The Plastic Hippo

August 6, 2014

Over-promoted, incapable, incompetent

Enjoying yet another holiday in Portugal pointing at fish, David Cameron will be delighted that Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has picked her moment to jump overboard just as the nets of moral outrage snag the truly awful coalition government. In the strange world inhabited by Cameron, every silver lining frames a huge, black cloud and Warsi`s resignation might give him short-term relief but the storm is about to break.

In 2007, Cameron appointed an unelected, failed parliamentary candidate hastily elevated to the House of Lords to his shadow cabinet. Promoted not due to any actual ability but because she ticked various electoral boxes, Baroness Warsi became a rare thing in British politics and something of a paradox worthy of Nietzsche. In short, she quickly became unsackable. As a token woman suitably northern and, more importantly, as a token Muslim, her seat at the cabinet table was assured as long as her electoral value remained viable.

Sayeeda did her best to fit in with the Tory elite. She fiddled her expenses, had the usual misunderstanding over rent, she vilified the poor and parroted the party line on people with disabilities being scroungers. She tried homophobia and took her business partner and second cousin on a ministerial jolly abroad. Sadly, the boxes she ticked before the election and some monumental gaffs once in office brought out the ingrained misogyny, prejudice and nastiness of Tory grandees. Cameron could not fire her and so instead forced her into TV studios to defend the indefensible in the hope that she would shoot herself in the foot. This she did on numerous occasions.

Now a woman scorned, Warsi has managed to fillet Cameron`s silence over Gaza with all the skill of a Grimsby fish wife and the nasty party don`t like it. She might be useless, a bit thick and a Tory but she has displayed a rare thing in British politics. After four years of taking the coin, she has resigned on a matter of principle rather than resigning due to being caught. This has enraged the Conservative sharks who now encircle the minnow in a feeding frenzy of smears, opprobrium and crude insult. The Spectator described her as “over-promoted, incapable and incompetent” but offered no comment as to the ability of the person that appointed her.

The sharks claim that the timing of her resignation is a cynical attempt to damage the government and point out that yet another ceasefire was being broken in Gaza. It seems unimportant that Israel needs a ceasefire because it has run out of ammunition and there are children still breathing in Gaza that need shelling. Fortunately the US and, presumably, the UK have stepped into the breach to resupply the Israel Defence Force. The sharks also conveniently forget that less than 12 hours earlier, Baroness Warsi was representing the government at a memorial service in Westminster Abbey commemorating Britain`s war dead. Perhaps Lynton Crosby would have preferred her to upstage the remembrance by announcing her departure as she snuffed out a candle.

Cameron`s response from a fishmongers somewhere in the vicinity of Praia da Luz was that he has repeatedly urged Netanyahu and the IDF to show restraint in bombing hospitals, UN schools and refugee camps and that Hamas is a terrorist organisation. Not to be outdone, Nick Clegg who astonishingly still describes himself as the Deputy Prime Minister, condemned Hamas rocket attacks that threaten Israeli civilians and hinted that “the Israeli military overstepped the mark” by blowing little kids to bits. Clegg wants the government to look again at arms sales to Israel forgetting that Vince Cable as Business Secretary signed off the deals.

Both the British Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister steadfastly refuse to condemn Israel`s actions and refuse to acknowledge that Netanyahu is deploying disproportionate force against civilians as collective punishment which, under the Geneva Convention, is a war crime. Some foolish observers risking howling accusations of anti-Semitism have suggested that Israel is allowed to get away with murder because Israel is Israel and not some rogue terrorist state intent on genocide. It might be best to leave that thought hanging and let history be the judge or, as increasingly likely, the International Criminal Court.

The breathless writhing of a woeful British government gasping for air before being thrown over the side as surplus to the catch quota of self-serving bottom-feeding bloaters is not a pretty sight. The glazed eyes and mouth silently opening and closing is a precursor to a terrible stink. If only we had a Middle East peace envoy, perhaps a former British Prime Minister, who could broker a deal to stop children being killed and possibly, just maybe and completely coincidentally secure a fair price for the extraction of some lovely and rather profitable fossil fuel that lie in the vast natural gas fields just off the coast of Gaza.

Baroness Warsi might well have been over-promoted, incapable and incompetent but now that she has resigned, what is laughingly described as the left are hailing her as some sort of Rosa Luxemburg for the modern age. No, sorry, she`s a Tory that made the mistake of showing some evidence of compassion that is incompatible with Cameron`s dogma and lack of principle. Maybe she is pitching for a lucrative role as a Middle East peace envoy acting on behalf of western oil companies and arms manufacturers who are very keen to see the blockade of Gaza maintained. After all, Tony Blair secures a very good living from allowing the deaths of children to go unchallenged.

For Cameron, now searching for another tick box token and unlike fishermen in Gaza blockaded and their boats destroyed, there are plenty more fish in the sea.

Update: 6 August 2014 at 9-00pm

Cameron`s fish pointing pleasure at seeing the back of the Warsi irritation is likely to continue as none other than his old school chum Boris Johnson comes bounding up the gangplank, cutlass between his teeth in search of plunder. In the strange world inhabited by the Prime Minister, the impeccable timing of Boris is the silver lining that has swept Warsi and her criticisms off the front pages. The big, black cloud of Bozo`s leadership ambitions can wait until after the holiday or the election, which ever comes the soonest.

After leading his party off into pastures Farage, Cameron will deploy Boris against Nigel in the hustings which is guaranteed to provide a joyous festival of buffoonery and bigotry from now right up to next May. The prospect of two blithering idiots trying to hit each other with balloons on sticks is simply irresistible. Cameron will spent the time pointing at kippers on his back benches and after defeat will pass what`s left of the Conservative Party to Boris and take up his promised seat in the Knesset.

Now 24 hours on and we ask; Baroness who?


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