All the sizes in all the colours as the EU antagonists charge out of the blocks
The Prime Minister is off to America, where it is expected he will be briefed on what to think during the coming year. But before leaving, he will kick off his big EU fightback with some pro-Brussels spin that is so leaden, it really does feel like something Mandelson might have come up with in 2005. Staying in the EU, Cammers will claim, will earn £10 billion for Britain. This is because the Eton Mess hopes to help clinch a global trade deal with Obama and the EU, so of course it is a very good reason for keeping the Special Relationship as well. By the way, given the likely outcome of these trade talks, while Britain will trouser £10bn, Washington will pick up a mere £63bn, or slightly more than they paid in debt interest last week. ‘The deal could be worth £380 a year for each British family’ puffed the Number Ten Bollockserator.
Anyway, just so we’re clear here, the reason to stay in the EU is because it’s about to do a deal with the US. Do try to remain clear on that one, because there are no local elections to be won by UKip this week and so Boris Johnson is now telling us that the question of EU membership “is no longer of key importance to the destiny of this country….The political row [about it, which I've been stoking up for months] risks overshadowing more important weaknesses in the economy…”. Ah, OK. So Ukip, which held a really important message for Brits last week, is this week irrelevant, says Boris.
I know this is what Boris will say this morning, because Channel Island cruising Bumboy Bobby Winnet trailered the Johnson remarks in his Telegraph column late last night. Yes, it was a case of a Telegraph hack filling space to tell readers about another Telegraph column that BoJo was going to unveil the following morning. Les jumelles de Barclaysark don’t do subtle, and their choice of messenger never varies. You have to laugh. In fact, I have to laugh out loud when Boris tells us that the real problem Britain faces is sloth in the workplace. Quite right. All these f**king two-toed tree sloths coming into the country and stealing our jobs. It’s a disgrace.
So on one side of the House we have a Party run by a bloke who says the EU is a red herring, and a Prime Minister in the same Party who says yes of course we must stay in because our
zookeepers allies think
we should. And while Red Herring Tory says in or out who gives a sh*t, Red Hot
education poker Michael Gove says he thinks the eurosceptics may well be right,
and if they are he’ll be right behind them. Nigel Farage’s negotiation process
with these chaps was never going to be easy.
From Red Tories to Blue Labour, but still on the EU issue that doesn’t matter any more, those of a blue tinge among the Ed Miller Band members – MP for Dagenham & Rainham Jon Cruddas, and Ed’s former guru Lord Glasman seem to be the prime movers here – are all for getting a renegotiation of the EU rules on unfettered migration. Ed Miliband himself, who is of course Red, is even keener on forgetting the entire thing, because his left wing would like the entire Indian sub-continent in Burnley by 2015, whereas his near right wing (more Pink than Blue) wants to ‘reconnect with Labour’s lost voters’ – that is, to get elected at all costs by saying whatever it takes. He is so keen for the whole thing to go away, he’s as keen as mustard….and thus probably Brown Ed these days. Or maybe that’s just his trousers. Ed is obviously very good with colours, because when Environment Minister under
totally wrong-headed Gordon Brown, he was Green.
From the start of this bunfight (roughly thirty years ago or more) those leading operations have always been keen to call the EU ‘a matter for personal choice’ by legislators – Westminster code for “we’re both totally split so we’ll say ‘vote with your conscience’ while bullying the crap out of you to toe the line behind the scenes”. But forgetting the EU for a minute because it’s imploding anyway, it’s the colour spectrum that intrigues me.
It does seem to your correspondent that Labour’s colour is red, and the Conservative colour is blue. These globally recognised signs of liberal v conservative are either the ones to go with, or they aren’t. ‘New’ Labour – the dreadful invention of the late Phil Gould – was really a fudge saying “there is no longer a united or electable unit called The Labour Party”. ‘Blue’ Labour – equally wooden as a concept – is saying something similar, only sixteen years further on…as in, “We are no longer a Party at all, but rather a loose alliance of cynical troughers who will be whatever bloody colour you want us to be so long as we can win power”.
The situation is slightly different in the Tory Party, where you can just about admit to being good with colours these days, but it’s still frowned upon in private. There are no shades of blue, as if this might be some political boat-race, there are Clubs and Committees. There was the Monday Club, then when that went a bit odd, the No turning Back Club; and the 1922 Committee. These are all examples of the Conservative Right, which you can tell by the way they’re either extinct, or determined not to turn their backs on 1922. Mainly they want to turn their backs on the Treaty of Rome (even the Romans themselves do now) and this principle, plus their antediluvian feelings about many things such as ethics and hanging chimney sweeps, is what separates them from the Club That Dare Not Speak It’s Name. No, I’m not talking about the Masonic Paedophile Elm Lodge tendency, but rather the thing which in recent weeks I have dubbed Borishunt Fallongove.
You could give this schism various titles – like ‘Barclays and Rupert Murdoch Yes!’ (BARMY!) or ‘Against Thatcherite Wets and Trimmers’ (ATWAT) – but all they do is confirm why the group has no name: like The Tribune Group in Labour, it is unelectable in its true colours….which are probably black, and pitch black. It aims, as far as I can gather, to take over the Tory Party and bury ‘One Nation Conservatism’ forever, possibly with the help of a UKip alliance – depending on how things pan out.
Burying One Nation (or Tory Reform Group) Conservatives effectively also means storming and then pillaging Camerlot, which always was – you read it here first, by the way – a sloppy, Blair-admiring shower of wah-wahs who, as with New Labour – believe whatever it seems appropriate to believe at any given point. Their guiding mantra is ‘Caution without thought for the Consequences’, which explains better than anything else I could offer up why it steered the Tories from the calm of an azure milkpond sea onto the rocks in the 2010 Election, thence to introduce an anarchic and muddled series of measures slashing the Defence budget, starving NHS hospitals, and not quite installing Murdoch as Britain’s Media Gauleiter. (The difference between Camerlot and Borishunt Fallongove is that the latter would install him as The Lord High Prince Rupert, regent to the heir apparent, Aidan I of Sark.)
My bottom line on all of this is simple: observing the two main Parties at Westminster nowadays is like being at a masked ball where there are only two types of mask, but behind each one are at least two faces. As long as the two big Parties are there purely for the convenience of maintaining a closed shop, it will from now on always be like that. Having a left-leaning Labour Party and a Right-leaning Conservative Party is no longer practical in a socio-economic environment where left and right mean nothing, there are no labourers any more, and most conservatives seem to be radical. At one time, I thought that a LibDem presence forcing the introduction of PR might act as a Trojan Horse to destroy the fascist discipline of the two Party machines, but it’s now obvious I was wrong: from the day in March 2010 I spotted that Clegg had dropped PR as a deal-breaker-or-maker in the LibDem Manifesto, it was clear he’d lost the plot….or probably wanted the cosy closed shop as much as the rest of them.
I still think it highly possible that coming econo-fiscal whoopsies will break down the old Party lines, and I still think that the best approach to reforming the culture of government in Britain is via a Citizens’ Alliance pressure group informally regulating and threatening politicians with ideas rather too big for their boots. But for today, I will confine my comments on the Great EU Debate to these: in a way, BoJo is right, in that the EU will eat itself anyway. Where I differ is that I think we would do well to divorce from both the EU and the USA, reaffirming Anglophone relationships and forging new ones with Asian tigers. The idea that this would make Yankosprout want to freeze us out is poppycock. However, the idea that we can remain sitting in the EU and muddling through is not just poppycock, it is dangerous cowardice. Which is, I’m afraid, all you are ever going to get from two machines interested only in Party power and personal enrichment.