It’s High Noon, and the outlaw Corbyn is rolling into town, eagerly awaited by his Momentum gang. Banged up since the 1980s, they have waited a long time for revenge….
Unfortunately, the Tories are not exactly Gary Cooper. In the film, his character Marshal Kane reckons that running is both shameful and futile, and he must face his nemesis. Instead, confronted with political death, the Tories have acted in their celebrated tradition and come out with no guns blazing, preferring to die running than standing tall.
Brexit has unleashed revolutionary forces in society that have to be channelled radically, and no political peace will be possible until they are spent. No doubt after years of austerity and stagnant wages Corbyn’s red in tooth and claw socialism is genuinely attractive to some, but to a great many others his passion and radicalism is just an outlet for their frustrations.
In human terms, the post-crash, post-Brexit electorate is like a man who decides to leave a job he has done for too long: over the years he grew steadily less satisfied as promotion and wage rises pass him by, but it is comfortable and he fears change. However, one day he takes the plunge and somewhat to his own astonishment resigns.
Having made such a momentous decision, he now has the irksome duty of working out his notice period. Now restless, he resents the need to do so enormously. To make matters worse, he is approached by a swanky firm of employment consultants, promising him an exciting new career. However, they duly recommend his future to be…his old job! After all, it is “strong and stable”. Naturally furious, he is half-tempted by a rather raffish rival outfit that promise him the moon.
Brexit could have been, and still could be, a genuinely culturally conservative revolution. However, Britain’s great tragedy is that does not have a conservative party, merely the Conservative Party: a fundamentally parasitical institution incapable of forming a genuine conservative vision of society because it has never had any use for one. Given a once in a century opportunity, it saw Brexit only in terms of what it cared about – itself! Having consequently run a deeply cynical re-election campaign that has left it on the defensive, its cowardly instincts are to give ground and go with the flow: yet another re-run of “Tory men and Whig measures”; a party almost perpetually in office but rarely in power.
Such cynicism will not save the Tories this time around. The revolutionary passions of Brexit will not be quashed, and genuine revolutionaries are ready to exploit them. That distant, singing hum you can hear is the Corbyn train rattling over the tracks, arriving for its appointment with Marshal Kane.