Sunday, 10 July 2016

Nothing's as it appears through England's Looking Glass!

Legions of Sir Humphreys are delighted to know that 
two old Etonians can still create havoc in UK society.

Should have seen the signs really. There was my lifelong friend Neil waiting for me as I walked out of arrivals at Heathrow on the day of the referendum.

“Thanks mate!’ I said after the familiar manhug, “Means the world to me to be met!”

“Yeh well, just as well I did come, as you’d never’ve been able to make it to ours. The Tube’s closed.”

“The District line?”

“All of them. We’ve had a day and a half of apocalyptic rain and now they’re flooded.”

“Yeh, I s’pose the clue’s in the name: Underground.”

“You’d think, but in fact the bits that are flooded are overground. The underground parts are fine.”

“What the -?”

"Yeh, I know. C’mon, let’s go find my car.”

As we drove through the traffic-sodden streets I looked at London and felt a little disappointed. Living in the west of Ireland I look forward to visiting the city of my birth, where usually I enjoy glimpses of the modern world: slick, cutting edge technology and a train every three minutes.

Yes, the rain was truly hammering down upon London, Galway style’n’fashion, but the entire tube network wiped out? 


Should have seen the signs, but in the corridors of the English Establishment life is lived ‘Through The Looking Glass’, where signs are shadows and while you’re worried about what’s behind you the man standing in front of you does the dirty deed.

There’s an arcane air of the Victorian Music Hall about the way the Conservative Party performs its leadership business, but once you’ve learned the rules you may exploit them.

Boris has played a blinder. He knew that he wouldn’t win a leadership contest because Tory MPs see him for the vacuous charismatic snot bubble that he is. 

Boris creates a dilemma for his parliamentary colleagues. They can’t abide the man. Plainly incapable of doing the job of Prime Minister, he has the ability to win a General Election. They won’t vote for him but the country might.

Boris never wanted it now, especially with all that pesky EU negotiation stuff to come. Boris wants to win in 2020. That’s why, hours after the referendum result, his people had a word with Theresa May’s people, explaining that Boris was willing to stand down from a leadership contest, if she’d agree to stand down as Prime Minister for him in 2020.

Ms. May told Boris to go away and sit on the naughty step. Can’t he see mummy’s busy?

In many ways it actually suited Boris when Michael Gove (think less Brutus, more self-righteous bumble bee) appeared to scupper his ambitions

Boris knows the game. As Michael Heseltine discovered after instigating the demise of Margaret Thatcher, Tory MPs don’t choose the one who stirred to pot as their new leader. Boris will happily settle for a nice cabinet post, where he can practice gravitas for his 2020 leadership bid.

Many claim the British Establishment is crumbling, yet in fact the opposite is true.

Legions of Sir Humphreys are lounging in the upper echelons of the Civil Service, delighted to know that two old Etonians having a wee bundle can still create havoc in every sector of UK society.

Those men (for men they will be ) are the real powerbrokers; craven and forever smug.

Through the looking glass Cameron didn’t want a referendum. He offered it in his election manifesto to placate Tory Eurosceptics, but when he went and won an absolute majority, he had to fulfil such a visible pledge.

If each were to follow their true beliefs, Boris would prefer to stay, while Cameron would have campaigned to leave the EU, as would Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn.

Tragically, typically, nobody felt principles mattered.

Sitting in their London living rooms I felt my friends’ frustrations with Jeremy Corbyn. Mostly traditional Labour voters, they were tired of his half-arsedness. Uniformly they felt angry, upset and betrayed by the utter ineptitude of the Remain Campaign.

I was a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, but he lost my vote when he agreed to run with the Remain campaign. Other than (seemingly single-handedly) reminding voters of Europe’s vital worker and human right laws, he’s an old-fashioned socialist who shouldn’t support a capitalist entity like the EU.

Had Corbyn stated at the start he couldn’t in clear conscience campaign Remain and then resigned, I’d see him as a man of principle. Now he’s just a narcissist in a cardigan.

Hence a Full House of party leaders and campaigners who fight not for their causes but pure opportunism, egos licking and lapping around their own solipsistic orifices.

Not one major English leader (LibDem who?) believes a word they say, and promises tumble (immigration? Oh never said we’d bring down numbers) like feeble blossom (€350 million a week for the NHS? Sorry, didn’t mean it) down the nation’s rain-flushed storm drains.

In this twisted paradigm the people who say they most treasure the United Kingdom have voted to end the United Kingdom. Above that Northern border-in-waiting, two women lead their political parties as leaders might: passionate, lucid and inspiring.

Would that we could rid ourselves of the present mess of English party politics and replace Cameron and Corbyn with the strong clear voices of Ruth Davidson and Nicola Sturgeon.

They do not talk down to people because they know we are not stupid. We don’t expect politicians to deliver promises, but we do need to believe they believe themselves.

©Charlie Adley

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