Your editorial (28 September) claimed that the prime minister has been pursuing a three-phase strategy, the implication of which is that he actually hoped to bounce the EU into a deal and subsequently win an election, which would give him a majority in parliament. I don’t find this plausible.
Nothing is more likely than that Boris Johnson is a fully paid-up member of the extreme libertarian tendency which has long hoped to destroy the influence of the EU in British policy, thus freeing up Conservative governments to move towards a US-style polity with low taxes, minimal social security and weak protections for workers.
For this to be possible it is, of course, necessary to exit the jurisdiction of the European court. Nothing else matters: for the kind of people Johnson is working for, the chaos resulting from a no-deal Brexit is an opportunity to make still more money by selling organisations short and buying ailing firms cheaply, a process that is already happening, whereas any kind of deal would only be the start of years of negotiation with the EU – Marina Hyde’s charmingly termed “fuckery-pokery” (Tories beware: an angry mob could end up angry with you, 28 September).
It seems very likely, therefore, that the prime minister has aimed for a no-deal Brexit from the start (meaning that the chaos starts, and the jurisdiction of the European court of justice ends, immediately).
His problem is then to ensure a Conservative government, as Labour would not facilitate the bonfire of liberties the masters of the universe intend. He obviously thinks (probably rightly) that firing up popular resentment of the elite is the best way to do this; hence the “surrender bill” and all the other incitements, which are also a cemented-in element of the strategy.
We can expect an even more unrestricted race to the bottom as the election approaches. So far the pro-EU side does not seem to have any answers to this. As your editorial concludes, let’s hope they act wisely. Whatever that means.
• I’ve not agreed with John Major on anything until his opinion piece headlined “MPs of all parties must unite to rein in this reckless, divisive government” (27 September).
If Jo Swinson is serious about preventing the “law-abiding” Johnson from fulfilling his undeclared aim of leaving the EU without a deal, the Lib Dem leader must face reality and back Jeremy Corbyn as putative leader of an interim government, with the single aim of preventing this tragedy. Should her abhorrence of the Labour leader prove greater than for a no-deal Brexit, she won’t be forgiven, and there’s probably no room for another former Lib Dem leader at Facebook.
• Not only should Tory politicians reflect that they may reap what they sow, Boris Johnson may regret not reading to the end of the plot when he made his Faustian pact to be PM. His increasingly frenetic behaviour and the ominous presence of Mephistopheles Cummings foreshadow where this is heading for him – and, as Marina Hyde points out, for us all.
• Marina Hyde refers to “the spad in the gilet”. Within the railway safety fraternity spad is the acronym for a signal passed at danger. Apposite or what?
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