Tuesday 4 May 2010

So, who is the closet anarcho-Republican on the Tory frontbench?

The Conservative manifesto captures that the Cameron creed not really about the official doctrine "conservative means to progressive ends" ('or is it the other way around; I can never remember' as frontbenchers are known to quip anonymously to hacks about their vision and political strategy).

Rather, Hiltonism involves "Anarchist slogans to High Tory ends", as the manifesto artwork captures so elegantly. And today we have a new, albeit secret, candidate for Tory frontbencher who is more Cameronite than even Steve Hilton himself.

The mystery is which Tory frontbencher has been authorised to spout anti-Monarchist agitprop to the left-liberal broadsheet as part of their strategy to change the rules in a hung Parliament?

"the idea that a courtier like Sir Gus O'Donnell will decide this is straight out of the Victoria and Albert Museum".

How ludicrous! When the Tory leader hopes to go through the whole 'kissing hands' of the Monarch in order to form a government in less than 72 hours, that's a slightly funny thing to hear from a shadow Cabinet member.

Imagine the monstering that Labour would have got for dangerous guillotine-style radicalism at the hands of Mr Dacre had, say, Mr Jack Straw spouted off to the Guardian along those lines just three days before the 1992 General Election.

Freudians will have to debate whether the implicit Republicanism - why choose the "Victoria & Albert Museum" to exemplify the point, after all - is the Guardianista equivalent of a "dog whistle" or a rather more deeply buried latent psychological inner turmoil. Can't you just hear the appeal to the 'angry middle' with the spitting out of "courtier"?

The colourful phraseology suggests an eye for the media, and the willingness of an intelligent man to spin nonsense in a higher cause, so Mr Michael Gove would never too far distant from the frame of possible suspects.

But Next Left's theory - based on nothing more than his previous attack dog' form involving a lot of close marking at the Cabinet Office, is that perhaps this could even have been one of the last major contributions to constitutional and legal theory of shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling.

Though no doubt that would come as a disappointing blow to any Next Left reading republicans who might hope there was one kindred spirit lurking somewhere behind the Cameronite sheen.

Unless, of course, dear reader, you have better theories.


Thanks to the hundreds of you who have engaged in or tweeted about our exploration of British constitutional theory today, following Liberal Conspiracy and later Comment is Free extracting our earlier musings on the bid to challenge existing constitutional practice. Perhaps the emerging new High Tory doctrine can be summed up as being "the constitution is whatever a Tory government does, or would want?"

That makes as good a case as any for a proper constitutional settlement, though our High Tory anarcho-Republicans will doubtless disagree.

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