Monday, 20 May 2013

Swivel eyed loons

The Conservative factions are warring so zealously over Europe that a formal split in the party is no longer unthinkable

Faced with an unprecedented revolt against the government's programme by its own MPs, we were told that David Cameron was "relaxed". When more than half of his backbenchers went ahead and defied him, and senior members of the cabinet declared in public that they were with the rebels in spirit, his spokespeople announced that the prime minister was "profoundly relaxed". So when the Tory party completely devours itself, Number 10 will presumably tell us that David Cameron is "totally soporific".

According to the Spectator, which specialises in navigating this crazy maze, there are "eight key Eurosceptic factions" in the Tory party. It is highly reminiscent of the leftwing groupuscules that flourished in the 1980s, immiserating the lives of Labour leaders and doing so much damage to that party's electoral prospects. As is the way with zealots, their demands become increasingly surreal.

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