secondly, consider everything developing, although we do have the recently-pardoned General Michael Flynn’s word that the election was stolen. More on that later in this post.

Before proceeding, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) brought news of the raid on Friday, November 13:

On Sunday, November 29, Andrea Widburg wrote another considered article for American Thinker: ‘New reports about election manipulation read like a Tom Clancy novel’. They certainly do.

First of all, for those who want to know what the Kraken is in US military intelligence parlance, it is (emphases mine):

the nickname of the 305th military intelligence battalion; that The Kraken identified China, Iran, and Russia as being involved in using the Hammer & Scorecard system to manipulate American votes; that the servers used for this were in a CIA facility in Frankfurt; that special forces raided the facility; and that there were casualties

However, Kraken — especially as top lawyer Sidney Powell refers to it — also encompasses the US Department of Defense’s:

cyber warfare weapons (“Kraken”)

Widburg did a good job of summarising what allegedly happened:

On Friday, a retired top Air Force intelligence analyst stated with certainty during an interview that special forces had secured a CIA-run facility in Germany that had computers showing election manipulation. If this report is real, we are witnessing the biggest coup attempt, sabotage, and treason in American history. No matter what, though, because this report is out there and comes from serious people, it deserves serious investigation.

I have no idea whether this raid happened. Its having taken place, however, is consistent with my ruminations about Trump’s peculiarly-timed shake-up at the Pentagon: Firing defense secretary Mark Esper and replace him with Christopher Miller, a special forces man; moving special forces into their own command, rather than having them function as subsets of other military branches; and firing potentially disloyal members of the civilian Defense Policy Board. These actions indicated that Trump was clearing the decks for something big.

In this post, I’ll sum up the most recent reports about events in Germany, although without taking any stand as to their veracity because I can’t take a stand. I don’t know enough.

For several days, rumors have swirled that there was a “military” raid in Germany, either against Scytl (the Spanish company that processes American voting data in a facility in Frankfurt, Germany) or against a CIA station that is also located in Germany. On Friday, those rumors coalesced into an affirmative report about the CIA station in Germany.

Widburg then cited an article from Friday, November 27 from Dr Mike Adams, AKA Healthranger: ‘Situation Update — Nov. 27th — DoD vs. CIA firefight in Frankfurt as covert war against the deep state RAGES across the globe’.

Excerpts follow, emphases in the original. Mine are in purple:

At this very minute, a covert war is raging across the globe, pitting Trump’s DoD and DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) against black hat deep state factions running the CIA.

The good news is: Trump is winning.

As you know by now, the DoD launched a raid on a CIA-run server farm in Frankfurt, Germany, to secure servers that contain proof of CIA interference with the 2020 election (i.e. backdoor manipulations of election results via Dominion voting machines). But new information is now surfacing that indicates there was a firefight at the server farm facility, involving US Army Special Forces units, engaging with CIA-trained paramilitary units that were flown in from Afghanistan in an emergency effort to defend the facility.

One CIA officer was killed during the firefight, and he is now being reported across the mainstream media as being “killed in Somalia.” Five US Army soldiers were also killed, and they are being explained away as dying in a “helicopter crash” in Egypt.

Despite the deaths, the servers were successfully acquired by the DoD, and those servers were turned over to President Trump’s private intelligence group, which is now once again led by Gen. Michael Flynn, recently pardoned and now allowed to process top secret information, since his security clearance has been restored.

Enter the fearless Sidney Powell:

Sidney Powell is about to roll out expert witnesses in the Georgia and Michigan lawsuits. One of these witnesses has been handed details of the vote theft which were acquired through two means: 1) The “Kraken” cyberwarfare program run by the DoD, and 2) Information found in the servers which were acquired during the multiple raids. (There were also server farm raids in Bercelona and Toronto, we are told.)

One of these witnesses is Dr. Keshavarz-Nia, a well-known cybercrimes investigator, who has a long history of working with U.S. military counterintelligence, as well as the NSA and CIA.

He has now offered sworn statements to Sidney Powell, which can be viewed at this link.

Dr Adams shares a portion of Dr Keshavarz-Nia’s testimony:

I have previously discovered major exploitable vulnerabilities in DVS and ES&S that permit a nefarious operator to perform sensitive functions via its built-in covert backdoor. The backdoor enables an operator to access to perform system updates and testing via the Internet without detection. However, it can also be used to conduct illicit activities such as shifting votes, deleting votes, or adding votes in real-time… I conclude with high confidence that the election 2020 data were altered in all battleground states resulting in a hundreds of thousands of votes that were cast for President Trump to be transferred to Vice President Biden.

I really hope Mike Adams is correct:

And so the circle is complete: DoD forces deploy cyber warfare weapons (“Kraken”) as well as kinetic troops (Special Forces, under the US Army) to acquire physical servers, all the information derived from these operations is extracted by DIA forensic analysts, it is then handed over to various expert witnesses who are prepared to testify under oath, resulting in the courts nullifying the fraudulent vote manipulations in the swing states.

This is how Trump gets to 300+ electoral votes and secures his second term as President. If successful, these revelations will also utterly destroy the Democrat party and result in thousands of treasonous actors going to prison for their roles in this attempted cyber warfare election theft to overthrow the United States government.

Wow. You could not make this up.

Some of us are familiar with a retired US military officer who writes under the pseudonym of Turcopolier.

On November 15, two days after Louis Gohmert’s news of the raid emerged, Turcopolier posted an article by former long-time CIA analyst Larry Johnson, ‘Unraveling the Deep State Coup’. Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

I have been reading Larry Johnson since 2008. He has never been wrong.

Johnson explains why many of us doubted not Gohmert as much as the information he received:

When I saw this it did not make sense. Let me explain. I spent four years working at State Department’s Office of Counter Terrorism (now it is the Bureau of Counter Terrorism). I was one of two officers who dealt directly with the FBI in the investigation of the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103. I learned through this experience that US law enforcement cannot operate in other countries without the permission of those countries.

I also spent 22 years scripting terrorism exercises for U.S. military special operations. My job was to replicate State Department and Embassy communications that would occur during a terrorist crisis. So, I have a lot of experience in working real world with US law enforcement, US military and our Embassies in sorting out the issues that arise when the United States wants to pursue a law enforcement or military operation in a foreign country.

The U.S. Army did not conduct a raid in Germany on either Sctyl or Dominion offices or servers. They are foreign nationals and we must operate in accordance with German law. Moreover, the U.S. Army does not have law enforcement powers with respect to such entities.

However, there is a group who can bypass these restrictions:

So what happened? I am reliably informed that a unit under the command of USEUCOM (i.e., United States European Command) did in fact conduct an operation to take control of computer servers. But these servers belong to the CIA, not Dominion or Sctyl. The U.S. military has full authority to do this because any CIA activity in the European theater is being conducted using military cover. In other words, CIA officers would be identified to the German government (and anyone else asking) as military employees or consultants.

Such an operation would have been carried out with U.S. law enforcement present to take custody of the evidence. That means that the evidence will be under the control of the Department of Justice through US Attorneys and can be used in court or other judicial proceedings.

This is not the first time that a military unit attached to EUCOM has compelled a CIA computer facility to hand over evidence. A dear friend of mine (a retired DEA officer) told me about an incident where he entered a CIA facility in Frankfurt backed up by the US Army to get info the CIA was withholding (this took place in the 1980s).

Johnson surmises that the CIA and FBI directors were unaware of the raid at the time:

I also have confirmed what Jim Hoft reported the other night–the CIA’s Gina Haspel was not informed in advance of this operation. Based on this fact, I think it is correct that action was taken in Germany on territory under U.S. control and that a CIA facility was targeted.

I also have learned that FBI Director Christopher Wray was excluded from this operation. Wray, more than Haspel, has been working aggressively to undermine and sabotage Donald Trump. This means that some other U.S. law enforcement agency (e.g., US Marshals, DEA, Secret Service, etc) had the lead in collecting the evidence.

But there’s more.

On Saturday, November 28, retired US Army Generals Michael Flynn and Thomas McInerney, an expert in cyber warfare, gave an interview to WorldViewWeekend.com on Brannon Howse’s show, World View Report. Mary Fanning also participated. She is the author of the book: THE HAMMER is the Key to the Coup “The Political Crime of the Century”: How Obama, Brennan, Clapper, and the CIA spied on President Trump, General Flynn … and everyone else.

Healthranger kindly provided a full transcript of the interview. Excerpts follow. I have divided the text into paragraphs for easier reading.

Healthranger provided a useful summary before going into the transcript:

  • HAMMER and various cyber weapons were previously used by the USA against other countries, now the weapons are being deployed against us. Obama is behind everything.
  • Creator of HAMMER and Scorecard is Den[n]is Montgomery, former CIA analyst.
  • Fox flipped against America, deep state coup coordinators recruited the entire U.S. media and Big Tech to defeat the Republic and overthrow the U.S. Constitution.
  • The Dec. 14th deadline doesn’t matter. President Trump should not leave office until all the facts surrounding election theft are analyzed, including vote count distributions “caused by fraudulent electronic manipulation of targeted voting machines.”
  • The fact that all 5 battleground states stopped counting at the same time, “Demonstrates prior coordination by election officials in five battleground states.” Then they used HAMMER and Scorecard, plus Dominion, to move Joe Biden into the lead. It is a “mathematical impossibility” the way the votes came in. An algorithm was used.
  • In PA, 1.8 million ballots mailed out to people. 2.5 million came back in. Someone had a printing press and was printing them out.
  • The 305th Battalion military intelligence is “Kraken.”
  • China, Iran, Russia were all involved in manipulating votes.
  • Confirmed that US Special Forces Command seized servers from the CIA server farm in Frankfurt.
  • Confirmed there were US soldiers killed during the raid on the CIA server farm in Frankfurt. (As we reported in yesterday’s Situation Update.)
  • Chris Miller is Secretary of Defense because of the 305th Battalion. Consider why…
  • Chris Krebs at CISA committed treason and is part of the coup.
  • What went down during the election is TREASON at the highest level, not just politics.
  • Trump can maintain control over the White House, under oath, until a full investigation is complete, and there are no artificial deadlines that can stop him.
  • The President took an oath that obliges him to defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. This is why he cannot turn over the White House to political puppets (Biden) controlled by America’s enemies (China, Iran).
  • The big evidence from the seized servers is going to come out at SCOTUS, not before.
  • Once caught, mid-level treasonous actors will point fingers at Biden and Obama, saying they were ordered to carry out the treasonous acts.
  • Georgia’s runoff election is already stolen by the Democrats unless we stop the vote theft. It’s just a digital theft for them. This means the Senate will be lost to the Democrats unless this vote fraud infrastructure is exposed and defeated.
  • A lot of instability is coming if we allow the government to be seized by communists.
  • All this goes up to the very top, implicating Joe Biden, Adam Schiff, Barack Obama and others.
  • Trump knew all this was going to happen and had planned for it.

This was Gen Flynn’s first interview after President Trump pardoned him.

Brannon Howse invited him to speak first.

Flynn said:

… I would tell you what’s happening in this country should never happen, and we are going through, there’s no doubt in my mind, we’re going through a crucible of history.

If we don’t correct what it is that’s happening right now over the next couple of weeks, then I really hate to even think about what will happen in our country going forward into the latter part in December and certainly into the next month. I do not believe for a second that the country will accept Vice-President Biden as the next president, based on what we know to be probably the greatest fraud that our country has ever experienced in our history.

What we’re seeing, what I’m in right in the middle of it right now, and I will tell you that, first of all, the President has clear paths to victory. They have clear paths to victory, and they actually don’t require a lot of courtroom action. What they require is they require a lot of honesty out of elected officials and frankly, a lot of Americans who are coming forward and telling us their stories. The hundreds and hundreds of Americans around the country in different states, not just the swing states, but many, many other states that are coming forward with their stories and putting them down on affidavits as witnesses.

We had probably 10 or 12 affidavits come in from one particular state today, and because there’s been a number of threats to people, these particular Patriots, they sent their photos in with their affidavits and said, “Put mine up at the top of the list because I want people to know that I’m not going to be afraid of these people that are threatening our country and our way of life.”

I say all that and on one hand and the other hand as I just described, we have clear paths to victory for this President. Frankly, he’s going win Pennsylvania. He’s going to win Arizona. He’s going to win Georgia. He’s going to win Nevada. He’s going to win Michigan. The other one that he’s probably going to pull in is Wisconsin too, because there’s a discrepancy in Wisconsin of 130,000 … ballots that they just found, they just discovered. There’s a lot of things happening and it’s all, to me, it’s all positive.

I was asked today on a scale of 1 to 10, who will be the next President, and I said, 10 it’ll be Donald Trump. It’ll be president Trump. There’s no doubt in my mind that he won this election hands down in a landslide, probably somewhere between 350 and 400 electoral college votes.

What we have seen is over, and I know this, over the last probably two decades and probably longer, I can give you a little bit of a history lesson in that, but I won’t. But over the last couple of decades, what we have seen is a complete shift in how fast I believe that communist China in their long-term plan decided that to sort of move up their plans to become the global superpower, sole global superpower on the planet.

Their sort of plan was by about the middle of this century that we’re in right now, and I believe when during the last 2016 election, when they didn’t get the candidate that they needed and the kind of ideology that they saw America moving towards, they were not going to allow 2020 to happen, and so now what we have is this theft with mail in ballots.

The theft with this software, Smartmatic software and Dominion, these Dominion systems. These are systems that are not owned by this country. They’re owned by other — they were introduced into this country. How can we say as the United States of America, how can we say that we accept a system that is not made in this country and in many cases, the ballots aren’t even tallied in this country?

They weren’t in 2012, either. I remember reading that the Obama-Romney votes were counted in … Spain. Romney was ahead until the very end, when the votes flipped. I could not believe my eyes as I watched a major US network’s coverage.

Flynn continued:

We probably, in fact, we know we have evidence of previous elections where this happened as well, but we’re now focused on this one. I’m going to tell you, we’re not in this to lose. We are not in this to lose these battles, we’re in this to win these battles and I believe we’re going to. I believe we’re going to win, and I’m confident we are because we have the right people, we have the right plan and strategy, and it’s a little bit of direct and a little bit of indirect that we’re taking, and people are talking all the time to each other. I’m anxious and you probably hear it in my voice that I’m a little anxious because I just cannot believe the media and the censorship that is going on. Just look at what they do to the President of the United States of America. Look what Twitter is doing to the President of the United States of America. This is, it’s infuriating to me … It’s an abomination of the first amendment, our freedom of speech. Frankly, for the President of United States of America, the only means that he really has to be able to communicate is when he walks outside, or he goes in front of a group of people, or he walks outside and talks to the press, or he uses social media to communicate because the media is not going to allow him to get his message out there.

He cited the case of a retired military officer, now a state senator, who gave a closing speech at the hearing in Pennsylvania last Wednesday. Twitter removed the man’s account:

It was an extraordinary hearing with politicians from Pennsylvania centers on a panel, and the one Senator that ran the panel for the state of Pennsylvania, that listened to the hearing, listen to a bunch of witnesses, listen to Rudy, listened to Jenna Ellis, and others on their team. The individual that ran it was a retired Military Colonel, and he’s now a state senator in Pennsylvania, and he gave, at the very end of it, he gave a really good short summary speech, and it was heartwarming because it was sort of a mom and apple pie that, “Hey, we can’t allow this to happen in our country. We cannot portray ourselves to the world as a third world nation”. It was a really, really good closing speech, and what did Twitter do? Twitter took him offline immediately. They completely removed his Twitter account so people couldn’t follow this guy. It’s just outrageous, it’s outrageous. That’s a social media company that is a part of the public square. They are taken advantage of what they have been given, which is a real privilege and they’re abusing it. I could go on and on, I’m going to stop and just see if you have any questions on anything or you want to jump in on anything I said, but I, I’m upset, I am determined, I’m going to be resilient, and I believe that I reflect millions and millions of millions of people across this country who feel the exact same way that I do.

Howse asked Flynn about his use of the word ‘coup’ in his thank you speech to President Trump.

Flynn gave a long reply, the nub of which follows:

This COVID situation that we we’re having to deal with now. That’s the first phase if you will. That’s something that’s been going on for years. Now, we’re moving into something different. Not different in terms of it, this is still a coup in progress, but now it’s a little bit different and it’s actually — it’s sort of they upped their game when they lost in 2016. I think that there was a decision and I believe this, but there was some type of decision to say, “We’re not going to allow this to happen again”.

All you got to do is go back and listen to some of the comments this past summer from some of the senior people that are part of this, this democratic party, right? I mean, Hillary Clinton, I think it was back in July or certainly mid-summer timeframe where she said, no matter what Joe Biden should not concede. What are we talking about there? I mean, why would she say that in the middle of the summer, three, maybe four months before an election?

One of the things that I do know from my experience in the military and in different places around the world, is when your enemy tells you that they’re going to do something, you better pay attention to what they said, and you better have some plans, and you better have some ideas about how to deal with that if in fact that does come to fruition.

Well, in this case, we have opposing camps and in our opposing camps of our political parties, and we know that the political party on the left is really way, way over on the left. I have a hard time calling it or calling someone a Democrat or the democratic party. That’s a name only folks, because it’s really the democratic socialist party of America that has usurp to taken over that element, and they are a very loud voice. So, they sort of [do a] ‘Katy, bar the door’ assault on us, on our country and our way of life, and they’re doing anything they can right now to try to pretend like, okay, nothing to see here, and Joe is going to be our next president here.

Flynn said that Democrats are also filing affadavits about what they saw during the election:

People who have stood up and said, “I’m sick of it”. These are Democrats and Republicans. We just got another piece tonight in another part of the country from a Democrat, a woman who’s just absolutely sick and tired of what she saw, and she just wasn’t sure what to do, and she finally said, “I got to go forward, and I got to report this. I can’t live with myself”. That is what’s happening with people who are feeling in their heart that sense of patriotism to still say, “Look, I don’t want my country to turn into something else because that’s what these people want” … People want to live the life that they have with the liberties and freedoms that we have under this great constitutional republic that we have. That’s sort of where we are and that’s what I mean by that. This is an ongoing effort.

Flynn said that the media have been an essential element to the Democrats’ efforts:

The only way you can do that in a country our size, with all of the ways that we communicate is you got to basically get the media on your side. That’s taken some number of years, but I can’t stand here and tell you that that’s not the case because it is, everybody knows. Everybody knows the, “mainstream media”, which is a pretty robust group of organizations and that includes the tech companies, right? I say tech companies, the social media tech companies, everything from Facebook to Instagram, of course, Twitter I mentioned. All of these things, they are trying to control a narrative and tell the American people what they should know instead of allowing the American people information and letting each of us decide what’s important or not.

Brannon Howse asked if this was a form of information warfare.

Flynn replied, mentioning China:

It’s more than that but yes, it’s kind of the type of warfare.

In fact, if you study Chinese doctrine, Chinese doctrine has six phases. The first five phases all have to do with information. The last part of it would be if those failed or if you needed an additional “umph” so to speak, you go to the gates I say. That’s when you may see something kinetic. We’re in this sort of period of information warfare that it’s unprecedented.

I’m going to stand on my box here and say the President of the United States of America is being censored by US companies. Think about that, I’m at a loss sometimes when I talk about it and I talk about it a couple of times a day to different people in different groups, and I’m trying to say, “Okay, at a certain point in time, that has to stop being allowed”.

He brought up the woeful Thanksgiving Day press conference from November 26:

Look at the interview that he did yesterday, where we had, somebody is talking to the President of United States in his office there, and he had to counsel the person. “Don’t talk to them. Don’t talk to me like that. Don’t talk to the President of United States like that”. It’s like a bunch of school punks in a school yard. We can’t have that in this country. Debate and sharp questions but not totally, totally disrespect, to not just the President.

You may not like him and that’s fine, but he represents the Presidency of the United States of America. He represents our flag, our constitution, our country.

Everything that we’re experiencing right now actually is more than just an assault on President Trump. This is an assault on the American Republic, on this great country that we have and people around the country.

I know they’re fed up with it and they’re not going to put up with it. What they’re waiting to see is they’re waiting to see the outcome of their own elected officials in the states do their job. Just because CNN or Fox News or a governor or a secretary of state certify an election, if the state legislature has not certified the election then it’s not certified in a particular state. If there’s a challenge and there’s a legitimate legal challenge then they can’t sit there and certify it while there’s a legal challenge ongoing, it’s just not the way it works.

The media is not going to cover any of that for you. The big media, they’re just not going to cover it, and it’s sad because they’re trying to shove it down our throat, and the American public, they see right through it.

While Flynn gave Sidney Powell credit for ‘some really good filings’, he did not want to discuss her work.

However, he did include her in the group of lawyers working hard for Trump. He concluded:

With people like Sidney Powell, like Rudy Giuliani and his team, like people like Lin Wood, who’s fighting tooth and nail. Most people don’t even know, his case that he’s got going on in Georgia just got picked up by the 11th circuit, down in Georgia, and that’s a good sign, because that means that the one judge down there that thought he was going to dismiss his case, the 11th circuit pulled it out of him and brought it up to their level, to an appeals level because they saw that there was enough evidence. So, I believe we’re going to see some momentum changing here. There are already is an undercurrent of momentum shifting for the president, and I believe that at the end of the day, we’re going to find out that he won by a massive landslide, and he’ll be inaugurated this January.

Howse segued to the part of the interview with Gen McInerney.

Flynn said:

Great friend, and Tom, thank you for giving me the invite. God bless America. Thank you. Thank you.

Gen McInerney spoke:

Well, it is absolutely vital because this was the first time that I believe that General Flynn has been able to speak publicly and in such environment, and so I want to thank you for setting this up, and I know Mary talked to you and it’s very important what you have are doing tonight because it is a fast moving train, and that’s why I wanted you to do it because we are seeing the most unprecedented situation in the history of America.

This is the most dangerous situation since the Civil War of keeping this nation united, and why do I say that? The Civil War, it was just warfare, the day you and General Flynn talked about cyber warfare. Cyber warfare is hiddenYou don’t see it coming, it happens. All of a sudden, 138,000 votes or 150,000 votes, all of a sudden they show up, and because we’re looking at computers, we assume they’re all legitimate, but in this particular case, they are not legitimate, and because of what Sidney Powell has been doing with General Flynn’s lawyer and what she submitted in the state of Georgia and Michigan on a Wednesday night, the night before Thanksgiving, we got a document in that log, in those lawsuits from a doctor.

Navid Keshavarez-Nia, who is a 59-year-old resident of California, who spent 40 years almost in the DC metropolitan as a career intelligence community expert. I won’t go into his background very much, but because of this declaration that he made in which I am quoted and independently confirming he uses my name. Kurt Weeby, who was a former NSA official, a good friend of ours, and working with Mary and I, and Dennis Montgomery, a former CIA analyst who was really the creator, inventor of the Hammer and Scorecard capabilities, and that we broke, and we broke it on Sunday and Monday before the election saying that this was going to be an action that will happen, and what transpired did in fact transpire.

Mary was very instrumental in informing me of this information, and all of a sudden, two days before, two and a half days before the voting started on the 3rd of November, this was the 1st of November, I became involved in the Voting gate. My background is a military analyst, and for 16 and a half years I was on Fox News as a military analyst. I have been the number three man in the air staff in the Air Force, and so I had a great background, but what made this so easy for me, Brannon, is I run a cloud company, an edge cloud company. I am intimately familiar with this kind of technology and what it’s doing and live by it in my military days.

Everybody remembers when we attacked Tripoli in 1986. I was the commander and they launched from my bases in England. Now, I got that information from the British and other sources, but my whole life has been based on this, and what I’m seeing now is those technologies now are used against the American people. They are trying to seize control of this nation through technology and through cyber warfare. They have enlisted to include Fox News who flipped on us. They have enlisted the mainstream media and the First Amendment to try to get on their side and General Flynn talked about the censorship.

For instance, Twitter does and determines what president Trump can say. That is ridiculous. It must stop, but because of all these assets and they are using and misusing the constitution of the United States, they have put us in a position that our forefathers were not aware of cyber warfare, and so when they set out in the constitution, the process of our election and going through the electoral college, the voters meeting on 14 December, announcing who the president will be, and then going through in the 20th of November, the inauguration, that was not based upon cyber warfare, and so we have a time clock and I bring this up to our listeners.

We have a time clock, and we have to go through the legal system. This was not designed to operate in the cyber world, and so we had many judges turning down and not recognizing what has happened. That is the challenge that we are facing and what my point I wanted to get across tonight. It doesn’t matter if we have locked and sealed this decision process by the 14th of December, the president should not leave office until it is adequately heard.

We, the American people will demand that these facts be analyzed and looked at, and I’m going to cover some of those facts that have made it so compelling to me that there is no question about it. Let’s start with the vote count distribution in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada, and Georgia are not based on normal system operation. They are caused by fraudulent electronic manipulation of the targeted voting machines. For instance, at 2:30 AM of the 4th of November, TV broadcast reported that Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada and Georgia have decided to seize vote counting operations and will continue the following day. This unanimous decision to initially and intentionally stopped counting by all five battleground states is highly unusual.

As a matter of fact, it is unprecedented, and it demonstrates prior coordination by election officials in battleground states. Those five states that General Flynn mentioned, and because of this big flashing light to anybody that understands the voting process, it immediately flagged this. We start looking at each one of those states because they didn’t stop counting. All of a sudden in Michigan at four o’clock in the morning, 138,000 votes show up, all for, guess who: Biden. He was behind in all those States where they decided to cease voting, and that’s where they employed cyber warfare, the Hammer and Scorecard, the Dominion voting machines and the software in them. That’s where they put these applications on, like your iPhone and they got a smooth voting.

Now, when the numbers came, started coming back in those five states, they were different numbers. 138,000 in Michigan, 90,000 in Arizona, this is notional. The different one in Nevada and Georgia and Pennsylvania. The important point was they were exactly at the same percentage.

This is a mathematical impossibility that this could have happened, and it means that algorithm was used, and this algorithm was designed to stay within the bounds, and when the assembled numbers were put together, it wouldn’t be obvious that these numbers of votes were inserted. This is a huge flashing red light, and it’s important that people understand what this kind of data that we’re seeing.

Sidney pointed out in Georgia, that they’re 96,000 absentee votes that were disregarded in Fulton County, they had a water leak. Pennsylvania, the state of Pennsylvania mailed out 1.8 million votes to their citizens. The state did, these are not absentee ballots. These were balanced that had no chain of custody, lo and behold Brannon, 2.5 million came back.

If someone had to have a printing press and we’re cranking them out, that is just the pure sniff test. It doesn’t require a genius to understand if you mail out 1.8 and get 2.5 million ballots, something is wrong.

Now, Sidney and the president’s crew, I believe General Flynn, got the crack in the organization. The 305 military intelligence battalion working with them because in all of this, we have not seen any footprints of the DOJ or the FBI, nor the CIA on the friendly side.

Howse asked about the Kraken.

McInerney replied:

Sidney got the term Kraken. It was actually the nickname of the 305th military intelligence battalion, and that has been her source along with other sources that Mary and I know about, but we don’t want to talk about.

We’re getting the different sources that are relaying this, but the important thing is they identified, now get this, they identified China, Iran and Russia as being involved in this and manipulating the vote.

In addition, the US special forces command seized a server farm in Frankfurt, Germany, because they were sending this data from those six states through the internet to Spain and then into Frankfurt, Germany. Special operation forces seized those from that facility so they have those servers and they know all this data they are providing.

Howse asked if the raid went down ‘without incident’.

McInerney answered:

Well, I’ve heard it didn’t go down without incident, and I haven’t been able to verify it. I want to be careful in that. It’s just coming out, but I understand my initial report is that there were US soldiers killed in that operation.

Now, that was a CIA operation, and so that’s the very worrisome thing. Did that occur because of what Mary and I and Allen were notifying on the Sunday and the Monday in different networks that this was going to happen, that they were using Hammer and Scorecard, and so they decided to bounce it overseas, so the server farms and the Hammer and Scorecard we’re using in the continental United States, couldn’t be used? I don’t know that.

In any case, it makes it more vulnerable because when you start moving that kind of data overseas, other people look at it.

Howse asked for confirmation that the server farm was a CIA operation located in Germany.

McInerney responded:

That’s correct. Frankfurt, Germany.

We have all this information, General Flynn of course, people most realized, was the senior military intelligence officer in the US commands as a defense intelligence agency. He’s a career intelligence officer, knows this stuff, backwards and forwards.

From my experience in the cloud business, this was a trivial operation, relatively speaking, but the magnitude, because so many people, Brannon, were involved. So many people like General Flynn mentioned, the Democratic persons who saw this are coming forward, but what we are doing, we are competing with the Constitution and the 14th December date for the electoral college. Why? Because we have this information and we know that not only did we have the deep state and the executive that President Trump had to fight, we also had it in the legislature where you have Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, Schumer, all of those people were involved in this.

They were involved in the Russian hoax. They were involved in this coup d’état, but we also had the judiciary, Judge Sullivan, who was General Flynn’s judge, outdid himself on this. You had the compromise there, and that’s why the 305th, the Krakens were targeted and selected, I believe, because the President could trust them. That’s why Chris Miller, who is now the acting secretary of defense and a former special operations hero

Howse asked:

What about his speech that’s gone viral of him directing all special operations forces to answer directly to him?

McInerney replied:

Well, that tells you something. It tells you that we had that tighten-up because there are people that are a part of this conspiracy. This is treason what we’re talking about. Some people may just think, “Oh, it’s just politics”. No … So, President Obama used it in 2012 to win, Biden used it to win Florida. The Democrats used it during the primary so Bernie Sanders would lose, and Biden would win. You know that’s politics, we’ve been cheating. No, it’s not politics, this is treason … We haven’t seen treason this magnitude ever in our history, and those politicians, those people like Chris Krebs, who was the head of the cyber warfare infrastructure security agency. He was until he was fired a couple of weeks ago by the President because this was a perfect election. He is guilty of treason. He had to be complicit, and people must understand that. You people that have done this are guilty of treason against the United States, and we are going to demand this President, insist this president not leave office until the American people have had a full disclosure of what’s going on.

Howse asked if Trump needed to fulfil the oath he took at his inauguration.

McInerney said that he must do so:

That is exactly what you heard me say, Brannon. The president has in his oath to the constitution to defend the country against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and we shouldn’t let a schedule that we know is so blatantly flawed that anybody can understand that with just the items I’ve given our listeners tonight. When you have hundreds of thousands of votes that were falsified, and we know they’re falsified. I believe those servers are going to show that, and I believe that he is going to show that. It’ll probably have to be done at the Supreme Court because you have judges like some of it in that that are going to try to protect themselves because the fingers are going to start pointing to everybody. “Well, I didn’t know this, I didn’t know that”, they’re going to use the Nuremberg trial. “Well, the fear told me to do this”. They’re going to say, “Well, President Obama knew what I was doing because he told me to do it”, or vice-president Biden. “Biden was the runner here. He told me to do it”. They’re going to point fingers. When you have people that are driving up in cars with carloads of ballots, some not even folded, and they’re driving them into these five or six battleground states, they’re going to talk. They don’t want to be involved in treason

Howse said that the intelligence community wanted him to be quiet:

In general, I received three phone calls from three different people, tied to the intelligence arena a couple of weeks ago, trying to tell me that I was going to be embarrassing myself. If I didn’t quit talking about this, that it was all conspiracy and fake, and it’s now being revealed that those I guess, were calls to try to get me to stop using our network, our platform, to inform the American people, because now we just are starting to figure out what a lot of these words like Kraken and other things mean. It is all coming out. There are those inside the intelligence arena that were trying to shut this down. Now, I think there’s some inside of the intelligence arena that are trying out to take the story and control it. Are they not?

McInerney replied:

Yes, and they are guilty of treason.

Mary Fanning spoke next, very much to the point:

I will tell you that bad actors, both foreign and domestic use these man in the middle proxies to cover their tracks. There was an attempt not just to steal the election, but to steal America. The founding fathers may not have known about cyber warfare, but they certainly recognized tyrannyPresident Trump cannot leave office. When we have China and Iran having access to our elections, we cannot let them steal America through their illegal acts of treason and act of war against this country.

McInerney said something interesting, not about Democrats — about whom we knew — but two people working for Trump — John Durham and Bill Barr:

Now we’ve got to know if John Durham, what is the status of John Durham and the attorney general? What is the status of their work? What have they done?

Mary Fanning brought up a rather recent quote from Joe Biden:

Well, there’s an abundance of evidence that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Trump on behalf of Joe Biden, with Joe Biden’s assistance, because Joe Biden said he had the greatest voter fraud group in history put together. We cannot let this stand. It will be the theft of America. The American people must stand up.

The interviews concluded with an interesting exchange between Fanning and Howse.

Fanning said that this ‘treasonous activity’ had gone on ‘far too long’:

This came directly out of the Obama administration when John Brennan and James Clapper illegally commandeered the foreign surveillance tool known as the Hammer.

Then Dennis Montgomery’s name, as well as Robert Mueller’s, entered the conversation.

Brannon Howse asked about the Hammer:

It was designed by Genesis Montgomery in 2003, to keep America safe, as you write. Commandeered by them about two weeks after Obama was sworn into office and put on servers. You write of the FBI honor … director … Mueller, correct?

Fanning replied:

That’s correct. According to Dennis Montgomery, Robert Mueller provided the computers for the Hammer.

Wow.

Early in Trump’s tenure, Dennis Montgomery appeared on a few programmes — few to none on the big networks — to warn about the depth of what goes on behind the scenes in intelligence. I always found him credible. However, his name was dragged through the mud by some commentators.

Howse said:

And of course, they tried to discredit Dennis Montgomery because you can see why now, but as we’ve discussed in past programs, you got two immunity deals after being interviewed and recorded. So apparently, he didn’t lie, or he’d be in jail. He kept it; he got his immunity deals kept some of his security clearances is not in jail, so that should tell us a lot to the people trying to smear the guy.

If you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Howse dropped this bombshell from his own shows and from Fanning’s book:

Not to mention Mary, as you report in your excellent report, the perfect storm, the Jafar family, the Gulftainer family, Doctor Jafar, as you guys report, used to be the head of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program, making the nuclear beach ball as miniaturized nuclear device.

I think he was on the kill list during the war, and then his family and his business get a contract running Port Canaveral in Florida and in Wilmington, Delaware [Joe Biden’s hometown], cargo containers, and yet there is some kind of business deals back with the 100% Russian owned export of the Club K Cargo that has four cruise missile silos that pop up and can deliver cruise missiles, biological weapons, nuclear weapons, and it could easily be planted down here in the US as you have translated Russian Manuals for Pearl Harbor 2.0 into English, they call for a Russian strategy of doing just that.

As you know, live on our show a few years ago, Phil Haney, former Department of Homeland Security whistle blower, revealed right on this show, “Hey, Brannon, you want another piece of interesting information to go with that?” Look at Citgo owned by Venezuela, they’re in financial crisis with massive inflation. Guess who’s come in and bought up a big chunk of their company? Russia. Look at all their oil terminals, up and down the Eastern seaboard. Now, Russia can bring in through the oil terminals, the cargo terminals can bring in the Club K Cargo missile launching system into this relationship with Dr. Jafar and Gulftainer, have caused now to move them into the US and plop them down at all refiners up and down the East Coast is a Trojan horse, and that’s your perfect Pearl Harbor 2.0 that you’ve been warning about, and Phil Haney dropped that right on the news desk of our show live, and you happen to be watching that night.

So, there’s way more to this than just the election. We’re talking about them being inside the wire and a lot of these people, the Bidens, the Obamas, Hillary tied to some of these actors, correct?

Fanning replied in the affirmative:

Well, that’s correct. Beyond which the Jafars were put on the Pentagon’s blacklist meant that they were wanted for capture or [to] kill Dr. Jafar, and he’s the nuclear mastermind or Saddam Hussein. In order to take back our country, we must take back this election that Donald Trump won fair and square before they started cheating with foreign actors, Russia, China, Iran, that their hand is in here for the theft of this election. That’s why the American people must stand up, and that is … President Donald Trump must abide by his oath to protect this country. He cannot step down until this election is fairly, legally settled.

General McInerney had the final word:

Now this is going directly to those that want to seize this country because they’ve hacked my cell phone, and so everything I say on this particular open channel, they are coming. They mean business. They are deeply into this, and they now know that because of what you’ve done and what we’ve done tonight, that they are in even more trouble. We are coming against after you and the American people are going to come after you and this President won this election, and he was going to be the president for the next four years, but we’re after you. You will not seize this country because this would be the last re-election we ever had, and I’m in agreement with you and Mary, that Joe Biden should step down right now.

Well, there you have it.

The coup continues — with no let up in sight.

Good grief.

This is unbelievable.

The announcement from President Trump’s campaign legal team from November 22 shocked many Sidney Powell supporters.

Many Trump and Powell supporters think that the US president’s case for election redress is sunk.

Here is what is happening. My post from Monday, November 23, offers background, including the Trump team’s announcement.

What Sidney Powell said

Sidney Powell issued her own statement afterwards. Her work is about ‘We the People’, as is L Lin Wood Jr’s.

Powell’s statement is as follows (emphasis in the original, those in purple mine):

I agree with the campaign’s statement that I am not part of the campaign’s legal team. I never signed a retainer agreement or sent the President or the campaign a bill for my expenses or fees.

My intent has always been to expose all the fraud I could find and let the chips fall where they may–whether it be upon Republicans or Democrats.

The evidence I’m compiling is overwhelming that this software tool was used to shift millions of votes from President Trump and other Republican candidates to Biden and other Democrat candidatesWe are proceeding to prepare our lawsuit and plan to file it this week.  It will be epic.

We will not allow this great Republic to be stolen by communists from without and within or our votes altered or manipulated by foreign actors in Hong Kong, Iran, Venezuela, or Serbia, for example, who have neither regard for human life nor the people who are the engine of this exceptional country.

#WeThePeople elected Donald Trump and other Republican candidates to restore the vision of America as a place of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

You may assist this effort by making a non tax-deductible contribution to www.DefendingTheRepublic.org.  #KrakenOnSteroids”

Sidney Powell

What Trump’s campaign lawyers are working on and what Sidney Powell is perfecting are two different issues.

The Trump realm cannot easily enter the Powell realm because that would complicate things unnecessarily.

REX, whom I’ve quoted before, albeit not recently, has this analysis as to why there is a pincer movement going on:

This is also a useful analysis. I am unfamiliar with the author, but what he says makes sense:

Rush Limbaugh and Howie Carr want more action

On Monday, November 23, Rush Limbaugh was disappointed that nothing was happening yet from either Team Trump or Sidney Powell.

The Daily Caller carried portions of the transcript from his show (emphases mine):

You call a gigantic press conference like that, one that lasts an hour. And you announce massive bombshells, then you better have some bombshells, there better be something at that press conference other than what we got,” he explained.

Limbaugh went on to say that a witness — even one whose identity was disguised — would have gone a long way toward bolstering the claims made by the president’s team.

“But you don’t — you can’t — I talked to so many people who were blown away by it, by the very nature of the press conference,” Limbaugh continued. “They promised blockbuster stuff, and then nothing happened. And that’s just, that’s not — well, it’s not good. If you’re going to promise blockbuster stuff like that, then there has — now, I understand. Look, I’m the one that’s been telling everybody, this stuff doesn’t happen at warp speed, light speed, the way cases are made for presentation in court. But if you’re going to do a press conference like that, with the promise of blockbusters, then — then there has to be something more than what that press conference delivered.”

Limbaugh concluded by saying that if the Trump team was going to make a case, it needed to be done quickly. “Time, of course is of the essence now, as it is speedily vanishing. So they’re going to have to act fast,” he said.

The Howie Carr Show, now a Newsmax programme, came on in the afternoon.

Howie couldn’t get hold of Sidney Powell for another interview, but he did speak with Boris Epshteyn and Joe diGenova. The next few paragraphs are my potted summary of what they told Howie.

Boris Epstein, part of Trump’s campaign legal team spoke to Howie. Epstein said ALL the states in question are still in play. He appeared during Howie’s Newsmax hour. (Howie wears a jacket and tie during that portion of his broadcast.)

Epstein said they are tracking things very closely and said he wanted to reassure Newsmax viewers that everything is in hand and progressing as planned.

Joe diGenova was on Howie Carr’s Newsmax hour after Boris Epshteyn. Joe diGenova said that there IS a two-pronged strategy in play. He said that Sidney Powell doesn’t have any problem pursuing the voting machines angle while Team Trump pursues what went on in the polling stations with no Republican observers admitted or placed so far away that they couldn’t see anything.

He confirmed what Boris Epshteyn said: ALL the questionable states were still in play that day (and this week).

Is President Trump worried about paying for recounts and/or audits in individual states? Based on 2016 and the four years of lefty turmoil that followed, his team were prepared and set money aside, especially as mail-in ballots were heavily promoted in all Democratic-controlled states or cities.

Trump knew his campaign would need to pay for recounts. That’s $3 – 7 million per state. They have that covered.

For those who think Trump should take Al Gore’s advice and concede, in 2000, when the hanging chad contest in Florida was in dispute, Gore didn’t concede until December.

But I digress.

Back to Howie Carr. As an organised crime reporter for the Boston Herald for many years, he knows how the legal system can be manipulated. On Monday’s show he asked whether Sidney Powell’s legal standing would be questioned. On whose behalf could she credibly make her case? (After all, L Lin Wood Jr’s case in Georgia got thrown out last week for lack of standing. He is going to appeal the decision.)

It turns out that Sidney Powell is a military lawyer. As today is still Thanksgiving Day, the ultimate American feast, here’s the retweet:

Now for the original tweet:

She has been representing Gen Michael Flynn.

She has also put the frighteners on certain people involved with the voting machines:

Patience required — more information emerging

An American Thinker article by Andrea Widburg puts the election legal fight into perspective:

Currently, I believe that this election was marked by epic fraud.  You cannot convince me that Biden, who got five or six people to his rallies, as opposed to the 52,000 or so at Trump’s rallies in Pennsylvania, ended with more votes than Obama.

Nobody ever said proving this fraud would be easy (or, sadly, even possible).  I’m treating its unfolding like an epic novel with a surprise ending

So should the rest of us.

Imagine if we were on the legal team. We wouldn’t have time to sleep — or contemplate our annual turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

For Team Trump, there is much to challenge. RedState has an article with dizzying detail about Georgia alone.

There are also these items:

Yet another witness has come out in Michigan, describing the same scenario as in Georgia:

This is in addition to the legal challenges going on not only in these states but a handful of others which produced dubious results.

As for Sidney Powell, more information emerges for her, including this:

I really hope this isn’t true (a must see/read thread about Republicans and the voting machines).

Conclusion

Meanwhile, Donald Trump is:

Prayers continue for everyone involved in this historic battle for the future of the Great Republic.

President Trump was correct when he said a few weeks ago that the 2020 election would be:

the election of a lifetime.

It has proven to be just that, with reports of voter fraud on an epic scale as the media called the election for the Biden-Harris ticket.

Meanwhile, Twitter users are barely allowed to question the number of votes. Some users get a fact check with their tweet. Some election tweets cannot be retweeted:

On Monday, November 9, Tucker Carlson said that censorship is not part of a fair and open ‘democracy’ by consent (first video). He also ran through some of what happened in various states as votes were being tabulated (second video):

Even though some world leaders and politicians are congratulating Joe Biden on becoming ‘president-elect’ — as declared by the media — the vote count in some states had not yet been decided or declared:

Developments on November 10 — one week after the election — included the following:

Where did declaring for Biden begin on election night, Tuesday, November 3? With Fox News declaring Arizona for Biden.

What happened last week was voter fraud on an epic scale.

I have more links than I can include below, but here are two more reports from poll watchers in Michigan preceded by a tweet from Wayne Allyn Root on what he heard:

Rudy Giuliani said that Republican poll watchers were being corralled in several states — put in a part of the room too far away to watch what was happening with ballots:

Militaryvotescount.com has several links about the scale of the fraud (see halfway down the page). A few follow:

– In Pennsylvania, 26,000 mail in ballots should have been rejected for irregularities in signatures, the absence of signatures or incorrect ballot completion.

– Also in Pennsylvania — Delaware County — a poll worker fills out ballot papers for an hour.

Investment Watch‘s extensive list of voter fraud from around the United States.

By the way, this is important:

Then there is the question of the voting machines and their software:

ES&S replied to NBC News at the time:

In a letter to NBC News, ES&S said it takes “great care” with its foreign supply chain, including conducting risk assessments and making on-site visits to suppliers to make sure that components “are trusted, tested and free of malware.”

Fraction magic could only do so much. When it had done all it could, that’s when human intervention came in:

US intelligence agencies have a system they use overseas to change election results. It is called Hammer & Scorecard. Gen Michael Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell alleges that the same system was deployed on the American people last week. She tells Lou Dobbs that it would have been run at a very high level — so, not by poll workers — and said, ‘This is Coup 5.0, Lou’. She added that the Justice Department still wasn’t listening. This was from several days ago:

The Democrats want to change America fundamentally. Here’s Senator Chuck Schumer from New York on Saturday, November 7:

Returning to fraud, the video from the night of Sunday, November 8 with human rights lawyer Leigh Dundas is also worthwhile:

Finally, on Monday, November 9, Attorney General William Barr took notice and authorised the Department of Justice to begin investigating:

Breitbart has a copy of Barr’s memo and a report (emphases mine):

The memo was addressed and signed from Barr to U.S. Attorneys, the assistant attorneys general for the DOJ’s criminal division, civil rights division, the national security division, and the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Christopher Wray …

Barr’s memo comes after 39 House Republicans pressed Barr in a letter on Friday to allow available DOJ resources to look into allegations of voting irregularities across the country in several key battleground states. The Trump campaign has filed a number of lawsuits in some of those states.

Barr said in his memo that, although the states have the primary responsibility to conduct and supervise elections, the DOJ has “an obligation to ensure that federal elections are conducted in such a way that the American people can have full confidence in their electoral process and their government.”

He added that while “most allegations” of purported election misconduct are of such a scale that they would not impact the outcome of an election that their investigation can be deferred, “that is not always the case”

He said inquiries and reviews may be conducted if there are clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual state.

“While U.S. Attorneys maintain their inherent authority to conduct inquiries and investigations as they deem appropriate, it will likely be prudent to commence any election-related matters as a preliminary inquiry, so as to assess whether available evidence warrants further investigative steps,” he said …

He noted that his authorization of investigations should not be taken as an indication that the DOJ has concluded that voting irregularities have impacted the outcome of the election, but to ensure trust in the voting process.

Interestingly, the Justice Department official who oversees investigations of voter fraud, Richard Pilger, resigned hours later:

Ed Timperlake, a retired Marine, former congressional staffer and author on politics in DC, wrote an article for American Thinker, ‘The tide is already turning for President Trump’, which concludes:

As interviews are conducted in the field and hard evidence accumulated with federal prosecutors building cases and the need for a “Rocket Docket” directly to the Supreme Court, I suspect the conspiracy will crumble as the minions and mid-level political miscreants scurry for legal safe haven. It is simple: As the DHS team chases illegal computer voting “trons,” many of those in criminal legal trouble may see an opportunity to get out of jail free by singing to the feds.

Essentially, “the computer ate my homework” defense, with the press calling it a “computer glitch,” will collapse, and then significant votes may swing back to the correct column.

Sadly, if it takes walking a few conspirators to identify and correct many machine-directed mis-votes, so be it.

President Trump will eventually win. Just look at this early headline at a very local level in the key battleground state of Michigan.

Soon many “computer errors,” I suspect, will be corrected.

However, those election-thief conspirators that took the analog route by corrupting hard-copy ballots, by either throwing away Trump votes and/or adding illegal Biden votes, well, they can become cooperating witnesses. Or else too bad for them because I hope they enjoy their stay at a “Club Fed” and living with a lifelong felony conviction in the thereafter.

This is what needs to happen:

Some states are joining in pursuing fraudulent voting:

President Trump remains confident:

For those able to attend, there will be a MAGA march in Washington, DC on Saturday, November 14:

Those interested can register here.

Please continue to pray for President Trump, his family, those who work for him, his legal team and his millions of voters.

The following video is likely to be the most important one you will watch this week:

Author and independent reporter Alex Newman explains in 30 minutes what is really happening in the United States after the election.

Please take time out of your schedule to view it.

Many Americans in power do not want President Trump to win re-election. This year was crucial in seeing that does not happen.

Hence the voter fraud that happened in several states last week.

The mass media narrative is important in keeping morale suppressed among Trump supporters.

There are various strands involved in seeing a coup succeed: government, intelligence agencies, the media, polling companies, those in charge of voting as well as big donors. Even if you already know this, it is worth watching him explain it in more detail.

Newman says that the legislatures in the states involved are mostly Republican and can take the decision not to accept their state’s result given the unusual vote counts and the many reports from vote watchers on the ground. As such, they can appoint pro-Trump electors to the Electoral College.

Newman suspects that this dispute will linger for weeks. He says that things could get very bad during that time: reminiscent, he says, of the 1917 election in Russia which brought about the revolution there. Wealthy American donors and corporations at the time bankrolled the Russian Revolution. He says that what is going on in the US right now is not dissimilar.

Furthermore, he says, Trump must start getting rid of high-placed people in his administration: Bill Barr, Christopher Wray and Mike Esper (see update below). The first two are letting people who have committed serious crimes run around scot free.

The overall goal of people blocking Trump is to force him out of office. Newman says that some in the military are involved in the hope that they can turn the troops against the president.

Newman sees the possibility of greater violence in city streets while the election mess is being sorted out.

Newman has just come out with a new 167-page book — Deep State: The Invisible Government Behind The Scenes, which he says you can buy direct from the Liberty Sentinel website, of which he is a contributor. I do not see a link for buying the books, so perhaps the Contact page will be of use.

UPDATE — Monday, November 9 — President Trump fired Mark Esper:

Thank you to everyone who let me know via the comments.

Yesterday, I ran across four articles of interest.

The coup

The starting point is James Howard Kunstler’s October 15 essay, ‘Wait For It’, which is about the ongoing American coup, the latest development being President Trump’s conversation with the president of Ukraine and the Democrats’ ‘whistleblower’ (emphases mine):

For one thing, he-she-it is not a “whistleblower” at all; was only labeled that via legalistic legerdemain to avoid revealing the origin of this affair as a CIA cover-your-ass operation. Did Mr. Schiff actually think he could conceal this figure’s identity in a senate impeachment trial, when it came to that — for what else is impeachment aimed at? Anonymous sources are not admissible under American due process of law. Mr. Schiff must have missed that class in law school.

All of this hocus-pocus suggests to me that there is no “whistleblower,” that it is a phantom confabulation of gossip threads that unraveled the moment Mr. Trump released the transcript of his phone call to Ukraine’s president Zelensky, aborting Mr. Schiff’s game plan. The ensuing weeks of congressional Keystone Kops buffoonery since then appears to conceal a futile effort by Mr. Schiff and his confederates to find some fall guy willing to pretend that he-she-it is the “whistleblower”

One marvels at Rep. Schiff’s tactical idiocy. But just imagine the panicked consternation it must be triggering among his Democratic colleagues. Notice that Mrs. Pelosi has been hiding out during this latest phase of the action. She may sense that there is nothing left to do but allow Mr. Schiff to twist slowly slowly in the wind, as he has hung himself out to dry. She should have known better since every previous declaration of conclusive evidence by Mr. Schiff over the past three years has proved to be false, knowingly and mendaciously so.

One also clearly senses that all the smoke-and-mirrors are a desperate attempt to divert attention from a soon-to-drop DOJ Inspector General’s report which, by the way, will only be an overture to much more damaging action likely to come from Mr. Barr’s proceeding. After all, IG Horowitz was not allowed under the rules to compel the testimony of persons outside the Department of Justice, which would now include Andrew McCabe, James Comey, and many others at the center of the RussiaGate prank

That lame admission will not avail to protect him or the CIA, an agency that is behind the administrative civil war. It has been a rogue agency for a long long time, but may have finally overplayed its hand, along with the newer adjunct agencies that have been stitched onto it since 9/11/01 — the dark network that goes by the name Intelligence Community. So many shoes are ready to drop on them that the din might drown out all the John Philip Sousa marches ever played in the lobby at Langley, let alone the thin trilling of a fake whistleblower.

Apart from these fateful developments the prize for the week’s most transparently disingenuous bit of media agitprop goes to Saturday’s New York Times puff piece on former FBI Director Jim Comey, which actually sets him up for federal indictment on something like sedition or treason.

Did you notice that the photo-caption states: James Comey plans to spend the next 13 months working to drive President Trump from power. Oh, really? By what means, exactly? Single-handedly or with whom? And how did the strategy he kicked off in 2016 work out? In case Mr. Barr is looking for some way to attribute motive to the actions that he’s investigating, he may need to seek no further. Also, consider that The New York Times and its editor-in-chief Dean Baquet, and publisher A.G. Sulzberger may be named as unindicted co-conspirators in the three-year campaign of sedition (freedom of the press, of course). Alert the shareholders.

I should emphasise that Jim Kunstler is not a Trump supporter, but even the Democrats’ continuing attempts at getting a legitimately elected president out of office have been making him think a bit more about the coup.

The ‘revolution in reverse’

The comments to Kunstler’s article were as wide-ranging and fascinating as ever.

Someone linked to an October 10 essay on Tzarism.com called ‘The Hi-Tech Traditionalist: A Revolution In Reverse: The Uprising Of The American Elites Against The American People’. The author, Dr Baruch Pletner, is a polyglot:

The Hi-Tech Traditionalist – Baruch Pletner is an entrepreneur, a scientist, an inventor, and a private pilot. He is passionate about education, the outdoors, and the war on globalism. Baruch holds a PhD degree from the Technion in Haifa, Israel and an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston.

He points out that the leftist revolution taking place in the United States is the inverse of what usually happens in an uprising:

The great Bolshevik revolutions of the last century in Russia, in China, and in Cuba all followed a familiar pattern: a group of young, energetic, endlessly corruptible, but not yet corrupt outsiders take on, in the name of the people, a tired corrupt establishment. A civil war ensues in which the people side with the revolutionaries because they (mistakenly) think that things can never be worse. Revolutionaries win, slaughter the establishment elites, and proceed to rob and enslave the people in even more outrageous fashion. Soon enough the old guard revolutionaries become every bit as corrupt as the ones they have replaced if not more so and the cycle repeats itself.

In America, the situation is rather farcically backwards. In America, the corrupt establishment elites have decided to stage a Bolshevik coup against the American people rather than the other way around. A Tsar fully in command of his own kingdom staging a coup against his own people is a bizarre development to say the least, and yet, here we are in 2019 America. Like always, there are reasons. First and foremost among them is the sheer scope of the nepotism and corruption of the American elites in business, government, technology, and the intelligence services. This scope has very likely far exceeded anything previously known in human history. Had the dimensions of the robbery perpetrated by the American ruling classes against the American people become widely known earlier, America could well have experienced a more typical revolution, one by the people against the elites.

There are other reasons, he says, which date from the late 1980s. Continuing on from the previous paragraph, he tells us:

Well aware of the possibility if not probability of such an outcome, the people who run America put in place a plan to make it all but impossible. The plan involved the gradually escalating erosion of the limits on government powers put in place by the Constitution with a parallel erosion in the God-given rights guaranteed every American by the same document. This was a fully bipartisan effort, put in place immediately after president Reagan departed office. It is sufficient to observe the exponential increase in government versus private sector employment in America from 1988 to 2019 to fully grasp this point. Stopping immigration from countries that have (or at least used to have) a tradition of personal freedom and limited government while throwing open the spigots for immigration from countries that have neither was the second part of the same plan. The destruction of family values and Christianity in America was the third.

Then there were the social, guilt-inducing conditioning of the majority of the American populace, who have no control over their skin colour. As such:

Americans allowed themselves to become squeezed out of well-paying jobs by the elites-induced trifecta of low and high-skilled immigration and automation, with nary a whisper in protest.

Then, he says, along came Donald Trump. In the eyes of the elite, President Trump must be stopped:

Trying to pin on Trump their own sins of sexual corruption, nepotism, embezzlement, etc. has not been a well-thought out strategy on the part of the American power elites simply because it enabled him to begin educating the American public as to the breathtaking scope of their own criminality. Now, on the verge of Trump’s inevitable reelection, they are left with only one option: a coup d’etat against the American people, the American Constitution, and the American Republic itself.

Since the elites still very much permeate every hall of power in America, this is a one-off deal in which the rulers of a country set out to violently overthrow the very political structure of the country they are ruling, but, as they say, it is what it is. The cover may be different, but the playbook is the same, so we are already being exposed to the oldies but goodies of escalating agitprop (weaponized lies and propaganda), suppression of unwanted elements (cancel culture), and paid snitching (whistleblowing). Now we are entering into a new phase, that of secret trials with a predetermined outcome.

He means impeachment hearings, which he goes on to discuss, adding:

… what follows next will not be pretty. Having obtained an illegal impeachment that has no chance in the Senate, the powers that be in America will use this “impeachment” to force Trump off the 2020 ballot by any means possible, including things that now sound crazy like setting up a parallel Supreme Court having declared the Constitution illegitimate because it was written by white males some of whom supported slavery and ratified without African American and other minority votes.

Needless to say, such actions may well precipitate an armed conflict we know of as civil war, but that would not be an unexpected outcome for the elites. We know now that the American intelligence services all work for the elites and not for the people. They will fight on their side in the coming war. What we don’t know is to what degree the armed forces have been infiltrated, especially the mid-level officer corps.

That is my concern, too.

The New York Times and Carlos Slim’s fortune

Someone else responding to Kunstler’s piece posted a 2015 Ann Coulter article for Townhall, ‘Carlos Slim: The New York Times’ Sugar Daddy’.

Ann Coulter observed the editorial shift in the New York Times since Carlos Slim rescued the failing newspaper in 2008.

Back in 2004—before the Times became Slim’s pimp—a Times article stated: “Clearly . . . the nation’s southern border is under siege.”2 But that was before Carlos Slim saved the Times from bankruptcy. Ten years later, with a border crisis even worse than in 2004, and Latin Americans pouring across the border, the Times indignantly demanded that Obama “go big” on immigration and give “millions of immigrants permission to stay.”

And, going back further to the Clinton administration, the NYT used to point out porous border problems:

In 1997—the pre-Slim days—the Times had editorialized: “Fighting illegal immigration is a difficult and important job. But Congress should do it in a way that will deter illegal entry at the border.”39 Another editorial that year complained that the Immigration and Naturalization Service had “done a poor job of keeping out illegal aliens, deporting criminals [and] processing requests for asylum.” This wasn’t even Bush-bashing—Clinton was president!

Coulter explains how Slim makes his money off the American taxpayer, which involves much more than enlightened citizens buying copies of the New York Times:

One of the ways Slim makes money off of illegal immigration in the United States is by overcharging Mexicans to call home, especially during World Cup soccer season. Slim takes a percentage of all cell phone calls into Mexico—and Telmex’s “interconnection rates” are astronomical. International roaming rates are 37 percent higher in Mexico than the average of all OECD countries.

But the main way illegal immigrants benefit Slim is through their remissions. Monopolistic pricing is of little value in a poor country. A monopoly on air in Burundi would not produce the world’s richest man. Luckily for Slim, Mexico is located right next to one of the wealthiest nations in the world. The OECD estimates that Slim’s suffocating telecommunications monopoly costs Mexican consumers $26 billion a year, with more than half of that coming from Slim gouging his customers. They would have $20 billion less to spend without 40 million Mexicans living in the United States.

According to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, Mexican immigrants or those of Mexican descent send at least $20 billion out of America back to their relatives in Mexico each year.29 No wonder immigrants are so reliant on welfare—they’re sending so much of it out of the country! Twenty billion dollars is significantly more—about a quarter more—than the amount of money the United States sends to Mexico in direct foreign aid. The $20 billion being sent to immigrants’ grandmothers in Chiapas is forever eliminated from the American economy—unavailable for investment in American companies, the purchase of American products, or hiring American workers. That’s a cost of immigration that Americans are never told about.

These billions of dollars being drained out of the U.S. economy every year would be bad enough if the money were coming exclusively from cheap-labor employers like Sheldon Adelson. But it’s worse than that. It comes from American taxpayers. Not only do taxpayers have to support Americans who lose their jobs to low-wage immigrant laborers, taxpayers support the immigrants, too. Seventy-five percent of immigrant families from Mexico are on government assistance.

Putting two and two together, we can more easily understand the New York Times‘s editorial line under Slim and the billionaire’s desire to see more Mexicans enter the United States illegally:

That’s why, in 2014, Slim was exhorting Mexican youth to cross illegally into the United States for jobs. The stated purpose of Obama’s open defiance of American immigration laws was to avoid punishing “children” who were brought to the United States by their parents. Slim didn’t care about that. (Then again, neither did Obama.) He just wanted more Mexicans working in America and sending dollars back to him. As the CEO of the “Carlos Slim Foundation” explained, “[O]ur goal is to reduce the access barriers for them to reach this potential . . . to build not just them but their families, so they’re able to contribute to the economy”—i.e., the Mexican economy owned by Carlos Slim.

The ‘invisible government’

Truthdig has an article by the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, ‘Our Invisible Government’, which is, in part, a book review of Stephen Kinzer’s new book, Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control.

I will not be excerpting Hedges’s article except for this:

Kinzer builds his book around Sidney Gottlieb, an elusive, quirky and powerful operative in the CIA who in his quest for mind control—something he and others in the CIA had convinced themselves the Soviets had mastered—oversaw medical experiments that had been originated by his German and Japanese collaborators. These experiments were coded-named Bluebird and later Artichoke, which Kinzer calls “one of the most violently abusive projects ever sponsored by an agency of the United States government.” The torture sessions often permanently shattered the minds of his subjects. Victims were kidnapped (later this would be called “extraordinary rendition”) and sent to clandestine centers around the globe—now known as “black sites”—or were picked from the prison population abroad and at home. Those forced into taking part in these experiments included impoverished African Americans at the Addiction Research Center in Lexington, Ky. Many of the victims were labeled “expendables,” meaning they could be murdered after the experiments and disappeared. The corpses were usually burned. Anyone who was powerless, or could be made powerless, was a potential target. Mentally handicapped children at the Walter E. Fernald State School in Massachusetts, for example, were fed cereal laced with uranium and radioactive calcium and their induced sicknesses were monitored. Gottlieb oversaw the administering of LSD and other drugs to induce psychotic states at the federal prison in Atlanta and a youth correctional facility in Bordentown, N.J. None of his subjects consented to being a human guinea pig, and many ended up psychologically impaired for life. The Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, being held in the Atlanta penitentiary, was told he would be part of an experiment on curing schizophrenia but then was surreptitiously given LSD nearly every day for 15 months. CIA scientists also conducted experiments on terminally ill patients at an annex of Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Gottlieb searched for years for a cocktail of drugs that, in Kinzer’s words, would draw “prisoners away from their identities, induce them to reveal secrets, and perhaps even program them to commit acts against their will.” It was a vain quest. But with each failure he and the CIA became ever more zealous, working closely with former German Gen. Walter Schreiber, the onetime surgeon general of the Nazi army who had “approved experiments at the Auschwitz, Ravensbrück, and Dachau concentration camps in which inmates were frozen, injected with mescaline and other drugs, and cut open so the progress of gangrene on their bones could be monitored.” Kinzer adds that according to one American researcher, the experiments “usually resulted in a slow and agonizing death.”

Gottlieb had a habit of secretly lacing the drinks of colleagues with LSD to see their reaction. Some never recovered. One of his victims was Frank Olson, a CIA scientist who was appalled by the brutal interrogations he witnessed and planned to resign from the CIA. Gottlieb and his secretive group of torturers and assassins were terrified Olson would go public. Olson was found dead in 1953 on a sidewalk in Manhattan after allegedly diving through a hotel window. His son Eric had his father’s body exhumed in 1994 and turned over to James Starrs, a forensic pathologist at George Washington University in the District of Columbia. “Starrs had found no glass shards on the victim’s head or neck, as might be expected if he had dived through a window,” Kinzer writes. “Most intriguingly, although Olson had reportedly landed on his back, the skull above his left eye was disfigured.”

“I would venture to say that this hematoma is singular evidence of the possibility that Dr. Olson was struck a stunning blow to the head by some person or instrument prior to his exiting through the window of room 1018A,” Starrs concluded.

Starrs was later more emphatic: “I think Frank Olson was intentionally, deliberately, with malice aforethought, thrown out of that window.”

As awful as that is, the rest of the article has details of even more gruesome and demonic ‘experiments’, which those interested may read at their leisure.

Conclusion

We have much to pray for in the coming months: the safety of Donald Trump and his family, the thwarting of evil deeds from our notional betters and the return of a moral society, which is the only way to conserve the freedoms we know in the West. Those, too, must be restored, with Big Government — the malicious Nanny State — being thrown out.

Also, please spare a prayer for Brexit. What has been going on in Parliament and the upper courts of law since Boris Johnson became Prime Minister has been chilling, to say the least.

President Trump had a busy schedule at the end of May 2019, which included a return trip to Japan.

This time it was a State Visit.

As he and First Lady Melania would be out of the country on Memorial Day weekend, they visited Arlington Cemetery before their departure:

On May 25, the first day of the State Visit to Japan, Trump met with that nation’s business leaders, too many to list here:

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife Akie hosted the Trumps for dinner that night. Abe had not forgotten his guest’s favourite dessert:

Abe was delighted to welcome back his friend:

The next day, the two world leaders played golf:

Their wives toured the Mori Building Digital Art Museum:

The QTree explained the significance of the following day’s welcome by the new Emperor and Empress of Japan — a first for both couples:

… our President and FLOTUS become the first guests of Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako at the Imperial Palace.

There are three components to the state visit: (1) The guest arrival and formal greeting by the Emperor and Empress. (2) The ceremonial anthems of both nations and the presentation of the imperial guard.  (3) A “state call” or discussion of diplomatic matters between the Emperor, Empress and their honored guests.

During the official state call component there is an exchange of gifts.

1) Formal greeting by the Emperor and Empress …

2) The ceremonial anthems of both nations and the presentation of the imperial guard.

The ‘inside palace’ greeting and introduction was not covered by international media. However, due to the significance of the visit (first of imperial era of Reiwa) it was broadcast on local Japanese media (below).

Body language and facial expressions can’t be faked. They are all VERY PLEASED AND HONORED to meet one another. Such a proud moment for both nations.

(3) A “state call” or discussion of diplomatic matters between the Emperor, Empress and their honored guests in video below.

Then, there was the customary exchange of gifts. The Japanese emperor is an accomplished violin and viola player, as evidenced below in this video from 2007:

The accompanying press pool report states (emphases mine):

The President presented the Emperor an American-made viola in a custom case and a signed photo of American composer Aaron Copland. This vintage 1938 viola was handmade in Charleston, West Virginia. The President also presented the Emperor with a signed and framed photo of the President.

The First Lady presented the Empress with a custom White House desk set featuring a pen made of Harvard tree wood. The Empress herself studied Economics at Harvard. This fountain pen was handcrafted from a red oak tree that still stands in Old Harvard Yard. The First Lady also presented the Empress with a signed and framed photo of the First Lady.

The Emperor presented the President with a traditional Japanese pottery and porcelain bowl as well as a signed and framed photo of His Majesty the Emperor.

The Empress presented the First Lady with an ornamental Japanese lacquer box with traditional design as well as a framed and signed photo of Her Majesty the Empress.

Note: It is long-standing custom of the Imperial Palace that their Majesties the Emperor and Empress exchange signed, framed photographs with their guests on the occasion of a State Visit.

Afterwards, Trump and Abe held discussions on trade and security:

Their wives attended a cultural presentation:

Upon his return, Trump tweeted:

While the Trumps were in Japan, on May 25, actor Jon Voight tweeted:

The president faces the same threats as Lincoln did. He is in danger every day from people who desperately want to remove him from office, either by death or by impeachment. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says Trump belongs in prison.

The Mueller Report left the door open to more scheming by Democrats.

The coup is not yet over.

Therefore, on May 30, the Revd Franklin Graham issued a national appeal for prayer for the president on Sunday, June 2:

That day, another friend of the president’s explained to Fox News that this appeal had nothing to do with politics but the real fight of good versus evil:

Other pastors on social media had to remind their detractors that they had prayed for past presidents, too:

On Friday, May 31, a mass shooting took place in Virginia Beach. After golfing on Sunday, June 2, the president visited the Revd David Platt’s McLean Bible Church in Virginia, where he joined congregants in praying silently for the victims of the shooting.

The New York Post reported:

While he did not talk during the service, Trump stood behind pastor David Platt as he offered a prayer for the 12 killed in Friday’s mass shooting.

The president was there to “visit with the Pastor and pray for the victims and community of Virginia Beach,” said Judd Deere, the White House’s deputy press secretary.

Trump arrived at about 2:20 p.m. and his motorcade left a little over 15 minutes later.

DeWayne Craddock, 40, slaughtered 12 at Virginia Beach’s municipal building Friday — just hours after quitting his job as a civil engineer.

In turn, Platt prayed for the president:

I do not know where Platt stands on his stance of private redistribution of wealth he was promoting back in 2012, but I am grateful that he prayed for President Trump.

Considering the prayers, the threats that the president endures daily and Jon Voight’s comparison of him with Lincoln, it was amazing that he and the first lady went to Ford’s Theatre that night for an awards presentation. Ford’s Theatre was the site of Lincoln’s assassination:

I am very glad I was out of the country at the time. Otherwise I would have been worried about his safety.

Yet, thankfully, God continues to watch over President Trump, who flew to London that night with the first lady and his family (apart from Barron).

More on that trip tomorrow.

At 5 p.m. on Friday, March 22, 2019, news emerged that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report was complete, with no more indictments:

Attorney General William Barr wrote a letter to both houses of Congress:

This investigation has been a millstone around President Trump’s neck since 2017.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) said:

It was an expensive investigation:

The third paragraph in the following announcement details what it involved — all to no avail:

Imagine the disappointment:

Media and the coming downfall

The media were positive that President Trump was guilty of a criminal offence, as they watched the Mueller probe unfold involving:

More on this in a moment:

For now, let’s look at three people on MSNBC.

Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow wasn’t crying, but she came pretty close:

Mika Brzezinski

Morning Joe‘s Mika Brzezinski also had a close call with the tear ducts:

Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews, who once said he felt a tingle go up his leg during Obama’s 2008 campaign, looked as if he was fighting back tears but spoke in anger. He was particularly upset the report was released at 5 p.m. on a Friday:

There is always the danger that a lie told long enough appears to be true:

There was also this gem in Chris’s segment:

HE ADMITS they were “TARGETING” Trump! Listen about 2/3 the way through Apx 1 min into it he slips up & calls Pres. Trump “THE PERSON BEING TARGETED” and quickly corrected himself saying “the subject being investigated”

Ratings tank

On Wednesday, March 27, Breitbart‘s John Nolte reported on the tanking ratings for CNN and MSNBC (excerpts follow, emphases mine):

During the week of March 18, the far-left CNN lost almost 30 percent of an audience that is already minuscule …

On the credibility front, CNN chief Jeff Zucker tried to excuse his network’s two-year deliberate deception about Trump colluding with the Russians by admitting on Tuesday that no one at CNN does investigative work.

Like we didn’t already know that.

“We are not investigators,” he told the far-left New York Times. “We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them, which is exactly what we did.”

All Zucker did there was to confirm what we already knew: CNN acts as stenographers for the establishment, most especially the intelligence community, all of whom share CNN’s left-wing agenda for the country.  The facts are that so-and-so told us this and so-and-so told us that, is not journalism. Journalism requires investigation and the risk of uncovering a truth that might be inconvenient to your own personal beliefs and still reporting that truth …

For the week of March 18, meaning prior to the release of the Mueller Report exonerating Trump from the Russia Collusion Hoax, CNN lost a jaw-dropping 24 percent of its total day viewers and 27 percent of its primetime viewers, when compared to this same week last year.

In the 25-54 age demo, which sets advertiser rates, CNN lost an astonishing 37 percent of total day viewers and 38 percent primetime viewers.

For comparison purposes, during this same week, Fox News increased its total day and primetime viewership by +8 and +2 percent, respectively.

MSNBC, CNN’s competition for left-wing viewers, only lost 9 percent of its total day viewers and 15 percent of primetime viewers. In the 25-54 demo, MSNBC also took a huge loss in total day and primetime; 33 percent and 32 percent, respectively

On Monday, during primetime, four of CNN’s hours failed to break 700,000 total viewers: Jake Tapper (683,000), Wolf Blitzer (637,000 & 622,000), Erin Burnett (685,000).

MSNBC might see a ratings dip as it maneuvers in the post-Mueller world, but CNN was already in trouble, already in far-last place, and those wondering how CNN’s ratings could possibly get any worse are about to find out.

With the Mueller probe wrung dry, Rachel Maddow’s show definitely took a hit:

Not surprisingly, Trump tweeted about both networks’ ratings:

Reactions from Democrats and their allies

Before the Mueller report was completed, the American public saw these now-familiar Democrats on television with nauseating regularity:

The Dems and their supporters will continue to press on with other anti-Trump talking points:

Assassination attempt

This attempted coup has roused radicals to take matters into their own hands. The latest was, thankfully, thwarted on Wednesday, March 27, on the border between West Virginia and Maryland:

Nancy Pelosi

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has put impeachment on the back burner for now:

Adam Schiff

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee and is one of the president’s most constant critics, refuses to let go:

He commiserated with Rachel Maddow, but that was only momentarily:

A fellow House member, Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), has strong words for him …

… as does journalist Paul Sperry:

On March 27, Fox News reported of Republicans’ calls for Schiff’s resignation:

Republicans are stepping up calls for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff to resign or give up his committee post for repeatedly pushing claims of collusion between President Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian operatives.

Now that Robert Mueller’s probe has shown no evidence of collusion, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway has been the most vocal in calling for Schiff’s resignation – telling “Fox & Friends” on Monday that the California Democrat “ought to resign today.”

While not going so far as Conway in calling for Schiff to leave office, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said that Schiff does owe “an apology to the American public” and should step down from his post as head of the intelligence committee.

“He owes an apology to the American public,” McCarthy said. “There is no place in Adam Schiff’s world or in Congress that he should be chair of the intel committee.”

McCarthy added: “There is no way he could lead the intel committee and he should step back.”

James Comey

On Sunday, March 24, former FBI director James Comey tweeted, and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) — chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee — duly replied:

Sean Hannity also replied:

Yes Mr . Let’s start with why did you sign off on the FISA warrant based on hrc lies in oct 2016. And in January 2017 say it’s “unverified and salacious” ? Did you commit a fraud of the FISA court or lie to the President Elect you hated?

And, let’s not forget a memo that Comey leaked in 2017:

Comey instructed his friend, Daniel Richman, to give the [New York] Times a memo he wrote about a conversation he had with Trump on Feb. 14, 2017. Comey claimed Trump asked him to shut down an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Comey’s ploy worked, as Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel May 17, 2017.

What happens next?

It seems probable that President Trump will not let sleeping dogs lie. Nor should he.

On Wednesday, March 27, he gave an interview to Sean Hannity, his first since the Mueller report’s completion (watch on YouTube):

President Trump, in an exclusive wide-ranging interview Wednesday night with Fox News’ “Hannity,” vowed to release the full and unredacted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants and related documents used by the FBI to probe his campaign, saying he wants to “get to the bottom” of how the long-running Russia collusion narrative began.

Trump told anchor Sean Hannity that his lawyers previously had advised him not to take that dramatic step out of fear that it could be considered obstruction of justice.

“I do, I have plans to declassify and release. I have plans to absolutely release,” Trump said. “I have some very talented people working for me, lawyers, and they really didn’t want me to do it early on. … A lot of people wanted me to do it a long time ago. I’m glad I didn’t do it. We got a great result without having to do it, but we will. One of the reasons that my lawyers didn’t want me to do it, is they said, if I do it, they’ll call it a form of obstruction.”

Trump added: “Frankly, thought it would be better if we held it to the end. But at the right time, we will be absolutely releasing.”

Trump also accused FBI officials of committing “treason” — slamming former FBI Director James Comey as a “terrible guy,” former CIA Director John Brennan as potentially mentally ill, and Democrat House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff as a criminal.

He mentioned ‘treason’ more than once:

“It was treason, it was really treason,” Trump said, referring to texts between former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page that discussed an “insurance policy” in the event of Trump’s election.

“You had dirty cops, you had people who are bad FBI folks … At the top, they were not clean, to put it mildly.” He said later, “We can never allow these treasonous acts to happen to another president.”

Also:

I think Brennan’s a sick person, I really do,” Trump said. “I believe there’s something wrong with him, for him to come out of the CIA and act that way was so disrespectful to the country and to the CIA. He was not considered good at what he did. He was never a respected guy.”

Looking back to 2016:

“When I said there could be somebody spying on my campaign, it went wild out there,” Trump told Hannity. “They couldn’t believe I could say such a thing. As it turned out, that was small potatoes compared to what went on. … Millions and millions [spent] on the phony dossier, and then they used the dossier to start things. It was a fraud, paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democrats.”

As for the mysterious tarmac meeting between Bill Clinton and Obama’s attorney general Loretta Lynch during the summer that year, he said:

I had a lot of planes for a long time. I’ve never stopped the plane on the tarmac to let somebody on the plane. Bill Clinton said he was there to play golf, but I know the area very well. Arizona. It’s a little warm at that time of year for golf, OK?

He also had a dig at his own former AG Jeff Sessions — and rightly so:

Trump also told Hannity “this all would not have happened” if Attorney General William Barr had been with his administration from the beginning.

I could not agree more!

However, without Mueller and Stumbling Block Sessions, the administration can move forward, and one congressman, dairy farmer Devin Nunes (R-California), is raring to go:

Onwards and upwards!

MAGA!

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