The Plastic Hippo

January 8, 2017

Tess of the Uber Viles

In her strides

In her strides

If ghosts actually exist and if they do exist are capable of exhaling, then the ghost of Frederick North, second Earl of Guilford and Tory Prime Minister between 1770 and 1782 will be expelling an enormous sigh of relief at the moment. After 235 years of being generally considered as the most useless, indolent, weak and shallow British Prime Minister devoid of any leadership quality, he now finds himself in third place in that particular race to the bottom.

Lord North might be remembered as the Prime Minister who lost the Americas and fought numerous European wars against the French, Spanish, Dutch and just about anybody else. He even manufactured his own Falkland crisis in 1770 in order to fuel tensions between former allies France and Spain and won the conflict simply because of the dominance of the Royal Navy. Sadly, the Royal Navy, built on the proceeds of plunder, slavery and brutal colonialism could not secure victory in the American War of Independence. The irony that the American Navy some 242 years later could not defend America`s independence will not be lost on Vladimir Putin.

Lord North, of course, wasn`t all bad; he stoutly defended the Church of England with its various campaigns of intolerance and was fiercely loyal to King George III who, by some accounts was through no fault of his own, clinically insane. There are some suggestions that Lord North was the illegitimate son of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales thus making Lord North the bastard half-brother of George III. Clearly such a suggestion of blatant nepotistic cronyism is ridiculous even by 18th century standards. Imagine a present-day former Prime Minister being a cousin of the reigning monarch or the same former Prime Minister and current Foreign Secretary being bastard descendants of George II. Democracy for all its faults means the days of rule by an inbred aristocracy are well and truly over.

Before David Cameron attempted to plaster over a major rift between a relatively small group of Tory backbencher MPs and the rest of the party clinging to a slim parliamentary majority, Lord North`s ghost was destined to wander Westminster as a warning to others that ambition is no substitute for ability. By trying to hold vicious Tories together, Cameron has broken Europe and is about to break the United Kingdom. His folly was one of arrogance and deceit and the consequences will last longer than Lord North`s purgatorial wandering.

Cameron, however, has been incredibly lucky. Not six months since his decision to run away from responsibility and take up the mantle of the most useless, indolent, weak and shallow British Prime Minister devoid of any leadership quality than up pops another one to take his place. Theresa May talks of compassion, the evil of inequality and the “day-to-day injustices” suffered by “ordinary” British families. She remains silent on the increasing need for food banks and on the unaddressed increase in hate crime since the referendum. The British Red Cross declare a humanitarian crisis in health and social care and Theresa May remains silent and indolent. Her response to an increase in child poverty is to abolish the Child Poverty Unit thereby abolishing child poverty. She claims that there is no crisis in social care, housing, industrial relations, infrastructure, education, national and personal debt or law and order.

There is not enough sand in the deserts of vast eternity facing useless Prime Ministers that will allow Theresa May to continue to bury her muddled head in. After stating that “brexit means brexit” she now claims that the referendum question asking for a straight yes or no to membership of the European Union was not, in fact, a simple binary decision. According to May`s sand covered brain, the No vote also means an overwhelming mandate to leave the single market and entirely change the way that government is run. It also means that Ed Balls should have won Strictly Come Dancing, Bake Off must be returned to the BBC and Murdoch deserves a 100 per cent monopoly of British media.

With Theresa May in place, Lord North can at last rest in peace. Even Anthony Eden and Neville Chamberlain avoided being photographed wearing £1,000 leather trousers. Most Tory Prime Ministers work hard to keep that sort of thing private.

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