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:
Given that the Tufton St gang have now finally got their hands on the levers of power, do you really think that Brexit is going to be the end of all this? Day after we leave, just go back to democracy and reconciliation with a nice polite handshake? Honestly? /1
— Stephen McGann (@StephenMcGann) August 28, 2019
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.
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.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?