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War and witch hunts: the Tory plan to stay in power

Here's five ways the Tories could stitch up the next election

Angela Rayner conjures up an effective opposition to the Tories. Photo: Ian Forsyth/Getty

Those of you who’ve been reading this paper since its inception – and who have extraordinary powers of recall – might remember that way back in 2017, I alluded to an incident in Game Of Thrones in order to explain the behaviour of the then-newish President Donald Trump.

I observed that the fact that Trump seemed actively to be pursuing unpopular policies (having had, you’ll recall, significantly less than 50% support even when he was elected) suggested that popularity beyond his own narrow base was not a priority for him, and if this meant that he would almost certainly fail to win the next presidential election, then that in turn meant he had no intention of abiding by the result of that election. Now, while I hate to say I told you so…

And now, it’s happening again, but on this side of the pond. By the time you read this, the results of the local elections may well be coming in, and if the polls are borne out, the Conservatives will be finding themselves evicted from town halls the length and breadth of the nation. Boris Johnson’s own approval ratings are death-spiralling while Sir Keir Starmer’s inch ever upwards. And yet none of this seems to trouble the administration in the slightest.

By an extraordinary coincidence, in the last week or so, the government passed a voter ID law that will, it’s reckoned, in effect disenfranchise around three million lower-income voters, and has also taken control of the previously impartial electoral commission. No wonder they seem so relaxed about their plummeting numbers.

So, if the administration has indeed decided that the best way to stay in power is to preemptively rig and/or override the result of the next general election, here are Some More Ways The Tories Could Stitch Up The Next Election…

ACCUSE ANGELA RAYNER OF WITCHCRAFT

As I type, the government and their client journalists seem utterly fixated on the idea that the best way to undermine the resurgent Labour party is to accuse Angela Rayner of using her hypnotically hot legs to addle the feeble minds of the male Tory members opposite (apart from Neil Parish, of course, whose attention was already elsewhere).

Well why stop at hypnotically hot legs? If Ms Rayner does indeed possess such occult powers, why not go full Arthur Miller and call her out as a sorcerer? The House of Commons would make a fine setting for a Salem-esque trial, and you tell me that Michael Gove hasn’t always dreamed of being appointed Witchfinder General…

ACTUALLY JUMP INTO THE RUSSIA/ UKRAINE WAR

“There’s a war on” is, of course, the government’s current go-to all-purpose answer to any questions about Partygate, corruption, post-Brexit turmoil and any of the other myriad problems they continue to cause. The fact that we’re not actually IN this war doesn’t seem to be an issue. But if that excuse starts to wear a bit thin there’s every possibility that the administration will decide to put everyone’s ass where their mouth is (so to speak) and actually dive right into the conflict. Cancelling a general election would pass almost unnoticed in the resultant chaos and anguish.

The only question is: whose side would we be on?

HOLD THE ELECTION WITHOUT TELLING ANYBODY

Since the demise of the short-lived Fixed Term Parliament Act, it is once again up to the government as to when the next election will be called. But I’m not sure what sort of obligation electoral law places upon them to actually ANNOUNCE when the election will be. So why not simply call the election in secret, having informed no more than a handful of (Tory) voters in each constituency?

(Actually, TNE editor, maybe don’t print this one as I’ve a horrible feeling they might actually try it – Mitch)

IMPOSE A DYNASTIC SYSTEM AND APPOINT BABY WILFRED IF BORIS LOSES

Because let’s face it, being ruled by a pampered, blond-haired, boob-obsessed toddler, prone to tantrums and incapable of conceiving of anyone’s needs except his own isn’t going to be that much of a switch.

ASSEMBLE THE SIX INFINITY STONES

OK, this one is a bit of a stretch but, if the stones can be gathered together in one place and then mounted in the huge bronze gauntlet that I’m fairly sure Boris already owns (or failing that he can borrow one from Jacob Rees-Mogg) then with but a snap of his fingers he can make all of the non-Tory voters in the country disappear…

POEM OF THE WEEK

We shouldn’t really have to
But it seems you must be warned
However boring Parliament gets
Don’t crack out the porn.
Whether inside in the chamber
Or outside on the lawn
Whatever Rayner’s wearing
Don’t crack out the porn.

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