A ‘Call The Midwife’ star raises an alarming point about the Johnson regime’s agenda

Stephen McGann and Boris Johnson
John Ranson

Stephen McGann has raised a crucial point about Boris Johnson’s administration. The actor and author, who plays Doctor Turner in Call The Midwife, tweeted:

While “the Tufton St gang” sounds more like something from Peaky Blinders, McGann is referring to people who now occupy key roles within the Johnson regime. Chief among these is senior adviser Dominic Cummings. He ran Vote Leave during the EU referendum campaign and was previously Michael Gove’s “main adviser”. Cummings has been described as running a “reign of terror” within No 10 Downing St.

The Tufton St connection

As DeSmog wrote:

The Westminster building located at 55 Tufton Street is home to a small but influential network of right-wing think tanks.

Among these at various times have been the climate-sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation, the Taxpayers’ Alliance and Vote Leave. DeSmog describes a consistent pattern of climate denial, Euroscepticism and fondness for deregulation running through the network. The Centre for Policy Studies is next door at 57 Tufton St while the Institute of Economic Affairs is just round the corner at 2 Lord North St.

DeSmog’s Mat Hope, speaking in a video on Tufton St created by Real Media, shows [2:40] how Matthew Elliott, a central figure in the network, was already able to influence government policy, especially over Brexit. The founder of the Taxpayers’ Alliance and former CEO of Vote Leave, Elliott also worked with the Legatum Institute. Legatum has played a key role in shaping thinking on Brexit, particularly for former Vote Leave figures such as Johnson and Gove. Chloe Westley is another Tufton St regular who’s moved from positions at Vote Leave and the Taxpayers’ Alliance to a role in government as Johnson’s head of social media.

Brave new world

Westley celebrated Johnson’s victory in the Conservative leadership contest by looking forward to a “pro-freedom budget”. This would include “tax cuts for all”, the end of the TV licence and a “bonfire of unnecessary quangos”. In other words, small government.

But this direction deeply worries McGann. He suggests that the suspension of parliament is a prelude to the dismantling of much that “we take for granted”:

These people haven’t even started! Every crushed precedent is just a prelude to their brave new world to come. Every hard-fought right and social advance we take for granted is about to be removed with exactly the same hard-faced contempt for truth and principle.

The track record of Cummings and others from the Tufton St network does suggest that they’re not squeamish about doing what it takes to get their way. We need to stay on the ball and do what we can to #StopTheCoup.

Featured image via Wikimedia – Digsa / Flickr – Chatham House

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  • Show Comments
    1. Mr McGann makes excellent points. He also demonstrates British TV stars as many cuts above their US equivalents with regard to good sense. However, if the egregious Johnson gets his way, Mr McGann and all the rest of us will be required to dumb down to US levels and maybe adopt their illiterate spelling and grammar too.

      The BBC was mentioned in passing. I worry deeply about its future if Johnson and his despicable cronies get their hands on it. From planetary cultural gem it will be reduced to tawdry commercial broadcaster with advertisements offered in American style too. Perhaps that is part of the plan to further dumb down the British population to US level.

      Given a diet wholly of ‘popular’ entertainment, reinforced by closing down Radio 3 and BBC 2, people will become wholly compliant in the Ayn Rand dystopia awaiting them. They will happily spend their evenings, between episodes of pap, choosing among healthcare insurance plans weighing each with regard to ‘deductibles’ (here called ‘excess charges’) and degree of coverage. Regarding the latter, they needs must factor in reimbursement for hefty ambulance fees.

      Within a year, chicken reeking of chlorine will be regarded as haute cuisine. Fracking wells will soon come to be cherished countryside landmarks. The US curriculum will have been introduced to our schools. Our universities will decline to standards as yet unfathomed. Tuition fees will be set at prices equivalent to those in the USA and loans will be at commercial rates.

      The UK desperately needs prison reform. All houses of correction will be run commercially and inmates forced to earn their keep. Court sentencing policy will be adjusted to American standards thus ensuring long term stability of the prison population brought about by lengthy terms of incarceration.

      Extradition to the USA will require minimal formality with no right of appeal. Extraditable offences shall include copyright infringement as when one rips ‘content’ from a friend’s CD.

      Illegal immigration will become a thing of the past because nobody in their right mind, regardless of present circumstances, would wish to reside here.

      The UK will become a test-bed for controversial US civil policies. Initially, these will centre around surveillance: street, shop, business, road, countryside, and in the home.

      The only feature of the ‘American way of life’ not to be introduced here is citizen entitlement to bear firearms. Johnson is against it; not for the sensible reason that we don’t want America’s general mayhem but rather because he fears for his personal safety. The NRA, on behalf of US gun manufacturers will be working hard, using language Johnson understands, to persuade him otherwise.

      The above assumes the Thousand Year Reich isn’t about to peter out in the next few days.

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