Saturday, 9 July 2016

Loathsome Leadsom's vileness is a calculated risk

Frankly, the prospect of another two months of the Conservative Party's self-abuse is frightening.  It is not quite as disturbing as the reality that at the end of the process one of the candidates will be in charge of the British nuclear button, and crowned head of a country that is disintegrating both economically and politically.

The preposterous and surreal degeneration of public life will be fascinating for historians but it does not make for an edifying spectacle for those of us who are collateral damage.  It is incredible that a mendacious, hypocritical and delusional candidate has been placed in front of the Conservative Party, unless you believe that most of the last thirty years of politics has been manipulated to push a rabid form of neoconservative cretinism into the mainstream.

Andrea Leadsom is a foul concoction of lies, cant and wind.  The manufactured outrage over her playing the Christian Coalition family card and then trying, unconvincingly, to row back when her interview was published is a prime example of the faux naif school of politics.  She is deliberately skewing her message to the chuntering hinterland of the Tory/UKIP borderlands - the racists, the fearful and the self-entitled - with a view to upsetting the "establishment" that she has used to feather her own nest over decades.

There are some who argue that this is a mirror of the Corbyn takeover of Labour last year, which too is causing unravelling and stasis just when there needs to be UK-wide opposition to a party whose contempt for the electorate extends to this current farrago of a leadership election.  At least with Corbyn his political trajectory has been clear, and he has stuck to views over decades.  Leadsom has been inconsistent, a liar and a fantasist.

Her victory would probably fracture the Tories, but this would pave the way for the rightist authoritarian party she really wants to lead.  Closer in attitude to Marine Le Pen, in fact, than any mainstream politician.  Doubtless there would be cheering from Arron Banks and Vladimir Putin, and it would be intriguing to work out where the financial interests and money flows are going to and from.

Leadsom's approach to truth has been amply demonstrated.  Her behaviour is a disgrace.  A self-publicist with narcissism off the scale does not inspire confidence in her ability to engage at any level of politics.  She is trying to manipulate the Tory leadership contest to create the narrative of the insurgent outsider, which is as risible as her CV.  If the Tories fall for it, they will not merely reinforce their previous image as the Nasty Party but the Stupid Party makes a resurgence.  In my more nihilist moments this might even be a price worth paying, if there is a centre-left alternative that can rescue the countries from perdition.

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