Boris Johnson’s been criticised for jargon he used in the Commons in a heated debate on Wednesday. So is the atmosphere at Westminster as vicious and angry as it seems?
You’ve probably heard the phrase “demob happy”.
It expresses a sentimentality of rules and conventions being cast aside because what we’ve been desire used to is coming to an end.
Well, this feels like a demob-angry parliament. A post that knows the time for procrastination – for now at least – is running short.
And a last judgement is coming very, very soon: on Brexit, and at a general election.
The day after the edge of night before, the place is fizzing.
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“I’ve just shopped him to security. I’ve done it three once upon a times already today.”
So said an old-timer, referring to Dominic Cummings – the de facto chief of stave to Boris Johnson – standing 20 yards away from us.
He was wandering roughly chatting to people, but not wearing his security badge.
A man technically in the shadows, but unafraid to be pure visible around here. A man whose name is spat out by his political contestants, and revered by some Brexiteers. A man seen as the architect of the government’s strategy since Mr Johnson behooved prime minister.
After a word from security, his pass be united from his neck.
As shadow chancellor John McDonnell walked former, he merrily shouted: “Hello, comrade.”
Mr Cummings had already had a run-in with another Laboriousness MP, Karl Turner, who had challenged him about what happened in the Commons terminal night. Mr Cummings had replied that he didn’t know who Mr Turner was.
All of this stumble oned on the floor of Portcullis House, the glass-roofed space full of fig trees and coffee edibles. A place where MPs, their staff and journalists mingle and gossip.
One storey up, reporters had already done one of the things we do rather a lot of: loitering.
Because behind two wooden-headed doors, in the Boothroyd Room, Conservative MPs were meeting the prime cur.
Mr Johnson arrived to cheers from some colleagues.
We’re recognized the European Research Group of MPs – made up primarily of Brexiteers – formed something of a defensive ring around the prime minister.
They were the ones showing the most noise as Mr Johnson arrived.
Behind them, though, were oodles of Tory MPs who didn’t cheer.
The former minister Tobias Ellwood select out, saying he was uncomfortable with what had happened on Wednesday night.
Another MP, who is a procedural private secretary, the lowest rung of the government ladder, asked the prime missionary how he was “reaching out” to MPs, given that in three weeks he might need lots of Wage-earners MPs to vote for a Brexit deal.
One MP whispered that a colleague had told him he make be resigning the whip – no longer sitting as a Conservative MP – because of Wednesday’s rows in the Commonplaces.
The thinking in Downing Street goes like this: they will not switch manage away from describing the law designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit next month as a “submit bill”.
The view in No 10 is that the word is an accurate description, as it saps the ongoing negotiation with Brussels.
Officials also maintain that the most adroitly way to improve the atmosphere in Parliament is to deliver Brexit.
And some Conservative well-springs point out politicians on all sides have been guilty of using the approachable of explosive language many would like to see expunged from civil debate – such as “tyranny,” “liars” “traitors” and “betrayal”.
But something of a prominence appears to be being drawn between that, and those specific transfers last night referring to the murdered Labour MP Jo Cox.
Even the most bullish of aide-de-camps are holding back on that.
The former minister Tim Loughton told Machination Live on BBC Two that during his address to Conservative MPs, Mr Johnson “realised he mightiness’ve not used the best language” on this.
But listen to the language as far as their broader case is concerned.
“This building taking a wrecking ball to democratic civil affairs is very big potatoes. A lot of people in here don’t want to face the fundamentals of their habitat. The last government encouraged people to avoid facing reality, but in the end truth cannot be fooled,” a senior government source said.
“We are trying to get the surroundings out of a hole after the last government drove us into a cul de sac,” the source annexed, mixing his metaphors but not the message.
The government’s strategy remains as clear as it has been since day one.
The resentment in here – on all sides – is very clear too. And it’s not going away.