Commentary by Peter Arnott
What country, friends, is this?
Well pigs might fly…
What is interesting about the Daily Mail turning from savaging Jeremy Corbyn for one week, and then assassinating David Cameron by mockery the next, is the answer to the question : who benefits?
Clearly, a faction in the Tory Party – which one? – feels so secure of crushing victory in 2020 and beyond that they have calculated that they might as well dispose of Cameron now as later…before the Labour party get it together to assassinate Corbyn….
It’s all turning into early Shakespeare…or maybe Marlowe…or even Webster…A Revenge Tragedy in any case.
The Tories as we know, being…well Tories…are much better at the sudden stab in the dark behind the Arras than are Labour…who get all caught up in stuff like democracy (if not loyalty) like Hamlet getting stuck in the curtains when he kills Polonius by mistake…(rather a silly old man but he had to go)
I think I should abandon this metaphor before it abandons me.
Nothing new in political parties hating their leaders either. I do remember eavesdropping on a conversation between Glasgow Labour types (some now ennobled…one only recently redeemed) in a nice bar on the Southside in 1994…on the day Blair was elected. The loyal comrades at no time I was spying on them, ever referred to their new leader without the prefix “that cunt”.
And David Cameron did say in the recent election campaign that he intended to stand down before 2020. Well, someone seems to feel that he should bring forward his plans to retire and spend more time with his money. I can’t imagine it will break his heart.
As I say, the interesting question is Qui Bono? To play the role of the Machievel for a moment, I’d hazard that the feeling among the chaps in the clubs (pig initiation optional) is that Boris has muffed his moment. He stood for Parliament on the bet that the Tories would lose the election and that Miliband would now be in number Ten propped up by those ghastly Sweaties, and that he would have stepped in to save the nation as leader of the opposition, a cut rate comedy Churchill bumptiously setting about Old England’s enemies…
No, the betting around Whitehall and the Stately Homes of England this week will be that it is another and entirely more sinister entirely who will step into the breach his good friend has so sadly vacated, licking the blood off his teeth. Somebody with a line in carpets, as well as other drapery. Like Richard the Third then, shuffling into the light to disarmingly celebrate his own villainy.
And Lord Ashcroft might get that cabinet post after all.