The Tory ex-minister Nicky Morgan recently described the Tory party as being like her family. Presumably she meant that, for her, the party is more than just “work,” or even just “politics” : her fellow-Tories are people of her own kind and she feels at home among them and perhaps spends most of her time with them. They are people who share her belief-system, her life-style, her “faith”.
But Morgan’s use of the family image reminds one that Europe and the idea of leaving it has been a Tory obsession and faultline and “family” argument for years. Ideologues on the right of her “family” have made it their life’s work to campaign against the EU to the extent that, a whole ten years ago, Prime Minister John Major was calling them “bastards” and still and long afterwards, in his early days as Tory Leader, David Cameron expressed a similar frustration with them, though in terms slightly more polite. He said that he wished the Tories would stop “banging on about Europe”. Then UKIP emerged and, for a short and inglorious while, banged on even more furiously, briefly panicking the Tory “family”.
And in 2016 came our EU referendum, that stunningly irresponsible and incompetent Cameron family ploy, which blew up in his face and split a nation in two.
Away staggered Cameron stage right and still the bastards are banging on – now wanting a “hard Brexit,” even a “no deal Brexit”.
So what’s up with this problem family ? we might ask. For they have inflicted their divisions onto a whole nation, even a continent, encouraging loutishness all over the place. It is like the spreading of a plague. For everyone’s sake, even their own sakes, should we not be insisting that the UK Tory party head out of town as a matter of dire emergency for a long dose of family therapy, in strict isolation ? Our nation cannot afford a moment more of their incompetent and dysfunctional acting out.