The Tory TV debates are now in full swing and it all looks rather much like a casting for the Expendables Part X – five out-of-touch men trying to stay relevant by showcasing their limited talents to a detached audience! If all went according to script, we would have a clearer idea which one of these expendable characters would rule the land. Which one of these political birds of a feather would be knocked off their perch – as they have all been looking extremely uncomfortable on their stools!
It was rather strange that there was even a TV debate to select the leader of the Conservative Party when the only people voting – for the moment – are Tory MPs. One has visions of the Tory MPs huddled around an old wood-veneered Hitachi TV (circa 1981) they confiscated off some old age pensioner who couldn’t afford the licence fee. Nothing like an old school scene to bring back the nostalgia of the Thatcherite era when everyone hated Europe and a third rate TV celebrity was President of the United States. It seems some things never change.
The actual debate has really shown why none of the candidates should be the ruler. The only thing that could spice this up would have been Jezza Kyle turning up with the results of a lie detector test! Does Bo Jo have an unhealthy obsession with letterboxes? Is Micheal Gove half Trojan Horse? Does Sajid Javed say “Rubber dingy Rapids” every time he sees an immigrant?
Then, like a knight in shining armour, came brother Abdullah from Bristol with his earth-shatteringly difficult question: “Do words have consequences?”. In other words ,“Are you five a bunch of Xenophobes?”. You could see the unease build as they all wanted to shout “Well, here’s another fine mess you have got us into Theresa!”. What came next is the kind of conversation every parent has with their three-year-old. “Mohammad, do you remember when we agreed not to say mean things about other people?”, with the response “Dad watch this, I can stand on one leg for 5 minutes!!” – at an age where you believe Jedi mind tricks actually work.
With no lie detectors in sight, the candidates did what politicians do best – lie, manipulate and dodge the question.
Boris seemed to think the question had been “Who was your great grandfather and was he a postman?”!
Jeremy Hunt, imagining he was under Chinese integration, put up the only defence he could by saying he was married to a Chinese woman!
Gove, the ex-minister for education, put his hand up and told the teacher that Jeremy Corbyn had copied his homework and changed Islamophobia to anti-Semitism to get away with it!
Good old Captain of the immigrant ship “all Pakistani men are groomers” Saj maybe thought about removing Abdullah’s citizenship and sending him off to some remote island where brown people live! But having realised that would just make him look like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, he simply mumbled: “My parents are Muslim!”. The good old “Oh you know my Dad, we’re from the same village back home” trick you use when you want your car serviced on the cheap.
Finally, Rory – who had by now been shocked awake from his ever-apparent slumber by seeing a Muslim bearded man with a mosque hat on-screen – said the only thing he could think of: “Asalamoaalkum”. It was either that or “Sajid, I thought you said you stopped the immigrant boats!”.
The outcome of all this buffoonery? Abdullah to be called an extremist by the media, for daring to point out that Rule Britannia may have been taken over by a bunch of cocaine-snorting, Muslim-hating pirates. That and messers Rory, Saj and Gove being left behind to wonder what the point of swimming in the gutter of democratic politics was after all. But as with most sewer-dwelling creatures, once they have had a breath of fresh air, they will be back where they feel most at home.
On a final and more serious note, the Tory debates have shown that to be the leader of this country you can promise anything and everything just to get elected. You show you are on the right of the political spectrum, irrespective of what you can realistically do once elected. Is it then of any wonder why there is a leadership deficit in this country? The political leaders in the UK are looked down upon with such disdain that in other parts of the world many have turned to unconventional politicians such as reality TV stars and even comedians in the hope that they might actually be listened to.