New Westminster Cabinet Far to the Right of Thatcher’s

Boris Johnson ushers in the most right-wing British government since 1832, writes Craig Murray.

By Craig Murray

I can only imagine that the media people who are saying Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s cabinet is the most right-wing since the 1980s were not sentient in the ‘80s.

Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher never had a home secretary remotely as illiberal as Priti Patel, never had a foreign secretary remotely as xenophobic as Dominic Raab, never even had a chancellor as anti-state intervention as Sajid Javid (though she came closer there) and never had a defence secretary as bellicose as Ben Wallace.

Home Secretary Priti Patel at the Bond Conference 2017 in London. (Bond/Flickr)

Even Thatcher’s final and most right-wing cabinet contained figures like Ken Clarke, Chris Patten, John Major, Virginia Bottomley, Douglas Hurd and William Waldegrave. All Tories with whom I have fundamental disagreements, but every single one of them is far, far to the left of virtually all of Johnson’s appalling cronies. 

Thatcher deliberately and cruelly wrecked the social democratic society in which I grew up, with the aim of destroying any ability for working people to be protected against the whims of the wealthy. But Thatcher never introduced privatization into the National Health System or state schools – that was her acolyte Tony Blair. She maintained free university education in England and Wales. That was destroyed by Blair too. We should be more rigorous than to accept Thatcher as the definitive most right-wing government possible. It is not only lazy, it obscures the fact we now have the most right wing British government since 1832.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in 2012. (Policy Exchange/Wikimedia Commons)

Pritti Patel is a home secretary who admires the approach to law and order of Benjamin Netanyahu and voted against a measure to prevent pregnant asylum seekers being slammed into immigration detention pending hearing. Savid Javid is a chancellor who materially caused the problems of British Steel by, as business secretary, vetoing in Brussels tariffs against dumped Chinese steel. Dominic Saab is a foreign secretary who negotiated a deal with the EU then resigned because it was so bad.

This is the biggest political shock to hit the U.K. in my lifetime and it is potentially worse than Thatcher. Here in Scotland, we need to move immediately for independence. The time for talking really is behind us.

 Craig Murray is an author, broadcaster and human rights activist. He was British ambassador to Uzbekistan from August 2002 to October 2004 and rector of the University of Dundee from 2007 to 2010.

This article is from

30 comments for “New Westminster Cabinet Far to the Right of Thatcher’s

  1. Regina Goldsmith
    July 31, 2019 at 11:17

    The irony is, of course, that this rabid regime is calling everyone who opposes them, be it in word or deed, of being far right wing!

    This minority regime has spent three year avoiding the will of the people over leaving the eu and then had the arrogance to call a leadership campaign to reset matters, that took nearly two more months, then parliament went into recess. Not one single person in the country complained, thought it was odd, refused to feel cheated or abused and they still say nothing.

    And Scotland wants to be independent so that it can rejoin/ not leave the eu – how mad is that?

    Even Murray’s blog is full of incestuous morons who pontificate about everything but do nothing about anything – it’s awful.

  2. TemplarOz
    July 29, 2019 at 22:10

    Craig Murray and Scotland seek independence from England but are content to remain a Vassal State of the EU Politburo. The mind boggles!

    • usetheguillotine
      July 31, 2019 at 01:42

      Some minds boggle so much easier than others.

      Suppose people tried to make rational decisions, while ignoring propaganda lies about “Politburos” and “vassal states”. Which is more mind boggling?

  3. Rong Cao
    July 29, 2019 at 21:28

    These right wingers in Johnson’s cabinet will definitely see eye to eye with those extreme hawks in Trump administration on many issues concerning Brexit, immigrants/war refugees, and the US’ interests in the Middle East.

  4. cal
    July 29, 2019 at 20:32

    The upswing about Bojo is that he might actually move the UK out of the Eurozone, which would diminish US presence in the EU, while also calling the EU into question, perhaps triggering Brussels’ collapse. Unlikely, but now that the treaty of Aachen is in effect, the EU looks a lot more like a Franco-German empire than a neutral trade federation. Politics is the art of the possible, and perhaps Bojo will do more good than the May govt.

    Plus I don’t understand all the comparisons between Trump and Bojo. They’re both clowns, but the similarities are only superficial. Trump, for various reasons, stands as a threat to US financial interests, and has incurred an unending storm of wrath through the Russiagate witch-hunt. Bojo, on the otherhand, has only been raked over the coals as being a clown, but has been a rather rabid promoted of Russophobia. If there’s a real comparison to issues of substance, it’s between Trump and Corbyn. Despite their radically different policy preferences, both threaten to disrupt, if not dismantle, part of the Anglo-American financial-military hegemony.

    • E Wright
      August 1, 2019 at 04:39

      I mostly agree with your assessment, but the USA for some time now has had a more compliant poodle than England – that would be Poland.

  5. Tom Kath
    July 29, 2019 at 20:06

    BREXIT, hard or soft, will merely make UK a direct puppet of USA instead of EU, which is also a direct puppet of USA, which is itself merely a puppet of big money. Who is big money a puppet of?
    It is possible of course that BREXIT could trigger a final collapse of big money. “Oh, what a tangled web we weave…………”

  6. Kevin Bradley
    July 29, 2019 at 14:51

    To be fair, Thatcher would have loved to privatize the NHS but that was a different historical period when neoliberal policies were first being implemented and you could only go so far. Johnson’s government may be able to introduce policies someone like Thatcher could only dream about.

  7. July 29, 2019 at 12:58

    Corruption and cruelty, equal opportunity qualities regardless of ethnicity, color, class, party, etcetera, etcetera. Such equal opportunity leads me to another thought, snarky by admission.

    For some years now I’ve had my own version of the Turing test for AI (artificial intelligence), as that test was arguably met many years ago without real intelligence, merely imitation. I figure that when a computer is moved by tears or bribes or intimidation or blind ambition, then, maybe, finally we will have found true machine intelligence. Until then I call it AS (artificial stupidity – I know, I should come up with something for a second”S” but then I’d have to provide a second “I” for AI).

  8. July 29, 2019 at 12:48

    The problem is the political extreme denies the political position of the opponent. The new British government wants the Northern Ireland Backstop removed, that it undermines the integrity of the United Kingdom. But if Brussels allowed British goods to cross the border without effective checks, which Westminster seems to be suggesting, there would be an open border between the EU and a non-member state. That could undermine the integrity of the EU. Both positions are legitimate, logical and intractable. It shows the dangers that arise when problems are not compromised on before they get to that state: because the logical next step is war. The logic applied to Brexit can be applied to dangerous movement towards world war between the US and a growing Sino-Russian alliance over Iran, stormy waters that the British government is already sailing into. When core interests clash there is no solution but conflict – even nuclear. The point of no return has to be avoided.

  9. Tim
    July 29, 2019 at 12:47

    > the most right wing British government since 1832

    Are you referring to governments before the passage of the Reform Act of 1832?

  10. Hide Behind
    July 29, 2019 at 12:09

    What does “Far Right” mean?
    And to the less knowledgeable what and the hell was England like in the 1830s, a topic that more than likely not 90%+ of Britain’s know a thing about and 99+% of those in US are completely ignorant of?
    When intellectuals make statements ,such as this author, who and what demographic are they talking to?
    Upon what strata of society does their wealth stem from, and will their wealth change no matter who, whom or what form of Government of the future they live upon.
    While they may write as if their concerns are of the less politicly sophisticared, and thereby less capable survivors of the commons, they live and breed within an eleitist realm far removed from those “subjects”.
    As to Scotland, Scots of today are but British subjects where British blood replaced that of true Scotts long ago, and dream of a mystical past that never was, and if Seperated from Great Britain could not survive without Britain, but that is but a topic for groups of intellectuals mental masturbation.

    • T.J
      July 29, 2019 at 15:41

      Craig Murray’s article is definitely not talking to the demographic of the ignorant. I suspect that most people in Britain and Ireland have a fairly good understanding of what the author is saying. As for the Scots of today, not only would they consider themselves to be true Scots with proper Scottish blood but also irrevocably different to the English in almost every way. If they had achieved independence fifty years ago they would , by now, be one of the wealthiest countries in the world. But even though the oil is now almost gone, the Scots would relish the opportunity afforded by independence and I have no doubt they would succeed in their endeavors and create a great country.

    • Shaun
      July 29, 2019 at 16:06

      Hide Behind, well said, but be careful or Craig Murray might accuse you of being too negative, as he did to me, having previously supported him. He only seems to care about his own feelings and miseries, and expects us to show concern for him, while refusing to reciprocate the kindness. He’s a former British ambassador, lived a life of privilege! I trust no one involved in politics – and that includes former ambassadors.

      As for the Scots, wasn’t that the argument Hitler used to annex Austria – German blood? What does it matter what “blood” they have – if they want to separate from England because they’ve had enough of the barbarity and total apathy of the English, why shouldn’t they? As an aside, I was treated VERY badly by a Scottish guy working for Royal Mail (nothing “royal” about it – it’s been sold off to foreigners), so now I have to control a small feeling of hatred towards the Scots. That’s because I’ve NEVER spoken to any Scottish people except that one guy, so now my brain associates the Scots with him – haha!

  11. July 29, 2019 at 11:59


    And, remember, he wasn’t even elected.

  12. lou e
    July 29, 2019 at 11:53

    Maggot Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and George Bush visited Tehran before the fake hostage ploy was unveiled in Iran. More Round Table/CFR social engineering. A giant leap for fascism.

  13. July 29, 2019 at 11:46

    good article

    FC Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi was attacked in Ibiza. Holidays from Barcelona and the Argentina national team Lionel Messi, who was on vacation in Ibiza

    FC Barcelona footballer Lionel Messi was attacked in Ibiza

    Holidays from Barcelona and the Argentina national team Lionel Messi, who was on vacation in Ibiza, was the victim of an attack. On the video that has appeared on the Internet, the guard is blocking the path of a man trying to pounce on the five-time winner of the Golden Ball.

    An unknown person tried to attack the forward of “Barcelona” and the national team of Argentina Lionel Messi in Ibiza.

    • Tim
      July 29, 2019 at 12:50

      What the devil does an assault on an Argentinian football player in Ibiza have to do with the new British cabinet?

  14. Ikallicrates
    July 29, 2019 at 11:26

    Stop whining. BoJo’s cabinet is nowhere near as bad as Trump’s.

  15. Caveman
    July 29, 2019 at 11:25

    A very shallow article. I am far from being a fan of Boris Johnston, but he is on the centre-left wing of the Tory Party particularly on social policy. His Cabinet choices are shaped entirely by the need to ensure that there are no dissenting voices as regards a “no deal” Brexit (he knows better than any one how Cabinet dissent destroyed Teresa May’s premiership), which is its entire raison d’etre. Yes there are right-wingers in the Cabinet, but the true colour of the Government will only emerge if, and after, it delivers Brexit, which is not a foregone conclusion.

    • July 30, 2019 at 04:28

      Indeed, Caveman. I read Craig Murray’s blog regularly, and have a lot of respect for him. But this was not one of his better efforts. And while, like you, I am no fan of Boris Johnson, I see no evidence that as a Prime Minister, he will be any worse than Tony Blair, David Cameron, or Theresa May. Whether he will be any better is another question.

    • Miss Anne Thrope
      August 4, 2019 at 05:29

      “but he is on the centre-left wing of the Tory Party ”

      You’re insane to believe that.

  16. dean 1000
    July 29, 2019 at 11:04

    Any chance that Scotland and Ireland would form some sort of union and join the EU? I’m asking because I don’t anything about politics in the UK.

    • heathroi
      July 29, 2019 at 23:15

      Ireland is already in the EU. Northern Ireland is still part of UK (if there is a solid frontier and its a pain to cross then it going to be the most ardent sectarian who would be happy with that)
      Brexit hinges on what the Scots do and i cant really see the Scots not dissolving the act of union (1707) and applying to the EU where they will accepted.
      the problem is then not many English people want a return of Thatchernomics (if they support brexit or not ) so basically England will eventually join too. then if they have started already, Paris and Berlin with its euro allies will start booting the US out

  17. July 29, 2019 at 10:42

    Informative article

    Iran Can Take Revenge: the secret tests of Israel and the United States In 2019, the risks of preserving the Iranian nuclear deal are much more serious

    Iran Can Take Revenge: the secret tests of Israel and the US

    In 2019, the risks of preserving the Iranian nuclear deal are much more serious, and there are enough prerequisites for escalating the conflict. This conclusion was reached in the new report of the International Crisis Group

    The report is timed to the third anniversary of the implementation of the “Joint Comprehensive Action Plan” – a political agreement between Iran and the United States, Russia, France, China and the United Kingdom regarding a nuclear program.

  18. Jeff Harrison
    July 29, 2019 at 10:41

    The Tories did to Britain what the Republicans are doing to the US. Pass the popcorn.

  19. Vera Gottlieb
    July 29, 2019 at 10:40

    Trump – Johnson…two peas in the same pod???

  20. evelync
    July 29, 2019 at 10:27

    Thank you Craig Murray! It looks like a Donald Trump kinda cartoon of the end game of Neocon/Neoliberal insanity.
    (Didn’t agree with Tory policies, but PM John Major seemed like a real human being to me).
    Any chance for Corbyn to overcome the Cold War scare mongering to establish a saner government?
    Good luck Scotland!!!!
    From this side of the pond, Scotland seems to be the principal voice of reason and good sense.

  21. July 29, 2019 at 06:29

    Which ushers in the Boris Trump’s revisionist history of blaming everything on socialists. It’s projection, as in project all the fascist fantasies in one’s mind onto the minds of someone else, so one doesn’t feel the shame and guilt one’s self. So to cut to the quick, here’s what a fascist neo-Nazi troll is:

  22. Hayman Fan
    July 29, 2019 at 02:42

    Asylum seeking is just a ruse to get round immigration rules. Most Brits want it scrapped. Boris wants to introduce points based system like they have in Australia. Leftists like Craig Murray want to bring in as many poor people as possible and put them on the state’s tit. And big corporates want the same. No thanks Craig.

Comments are closed.