Saturday, 25 May 2019
Long Live... er...
So, ding-dong Theresa’s gone? But, as she made clear, her successor isn’t going to find it any form of picnic and rebuilding the Conservative Party is a task beyond Boris Johnson’s thus far unimpressive diplomatic talents. Yes he will draw the crowds and yes he will pick up the sort of voters Mrs May could never reach, but he will lose sufficient numbers of the sitting MPs to make it impossible to carry the government through to the next scheduled election. What, with May’s disastrous 2017 snap election and the inevitability that Boris will piss off the DUP it is almost as if the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act had never happened
But who would want the job anyway? As Groucho Marx said, “I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would have me as a member”. Why would you want to be the leader of only a half of a club while the other half loathe you and will plot against? So the undignified jostling for position that we are going to see in the next few weeks will just be a series of side events in the continued demise of our oldest political party.
Compromise, uniting both sides, finding consensus, bringing people together? Tosh; utter, unmitigated twaddle. If the Tories can’t themselves see that there are at least three parties in that unhappy marriage then they are doomed. Leavers, Remainers and fence-sitters seeking their next patronage make unhappy bedfellows. Maybe, in the past, Conservatism united patriotic people of many persuasions in the common good, a love of country has recently been decreed verboten.
Juncker called nationalists stupid. Verhofstadt regularly demands that national sovereignty be surrendered on the EU altar and metaphorical blood sacrifices are made to the holy edifice via the medium of political assassination... especially in the UK Tory Party. If anybody believes there is any form of settlement available at any time soon they are deluding themselves. And if anybody thinks that we can come to some form of amicable arrangement with the EU as long as we are part of it has obviously not been watching.
A Labour government is, of course, untenable. A disastrous combination of grievance politics, identity issues, perpetual class war and a bizarre belief that borrowing money to piss away is really investment, Labour doesn’t even have a cohesive vision, let alone a single realistic policy where it matters. Like Bill and Ted, all they have is ‘be excellent to one another’... ‘but not them’. If you want a party of division, the Labour amoeba is a natural home for you.
What of the Brexit Party, you ask? What indeed? From late tomorrow we will find out just how soundly they have scythed through the Conservative vote and when they take their seats in Europarl, they must surely become such a thorn in the EU’s side that the pressure to let us leave – and sod the ‘deal’ – will become irresistible. But then they will have achieved their only aim. But they could never become a cohesive party and Nigel Farage will surely never become an MP because, when it comes down to it, we still need a viable government and pretty much nobody will work with Mr Brexit.
At least there's no scandal...
So, where does all this leave us? Despite all the obvious evidence that the Tories ought to be finished, they are probably the only hope we have of ever getting out of the EU intact. And given that everybody has blotted their Latin grammar at some point during the interminable wrangling of the last three years they are going to have to be led by the least worst, rather than the best candidate. Somebody who doesn’t pose too much of a threat to the old guard but who can also appeal to the naifs. Somebody who the public can be persuaded is tolerable, for now; somebody they don’t all want to stab. For better or for worse, it’s going to have to be Boris, isn’t it?