Sunday, 10 July 2016
The media shitstorm around Andrea Leadsom is astonishing. Talk about playing the man. Every tiny scrap of, well, anything is being pimped-up and spun and presented as evidence of some sort of Hitlerian dominatrix complex. She’s – by media accounts – a liar, a hypocrite, a religious fundamentalist, a fifth columnist for Ukip, a racist and a homophobe. According to various sources she believes that children of unmarried parents will grow up to become axe murderers, that gay marriage will end civilisation and she has no hesitation in exploiting her own children for political advantage. She is, they say, a female Farage.
She is certainly like Nigel Farage in one respect – the relentless and downright vicious personal attacks have a remarkable similarity to the way he was pilloried by the bien pensant press for years. The establishment are out to get her. Meanwhile their favourite placewoman, Theresa May, is continuing in much the way she has conducted her ministerial career by remaining largely out of sight. Unlike Farage, however, Andrea Leadsom hasn’t had years to build up a following, demonstrate consistency and earn the loyalty of members.
The Firm, however, is still clearly worried. Recently the smugness with which they could expect the electorate to be hectored into voting ‘correctly’ has been eroded and superior smirks wiped from privileged faces. The rolling out of big guns from the past to berate the stupid voters and instruct them to do their bidding has had the effect not of a bulldozer flattening dissent but a peashooter. The public at large have remained unimpressed by headline acts but they have noticed one very peculiar thing.
When the elites on opposing sides get together to train their weapons on the little people who vastly outnumber them it smacks of desperation. It’s either a spectacularly brilliant double-bluff – maybe they secretly wanted Brexit, or Corbyn for leader – or far more likely it is a cock up of monumental proportions. Had they actually been listening, that rumble in the distance and getting nearer is the gathering stampede of millions of people saying no. No to politics as usual – in this respect Corbyn is dead right. They are saying no to the systematic abuse of parliamentary powers to do the opposite of what ordinary people want.
No, too, to being told how to behave, what they can and can’t say and what to think. They are saying no to the intrusive powers the state has taken upon itself to rip up our social fabric and engineer the pushing into second place of British culture behind that of any interloper. They are saying no to inferior education and life chances and no to the recasting of the British in history as the bad guys. They are exercising the very thing the establishment hates; democracy.
Has the electoral tide turned?
So, when the selection goes out to the party members, the blizzard of ‘helpful’ information about why not to vote for Leadsom may just prove to have been counter-productive. It doesn’t take so long for everything a hostile press has to offer to simply be ignored. On the other hand, while the newcomer may be a relative unknown, so in many ways is Theresa May. This lack of engagement by the grey lady of the Conservative Party might just be her downfall. The party doesn’t’ have to say yes to Leadsom; they just have to say no to May.