Reliable sources inform me that Gary Lineker is Ready to Lead as Prime Minister if required, despite the huge pay-cut this would involve. And although the emerging plans for a Government of National Unity seem so far to display a considerable amount of disunity about who will be doing what, there is a growing consensus that the Cabinet members being touted are solidly unified by one factor: the ability to live, breathe and prosper in a bubble of their own creation.
There is a certain cunning from the GNU crowd in trying once and for all to lay adventurist populism to rest by assembling a collection of stunningly unpopular hasbeens. The stunts are indeed cunning, as other Spoonerisms are stunning. One thinks of Harriet Harman and Ken Clarke having a heated debate in Cabinet, and the old fags-marketeer-to-the-Third-World saying “Yes dear” in a wonderfully archaic act of condescension.
But today I’d rather focus a bit more on those in the Remain camp who aren’t being asked to either lead or take part in this Unity project….which strikes me above all as needing a rebranding exercise to position more clearly what its outlook really is. For some reason, The Halifax 1940 Armistice Prostrate Party (HAPPY) springs to mind. Let’s face it, the acronym of Government of National Unity is GNU – an antelope in the genus Connochaetes immortalised in the 1950s by Flanders & Swann:
I’m a gnu…a-g-nother gnu
I wish I could g-nash my teeth at you
I’m a gnu, how do you do?
You really oughtta g-know w-who’s w-who
I’m a gnu, spelt G – N – U
Call me bison or okapi and I’ll sue
Nor am I in the least like that dreadful heartebeest
Oh, g-no, g-no, g-no, I’m a gnu!
In this, the ultimate anti-hate peace-loving epoch, that sort of attitude simply won’t do. By contrast, those wanting to be part of HAPPY are myriad….but unhappy about not being called to the Colours.
Jeremy Corbyn, for instance, clearly wants to be the man asked to lead, but only he has so far reflexively promoted his own candidature. The Labour Party en masse, and senior Tory Quislings like Dominic Grieve, have said they would rather have Nigel Farage as PM than Jezzer of Nazareth. Oliver Letwin, by contrast, said he wouldn’t be taking part at all…a smart move on his part, as nobody has asked him either.
Spare a thought too for Tony Blair, as he sits at home wondering why he hasn’t been drafted. I can imagine him pestering the long-suffering Cherie as to why, and the poor dear having to use all her barrister skills as if she were trying to calm the truculence of a petrified Judge.
“Well dearest, as this is an attempt to abolish populism – and you are so terribly popular – I’m afraid it wouldn’t do,” she asserts.
Tony smiles approvingly.
“You’re still awfully pretty you know,” he tells her.
‘You’re still pretty awful yourself,’ she thinks.
But you see, the GNU (or HAPPY) core ethic is profoundly small-c conservative, in that the one thing it values is the past. The Americans tend to say, “It is what it is”. The Happy Gang tend to think, ‘It will be what it was’.
This has brought a whole new meaning and direction to the phrase “skipping a generation”. Whereas many Leavers in the Tory Party would like to skip a generation and install Dominic Raab as Party Leader, the Happies prefer to skip backwards and dig up the Living Dead such as Kenneth Clarke.
Here too, our sympathies should go out to Neil Kinnock; for given the above criteria, he ticks all the boxes. He’s been corrupted by the EU, he has a £1.7million EU pension, and he has been an unmitigated political failure who is both over the hill and close to being under the ground. What better man could there be to lead the EU Reentry negotiations with those in charge of the European Commission?
Yet in many ways, the Unity candidates ought to stretch beyond the Unpopular Antiquity niche. This probably explains why there is a write-in campaign on behalf of Gary Lineker as Prime Minister; for not only is he formidably unpopular, he is also incompetently ignorant. Rather than seeking out those who represent the modern idiom, the Gnus prefer to recruit the contemporary idiot.
On that basis, Greta Thunberg is a shoo-in for Minister of Accusatory Ecological Gloom, provided she can get headmistress permission for time off from her Disaster Studies course. Equally, Owen Jones must be inclusively included as Minister for Far Right Smashing. And no Leftlib-Tory coalition would be complete without the Blue Labour contribution of Chuka Umunna, who two days ago tweeted that ‘Johnson, Gove, Raab and the rest of the Brexit elite see themselves a tribunes of the People – but they do not speak for the Country’.
What makes Our Chuka the perfect Remainer is that he seems to believe that the People aren’t valid, whereas the State is. Or, put another way, he remains hazy about why supporting a bigger and bigger State is antithetical to the individual’s realisation of maximum potential.
The Disunited Kingdom is in deep enough doo-doo as it is. The last thing it needs is a cynically thrown together cacophony of counterfeit Unity.
I sincerely hope this post made you smile. Enjoy your Sunday lunch.