Irish Examiner View: Power grab bad news for vital Brexit talks

This time four years ago when the idea of President Donald Trump seemed as daft as the possibility of Brexit political strategist Stephen Bannon came to public attention. His influence was significant.

Irish Examiner View: Power grab bad news for vital Brexit talks

This time four years ago when the idea of President Donald Trump seemed as daft as the possibility of Brexit political strategist Stephen Bannon came to public attention. His influence was significant.

He got his man across the line. As President Trump now insists he has “the legal right” to intervene in America’s courts it would be interesting to know how, in his heart of hearts, Bannon now regards his protege.

It would be interesting too to know how moderate, sane Conservatives now regard the power assumed in Downing Street by Bannon’s British equivalent — Dominic Cummings.

Cummings’ fingerprints were all over Thursday’s cabinet reshuffle, one focused completely in silencing dissent and consolidating power.

The ruthlessness shown was not surprising as Boris Johnson has never shown loyalty.

It is more than disheartening too that as a vital stage of Brexit negotiations opens that Johnson is surrounded with such a low wattage cabinet whose primary qualification is sycophancy.

From an Irish perspective that dismissal of NI Secretary Julian Smith is as sinister as it is disappointing.

That office has been diminished by a parade of indifferent, uninformed, and unimaginative party careerists.

Smith broke that cycle and his removal augers badly Brexit talks in relation to this island.

It also suggests a hardening of attitudes on resolving simmering legacy issues.

Is there any limit to the collateral damage Johnson’s moral-free ambitions might inflict?

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