“A British nuclear deterrent is a guarantee of peace and stability against any eventually”: The LeChevalierMal-Fait and Markthemonkey888 interview

EDIT: This interview was conducted before the collapse of the LAB-DRF-TPM and LPUK-LD coalition agreements.

LeChevalierMal-Fait and Markthemonkey888 are senior Libertarian Members of Parliament representing the constituencies of West Yorkshire and Black Country respectively. Both have a keen interest in defence policy and the welfare of service personnel – serving and former. We met in a popular coffee shop chain in Central London. As the House of Commons lies empty and the next government is negotiated (or not) we discuss the Armed Forces Covenant Bill.

Thank you both for making yourselves available. Let’s discuss the Armed Forces Covenant Bill. The Bill would see the appointment of a Commissioner to champion the Armed Forces but would also cast an Armed Forces Covenant in British law. Why is this necessary and why does this Bill deserve support?

The first point to make is that the covenant as it came into being in 2002 is voluntary. There are some groups like the MoD and the chain of command who take their responsibilities under the covenant very seriously. Some councils also do an excellent job but in other areas it’s very spotty.

To me it is wrong that access to support should be a postcode lottery. If you wear the uniform you should be entitled to the same support.

Finally as to why we need the convention in the first place, it’s a contract between the nation and those who protect and serve us.

They should be entitled to the same rights and standards of public service as anyone else, we need to ensure

LeChevalierMal-Fait

Your commitment to the Armed Forces is admirable. What do you make of Labour’s adoption of a policy to abolish the Trident nuclear deterrent?

It’s foolhardiness of the highest order, but don’t just take it from me. Just the other week I was talking to a veteran who had served extensively in West Germany in the 1970 when the USSR has a huge conventional lead, and he told me something that I found really profound.

He said he felt comfort from doing Chemical Biological Nuclear and Radiological defence drill.

And I asked him why? it felt morbid to me. But you see he told me that he felt comfort because it reminded him that the British nuclear deterrent was out there too. And that no matter what the intelligence reports he got about Soviet conventional superiority, he felt confident that deterrence would be maintained.

And just like that veteran could never have predicted the massive changes we have seen in the last fifty years.

We today have no idea what the next fifty years will look like. A British nuclear deterrent is a guarantee of peace and stability against any eventually.

LeChevalierMal-Fait

I think I made it rather clear in my whitepaper I wrote two terms ago. I am a strong supporter of trident and will remain so. [LeChevalierMal-Fait] and I are currently working with our friends and colleagues in parliament to ensure that Trident remains strong for the future. 

Markthemonkey888

We also find ourselves in a coalition forming period. With the speculation of a LAB-DRF-TPM coalition agreement all but secure do you believe it is likely Labour will return to Number 10? What are your personal thoughts of this coalition and does another viable government exist?

Of course I have some personal thoughts on it, but if we do see it and I remain doubtful, then I hope they will work across the house to help members of the armed forces community deal with the challenges they face on account of their service so that our service personnel can no longer face a higher risk of sexual assault than the general public, so that veterans are able to transition back to civilian life and get a good job and so that children of veterans are supported properly with the pastoral care that they need.

LeChevalierMal-Fait

Well, by the time I am answering this interview, that coalition deal sounds like it will be falling through. I think if any coalition with TPM in it is doom to fail. I don’t see how any party like Labour or the DRF, will scoop low enough as to work with people with the maturity and capabilities of a 15 year old, not to mention most of their policies being horrible for the national economy and interest. I think most likely we will see a tory minority government with the LPUK-ID in official opposition while labour goes to UO.

Markthemonkey888

Markthemonkey888 with the E-Cigarette Control and Regulation Bill and the Armed Forces Covenant Bill you’ve been on a legislation drive. Can we expect anything else from you for what remains of the term?

Yes! LeChevalierMal-Fait and I have been working hard, and you will see two or three more pieces from us before the coalition period ends!

Markthemonkey888

LeChevalierMal-Fait you are somewhat of a veteran of British politics if you don’t mind me saying so. You are also a former Conservative Member of Parliament, rising to the position of Deputy Leader. If I can ask what do you make of the recent Conservative Leadership election and the state of Conservative-Libertarian relations – having served in that government yourself.

The state of relations between the parties is to me puzzling. Under no rational leader should relations have been allowed to reach such a level.

When I left the deputy leaders office, the parties were working prosperously together in government. I have no doubt that they can again, but there certainly is a vacuum of trust.

I have hope that Yukub is the right choice to fix this, certainly I have only found him to be an honourable decent principled man in my experience.

LeChevalierMal-Fait

E-cigarettes and defence policy: A sit down with markthemonkey888

Markthemonkey888 is the constituency Member of Parliament for Black Country – the Westmidlands county synonymous with the industrial revolution. I met the veteran parliamentarian in a London bar known to be a favourite amongst the Libertarian caucus. Quiet, on a Monday afternoon, we discussed his career, both recent and past, and the political goings-on of the day over a glass of single malt.

Good evening. For the uninitiated, would you care to summarise your political career in as brief a manner as possible?

My name is Markthemonkey888, the current Member of Parliament for Black Country. I am currently the Defence Spokesperson for the LPUK, I’ve served in cabinet under the Tories in both DEFRA and Business and Innovation, and worked times in both whip offices.

Firstly allow me to ask about some of your most recent legislation. What is the motivation behind the E-Cigarette Control and Regulation Bill and do you expect it to recieve cross party support?

The first reason was a personal reason, I did quite a bit of reading into e-cigs a while back while using it to quit my nicotine addiction and found that it is severely under regulated and has minimum government control. It needs to be brought under control, especially when it concerns our youth. I’ve seen many kids in my constituency addicted to nicotine thanks to fruit flavoured vapes, a device meant to help adult smokers quit, is now helping our kids get addicted to nicotine. Since production, import, advertisement and sales of e-cigarette is not limited or regulated under the ​Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act of 2002, any company can abuse this and mass market e-cigs to our children and the general public.

I believe that the Bill is quite common sense and I should think that this is an important enough issue to receive support across the house. I would take a quick second to thank my friend LeChevalierMal-Fait who helped me with the legal and technical aspects of this Bill.

The Veterans Affairs Motion was read before the House of Commons yesterday. As its author do you believe the abolition of the Minister of State for Veterans Affairs is an indictment for the neglect of veterans? What would you see the government do to support former service personnel?

YES! Absolutely yes. I cannot state how important the office of veterans affairs was especially to me, helping me transition from military to civilian life. I believe that the Government [is] making a big mistake by abolishing the office. I also find it deeply troubling and disappointing that the comments made by the Secretary of State for Transport, who called the Office of Veterans affairs a “bloated” office. I am deeply saddened to see such language being used to describe the office which takes care of our veterans and I will be sending a letter to the cabinet office with my complaints.

I think the Tories need to reverse their decision on this matter immediately. I am also disappointed to see no new funding or innovation when it comes to this year’s budget for our veterans, as someone who has written the Defence and Veterans section of the Tory election manifesto before, this is deeply disappointing. I believe additional funding and resources should be allocated to the office.

You’ve long had a hand in defence policy. Do you believe the modern Armed Forces are fit for purpose? What reforms do you believe are necessary?

I think our army organization and structure is due for an update, we are due for army reforms this year anyways, so I will reserve my views until the government whitepaper.

I believe our armed forces are long due for an upgrade, the government hasn’t mentioned anything about a Defence review or a National Threat assessment that was due this term. I think we just need more of everything in order to keep up with today’s world. I believe a large investment in our armed forces needs to take place in order for us to be competitive again. We also need to upgrade and increase our global presence. We’ve already opened up a base east of Suez, but I think we need to take advantage of our other global facilities.

During your career you have found yourself in more than a single party, once an active member of the Conservative Party. How do you view your former party and its leader today?

Many are aware of my personal animosity and disagreements with the Prime Minister, but however I have no animosity towards most members of my former party, especially members like eelsmaj99 who I still look up to as someone who helped me and mentored me in my early days. I do however disagree with it’s leadership and its decisions. I no longer agree with the path which the Tories are traveling down. I believe they have lost their way.

As you have been and are a member of both the Conservative Party and the Libertarian Party you have an understanding of both. Are you confident both parties can reconcile in the near future? Would you support a return of Blurple?

I don’t think so. Not in it’s current state anyhow. The tories would need to drastically change their stance and leadership. I believe the Conservative – Classical Liberal merger has killed that possibility for the near future.

Okay thank you for your time. Is there anything else you want to mention?

I join my friends and colleagues in the house in calling for the resignation of the Foreign Secretary in light of recent events.

“He has clearly broken collective cabinet responsibility and should be dismissed”: Home Secretary accused of breaching ministerial code

/u/JellyCow99 has been accused of violating cabinet collective responsibility and contradicting government policy by refusing to explain the benefits of a points-based immigration system and sharing the view of the Shadow Minister for Equalities that such a system would “potentially cripple… [specialist] middle to low skilled industries”. The comments were made during Minister’s Questions on Sunday. The Home Secretary also described points-based immigration as “known for being” “racist”, “hard-right” and “xenophobic”. Finally, the Home Secretary dismissed the claim of the Culture Secretary “that a points-based immigration system is the best way to proceed.”

When approached by the Telegraph, the Home Secretary reiterated he “[does] not support points-based immigration” but did not feel he had broken collective cabinet responsibility. An unamed cabinet minister disagreed, when asked whether the Home Secretary had violated collective cabinet responsibility, they simply relied “yes”.

A Libertarian spokesperson told the Telegraph it was clear the Home Secretary supports an “unsustainable open door policy”, that the Conservative Party was “well aware of this fact before they appointed him [as Home Secretary]” and “he has clearly broken collective cabinet responsibility and should be dismissed.”

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition agreement makes a commitment to support “points-based immigration.”

Collective cabinet responsibility is a constitutional convention that demands members of the cabinet must publicly support all decisions made in cabinet. Where a member openly objects to any such decision, they are obligated to resign. Collective cabinet responsibility is traditionally mandated by the Ministerial Code.

It is unclear whether The Government will suspend collective cabinet responsibility in this instance. The Government was approached for comment but did not respond.

“Start the spending”: Universal Childcare Act to cost “around £65 billion at most” claims former Minister

A former Minister, who wishes to remain anonymous, has claimed the Universal Childcare Act was discussed amongst the cabinet in January to cost “around £65 billion at most”. The previous budget allocated only £1 billion in “seed funding”, yet Monday’s Queen’s Speech saw the Government promise to “start the spending.” If this estimate is proven to be accurate, the budget for the Universal Childcare Act would exceed that of the Ministry of Defense.

The cost of the Universal Childcare Act, colloquially referred to as Ambercare, has largely been a mystery. The author of the Act, /u/Amber_Rudd, refused to publish the associated cost before the Act received Royal Assent, in October stating “costs are largely dependent” on “take-up rate among parents” and “how comprehensive” the government chooses to implement the legislation.

Departing Chancellor of The Exchequer dismissed the Act as “a ticking time bomb” in a resignation statement made last week. Going further to describe “a threat to our nation’s [finances]… which could have easily been ripped out of a 1970’s Labour manifesto.”

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition agreement was published by the Telegraph on the 25th February.

In the leaked coalition agreement between the governing parties, the Government will aim to “roll out” the Act starting in the 2022/23 financial year using a “calculator”. A Conservative spokesperson refused to comment when approached by the Telegraph, instead urging “that there is an appointment of the Cabinet and the Queen’s Speech to be done before the implementation of legislation.” The Conservative Party has been approached for further comment. A Liberal Democrat spokesperson described “such a figure” as being “a high estimate.”

#GEXIII: Conservatives set for a difficult night as Sunrise- gains ground

The full projection, including list seats, can be viewed here.

A poll commissioned on the final day of campaigning on behalf of the Telegraph and conducted by the International Institute of Scientific Facts and Knowledge, found the Conservative Party likely to remain the largest force in the House of Commons – albeit diminished in size. Labour, the Libertarians, the Liberal Democrats and the Democratic Reformists would also have much to celebrate; yet with no obvious coalition able to form a majority government.

Yet it is not all bad news for the Conservatives, as they look set to sweep into the one time strongholds of the Classical Liberals in the North West and North East. Yet waning popularity nationally will almost certainly result in a disappointing tally.

The scene is set for a number of Conservative/Labour battleground constituencies, including Upper Severn and the East of England seats of Cambridgeshire and Essex. If the Libertarian Party can win the former Classical Liberal seat of Tyne and Wear, and reclaim four seats in Yorkshire, they should expect a night of celebration. Similarly, the Democratic Reformist Front will be hoping to cause an upset in London, perhaps winning its first constituency seat in West London.

“The Democratic Reformist Front is only a front for a republican Labour Party”

/u/ZanyDraco (centre) is the current leader of the Democratic Reformist Front.

/u/cthulhuiscool2 is a former Home Secretary, current Leader of the House of Commons and long serving parliamentarian representing Surrey.

The Democratic Reformist Front is arguably the breakout party of the 12th term and made headlines this week with the merger of Plaid Cymru and the Irish Parliamentary Party.

In an Announcement of Formation published on the 15th of June, Party Leader Mr Draco declared his party as “dedicated to the institution of a republic”, inviting support “[regardless] if you’re a libertarian, a social democrat, or anything in between.”

More recently the party’s pint-sized manifesto, if we may call it a manifesto, claimed the Democratic Reformists were “a movement that works for everyone”, welcoming of “almost every ideological background.”

Yet on Tuesday former Democratic Reformist Member of Parliament ThePootisPower, having defected to the Labour Party, described “almost the entirety” of his former party as “left wing” sharing “Labour’s broadchurch left wing ideas.”

Further to this, on Tuesday The Telegraph broke the news of the Labour Party entering into an electoral pact with the DRF. It is unknown why the Democratic Reformist Front has chosen to endorse the Labour Party, given that the previous Labour manifesto made no mention of monarchy abolition or House of Lords reform. It is equally unknown why the Labour Party, ostensibly a party of unionism, has endorsed the party of rapid nationalism intent on breaking the United Kingdom to pieces and uprooting our constitution. I will speculate, there is far more in common between the two parties than either would care to admit. That, or the electoral pact is motivated by the blind pursuit of power and little more.

…a vapid collection of political unknowns, rejects and has-beens with the common goal of furthering their own disgraceful political careers.

Fundamentally the problem with the DRF is not that it is left wing, for left wing political thought is entirely valid. The problem is that it refuses to admit to being left wing. They are too afraid to be honest to those who vote for them. Yet their intentions are perhaps more sinister, using the lie of political neutrality to misdirect voters, they risk undermining our democracy. They are a vapid collection of political unknowns, rejects and has-beens with the common goal of furthering their own disgraceful political careers, not a credible party to lead the republican cause. I challenge them to present a full manifesto and have the confidence to stand on their own platform.

The Democratic Reformists are not above ideology, the Labour Party is their ideology.

Between the start of the term and Monday, where a majority of the parliamentary Labour Party and the Democratic Reformist Front voted Aye, No or Abstain in the House of Commons; 81% of the time they voted the same. The Democratic Reformists are not above ideology, the Labour Party is their ideology. The Democratic Reformist Front is little more than a republican Labour Party, if only they would admit this hard truth.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of The Telegraph or its employees.

Blurple strikes back! Voters punish former parties of Government in newest poll

Former Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Libertarian Party UK, /u/Friedmanite19, will have much to celebrate in early December polling.

Newest polling, commissioned on behalf of the Telegraph, suggests a decline in support for the governing parties of the former Sunrise Coaltion. The Conservative Party and Libertarian Party UK were the biggest winners, with a moderate increase in support for both the Loyalist League and the Yorkshire Party.

Conservative Party31.09 (+1.43)
Labour Party21.30 (-1.98)
Libertarian Party15.20 (+1.74)
Liberal Democrats11.98 (-0.66)
Classical Liberals8.95 (-1.38)
Loyalist League2.65 (+0.22)
Democratic Reformist Front 2.51 (-1.16)
The People’s Movement1.75 (+0.14)
Other1.50 (+0.34)
Yorkshire Party1.16 (+0.25)
Plaid Cymru0.60 (-0.25)

If the General Election were held today, who would you vote for?

Polling is provided by the Commons Speaker and may be considered canon.

Clexit looms as Deputy Prime Minister votes to leave Sunrise, citing Labour frustration

The Telegraph understands the internal vote of Classical Liberal members, to decide whether the party will remain in the governing Sunrise coalition, began on Sunday. Deputy Prime Minister Tommy1Boys described the poll as “a tough call” but told The Telegraph he “voted to leave the coalition.” Going further to describe the Prime Minister as “an honourable man… but this coalition is no longer working”, expressing frustration at the Labour Party which cannot “feasibly coalition with another party” which share “big differences.”

When approached for comment, a Labour Party spokesperson made clear the Labour Party “respectfully disagrees with the notion put forward by the Deputy Prime Minister” and “is saddened at the prospect of the coalition experience of Sunrise coming to a close before we had hoped… when necessary we have always tried to seek compromise.”

However, outspoken Classical Liberal Minister TheWalkerLife told The Telegraph he had voted to support the Sunrise coalition and does “not believe that any decision to pull out of the coalition stands in the national interest”.

The Deputy Prime Minister also spoke of the resignation of the former Secretary of State for Work and Welfare, accused on Sunday of plagiarism in a statement made in the House of Commons. Accusing pavanpur04 of “[misleading] the House” and describing his departure as “welcome” and “good for the country”, citing “Classical Liberal pressure” in forcing the resignation of the Labour peer.

Addressing the second resignation of Sunday, that of veteran politician and minister Vitiating, Tommy1Boys described the former Classical Liberal as “a friend and his service to the party won’t be forgotten.” Vitiating had served as Minister of State for Exiting the European Union; responsible for the Government’s controversial white paper on the Future Relationship with The European Union published on Saturday. Labour Member of Parliament SmashBrosGuys2933 described the paper as an “embarrassment”. The Deputy Prime Minister dismissed the paper as “not good enough”, insisting “we will be exploring how to allow the House to have full scrutiny of the Brexit agreement negotiated so far.”

Deputy Prime Minister seeks “changes to the agenda of the government” with party considering Clexit

Speaking exclusively to the Telegraph, Deputy Prime Minister and Classical Liberal leader, /u/Tommy1Boys, described ‘problems which need to be addressed’ when asked if he will vote to leave the Sunrise coalition. Going further to say he ‘[wants] to see changes to the agenda of the government and it’s workings’, ‘a government with no real agenda that it can implement is a government not fit for office.’

On Thursday the Government’s controversial nationalisation agenda took another blow, with the Classical Liberal leader describing the National Grid Bill as ‘a step [too] far’. The Government has also suffered a defeat with the Steel Nationalisation Motion finding the support of the House of Commons, urging the Government to ‘drop plans to partially nationalise British steel’. It is unclear if the Government intends to abide by this motion, with a spokesperson refusing to comment.

The Deputy Prime Minister also poured cold water on a potential Conservative takeover of Number 10, when asked if he would support a vote of no confidence. Insisting, he is ‘not sure’ of ‘ushering the [Conservatives] into power’ until they ‘return to their one nation days under Cameron’.

In the event of Clexit, the Classical Liberals formally withdrawing from the governing coalition, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats would be expected to remain in government. Speaking of the transition out of government, /u/Tommy1Boys expressed a desire to ‘ensure the country has stability’ yet his priority is to allow the governing parties to discuss if there’s a ‘way forward’.

GEXIII: Conservative comeback as Labour support continues to swell in latest polling

A poll commissioned by The Telegraph shows only a three point lead between the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, boasting 28% and 25% respectively.

Conservative Party28.34 (+1.64)
Labour Party25.22 (+0.99)
Libertarian Party13.47 (-0.40)
Liberal Democrats12.39 (-0.21)
Classical Liberals10.90 (-0.49)
Democratic Reformist Front3.13 (-0.34)
The People’s Movement1.70 (-0.50)
Loyalist League1.69 (-0.55)
Other1.59 (+0.17)
Yorkshire Party1.19 (+0.14)
Plaid Cymru0.67 (-0.16)

If the General Election were held today, who would you vote for?

There will no doubt be a collective sigh of relief from the Conservative Party, who appear to have in-part shaken devolved election blues and disappointing November polling.

The proposed nationalisation of British Steel also seems to have done little to dent the rising support of the Labour Party. Yet some Labour supporters may be disappointed not to have beaten the Conservative Party for the first time since data was collected in 2017.

Yet the story for the Government is mixed, with support for Liberal Democrats and Classical Liberals waning, following a trend of decline for the latter. The Libertarian Party also has little to celebrate, whose long-held third party position seems to be under threat.

If the General Election were held today, who would you vote for?

Polling was also conducted in the South East and West. In the four constituencies polled, three have Conservative incumbents with Dorset represented by Labour Member of Parliament /u/Stalin1953. Yet it is the Conservatives who lead, with a joint Sunrise candidate beating strong campaigns from the Conservatives and Libertarians as a result of vote splitting last election.

Polling is provided by the Commons Speaker and may be considered canon.