When Everyone Can See That Egg On Your Face

I have to confess to feeling just a little bit sorry for Theresa May. I don’t want to make a big deal of it. It’s not like a major surge in empathy or anything. It’s more like the vague unease you used to get at the back of your neck when some terminally uncool kid was being roasted in school.

She looked appropriately gutted at her constituency count in the wee hours of Friday morning, desperately trying to freeze that scared and scary smile in place, unsure of who or what to look at, trying to look jolly hockeysticks as Lord Buckethead acknowledged the adulation of his imaginary supporters. Rough!

It is somehow to her credit that she can’t keep her face from betraying her in public. It suggests there’s a real person in there somewhere. Maybe not a particularly interesting or nice person, but a person nonetheless. Now that person has to get into bed with the Ku Klux Klan. Wasn’t it Madame Cyn who told her girls to lie back and think of England?

The conversation with the DUP might be interesting in a car crash, Grade Z reality TV kind of way. “Theresa Mary, thar yur actual names? I dunno. They sound a bit Papist ta me. Ye’ll have ta get them changed.”

May’s predecessor, David Cameron, said he’d never even countenance seeking support from the DUP because of their reprehensible views on gay marriage. But the truth is that the DUP have always been the dirty little secret of British colonialism, the problem child they never liked to acknowledge.

And Supermarket Dave just loved to lay it on with a trowel, didn’t he? Imagine if the parliamentary arithmetic in Westminster had been even slightly different when Dave wanted to form his two governments. Does anyone outside a Tory psychiatric ward seriously believe he’d have baulked at kissing the DUP butt for an instant? This is one of the problems with mainstream politicians. They lie when they don’t even have to.

Among the many barbs being thrown at May by Supermarket Dave’s supercilious little former lackey, George Osbourne, is that she ain’t no Thatcher. This is blissfully oblivious of the fact that, anywhere outside Toryland, this is actually a compliment. Theresa still has some of the makings of a human being, George doesn’t.

I hate to say I told you do, but this blog was one of the few to predict several weeks ago that Jeremy Corbyn might do pretty well in the British election. I said that the more he had a chance to talk to people about the kind of society he wanted, the more the Tory plan might come unstuck; so it proved.

Diehard Blairites like Peter Hain and Hilary Benn have been quick to try and damn Mr Corbyn with faint praise, and to point out that Labour didn’t actually win the election. True enough, but when you recall that those same Blairites were smugly predicting a Labour annihilation just weeks ago, then perhaps the penny might drop at last that Labour is no longer their all purpose career vehicle, it belongs to somebody else now.

Jeremy Corbyn has rewritten a lot of mainstream political rules in the last few weeks. One of them is that – shock and horror – it’s actually ok to believe in what you say. It makes you more comfortable in your own skin. And people can’t fail to notice the difference between you and the person who isn’t.

Corbyn was the first political leader in a generation to offer the people of Britain a genuinely different way of doing things, and as such he has been the target of extra special vitriol from the Establishment. Remember Supermarket Dave’s disgusting attack on him just after the Brexit vote? Will Dave come out to eat his words? Pigs might fly.

What the establishment – from George Osborne’s desk at the London Evening Standard to the poobahs of Brussels and Berlin and the insiders of Washington – will continue to do its very best to ignore is the fact that this week’s Labour revival, Brexit, the election of Donald Trump and a host of other things are really just all manifestations of the same phenomenon.

People are sick and tired and angry. They have lost patience with the ceaseless demands to work ever harder for less and less. They grow more intolerant of the flagrant inequality being shoved in their faces every day. They are beyond tired of the likes of George and Dave, creaming off their rewards for no great ability and lecturing the public on what a privilege it is to watch them doing so.

Is the worm about to turn at last? Interesting times.

 

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