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Opinion

The Wages of Sin

09 Jun 2024 4 minute read
The Vultures

Ben Wildsmith

If you feel guilty about the impulse to laugh at those in discomfort, you should give yourself a break.

It’s a necessary psychological process to cope with the knowledge of your own mortality and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Especially when the butt of the joke is the Tories.

Observing the Conservative death-spiral is to experience the Platonic ideal of schadenfreude.

It is to be present at the comically-botched execution of a heinous criminal who refuses to relinquish his favoured role as executioner, even as the noose is slipped around his neck.

Better yet, no hood is being employed so you can watch his facial expressions. So far, we’ve seen derision, contempt, and disbelief.

Over the next few weeks, we have anger, terror and resignation to look forward to as the murderous architects of austerity finally realise that the vultures circling overhead are for them at last.

Well, them’s the breaks. Be sure to add your own guffaw to their final moments.

Era-defining

In the meantime, though, I urge all decent people to enjoy the spectacle. The incoming mauve administration offers even less in terms of comedy than it does as regards social reform, so now is the time to revel in this era-defining event.

Because they’re not just going to lose, it’s going to be an extinction event.

One of the circling vultures is N. Farage esq. and he has already stated his intention of ‘taking over’ whatever is left of the ‘natural party of government’ providing that he wins a seat.

‘All Eyes on Clacton’ might sound like a racy 1970s comedy starring Robin Asquith but is, in fact, far tawdrier than that.

The Conservative & Unionist Party, previously stewarded by Disraeli, Churchill, and, er, Iain Duncan-Smith is now facing the sort of cultural makeover that Sports Direct recently inflicted on House of Fraser.

Hook it to my veins!

Yawnsville

They are currently still in the bargaining stage of grieving their relevance in British life.

During last week’s Sunak v Starmer yawnsville debate, the PM was understandably keen to avoid discussion of his party’s record in office.

His tactic was to roll his eyes and admonish Starmer for being ‘obsessed with the past’ whilst he, Sunak, was looking to the future. It was desperate stuff but at least rooted in an acknowledgement of reality.

Unfortunately, the immediate future held Sunak’s ill-advised disappearing act from the commemoration of D-Day in Normandy.

The following day, Tory MPs were trying to close down questions about this on the basis that ‘we’ve all moved on’ and ‘need to look to the future.’

Imminent annihilation

In the panic of imminent annihilation, the Tories now require us to wipe clean the slate every morning and be reborn into a blameless idyll where consequence is forgotten.

It is the fantasy of the condemned. And condemn them we must.

Finally, after all these years, the despicable tone of their governance has finally been turned on them.

Forever fetishising the past, and consistently colluding in the racist dog whistles of its defenders in the press, the Tories are caught in the slurry pit of their own immorality.

Much of the criticism of Sunak this week hinted at an innate deficit of patriotism in the UK’s first Asian Prime Minister.

He attended most of the commemorations then left the international segment to his Foreign Secretary whilst he went home to try to salvage whatever he could for the party that elevated him.

He was crucified for it because the xenophobic, shallow jingoism of his party’s corrupted soul was destined to get him in the end.

He’s getting what he deserves, and so are they.


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Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
2 days ago

The changes to the Conservative party started with Thatcher. Her ideology infected the party and led to recent events like Brexit and Thatcher ideological fan Truss. This election looks like the final kicking into touch of this warped ideology – at least the extreme element as Labour is offering a watered down version. The days of the current form of Toryism is coming to an end, thank god, but it would have been better if a more socialist Labour party was taking over.

Glwyo
Glwyo
27 minutes ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

Alas, I fear more decades of lurching between Maggieism-Blairism and semi-ethnocentric populism await us.

Garry Jones
Garry Jones
2 days ago

“Observing the Conservative death-spiral is to experience the Platonic ideal of schadenfreude.” 
Schadenfreude for me sure, but poetic justice for many others. 

Annibendod
Annibendod
2 days ago

The trouble is Ben, as much as this is quite some spectacle, the electorate has been fed so much bile, first by the Murdoch press, then latterly through digital disinformation that it has become ripe for harvesting votes by the likes of Farage. And try telling somebody in that mindset that they have been manipulated by bad actors – they don’t take kindly to it. I’m so despondent at the entrenched tribalism. Just another word for dogmatism. Whether it’s the loopy ultra-libertarianism of the Tories and their willingness to dredge the gutter for votes, or if it’s Labour who have… Read more »

j91968
j91968
2 days ago
Reply to  Annibendod

There’s always Patagonia…

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
2 days ago
Reply to  j91968

…Which at the moment is part of a country that is ruled by a madcap ultra-rightist Libertarian who is dong his level best to ruin the economy. Basically he’s Truss on steroids!

j91968
j91968
2 days ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Yesh, but with more sun and massive dinosaurs, could be fun.

j91968
j91968
2 days ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Oh, take a crumb of comic comfort when it’s offered. Don’t you choose to read Ben Wildsmith because he can usually find the whimsy, humour and absurdity when almost everybody else has stopped looking for them. People don’t have to be solemn to be serious, this is satire central isn’t it? No? Oh sorry, I got off at the wrong station, I’ll cross to the other (political) platform and get the next train back

Last edited 2 days ago by j91968
Glwyo
Glwyo
5 minutes ago
Reply to  j91968

Well there’s an idea. And whilst we’re at it I’ve read that most of the population of the Falklands (or, as we perhaps could call them, Yr Ynysoedd Malwyn) are of Welsh and Scottish descent, it’s cute to imagine we maximised our secession and established some kind of Union of Chubut and the Falklands. Of course it might be hard to convince anyone to leave either of London’s or Buenos Aires’s mini empires and embark on a venture like that.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
2 days ago

This is where four and a half years of non governance, hatred and asset stripping down to the very bone marrow of the people and endless lying (even now) gets you. Don’t worry though, the Tories’ saviours are at hand but when Farage, Tice and Anderson are told to eff oh by the voters, maybe they’ll get the message.

j91968
j91968
2 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Are we talking seats won by Reform or total vote share?

j91968
j91968
2 days ago

My knitting needles are clacking to the rhythm of the tumbril wheels rattling over the cobbles.

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