The Tory Party wouldn’t be the Tory Party if it wasn’t desperate to split

That the cabinet is now in open warfare with the Scottish Conservative party just confirms what is already known – the next thing they will break is the union

Tom Peck
Thursday 13 January 2022 18:58
Comments
<p>Johnson ‘handpicked a parliamentary party of certain idiots’ </p>

Johnson ‘handpicked a parliamentary party of certain idiots’

The Tory Party wouldn’t be the Tory Party if it wasn’t permanently desperate to split, and the latest one will at least provide a little bit of light relief for future history students who choose to sit the module in full: from the Corn Laws, to Home Rule, to Brexit, to Willingness to Make a Complete Fool of Yourself Defending Boris Johnson.

We have noted, several times before, that the 2019 Tory intake was aggressively filtered for stupidity; which is to say filtered in – not out. You couldn’t become a Tory MP in 2019 without backing Boris Johnson’s “oven-ready deal”, and you couldn’t possibly back Boris Johnson’s “oven-ready deal” if you’d actually read it, which Johnson hadn’t.

Once he came to understand what his own deal meant, he quickly rejected it. And the person who negotiated it, David Frost, has resigned. Frost is currently giving interviews in which he continues to claim his resignation had nothing to do with Brexit, but because of “policy differences” on high taxation and Covid restrictions.

Apparently, he hadn’t seen these things coming when he joined the government in – that’s right – February 2021, in the middle of the second lockdown and after the government had already borrowed £300bn to directly pay people’s wages for an entire year. Johnson will be gutted he’s gone. He needs all the idiots he can get at the moment.

So, it will be something of a disappointment to the prime minister that – having kicked out Ken Clarke and Dominic Grieve and David Gauke and all the rest of them, and handpicked a parliamentary party of certain idiots – there are nevertheless large numbers of them not stupid enough to defend him.

Douglas Ross, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, has called on him to resign. He’s called on him to resign because he, like 99.99999 per cent of the population, can see that it is not possible to go to a party in your own garden, for which the invitation said, “Bring Your Own Booze,” stay there for 25 minutes, with your wife, and not realise it wasn’t a work event.

And if you can’t believe that, then you can’t believe he hasn’t broken the rules on lockdown, and therefore has to resign.

Naturally, there are enough dimwits on hand. Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has let his view be known on several occasions at the despatch box of the House of Commons that Covid cannot be passed between people if they’re friends, has responded by calling Douglas Ross a “lightweight figure.”

Oh to be called a lightweight by a man in his fifties who has not yet achieved anything more substantial politically than to have an entirely performative nap on the Commons benches and to organise a 650-person voting conga.

That the cabinet is now in open warfare with the Scottish Conservative party just confirms what is already known. The next thing they will break is the union.

As for the rest, it can be argued they’ve not made fools of themselves at all. Nadine Dorries and Priti Patel have naturally wasted no time in leaping to the public defence of the indefensible.

To keep up to speed with all the latest opinions and comment sign up to our free weekly Voices Dispatches newsletter by clicking here

But one has to imagine they both know that their reputation can no longer be harmed by saying stupid things in public. It is conceptually no longer possible for either person to embarrass themselves. They defend Johnson in much the same manner as the little boy who, having already begun to wet himself in plain sight on the school bus, knows he might as well finish the job.

As for Johnson himself, well, after having spent most of two full years ignoring his scientific advisers, refusing to impose the stricter restrictions that could have saved tens of thousands of lives, he has, naturally, chosen this moment to impose harsher restrictions on himself.

One of his family has got Covid, we’re told, and despite no longer needing to isolate, he has generously decided to do so. Don’t expect to see the prime minister in public for at least a week. By then, he’s hoping all this will have blown over. Trouble is, though so many of his party might be, he himself is not stupid enough to believe that’s going to happen.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in