Republican leadership: A real-life House of Cards? – BBC News

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Boris Johnson has decided not to run for Conservative governor after fellow Brexit campaigner Michael Gove said he was the incorrect person for the job. How does this grade among previous showings of political ruthlessness?

“For those of us clambering to the top of the food chain, there can be no boon, ” supposes Frank Underwood, the scheming president in the US TV drama House of Cards. “There is but one pattern: hunt or be hunted.”

Politics is a ruthless business. It’s rarely mentioned by the main players, but desire for capability represents someone usually has to accept.

Former London Mayor Boris Johnson has decided not to enter the race for the Conservative leader( and prime-ministership ). His announcement entered a few hours after his ally on the Leave campaign, Michael Gove, problem a damning account: “Boris cannot furnish the leadership or construct the team for the task ahead.”

Gove had previously said he didn’t want to be “ministers “, announcing such a possibility “inconceivable”, but has had a change of heart.

Image caption House of Cards first aired in 1990, during Margaret Thatcher’s leadership crisis
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Image caption The US version of the establish has become a world-wide collision

Even amid the fallout of the Brexit vote and the problems vexing Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, Gove’s break with Johnson, whom he’d been expected to back in the leadership rivalry, is conspicuous for its extreme personal drama.

“Breathtaking Tory leadership, ” tweeted former Conservative deputy chairman Lord Dobbs. “House of Cards? Or Game of Thrones? Surely not Winnie the Pooh.”

Dobbs should know. He wrote the novel House of Cards, which was adapted into a BBC drama that ran in 1990, at the time when his party was in the fierce process of removing Margaret Thatcher from capability. He is also involved in the Netflix show of the same identify which has become a world-wide hit.

Both series lay bare the machinations of politics, with aspiring “ministers ” Francis Urquhart and presidential hopeful Frank Underwood committing murder on the way to power.

Tim Bale, columnist of The Conservative Party from Thatcher to Cameron, belief the current sky for Labour and the Reactionary is unprecedented. “I’ve never seen so many parties slay politically in the course of a week, ” he supposes. “There’s been a fair fragment of blood talk in politics over the years, but never anything like this.

“It’s because the stakes are so incredibly high. It isn’t a game any more because we are going to leave the European union and it’s an extremely serious situation.”

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Image caption Tyrion Lannister( Peter Dinklage) is Michael Gove’s favourite reputation from Game of Thrones

Gove has expressed his love of the fantasy Tv succession Game of Thrones. In a video acquired in 2014 the then authority leader whip( a character held by both Urquhart and Underwood prior to becoming governor) said his favourite reputation was Tyrion Lannister. He praised his political qualities. “This misshapen dwarf, ” Gove did, “reviled throughout their own lives, thought to be in sees of some, a noxious figure, can at last rally a small circle of loyal followers.”

Gove now has to secure the support of enough Conservative MPs to become one of the two candidates in a vote of defendant members.

“The Reactionary have always a been a exceedingly leader-oriented defendant, ” supposes Bale, who is professor of politics at Sussex University. “But because of that it’s quite easy to depose the governor. It can make changes quickly. The Reactionary wouldn’t get into the situation that Labour has got into, with MPs unable to remove Jeremy Corbyn.”

Of course, plans against presidents occur in all the parties. In 2006 Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy resigned after 25 MPs extradited an ultimatum, following the revelation of his drinking question. The next year, Kennedy’s successor Sir Menzies Campbell quit, after backing from his front terrace ebbed.

There were Labour plans against Tony Blair during his 10 times as “ministers “. And earlier this week Corbyn lost a vote of confidence among Labour’s MPs, with three-quarters going against him.

The Reactionary have impounded capability( sometimes in bloc, often alone) for most of the past century. Segment of the reason for this success is that Tory MPs have been able to adapt to situations, quickly jettisoning unpopular or unsuccessful presidents, supposes Bale.

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Image caption Leo Amery stigmatized Neville Chamberlain using the words of Oliver Cromwell

On 7 May 1940 the House of Commons debated the course of carrying out the war against Germany, specifically the failure of the UK expedition to Norway. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain faced attaching disapproval from his MPs. The best-remembered pronunciation came from fellow Tory Leo Amery.

Quoting the words of Oliver Cromwell to the Long Parliament in the mid-1 7th Century, he told Chamberlain: “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I read, and give us have done with you. In the identify of God, go.” Chamberlain was out of office 3 days later, replaced by Amery’s friend Winston Churchill.

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Image caption Harold Macmillan, visualized three days after his “night of the long knives” cabinet reshuffle

Another Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, sacked seven cabinet ministers on 13 July 1962, as the government’s popularity diminished. This became known as the “night of the long knives”,

Future Liberal governor Jeremy Thorpe joked: “Greater adoration hath no person than this, that he lay down his friends for his life.” Macmillan expressed his regret, but Tory MP Enoch Powell mentioned: “I am not readily persuasion of the regret in the heart of a butcher.”

After he lost two the general elections held in 1974, Edward Heath was objection for the leadership the next year by Margaret Thatcher. She acquired. “Heath had been a exceedingly reigning figure in the 1960 s and early 1970 s, ” supposes Bale, “but by then he had lost that and he was beaten.” Heath viewed Thatcher’s actions as a betrayal.

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Image caption Margaret Thatcher prepares to leave Downing Street after her acceptance in 1990

In 1990, with several of the members of the council unhappy about her outlook to Europe and handled in the introduction of the community attack, or “poll tax”, she was also deposed.

After resigning from the governmental forces, former Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe addressed the Commons, attacking Thatcher. “The time has come for others to consider their own response to the disastrous conflict of allegiances, ” he did, “with which I have myself battled for perhaps too long.”

This opened the way for a leader rivalry. Thatcher resigned on 22 November, after failing to win outright against Michael Heseltine in the first round of voting. One-by-one, cabinet members told her she should go. Thatcher afterwards alleged them of “weasel words whereby they transmuted their sellout into frank advice and pertain for my fate”.

Coincidentally, the first episode of House of Card had aired on 18 November.

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Image caption Iain Duncan Smith( right) resigned as Conservative Party governor, 2003 and was replaced by Michael Howard( left)

In 2003 Conservative governor Iain Duncan Smith exhorted adversaries within the party to “put up or shut up”. A election of confidence was triggered, which he lost by 90 elections to 75. He resigned and was quickly replaced by the following paragraph Michael Howard, who operated unopposed for the leadership.

Lance Price was the BBC correspondent on duty in Downing Street when Thatcher’s resignation was announced. “It had been brewing that summer and everyone was well known that Michael Heseltine was wavering, waiting for his occasion, ” he supposes. “The post-Brexit stuff has all happened so much sooner. Since the voting rights public love are so raw that the normal niceties, which aren’t always that neat, have gone out of the window.”

With the Conservative contest under way and a Labour one a distinct possible, there’s spate of cloth for another thriller, should Dobbs or someone else choose to write one.

“It would be a good read, ” supposes Price, who worked as Labour’s head of communications after leaving journalism, “but the truth is that if I went to a publisher with a romance about what’s happened in the last few days in politics, it would be hurled out as too far-fetched.”

Follow Justin Parkinson on Twitter @justparkinson

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