By which I mean Tories in positions of power. Your voters and your party members don’t really matter here. They are ageing and ill-educated, which is not their fault. I’m talking to you, Tory MP, Tory peer, Tory councillor, Tory MEP, Tory AM or MSP. You are the ones I see on TV, read about in the press, over whom I sometimes stumble on social media. You are the public faces and voices of a party which has long sought successfully to win the democratic vote. So how do you look to those who are not of your tribe?
There’s no easy way to say this. You look bad.
There is not the slightest shred of authority about you. You are like a street gang, tooled-up with knives, or bottles of acid, fighting senseless postcode wars that make no sense to anyone who doesn’t share your tiny, narrow, ill-informed world view (almost everyone else). Your deadly feuds are with one another, and you’ll wield a weapon as the first, not the last response to some perceived threat or sleight. Much of the Cabinet is like this.
Though, as in any gang, there are the more passive-aggressive members who make up the numbers, but are rarely required to think for themselves. The backbench member of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee who was wheeled out on TV and radio to attack the BBC on pay yesterday was a fairly typical example. A sweaty man with the flushed demeanour of someone who had recently been studying a porn site on his phone, this creature could scarcely string an argument together, because the only matter of any significance in this affair was to do the bidding of the gang’s Mr Big dealers, the commercial rivals of the BBC. I looked at this odious man and thought, “No way are you worth £76,000 of anyone’s money.”
Then there’s the Tories who are so Old School that they have forgotten about 200 years of British history, and have no concept of democracy, or of public service. Step forward Councillor Rock Fielding-Mellen, former Deputy Leader (with responsibility for housing) of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. This is the man whose response to council tenants wanting a say over their services said, “The village cannot dictate to the Estate”.
Think about that phrase, dripping with a contempt for ‘the little people’, those without property, status, wealth and power. It’s the language of the Second Estate, the privileged nobility for whom the notion of public service, still less the equality of all citizens, is wholly alien. This is a face of the modern Tory Party. Cold, literally careless.
And who was the relatively youthful Tory (Brexiter) MP who, in a state of drunken euphoria on referendum night rejoiced as the value of Sterling fell off a cliff, declaring that he didn’t care? He was rich. He’d always be all right. Kate Maltby, his appalled fellow Tory hasn’t shopped him, but I think we can all guess who this ‘potential candidate for future leadership of the party’ might be. Because there are just so many who fit this Ancien Regime template.
Theresa May, narrow, slow-thinking, Thames Valley Tory that she is, may have wanted, sincerely, to re-position her party as slightly more sympathetic and inclusive, but she lacked the wit, the words, the policies and the support for it to be anything more than a few speeches written by Nick Timothy. No matter. The public didn’t buy it. Neither did her party. She is now the prisoner-PM, chained to the leg-iron of Brexit.
For I must say this, Tories. You are not only cruel, self-interested, avaricious, undemocratic in instincts, and unconcerned with public service – you are inept.
The level of incompetence you Tories display – across the board – is staggering. A former miner created the NHS from scratch in three years. His partner built the Open University. Once we had leaders who could lead, create, make change happen. Now we have you, Tories, who are the embodiment of cluelessness.
That, my Tory fellow citizens, is how you look to the rest of us.
Have a nice day,