The course of current events and developing issues are doing little to dispel the ‘chaos’ theory of politics, whether at home or in the United States.
I’m no expert on American history or politics but the Trump phenomenon simply goes to reinforce the general impression on this side of the Pond that the Republican party is the refuge of whacky redneck, Bible Belt, gun-toting right-wing loonies as embodied in the character played by Slim Pickens in Stanley Kubrick’s legendary 1964 movie Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
In short, you couldn’t make it up.
Back here in Blighty the Tory party is doing its utmost to tie itself in knots.
You can imagine the long-held scenario burning in the breasts of the diehards operating inside Tory HQ ever since their nemesis Tony Blair succeeded to the keys of Number 10 in 1997: “We are the sensible party that needs to be in power to rectify the damage that Labour wreaks – every time the misguided electorate votes it in – upon the stability, sense and the ‘right’ (correct) way of conducting British society, i.e. those based upon individual responsible self-sufficiency, free enterprise, ‘doing the right thing’ and free-trade commerce”.
Although at the time (2010) coalition with the Lib-Dems was a necessary evil – a half-way compromise that at least got Labour out of office – and the narrow-squeak 2015 General Election surprised some by at least securing a stand-alone Tory government and a platform from which to build a new Jerusalem … since then (some of us might argue inevitably) events have rather soured the game plan.
George (Osborne), who will deliver his latest Budget this week, hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory. The concept that, under his stewardship of the economy with the Tories back at the helm, the country could undergo an unpleasant but shortish period of tough medicine that, once administered, would take the UK back to the permanent bright, sunny, comfortable uplands awash with warm beer, cricket, the smell of newly-mown grass, Henley, Wimbledon and Lords did not quite materialise. The really annoying aspect is that all best intentions keep getting de-railed by the buffeting of random issues and crises. It’s akin to riding a bucking bronco whilst seeking to pretend that you’re in charge of events when the reality is quite different.
Dave (Cameron), who was anointed as leader precisely because (one of Blair’s favourite expressions), of all the candidates, he erroneously seemed most to resemble Tony Blair – in the sense he might best keep together the irreconcilable factions of the Tory party whilst also appearing to the electorate be both statesman-like and the ‘people’s politician’ – also came with many of Blair’s flaws.
One of them was that, despite his strenuous efforts to the contrary, he comes across in a fashion that has never eroded the perception he’s running the country for the specific benefits of his toff friends – and this at the expense of the downtrodden masses. Having no principles, well other than acquiring – and then staying in – power, he presides over the uncontrollable tide of current affairs whilst doing his level best to give the impression that he’s doing it in line with some grand plan. In fact the the reality is a lot more sobering. He’s actually busking it, taking decision after decision on the hoof whilst pretending the opposite is true.
At some point, unfortunately for the Tory party, these things were always going to come home to roost.
Here are two links to pieces in today’s media that demonstrate as much:
Andrew Gilligan on the latest travails of the HS2 project, on the website of – THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
Simon Walters on the incendiary revelations being revealed in a new book by former Coalition minister, the Lib-Dem David Laws, on the website of – THE DAILY MAIL