Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Toryboy navel gazing

There are few things in this world more hilarious than toryboy navel gazing. Mark Wallace of Conservative Home is trying to find out what went wrong - and is pointing the finger at CCHQ.

I might venture a slightly different theory. Probably the same one as everyone else. For a start, Theresa May is ghastly. She has all the charm of an overflowing ash tray. Secondly, she made this election about Brexit yet her entire campaign was a reiteration of her thin gruel Lancaster House speech. Anyone who is concerned about Brexit would find this disturbing enough, but the "no deal" business basically rules out the possibility of a remain inclined voter going blue.

Then there was that care costs debacle. Ideologically sound, but a rubbish policy, badly presented. Probably not a good idea to say in the middle of an election that if you get sick we'll nick your house.

Most of all though was the overall contempt for voters. The lack of Brexit detail, the evasiveness, the repetition of empty mantras, the contempt for the press and the phobia of voters. Meanwhile the election strategists play their games with party literature, insisting on embedding crass slogans which everybody, without exception, is utterly sick of.

Then there's Tory activists. There are a few of them on my Facebook slavishly repeating Tory party propaganda. Who exactly do they think they are persuading? Why would anybody vote for a party of zombies who have suspended their critical faculties?

In this I suppose you could point the finger at CCHQ in that short of "Brexit means Brexit" and a firm commitment to liquidate pensioners with dementia, I cannot name a single Tory policy. There is no vision to speak of and nothing all that conservative to buy into.

The fact is that this is a caretaker government on notice. If there is any message to be taken from the election it is that we don't want any of you and there was no real enthusiasm at all. Of those I know who did vote did so tactically and reluctantly.

The bottom line is that this iteration of the Tory party is a very shitty party indeed. It is loaded with hasbeens, failures and incompetents tolerated largely because of the damage they would do if outside the tent. Worse still, the only reason I'm not calling for May to resign is because all of the alternatives are manifestly worse.

Were I Mark Wallace, though, I would be finding better things to do with my time. Y'see the Tories are finished. Andrew Lilico remarks today that the sole mission is to stop Corbyn at all costs. That will likely be the common view in the party. What we can expect is a full blown scare campaign much like the last one only a magnitude more intense.

It's almost like they've learned nothing from the referendum. The Toryboy claque believes it was the skill of Vote Leave's polling jiggery pokery what won it. A wondrous self-deception. In the end, I would venture, Vote Leave was an irrelevance and what we saw was a last minute act of defiance in the face of being called all the names under the sun.

But there's bigger reason why the Tories are finished. We know May won't be fighting the next election and whoever follows her will be another placeholder. The Tories will either select a safe moderate or a known personality - neither of whom will have a dedicated movement behind them. Say what you like about Cameron, but there was an energy behind him and a mission to take power. The Tories are now on a mission to hold on to it. It is a wholly defensive posture.

But then there's that elephant in the room isn't there? Brexit. Right now, unless there is a radical change in direction we are headed for a boneheaded Brexit executed by two of the least informed people in the business and a rather toxic junior Brexit secretary. They genuinely believe that walking away is a feasible option, have equally flawed ideas of how trade works - and what we can accomplish in the time available.

The short of it is that there is no possibility of this clan making a good go of it. They will look foolish. They will be outclassed in every single way. And there's a reason for this. There is something about modern Toryism which is far worse than the bog standard mode. In Redwood, IDS, Davis, Johnson, Rees Mogg (and the likes) we have a staggeringly ignorant bunch who think they know everything and cannot be told anything - and if pushed will lie through their teeth.

As much as they will dissemble and deflect, the public will be in no doubt as to who is to blame for their manifest failings on Brexit (and other matters). You can wail all you like about Corbyn being unelectable, but when you have a party full of Toryboy vultures who would deny the sky is blue, there is nothing left to vote for. I'm a conservative minded person but I have no intention of voting Tory for the foreseeable future - and I will be making that recommendation to others.

In normal times you could argue quite easily that Corbyn's economics would be a disaster for the country but when you're likely to deliver a trainwreck Brexit, and collide head on with the consequences of self-cultivated ignorance, you cannot lay any special claim to economic ability. Face it kiddo, you've blown it. You're done.

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