It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry, isn’t it? I have huge sympathy for the woman on Twitter who wailed: “I have lost the will to live. Can someone please explain this week’s events via crayon drawings?”
Farce follows hard on the heels of fiasco. Mark Wallace, the executive editor of Conservative Home, broke the news that the Conservative Party has opened applications to stand in the forthcoming European Elections. You know, the elections that won’t be happening because we’ve left the EU. Except – oh, look! – we haven’t.
The email to candidates said: “Due to the current situation we will be contesting the European Elections on 23rd May 2019 and the closing date for nominations is 24th April.”
You can imagine a similar message being sent out in Japan in 1944: “Applications are invited to take part in the air war in the Pacific. Ability to land a plane not essential. Would suit highly motivated individual with a yen for self-immolation.”
Only a kamikaze Tory would take part in an election under such shameful circumstances. This week, Theresa “we will be leaving the European Union on 29th March” May made another of her madcap scuttles to Brussels, part of what the German media calls, with wounding accuracy, her “Begging Tour”. Uch. She has lost all dignity; her crouched, craven figure is less Mrs Thatcher, more Mrs Overall. Thanks to her, our nation’s fate now lies in the hands of 27 other countries. Will they play nice if the PM does one of her praying-mantis curtsies before the Emperor Macron?
Most likely, they will grant an extension which suits them and allow us to take part in their election, but with draconian conditions attached. New British MEPs will find they are not allowed to vote against the EU budget, even though we are major contributors to that budget. They will be eunuchs unable to fulfil the function for which they were elected. It is democracy, already bleeding in the gutter, which will be well and truly shafted. This is exactly the castration of Britain which 17.4 million people feared and voted against in 2016.
It won’t be easy find volunteers for such a pointless and demeaning task. Mark Wallace asked a Tory candidate if they would be putting themselves forward as a Conservative MEP. “To be honest, I’m going to vote for the Brexit Party…” came the reply.
Him and millions of others. I will certainly not vote Tory, not as long as Theresa May is still masquerading as Prime Minister. Her stubborn refusal to go, even after senior backbenchers warned her on Monday about mutinous members in the country, defies belief. She is a liability, both for her party and her country.
“But you have to feel sorry for her, don’t you?” say nice ladies like my mother. No, you really don’t. Mrs May is not some netball coach who deserves praise for effort after her team suffers another rainy humiliation in a Saturday league match. She is the leader of a great country who has played the game so badly, we find ourselves imploring our opponents for extra time.
Bizarrely, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt chose this week to fret about the Conservatives’ lack of appeal to young people after a study showed that voters don’t switch to the Tories till the age of 51.
That’s the least of your worries, Penny, darling. Come out to the Shires and ask a Tory over 51 about their voting intentions. Be sure to stand well back so the flames don’t singe your blow-dry.
Droves of disgusted members are cutting up their membership cards. Those that aren’t are just biding their time until they can elect a new leader who actually agrees with Conservative Party policy on the referendum result, if such a rare beast can be found.
On social media, there have been discussions about boycotting both the local and the European elections. “I’ll never vote again” is a worryingly common refrain. Brexiteers have started sharing creative ways to spoil a ballot paper. Writing “None of the above” or “Sorry, I voted Leave” are among the politer suggestions.
If we really must take part in farcical European elections, two months after we were meant to leave the EU, the least we can do is use the opportunity to punish the fools who disdained the people’s instruction and got us into this drawn-out mess. For too long, a complacent Conservative hierarchy has condescended to its loyal members, disdaining their politics while counting on their support. Well, frightfully sorry, chaps, not any more.
The Tory faithful are now rampant adulterers ready to leap into bed with any Tom, Dick or Nigel. (Even Ann Widdecombe, married to the party for almost 50 years, is prepared to play footsie with Farage.) We are done with being taken for granted. We will not explain on the doorstep why May’s red lines have turned a pukey shade of pinko. We want a leader who lifts the heart with red blood in their veins, not managerial grey.
The European elections are a chance to show our political class exactly what we think of them. That means carnage for the Conservatives. Deservedly so – and even Theresa May will not be able to stick her fingers in her ears this time, so deafening will the catastrophe be. Out of the ashes, I pray there rises a party we can believe in once more and a leader worthy of the name. Don’t boycott that ballot, spoil it!