The Brexiteers are sowing the seeds of hatred and discrimination against those who come to our country to work hard and pay taxes. It borders on the wicked

31 May 2016 at 19:17

The sheer level of hatred for Cameron and Osborne amongst the small minority of pond bottom feeders on the back benches is predictable but depressing. It is a peculiar scorched earth strategy that has hobbled my party for years. It is a political Groundhog Day. The same sort of people never forgave Major for winning the 1992, ‘so we can regroup and return to true Conservatism’. And Cameron had the bloody cheek of winning an outright majority against the odds putting the kibosh on the Brady bunch handing him the pearl handed revolver and the bottle of single malt. It is so unfair. I suspect Number 10 doesn’t give a toss about the fruit looped views of such influential Tories as Cash, Brigden and Dorries. Although one has to ask what it takes for the whip to be withdrawn. To accuse one’s leader in public and on live television of being a liar used to be a hanging out to dry offence. Despite all the disagreements many of us had with Thatcher we would never use such language even in private. Simply because it is not a Conservative or a decent thing to do. And for an unknown MP (we know who you are sonny) to spit the venom and bile, ‘I won’t stab Cameron in the back but in the front so I can see the expression on his face. Then I’d have to twist the knife to save it for Osborne’, would be a banishment offence if it was made against the leader of the opposition. I know this may seem old fashioned, but these are not the words of a gentleman. Yet is it worth breaking bats and rats on a wheel? Of course not. The most effective, irritating and insulting way of dealing with these people is to ignore them. They crave the oxygen of publicity so put them in a vacuum. But it needs a bit of trigger mortis.

I always have had difficulty in understanding the Camosbo loathing. Is it class? Hardly. Is it envy? Perhaps. Is it the primal scream of being excluded from a chumocracy? Probably. But if you are in a position of power you want to surround yourself with people you feel comfortable with. I was never in that position with Thatcher, but I didn’t expect to be. I remember Michael Portillo asking me if I had any regrets not sucking up to the lady. The answer was no. I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin. I would never claim to be in John Major’s inner circle, but we were and are friends. I could have a chat if I wanted to and often did. But did I expect a grand job? Of course not.

I was chatting to a cabinet minister the other day about the depressing fetid atmosphere and recrimination that infects the back benches and his words were that it was like a scene out of the Crucible. So Westminster is a little like the trials of the witches of Salem. ‘Sit on this ducking stool Cameron and Osborne and if you drown you are innocent. But if you float to the surface you will be burnt at the stake to purify your soul’. It is depressing and infantile. Welcome to modern Tory politics.

I thought Hague got it about right when he said that after the referendum there should be a wide ranging reshuffle. Not vindictive, but practical. Those ministers (Priti Patel we know where you live) who have been given every opportunity, even with limited ability, to shine should go if they have behaved disgracefully. And it saddens me to say Gove is not without mortal sin. A great talent who has been caught up in the moment. That terrible and deadly concoction of zeal, adrenaline and loss of moral compass. And Bozo too. It would be bordering on a criminal offence to give him any cabinet position. There will be howls of protest from the obvious quarters. But there will be anyway. Those ministers who have been Brexiteers but who have behaved with honour should stay. Similarly those backbenchers who are natural Eurosceptics but out of loyalty and keeping the party together bit their lips should be rewarded. It will send out a clear message; if you behave like a shit you will be treated as one.

There is still a while to go. Anything could happen. The descent into the politics that inflame prejudices and create hostility to minorities is abhorrent. Even if we leave the EU, open borders within Shengen won’t disappear. Albanians and Syrians will still be trying to navigate the channel. To get a few grubby votes the Brexiteers are demonising those hard working people whom we welcome to our country as taxpayers and contributors the the fabric of our lives. It has always been the British way. They are sowing the seeds of envy and discrimination. It is not just irresponsible but borders on the wicked.