First, let me offer you some in-depth political insight, based on my intimate familiarity with Westminster ins and outs, extensive life experience, understanding of human nature and acute aesthetic sense:
There’s no doubt that our new International Development Secretary Penelope ‘Penny’ Mordaunt is tastier than Theresa May, Andrea Leadsom and even David Davis. Her thighs in particular are most noteworthy.
If you wish to contest this conclusion, I suggest you Google numerous photographs of Penny wearing swimsuits. The pictures show her to be slightly on the heavy side, but generally falling into the ‘I would’ category.
Considering that our field of political talent currently lies fallow, with little chance it’ll ever be sown again, this ought to be a sufficient qualification for a cabinet position. Add to this Miss Mordaunt’s impeccable Brexit credentials and the fact that she has the same Christian name as my wife, and I dare you to find a better candidate.
However, reading the newspaper accounts of Miss Mordaunt’s elevation, one gets the impression that she wasn’t promoted on the basis of her thighs, cleavage or Christian name. Her Brexit credentials did have something to do with it, but in a convoluted way.
Apparently, “Theresa May bowed to Eurosceptic demands to maintain the delicate Cabinet balance on Brexit,” and “Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said it would be wrong to tip the balance in the cabinet further [my emphasis] in favour of Remainers.”
Verily I say unto you, our political system is getting more nervous by the minute. So our cabinet shouldn’t be balanced in favour of Remainers more than it already is.
Suddenly it dawns on me that my grasp of politics isn’t as firm as I hubristically thought. In fact, I realise I understand nothing, even though I’m still clinging on to my aesthetic appreciation of Miss Mordaunt’s thighs.
My whole world has gone topsy-turvy, with every certitude stamped into the dirt. However, out of sheer nostalgia, let me tell you what those certitudes were.
Brexit is one of the most critical constitutional issues in British history and by far the most critical one in the past 25 years. At stake here is the sovereignty of the realm, which is exactly the situation Britain faced in 1940.
The parallel shouldn’t be pushed too far. Mrs Merkel is no Hitler, and her country today isn’t exactly the Third Reich. While Germany is again the principal agent of European unification, she so far achieves her goal without relying on Stukas and Tigers. And, though we’re constantly bombarded with pro-EU propaganda, we aren’t being bombarded with anything more explosive.
But that doesn’t mean that no parallel exists. If Brexit doesn’t go through (and there’s every possibility it won’t), Britain will be no more sovereign than she would have been had the events of 1940 gone the other way.
Britain then stuck to the principle best expressed by the great Jesuit Matteo Ricci (d. 1610): “Simus, ut sumus, aut non simus” (We shall remain as we are or we shall not remain at all). And the War Cabinet was formed to put this principle into practice.
Though led by the Conservatives, the cabinet was an ad hoc coalition including such arch-Labourites as Clement Attlee and Ernest Bevin. Hence different parties were represented in the cabinet – but not different approaches to the problem at hand.
Churchill didn’t strive to balance the hawks and doves in his cabinet. All its members were united in their unwavering commitment to preserve Britain’s sovereignty founded on her ancient constitution.
In fact, Churchill delivered a most unbalanced speech, explaining his philosophy of cabinet appointments: “If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground.”
And he practised what he preached: Churchill didn’t appoint Neville Chamberlain, Ramsey MacDonald and Oswald Mosley to maintain a ‘delicate Cabinet balance’ between defence and appeasement. He welcomed the diversity of party affiliation, but not the diversity of patriotism.
This brings us to the present day, when Britain’s sovereignty is imperilled as much as it was then, albeit with no Luftwaffe bombs levelling London’s East End.
However, the need for a balanced cabinet seems to be taken for granted even by the conservative press, such as it is. I don’t get this.
There’s no more important function in any government than defence of the realm, meaning the safeguarding of the realm’s sovereignty. Following the plebiscite of 23 June, 2016, HMG undertook to do just that and, in due course, activated Article 50, thus pushing the button for exit.
We’re out, which is the opposite of in. The two opposites are mutually exclusive. What’s there to balance? The commitment to sovereignty and absence thereof? As I say, I just don’t get this.
A message to Honourable and other members of the cabinet: Brexit is no longer an issue to argue about. It’s an official policy to carry out. Those who disagree with this policy or refuse to carry it out don’t belong in government – it’s as simple as that.
I’d argue they don’t belong in Parliament either, but, to use the wishy-washy jargon of our politics (and so many editors I’ve met), such a view is too ‘controversial’ and ‘not at all helpful’.
So I won’t say it. Instead, I’d like to redirect your attention to Miss Mordaunt’s thighs, which, as far as I can tell, are in perfect balance.