Whenever Andrea Leadsom is inflicted on the public, the Tories are in trouble. Her sole function appears to be that of making Theresa May look as though there might have once been a flicker of humanity and common decency. That this is at least partially successful demonstrates what a disgusting travesty of a politician Leadsom is. A year ago, she was pretending that she was a suitable leader because someone (alas) had impregnated her - now she was seen to emerge from her sewer to berate the media for not being sufficiently uncritical about the rapid unravelling of her lies and false prospectus on Britain's future.
Far right lunatics such as Leadsom do not like the concept of free speech. In a world where their agenda is dictated by a mixture of off-shore oligarchs, foreign powers and a self-interest that will prove suicidal, the idea that the press and the public have not just a right but a duty to challenge them is anathema. Bread and circuses would be too much of an indulgence of the plebs, so hectoring and contempt become the staple currencies.
This hysteria demonstrates a regime that knows it is on the cusp of being found out. From the hubris two months ago, where May's all-conquering authoritarianism would drive out all dissent and kill off parliamentary opposition for ever, there is now an impotent husk - humiliated by its own arrogance and now a laughing-stock beyond the comprehension of even the most pessimistic of the Project Fear alumni. A Queen's Speech which, for two years, demonstrates the extent to which the Tories are now trapped at the mercy of events, and which will haunt their hopefully-troubled dreams, and the ongoing revelations of the extent to which public safety has been compromised over the last three decades, are both manifestations of a regime in denial.
Patriotism and responsibility go hand in hand. MPs declare allegiance to the Crown and, by extension, the citizenry on whom the existence of a government machine depends. Their duty is not to act as facilitators of a national immolation - and to provide leadership. This goes beyond party boundaries - and especially where there is no overarching expression of public opinion. Politicians cannot abdicate their duties, and will be found out if they do so. Nor can they lie - as May has been doing consistently to claim that the election result gives her and her henchpeople an unfettered mandate to pursue their ends without either complaint or scrutiny.
It is difficult to envisage a nation committing such an act of egregious folly and self-destruction without external events conspiring against it. With the exception of a few rogue states, there is not one of the UK's erstwhile allies that would have wished such a farrago of destruction and incompetence upon it. A rational administration would be looking to mitigate and row back from inflicting damage upon its citizens, especially now that the normal processes of representative government have yielded not even a qualified consent to the course that the Tories are hell-bent on navigating the nations towards.
There may be closer analogies between the last days of the Third Reich and the Tories than is comfortable for anyone to contemplate. For the avoidance of doubt, I am not claiming that there are many in the Conservative camp who are out-and-out Nazis, but that the behaviour patterns encouraging and abetting needless national destruction are sadly aligning themselves. At least we still have freedom to challenge and to express dissent, which is why Leadsom's bilge and bile are such an alarming manifestation.
For most of the last eighteen months of the Second World War in Europe, it was clear that the forces lined up against Germany would prevail. There is a similar, albeit less sinister, imbalance today in the farce that David Davis presides over. The denial of the realities and the consequences of actions, for fear of displeasing and upsetting the leadership bunker, and the destruction of the basic pillars of civilisation proceeds regardless, and without any apparent rationality. Working to Theresa is not in the national interests.
Leadsom's vileness at least provides confirmation that there is some form of collective cultism ongoing. The Tories, squatting, impotent and hostage to both internal and external defenestration, are a symbol of the extent to which the darkness and evil of a regime that believes itself to be both superior and unchallengeable can fall. It is to be hoped that the consequences of this sedition and treachery form the basis for action, and that the liars, scoundrels and thieves will be kicked out without the social and material destruction that has often accompanied the will of the people finally being unleashed.