Notes From the Margins…

Lord Snooty’s House of Horrors

  • October 07, 2015
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Even before  the 2015 Tory conference  began the signs were not good.  First there was the announcement that the government intends to ban ‘militant left-wing councils’ from supporting or promoting boycotts and political campaigns that conflict with British foreign policy.

This ban appears to be primarily aimed at the BDS campaign and less directly, the UK arms trade.   But an unnamed    ‘Tory spokesman’  explained it like this:

‘Separate hard-left campaigns against British defence companies threaten to harm Britain’s £10bn export trade, destroying British jobs, and hinder joint working with Israel to protect Britain from foreign cyber-attacks and terrorism.’.

And Greg Clark, secretary of state for communities and local government, added:

‘Divisive policies undermine good community relations, and harm the economic security of families by pushing up council tax. We need to challenge and prevent the politics of division.’

Both statements are lies, pure and simple, and varnished in the kind of inane dishonest sloganising that Orwell despised.   In Toryspeak, ‘arms trade’ becomes ‘export trade’. Protesting against Israel’s illegal endless occupation and expropriation of Palestinian land is ‘divisive’ and harms the economic security of ‘families’, and prohibiting the democratic right of local councils to promote democratic protests and campaigns is presented as some kind of brave political attempt to ‘challenge and prevent the politics of division.’

This mindboggling claptrap was followed by the revelation that the Tories had attempted to conceal an unprecedented £2 billion gap in NHS finances because they didn’t want it to overshadow their conference.

And what a conference it has been; a Tory Walpurgisnacht, Halloween come early, a dismal, spirit-destroying festival of reaction, ideological fanaticism, blatant political fraud, and self-seeking careerism,  that makes Thatcher and her cronies seem almost like One Nation centrist politicians by comparison.

First up was millionaire Jeremy Hunt, the man who is quietly and coolly turning the NHS into rubble and driving doctors to leave the country in droves, justifying tax credit cuts  as a ‘step towards self-respect’ and a ‘very important cultural signal’ that would help underpaid British workers to work  hard  ‘like Asian economies’ and ‘Americans.’

And then  there was  Nicky Morgan,  one of the most clueless education ministers in recent memory, the woman who now presides over a public education system that her government hates, which    53 percent of teachers are planning to leave within the next two years, announcing that she intends to allow parents to ‘request’ that schools provide working-day childcare throughout term-time and the holidays.

And what Tory conference would be complete without the puritanical rantings of Ian Duncan Smith, the man whose department made up fake IDs of welfare claimants who had supposedly benefited from cuts, promising to get rid of sickness benefit because such benefits only produce ‘passive victims’ and because  ‘Conservatives philosophy is rooted in human nature not in Utopianism or in empty pity but in the yearning of people to make a better life for themselves and their children’

And there were also some newer acts, such as Matthew Hancock, another Tory clone who has dispensed with ‘Utopianism’ and ’empty pity’, who  told conference that under-25s were ‘not productive’ enough to deserve the National Minimum Wage.

But all this was just the warm-up act for Theresa May’s vicious, ignorant and dishonest xenophobic anti-immigrant rabble-rousing yesterday.  It was not so much dog-whistle, as a dog orchestra, a dog marching band parading up and down the land blowing so much rancid prejudice and tendentious rubbish that even the Telegraph, the Spectator and the Institute of Directors recoiled from it in horror.

And why Cruella de May do this, readers?   Because she wanted some headlines and she wants the Big Job.   That’s all.   So why not lie and fan the flames of fear and hatred if it gets the Tory right on your side?  Wouldn’t you?

Well maybe you wouldn’t, but the Tory party is screeching from a different hymn-sheet, one in which morality and honesty are as conspicuously absent as utopianism and empty pity, where words lose their meaning and serve only to cover up meanings that politically unsayable.

No one embodies these qualities more completely and comprehensively than Lord Snooty himself, the man who once rode into the nation’s hearts on a pushbike promising something called ‘compassionate Conservatism’ and now seems a little more like Castlereagh ever time he opens his mouth.

Yesterday His Lordship was caught out by Jon Snow, lying and blathering effortlessly without barely a pause for bresth, telling the world that the UK helped get Saudi Arabia to head the UN Human Rights Council because our relationship with the Saudis ‘keeps us safe.’

Throughout the interview Cameron demonstrated a breathtakingly glib slipperiness and intellectual shallowness, coupled with a resolute unwillingness to  answer an honest straightforward question with an honest straightforward answer.

And today, His Lordship  attacked the ‘security threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating’ Corbyn’ with a wilful distortion of what Corbyn had once said about the death of Osama bin Laden.

This is no longer a politician, let alone a statesman, but a smug fanatic whose thoughts have been replaced entirely by empty catchphrases and tabloid headlines, who offers lies and smears not arguments,  and who leads a government of cruel, reactionary gargoyles that now believes itself to be the ‘permanent party of governance.’

We must prove them wrong, because on the evidence of the political freakshow we have seen these last four days readers, we are in a lot worse trouble than we think.


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  1. Richard Carter

    8th Oct 2015 - 10:42 am
  2. Richard Carter

    8th Oct 2015 - 10:46 am

    …. and the original stinking deal between the UK and Saudi Arabia to ensure that both countries were elected to the UN Human Rights council was exposed here:

    By now the sickbag is overflowing…

    • Daniel Margrain

      9th Oct 2015 - 2:30 am

      Brilliant….an absolutely top notch piece. Your sentiments echo mine 100%.

  3. Guano

    9th Oct 2015 - 8:24 am

    Cameron’s comments about Saudi Arabia confirm what Blair’s closure of the BAe corruption trial suggested: Saudi Arabia is able to use the threat of terrorism to manipulate the West. This goes a long way to explain how the UK and USA allowed Syria to become such a crisis: our governments went along with the fiction that Assad could be easily overthrown and that the opposition was unproblematic because they were afraid to face down Saudi Arabia.

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About Me

I’m a writer, campaigner and journalist.  My latest book is The Savage Frontier: The Pyrenees in History and the Imagination (New Press/Hurst, 2018).  The Infernal Machine is where I write on politics, history, cinema and other things that interest me.

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