Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Now is the winter of our discontent approaching ...

Hard to avoid the conclusion that the issue of Tax Credits  is being used as a weapon for those with ambition to be Cameron's successor or to be a Warwick the Kingmaker. Indeed the whole affair reminds me of the "War of the Roses" which I saw recently at The Rose Theatre, Kingston. Cameron has damaged his status by saying, as Blair also did, that he will go before the next Election. So the Knights and Lords, the lickspittles and the sycophants, the useful fools and the conniving courtiers are playing complex games to position themselves either to succeed him or to profit by aligning themselves with the winner. Theresa's May's speech on immigration only makes sense if seen in this context. Osborne's gamble that he could get the Tax Credits reform through without a House of Commons vote likewise. Boris's manoeuvring is so Shakespearian as to be worthy of a place on a Drama or English Lit study programme. 

In this world of intrigue and back-stabbing the management of policy fades into the background and everything is about who's up, who's down and who's blown it. We on the sidelines watch with incomprehension at times. It's quite amusing and deserves a "House of Cards" treatment - though I suspect the truth is stranger than even that fiction. Identifying the various camps (as with York and Lancaster) is not always easy. Tim Montgomerie makes common cause with James Forsyth. My enemy's enemy...? Michael Ashcroft (whom God preserve) times a broadside to coincide with a jolly Pageant in Manchester. Toby Young moves from bring a quizzical commentator on the sideline to being a defender of all things Tory. Louise Mensch, the Queen over the water, trumps even Toby in her sycophancy. Meanwhile the official Opposition has opted out to set up a rival war on a different battlefield far away. And the foot soldiers? Running around in ever decreasing circles...


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