May's campaign to cling on to power is a national embarrassment. Disloyalty is the secret weapon of the Conservative party

22 Aug 2017 at 09:23

Dear God, the desperation of Madame to breathe a few more months of the toxic and polluting Downing Street air is becoming a national embarrassment. The first briefing that she was going to apologise to conference for the election was a disaster. Conference wants to cheer their leader even when they don’t care to. It is a display of faux party unity which has become a Tory fetish. The rule of thumb is that the more plaudits that are lavished the more vulnerable the receipient becomes. Remember Thatcher’s comment about her Chancellor Nigel Lawson, that his position was ‘unassailable’? Well, he didn’t last last much longer after that. And David Maxwell Fife, who coined the phrase, “Loyalty is the secret weapon of the Conservative Party”? Harold Macmillan sacked him a couple of weeks later. So Tories will promise 110% loyalty to Madame until the day of treachery dawns.

But an apology to conference is merely a very public reminder of her catastrophic error of judgement in calling an unnecessary election which has trashed the Tory brand and was the midwife to Corbyn. Corbyn may head a deranged, dangerous and anti Parliamentary democracy party, yet his personal emotional intelligence is a niggling reminder of that which May doesn’t possess. Judgement is what party leaders are paid for. So it’s no good saying “trust me to sort out Brexit”, because they won’t .

And now she has weaponised Chequers. Evidently the Tory party is forking out a few squid for Mr and Mrs Backbencher to come and have a sniff round the country pile. Look, let’s be realistic. They will drink her booze and guzzle her canapés but that doesn’t buy loyalty. Loyalty is a marriage made out of necessity. Win us an election and don’t fuck up Brexit is the price. Sadly, Madame can’t guarantee either. Interestingly, the last politician to weaponise Something with a similar name was Richard Nixon in 1952. He was on Eisenhower’s presidential ticket and was caught up in a election gift scandal which could have destroyed him. He saved the day by making a cheesy television address when he said that the one gift he would keep was a black and white dog beloved of his children. They called him Checkers. Nixon won the election.

So are we going to see a television address with Madame stroking Larry, the Downing Street mouser, in an an affectionate and endearing way? The thought of it. She’d either look like a Bond villain or Larry would jump on her lap with a bleeding and flapping bird between its jaws. Not perhaps the image we would like.

So I’m sorry guys. The Tory party, if it is going to survive, it is going to have to regenerate like Doctor Who into something new, lively and appealing. And most important of all; competent. It’s time for a Night of the Long Knives. Sooner rather than later. As David Maxwell Fife may not have said, ‘disloyalty is the secret weapon of the Conservative party’.