British politics is in a miserable state at the moment. It’s undeniable. Wherever you look, yearning for some semblance of salvation, your efforts to salvage a slither of hope are met with an all new level of despair – with each fungus encrusted stone you overturn only revealing further evidence that our country is heading at a rate of knots towards the nearest u-bend.
Having been promised we were about to embark on a glorious journey nearly three years ago, we remain stranded less than a hundred metres from port. Rudderless and helmed by a hapless captain who, in absence of any map, has scrawled out an alternative destination that absolutely nobody is happy with on the back of a napkin. Let’s face it – when you’re promised paradise, Bultin’s doesn’t quite shape up by way of comparison.
If this were a movie, we’d be reaching the point whereby a hero steps into the fold – galvanising the fatigued and dispirited subjects, dragging our failing nation across the threshold into the very glory which was so nearly lost by sheer force of will alone.
But of course, life isn’t a movie – so we’re stuck we’ve these two.
Yes, that’s right. The two self-styled, swashbuckling Brexiteers are back – ready to swoop in to ostensibly save the day, only to in actuality conduct a fevered scavenging operation, feasting upon whatever fragments of power and influence they can from the very same wreckage they instigated.
Like all double acts, Boris and Gove are two very distinct personalities. With Boris it’s all bluster – beating his chest, roaring out the nationalistic rhetoric and attempting to invoke figures of significance from days gone by, all of which show him up as the veritable political gnat he is by way of comparison.
Gove meanwhile opts for a lighter touch – skulking around in the shadows, schmoozing whomever necessary in order to aid his dogged slither up the proverbial greasy pole.
Until he has no use for them of course, as Boris found to his great cost.
However, with the dust having settled on their respective, calamitous attempts at to worming their way into Number 10, there was always a sense of grim inevitability in their re-emergence. Having been forever hamstrung by attempting to harvest something of worth from the rotten fruits of their labour, May’s government is now critically weakened.
So what better time for the perennial opportunists to sweep in and seize the mantle? Whispers over the weekend of a coup brewing would indicate such a plan is already in motion.
And it’s absolutely sickening.
Putting aside my feelings of deep contempt for Theresa May and absolutely everything she’s done for a moment, what we’re currently witnessing is the very culmination of careerist skulduggery. Two vituperative chancers riding the choppy waves of national chaos to angle their own personal victory from the insuperable disaster their cowardice and ineptitude left behind. May has failed – she was always going to fail and it was an inevitability which always left things open for opportunism in the long run.
With Boris, such unscrupulous manoeuvrings have never really been a secret, being confirmed as far as something can be without an open declaration to topple the Prime Minister and assume control. Once he’d predictably thrown in the towel as Foreign Secretary, his absurdly pompous witterings in The Telegraph have effectively served as an aggressive PR campaign for his eventual leadership bid – parroting the very same litany of easy answers and cretinous sideswipes which may have helped win the referendum, but will immediately die unceremoniously on their arse should he ever have the power to put them into practice; all the while securing Britain’s status as an international pariah with his predisposition for bestial poetry.
It’s rather different with Gove meanwhile. Saying what he actually means has never been his style. His reputation for honesty has now sank to such a point whereby the opposite of whatever he says can be presumed as true with a startling degree of certainty. Though don’t be fooled into thinking this will work against him. When you’re mates with Rupert Murdoch, the PR aspect is all in hand, leaving you free to indulge in as much subterfuge as your heart desires.
Irrespective of methodology, the ultimate aims are indistinguishable. It matters not that they’ll run into the very same brick walls as their predecessor, when you’re driven solely by self interest the end always justifies the means. What happens next is of little personal consequence, the Brexit referendum being an ideal point of reference. The lack of any means of implementation in the event of victory wasn’t down to carelessness, nor was it coincidence – it simply wasn’t on their minds. Not when they had a party leader’s authority to irrevocably cripple by way of a narrow defeat which ultimately never came.
I’m sure from a Brexiteer perspective, a Gove/Johnson premiership is far from something to fear – instead viewing it as a Brexiteer finally taking the helm from a nefarious Remainer, paving the way for a true yet nonetheless intangible Brexit to be achieved. Furthermore, I’m sure that’ll be the manifesto each would run on.
However while the rhetoric will strike a chord with such a demographic, to expect any degree of improvement to our risible lot would be folly to the highest degree.
After all, Brexit has only ever been a vehicle – it’s never been the aim.Follow @grahamlithgow