David Cameron’s enemies are massing in the east…..

MPs, having realised that they are powerless to act against globally plummeting stockmarkets, the threat to the future of civilisation posed by the refugee crisis, or even Idris Elba’s failure to land an Oscar nomination, voted to ban poppers. Since this sketch channels unworldliness marble-veined with a streak of deafness, it was assumed that the Commons may have turned against the late scientific philosopher Karl Popper, and therefore rushed to look him up in Wikipedia. Popper, it says, “is known for his rejection of the classical inductivist views on the scientific method, in favour of empirical falsification”. Yes, that sounded about right: MPs often vote to ban things they don’t understand and “empirical falsification” could well be taken as a sly dig at their habits with expenses claims. Why then, when one checked out the debate, did everyone seem to be talking about anal sex, unless it was the application of the scientific method to this particular form of recreational activity that was at issue?

Mr Crispin Blunt, the Chairman of the Defence Select Committee, told an astonished House that he himself was a user of poppers, a revelation falling firmly into the category of too much information. Unless, of course, Mr Blunt was himself confused and was still talking about Karl, whose work on the falsifiability of numbers must undoubtedly be of assistance to him in assessing David Cameron’s claims about the ground forces fighting ISIS. Alas, it seems that Mr Blunt was talking about anal sex too: perhaps since his Conservative colleague David Mundell revealed himself as a homosexual two weeks ago, Mr Blunt has felt the compulsion to come out just that little bit further.

With these thoughts in mind, it was with a degree of trepidation that one turned to contemplate the Grassroots Out campaign, a new arrival on the political scene that announced itself with a rally in Kettering at the weekend. One had vaguely thought that the era was behind us when it was fashionable to bully private homosexuals into revealing their orientation, but who knows. Kettering might well be behind the rest of the country in this regard, and then where would it stop? Would Grassroots Out not be satisfied until every MP had revealed him or herself to be gay, or possibly a user of poppers?

The appearance on the Kettering stage of the egregiously heterosexual Dr Liam Fox was enough to puncture this concern and it was some relief, relatively speaking, to discover that Grassroots Out, or “GO”, is yet another group dedicated to the cause of Britain’s exit from the European Union. The area set aside in our public space for such organisations is rapidly becoming more crowded than Queen Victoria’s womb. GO presents itself as a cross-party effort and seems to have the rather touching aim of enabling ordinary shy Eurosceptics to out themselves to each other, with a view to sharing the mutual pleasures of canvassing and perhaps much else besides.

The group is on speaking terms with Nigel Farage – not a given in Leaveworld – and also attracted the support of Labour’s Kate Hoey and the Conservative MP Tom Pursglove. Mr Pursglove is deeply obscure even for a Tory backbencher although, sitting for Corby and East Northamptonshire, comes from that fecund strain of regional Eurospceptics that includes Wellingborough’s Peter Bone and Kettering’s very own Phillip Hollobone. Mr Hollobone arrived at the rally on his patch wearing a jacket fashioned to imitate a Union Jack. This put one in mind of an earlier member of the middle east anti-Europe mafia, Tony Marlow. Those with long memories will recall Mr Marlow all but scuppering John Redwood’s leadership putsch against John Major by arriving at his launch conference in a blazer that appeared to have been rejected from an amateur production of Toad of Toad Hall. Perhaps unfairly, this helped to cement the impression that Mr Redwood’s supporters were, collectively, some truffles short of a full Thornton’s presentation set.

Dr Fox’s presence, however, undoubtedly added lustre to GO’s launch and helped partially to explain why he had been having lunch with the Home Secretary. For, indeed, the pair of them had been spotted in the week a deux in Quirinale, a Westminster eating-hole where long flowing Italian descriptions of food come with thirty quid price tags. This had led to much fevered speculation about leadership bids and the Home Sec’s continued flirtation with outing herself for Leave (or, perhaps, leaving herself for Out). It turns out that the doctor was asking her to go to Kettering, which is probably the most improper thing anyone has said to Theresa May since 1973.

Dr Fox is said to be popular with Tory MPs – an accusation rarely levelled against Mrs May – though he has dark eyes that twinkle with malice and a demeanour that, in a bedside manner competition with Harold Shipman, suggests that one would opt to have the erstwhile mass murderer stick a thermometer underneath your tongue. His increased stage presence is a signal that, for all the supposed good behaviour of the Conservative parliamentary party, Mr Cameron’s enemies are massing.

Commentators bored with the ongoing shambles of Corbynism worry that the PM is experiencing insufficient opposition, allowing him to govern the country with a lazy and supercilious indifference. The Labour Party published a report into why it lost the last election, which came ponderously to the same conclusions that others had done about six months ago. It turns out that the Party does not require the assistance of alkyl nitrites to be well and truly buggered.

Having previously decided that Jeremy Corbyn is the answer to its problems, Labour might be considered to be beyond the help of rational analysis. This is a state of affairs likely to allow Mr Cameron’s Laodicean reign to continue for a while yet, unless and until it is upended by the outcome of his EU referendum.

 

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