by John Ward
The Brexit saga (and the late arrival of The Brexit Party Special on Platform 3) hasn’t caused the anarchic mess that is now our two ‘mainstream’ Parties in the UK; but there can be no doubt that it has been a crucial catalyst.
Both Labour and the Conservatives have finally left disarray behind on their way towards meltdown. In the last 24 hours, two close Corbyn allies have taken aim at Party “intellectuals” (always a key word in Stalinist circles) pushing hard for a Second Referendum….which they say – and they’re right – will not solve anything, and anyway nobody agrees on the options to be put.
This might sound like healthy debate, but it comes hot on the heels of the expulsion of 2nd vote spin merchant Alastair Campbell. What we’re witnessing here is the secret aim of the Corbyn inner circle to leave the EU because they don’t like it any more than Nigel Farage does. At the same time, they also recognise the need to get back those Labour traditionalists they’ve lost to TBP.
Remainers at the edges of both Parties split off to form The Change Party last month. The only change they have achieved is its near-disappearance in the euro elections; but the Labour side of TCP’s departure has galvanised some centrist Labour MPs into clandestine meetings about how to stop the purges and smears against everyone from Kate Hoey to John Cleese. Some are looking to the LibDems. So too are TCP worriers.
Although most MSM commentary focuses on the Conservative anarchy, the threat to Labour as a political force is equally existential. There has been much trotting out of the ‘Broad Church’ cliché in recent weeks, and that’s always a sign that some of the seam-threads are falling out. Since it deserted traditional voters in favour of varietal pc, in fact, the Party has gone from Broad Church to ecumenical abstraction, after the fashion of a Jackson Pollock canvas: black skins, green shoots, red sickles, pink sexuality and brown shirts are all involved.
The problem is (and yes, I will keep banging on about this) that all these minority causes do not add up to anything like enough bums on benches. Fine, I accept that at present Labour is probably a bigger centre of populism than the Conservatives, but then almost everyone except UKIP is…..and that situation is potentially only temporary, given that The Resumé at the top has now been dragged from the stage by Graham Brady’s tattered hook.
On the other hand, the race to succeed Mrs May is less than compelling. I have no idea what distorted vision of reality persuaded 90% of the current field of three-legged donkey jockeys that they should run for the Tory leadership, but it does help explain why so many policies handed down for us to gag on are as they are.
Andrea Leadsom, Rory Stewart, Esther McVey, Dominic Raab, Michael Gove, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, Matt Hancock and now Sajid Javid have declared their interest, albeit not too many of their interests, Uturns, foibles and non-starter disadvantages. So herewith, your free cut-out-and-keep Slog cull guide to getting the numbers down.
Leadsom and McVey are women. I’ve got nothing against women. Some of my best friends and all of my lovers have been women. But no Tory in his right mind is going to vote for another woman after The Resumé. Yes, she has done the cause of women’s rights severe damage; only Jess Phillips and Harriet Harman have done more. And to add to her sins, May did nothing for the 2020/Waspi community. But this means that Andrea (whose leave credentials are in grave doubt, along with her humanity) and Esther (nice tits, shame about the brain) need to be scratched from the card.
Next, we have the quite extraordinary ideas, social media antics and serially hateful personality of the puberty candidate, Rory Stewart. The boy is unique amongst all the riders in that, even before he had entered the péages for the off, he shot himself in every area of his anatomy, and then his nag. He’s a game lad, but Dead Men get no Votes. Frankly, Rod Stewart has more chance than Romping Rory.
Sajid Javid said this lunchtime that “it’s all about restoring trust”. He’s right about the objective, but risible in his suggestion that he might have anything whatsoever to do with achieving it.
While looking like a Thing from the Addams Family, he has a father making money from a passport scam, and got up to all kinds of nonsense at Deutsche Bank, the institution voted three years running (by bourse traders globally) most likely to melt down civilisation as we know it. These facts are not so much a handicap as a barrier more daunting than Beecher’s Brook: the Hoover Dam, perhaps. Add to this his well-documented Remain sentiments, and his sole appeal is not being white. Even in Cool Britannia, it isn’t going to be enough.
Matt Hancock is….well, who is Matt Hancock? At this not very high point, it all goes downhill. He was George Osborne’s Chief of Staff. He’s for University tuition fees and raising VAT. He wants to abolish the State pension, and hand it over to the private sector. He once hired a private jet to fly back from a climate conference. On his watch as Health Secretary, he has approved some 21 NHS contracts worth £127m to be tendered for by the private sector. He has the same name as a character from the soap opera Neighbours. He is a Remainer. Chiefly, he is Young Hunt of the species Jeremy. And we don’t need two *unts in the same contest, now do we?
We all know what Michael Gove is, but few if any have much of an inkling as to the who thing. At this point, I can add some exclusive dirt to the mix. Just down the road from me here in France is a Chateau, one of the palatial Maisons d’Amis of which the Goves rented from the owners three years ago. A couple I know were charged with restoring the apartment to some degree of order following their departure. The bloke in the twosome told me:
“In all my years of doing this job, I have never encountered such a scene of wild abandon, unremoved ordures, filthy floors, disgusting bathrooms, careless litter and feral existence”.
Gove stabbed Johnson in the front the last time around, and this was probably the single biggest reason we wound up with The ReMayner Woman. Having declared himself a leaver, our Michael then supported every attempt by his boss to deliver Brino at the lowest level, aka vassal State punishment. Perhaps there is something in the man’s makeup (he was after all a Moses in the bullrushes at birth) that gets off on masochistic slavery.
For myself, the most suspicious thing about Michael Gove (see left) is that his head always looks – in relation to his body – like a very poor example of the amateur photoshopper’s art. Also, the hand movements betray all the signs of cyborg genes.
However, at this point, such ability for sapiens calculation as the average backbencher can muster comes into play: because, from here on, the game is called Stop Boris.
My sense is that the sole reason Mike the Knife is in this race is that he will be a magnet for anti-BoJo votes. Plus – and there’s nothing Tory lobby-fodder like more than a devious leader – he has elements that will play well with both sides of the Leave/Remain canyon.
Finally, even the thickest Conservative MP knows that Boris must be eliminated at the Commons-vote stage; for if he proceeds to the grassroots play-off, there is no doubt he will canter home.
So it’s down (and I do mean Down, not Up) to the remaining Three Stooges: Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove and Dominic Raab. I’m sure that, a bit pissed following a good supper party, we have all played that game where three unutterably ghastly but well-known sexual partners are named, and guests have to choose the least repulsive.
In fact, if you examine Raab’s credentials, he is far more of a real-life One Nation Conservative than the other two. What’s more, he has first-hand experience of Brussels and Whitehall perfidy. He’s been through something of a primary school of hard knocks, and – for me – retained his self-respect and aggressively anti-Blairite EU stance. If he lives up to his promise, I could one day see myself voting for what he appears to represent.
But it’s not down to me. And my gut tells me that the play-off might well be between Gove and Hunt.
I find both of them repulsive – as indeed I do Boris Johnson. But there’s a lot of serious power bung money behind Hunt, and in the final analysis that just might swing it for him. Either way – Gove or Hunt – if one gets the Crown of Thorns, then the Conservative Party really will have committed casual suicide.
The Party very badly needs a Leaver leader. I have grave doubts as to whether it realises this at the Parliamentary level. Were I a Tory backbencher, I would vote Johnson on the first ballot and (if he fell at that hurdle) Raab.
I doubt if victory for my preferences will be the outcome. That said, Conservative Sloggers should note that Farage’s own spin quacks are busy briefing against BoJo. This is hardly surprising: given Nigel’s General Election ambitions, Boris represents the rival from Hell.
I hope this piece has raised a smile or two. At the more serious level, the amateur-night striving of all the main people with skin in this game is a terrible verdict on Britain’s political class. I doubt if any of them have the balls or ideas to stand up to the Alt Statists who rarely if ever put themselves up for election.