Sometimes, it's just a cigar

This is our truth, tell us yours

And then there were two

It’s more than two decades now since the Conservative Party publicly labelled themselves as cowards by refusing to confront Margaret Thatcher until a stalking horse had been used to flush her out. The stalking horse was Sir Anthony Meyer, a genteel libertine with impeccably right wing pro European views and a fascinating back story as war veteran, diplomat and campaigner for Europe.

From a distance no-one came out of the Thatcher stalking horse episode well except Meyer and his wife, who handled the ad hominem attacks and the ‘revelations’ about Sir Anthony’s private life with great aplomb in public, irrespective of how she might have felt in private.

It took another year after Sir Anthony’s challenge to Thatcher for a Conservative with a chance of winning to stand against her. It left a deep and lasting perception of the Conservatives as a party where no-one was prepared to put their head above the parapet, a party where the ability to manouvre out of sight was more prized than openness and honesty.

Similarly Owen Smith has out-manouvred Angela Eagle to become the challenger to Jeremy Corbyn. To be fair, there is nothing cultured or heroic about Eagle; a time served Blairite with all the depth of a sheet of A4 paper, her campaign, asserting that she should be Labour leader because she was a  northern woman, as if the Labour leadership was a casting call for the next series of Happy Valley, was risible. If she has any political foundations, any deep ideological commitment, it has been well concealed in pursuit of her career, but none of these criticisms disguise the fact that Owen Smith wasn’t willing to be the first to show his hand against Corbyn.

If political assasination is the game, better to be an honest Brutus than Cassius; Owen Smith may find that some ofthe briefing against him now going on arises from the fact that he wouldn’t show his hand until he was sure the race was on. That briefing, aligned to the racism that undermined Neil Kinnock, the sneering references to boyos and the Taffia, to dulcet tones and a locquacious wizardry with words, may mean Smith is wounded before the campaign starts.



3 comments on “And then there were two

  1. ValeryNorth
    July 20, 2016

    Neither of the challengers showed much “leadership” so far – and the only one on that anti-Corbyn side who looks like a leader is smart enough not to get involved in this battle (Hilary Benn). Rather like the Tory history outlined in the OP, one has to assume he’s keeping his powder dry for next year, or the one after that…


    • jemima2016
      July 23, 2016

      I do hope you are wrong, Benn is a prospect who would encourage me to vote for smith!


      • ValeryNorth
        July 24, 2016

        Dear God, I hope so too, for the same reason! But this is 2016 and the way it’s going so far…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on July 20, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: