If a week is indeed a long time in politics, as Harold Wilson, may or may not have said, then 21 months in politics is tantamount to a geological era. And 21 months is, remember, how long our current for what, for want of a better word, I’ll still refer to as “government” has in power before they’re obliged to hold a general election by whatever law they have not yet circumvented.
As such, while it is, of course, hugely entertaining to ponder the implications of the frankly hilarious death spiral which the government’s poll numbers have been taking for some months, and indeed continue to take, it is at best an academic exercise. Literally anything could happen in the next year and a half to transform the landscape.
Nonetheless, it is a bit of a giggle, isn’t it, to read articles by statisticians, swingologists and the like quoting such hypothetical figures as “fewer than 100 Tory seats”, “fewer than 40 seats” and in one case “12 seats”… These hypothetical figures have, of course, given rise to a subsequent wave of op-ed pieces speculating upon how “the natural party of government” would react to such an obliteration. The consensus appears to be that the Conservative Party itself might fragment into warring factions, each blaming each other for the rout and each proposing radically different solutions for how to move forward.
So, what form might these new right wing parties take…?
The TRUE CONSERVATIVE PARTY led by LIZ TRUSS
Founded on the principle that everything the previous Tory administration did was right, they just didn’t do it PROPERLY, the True Conservative Party will gravitate towards Liz Truss as she continues to peddle her “it was all the fault of those communist currency traders” narrative. At least half of the membership will be purged in the first few months for ideological impurity; these members will go on to form the REAL CONSERVATIVE PARTY, before splitting up into the ORIGINAL CONSERVATIVE PARTY, the NEW ORIGINAL CONSERVATIVE PARTY, the PEOPLE’S FRONT OF BELGRAVIA and the I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY. Ms Truss herself will be ousted after a year for being a “careerist mainstream Whitehall insider”.
The BRITISH BRITAIN FOR BRITISH BRITONS PARTY led by LEE ANDERSON
Heralding a return to true patriotism, the BBFBBP will adopt a core policy of No Immigration Of Any Kind Whatsoever. Lee Anderson, deputy chairman of the old Tories, will take over as leader after founding members, Priti Patel and Suella Braverman, are expelled for no particular reason.
Alas, Mr Anderson and his loyal cohort of several dozen all get severe hypothermia on Dover beach in January 2025 having declared their intention to spend the night stripped to the waist, staring out to sea and shouting: “Come on, then!”
The TRADITIONAL VALUES PARTY led by JACOB REES-MOGG
Fearing the country’s slide into vulgarity and modern ghastliness, Mr Rees-Mogg will form his own party, promoting a return to acute cringing class consciousness, precise etiquette, stifling formality and imperial measurements.
Unfortunately, nobody ever finds out about this, as Jacob refuses to make any announcements over the newfangled “television” and instead releases all his statements using quill, parchment and carrier pigeon.
The BIDING OUR TIME PARTY led by JEREMY HUNT
A late entry in the field of post-Tory splinter parties, this particular shady little conclave will meet in secret and publish no policy statements… yet. But one day, they’ll be ready, and then you’ll see. Then you’ll ALL see…
The MUSTN’T GRUMBLE PARTY led by BORIS JOHNSON
Having survived his forced resignation as PM with his sense of entitlement and general bumptiousness completely undimmed, our former leader will rally the most blithe, optimistic and, let’s face it, independently wealthy remnants of the Conservatives to his banner.
Their manifesto, such as it is, will consist largely of vague invocations to “keep one’s chin up“, “put one’s best foot forward” and so forth. What it will NOT contain is any concrete suggestions as to how to get back into power. This party will not be about getting into power; this party will be perfectly happy to be in opposition for a few years, with no responsibilities, living it up on the donations of their rich benefactors. Hurrah!
THE SCREW THIS, I’M OFF TO HAWAII TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH MY MILLIONS PARTY led by RISHI SUNAK
POEM OF THE WEEK
If you want to fix a problem
But keep things just the same
Don’t look beneath the surface
It’s easy; victim-blame.
The refugees are under siege
Their hostel is in flames
But you should have heard the rumours…
Their children have gone missing
Where’s the scandal? Where’s the shame?
Serves them right for sneaking in!
A husband kills his family
The story’s still the same
His wife shouldn’t have outshone him
That’s the spirit; victim-blame.