Archive for April, 2018


How the Tories are using the the appointment of the new Home Secretary

Monday, April 30th, 2018

The big news of the day has been the appointment by Theresa May of Sajid Javid as the new Home Secretary – the first time a member of the BAME communities has been appointed to one of the main officers of state.

Given the background for the demise of his predecessor this appears a smart move which the Tories are hoping will help the win greater support from the non white communities a segment of the electorate where they’ve really struggled.

The poster above, based on a very similar one on John Major twenty years ago, appears highly effective even if the idea is nor new.

What the new HomeSec does about the Windrush generation we shall have to wait and see but clearly a lot is expected of him. and he’s got an opportunity to change things in a positive way.

Mike Smithson


Corbyn’s Ipsos MORI satisfaction ratings drop to lowest point since GE2017

Monday, April 30th, 2018

Just three out of five LAB voters give him positive rating

Meanwhile there’s some voting intention cheer for the LDs

The big story from the April Ipsos MORI poll in the Standard is a further deterioration in Mr corbyn’s satisfaction ratings. These, from the pollster, have been asking the same format for well over 40 years and is the longest UK leader rating series in the UK.

The numbers are the first to come from the pollster since emergence of the mural that sparked off Labour’s latest antantisemitism row and moved it into new territory.

The voting figures, seen above, see little change except for the Lib Dems who jumped a whopping 4 points 10% which is the highest figure recorded in any poll since the last general election.

This is probably the last national public poll that will see before Thursdays local elections and it will be interesting to see if the trends here are seen in the results as they come in on Thursday evening and Friday.

Mike Smithson


Why TMay should choose as HomeSec Nicky Morgan – the woman who criticised her £1000 leather trousers

Monday, April 30th, 2018

This could make the passage of the Brexit Bill easier

Two years ago Nicky Morgan got dropped from the cabinet and since then has been one of the most vocal and effective critics of the government’s Brexit policy. It has been said that there’s a huge gulf between them following an argument between her and the Prime Minister over the former’s criticism of Theresa May’s £1000 leather trousers.

Since then Morgan has become one of the key senior players in the House of Commons doing her best to impede Brexit. We don’t know what Amber Rudd is now going to do but she was a keen Remainer and maybe she will join the group that that at the very least wants a soft Brexit.

This of itself makes the parliamentary situation for the PM even tighter for whilst in the cabinet Mrs Rudd would always vote with the government. Now there’s a danger that she could vote against on key issues which given the precariousness of the Tory parliamentary position could be damaging.

The mathematics are simple: If a rebel CON MP votes against the government that is effectively worth two votes – one fewer in the for column and one more in the against.

So as a way of blunting Morgan’s effectiveness the PM should bring her back into the cabinet and what better offer could there be than one of the main offices of state Home Secretary. This was the same rationale for appointing and keeping Boris Johnson in the cabinet although, of course, he is a leaver.

The current betting favourite is Sajid Javid.

Mike Smithson


Amber Rudd resigns

Sunday, April 29th, 2018


It is clear someone is leaking to damage Amber Rudd and I think she’s toast

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

Mrs May’s firewall looks like toast after this Guardian revelation

In the past few days it is obvious that someone is leaking relentlessly against Amber Rudd to force her out.

It might be the fact that I tipped Amber Rudd as next out of the cabinet at 33/1 is colouring my view but I’m not sure she’s going to recover from this Guardian revelation, they say

The private letter from Amber Rudd to Downing Street in which she sets an “ambitious but deliverable” target for an increase in the enforced deportation of immigrants has been published by the Guardian.

The letter, signed by the home secretary in January last year, states that she is refocusing work within her department to achieve the “aim of increasing the number of enforced removals by more than 10% over the next few years”.

Rudd has claimed she did not set, see or approve any targets for removals. The former immigration minister Brandon Lewis suggested on Sunday this proposed increase was an ambition rather than a target.

But Home Office sources have told the Guardian that it is “shame-faced nonsense” to claim the department had not been set specific targets in this area, or that these have not been regularly discussed at the highest levels.

The latest furore was sparked on Friday when the Guardian published details from a separate confidential memo that was sent to Rudd in June last year.

Over the weekend another leak confirmed that Amber Rudd is going to offer a post Brexit freedom of movement which some say is in effect Brexit in name only. The Sunday Times reported ‘A member of the European Research Group, the hardline Brexiteers led by Jacob Rees-Mogg, said: “The plan seems to be to re-badge what we’ve got at the moment, so that no control would have been taken back.”’

Rudd faces the Commons tomorrow I think will be quite difficult for her to survive, if she’s eviscerated by her own side over her mis-remembering the targets or over the BINO immigration policy. She currently comes across as either very incompetent or mendacious which is not a good look.

If you’ve bet on Amber Rudd to be still Home Secretary on Tuesday then you should be worried.


PS – My tip for Amber Rudd’s replacement is Sajid Javid who was 33/1 on Friday and is now 16/1. Mrs May might appoint him to help counter the perception that the Tories are being the nasty party again. The optics of a non white son of a immigrant Windrush generation bus driver trying to sort out the Windrush deportations mess are appealing. As a long serving cabinet minister he has the experience to be Home Secretary.

10.05pm Update – Amber Rudd has resigned


If you fancy a 2% return in a little over 8 months this is the bet for you

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

William Hill have a market on whether there will be a second EU in/out referendum before the 1st of January 2019, I’m backing the No side.

Logistically I just cannot see a referendum happening this year. It would require legislation to be passed by both parts of Parliament, given the number of Leavers in both places, and Mrs May’s lack of majority in both Houses such a bill is likely to get bogged down in Parliamentary trench warfare.

I suspect if Mrs May tried to introduce a bill to introduce a second referendum it would likely trigger the end of her premiership and the fall of the government which could lead to an early election which would delay any such bill to legislate for a second referendum.

With the prospects of a very watered down Brexit being delivered by Mrs May such as remaining in a customs union and free movement being retained in all but name I’m not sure there’s much appetite for another referendum from the Remain side.


Update – PBer Sandpit has alerted me to the Betfair market that pays 8% for the same bet.


Looking ahead to the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize winner

Sunday, April 29th, 2018

Why I think the Nobel Committee will blow an ill wind for Trump

Following this week’s events on the Korean peninsula you can see why Kim and Moon are the favourites to win the award. I’m going to avoid this market from Ladbrokes as I’m not keen as betting on someone like Kim Jong-Un who has a history of volatility.

Effectively this is a bet on Kim Jong-Un remaining on his best behaviour between now and October when the winner(s) are announced.

He might do something to do something rash, particularly after being goaded by someone as similarly volatile as Donald Trump, although in Trump’s defence he’s never had his uncle executed nor has he had someone executed by death by anti-aircraft gun for dozing off during a meeting.

Given the general worldwide disdain for Trump, I can’t see him winning the prize on his own either, as we can see in the tweet below, Trump’s nearest and dearest don’t think he’ll win it either. Though many Korean experts seem to be of the opinion that the recent events in Korea had nothing to do with President Trump. 

Paddy Power have a market up if Trump will win a Nobel Peace Prize before the end of his first term, regretfully they don’t offer the option of backing the no option. Unless Trump delivers peace in the Middle East I can’t see him winning the prize for all the reasons I think he won’t win it in 2018.

As noted above the result will be announced in October and you can find out how the process works by clicking here.



Ladbrokes make Michael Gove favourite to succeed Rudd as HomeSec

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

But would TMay really appoint him?

The firm’s prices are here:-

Next Home Secretary
Michael Gove 4/1
Jeremy Hunt 6/1
James Brokenshire 8/1
Diane Abbott 8/1
Damian Hinds 10/1
David Gauke 10/1
Jacob Rees-Mogg 10/1
Karen Bradley 10/1
12/1 bar

At this stage I’m certainly not betting on this market. Firstly we don’t know whether Amber Road will indeed be leaving and the chances are that she will be staying although she could be in a pickle if it is proven that she did mislead Parliament. Her statement on Monday is going to be very interesting.

As to Michael Gove as favourite I’m not convinced. It is hard to see Theresa May, who served for six years as HomeSec, appointing someone with such liberal attitudes to these areas as a successor. She will surely want someone who will operate the Home Office in the same way that she did

Damian Hinds might be a possibility as will David Gauke. If she was smart TMay would bring Jacob Rees-Mogg into the cabinet if only because that might will impede his ability to speak outside his ministerial area. That was supposed to have been the rationale for Boris Johnson’s appointment as Foreign Secretary but he’s managed to find ways of not always being on message. Better thouh in LBJ’s famous observation JRM “pissing outside from within to pissing inside from without”.

Mike Smithson