Finally caught up with Matthew Parris in Saturday’s Times. No; not neglect. Simply because the Lady in my Life purloins Murdoch’s neoCon rag, and leaves me with my preferred Guardian.
Today, then, we browse on Parris’s New-look Ukip threatens Cameron’s legacy.
Before we proceed: muse on whatever “Cameron’s legacy” might be. Apart from the constant lay-offs of steel-workers, retail-workers, and the ever-constant national divisiveness (e.g.#IndyRef; #EURef), we might nod at the lousy productivity, a decade of “austerity” (which, like taxes, is only for the “little people”), and the constant war on public services.
Then to the conceit of the Kippers changing their wardrobes. Apart from their penchant for serial silly neckwear, this is another distraction. It gets even more lunatic when the proposal is:
Ukip’s blue-sky thinkers covet the huge penumbra of soft support that the Corbynite wing of the Labour party finds among its £3 non-member “supporters” club.
Ukip and “thinkers” in the same phrase! Now, that‘s original.
Paris properly coughs, ahems, but resists the opportunity to mock, merely continuing:
My guess is that fishing in cyber waters, you net an (on average) younger, cooler and more generally switched-on crowd. Corbynite Labour has done so, but is there the same untapped support for the populist right out there on the internet, for @nukip to tap?
Where the whole thing, even the normally-sane Parris, completely leaves the tracks is here:
The most vigorous and successful Britain-wide party today is the Conservative party, but it is haunted by a philosophical divide between progressives and reactionaries.
Note the quibble: “Britain-wide”. The notion that the Tory Party is vigorous and successful ignores the ever-decreasing geriatric membership, the hollowed-out non-functioning Associations. Any success, local or nationally, is based on statistical freaky. Consider:
That, folks, is “success”: a downward general decline, a lower hike than Labour in the annus mirabilis of 2015 — and even that achieved by two bits of nasty:
- First there was dirty-work at the Roadtrip crossroads against LibDems.
- second, the tartan dead-cat on the table.
No: the most vigorous and successful party, even Britain-wide party, is the SNP.
After all, it was the SNP steam-roller that denied Labour dozens of seats in Scotland, and Lynton Crosby’s Jockophobics that impacted on Labour in the rest of the UK. Remember this:
Put together what little there is in all that, and I end up with Macbeth:
… in these cases
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poison’d chalice
To our own lips.
Chesterton, that old demi-semi-fascist (don’t the fascists love to claim him) and overt anti-semite, warned:
we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Well, he was wrong. The people of England speak at elections, and every few decades they turn vicious: then it’s heave-ho for the established order: 1906, 1945, 1964-66, 1979, 1997. We are coming due for another such upset.
We are about to witness the electors of London spitting on the mayoral grave of Boris Johnson. Already the wannabe Lynton Crosbys of Tory Central are briefing their clients in the national press that what matters — really, really matters — is how Labour does or doesn’t do in Eatanswill:
[The extra irony being that Tories recruit their canvassers with promises of eating and swilling.]
In fact, by 6th May, Sadiq Khan will be the most significant person in Labour Party and local government politics.
Paris concluded his piece:
So I’ll end by repeating what Mr [Arron] Banks said: “I’ve got a weird feeling that British politics will be realigned after the referendum.” So have I.
Agreed. But, two things more:
- the #Brexit thing has proved that UKIP existed more as a threat to Tory peace-of-mind than in any wider dimension;
- we won’t need to wait till the end of June for a cloud no smaller than a bus-driver’s son’s hand.