Good morning. There are currently at least two rogue Cabinet Ministers operating way beyond normal accepted behaviour, unaccountable and out of control, so much that the Cabinet was cancelled this morning. On the plus side  the Tory party’s largest donor is hiding in a toilet, the Deputy Prime Minister is under investigation for extreme porn and the Defence Secretary quit amid sex misconduct claims that nobody really believes.

Still at least the Brexit negotiations are going well?

We are in the extraordinary position where Theresa May met Netanyahu at No10 last week without knowing that Priti Patel had seen him secretly in August.

In her bizarrely revealing press release Patel it’s stated:

“On Friday 3rd November, the Secretary of State was quoted in the Guardian newspaper as follows:

“Boris knew about the visit. The point is that the Foreign Office did know about this, Boris knew about [the trip].”

This quote may have given the impression that the Secretary of State had informed the Foreign Secretary about the visit in advance. The Secretary of State would like to take this opportunity to clarify that this was not the case. The Foreign Secretary did become aware of the visit, but not in advance of it.”

You can read the whole laughable Statement from International Development Secretary here.

If you thought that this was just a case of bad comms and one huge misunderstanding (do you often bump into the Prime Minister of Israel when you’re off on your hols?) – it’s now being revealed that Patel wanted to give British aid money to the Israeli army in Occupied Territories.

But if Patel’s crazy jaunt reeks of duplicity, lying, subterfuge and, frankly, child neglect, the Foreign Secretary’s reign of error is potentially far worse.

As the Independent explains the Boris Johnson gaffe risks five more years in Iran jail for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe:

“One year and half after the north London mum was arrested in Iran, a period in which she’s been subjected to solitary confinement, alleged torture and separation from her baby daughter, the Foreign Secretary hands a gift to her jailors by confirming their false claim that she had visited the country for anything but a holiday.

Teaching journalism covertly would be a serious crime in Iran – and the fact is it is simply not true as both her husband Richard and her employer Thomson Reuters Foundation have been at pains to point out. ”

It’s not clear whether Johnson is just immensely stupid or completely uncaring.

How has it come to the point where a minister is so badly briefed so out of control and in such a powerful position?

It’s only in a country with such closed elite circles that such a figure would be allowed access to untrammelled power and then left to cause havoc.

A New York Times columnist wrote a few days ago of Britain as “unmoored, heading to nowhere, while on deck, fire has broken out and the captain — poor Theresa May — is lashed to the mast, without the authority to decide whether to turn to port or to starboard”.

I think it’s worse than that. The Cabinet is in open revolt acting completely without consequence. May isn’t lashed to the mast she’s hiding below deck.

When governments collapse it seems to happen in a rush. But the Conservatives are in no rush, they have no replacement in place and all benefit from May’s leadership staggering on.

 

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