Sunday, 23 September 2012

Mitchell and Coleman (FRSA) cut the Tory mustard

An intriguing week for observers of the Tory scene.  There is at least one matter which is sub judice which may constrain full comment - but what we are enjoying is the sight of the Conservatives re-emerging from their mendacious pretence of evolution into something that might have been acceptable a century ago into the true Cro-Magnon experience that we came to know and love in the period of Thatcher's leadership.

The case of Andrew Mitchell, the Chief Whip, is a curious one.  The position of Chief Whip requires a hide of leather, respect for others comparable with the Emperor Caligula's, and an ability to cajole, bully and threaten semi-educated backbench ingrates through the division lobbies of the Commons.  The success of his predecessor, the token prole McLoughlin, in delivering Coalition policy, meant that Dave had to find another one - and Mitchell fitted the bill.

Mitchell's behaviour in abusing the police is in keeping with the nouveau riche approach to people who they regard as the servant classes.  It is particularly sickening in a week when two officers were murdered in cold blood, dealing with the flip-side of the Tory panjandrums' Big Society.  For students of irony, it seems that if you're a cycling Minister you will get support from the same people who are engaging in the ritual hang-them Pavlovian reaction to get a couple of column inches from the moronic tabloids.

Whether he survives or not, he demonstrates the contempt that the current Tory Party demonstrates for the the mass of the population - mere bit-part actors in the solipsistic drama of Conservative hubris.  Perhaps if he loses his post, he might consider taking on a seemingly impossible project - the rehabilitation of Brian Coleman.

Last week's entry alluded to the unravelling of Mr Coleman's political career and reputation: the "old hags" jibe being the kind of hate speak that the Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts seems to regard as appropriate political debate.  Apparently Brian now has his own little blog, filling in the time between plotting the downfall of all those who wish him well - a pudgy Blofeld sitting in subsidised accommodation - which he uses to repeat the canard that any opposition to anything that might be seven-degrees removed from the Jewish community is motivated by Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Brian, bless him, was found guilty by a toothless Standards Committee of abusing constituents by accusing them of anti-semitism, treachery to Israel and one memorable suggestion that the complainant would have been a member of the blackshirts - and has failed to make his apologies - despite having had his appeal against the ruling rejected.  A lovely paragon of the new Toryism.

Perhaps he is sick - not just politically but in dire need of the kind of therapy that he would not wish others to be funded for.  Paranoia is an unattractive and dangerous trait - and doubtless the Coleman mind has been focusing on a belief that his downfall is not due to a combination of inept policies, personal charmlessness and downright contempt for the general public.  In a parallel universe, Brian is as pure as the driven snow, and his remaining allies will persist in feeding this myth.

We no longer live in a blame or responsibility culture.  It was widely reported that Mr Coleman spent some time assisting the police with their enquiries into an assault on a constituent, and is now walking the streets of Totteridge before he answers bail.  The Tory party has been notably silent on the reports (, which would in most organisations result in at least a precautionary suspension pending the full hearing of the allegations.  As they could become more serious (a broken wrist could escalate the charge into ABH, perhaps) - the Barnet Tories are ignoring the situation - demonstrating both idiotic unawareness and contempt for decent standards.

Mitchell is a significant public figure, Coleman a ridiculous parody of a politician.  It shows that the Tory party is a thuggish, unaccountable and thoroughly brutish organisation - with no or limited moral compass.  If Clegg were serious about apologising and turning over a new leaf, he could do worse than draw attention to the hypocrisy and boorishness his alleged partners continue to perpetrate.

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