There is a prophetic line in an old episode of Doctor Who when David Tennant tells the Prime Minister that he could destroy her with just four words. He then whispers to an aide, “doesn’t she look tired?” Within weeks she had been forced to resign after rumours about her health chipped away at her confidence and image.
Keir Starmer is not going to resign before the next election. But he does look tired, pasty faced and out of sorts. There is loose and pipe dreamy talk of David Miliband returning to claim his throne. Ridiculous, as he personifies the real enemy of unreformed Labour the shameless Tony Blair who disgustingly won three elections for them. The bloody class traitor. That’s why Starmer had to have a crack at Andy Burnham. That’s why he consults with election loser Gordon Brown rather than the monster Blair. For Labour Blair is the mad aunt locked in the attic. For most of the country for a lot of the time he was rather good news.
Even those Tories with comfortable majorities are beginning to panic as 2024 approaches. And the occupants of those Red Wall seats are become even more floridly psychotic in their desperation to Klingon on. For some of these knuckle draggers everything went horribly wrong when a small unelected cabal of Remainers ousted their hero Boris Johnson who is both loved and revered by the nation. This is wrong on just about every level. Yet they believe it with an almost religious fervour. King Arthur and his Round Table will return and restore the political fortunes of their party. Sadly, the old rogue almost believes it too and his small team of advisors are plotting his comeback. It would be time better spent if they were plotting a Conservative comeback. So Norma Desmond. Oh, let’s not forget that Truss, invented by Johnson to lubricate his glorious return, is in hallucinatory mode by desperately trying to vindicate her legacy. Do we laugh hysterically or just weep for the poor sods who are paying for it? And a prayer (not a long one please and preferably to St Jude) for laughing boy Kwarteng who is telling anyone who will listen that she was ‘mad’ to sack him and that all that went wrong is that he ‘got carried away’. Let us be grateful that he was never made Defence Secretary.
So we have the mad left purists who pray that Starmer loses and the mad right purists who pray that Sunak loses. All to prove a point. So self destructive and rather dangerous for democracy.
There is another delusion that troubles me. That somehow the magic bullet for electoral success is radically bringing down immigration. But the Home Office are in despair and bogged down with minutiae. They know that this is an impossible task so they are consigned to tinkering on the edges which will make very little real difference. Clamping down on bogus degrees is a good idea which I thought had been sorted years back. But cutting the number of overseas students is counterproductive. The universities will lose out on a valuable stream of income and the country will lose out on useful soft power.
And there are a whole range of other proposals which will only make matters worse. Mercifully, Raab’s human rights proposals seem to have bitten the dust. Again. Do we really want to join the likes of Russia by exiting the Council of Europe? Do we really want to make matters worse for those women who have been sex trafficked into the UK? I hope not. And even if all of these daft policies slithered onto the statute book what significant difference would they make? If the latest rumours that are circulating about Raab are ever proved he may be gone sooner than we think. Better to have him on the backbenches with a knighthood than an embittered and ambitious Braverman seeking an excuse to bail out.
The only real immigration issue that the government needs to tackle urgently and effectively are the boat people. The only way to do this is to break the business model of the traffickers who have been very clever in their PR machine on social media. Tik Tok presents an illusion of a wonderful future for those who want to cough up a few thousand pounds to cross the Channel in idyllic circumstances. We should be seeking international cooperation to flood these social media airwaves with the true horrors of the trip across the water. Once potential channel crossers are bombarded with the truth and believe it rather than the hype we have a fighting chance of success.
A message to the Home Secretary. Cut down on the hyperbole and concentrate on the practical. I won’t hold my breath.
Now that our dear old friend Prudence has been taken off life support and is making an encouraging recovery it is time that the Conservatives embraced Tina once again. Some of you won’t remember her, but she was a dear friend of Margaret Thatcher. There Is No Alternative. And that is why Starmer is looking so tired, why Davey is jumping on every bandwagon to find traction, and Farage is so desperate to find an issue that he can transubstantiate into a political movement.
Starmer has everything to lose and he knows it. The other parties are foundering around. People seem to forget that Kinnock was riding higher in the polls in 1992. It’s time for the Tories to unleash TINA.