RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Nothing less than a coup is taking place in Britain… The ultra-woke civil service and renegade Tories still loyal to the EU are working to destroy an elected government
Forty-one years ago, author Chris Mullin published A Very British Coup, a political thriller subsequently turned into a riveting TV drama series.
It centred on a plot to undermine a Labour Prime Minister, Harry Perkins, swept to power by a landslide victory on a hard-Left manifesto.
The conspirators, including the Americans, the British Establishment, the Right-wing tabloid Press and treacherous opponents in his own party, eventually succeed in forcing Perkins to resign.
Today’s modern political landscape looks very different, yet some things haven’t changed. There are similarities between Mullin’s novel and the rolling coup currently taking place against this Conservative Government.
The Americans aren’t involved, but the New Establishment and renegade Tories loyal to the EU are doing their best to destroy a democratically elected Government, aided and abetted by the unions and the overwhelmingly Left-wing broadcast news media.
Suella Braverman asked one of her civil service aides to find out if it was possible to arrange a one-on-one Zoom session
Forty-one years ago, author Chris Mullin published A Very British Coup, a political thriller subsequently turned into a riveting TV drama series
Coincidentally, Mullin — who went on to become a Labour MP and minister — wrote an online piece this week for the Spectator magazine pretty much echoing my column in Tuesday’s Mail about the ridiculous feeding frenzy aimed at toppling Home Secretary Sue Ellen Braverman, their latest quarry.
Last year, as you’re probably aware by now, Sue Ellen got a speeding ticket and was given the option of accepting a fine and three points on her licence or attending a speed awareness course. She was also offered the chance to take the course online, like millions of other motorists caught over the limit.
Braverman asked one of her civil service aides to find out if it was possible to arrange a one-on-one Zoom session. When told it wasn’t, she paid her fine and took the points.
Labour and the Westminster Village went berserk, accusing her of breaking some obscure sub-clause in the ministerial code and demanding her immediate resignation.
The Boys In The Bubble even hijacked a press conference at an international summit in Japan to badger the Prime Minister about Sue Ellen’s heinous crime.
Instead of telling them to grow up, a visibly irritated Sunak dithered until he had consulted his ethics adviser, before deciding to stand by his woman.
Mullin clearly had the same reaction as me, labelling the furore ‘nonsense’ and stressing that nothing she had done was a resignation matter.
So why did this trivial story only emerge now? You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to conclude that it was connected to Braverman’s recent speech confirming her determination to tackle mass immigration and drive through the Rwanda deportation plan — which the Left and the Whitehall Blob hate with a venom.
Sue Ellen is also a prominent Brexiteer and Remoaners were salivating at the prospect of claiming another Leave scalp. She has been subjected to vicious character assassination and even called a ‘Nazi’ — an appalling slur given that her husband is Jewish.
As I wrote on Tuesday, the Home Secretary is everything the New Establishment despises — tough on crime, tough on illegal immigration, tough on those who pretend a woman can have a penis, forthright in her rejection of ‘white guilt’.
And, worst of all, she’s a Tory of Kenyan Asian descent — therefore considered to be a race traitor, into the bargain.
The Left reserves a special loathing for Conservatives from ethnic minority communities. ‘Coconut’ — brown on the outside, white on the inside — is one of their milder insults.
He has been subjected to vicious character assassination and even called a ‘Nazi’ — an appalling slur given that her husband (Rael Braverman, left) is Jewish
That a woman of colour like Sue Ellen can be subjected to such sustained levels of abuse, only serves to demonstrate the depths to which some on the Left are prepared to sink to bring her down.
Don’t forget they meted out the same kind of treatment to another female Home Secretary of Asian background, the petite Priti Patel, who was accused absurdly of ‘bullying’ senior civil servants — which amounted to little more than becoming noisily exasperated when they failed to do their job properly.
Dominic Raab, like Braverman and Patel, another leading Brexiteer, was also driven out of Government by ‘bullying’ allegations. He’s a bit of a cold fish, by all accounts, and doesn’t suffer fools — of which there seems to be no shortage in Whitehall.
But he also has a fierce intellect and held the fort admirably when Boris Johnson nearly died after contracting Covid. Certainly he deserved better than to be hounded from office over flammed-up claims of bullying, which these days can involve little more than asking civil servants to turn up for work.
Who can blame Raab for throwing in the towel altogether and standing down as an MP, too, given the amount of unwarranted denigration he’s had to endure? No doubt our modern-day mandarins cracked open a bottle of bubbly in the Civil Service Club when that welcome piece of news came through.
First, it was Prime Minister Johnson walking the plank. Now it was the turn of Raab, Deputy PM to both Johnson and Sunak.
Don’t forget they meted out the same kind of treatment to another female Home Secretary of Asian background, the petite Priti Patel (pictured), who was accused absurdly of ‘bullying’ senior civil servants
Dominic Raab (pictured), like Braverman and Patel, another leading Brexiteer, was also driven out of Government by ‘bullying’ allegations
And just when you thought the campaign against Boris couldn’t sink any lower, consider the latest mud being slung at him. Not content with having forced Johnson out as Prime Minister, his opponents are determined to bury him in the ground with a stake through his heart, just in case he ever has the audacity to attempt a comeback.
As Andrew Pierce alluded to in the Mail this week, there are also strong suspicions that enemies in his own party may be behind allegations that Boris committed further breaches of Covid lockdown, on top of those for which he has already received a police fine and is still being dragged before a parliamentary inquiry, which could force him to stand down as an MP and face a by-election.
The most despicable slur by far was an hysterical claim that Boris had lunch with his mother in the Downing Street flat during lockdown. The lunch was actually in the garden and with fewer than six family members — all of which was allowed under the rules at the time.
But using an innocent meal with his elderly, now late, mum as a stick to beat him with is beyond shameful. It says far more about Boris’s enemies than about the man himself.
So does monstering Boris for meeting the TV presenter Kate Garraway, whose husband, Derek Draper, is one of the highest-profile long Covid victims and may never recover.
It doesn’t get much lower than exploiting a very human display of compassion for political gain.
Not content with having forced Johnson out as Prime Minister, his opponents are determined to bury him in the ground with a stake through his heart
It’s not just elected politicians, either. Any public servant not signed up fully to the wildest excesses of the ‘woke’ agenda is fair game.
Baroness Falkner, head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, is being put through the wringer by ‘trans’ activists on her staff, simply for the crime of sticking up for rights of biological women to enjoy the safety of single-sex spaces such as women’s toilets and changing rooms.
There’s a concerted effort to bring her down, even though an investigation was temporarily suspended yesterday. The fact that she’s another prominent woman from an Asian background — who came to Britain as an immigrant from Pakistan — won’t save her from the wrath of the self-appointment woke avengers.
The truth is that the entire public sector, including the police and the courts, is now run almost exclusively by the Left. During its 13 years in office, Labour assiduously filled powerful positions with pliant placemen.
To their great discredit, during their 13 years the Tories have done little to reverse this trend by installing their own supporters.
Consequently, we have reached a situation in which so-called public servants hold in undisguised contempt a Tory Government with an 80-seat majority, elected on Getting Brexit Done — for which 17.4 million people voted in a referendum.
Baroness Falkner (pictured), head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, is being put through the wringer by ‘trans’ activists on her staff, simply for the crime of sticking up for rights of biological women
Civil servants strain every sinew to obstruct ministers implementing policies for which they have a democratic mandate. For instance, staff at the Home Office have threatened to strike in order to stop the Rwanda deportation policy, which enjoys the support of the majority of the population.
At one stage, notice boards in the Home Office were adorned with ‘Migrants Welcome’ posters.
Department heads openly defy ministerial orders to stop spending millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on ‘diversity and inclusion’ brainwashing sessions.
Despite being instructed to return to work, now that the Covid pandemic has long passed, hundreds of thousands of civil servants still insist on ‘working from home’ — when they’re not on strike for double-digit pay rises.
If they don’t like what they are being asked to do, they run off to ‘Human Resources’ to complain that they are being bullied.
One of the most ludicrous bullying charges was levelled against Alok Sharma, another Tory minister, because he telephoned a civil servant at home, even though said employee was supposed to be WFH at the time. You couldn’t make it up.
Civil servants strain every sinew to obstruct ministers implementing policies for which they have a democratic mandate
Meanwhile, the business of government grinds onwards and sideways in fits and starts, staggering from one crisis to another, and yet ministers appear either powerless or pathetically unwilling to persuade their employees to go back to their desks. WFH is now a way of life. The Government seems simply to have given in. This week it was reported that the Department for Levelling Up has just spent £160,000 on chairs and desks, including free home delivery. A spokesman said this was so the department can ‘fulfil its duty of care and wellbeing’ to staff.
No doubt they can charge their Hobnobs to expenses, as well as continuing to receive their generous London-weighting allowances.
Call me old-fashioned, but this is the tail wagging the dog.
Yes, organisations should treat staff well, but they shouldn’t be buying them fancy chairs and desks so they don’t have to actually turn up at the office.
If the civil service unions are the shock troops, with their leaders now admitting that their strikes are primarily aimed at bringing down the Government, then senior civil servants are working from within to thwart policies with which they disagree. If we once had a cosy folk memory of the feline Sir Humphrey Appleby, of Yes Minister fame, subtly manipulating his ministers with flattery and dark arts, forget it.
Today, most mandarins are card-carrying, pro-EU members of the wokerati, who owe their allegiance to the civil service, not the people who pay their wages. Some simply ignore legitimate orders from Cabinet members — secure in the knowledge that Tory MPs are here-today-gone-tomorrow and there’ll be a sympathetic Labour government along soon.
The woke police won’t even shift Just Stop Oil lunatics off the roads, despite the Government giving them the legal powers they specifically requested to do so. Another example of Basket Case Britain in action.
The Home Office was described as not fit for purpose two decades ago. During the Afghan withdrawal, the most senior Foreign Office official decided to remain on holiday in his Dordogne chateau rather than hotfoot it back to Whitehall.
To describe all this as a conspiracy is not entirely accurate. Apart from the current wave of strikes, it’s not co-ordinated.
It’s just that they all think alike and act alike, slavishly follow the same modish political agenda, and woe betide any minister who upsets them.
The late Lord Chancellor Lord Hailsham, back in the 1960s, once described government as an ‘elective dictatorship’. But what we’ve ended up with is an unelected dictatorship, where the levers of power stay in the hands of the same class of people.
As Chris Mullin wrote about the Sue Ellen fiasco this week, when someone asked him how else they were supposed to get rid of Braverman, he replied: ‘At a general election, perhaps?’
Precisely. We get the opportunity to dump ministers and MPs at the ballot box. They shouldn’t be routinely hounded out by unelected, unaccountable witch-hunters and storms of confected outrage on social media and 24-hour rolling news channels.
The only problem, as the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band used to sing, is that no matter who you vote for the Government always gets in. Which is why a Conservative Government with a large majority appears paralysed, like a rabbit in the headlights, in the face of institutionalised civil service intransigence and a Blob which appears to be able to pick off ministers at will.
Unless anything changes, which is highly unlikely, things can only get worse under Labour, whose policies and interests are far more ideologically aligned with the woke, careerist clique which really runs Whitehall.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I’d call A Very British Coup.
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