“Events in the course of the war have today taken a turn not necessarily to the advantage of the Empire of Japan.” In those uber-euphemistic words, couched in court Japanese to soften their brutal meaning, Emperor Hirohito broadcast to his nation the news of Japan’s surrender in 1945.
Substitute “by-election” for “war” and “the Conservative Party” for “Empire of Japan” and you have an accurate description of the nuclear holocaust that has devastated the “modernised” Tory faction in the wake of Rochester and Strood, Clacton and other recent events not necessarily to the advantage of This Great Party of Ours.
Across the Westminster street, similar mishaps are befalling The Party We Love. Even the most casual, ordinary appurtenances of life, from bacon rolls to white vans, are somehow conspiring to trip up Ed, our hapless Prime Minister-in-Waiting. Yet even he has little cause to envy the precarious incumbent Dave, as he staggers – a more stable gait is impractical when you have one foot wedged irretrievably in the dustbin of history – from one disaster to another.
The next impending catastrophe will be tomorrow’s immigration figures, which are expected to reflect the continuing inundation of Britain. The embarrassment for Dave is that, back in the carefree days of 2010, he penned a manifesto commitment pledging to cut net immigration to less than 100,000.
While Dave at least took the precaution of employing the weasel term “net” migration, that has proved a useless precaution, considering net immigration last year amounted to 243,000 – a 38 per cent increase – while the real figure for incomers totalled 560,000.
It looks as if Tory reductions in migration are calculated using the same algorithm as George Osborne employs in cutting the deficit and the national debt. You have to hand it to Dave, though, he is nothing if not emphatic in his pledges. He did not simply promise to cut immigration: he sealed the deal by insisting there were “no ifs, no buts” – just as his guarantee of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty was “cast-iron”.
And why not? When you have not the slightest intention of honouring a commitment to the mug punters deluded enough to vote for you, why not lay on the assurances with a trowel?
This week Theresa May took time off from planning legislation to remove the last vestiges of privacy from the online correspondence of British citizens to suggest, somewhat in the tentative manner of Hirohito, that the “no ifs, no buts” pledge had been “blown off course”.
There’s perceptive for you. You have to get up pretty early in the morning – pretty early! – to steal a march on our Theresa. Thanks for that, Home Secretary. Without your sagacious suggestion we might all have assumed immigration was well under control, our borders rigorously policed.
So many of Dave’s pledges have been blown off course – it must be something to do with man-made global warming. And we all know which man has been making the climate unbearably warm for Dave. You know: broad grin, daily growing broader; pint in hand; appalling habit of talking about disturbing things, in unhelpfully comprehensible language, in front of the idiot voters. Yes, it’s that fellow Farage and his party of fruitcakes, racists and kickers down of children’s sandcastles.
The people have spoken – the b******s! Well, all you ingrates in Rochester and Strood, don’t come whining to This Great Party of Ours because your semis, which were worth £800k last week, can’t be given away now for £15k. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. You know the penalties of voting UKIP: watch out for a plague of locusts next week…
It’s all very well for the heartless UKIP activists, celebrating their victories in pubs, but what about their victims? It is easy to forget the little people – the Daves, Eds and Nicks – that they ride over roughshod. Some of the most vulnerable people in society – a category that now comprises all Conservative MPs with majorities of less than 20,000 – are living a nightmare. Tory ministers could lose their livelihoods, with Eton fees to pay, nannies to maintain and moats to dredge. Kevin the Teenager speaks for the entire political class: “It’s not fair.”
The Conservative Party was a great adventure; but it is over. In its Tory incarnation from 1681 to 1832 and subsequently under the Conservative label, it embodied much of British history. But it was hijacked by liberals and opportunists and now it is doomed to extinction. Fantasy and denial are its sole resorts now.
After every UKIP surge – local elections, European elections, parliamentary by-elections – the doomed tribe retires to its cave, the 1922 Committee, to invoke powerful jujus by ritual banging on desks. Then Tory backbenchers traditionally go off on holiday, or into recess, “with their tails up” after this reassurance therapy. Dream on, hapless Tories. For the Conservative Party, May 2015 will be an extinction event. “Never glad confident morning again!” Say goodnight, Dave.