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October 22, 2005

Tory Sudoku: the Winter Ashes

The Tory leadership contest is making the usually gloomy transition from autumn to winter almost as enjoyable as the English cricket team made the summer: when somebody said the Tory contest provided a welcome break from Sudoku, they hit the nail on the head.

One might have expected the fun to have worn a little thin after the innumerable contests that have lit up the years since the bleak gloom of the egregious Thatcher eighties, but those old battles of bruised egos and blessed fools have established an entertaining syndrome that gains through repetition. We now know what’s coming, and we love it.

It was just soooo great when the only person who might have caused a ripple of concern among the New Labour politburo - bloated, unreconstructed, compromised, corrupted good ol’ (very ol’) Ken Clarke – got voted out at the first fence, just like he always had before, along with any other threats to the New Labour hegemony like poofy Portuguese Portillo or the magnificent chest-thumping Heseltine before him. Ken provided a louche winter echo to the brilliant but beaten Shane Warne of the summer.

Things got better yet as – half Flintoff and half Petersen - the altogether more cherce nowhere boy Cameron, D. came galloping into the lead on the wings of a conference speech made (gasp) without notes, succulently drizzled by a week of knockabout hard drugs denial. Blair, Brown et al, secretly ecstatic at being confronted by such a toffed-up, policy-bereft, back-story burdened, old Etonian hooray Charlie rich brat iconette of the Notting Hill Tory yardie set, played along famously by hamming up this classic Tory bullet in the foot as being a greater regime threat than the mountainous form of the abandoned Clarke.

Meanwhile emulating the summer catharsis of Australian hubris has been the spectacular reverse momentum downward plunge demonstrated by initial party darling David Davies – who no-one outside the ranks of the faithful had ever heard of before and has learnt nothing about since, except he’s got a broken nose and supposedly lived on a council estate. Being such an obvious loser at this stage should in the scheme of things qualify him as eventual winner, especially as the polls begin to show that – glittered up in manic media attention – the pre-pubescent Cameron might conceivably make some ground against the dour boredom of a Gordon Brown Old Labour non-revival. Anything like that and the young chap’s days will be over as quickly as you can say Iain Duncan Smith.

Unhampered by anything like a Goliath, we look forward to these two tussling Davids brightening the dismal days ahead as we segue into winter time. As for a viable opposition – who needs it?

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Posted by Iain Stewart at 4:48 PM in england
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