By Conor Holohan
David Cameron has been less than pleased with those pesky eurosceptic ministerial colleagues of his. He and his two most likely successors as the Tory party leader, Theresa May and George Osbourne, are in favour of the UK remaining in the EU like he is, but the third oft mentioned candidate for next leader, Boris Johnson, spoke out louder than before over the past two weeks about his feelings on the EU.
Though it had always been known that Boris – excuse the use of his first name, but I think we’re all on first name terms with Boris, in a way – was adverse to the UK’s current state of membership of the EU by his articles in the Mail on Sunday pouring scorn on legislations passed down from Brussels. Why was there such a sensational reaction to such an established and known fact – the fact that Boris will vote to leave on June 23rd? It can surely only be down to two things: Either there was very little to print in the various faecal tabloid rags on that given day, or perhaps Boris has been more vocal recently as to tactically position himself against his two most high-profile and likely challengers for the Tory leadership and so to be the Eurosceptic candidate, whilst May and Osbourne linger in no-to-Brexit Cameronism.
The idea of Boris as PM may send shivers down your spine – the whole country in blond wigs riding cheap bicycles as to not look too screamingly Etonian – but his competence is not to be questioned, especially when positioned against Theresa May whose performance in the Home Office was entertaining to watch if not slightly worrying that a woman of such poor competence can hold such an office for such a long time. Especially when competent politicians such as Michael Gove and Boris Johnson are often laughed down because of their toxicity or personality and most likely wouldn’t make it into the Home Office Job – apart from maybe Boris for his personality, but nobody actually knows what he believes or thinks about any sort policy unless they really read into him; they only care about his hair and the sheer elegance at which he can body-slam a Japanese child at a photo opportunity – smooth.
If Michael Gove had not made such a catastrophic blunder by tarring himself as a proletariat-hating, snow leopard skin wearing toff whilst filling the role of education secretary, he could have been a contender with Johnson, May and Osbourne. Gove’s very unpopular with the Blairite crowd (of which every party currently wants a piece) due to his traditional conservative views which happened to include, at least at one point,a sympathetic view to the death penalty. The issue is that Cameron would prefer to whip his dogs into that Blairite line. That line is the one Cameron himself has had since the beginning – the soft Tory, in reality it’s more like ‘soppy liberal’. It’s what allows him to sweep up those that would have voted for Toby Blair: The fairly central, but left leaning, and probably not too shabby in the fiscal department white middle classes. I must say, though, watching Michael Gove as justice secretary say at the last Conservative conference that reform should be at the heart of the prison system was nothing short of amusing – seeing him surely almost vomit as he had to read such leftist, vegan, pantry owning Eurosocialism (this was still when the ministers could not campaign for an exit from the EU and so each minister made passing comments in their speeches about unity within the party).
The more shameless (not that they should be ashamed, but stigma has risen to the level at which you will actually hear people accusing the Tory party of being directly responsible for the poor dying) Conservatives such David Davis, Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, are not the kind of graze box liberals David Cameron would like to have in his cabinet. Unfortunately for them, their views are of the old kind of Conservatism; the one that came before Thatcher. That new kind of Conservatism that somehow makes David Cameron its party leader. That’s not conservatism, it’s a PM who has no socially conservative beliefs and a chancellor who studied modern history and has very little views on anything as far as I can make out other than more cuts, more Blair socially and more Maggie economically. Since Tony Blair’s genius but Machiavellian New Labour fell, the space has always been filled with exactly the same thing – it’s just blue now instead of red.
However, now the date is set, and the cracks in Tory ministerial solidarity we have witnessed over the past few months have been intricately outlined. Luckily, the Tories will still probably get away with their shambolic fragmented charade whilst Jeremy Corbyn hoovers up the headlines as he continues to try and play the man of the people by wearing cheap suits constantly promising a ‘new kind of politics’ which is increasingly turning out to have been a load of hot air. This is Cameron’s third referendum, and thus fur he’s got a perfect record – AV wasn’t introduced, Scotland didn’t leave the Union, and now, during his last spell as prime minister he will hope for the hat-trick and Britain will continue to take orders from unelected dish cloths who get paid more than the President of America. The outcome of the referendum could well be a deciding factor in the composition of Tory cabinets before and after 2020.