In the past I’ve found myself in the ranks of Dave detractors. So much more pleasing it is to be able to commend our beleaguered PM on his enlightened approach to selecting possible successors to the office Dave himself occupies with such distinction.
Specifically, he expressed a heartfelt desire to see an Asian prime minister in his lifetime, and the multi-culti egalitarian in me has to rejoice.
The occasion for this coup was the GG2 Leadership Award Dave had the honour of presenting to the Culture Secretary Sajid Javid.
Now, for the benefit of outlanders, in this context the word ‘Asian’ doesn’t mean a Korean, Japanese, Chinese or Mongolian. It means a Pakistani, whether born in this country or not.
Yet Dave had to say ‘Asian’. First, it sounds more inclusive than ‘Pakistani’, though in fact it means exactly the same thing. Second, it sounds less specific than ‘Muslim’, and also less potentially threatening.
Had Dave said he dearly hoped that one day we’d have an Arab Muslim prime minister, there would be more defections to Ukip, which could put Dave on course to a lucrative lecture tour immediately after May, 2015.
As it was, who could have possibly complained about the word ‘Asian’? Only inveterate racists and Ukip members, or simply Ukip members who, as we all know, are inveterate racists to a man.
Oh yes, then there are those reactionaries, some of whom are also to be found among Ukip members, who come up with the outdated objection that the race of a prime minister matters rather less than his ability to govern.
This can only mean that they too are inveterate racists, but those lacking the courage to come out and say what they really mean. What’s important in a candidate for any political office is his ability to tick all the relevant boxes. Any other ability is irrelevant and often undesirable.
Dave in his wisdom realises this better than anyone. Hence in 2012 he promoted to the cabinet Baroness Sayeeda ‘Token’ Warsi, whose sole prior foray into politics had been losing a winnable Tory seat.
Therefore she had to be fast-tracked into Dave’s cabinet via the House of Lords. After all, Sayeeda Warsi ticked all the relevant boxes. Woman – tick. Muslim – two ticks at least. Working class – tick. Multi-culti accent – tick. Under 40 – tick.
Painfully aware that neither he himself nor anyone else in his cabinet possessed all such vital qualifications, Dave used the Lords as a clever detour to pave Sayeeda’s way into government.
However, eventually the ungrateful Baroness let Dave down. She resigned from the cabinet because it didn’t overtly share her deep – in fact only – conviction that Israel has no right to exist.
Still, on the scale of Dave’s criteria, Mr Javid must be distinctly second best to Baroness Warsi. But judge for yourself.
When still at university he campaigned against the disastrous decision of Margaret Thatcher’s government to join the ERM. This may suggest that he harbours latent Eurosceptic views – that’s one point against him, actually a handful of them.
Then, before entering politics, Javid had had a successful career in finance, earning the better part of £3,000,000 a year. That’s another two points against him: he’s clearly out of touch with the prevalent trend in our politics, and he’s probably clever. Call yourself a politician, Sajid?
Two more negatives: though a son of a Pakistani bus driver in Lancashire, Javid neither espouses Islam nor sounds like a son of a Pakistani bus driver in Lancashire.
The first negative suggests he isn’t sufficiently multi-culti, and nor does he realise the importance of appealing to the growing bloc of Jihadist voters.
The second black mark shows that, while Dave and his fellow Etonians in the cabinet are desperately trying to drop their ‘haitches’ all over the place, Mr Javid speaks in the cadences of his education, not his birth.
How reactionary is that? Dave must have made a mental note to tell Sajid to start working on his glottal stops if he’s ever to become the first Asian PM.
To throw a bit more black dye on his record, Mr Javid is the wrong side of 40, which is almost a disqualifying circumstance in our paedocratic (not to be confused with paedophiliac) times.
Then – are you ready for this? – Javid is on record as saying that “we should recognise that Christianity is the religion of our country”. Dave knows we should do no such thing. Christianity is only as good as any other religion, and not nearly as good as atheism.
Next thing you know Javid will suggest that our policies should agree with Christian principles, which is another way of saying that Dave should be out of a job. Can’t have that, can we now?
And to crown it all, this overachiever dares to say that, if he had to live in the Middle East, Israel would be the only country that would make him and his children feel free.
Now, in view of the recent parliamentary vote inspired by Dave, this is borderline treasonous. What’s wrong with Saudi Arabia, Sajid? Don’t you remember where oil comes from?
It’s a massive feather in Dave’s cap that he’s ready to overlook all these tragic failings and still reward Mr Javid with the leadership accolade. In Dave’s eyes, Sajid has one merit that outweighs the demerits: HE IS ASIAN.
I’m sure Mr Javid is happy to know that, if he ever ascends to Downing Street, everyone will think that it’s because of his ethnicity, not his other accomplishments that would be extremely impressive in a man of any other genetic makeup.
While praising Dave for grasping what’s really important in statesmanship, I have to admit with some sadness and bemusement that not everyone joins in. One commentator, for example, quipped that he wished we’d have a conservative prime minister in his lifetime.
The implication is that Dave isn’t one such, which is most unfair. Dave is conservative in exactly the same sense in which Nick is a liberal.
It’s just that the modern political lexicon operates on the principle of inversion: party nomenclatures mean exactly their former opposites.
Thus a party dedicated to increasing the power of the state vis-à-vis the individual would have been called anti-liberal in the past. However, it’s called Liberal now because, as the less literate of my acquaintances keep telling me, the language changes.
And someone like my friend Dave, who believes in reverse discrimination on the basis of PC criteria, is a true conservative PM.
Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis, as Dave must have been taught at Eton, and he knows he must atone for that blip on his CV.
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