Shiny! Shiny!

I observe the Tory leadership contest with the same reluctantly fascinated revulsion as I might experience watching maggots wriggling on a corpse. The metaphor is apt. The British Conservative and Unionist Party is deceased – dead by its own hand.

The candidates for the role of leader are simply seeking to feast on the most juicily putrescent morsels of its rotting flesh. Being addressed as ‘former leader’ still carries a certain cachet within the British political system, even when the entity that was led is long gone. A determined scavenger might yet find in the carcass of the old Tory party material to serve political ambition. Or, at the very least, ensure a seat in the House of Lords and/or on TV panel shows.

I look at the Tory leadership contest and all I see is a seething vipers’ nest of voracious opportunism. And in the midst of it, glistening as obscenely as any other worm, squirms Roderick James Nugent “Rory” Stewart.

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But the attentive observer should note something particular about Rory Stewart’s sheen. There is, to be sure, the polish that comes from decades of expensive preparation for entry into the ranks of the British state’s ruling elite – attendance at the right schools; membership of the right clubs; participation in the right pursuits; mixing with the right people. Then there is something else. Something new. Something applied over the deep burnished gleam of breeding and the warm glow of assured preference. On top of all this there is the slick, streaked gloss of rudely applied media spin.

Rory Stewart is being sold to us. Recent media coverage can readily be seen to be a coordinated process of building a narrative. Much of this is crude enough for the original script to be evident. Isn’t it remarkable how many political commentators seem to have simultaneously realised that Rory Stewart strikes them as a ‘decent sort of guy’, or words very much to that effect. Some is more subtle. The disinterring of an oddly indulgent interview in the New Yorker magazine a few years ago makes it look as if the article was created just for this purpose. Almost as if somebody was thinking ahead.

This spate of admiration and flattery in the media has all the managed and coordinated appearance of a professional marketing campaign. The purpose of such a campaign would, obviously, be to put Rory Stewart in 10 Downing Street. That kind of image management doesn’t come cheap. Somebody will be looking for a return on their investment.

I am not for one moment suggesting that Michael Fry is part of this media effort. Not knowingly, anyway. Rory Stewart strikes me as the type of individual who acquires acquaintances and cultivates friendships ever calculatingly mindful of their potential usefulness. Indeed, this would form an important element of his training to become part of the glue binding the structures of power, privilege and patronage commonly known as Britain.

I do, however, think it a bit strange that Mr Fry can recognise Rory Stewart’s elaborate contributions to British Nationalist propaganda during the 2014 referendum campaign and not be even slightly dubious about his motives now.

As for the rest of us, the more adulatory the media’s presentation of Rory Stewart becomes, the more we would be well-advised to look on him with the most jaundiced eye we posses. There is more of the hyena than the lion about this individual.

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5 thoughts on “Shiny! Shiny!

  1. Thanks for that. The whole process rendered even more loathsome by a lovely gothic metaphor. The carcass of the UK consumed by its own anachronism in the persons of a random bunch of revolting, rapacious, venal and mediocre members of the British political classes. Although I guess we’re pretty much used to that.
    I regard Mr Fry as almost unique: a Scottish Conservative who believes publicly in Scottish independence. I know such creatures exist and it is good to know they are there in order to maintain this idea that the independence movement is a broad church. No doubt this is why he is given a platform by The National.
    But having read his articles from time to time, I usually skip them now. He is perfectly entitled to say what he wants but I don’t have to read it. And I wonder where the line is drawn. Who do we definitely NOT want in the movement? What is the breadth of the church? Does it actually matter who will be the next Tory leader? Why give this column inches at all? The structural conditions remain exactly the same: the UK is dead, putrefying before our eyes.
    A most illuminating metaphor, and much more entertaining than anything Mr Fry has ever written.


  2. Rory the Tory – is off the scale on the creepichter scale, a deeply, strange fish. Craig Murray sheds some interesting light on his past career and family background.

    I wonder if his backers are responsible for the Channel 4 footage from 1992 being rediscovered of Gove in full cringe mode.

    Michael Gove – the Scottish Tory parties current favourite is also deeply creepy.

    Rhyming slang Hunt – looks wired and not in a legal way.

    Boris – well there’s been enough said about him already.

    And the rest – who cares.

    But hey – No Deal Brexit is now odds on favourite to happen. The tax dodgers will be happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Indeed Peter,this time instead of the spooks pulling the puppet strings of Davidson and Co they do look like they are trying to put a spook in Downing Street.

    You know what they are going to do,come on man its staring you in the face they are going to try and play devo max again after brexit ,they know they cant stop indyref2 only delay it ,only this time if they agree to one ie s30 you can bet your granny they will demand if we lose then bye bye devolution and to muddy the waters they will go full devo max at us again hoping that we split our time fighting No and devo max

    I know but they tried this already ,yep and yep same tactic though a slight difference this time they will lead with aggression demanding devo max not be on the table and an end to devolution be on it only to soften the approach in the last two weeks of the campaign and make No a vote for more devolution.

    Yes it sounds crazy but it is the only way for them to turn NO into a positive option and just might sway the dunderheads again.

    Of course it will all be lies its all they have so do not be surprised to find us stomping over old battles we fought in 2014.

    The classic one they are using, with which i find amusing when they all suddenly switched from being tory trolls to brexit trolls, is… but you will not be independent in the EU,and yes we will see this during indyref2.

    Though we may see another escape route a deal between the people of Scotland and the people of England ,we both declare UDI at the same time and we both get what we want,No UK means no EU membership for any of us ,but we would be free to rejoin and England free to leave the EU.

    I mean is there not one politician in the land of England who want up on that lofty pedestal of nobel peace prize winner,statesman or stateswoman of the decade, all you have to do is free Scotland,Wales,England and Ireland.

    And yes i include England because those poor buggers have had their country almost dissolved by the evil UK one nation British nationalists all they have left that is English is their football team.


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