The Curmudgeon


Monday, January 03, 2011

Purple Rage

Writing in that notable paragon of analytical rigour and cool reason, the Mail on Sunday, the secretary of the 1922 Committee has been foaming about Red fundamentalists who are straining every sinew to supplant the heart and soul of the Conservative party with the Frankenstein horrors of a Conservative-Liberal Democrat merger - a course of action which would, it appears, lead with paralysing inevitability to confusion in the ranks and thence to the apocalyptic horrors of Socialism. The secretary of the 1922 Committee calls upon Daveybloke to squash the plotters, burn the traitors, hunt out and utterly destroy any idea of some sort of back-handed marriage with whatever bruised orange rump may be left around Nick Clegg in five years' time.

Leaving in charitable abeyance the question of whether a party that contains George Osborne and John Redwood can legitimately claim to have a heart or a soul, at first glance it is difficult to see what the fuss is about. The coalition has provided both its members with what would - in a country where the general public had the intelligence of the 1922 Committee - be a moderately convincing excuse for tearing up their manifestos and imposing economic and social measures which few people other than the smirking schoolboys in Downing Street and their chums in the City consider necessary, or even sane. As a result, the next five years will very likely see the de facto demise of several things the Conservatives hate: the National Heath Service, the BBC and any remaining restraints on corporations, landlords and Rupert Murdoch, for a start.

However, the 1922 Committee is made up of backbenchers from the Not Terribly Brainy Party. The Liberal Democrats are providing a pretext for the Conservative Party to do just about everything it has dreamed of doing, in whatever it uses for a heart and soul, during the past eighteen years; but the Conservatives are the party that believed Maastricht was the new Munich, that thought Iain Duncan Smith was the stuff of statesmanship, that still employs ministerial staff who complain that the cowed and grovelling BBC is a hotbed of left-wing subversion. No wonder the prospect of added confusion has caused the 1922 Committee to get their knickers in a twist.


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