The political disembowelling of Michael Fallon represents the high point of this unsavoury and unenlightening election campaign. The Tories, behaving like cornered rats that would represent a significant advance on their moral and ethical stance, are playing the patriotism and fear cards with the desperation of a party that has been exposed for the charlatans, opportunists and hypocrites that they are.
Fallon, faced with views expressed by the self-seeking buffoon who masquerades as Foreign Secretary, automatically assumed that they had been uttered by Jeremy Corbyn. They could have been, because they exposed the delusion that somehow Britain's little bubble remains immune both from the disasters of ideological and religious schism promoted around the world, and that there are no consequences for the home island from our actions abroad. Expressing such a view is rational and based around evidence and inductive reasoning, which is doubtless why May and her coterie of manipulative pustules are trying to close down debate and replace it with the nauseating virtue-signalling that is the hallmark of the modern Conservative.
When yet another atrocity is committed, with evil intent, there is a tendency for the "strong and stable" delusion to be rolled out. The normal human instinct for protection and the use of authority to defend personal interest kicks in - the questioning of "why?" is confined to the rhetorical rather than prompting an uncomfortable realisation that the vicious fascism of the Daily Mail is mirrored by extremism and irrationality from others. Bystanders and the innocent are collateral damage, but May's cant makes it difficult to avoid a slight suspicion that a level of threat and insecurity are all part of the plan for social control. Perhaps we should stop reading 1984, although the proles represent a manifestation of the cowed masses that the Tories prefer.
For the Tory machine, it has not been a good week. Despite Labour's abject rejection of the need to provide leadership on the two defining issues, Brexit and the constitution, that could have provided them with a pitch for anti-Tory votes, the proposals to change social care acquired the soubriquet of the dementia tax - promoted by the insane to penalise those whose old age is not serene and ordered until the final moment, and without any consistency with the Coalition's insurance-based proposals that were scrapped in 2012 against a background of deluded backwood Tory chuntering. The confusion and backtracking would have resonated even more in other circumstances - we need this to be given much more prominence over the next ten days.
At the same time, the generous provision of thin gruel for deprived children was exposed as having been undercosted by a factor of nine or ten. The Institute for Fiscal Studies damned both of the principal contenders for power, but the Tories' vacuous, platitude-ridden manifesto stands out as an example of how to treat both the informed and the ignorant with equal contempt. The economy is clearly falling off a cliff, as demonstrated by the stagflation approaching, and they are fiddling with gimmicks and wilful ignorance of the perils ahead. Labour's optimism about tax take looks minor by comparison.
May has clearly worked out that her only asset is the negative perception of Corbyn. She allows the third- or fourth-division "talents" of Ruth Davidson to assault the SNP, attempting to pin the blame for Westminster-driven policy on Edinburgh. Sadly, for the Tories, Rape Clause Ruth is continually contradicting herself, making enemies, and, it is to be hoped, that socially-responsible Unionists previously tempted to the wolf's lair will resort to the risible Kezia Dugdale instead, rather than supporting a hostile regime in Westminster.
Every time she opens her mouth, pursed against the possible ingestion of the same air as her subjects, she attacks Labour. She has nothing to offer - the entire Tory campaign is a shambles based around hatred and fear. She looks ill, whether physically or mentally it is hard to tell. Her wildness and irrationality resemble the latter days of Thatcher, when the poll tax was manifestly unravelling. There is nothing of any substance to deliver the alleged professional government that she pretends would be compromised if the Tories lose the election.
That this is now a slight possibility is remarkable. While the media concentrates on national poll ratings and the two-sided yahooism that passes for debate, there are numerous more localised contests going on. In a system that is both undemocratic and oppressive, targeted voting and passive co-operation are more likely to work this time, especially if there is a surge in the participation rate from those recently registered to vote. Tory Central Office is rightly concerned - differential turn-out and good information may not result in their opinion poll lead sweeping May into a dictatorship.
Therefore the priority for the next ten days is to maximise this possibility. In the event of an upset occurring, policy and programme will need to be cobbled together quickly thereafter - but this is not the prime driver. May called this election out of arrogance and party advantage - the nemesis of destroying this would be a pleasure in itself. It is too early to hope that this is not a pipedream, but ten days ago this would have been pure fantasy.
An evil week has passed - and there is still much more to come. If, this time a week ago, it had been mooted that the vile fascist Katie Hopkins would have been let go by a tinpot radio station, this would have seemed incredible. Stranger, and larger things must happen, but there is a chance for a small chink of optimism.