The Friday Fizz is Not Enough Champagne's review of the week's news. You can catch up with previous editions here.
I began writing this on Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday evening, Damian Green resigned. 2017 has been that sort of year in British Politics.
The consensus from Westminster is that it makes May lonelier, which is the view of the BBC, Conservative Home and of the Guardian. It certainly removes another key adviser from the Prime Minister. In Tim Shipman's Fallout he chronicles how many missteps from Number 10 just after the election and the removal of Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill almost brought Theresa May's position into jeapardy. The tone-deaf speech the day after the election, written by civil servants with no ear for politics as the political staff had all left, is a good example of this. That's the one in which May refused to acknowledge the Conservative MPs that had lost their seats, and that she no longer had an overall majority. Gavin Williamson appears to have been another adviser May leant on for advice, but he has now moved to a department which means he cannot provide as much assistance to the Prime Minister as before. This is a problem for a Prime Minister who appears to lean heavily on her advisers before coming to a decision. It means that a reshuffle almost certainly will happen in the new year, though who replaces Green is anybody's guess. It'll probably end up being Michael Gove.
MPs go into the recess now with the government looking, as a previous Fizz put it, weak but stable. Green's resignation comes after a good week or two for the government, but should be a reminder that, if one takes a long view, this parliament is going to be bloody difficult for the Conservatives. Like the John Major years, without the competence. Despite that, the government won't collapse. Indeed, the stability of the government is also helped by the looming spectre of a Corbyn government. It's one of life's little ironies that Corbyn's weakness as a Labour leader is one of the reasons Theresa May called a snap election when she did not need to in June; whereas now his strength is one of the few things holding the Conservative Party together. In an interview with Grazia this week Corbyn said that although he won't be Prime Minister by Christmas, he "probably" will be by the end of next year. This would seem a little optimistic, to say the least.
International news gives us little hope that the world will be stable in 2018. The Trump administration is apparently "taking the names" of countries who dare to disagree with the insanely terrible move of recognising Jerusalem to be Israel's capital. On a domestic front, truly terrible tax laws have been passed which are so bad that Americans do not believe they are true. Our podcast this week touches on illiberal democracy in Eastern Europe; a subject coming to a head in Brussels this week.
Finally, in "Did you really need a bunch of judges to work that out?" news, Uber is officially a taxi company.
Old, New, Borrowed and Blue
Old: Our podcast last week looked back at June's election. Why not compare it to the episode we recorded the day after the results were known.
Borrowed: No Fizz so far has covered the meek surrender of the Ashes, but George Dobell has written this interesting analysis on the failure of the ECB.
Blue: Rory Stewart has written this on how to make change happen. Worth reading, whatever your party.
Pop Culture Recommendation
It's been a pleasure re-reading Len Deighton's Berlin Game. The Bernard Samson novels are my favourite series of novels and coming back to them is like meeting up with a group of old friends again.
Our penultimate episode of 2017, on the events we did not talk about in 2017, is aready out:
Have a wonderful Christmas!