Skip to main content

The politics of banality

The essential circus of party politics in the UK is never more cringe making than at party conference time. The spectacle of socially awkward, physically clumsy individuals trying to get "down with the kids" in a vain attempt to assert a non-existent popularity is always a fairly barf-making sight. Even the best political figures tend to feel uneasy about the false ballyhoo of the conference set-piece speech; I recall Paddy Ashdown coming off stage amid a minor fireworks display and muttering a gentle imprecation at the slightly surreal farce he had been forced to take part in.

Neither Theresa May nor Boris Johnson are particularly good political figures. May is an exceptionally awkward personality: "a bloody difficult woman" as other Conservatives have long noticed. Her management style is authoritarian and insecure, her personality lacks empathy and is unusually defensive under pressure. By contrast the extrovert Boris Johnson is a warmer figure, but his charm is lessened by a level of self centredness which goes well beyond the narcissistic and into a pathology. He is unprincipled and reckless in both his personal and political life. So an introvert and an extrovert collide and the Conservative party has been caught between them. The problem is that the country is also collateral damage in the fight between these two very limited personalities.

Perhaps these two believe the tinsel of the party conference reflects genuine emotions in the country at large (spoiler alert: it doesn't). But while Mr. Johnson affects to believe his own fake sub-Churchillian schtick, in fact it is the Prime Minister's fake speech that in its banality maps out the future. It will doubtless be reported as the "speech that saved the Prime Minister", but actually it does not even go part way to erasing the disgraceful "Citizen of Nowhere" speech which she made upon acceding to power. She is still mapping out a course that does not pass between the devil and deep blue sea, but aims directly at both of them. She still believes six impossible things before Brexit despite the EU negotiators retaining a clarity that has been disgracefully lacking on the UK side. He speech is as empty and vacuous as its reception is staged and fake.

The only thing that keeps this shop window of stupidity alive is the fake money that drives the modern Conservative Party. Intellectually moribund and the bear garden of deformed personalities, the Tories deserve utter ruin. Banal, empty and bereft of all energy, let the Titanic Tories go down to the punishment that their reckless immaturity richly deserves.  


nigel hunter said…
It is not immaturity but arrogance.They live in there own dream/false world. I was listening to a radio article (forgotten what it was) where this accountant said that we were feeding ourselves in the War , . He had no idea that we had every ounce of land we could under cultivation AND we had rationing till the 50s .. There world is not ours.that we still had to import from abroad

Popular posts from this blog

Trump and Brexit are the Pearl Harbor and the Fall of Singapore in Russia's Hybrid war against the West.

In December 1941, Imperial Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor. After the subsequent declaration of war, within three days, the Japanese had sunk the British warships, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, and the rapid Japanese attack led to the surrender of Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941 and the fall of Singapore only two months after Pearl Harbor. These were the opening blows in the long war of the Pacific that cost over 30,000,000 lives and was only ended with the detonations above Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"History doesn't often repeat itself, but it rhymes" is an aphorism attributed to Mark Twain, and in a way it seems quite appropriate when we survey the current scene. 

In 1941, Imperial Japan, knowing its own weakness, chose a non-conventional form of war, the surprise attack. Since the end of his first Presidential term, Vladimir Putin, knowing Russia's weakness, has also chosen non-conventional ways to promote his domestic powe…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…

Cicero ReDux

By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut.
October 1st marked the half way point of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union.  Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is of passing interest at best.  Yet the conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become.
Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost anywhere else in Europe
It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies.  The real point is that Estonia refuses to be a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to conc…