Tony Blair devoted his life to fighting ‘the forces of conservatism’. Not literally of course: everyone knows that Tony devoted his life only to Tony. However, there’s no denying that hatred of conservatives came closer than anything else to what may be loosely described as Tony’s heart.
It is in this sense that Dave is truly, and not just self-admittedly, ‘heir to Blair’. A slight problem is caused by the minor inconvenience of Dave leading the Tory party and not, like Tony, Labour. As a true heir to Blair, therefore, Dave detests every belief residing in the viscera of his party.
This was bound to create some tension with the party faithful, and so it has proved. Predictably Dave’s feelings for conservatives are most heartily reciprocated.
Writing in The Times, Matthew Parris put his finger right on it. Real conservatives “loathe the leader of their party: loathe him for personal as well as ideological reasons. It’s no exaggeration to say that these people would rather see their party lose an election than win under Mr Cameron’s leadership.”
One suspects it is a bit of an exaggeration. But the first part of the sentence does represent insightful analysis, for which Mr Parris isn’t widely known. However, if he’s right in the second part as well, then such lack of party loyalty is most regrettable.
By inference, Dave himself unfailingly puts party interests before his own. If the only way for the Tories to win an election would be a coalition with UKIP, and if Farage persists in saying that this isn’t on for as long as Dave is the leader, Dave would selflessly step aside. Wouldn’t he? Of course he would. And pigs will fly, tactfully giving a wide berth to Muslim neighbourhoods.
The conundrum is unsolvable: Dave is at odds with most of those who have traditionally voted for his party. It’s as if two tectonic plates have slammed together and a crack is widening at the fault line.
There’s little doubt which side Mr Parris supports. To make this perfectly clear he writes that traditional Tories represent the ‘forces of darkness’, while “David Cameron’s Tory modernisers [are] the ‘forces of light’.” Mr Mani, ring your office. Your sect has just claimed another member.
From then on Parris abandons Manichaean terminology and deploys the language of either a detective investigating a dastardly conspiracy, or else that of a military man plotting the rout of enemy forces.
As a paid-up, card-carrying member of the nutters, swivel-eyed loons and fruitcakes lurking in the shadows, I may sum up what makes us such forces of darkness – specifically the areas in which we’re at odds with the light shining out of Dave’s various orifices.
We believe that Britain should be a sovereign country, just as it has been since time immemorial.
We also think it should pay its way, encourage all Brits to do the same – and, more important, discourage them from not doing so.
We support the idea that everyone should obey the law, and that those who don’t must be severely punished. The laws we obey should come from God and our own government, not from any other political entity and not from any religion foreign to these Isles.
We believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman, not between any two arbitrarily selected mammals.
We think that medicine and education should tend, respectively, to people’s bodies and minds, rather than acting as a laboratory for social engineering.
We believe the flood of immigration should be reduced and that of cultural aliens stopped altogether – and preferably reversed.
In short, the forces of darkness are made up of those who believe everything the likes of Matt and Dave abhor. The duo sense with the unerring instinct of Pavlovian dogs that in a Britain run by such forces the ‘forces of light’ would form a tiny halo on the margins. It’s a matter of life or death – the life of the country, the death of vacuous, trendy, lefty posturing devoid of any intellectual or moral substance.
How does one protect Matt-and-Dave’s bailiwick? “The Admiral Byng strategy, I fear,” suggests Mr Parris. “A handful must be shot pour encourager les autres.” Now Byng was shot literally, for failing ‘to do his utmost’ in the battle of Minorca. Parris is longing for conservatives to be shot, one hopes only figuratively at this stage, for, well, being conservative. Quoting Voltaire in this context is apposite, although Lenin would be even better.
What should be the battle plan in the war against the forces of darkness? “Pretext must be found to single one or two rebels for extraordinary punishment: the sacking of a minister… the removal of the whip from a backbencher who starts crowing about deals with UKIP…”
And consequently, though Parris doesn’t say this, the effective disfranchising of every conservative in the country. Now that we bandy French phrases about, à la guerre comme à la guerre.
“Not another yard, Prime Minister, not another inch,” Parris blows his beagle – sorry, I meant bugle, or whatever else these people blow. “Attack!”
Do attack, Dave. The forces of light, whose line of battle traverses Holland Park and Islington, will salute you – and, one hopes, will perish together with you. Just like those Roman gladiators shouting morituri te salutant. And if you don’t know what this means, your military advisor Matthew ‘Mani’ Parris will be happy to translate.