Nominal Tory Zac Goldsmith lost the London mayoral election to Sadiq Khan, and all hell broke loose. Not only his party but even his sister accused poor Zac of having run a negative campaign, which supposedly cost him the election.
His sister Jemima wondered what had happened to her “nice, eco-friendly” brother. How dare he be so intolerant to the very idea of London having a Muslim mayor? Jemima herself is commendably tolerant to Islam – so much so that she actually converted to it in order to marry a Pakistani cricketer whom she has since divorced.
That degree of tolerance is hard to expect from anyone without a personal stake in the matter, and in any case Zac had said nothing about being opposed to the very idea of a Muslim mayor. He merely pointed out that this particular Muslim had shared the podium with known ISIS supporters, such as Sulaiman Ghani.
Mr Khan also supported groups promoting Islamic terrorism and in 2009 gave a speech with the black flags of jihad flying all over the place. And, by way of adding international flavour, he had links with the American-Muslim extremist Louis Farrakhan.
There’s also the small matter that, when Mr Khan became a privy councillor, he swore an oath of allegiance to the Queen on the Koran, which should have invalidated the ceremony there and then, but of course didn’t.
Surely Londoners have the need to know such things about their future mayor? Zac would have been grossly irresponsible had he not brought such facts to public attention.
Now let your imagination run wild. Picture a Labour candidate revealing that his UKIP opponent once was a member of the BNP. Can you see the outcry? Do you think many people would accuse the Labour chap of running a negative campaign? And BNP members haven’t so far blown up any public transport in London, while the Muslims… Well, you know about them.
And speaking of negative campaigns: London tends to incline towards the Labour end of the political spectrum, and Muslims in particular tend to vote Labour as a bloc. But blocs come in different sizes and in this election the Muslim bloc was as huge as it was monolithic.
Methinks such enthusiastic uniformity had something to do with the party’s anti-Semitic credentials, now firmly established and widely publicised. Mr Khan’s links, however tangential, with jihadists enhanced his credibility even further, and not many people would think of jihad as something positive.
So much for London Burning. Now, if you still don’t think our political scene is surreal enough, for that other song.
Having lost that critical election in London, the Tories came back strongly in Scotland, doubling their number of seats, pushing Labour into third place and becoming the official party of opposition in Holyrood.
So far so good, except that the Tartan Tories are led by Ruth Davidson, who’s now seen as the rising star of the true-blue firmament and a serious contender for 10 Downing Street in the near future.
That’s all good and well, except that Miss Davidson is ever so slightly eccentric. She’s an open lesbian living with a series of girlfriends, which fact she doesn’t mind emphasising by wearing masculine suits and cutting her hair shorter than mine (admittedly hers is denser).
I know we live in enlightened times, we none of us are bigots or, God forbid, homophobes, it was Dave who pushed homomarriage through, and there’s no reason to suggest that a hard-core lesbian can’t be an effective politician. She can be, no doubt about that.
But an effective Conservative politician? Of course the ‘C’ word is now desemanticised and has little to do with either uppercase or especially lowercase conservatism. Led by our ‘heir to Blair’, the Tories occupy the ground formerly owned by New Labour, with Old Labour pursuing a communist agenda sans concentration camps, for the time being.
But still, for old times’ sake, shouldn’t aspiring Tory PMs conceal their homosexuality, if only not to alienate the hopelessly retrograde grassroots more than they are already alienated? Could it be that the Labour landslide in London is at least partly due to the low turnout of real Tories who feel disfranchised and therefore disillusioned?
I’m talking about decorum here, not anything more substantial. I mean, everyone knew that Edward Heath was, in the coy phrase of the time, a confirmed bachelor, but he didn’t wear his sexuality on his sleeve. Hence he became Tory Leader in 1965, when homosexuality was still a crime in the UK, and PM five years later.
Miss Davidson, regardless of her proven vote-winning ability, is the stuff of which broad off-colour jokes are made, and God knows the Tories are already risible enough. Yet they don’t seem to mind.
Oh well, actual reality is being ousted by the virtual kind in double time. And the process seems to have an accelerator built in. I’m sure that, rather than being tolerated, homosexuality will soon become an ironclad selection criterion for politicians. Provided they aren’t Muslims.