Saturday, 12 January 2013

Will Europe provide the Tory suicide note?

When Lord Heseltine is wheeled out, the stink of regicide appears in the offing.  There are still Tories who consider that his decapitation of Thatcher in 1990 is worthy of public castration as a starting point for the kind of humiliation that Torquemada would refer to the European Court of Human Rights.  For him to chastise the half-witted, credulous loon who masquerades as Prime Minister is notable in the heady descent of the Tories into the kind of mire that the late Michael Foot would have regarded as implausible.

The Conservative Party has no compelling reason to exist, beyond maintaining the status quo for the inbred, corrupt and deluded.  It is not a centre-right force along Christian Democrat lines, nor is it quite dribbling to the extent of the extreme right, yet.  Despite this it has been extremely successful in maintaining its grip on power over a century and a half - but this hegemony looks as though it is about to be challenged through the incompatibility of the centre-right with the knuckle-dragging, backwoods loons who regard anything less than a reversion to the Empire as a betrayal.

These are the people who comment on the Daily Telegraph message boards, if they are capable of punctuating, or the Mail if they are secretly interested in compromising pictures of pubescent "celebrities".  They tolerated Cameron when he was seen as a winner - but any weakness results in the baying of a pack of half-wits.  Davey-boy is therefore doubly damned, as any attempt to explain the facts of life to these people will drive them into the arms of UKIP, who are cleverly-positioning themselves as the maverick Little Englanders.

Given the vagaries of the electoral system, it is quite probable that all this will achieve is a split on the right and, hopefully, the return of a different Government.  The closest parallel is the SDP/Labour split in the 1980s, which allowed a totally-unrepresentative result to take place, and the dismantling of both social cohesion and political discourse.  If UKIP damage the Tories, then this will be the best poetic justice for scuppering electoral reform over 40 years.

If the Tories are stuffed by electoral geography, it is difficult to see how British politics moves forward without a realignment.  Cameron is aware of this - the irony of being bankrolled by the kind of people traditional Tories would dismiss as spivs and not even worthy of using the tradesmen's entrance is something that one can enjoy.   The historic rightist bloc is collapsing, and the challenge is now for the libertarian tendency to fill in the dots.

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