The Conservatives are completely ****ing up Brexit.
They may not mean to, but they are. Here is a perfect example of the kind of stupidity, incompetence, pusillanimity, virtue-signalling cant, dishonesty, complacency, and arrogance which make Britain’s useless government so inadequate to the task of fulfilling the mandate given to them by 17.4 million people in June 2016.
It’s a tweet from a Conservative MP called Nick Boles:
Do my colleagues not understand how normal people react when they see a group of middle aged men, led by two plummy-toned Old Etonians, trying to bully a conscientious and determined woman out of her job?
— Nick Boles MP (@NickBoles) November 19, 2018
Boles has a great grasp of what “normal” people think, doesn’t he?
You and I might imagine that what most bothers normal people right now is the fact that their government is about to sign them up to the worst deal in history — one so bad that it will leave Britain even more shackled, constrained and abused than it was during its years as an EU member state.
But according to Boles, it’s not that at all. No, apparently, what really upsets “normal” people is that two Brexiteers who went to a posh school are leading a campaign to get rid of the woman most responsible for the bad deal — and that by doing so they are being somehow ungallant or bullying or sexist.
For a start, no “normal” person gives a damn where Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, or any other Brexiteer went to school. The only people who care about this are snobs and social climbers like me who can, for example, recognise the absurdity of someone like Nick Boles (who comes from an extremely wealthy landowning family and who went to a school just as posh as Eton, Winchester) having a dig at the toffs as though he were some horny-handed, working-class revolutionary.
And for another thing since when did female prime ministers get a free pass by virtue of their sex?
I don’t remember anyone saying of Margaret Thatcher: “Well, of course, we really must be gentle with her because after all, she is only a woman.” Nor, for certain, would she ever have expected such special treatment. Same goes, I’m sure, for the useless but at least almost impressively resilient Theresa May. So you could argue — not that I would — that all Boles is really doing here is exposing himself as the kind of out-of-touch, reactionary, patronising, bloviating, pompous, sexist pig that the Conservative Party would like us to think it doesn’t welcome any more.
Now let me present you with exhibit B: an article in today’s Telegraph by a man once spoken of as a future Conservative prime minister — former party leader William Hague.
Hague’s columns are always ineffably dreary and wrong-headed. This one is no exception. Here he is, for example, on Brexit:
Credible, alternative plans to the Brexit deal put forward by the Prime Minister are in short supply. There are plenty of other wishes, hopes, beliefs and passionate speeches, but they are not a plan. By “plan”, I mean something you can actually do, not just want.
William Hague has long marketed himself as a bluff, no-nonsense, straight-talking Yorkshireman who calls a spade a spade. But pretty much every word there is lies, half-truths, and spin.
The reason there are so few “credible, alternative plans” to the prime minister’s half-arsed Brexit deal is because she deliberately engineered it that way in cahoots with her civil servants. She didn’t plan for No Deal because, being a Remainer, she never wanted a No Deal. The plan all along — eagerly embraced by her Brussels counterparts — was for a Brexit In Name Only — and that’s exactly what she is offering us now.
That said, contra Hague, there is a credible alternative plan for Brexit. Rees-Mogg, David Davis, and the European Research Group presented a paper on it today.
My broader point is this. Here are two leading Conservatives, one a prominent backbench MP, one a member of the House of Lords, telling us in their different fancy ways why it is that the government they represent is quite incapable of delivering Brexit.
And instead of being embarrassed about it or apologetic they are defiant.
This is what strikes me as so utterly unforgivable about Theresa May’s useless Conservatives. They’re not all bad, obviously — the rebel members of the European Research Group being notable exceptions — but what I find extraordinary is just how utterly oblivious they are to the two values that ought to motivate them above all else: democratic accountability and conservative principles.
Let me deal with democratic accountability first — and it’s really very simple.
If you give a referendum to the British people whose result you promise to honour — and if the result makes it perfectly clear what the people want — then you cannot in any conscience turn round after the event and go: “Actually no. We can’t give you what you asked for because we’re not really convinced you knew what you were doing.”
Now, conservative principles. There are lots of these — too many to detain us here. But definitely among them are things like “maintaining the integrity of the United Kingdom”, “looking after the interests of your own people”, “trying not to be diddled by foreign powers”, “enjoying the benefits of free trade”, “making the most of the changing global economy”, “putting Britain first”, and so on. Put it this way, there’s probably not a single Conservative voter who would disagree with any of these aims.
But guess what? Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May has thrown together a Brexit plan which would shaft every one of these.
And guess what else? A significant proportion of her parliamentary party are all over BBC news and social media hailing this abject surrender document as the most glorious and heroic victory since VE Day.
Well, it ain’t. And we can all see it ain’t. Even really stupid people who are so ignorant they don’t even know what houses Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson were in at Eton.
Imagine that, eh?
I’m still optimistic by the way. I’m not that bothered if the Tories don’t muster the requisite number of letters needed to call a vote of no confidence in May because I reckon if there were such a vote in the present climate she’d win.
And can you imagine how awful that would be? A newly emboldened Theresa May stomping round like the Terminator robot convinced that she now had a stronger mandate than ever for selling out to the EU. It’s too horrible to contemplate.
The Conservative Party — at least the parliamentary branch — is despicable and has been pretty much since Thatcher left. It’s full of cowards, traitors, time-servers, squishes, closet Lib Dems, deranged alcoholic fishwives, and sell-outs with barely a conservative bone in their body.
But they are still, unfortunately, the best hope we’ve got of getting a decent Brexit.
My belief is that when push comes to shove and Theresa May’s crappy deal comes before Parliament they’ll vote it down.
And then they’ll knife her in the back because it’s not like they don’t know she’s rubbish really. And also because, obviously, if there’s one thing they’re really good at it — and I respect this, at least — it’s behaving like unconscionable, double-dealing scumbags.