Support our Nation today - please donate here
Opinion

Send out the clowns

17 Jan 2024 4 minute read
Lee Anderson. Photo House of Commons/UK Parliament

Ben Wildsmith

It’s always a gut punch when a talented newcomer turns his back on the organisation that has nurtured him. Supporters have watched his rise with mounting excitement, coming to pin their hopes for the future on the gifted youngster who could turn their fortunes around and return them to the glory days of old.

So, when Louis 30p-Rees-Zammit quit his role as Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party yesterday, to head up Donald Trump’s election campaign, we all felt it in a very personal way.

Sorry, it’s been a long week.

HMS Tory continues to chart a course directly towards the Red Sea with a self-destructive determination that long since defied rational explanation.

Catastrophe

That Lee Anderson now feels possessed of sufficient political heft to wobble the Prime Minister via the medium of flouncing is stark evidence of approaching catastrophe for his party.

He is a monstrous figure. The press reaction to him since he rose to prominence has been to minimise his malignancy by enjoying the comic potential of his absurd posturing and coarse rhetoric, I’ve been guilty of it myself. In times as desperate as these, however, peripheral figures can quickly be co-opted by the ruling elite as it tries anything to save its skin.

Anderson’s appeal to voters is a barely-disguised xenophobic attitude, accompanied by skilful insinuations that he’d like to go a lot further if he had the chance.

The sort of stuff that people used to lower their voices to say has found its way into the national dialogue via chancers such as Anderson, Jonathan Gullis, and, regrettably, Andrew RT Davies. The ever-gurgling sewer pipe of Tory politics has, in recent years, been re-routed through its drawing room.

Anderson’s appeal within the party, however, reveals much about how unmoored it has become from reality. The shock result of the Brexit referendum posed a conundrum for Conservatives. On one hand, voters were clearly no longer content to do as they were told by their betters. David Cameron’s paternalistic grandeur came off as complacency at a time when the financial crisis had knocked chunks out of the lifestyles of many.

Tory voters, though, were naturally prone to the jingoistic advances of the Johnson/Farage Leave campaign. The surprise was lifelong Labour voters backing Brexit in the face of almost total opposition to it from the party they supported.

Misunderstanding of this set of voters has driven much of UK politics ever since.

Referendum

In the aftermath of the referendum, Labour’s perceived willingness to subvert the result hardened support around it and the resultant willingness of Labour Brexiteers to vote Conservative in 2019 has, it turns out, been the Tory party’s undoing. Instead of recognising the Brexit vote as an anti-establishment kick up the jacksie of a torpid political class, the Tories have allowed themselves to believe that vast swathes of the electorate had transformed overnight into Alf-Garnett-esque racists who could be courted with xenophobic rhetoric, regardless of how competently the country was governed.

Lee Anderson’s trick has been to personify this phantom working class in broad enough terms to bedazzle the grandees of a party that couldn’t recognise him as the musical hall sham he is.

You cannot, thankfully, win UK elections by appealing solely to bigots. Whilst those voters exist, most of them have enough sense to require at least basic competence from their politicians and ladling on lashings of fascist-adjacent rhetoric won’t cover up the stench of a country that has been mismanaged into dysfunction in every respect.

They won’t learn, though. Anderson, Gullis, Braverman etc. know right well that Sunak’s election hopes are already doomed. After Labour win, they are banking on the party lurching yet further to the right and straight into their arms. If it does, then Conservative politics is finished as a credible force in the UK.


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
1 month ago

The right wing extremists in the Tory party are hoping the party members will get behind them just as most of Republican faithful appear to be with Trump. However, England is a very different place to the southern states of the US, even if it does lean to the right. Thus, as the article suggests if the party drifts further to the right it be the end of them. The Welsh Conservatives would be better off parting company with the UK Conservatives before they too are completely destroyed.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Lee Anderson. Well, well. What can we say about this political abomination. This is a man from a socialist mining background who met a stranger on a crossroads one stormy night to sell his soul to the Conservative devil. A cretinous creature, who stated he could feed a family for 30p while claiming himself his parliamentary food allowance even though he’s on £92k per year as a MP and is making over £100k as a GB News presenter. And now like a big baby far-right extremist Lee Anderson is throwing his dummy from his political pram by resigning as Deputy… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Y Cymro
Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

“Knock knock”
“Who is there”
“Its your mate Lee, I have a reporter with me and about to knock on your door to ask how you are going to vote but pretend we don’t know each other and don’t do sexist knockers jokes, I tried that and it didn’t go well”

ARTD still his BFF?

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

2 donations totalling 30k were dropped into his fund in November, who’s is Bassim Said Haidar and Christopher Wood?

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
1 month ago

To describe the tories as “in the gutter” is to elevate them to a position far, far higher than that which they deserve!

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.